Yesterday I read an article about red Starbucks cups, and like many Christians, I had one question:
"I'm a Christian and I think this is absurd!" was the prevailing sentiment among my circles. It felt overblown. But I held my social media tongue for the day. And this is the rule that keeps me sane as a Christian on social media.
In this instance, it was a hugely viral video by Joshua Feuerstein that helped spread the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks. Joshua is an evangelist/commentator but also an expert at shareable publicity stunts.
He is one of several Christians with massive followings who play to the exaggerated fears of American Christians. These exaggerated fears are what Alan Noble calls "the evangelical persecution complex."
This latest stunt may seem strange, but this is the pattern. It's vintage persecution complex. And sadly these stunts do distract from actual persecution.
Like Noble, Nate Pyle* observes that Christians today are anxious. I think it's the same basic anxiety that drives the outrage shares and the outraged-by-the-outrage shares. We hate to see our faith belittled and shamed.
*No relation, believe it or not