Do Boycotts Work?

So who watched the Academy Awards?   I have to admit that I missed it but not because we were intentionally avoiding it or boycotting the Hollywood spectacular but because it just wasn't on our radar.    We are not big movie fans and really don't know the movies or the stars let alone the screen writers and directors or others that receive the awards. 

The next day I found that I was in good company as many of my Christian friends had not watched the Academy Awards either.    At any time there are a myriad of different entertainment, programs, venues, restaurants, retail outlets and places to visit. 

While we have choices, many see an opportunity to collectively boycott a product, program, service or company.   As Christians we have been both on the receiving end as well as on the offense when it comes to calling for boycotts. 

The causes may be noble but I wonder if boycotts work?   If the 'victory' is in diminished viewers or revenue than the case can be made that boycotts are effective.  At the same time, if we are more interested in winning the war than the battle, perhaps using the national media, our social media sources and our church pulpits to boycott those that disagree with the teachings of Christ and the Bible may be counterproductive. 

Jesus has an interesting thing to say about judging others perhaps it also applies to programs like the Academy Awards or boycotts for those on the 'other side'

In Matthew 7, beginning in the first verse, Jesus tells us we are not to judge "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Then after the familiar verse about the 'plank in your own eye" he has this very interesting and often thought difficult verse: 

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."
Pearls before swine....an interesting word picture at the least. 
Boycotts tend to send a signal to the troops and often its the wrong signal that we send to the opposition.  Perhaps when we love our enemies as ourselves, we provide more of an opportunity to communicate our true mission.  Using economic power may bring economic consequences but our longer term objective is not about economics. 

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