There are many companies today coming out with political and social stances. As believers, what is our role in this? Do we stop buying clothes from a store? Do we switch to the competitor product of the soda? Should we remove a streaming service and switch to another? Today I am going to break down if we should purchase products from companies who have different beliefs.
Is It Wrong to Purchase from Non-Christians?
First things first, the people in Jesus’ time were not dealing with major brand names, but they did have a market. People sold foods and supplies out in the cities like a modern-day farmer’s market. These locally owned sellers may not have believed in God, but their products were still purchased. A Jew might have bought specifically from another Jew who knew how to make Kosher food, but it was more based on an obedience to God rather than a judgment on a person.
It is absolutely acceptable to appreciate talent and goods that are sold by unbelievers. God created people made in His image that also create. We can still glorify God by admiring their work and buying their product (Genesis 1:27).
Ask the Holy Spirit for Wisdom
The Holy Spirit will guide us and give us an answer if we ask for wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge applied. When we know the situation of a company’s beliefs, we then apply that knowledge if we should support the business or not. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
This can be a case-by-case decision. I was streaming a certain program that I believed had started sharing pornography, promoting suicide to teens, and putting images in front of viewers that should not be seen. I was worried that financially I would be investing into addictions, depression, and things that would drive others away from Christ. I chose to remove the program and support another.
In the same way, there was a store that I debated shopping at or not because of their stances on some social and political issues. I took some time to pray and think about it and in the end decided that it was ok to shop there because they were not a Christian company, so I could not hold them to the standards of a believer. I also felt that in the grand scheme of stores, they were on an equal playing field in many ways to other places.
It is challenging to determine what it is that God wants us to do when there are businesses that act in ways counter to Christ. I do however hold businesses and ministries that claim to be Christian to the standard of a Christian (Galatians 6:1-3).
When we pray, we will have conviction one way or the other in the various circumstances that come our way. James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Do Your Research
If you hear things on the news or see posts on social media, it can cause a lot of strong emotions. It is important to do your research and look deeper into statements given by companies to learn what they mean. It is valuable to understand the facts before walking away as a customer.
Use Your Voice
When you have an issue with the way a company is being run, speak up. We should always share our opinions and concern in love. If we do not express our problems, the business will never know them. Take time to email the president of the company or a manager. Share your worries and how you have been a customer who is disappointed with their actions. The worst thing that could happen is that they tell you they do not care. However, you have proven to them that people shop in their stores or stream their service who are unhappy and may help create change for the better.
Is There Reason for Removal?
There was one time when Jesus got upset at sellers, and that was when people were selling in the temple of God.
Matthew 21:12 says, “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, 'but you are making it a den of robbers.’”
The time when I believe it is reasonable to pull away from a product is when they are standing against Christian beliefs to a point where you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit that supporting them is supporting sin. There have been times when I have felt that a group has been too radically anti-Christian or promoted beliefs that were too far from my own that I needed to stop funding their negative noise in the world.
As Christians, we are called to live in the world, but not be of the world. Society does not love Christians because it has rejected Jesus or does not know Him. We need to give grace to them and not hide in a bubble from them. However, we do need discernment as to when to take a stand against decisions or actions that attack the gospel or the people of God. John 15:9 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
It is beneficial for us to remember that businesses are in it for money at the end of the day. Unfortunately, their products and advertisements might be extremely political or social, but their mindset is how they can get the most money. We need to be careful funding people who are outputting so much negativity into the world. However, we still need to buy groceries, clothing, etc.
Take the time to research the places where you love to shop. Understand their mission statements and marketing strategies. Tell them what you think as a customer. Determining whether or not we should purchase products from companies who have different beliefs is a personal choice. Ultimately, ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide in navigating these difficult decisions.
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com