Where is the fire?

Where is the fire?

It seems there is more controversy over the controversy than actual controversy. Is there any real debate brewing over the red cup? Please, raise your hand if you are offended by the red cup. Hello? I don’t see your hand. I read about the absurdity of the “Christian” reaction over a secular business refusing to keep Christ in Christmas so we can feel good about drinking expensive lattes on our way to spend outrageous amounts of money on unnecessary luxuries in the name of Jesus, but I have not actually encountered A SINGLE PERSON who is upset about the red cup. And I know a lot of Christians. Then again, I have been a little unplugged for the last few days. Wait, I think I see a hand. Nevermind, they were only  scratching their head. So am I.


As the mother, I should have been the voice of reason. However, my son’s uncontained excitement lured me in and I agreed to go to the front door to watch him launch a spinning, spark-spitting firework from the porch. It was winter, he was young and I should have known how easily dead grass ignites. The trajectory of the cardboard satellite fizzled as it landed in the corner of the yard, spinning in place and seeding flames into fertile ground. Soon a ring of fire began to enlarge.

We ran frantically in and out of the house in an attempt to douse the ever-growing flames. As the circle enlarged and moved undeterred toward my house  I called 911. Simultaneously, my twelve year old figured out how to stamp out the threat of incineration. Breathless, I called 911 back. Apparently, once the fire department has been dispatched, the run cannot be aborted.

We waited sheepishly as we heard the urgency of the approaching wail. Dressed in heavy yellow protective gear, the fireman jumped from the fire truck and asked, “Where is the fire?”

Um, you’re standing on it. The singed circle of grass in my front yard suddenly seemed rather small in light of the flashing red lights, blaring sirens and over-sized, red truck parked in my driveway.


Perhaps there are a few pop culture fires threatening to burn down our house. We run frantically from one issue to another when instead we could stamp it out with a little common sense. It makes us look ridiculous. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing and show the world we have our eyes fixed on eternity, not our precious traditions and coffee or an issue that really isn’t an issue at all.

Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which command in the law is greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” HCSB


Would He drink Starbucks or shop at Target? Would he give out candy on Halloween? If I didn’t know Jesus, I am not sure I would be interested in the brand of Christianity I see portrayed on social media. I get the impression from the wedding incident in Cana that Jesus was a lot of fun, after all He got an invitation to the party. Of course, people will know we are Christians if we eat at Chick-Fil-A, shop at Hobby Lobby and listen to K-Love. Wait, that isn’t exactly what Jesus said.

John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” NIV


Starbucks is not our enemy. The media is not our enemy. Our true enemy is successfully distracting us from genuine issues by working up panic over a little grass fire. You should absolutely follow your convictions in the gray areas and be careful not to cause others to stumble, but don’t take the bait and perpetuate the non-controversy.


Ironically, the Starbucks symbol is a siren. Fitting I think. We can’t seem to resist. I have an idea:

Ignore the red cup and but not the red kettle#starbucks #salvationarmy Click To Tweet

How about we take the four dollars we would spend on a cup of coffee and drop it in the Salvation Army kettle. Share Christ not controversy. And please, don’t call the fire department unless you are sure there is a fire.

Romans 12:21, “Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. ” MSG

My friend Jill got it right about Jesus and culture wars here.


10 thoughts on “Where is the fire?

  1. I’ve wondered if the whole Starbucks thing was made up…like a media distraction that we’ve been seeing. Anyway…I don’t know any Christians that have been dependent upon Starbucks to take the Gospel message to the world. Good article. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing! Just have a cup of coffee in whatever color cup and enjoy the season. 🙂

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