In April the American Family Association called for a boycott of Target, because the huge retailer announced that employees and customers were welcome to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Target’s stance on the issue came during a growing debate over transgender rights and the use of public restrooms.
The retailer released a statement titled, “Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity.” The company wanted their customers and associates to have an “inclusive experience” in their stores.
The American Family Association saw the policy as dangerous, particularly to women and girls. AFA president Tom Wildmon suggested Target establish single-occupancy unisex restrooms for transgender employees and guests, because the new policy opened the restroom doors and changing rooms to potential predators.
The AFA encouraged people to sign an online pledge to boycott the stores until they decided to make the safety of women and children a priority. I signed the pledge.
On August 17 the AFA stated that more than 1.4 million people have signed the pledge to boycott Target until the retail giant changes its policy.
The press release stated, “Since April, Target’s stock has dropped from $84 per share to $67 per share – a nearly 20 percent drop in stock value. Revenue fell 7.2 percent.”
These statistics show that the people who signed the petition are making a difference in regards to Target’s reckless course of action. Target’s leadership doesn’t seem to want to rescind this dangerous policy, but it remains to be seen how long the shareholders will be content to see their earnings falter.
Ann Aguirre, American author, said, “People need to believe they can make a difference – that one person standing strong can turn the tide.”
In life every one of us has a choice to make. Will we drift with the tide and take the course of least resistance or will we have the courage to take a stand for what we believe is right.
It appears that many Christians are content to let our corrupt society continue to deteriorate without so much as a whimper. They certainly don’t seem to be actively engaged in the warfare to which we have been called.
J.C. Ryle, author, pastor and evangelical leader in the 19th century, saw this in his day. He wrote in Soldiers and Trumpeters, “The saddest symptom about many so-called Christians is the utter absence of anything like conflict and fight in their Christianity.”
Ryle indicated that they go through the motions of attending their church each week, but added, “The great spiritual warfare – its watchings and strugglings, its agonies and anxieties, its battles and contests – of all this they appear to know nothing at all.”
Jack Taylor used to say, “Some think Christianity is all honey and no bees, no work and all ease.” That is an unrealistic view of the Christian faith. Some obviously embrace Christ thinking that His promise of abundant life will bring nothing but health, peace, and happiness. While these claims may be true, they present only half of the picture. Jesus promised to give us abundance life, but He also said that He was sending us out as sheep in the midst of wolves (Matt. 10:16).
Adrian Rogers said, “The old ship of Zion is not a cruise ship or a pleasure ship, but a battleship.” We must realize that we are in a war and as faithful soldiers of Jesus Christ we must stand up for truth, justice and righteousness.
Historically, those who had the courage of their convictions and who have stood up for what they believed made a profound difference. Moses stood against Pharaoh and led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Elijah stood against the prophets of Baal and won a mighty contest on Mount Carmel.
Daniel is one of the great heroes of the Bible, because he stood up for his God by faithfully praying to Him even though he ended up in a lion’s den. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s image and ended up in the fiery furnace. They were miraculously preserved and are examples of faithfulness and bravery.
Peter and John stood up against the Sanhedrin in Acts 4 and refused to abandon their message of redemption. Paul and Silas were thrown in prison in Philippi, but sang and praised God in the midst of their adversity.
Joan of Arc faced harsh criticism and was burned at the stake for her beliefs. The Pilgrims came to America without any idea of what they were about to face. There are thousands of Christians who bravely stand up for Christ around the world every day in the midst of potential persecution who are making a difference.
I still believe that one person standing up for truth, justice, and righteousness can make a difference.
Even when taking a stand for Christ doesn’t seem to change anything it is satisfying just to know that you have resisted the enemy and been true to precepts and principles of God’s Word.
Isaac Watts was preparing to preach a sermon on I Corinthians 16: 13: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong;” and decided to write a hymn to accompany the sermon. He wrote, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross.” Perhaps we need to be reminded of the words:
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follow’r of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.