What Would Jesus Boycott?

should christians boycott?


I’ve been listening to a Christian Radio Share-a-thon the last few days. If you are even slightly familiar with christian radio you know what I’m talking about. At least once a year they encourage listeners to make donations to help support and keep them on the air another year. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with that part.


But here’s the vernacular I’ve been affronted with:

culture war

“Get in the game today!”

“Play to win!”

“We are in a culture war, help us in this fight!”


Can I ask, … what fight?  And what am I supposed to be winning?


Now, I give a certain amount of props to anyone who is trying to share the story of God’s son, at all.  But we all know that not all methods are created equally.  Or even effective.  Or helpful.  So we really need to be careful not just what we share, but how we share it.


I think there are two main things that we need to always consider when interacting with people who are not Christians:


  1. Is this loving?
  2. Is this effective?

I think that Jesus used these two parameters himself quite lot. We also need to keep in mind the instructions Jesus left us with:


  1. Make disciples and teach them what Jesus taught.
  2.  Love each other the way Jesus loved us.


In fact, Jesus took this a step further and said, “Okay guys, 1) make disciples, and 2) love each other…and tell you what, you know how people will be able to tell if you are my disciples?  By if you love one another.  Sha-bam!”


Jesus may have left out the sha-bam part.


Sooo, when my aforementioned radio station wants me to get in the game, and play to win, and fight against the culture, I have to ask myself;  Is that effective?  Is it loving?  Does it achieve either of Jesus’ goals? Well, let’s break this down a little further.  In a real life example, the station has been telling me for weeks to boycott Home Depot.  Because Home Depot in some manner that I don’t remember supports homosexuality. Or something.


Okay, so let’s apply our loving, disciple making principle.  If I boycott Home Depot, will I make any disciples?  Will Homosexuals think I love them?  Will Home Depot think I love them?  Will Home Depot think I love homosexuals?  Will those two demographics now “know me by my love” and want to learn where all my lovin’ comes from?


I highly doubt it.


Let’s say that all the radio listeners get “in this game to win” and we promote such a successful campaign that every christian in America never shops at Home Depot again.  Let’s really get crazy with our exaggeration and say this boycott single-handedly puts Home Depot out of business.


Does that mean we won?  What. did. we. win?


If we’re not serving and loving others to the point that we’re showing our culture that God is love, and using the power of that love to woo them into their own true and loving relationship with God…then we haven’t won anything.  In fact, we may have pushed people farther from the God who loves them.


And I’ve got news for you, folks.  God loves the gays.   A lot.


Does that mean they’re living within the perfect parameters they were created for?  Nope.  And you know who else isn’t?  Me. You. But God still loves me.  And wants me to love others in that same way.  Undeserving, unearned, and sacrificially.


Jesus does not need us to fight for Him, He can fight His own battles.  He asks us to reflect Him.  To put down our stones.  And to love.




  1. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies says:

    Amen! I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why you don't have a following of thousands and at least 2 dozen comments after every post. Good stuff. Every time.

    I'd love to suggest listening to our local Christian station on streaming http://www.fln.org Our shareathons are loving and funny and the music is pretty great, too.

    Well, except for the Gospel Greats segments on Saturday mornings. Eep.

  2. You are just too kind, Michelle!

    And I hypothesize part of the Bohemian popularity problem is that people have to first *know* who you are in order to follow you. :D

    And I have no real platform for popularity like our singer guy friend over at shlog. ;)

  3. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies says:

    Maybe you just need better hair. ;)

  4. As always insightful.

    In the past I was all for the boycott don’t shop here program. Until recently! I am always being shaped by the Potter’s Hand! Adding and Removing. But always learning!

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Donna-

    It's always good to find yourself still moldable.


  6. Michelle –

    Maybe that's been my problem all along. Perhaps if I fashion myself into a mother of 4 with FAUX-HAWK, the readers will just come streaming in. :)

  7. Line of Cars says:

    I couldn't help but think two things about Home Depot:
    1. Our economy is bad enough without a successful boycott.
    2. Say Home Depot closed: would the gays be un-gayed then? It's not like the Home Depot is the Death Star with the Emperor on it, so if we take them out the whole evil universe crumbles. They'd just find a new job, and hate the church (more).

    Especially–and I don't want this to run out of hand–since I was taught in a psychology class at the University of Maryland (aka, "NOT church") that 90+ percent of people who are, shall we say, sexually divergent in some way, will admit to some form of abuse (usually physical/sexual) in their childhood or adolescence. But, only if the surveys were performed in a professional, safe way that they felt comfortable enough to be truly anonymous.
    It was a huge study, and I wish I had any proof of it. My personal experiences with helping people back it up at least. As does anyone else I've ever asked, counselor-wise.

  8. Good points, Line of Cars.

    -No Death Star Emperor in Home Depot.

    -And it really would be a sin to be pushing possibly abused people away from the God who wants to heal their wounds.

  9. I think you might enjoy this article: http://www.danoah.com/2011/11/im-christian-unless-youre-gay.html . Don’t be put off by the title. It’s not REALLY about Christians OR gays, but very much about the teachings of all religions.

    • Yes, I read that a bit back when it was published, Dan really went viral with that one, eh? : )

  10. You have put into sweet sounding words what I can only argue about at church (and at home and with friends). It isn’t about how we can change others and the things they do. It’s more that we show these people who are sometimes hurting, sometimes alone, and sometimes perfectly content with themselves that this isn’t all that we were meant for. Jesus RARELY communed with the righteous men and women, but always ate with the sinners and the humble. Jesus may have hated the sin, but He loved the sinner. We as humans need to do more of that.

    • Exactly. And besides, things like boycotting or hatefulness doesn’t really “change” anyone – except for the worse.

  11. I like to keep my boycotting simple: I refuse to support businesses with unconscionable/unethical business practices, or buy products I think are harmful. Keeps it simple, and it has less to do with me attempting to enforce my “religion” on others, and more to do with my own conscience. ;-)

    I firmly believe that you cannot/should not legislate morality, and one cannot “disapprove” anyone into “proper” behavior.

    • Amen. There are a of products that I refuse to by, but purely for health reasons, not religious ones!

  12. BetteAnne Camagna says:

    once again sweet Jessica~you have overwhelmed me with HIS LOVE! :o)

  13. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! The “culture war” and “sharing the gospel” are two COMPLETELY different things related in almost NO manner, except that the ones fighting the culture war are the ones who SHOULD be sharing the gospel Winning the culture war means LOSING souls by pushing them away from Jesus.

  14. I am currently engaged in a “fight” of sorts with my own brother over the whole gay thing. I never meant it to be a fight, but it’s turned into one. It’s turned into a “Christian” vs. “gay” thing because I just can’t validate his relationship like he wants me to. No matter what I say, I’m being unloving (his words). Prayers for wisdom would be appreciated.

    Anyway, I find this boycotting funny because he recently told my mom that he won’t shop at a certain store because of their stance on homosexuality. So if Christians are boycotting stores and gays are boycotting stores, we’ve got a new kind of segregation occurring…..gay stores vs. non-gay stores. I’m pretty sure I could find something offensive about every single store out there – where in the world would I shop if I boycotted them all.

    • We’ll just all have to become hippies and grow our own food and weave our own clothing. :)

      I’m sorry for the friction with your brother, that must be hard.

  15. Not only can Jesus do his own fighting, he already DID the fighting. And WON. We’re trying to continue fighting a war that ended a couple of millenia ago when Jesus conquered death on the cross for our sins.

    • And I highly doubt Jesus would boycott anything but institutional religion if he showed up today. : )

    • Amen, Mari. We have lost sight of the true enemy– which is NOT our fellow man: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

  16. Fantastic post Jessica. I’ve never commented before, but have been reading for a while. THIS is the Christianity I am proud to be a part of. Thank you.

  17. In our house it’s called legislating morality. Trying to change people’s outsides before they get Jesus on the inside. Hello they are lost don’t expect Christ like actions and thoughts!

  18. People tend to forget that our “battle” isn’t against flesh and blood, or the “things of this world”. Our “fight” isn’t with Home Depot, homosexuals, culture, or what have you. (eph 6:12)

  19. Thank you so much for this post. I never knew how to share my opinions with other Christians and this is such a biblically-based way of saying it. I just pray that people will indeed know us by our love!

  20. I know this is an old post, but I am rather intrigued that most Christians don’t understand this, especially in today’s society that is so divided that I am unsure of it will ever come back together.

    Boycotting businesses that hire their neighbors that depend upon that income for their own livelihood only causes harm to those that are the lowliest of workers. They will be the first to go, not the big wigs in corporate. But people are blind. It is said that the current most important thing in the US is the economy, so why bork it up even more by putting more people out of work?

    Good read. BTW, i do support religion. I know it is still needed.


  1. […] No worries, because at least Home Depot can’t be nice to gays any more! (Christians: go read What Would Jesus Boycott? if you need more […]

  2. […]   Further Reading: What Would Jesus Boycott […]