Recently Franklin Graham issued a call for Christians to let the shopping store giant Target know that they are not pleased with Targets move to make the presentation of some items in their stores gender neutral. Reverend Graham’s concern is that such a move disregards the biblical teaching that God made humanity as male and female and that this is one more step in political correctness run amok as it tramples biblical truth.
As I understand it what Target has said is that some items will no longer be separated into boys sections and girls sections. Notably the examples given were things like bedding and toys. So it seems that My Little Pony and Hello Kitty bedspreads and pillow covers will be sold right alongside Transformer and Guardians of the Galaxy sets. The sign on the aisle will say, children’s bedding or something similar and not Boys Bedding and Girls Bedding. In the toy section there will be Tonka Trucks next to Malibu Barbie’s Corvette Convertible and the sign will not say Boys Vehicles and Girls Vehicles but simply Vehicles. The result being if a girl wants to play with the latest yellow bulldozer and a boy wants a cool looking convertible they don’t have to walk down an aisle clearly not meant for them.
Help me out here but how does this violate the biblical teaching of male and female? What Reverend Graham seems to be missing, along with massive numbers of people who have jumped on the bandwagon is that much of what we consider to be biblical teaching on gender is nothing more than long-established cultural practices without any biblical warrant. Nowhere in the Bible does it make blue a boys color and pink a girls color and warn that if you mix that up you are denying God’s created order.
Are there issues related to gender that the culture is pushing that do violate God’s created order? Absolutely. The whole sex change industry is a case in point. Are there people who support that position who will applaud Target’s move? Certainly. But that does not make Target’s announcement a violation of biblical principles and does not make them a legitimate target, no pun intended, for verbal attacks and boycotting of their business by Christians.
There are a few things that this kind of campaign by Christians accomplishes. The least damaging is that people outside the faith see one more set of angry Christians making a big deal out of something that is a complete non-issue for them and as a result they further tune out what Christians have to say. At worse they get their hackles up over what they perceive to be another example of unwarranted judgmentalism on the part of Christians and it serves to confirm their revulsion for all things biblical. Additionally this teaches Christians that the way to change the world is by confrontation, boycott, petitions, and angry speeches. If there is anything in all this that is not biblical it would be that.
Jesus made it clear that we change the world through the power of the Gospel as we fulfill the Great Commission and through the power of loving God and neighbor, even enemies, as we fulfill the Great Commandment. Separating from the world was never an option. Berating the world is also not an option. Paul makes that clear in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 when he said to separate ourselves from immoral people, meaning those in the church who refuse to repent not the people of the world. He says the only way to separate from immoral people in the world would be to leave the world all together. That is clearly not an option. Rather we are to be about the ministry of reconciliation bringing the Gospel to a dying world. We are to get closer to them, not further away. We should expect them to behave like the world for they are of the world.
We must never forget that Jesus was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton by the religious separatists. He was accused of this because He got close to and hung out with and loved them. Rather than not shopping at Target, I am fairly certain that Jesus would shop there regularly. He would sit in the coffee shop and chat with people, ask them questions about what they are buying and offering them eternal life in the process.
Does this mean we never let the world know what is right and wrong, that loving people means accepting everything as good and wonderful? Of course not. Biblical love also involves speaking the truth but it is speaking it in a loving way, not a judgmental, “I am better than you kind of way”. It also means focusing on the big picture and what really matters. How boys and girls pillow cases and toys are displayed in a store is nowhere on the list of things that really matter in the sharing of the Gospel. What matters is, am I building a relationship with people who do not know Jesus so they can see the love of Jesus in me and can experience that love in their lives? Am I getting close enough to them so that they can learn that you don’t need to strive to be good enough to get into heaven but that you can have eternal life because you trust and love Jesus? I need to get close enough for them to see that I am not perfect and that I know I am not perfect. They need to see that I know my only hope in life and in death is in my beautiful savior Jesus Christ and they can have that hope too. That is why I will still shop at Target, have meals with people who do not love Jesus, get close to people who live messy lives, invite people who are far from God into my home, and love the enemies of Christ and His Gospel. I can do nothing less because at one time I was an enemy of Christ and His Gospel and some people risked getting close enough to me, in all my messiness and false beliefs, so that I could come to Him. If you are a follower of Christ that is your story as well. Let us never forget where we have come from and that we have gotten where we are only because of the grace of Christ.
9 thoughts on “Dear Franklin, Here Is Why I Will Still Shop at Target”
Preach it, brother!!
Just don’t picture Jesus shopping at Target, sorry brother.
Max, I am curious why you think Jesus would not shop at Target?
looks like much nonsense about nothing…..lots more important things going on in this world than worrying about “labeling” in Target!
It is a disobedient woman like you, and Eve, the first women to have intercourse with the Serpent, Satan, who refuse to obey Pastor, God’s Shepherd over His Church and think you are capable of rejecting his advise, command, “in Jesus name”, any more intelligently than Eve, the slut of Satan, who, like you attempt, deceived her husband, and other women of today. . Now we know why God made Adam, Man, the head and women, weak one, the tail. It is obvious why God made Adam, Man, “Steward over every Living Creature.” Gen., KJV. You too, foolish, sinful women. You are a disgrace to Christian women. From what you say, I suspect a “son of the devil” who defies God at each turn in the road. John 8:44 “Ye Jews are like your father the devil, “liars, thieves and murderers” who worship the devil,”,,,,,,,, ‘the Synagogue of the devil.” You are a disgusting shame of Christian Women hood trying to encourage God’s Chosen Christian Women to defy God’s Chosen Pastor, Shepherd, “in His image’, over God’s Chosen, White, Israelite, Born again Christians to ignore God’s Word through His servant. Pastor Graham. The Found Sheep of the House of Israel. Matt 15:24. Also, God’s commands you, a woman, to keep your Political Correct, anti-Christ, mouth shut concerning Him, in public, and attempting to take Power over His Chosen Men of God. Look at you. Running your mouth against God’s Chosen Shepherd, condemning him and his Godly advice in front of the whole, damned by God, , world “pf the devil””, as if you have the authority, Under God, to speak to this Man in your foolish tone of demeaning him. God, may, Bless you if you repent, write to your girl friends, with God’s Truth and no condemnation of His Chosen Man who, “In God’s image” represents Him. To rebuke Pastor Graham is to rebuke God. Shame on you Foolish, Sinful, woman. Repent. He forgave you 2000 years ago. Claim his forgiveness and move on. Isn’t it great that Jesus is retarded? He loves you too. jim
Is your comment intended for the author of the blog? If so I can assure you that I am not a woman but rather a 6 foot 220 pound former football playing all american male. So your exhortations concerning your view of women keeping their mouths shut does not apply. So now that we have that settled is there anything in the substance of what I said that you find to be unbiblical? That is what we should discuss. Finally what is the world do you mean by the statement “Isn’t it great that Jesus is retarded?”
Dan, thank you for this thoughtful and spirit led post.
hey Dan- I have insight into this subject that either you or Franklin Graham neither one has. I worked at Target for almost 5 yrs. I loved my job, I loved my teammates and,for the most part, I loved the work place environment. I look back to my time at the store with fondness and if I could do those 5 yrs over again with those people at that job I would do it without hesitation.
Boycotting Target is not a new thing in the Christian community. As soon as Targetcorps (Dayton Hudson) opened their first 3 stores in our area, some of the Christians were calling for a boycott. I had people come to the store from another local church to inform me that I needed to quit my job immediately and boycott Target because they were supporting abortion and giving me a flier which was being distributed at one of our pastor friend’s church.
Obviously, I was terribly hurt and upset. I took the flier to my execs and they said this lie had been going around in the Christian community for quite some time. They said the accusations stem from some money the corp gave to a program for counseling pregnant teens because some of the counselors in the program had mentioned the termination of the pregnancy as among one of the options they could choose- others being adoption or to raise the child. This had been going on so long the execs even gave me a written doc from corporate refuting the allegations that Target pays for and supports abortion.
I took this doc home to Michael Vincent and he told me to ignore the lady from pastor R’s church because this kind of crazy stuff has been going on in the Christian community for ages. He said they did the same thing to him when he was working as a pipefitter at P&G Ivorydale. People told him that a good Christian couldn’t work at P&G because the moon and stars logo was a satanic symbol and cited Rev 12:1 as a proof text. The allegations were totally false, as were the allegations that Targetcorp was paying for abortions.
Like I said earlier, for the most part, I loved the environment we worked in. There was one thing that agitated most if not all of us at times though – Target was always on the cutting edge of political correctness. In that kind of environment, one always has to walk as if on eggshells for fear someone who is full of PCBS will report them to the thought police for being “intolerant.” There were times when I was even falsely accused of being hateful and intolerant just because I didn’t hide the fact I was a Christian. I didn’t preach all day, I worked, and I worked hard. but, sometimes in the course of conversations at lunch and break I would mention something about the church or the school or my faith and if someone asked a question I would answer it honestly. But even doing that was hard at times because of the PCBS – I had a friend ask me a question during a break and in the midst of my answer, someone came over, interrupted us and said I should not talk about Jesus, because it might offend a Muslim. There were no Muslims on our crew. I was not breaking any rules – I did not initiate the conversation- someone asked me a question – we weren’t on the sales floor we were in a designated break area and I knew all the people there and there were no Muslims among anyone who was taking a break with us, including the “offended” person who was offended because they were afraid I would offend a Muslim that was non existent in that particular place and time. What amazes me the most is that people full of PCBS do not take offense at the things they should take offense at- like the time I was waiting on a granny and her grandchild near the back of the store and someone in the stock room yelled, “GD it” so loud we could hear it on the floor. Despite the fact I apologized profusely, the guest walked out. I reported it but, as far as I know no one was terminated over it even though it’s a direct violation of their rules, “no foul and/or abusive language is permitted.”
As far as getting rid of the “boy toy” aisle or whatever else they are doing, it’s just another attempt of Targetcorp to show the public that it is on the cutting edge of political correctness. My take on this is the same when a Christian told me to quit a job that I loved working with people who will always hold a special place in my heart. If they want to go nuts with PCBS let them – who cares – It will work the same way as the Seasons Greetings nonsense did – You don’t have to open your mouth and tell anyone to boycott anything- people will just get sick of the PCBS and they will tell them themselves. When enough guests make it known they are tired of the PCBS, they will swing the pendulum back a little more to the middle. By all means, if they have a good sale, shop at Target, wish every team member you meet a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.and tell them Jesus is the reason for the season. .2 Cor 13:14 In His Love, Dee