Why Christians Should Lose the Christmas Culture War

Starbucks red cup
Starbucks red cup shown in front of a Starbucks store, November 10, 2015, Washington, D.C. |

Last week, Joshua Feuerstein kicked off the annual culture war season by starting a "movement" around Starbuck's new minimal coffee cup design.

I have no desire to make fun of Josh's beliefs or belittle his conviction.

We simply disagree on what it means to be a Christian in our culture.

For me, standing up for Jesus means laying down my demand that the coffee shop I share with my non-Christian neighbors privilege my religion.

For me, defending God means letting go of "Merry Christmas" so my non-Christian neighbors feel respected when I invite them to the holiday table.

For me, keeping the Christ in Christmas is not about winning the culture war — but about losing it.

Given statements about the first being last, and given his way of death, it seems Jesus' goal was more about losing than winning. It was his unwillingness to fight the sinners that was often the most powerful weapon in his arsenal. And it was often this unwillingness to fight that most upset the religious. When Peter declared that it was finally time to "stand up for what we believe," Jesus rebuked his willingness to fight, healed the person Peter lashed out against, and submitted himself to arrest.

The point of Jesus' mission in the world was to lose, not to win.

And it was in losing fights that he won people.

In a world where Christians are labeled as being against everything in our culture, what a powerful argument for God when we confound their expectations and come to battle, not with a sword but with a towel and basin.

This article was originally posted at

Jared Byas is the co-author of Genesis for Normal People and writes regulary for

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