Boston Beer Company Omits “Creator” in Decl. of Independence Ad

ABC News is reporting outrage against Boston Beer Company, which owns Samuel Adams, for omitting part of the Declaration of Independence that mentions the “Creator” in a July 4th advertisement.

In the advertisement, an actor states, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Except, the actual Declaration of Independence states, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator…”

The Boston Beer Company is defending their omission of “Creator” on grounds of keeping with specific codes of their trade group, The Beer Institute, which represents 2,800 breweries.

ABC News reports this statement from a Boston Beer Company spokeswoman: “We adhere to an advertising code, established by the Beer Institute – a beer industry trade organization – that states, ‘Beer advertising and marketing materials should not include religion or religious themes.’ We agree with that, and we follow these guidelines and approach our marketing with the utmost responsibility.”

Many people took to Sam Adams Facebook page to express heated opinions. In a post, a Facebook user wrote, “I guess I should not be surprised that a company, interested only in profit, would rewrite American history for commercial gain. However, abusers of history will no longer receive any of my money to support their censorsed [sic] advertising campaigns.”

Is it appropriate to change a national document to follow a code? Does such a code even hold precedence over one of the most important documents in our country? If people start changing our country’s documents in ads, where will it go from there?

These are the questions we should ask and discuss.

Obamacare Loses Against Hobby Lobby, For Now

The Denver AP reports that Hobby Lobby will not have to pay millions in fines, at this time, for not providing birth control coverage to employees. The case will continue to battle in lower courts, but the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Hobby Lobby could continue with their case without paying fines that were scheduled to issue on July 1.

Hobby Lobby originally sued on grounds of religious violation, as the founder and CEO David Green and his family do not agree with a birth control mandate issued by the federal government.

The judge had these words to say, “Sincerely religious persons could find a connection between the exercise of religion and the pursuit of profit… Would an incorporated kosher butcher really have no claim to challenge a regulation mandating non-kosher butchering practices?”

The U.S. Department of Justice has argued that opposing birth control coverage is a way for Hobby Lobby to impose religious beliefs on its employees.

For now, the case will return to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, which originally ruled against the company’s religious exemption request.

We’ll discuss more on this story on an upcoming podcast. Stay tuned.

YouVersion Bible App Could Reach 100 Million Downloads

The ever popular YouVersion Bible app on smartphone devices could reach 100 million downloads in just under a month, or at least that’s the team’s hope for the July 10 date.

YouVersion, the free Bible app, was launched in 2008 just as Apple was launching their App Store. The app has become the most popular Bible reading and sharing app on the market, receiving a 5-star rating on Google’s Play Store and a 4.5 on the Apple App store.

The current download tally hangs around 95 million, but the YouVersion staff is encouraging a giant spread of the Bible by it’s 5th anniversary, July 10, in hopes of reaching 100 million plus.

Edmond, Okla. is the home of the innovation and development staff, including members of the nationally known church—LifeChurch.tv.

Bobby Gruenewald, innovation leader for LifeChurch.tv, told The Christian Post, “although 100 million sounds like a big number, we know it’s nowhere close to what’s possible. In fact, we like to say it starts with 100 million. Our faith has expanded to believe that Bible engagement could be transformed not only for this generation, but generations to come.”

Currently, their Bible app is available in 500 different translations and 300 languages.

LifeChurch.tv, a large multi-site church, is well known for it’s innovative and technological impacts on evangelism and church ministry.

“We’ve learned God uses milestones like this to fuel even greater growth,” said an excerpt on the campaign website.

Hobby Lobby Could Face $1.3 Million in Fines Per Day for Beliefs

Yes, you read that headline properly. Hobby Lobby, a well known company for not only crafts and household goods, but Christian outspokenness, could be fined $1.3 million a day for not offering the emergency contraceptive drug to their employees. The company that upholds Christian values does not agree with such a medication and does not agree to provide it to employees. Sounds like another freedom of religion infringement case that could crumple Christian business. July 1 will be the big day for Hobby Lobby when mandates could go into affect that penalize that company and require payment of fines.

Take a closer look at the story by watching a recent interview with Hobby Lobby’s president on The Christian Post.

What We Can Learn From a High School Graduate

Last week, a South Carolina high school graduate showed not only his school, but his country, that his religious freedom will not be stripped from him as an American. Roy Costner IV, valedictorian, ripped his approved graduation speech for all to see and opened up personally to the crowd about his faith and his appreciation for his parents leading him to and in his Christian faith.

“I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at such a young age,” Costner said. “And I think most of you will understand when I say—Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” as Costner continued to recite the Lord’s Prayer to much applause by the crowd of students and family members.

The story wouldn’t be as significant if his school allowed prayer during organized school functions. Instead, school officials ended invocations at functions since they were pressured by outside activist groups advocating for “religious-less” schools.

In bold stature, Costner displayed his dedication to his faith and family by doing what he believed was right, and what much of the crowd approved to be right as well.

As I hear this story, I can’t help but replay the scene, in my head, from Braveheart when William Wallace says, “they may take our lives, but they will never take our Freedom.”

This act of boldness, of bravery and of complete dedication to our God in heaven is an emphatic display of who we are as God-fearing people. When people turn against us, when society begins to strip our faith from us in every aspect of our lives on the basis of “diversity” or any other name—it’s in these times that we must all be like Costner. We must all pick up our cross and bear the name of our Lord and Savior.

So whether we’re leading businesses, working from home or working with a huge staff, our job as Christians and business professionals, is to stand for what we believe in and let our faith be the basis of everything we do. Although many will disagree with our stance and consider us intolerant or overbearing, we must stand strong in the faith we have been given.

Let Costner’s story be an encouragement to you. Even the youngest among us can provide a brilliant reminder of faithfulness to our God who has been forever faithful.

Denying Business Based on Faith—Is It Unlawful?

You may or may not have heard about a Christian baker in Denver, Co. who denied business to a gay couple ordering a wedding cake. This happened in July of last year and mainstream news and social media got a hold of the situation.

The couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, took to their Facebook airways to publish a post about the baker, Jack Phillips, refusing to fill their order. The post went viral in an uproar over civil rights and discrimination.

According to the Denver Post, Mullins and Craig said the situation was awkward and painful.

“We were all very upset, but I was angry and I felt dehumanized and mortified,” Mullins said to the Associated Press.

Tremendous support flooded the couple, with strangers offering their appreciation for their love and commitment, and disdain for a business that would do such a thing.

Meet Jack Phillips—owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop for 19 years and resident of the Lakewood area just outside of Denver. He’s a professing Christian and has turned down business prior to this incident because of disagreements with homosexual relations.

The Denver Post reported Phillips saying, “when I do a cake for a first birthday party, I imagine the family gathered around taking pictures and laughing. When I do a graduation cake, I think of all the hard work it took to get them there. I feel like I’m part of the celebration, and I can’t take part in that kind of celebration (same-sex wedding).”

This brings us to today, where Phillips is facing a court decision that could determine jail time or fines for his actions.

The Blaze reported the Colorado Attorney General’s office is filing a formal complaint against Phillips and his bakery. The complaint describes a possible fine of $500 per instance if Phillips continues to refuse making wedding cakes for homosexual couples and could spend up to one year in jail for the suit. Phillips is scheduled to stand in front of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission in September.

Of course, the issue at hand is discrimination.

“If gays come in and want to order birthday cakes or any cakes for any occasion, graduations, or whatever, I have no prejudice against that whatsoever,” Phillips said in an interview with CBS News. “It’s just the wedding cake, not the people, not the lifestyle.”

So, is it unlawful to deny wedding cakes to homosexual couples?

The court will probably rule that yes, indeed it is unlawful. Looking at the progression of law over time, you can see court decisions favoring less and less discrimination, no matter the concern of religious freedoms.

But, this progression affects Christians greatly. While we may deny such services, as small as making wedding cakes for homosexual couples, we will be identified as discriminatory although we have the right to exercise our faith.

I call your attention to the first portion of the first amendment of our constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

So our government, our courts, cannot stop us from exercising our right of faith. If so, how does that right get shoved aside concerning discrimination?

Is discrimination in business a more important issue than religious freedom? This is what we need to be discussing. It’s not that Phillips is discriminatory in all of his actions, just in making and selling wedding cakes for same-sex couples.

“I’m not going to change my business because of a petition,” Phillips said to the Denver Post. “I’m just going to do the best I can do to honor Jesus Christ.”

The question for Christians shouldn’t be “why aren’t you more understanding and accepting of people?” The question should be “why aren’t you holding fast to what you believe?”

If we progress with culture, we become hypocrites concerning the approval of homosexual relations. Are we going to be hypocrites of what we believe and let certain God-opposing, sinful actions slip through the cracks, or are we going to be different than mainstream culture and stick with our value of one man and one woman?

The decision is yours. If we don’t talk about it, then we may find ourselves on a slippery slope. So, let’s talk. And let our talk be wholesome and constructive. 

Cool Christian Business Ideas from Innovative, Gospel-Motivated Entrepreneurs

Trying to get some inspiration? Looking for some great Christian business ideas? Check out the great ideas from Christian business owners below –

Light Shines In One of the World’s Most Impoverished Countries

What do you get when you combine a heart for global missions, the Nepali people, and Mexican food? The Lazy Gringo, of course! The Arizona style Mexican restaurant stands out as a beloved, unexpected stop in Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu. Mexican food in Nepal? Yes, it seems a little out of place.

Started by a couple of American families, they creatively merged their love of Mexican food with their call to make disciples of the Nepali people. They opened the Lazy Gringo in October 2007. Their staff is made up of Nepalese whom they trained to cook all kinds of traditional Mexican dishes.

While employment itself is a blessing in this country, one of the poorest of the world, the family owners have given their Nepali employees so much more. They’ve implanted the gospel and raised some up to be followers of Christ.

The Lazy Gringo has become somewhat of a hub for mission teams that come to Nepal. Hosting informal worship gatherings and prayer meetings, they shine with the light of believers, both Nepali and foreign.

Local Coffee Roasters With a Global Mission

Sometimes the best ideas are slight variations from tried and true ones. Everyone does the coffee shop thing, right? At times, it seems like every church in America has tried their hand at opening their own coffee shop. So what makes Seeds Coffee Co. in Birmingham, Alabama different?

The partners at Seeds started as roasters, not baristas. What’s the difference? Coffee shops brew coffee. Roasters buy whole beans from coffee growers, roast it, and sell it to coffee shops and stores. Whereas coffee shops may never have connections to the growers of their coffee, Seeds knows exactly who the growers of their coffee are. And that’s exactly where they identify their ministry.

Starting by paying fair trade prices for their beans, Seeds aims to treat coffee farmers with justice. But they don’t stop there. They have real relationships with the farmers of their coffee. Not average business relationships. Real friendships. Friendships that are the context for sharing the gospel and empowering farmers to be disciple-makers in their own communities.

Although Seeds is in the process of opening a coffee shop to compliment their roasting, the ministry to the farmers and their communities will not cease. Opening the coffee shop is simply an expansion of their ministry. It’s local and global outreach through business.

An Expression of Hope From New York City’s Theater Scene

Amid conflicting and troubling messages portrayed on the stages of Broadway, The Lamb’s Theatre Company consistently produces shows that reflect the themes found in scripture. Having closed and reopened several times since 1978, Lamb’s returns each time with fresh ideas that are relevant and current.

Plays and musicals are performed in the Lambs building, located in Times Square. Their works explore human issues that transcend national boundaries. They’re heartfelt, often times convicting, but ultimately reconciliatory.

Past and present performances include:

  • The Prince and the Pauper
  • Painting Churches
  • Cotton Patch Gospel
  • Snoopy
  • Godspell
  • The Boys Next Door
  • The God Committee

The Lamb’s Theatre Company original productions include The Roads to Home, Smoke on the Mountain, Opal, and The Gifts of the Magi.

Their commitment to exemplifying a message of hope in their works has inspired not only audiences, but also other professionals in the industry. A number of theater groups and productions have taken their cues from Lamb’s and committed to the same goal of producing works containing messages of reconciliation and expressions of hope.

Christian Clothing Companies That You Can Support

As believers, we like to support other Christian companies when we can. Not only that, it is nice to express the message of Christ without having to say a word. Buying from Christian clothing companies allow you to do just that! Here are 4 popular and up-and-coming clothing companies that are centered around Christian values –

Kerusso: Print, Produce, Proclaim

This Christian apparel brand uses the Greek word Kerusso, meaning “to herald,” as its name to signify that they are passionate about proclaiming the gospel through their products. As wholesale producers of T-shirts, hats, wristbands, jewelry, and other gifts and accessories, they supply a number of Christian retailers across the nation. In fact, they are regarded by many as the #1 Christian t-shirt producer.

Although they constantly change their merchandise to match trends and styles, their message stays the same. CEO and founder, Vic Kennett, says that the message appearing on the merchandise is the main focus. He believes Christian messages printed on products such as t-shirts and hats are a clever way for Christians to start up conversations with their friends and family. His ultimate hope is that his company’s products will set the stage for nonbelievers to hear and receive the gospel.

Find out more at Kerusso.com.

C28: Not of This World

C28 is a Christian retail store, which uses Colossians 2:8 as the basis of its name and values. C28 sells t-shirts, jewelry, and other accessories containing uplifting Christian logos and messages. With their brand they provide an alternative to the sometimes negative messages found on mainstream apparel.

Every line of their mission statement and company values comes straight out of scripture. The store even has a prayer network set up for customers to email their prayer requests to the customer servant team. Additionally, C28 sponsors a number of ministries, including Campus Crusade for Christ and Mercy Ships. They take their business seriously because it has a positive, direct impact on people’s spiritual wellbeing.

Find out more at C28.com.

Missional Wear: Promoting the History of Christian Intellect

This new Orlando-based start-up is full of energy and ideas. They strive to represent the rich historic orthodoxy found in Christianity on their product lines. Missional Wear’s t-shirts display quotes from some of Christianity’s most renowned figureheads, such as Erasmus, Augustine, Spurgeon, and others. Shoppers can also find prints with Latin and Greek texts. It’s sleek and witty, appealing to the Christian intellectual.

Find out more at MissonalWear.com.

Christian Book: The Largest Online Christian Clothing Retailer

Although an online bookstore primarily, Christian Book happens to be the largest retailer of Christian clothing and accessories. With its online business strategy, it has unlimited access to customers not just in the nation, but worldwide.

Christian Book has many notable achievements and partnerships:

  • They are partners with and strong supports of Compassion International.
  • Boston Globe listed them among the “Top 100 Places to Work in Massachusetts” in 2009 and 2010.
  • Employs more than 500 workers.

Find out more at ChristianBook.com.

Rebel Brand: Challenging “Safe” Christianity

As the name of this clothing brand implies, Rebel Brand intends to make people ask thought-provoking questions about their faith, whether they are Christian or non-Christian. The founders aren’t interested in crowd pleasing. They print slogans that cause people to think seriously about their beliefs. Being a Christian, they say, is the most counter-cultural thing you can be.

Find out more at JesusIsARebel.com.

Have more great Christian clothing companies to highlight? Let us know in the comments or over at the Christian business forum!

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