There’s a saying that can vaguely be summarized as this- “Any publicity is good publicity”. When the first Dan Brown book to be filmed The Da Vinci Code was going to be released, there were protests from Christian groups calling it blasphemy. Aside from that, there were poor reviews all over the place (the movie holds a 24% rating at Rotten Tomatoes); the movie, however, did fairly well its opening release weekend. The reason was publicity, and all the Christian protesters were really doing was helping give this film more publicity. Christian boycotts don’t work much; what they do is spark curiosity in the people who hear their message, which in turn may make the person participate in the very thing the Christian boycotts are against. Let's face it, even the protesters may indulge in the very thing they claim to be against (I remember one Christian telling me he went to see the Da Vinci Code because he wanted to know what lies the adversity was spewing this time).
Sometimes, what these people protest against baffles us. They boycott things that can be so minuscule, so small, it matters to nobody but them. Take this christian webpage, for example, which makes it its mission to denounce rock music. Yes, this includes Christian Rock and secular Rock. In regards to Christians replying to the allegations that Christian Rock is evil, one of the site masters had this to say:
In an effort to return to the immediate topic at hand, Paul Turner gives us a list of three signs that indicate we may be about to make an erroneous decision.
- You're going to do it because everybody else is doing it.
- If you're doing it based on emotions.
- If you're doing it to make somebody happy.
Although these are directed at Christians who are considering boycotting, I'd say these are good rules to adopt generally. Along with these suggestions, look out for these people:
- The Over-Zealous Regulator: I remember a pious usher once telling a congregant that he should shave his face because his beard wasn't very attractive. I must admit, it was eccentric and unkempt, but this was who he was. I myself have been prone to keeping my face unkempt every once in a while (albeit out of laziness). To this day, the man with the unkempt beard was probably one of the most humble persons I have met; I certainly preferred his company over any of those self-righteous men spewing venom from the pews.
- The Conspiracy Theorist: Satan's influence can be seen in any and all news. I remember my church being up in arms over Planet X. Perhaps if you're prone to believing something so ludicrous as religion, you leave yourself open for all types of nonsense.
- The Theological "Thumper": This one I found amusing. These sorts of people are the ones who go about fitting every aspect and event in life into some bible verse or obscure teaching- and according to the author, these people end up leaving the faith altogether.
I'd like to add one more thing on that list. Beware of those who think for themselves instead of dogmatically following the words of some preacher or "holy book". Question everything, and question what motives these "leaders" may have.