At the risk of being completely out of step with the world, I skipped the Super Bowl this year. I had a couple invitations to attend gatherings, I could watch alone at home or use the time for other things. As I considered my options, it was at first a rather easy choice that turned into an experiment in cultural contrarianism.
Culturally speaking, the Super Bowl is an iconic American event with an estimated viewing audience of 98.2 million people (Statistica.com). In America, if you have access to view the Super Bowl and choose to miss the event that determines the champion of the top American professional football league, you’re outside looking in. People who couldn’t care less about the game itself, the parent organization, its teams, their games or the winner of this contest will attend, socialize and pay attention to this one game mostly because so many others are doing the same.
That’s harmless enough, right? The Super Bowl comes and goes. Two years from now a significant percentage of the population will have forgotten which teams played the game, let alone the final score.
As Christians, God gives us freedom to choose. Within His abundance, we have discretion as to how we use our time, talents and treasure. We can go with the flow, follow the crowd and lead what most might consider a good life. That’s not how Jesus did things, though, is it?
Jesus made many countercultural choices. He dined with tax collectors, railed against the learned churchmen of His day and recruited simple fishermen to be His closest, most trusted followers. He made time for children and scolded adults who were trying to keep them away from Him. In a sense, He was out of step with the society of that era.
Saint Paul was considered dangerous because of his preaching, teaching and writing of the love of God and Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Romans, he urges Christ followers: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
So how do we as Christians follow Saint Paul’s guidance and the life model Jesus provides? Consider a simple cup of coffee which you may enjoy, made to order from a coffee shop. Are there Kingdom implications for something so seemingly minor? Consider Starbucks. It’s the world’s largest chain of retail coffee shops with more than 27,000 locations (knoema.com), making its products convenient to millions of people globally. Starbucks corporately chooses to support the work of Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortion services in the United States. That support may be inconsistent with your Christian beliefs. The resulting choice to buy your coffee elsewhere on this basis would be countercultural.
There are other such companies, as you’ll see here: https://dailysign.al/2TLVg1E Take a look, be aware of where your money goes and choose accordingly.
John Carroll is a strategist and growth consultant based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He is a board member of LifeWorks Charleston and the founding board chair of Camp Rise Above. You can find him online at www.JohnCarroll.com, via e-mail at John@JohnCarroll.com and by voice and text at 843-224-8815.
To get more information and join the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce (SC-C3) movement, go to www.sc-c3.org and become a member today!