One of the following announcements recently appeared in the bulletin of a United Reformed church (URCNA). The other, while based on real accusations, I made up for this post in order to make my case. Take a wild guess as to which one of these corporate practices some URC congregants were encouraged to rally against:
Signature Table: McDonalds Corporation uses profits from your hamburgers and meal purchases to support gay events and has contributed at least $20,000 to be a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and organization that is working to pass gay rights legislation, including same sex “marriage” and legislation that would prohibit Christian schools and other employers from terminating employees for reasons of perverse sexual behavior. Next week after the morning and evening service, you will have an opportunity to sign a letter of protest to McDonalds.
Signature Table: The Nike brand shoes that you buy are made by exploited workers in Indonesia. Workers in Nike factories in Asia are mostly underage children who are paid wages insufficient to meet their basic needs, are not allowed to organize independent unions, and often face health and safety hazards. They encounter sexual abuse, starvation, malaria, football-sized rats, fist-sized cockroaches, and massive burning of toxic shoe rubber. Next week after the morning and evening service, you will have an opportunity to sign a letter of protest to Nike against their deplorable practices.
It is probably clear which one actually appeared in a UR church’s bulletin and which one is made up. Many “conservative” Reformed folk would probably scratch their heads if they came across the second announcement, wondering why on earth the church would have us be involved in such a non-churchly matter. But what makes the first more churchly?
I am not trying to make the case that the set of values in our churches need to be expanded to include more causes to get behind; my point is that neither one of these sociopolitical items should be decried at church. I wish it wasn’t easy to figure out which announcement was in the bulletin of a confessionally Reformed body because one might expect the first to appear at a fundamentalist Bible church and the second at a so-called “progressive” congregation. Neither one of these (alleged) corporate practices should capture the attention of a congregation as it gathers to worship on the Lord’s Day. Encouraging and facilitating social and political activism is not a function of the Church of Jesus Christ.