μάρτυς, Starbucks, and Disney – A Reminder

In Second Isaiah (40-55) we face the description of the suffering servant, who serves YHWH and is willing to lay down his life like the One who actually did so. Psalm 44:22 talks about the sheep who every day give themselves up to a Greater Cause. Daniel tells us that the Jews were forced to violate God’s covenant (Daniel 11:21, 29-32). Those who remained firm in the Rock of Israel suffered greatly (vv. 33-34). Daniel and his friends were faced with the threats by Nebuchaddnezzar. And he boldly replied, “we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up” (3:17-18).

Even the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha are full of examples of faithfulness in face of confrontation and daily suffering. John the Baptist died in such a way. Stephen and James were killed for their faithfulness.They attempted to kill Paul several times. In all of those occasions, he did not back down. Most importantly, Jesus was killed for doing God’s will.

Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:23-24; John 15:18-20; and many other passages in the New Testament explicitly teach something that many have never heard before (or at least many act like they never did). What I want to show you is that denying yourself means more than not having sex before marriage and/or not cursing ur “using God’s name in vain.” Obedience to God means dying for the self.

If you come after Jesus that means you have denied yourself when you took up your cross. The problem is many people falsely believe you can come after Jesus without self-denial. They are willing to deny things they normally wouldn’t do anyways. Their parents don’t like them to curse, so they don’t. Their parents are very strict about dating, so they have a (mandatory and exteriorly) “pure” dating life. But as Jesus said, you cannot go after him without the denial of self. The people I cited before knew that, and that is why they did not deny Christ even in extreme situations.

What has happened to us, then? We are not being forced to anything. Believers have the option Daniel did not have. And yet, even without pressure or threats to our lives, we happily surrender ourselves, our whole family, our country, our culture, and the cultures to come to Satan and his servants! All the work believers have done for decades in the U.S. is completely disregarded by most when they are faced with some challenges. They can either abstain from the idolatrous ideologies they are being presented with (thus, obeying God), or they can surrender to the devil and their own carnality.

We are quick to act on homosexuals who are pressing their agenda on the church, yet we have no desire to attack those who disagree with us but somehow we love them. I believe many have acted and spoke against the LGBTUVWXYZ(etc, …)’s disgust and not out of faithfulness to God. I know that because Disney World just announced their gay kissing in their movie and cartoon and some Christians could not care less. I know that because Starbucks’ CEO told us he does not want to make business with people who support the traditional family, and many don’t give a crap about it.

Sorry for being aggressive. But it bothers me that we are willing to traumatize people who are trapped in their own bodies because of our “commitment to Godly principles.” Godly principles my butt! Our God is this country, and we serve him because we love our culture. “Is our culture shaped by heterosexualism? Then we should keep it that way. Did Disney shape my childhood and other kids in my country can recite the whole thing? Then why in the world would I speak against it and abstain from watching something Disney has produced? Doesn’t every basic girl and boy drink overpriced coffee to look good, get some likes, and taste something you could taste at any other coffee shop and pay less? So why would I stop going to Starbucks?” Our God is conservatism, not YHWH.

YHWH demands us to speak against our culture (Ephesians 5:11), but conservatism tells us to keep things the way they are. For the disgrace of the church, sometimes what we have preserve coincide with God’s nature, and because of that coincidence we believe we serve God. How dare we? If I am terrible at throwing darts and somehow I hit the bull’s eye once you would not credit me as being skilled at it. “It was luck! Pure coincidence,” you would say. Of course, because getting things right without intentionality is not valid. In the same way, all of our efforts to ban homosexuality out of public schools are worthless if we sell out to the Devil as soon as God’s Word does not fit our culture anymore.

Christianity has never been of the culture (with the exceptions of most modern churches, of course). Billy Graham once wisely said that believers should not attract by their similarity to the world, but because of their difference. Unfortunately, I believe here in America we don’t have many martyrs (μάρτυς) today. Martyrs were those who were willing to obey God even under extreme situations. Funny fact for you: the word martyr means “witness.” When believers were called martyrs they were being described as witnesses of God. Isn’t it funny how submission to the Lordship of Jesus under any circumstance used to mean “witnessing”? I think it is interesting and funny because nowadays many think they can witness (that is, be a martyr, AKA “be a Christian”) without having to sacrifice his self.

God calls you to sacrifice anything for his glory. How dare you tell God where he can and can’t be Lord over? Jesus Christ is lord over all, not only over the sins you dislike because of your culture. I said in the beginning that believers who are not responding to the threats made by sons of Satan to Jesus’ bride are not only destroying their own lives, but their families and generations to come, and I will explain how that is the case. Starbucks’ CEO and Disney are making a statement. They are saying, “we are against Christian culture. We are against Christians. And we are not afraid of saying so.” I believe they are not afraid because believers have become pacifists under the name of “acting like Jesus” and/or “submitting to the authorities/pastors/blah-blah-blah.” These mega companies are free to act against Christian culture because they know we worship them.

I remember going to mission trips with Americans and listening to them talking about Disney for hours. Of course it was a mission trip! We had the nice shirts, money from people from our church, the corny songs, the singles who can’t date, the boardgames, the food. I mean how could that not be a mission trip? No we would not pray for a few hours at night nor in the morning. We would not have extended reading time. Why would we? This is a mission’s trip lol Who does that? Serious missionaries. Serious missionaries do that. Teenagers don’t (and here I am quite intentional to point out that leaders can be 147 years old. If they don’t act like a mature believer they are teenagers).

Disney is almost connected to Christianity to some people. Same goes for Starbucks and other tons of things. Companies can threaten our beliefs and corrupt the culture Jesus’ bride has been trying to change because, despite our commitment to meet on Sunday’s, we worship other gods on the side. “What can they do?” they think. “Nothing! They will not stop drinking our coffee or watch our movies just because we actively attacked their God.”I mean that is not enough reason, right?

Our past generations taught us that we must submit to God’s in every area of our lives. They might have committed mistakes, but they taught us that God is the only King we serve. What are we teaching our kids? What will you tell your kids? What is the message the church is sending to the present culture when they willfully submit to Satan’s “lordship” over media and popular companies?

Brothers and sisters, I urge you to think about this. Could Paul or Luke write about your reaction to Disney and Starbucks today? Could they make an example out of you? If not, I must say you need to repent and reevaluate some things. Jesus died on the cross and bled for his children. The biggest political act of rebellion was already done when Jesus refused to obey Pilate’s command to stay dead and out of his way. Jesus’ love for his people implies that he protects them, that he cares for them, and that (sometimes) he will frustrate our plans to disobey him.

Will we dare to stand against Jesus’ love for his little ones?

Will we dare to let something else take our Jesus’ throne in our culture?

Who will we obey?

Which God do we serve? Culture or YHWH?

Let us think…

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