30 Apr Should Christians Boycott Brands?
*I am not, in this article, telling people what to boycott. Rather, my focus is on providing some thoughts that can guide people through the potential decision of boycotting, regardless of the issue.
1) Boycotting Works
We have seen successful boycotts from multiple sides of multiple arguments. Church going Christians have a purchasing power of $443 billion/ year. That’s enough to end world hunger nearly 15 times over. That’s a lot of influence.
2) However, Don’t be petty in your communication or action
Whether we decide to boycott something or not. Please respond with dignity and not in a childish temper tantrum. If we boycott, let our unified language reflect the reasonability of the boycott. It should not be about how you are personally offended. It should not be just that we feel entitled to rights. We should explain why a boycott is necessary to the physical and spiritual health of the nation(s) – not just why we want it for ourselves or our specific demographic.
3) Also, Be consistent
Look beyond trend issues and make sure that you are an equal opportunity boycotter. Don’t just boycott the newest trend. Stand firm against all things that conflict with your perspective, not jus the top trending issues.
4) At the same time Pick Your Battles
Only Jesus can save the world. We can’t do it all, but we can do our part. There are many battles to be fought. This is a war of attrition. Pick and choose battles based on conviction and severity not just trends. With that said, some things need to be addressed because they are trends. The medium is the message sorta thing…
5) Learn to communicate beyond the boycott
Boycotts work for two reasons. 1) They send a message that certain actions are deemed unacceptable by a considerable part of the population. 2) They withhold funds – thus inhibiting the promotion of the mission, vision, and values that are being propagated. However, boycotts are not enough. Ongoing communication, education, and more are necessary to promote the wellbeing of our general society. We must use our words as well as our wallets.
6) Be Solution Oriented
Rather than simply complaining and demanding your way, provide solutions – be they compromises, new options, or something else.
7) Aim for a Lifestyle of responsible kingdom consumership
We have a trend-based culture. We binge diet instead of living healthy lifestyles. Likewise, we hop on momentary bandwagons instead of making longterm decisions. Rather than just boycotting a company for one policy move, we should seek to live a lifestyle that is committed to responsible kingdom consumership.
8) Look for companies whose mission, vision, values align with yours… Start to make a list of places that you can comfortably shop.
Here is an article that helps you get started on making that list:
Whatever you do, do it well and do it to the glory of God. I hope these few thoughts will help provide some guidelines and insights for you and your friends as you navigate the increasingly murky waters of our increasingly politicized consumer nation. As always, your comments are welcome and encouraged. Do you have any other ideas? Share with your friends to get their thoughts. Together, we can make a tremendous difference. Be on the lookout for the rest of the “On Boycotting” series! Be blessed!