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New Starbucks cup is criticized for lack of overt Christmas symbolism

New Starbucks cup is criticized for lack of overt Christmas symbolism

A small and vocal group of Evangelical Christians are protesting the latest holiday cups from Starbucks; the company offers a new design each year, and this year, they’ve avoided the busier, snowflake covered designs of past years by simply placing their logo on a red cup.

Outlets like Breitbart, a self-styled conservative news site, have called this latest design another attack against Christians and Christianity, but many Christians disagree, seeing this as simply a new coffee cup design and not something to worry about.

Fox news reports that even a senior figure at conservative Christian group Focus on the Family disagrees with the outrage. From their article:

“I wonder if we’re not overthinking or overanalyzing this,” he said. “Christmas isn’t found in a cup or in a snowflake. Instead, it’s found in the hearts and minds of those of us who believe that God sent His only son to earth in the form of an innocent, helpless baby.”

Rev. Emily Heath, of the United Church of Christ, posted a critique on the Huffington Post blog asking fellow Christians to simmer down over the latest brew from Starbucks, and to focus instead on the upcoming American holiday of Thanksgiving. From the post:

But it’s even more ridiculous to me because of the timing this year. I’m kind of baffled because it’s early November. And it seems to me that people of faith, people who should be keenly aware of the grace God has given us, should be focused on the holiday that is coming up in just a few weeks: the one where we say “thank you, God”.

Heath finishes the post by asking us to go to Starbucks and, in an act of gratitude and sharing, buy a coffee for a neighbor.

Have you seen much outrage over this? The lack of corroboration from major Christian groups, and the dissenting opinion voiced in the Fox article, makes it seem like a much smaller phenomenon than Breitbart suggests; do you think Breitbart got this wrong?

Will you be buying a neighbor a cup of coffee regardless of the red design?



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Mark Mason

That would put us in full Apostolic Coffee Cup Communion then! lol 😉

Doug Simpson

This would be my 4th post in this thread, but I will happily burn my final post in here for today on a well earned LOL! 🙂

Doug Simpson

Yes, in order to be a “pastor” (i.e. priest) in the Episcopal church, one must have an undergraduate degree, a seminary education, and NOT be a Sabellian Pentacostal seeing as they reject the Trinity, reject the Nicene Creed, reject Apostolic Succession, etc.

This isn’t about him not being welcome in an Episcopal Parish. This is about him being masquerading as clergy.

Mark Mason

Are we supposed to not offer criticism of other religions or denominations on this site? If it is for us to disqualify clergy of other denominations based on doctrine; other denominations can consider our doctrine equally invalid and not listen to a word that comes out of our mouths. We in the TEC should be sensitive to the issue considering how often WE are accused of masquerading as Christians.

David Allen

Doug, are you paraphrasing the full communion agreement requirement for ordination as an ELCA pastor or are you confusing that with the agreement regarding ordination of an ELCA bishop? The agreement says that from the point of full communion, all new ELCA bishop ordinations would include a TEC bishop. I would think that by now all ELCA bishops are in the Apostolic Succession.

Once a bishop is ordained in the Apostolic Succession, that bishop should be fully authorized to ordain without TEC bishops in tow.

Doug Simpson

Institutionally “we” do just that.

In order for a Lutheran pastor (a denomination we have ecumenical ties with) to lead an Episcopal Parish, an Episcopal bishop must be present at their ordination (or ordain them separately) to preserve Apostolic Succession or they are unable to serve the congregation. A pastor who is not ordained in such a manner cannot declare absolution, cannot administer the Eucharist, etc. In other words, everything they (or anyone else not so ordained) do is considered invalid.

It is a major reason why the Episcopal church does not have more full ecumenical partners with other Protestant Denominations: they refuse to preserve Apostolic Succession, and TEC refuses to let them lead a parish without it.

Now I’m sure clergy are certainly more cordial about it in interdenominational gathers and such, but I’m not clergy and unlike Feuerstein and his Starbuck Cup Crisis, I don’t pretend to be.

Mark Mason

Wow! Really I mean WOW! The Episcopal Church Welcomes You, please have credntials available upon request.

“Feuerstein is an online “pastor” who is a Sabellian Pentacostal and has never set foot inside a seminary (I’m not even sure he has an undergrad degree either, but not certain on that one).

That’s really enough in my opinion to ignore pretty much anything that comes out of his mouth.”

Doug Simpson

Let’s all take a breath and take a very short look at the primary originator of this whole scandal shall we?

Feuerstein is an online “pastor” who is a Sabellian Pentacostal and has never set foot inside a seminary (I’m not even sure he has an undergrad degree either, but not certain on that one).

That’s really enough in my opinion to ignore pretty much anything that comes out of his mouth.

Leslie Marshall

I’ve had two episcopal priests tell me (in all humility behind closed doors), that they arrived at Seminary on fire for the Lord, and left Seminary (with their degrees in hand) timid & doubting.

… and after 25-30 years serving in the Priesthood, they have been unable to return to their ‘first love’. [They both told me that they recognized their earlier selves in me. ]

Bro David

Happily that was not my experience at all with 4 years total in 2 different seminaries.

Jim Burns

And what about all our Christian Sisters and Brothers in the southern hemisphere, where Christmas falls near the summer solstice? Jesus on a surfboard?

Paul Powers

I lived in Hawaii for 3 years when I was a kid. Everyone sang “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” etc. at Christmas, just like people on the mainland did.

I really don’t think all that many people associate snowflakes with the Nativity. Still, one of my favorite Christmas hymns is “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

Jay Croft

Um, yes. Australia has some non-snowy Christmas songs. (I won’t call them carols.) They’re about surfing, tanning, etc.

Google up Australian Christmas Songs and see what comes up.

Some years ago I preached on this, pointing out that our Northern Hemisphere viewpoint and traditions don’t always work elsewhere.

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