Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years, you probably know the names Chip & Joanna Gaines. The Gaines are the latest "Christian television celebrities" with their own show on tv called, "Fixer Upper." Their fun nature, seemingly solid values, and down-home Texas charm launched them into the hearts and homes of America.
Magnolia, their retail store, has become a major tourist destination in Waco, and has done wonders to help boost the local economy. It has been obvious throughout the seasons of the show that business is booming for the Gaines, and that they now have a full-fledged "brand" on their hands.
Last week, Chip & Joanna announced that they would be partnering with Target Stores to bring a line of her designs to Targets around the country. They even took the time to post pictures with Target's mascot dog on social media, etc. It did not take long for the alarm bells to sound, and the red flags to go up with those of faith around the country.
You see, unless you had REALLY been hiding under that rock, you would have most certainly been aware of the ongoing issues between Target and several different family and religious organizations throughout the country. Target's CEO made the decision to let people use whatever bathroom they wanted (whatever their orientation), even if that meant men being in the bathroom with young girls, etc. There has been tremendous push-back from people all over the country in response to this decision. So much so, that Target's bottom line has been seriously affected. People have spoken with their money, yet Target refuses to admit that their bathroom move was a bad one. Okay, there's the summary... so what's the point of this post?
While it is great to see people of the Christian faith in the limelight, our culture (yes, even Texas church culture) has decided in many ways that we no longer have to take stands on issues of morality or doctrine that are not popular with mainstream culture. Chip & Joanna are just the latest example of this. Now, I do not know them personally, and I do not know what they believe... that needs to be said. I am not casting judgement on their own personal relationship with Christ. What I AM able to make a judgement on is their actions here. By making the decision to support Target in this way (and bringing tons of money in sales for the store), they have declared their support for Target, and all of their policies.
I am sure that if you sat down and talked to the Gaines, they would probably say they do not agree with all that Target stands for, but that would honestly ring pretty hollow. By taking money and investing their time and name into Target, they have endorsed what so many Christians have chosen to steer clear of with Target.
Some of you that are reading this will probably say that the whole Target thing is "no big deal," or "just stay out of their bathrooms." Sure, we can take that approach. However, we live in a culture that continually does everything it can to break down Biblical standards, and silence those who have deep convictions on issues like this. When we as Christians lend our good name and reputations to companies that force their unGodly beliefs on us, that is a HUGE loss for us all. No, this is not just about Target. There are many businesses and causes out there that do not deserve the support of those who follow Christ. Each of us need to be more purposeful and prayerful about where our money goes. Sometimes we do not have a choice, but when we do... we should!
The Gaines may make a lot of money from this partnership. However, the losses to the voices of Christians in general are just not worth it, IMO. My encouragement to you is that you earnestly pray about issues like this... and then follow through with what the Lord tells you... even if it's not what the popular opinion (even in church circles) is.