Think about the last time you received bad service at a restaurant? Do you remember the circumstances around your bad service? Do you remember the amount of the tip that you left?
Now think about the next day after you received this horrible service. Did you tell your friends not to go to this restaurant because they were also likely to receive bad service? In a way, you were calling on your friends to boycott this particular restaurant.
The term boycott has many definitions, but one such definition is as follows:
Refusing to deal with a person, group, nation, or group of nations so as to punish or show disapproval (Google – define:boycott)
Christians or not, we all have our moral obligations and values. When something conflicts with those values so harshly, we tend to want to change what is causing that conflict. A natural tendency is to take that offense on whom is perceived to be the offender.
Imagine there is a movie distributor known for releasing pornographic videos. A person taking offense to the distributor may set up a web site that calls for a boycott of anything affiliated with the distributor. However, why couldn’t the person just not buy or watch any of the videos? Does the person really have to attempt to impose his or her values and beliefs on others by calling for a boycott?
In my opinion, boycotts can be effective. A boycott worked for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, sometimes boycotts are simply asking others to take part in your beliefs. If that is the case, then how effective can boycotts really be? If nobody else has your beliefs, then the boycott is meaningless.
Christians can change the world. However, I don’t think that Christians change the world by boycotting businesses, organizations, movies, presidential elections, etc. I think Christians can influence others by being a positive witness and following their personal convictions. While one Christian may be personally convicted not to listen to secular music, another Christian may think it’s perfectly okay. Both Christians are doing what feels right to themselves.
Boycotts are not necessarily bad. I believe if presented logically, the call for a boycott can be beneficial. Before a person calls for a boycott of a movie because the leading actor committed adultery, that person should question what benefit will actually come from the boycott. Will boycotting the movie help deliver others to Christianity? Will it alienate those who have committed adultery from Christianity? You can see where this is going. Boycotts are beneficial when thought through. Just calling for a boycott on a whim is somewhat preposterous.