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  • Virginia Brown

On Boycotts and Christian Freedom

Conservatives have had enough, so they’re boycotting companies that hate their values. Such cultural responses are appropriate, but I don’t believe they are obligatory. In other words, while me and my family will not be shopping at Target, I don’t believe that others who continue shopping there are in sin.

Christians have freedoms regarding how they follow Christ. Paul talks about this in Rom 14. Applying this passage to our context: Christians have freedom with where they shop and where they don’t. Also, we aren’t totally responsible for how others use the money we give them. Jesus says, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Matt 22:21). The Roman gov’t would use taxes for a whole host of immoral, ungodly purposes—like advancing the paganism of the Roman empire—and yet Christ still required his followers to give money to the state. I don’t see the Roman Empire as any worse than Target. If Jesus commanded that Christians pay their taxes to former, I don’t see how we can say that Christ forbids shopping at the latter.

Christians can boycott if they so choose, but I don’t believe it’s a necessity. To say that it is betrays Christian freedom. Just as we mustn’t allow what God forbids, so also we mustn’t forbid what God allows. Any deviation from this posture does not accord with God’s Holy Word.

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