Why I Went to Starbucks this Morning

I went to Starbucks this morning. I do that from time to time, but I went there very intentionally this morning. Some anti-gay groups with Christian affiliations are boycotting Starbucks because they now recognize same-sex marriages and offer benefits to same-sex partners of the their employees. I, on the other hand, applaud any organization that recognizes and rewards declarations of love and commitment in world where there is far too much hate and lack of accountability.

Now I happen to not believe that homosexuality is a sin, but even if you do, please be careful where you cast your stones. We all fall short, so I’m puzzled as to why homosexuality is the thing that consistently grabs the headlines.

I’m pretty sure that Jesus (who talked a lot about money and not at all about homosexuality) cares a whole lot more about me driving a six-year-old Audi station wagon (when a six-year-old Toyota hatch-back would get me there just as well), than he does that the couple who serve in many capacities in our church and who have been together over 26 years happen to be the same sex.

I believe that Jesus is far more concerned that I publicly preach that God calls us to be faithful, not successful and then privately lament that our church isn’t growing faster, than he is that the member of our church who most consistently checks on our oldest members and makes sure they always have rides to church happens to be in a long-term relationship with someone of the same gender.

And I am really sure that Jesus is far more disappointed in me for choosing to live in a beautiful, safety bubble of a neighborhood instead of living among those who are struggling, than he is in my dear friend’s same-sex partner who has risked her career and financial stability to care for her ailing mother.

So I took my very sinful self to Starbucks today. I went because I believe in the Bible–the living, breathing word of God. And while some texts do condemn homosexuality, some also condone selling your daughter into slavery under certain circumstances. The Bible was written at a time when people didn’t know what a germ was and believed that disabilities were punishments from God, so we can’t possibly read it in the same way as its first readers. I think the Bible speaks to us today every bit as much as it spoke to people 2,000 years ago, even though we come to the Word from a very different place. That’s what makes it so mysterious and miraculous.

We can follow Jesus and drink expensive coffee, too. We can follow Jesus and still fall short (that’s kind of the whole reason He came in the first place). What we cannot do is follow Jesus and think that we are above anyone who doesn’t agree with us or act like we think they should, because none of us are anything without the grace and love of God made visible through Jesus Christ.

–Rev. Anne Russ

14 Comments

  1. Robyn McArthur

    Thank you so much for such a kind article. I lose hope for our society from time to time and reading what you had to say has restored a bit of the hope that I had lost.

  2. Sharon Adair Winslow

    Excellent comments and thoughts about Starbucks and homosexuality! Thanks for your boldness.
    Sharon Adair Winslow, retired UMC pastor

  3. Rhodes Stipp

    Hello Anne. Thank you for the beautiful piece! How proud I am to have known you and your beautiful parents many years ago. I received this first through a member of First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, where I am now serving as Parish Associate for Visitation and Pastoral Care. I enjoy keeping up with you on Facebook and thank God for the wonderful ministry you have. God bless you. Please give my very best to you folks!

  4. Kristi Harter Button

    I have a gift card from a dear friend for Starbucks. I think this week is the time to drive myself a little farther across town…and use a little more gas than I should…to take my sinful self into Starbucks to get some coffee. This seems like a really, really, really, good week to do this. Thank you for being who you are! About time to plan our getaway to ARW….more specifically than just that we are going. So, let’s talk soon after Easter about the details.

  5. Ellen Ishee O'Lonney

    Michael Vinson has been telling me I should come to your church…now I believe I will. Thank you for your articulate and compassionate post.

  6. petriesan

    I joined a congregational church a little over a year ago, proimarily because of the church’s position in re LGBT people.

    I am not convinced there is even a mention of homosexuality as being a sin. In the long listof bad things in Leviticus, it lists this as an abomination, which was the temr used for Shepherds int he eyes of the egyptians. A relative term, subject to social mores.

    Nice article

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