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    Florida Megachurch Removes Pepsi Machines Over Gay Sponsorships

    Florida Megachurch Removes Pepsi Machines Over Gay Sponsorships

    According to Tampa Bay Online:

    The last of 10 Pepsi vending machines were wheeled out the door this week at Bell Shoals Baptist Church and replaced with Coke machines, but the switch wasn't spurred by a taste test.

    Terry Kemple, a member of Bell Shoals Baptist and president of the Community Issues Council, said the church's decision to boycott Pepsi products came after months of failed discussions with the soft drink company.

    The council, formed "to promote and protect Judeo-Christian values" according to its Web site, and church officials asked the soft drink company to curb its support of groups, events and legal issues that "oppose traditional family values," Kemple said.

    The company, Kemple said, sponsors major gay pride parades and events across the country.

    "This year, they pumped millions of dollars into organizations that opposed California's same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8," he said. "There are a lot of corporations that have diversity programs, but Pepsi goes far beyond."

    The council meets with about 50 churches each month to discuss issues that conflict with traditional Christian values. Other local churches participating in the Pepsi boycott include Kings Avenue Baptist Church in Brandon and Plant City Church of God.

    Kemple said more churches are expected to join the effort he hopes will send a strong message to corporate America.

    Here's a link for more...

    What do you think?  Boycot Pepsi over gay sponsorships; or drink more Pepsi to protest the churches that are protesting Pepsi.

    Why/Should we expect our drink manufacturers or our car companies or any company we purchase from to have/hold our Christian convictions?  What's your take?


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    1. Steve on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Maybe these churches should pay attention to what Coke is doing:

    2. yarrrr on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Your church is too big if you have vending machines in it…

    3. Peter Hamm on Mon, September 14, 2009

      I’ve seen some pretty small churches with vending machines, although ours doesn’t have them.

      Still, you have to applaud a church that is careful about its image this way.  Seriously, look on the bright side, they’re at least looking at the details. Most of us do that very little.

    4. Jim Akins on Mon, September 14, 2009

      we should not expect unbeliever’s to act like believers.on the other hand Coke people are not saints by any stretch of the imagination. the taste of Pepsi is enough to change in my opinion. but supporting either on moral grounds is shaky at best.

    5. Dan Smith on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Why are we trying to hold the world to Christian standards? What part of the stumbling block and foolishness to the world are these people missing?

      Oh yeah…sign me up for a Pepsi order. I’m going to buy some on the way home today!

    6. CS on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Slightly tangential here, but now I’m more curious about the Mormons and their relationship with Pepsi.  As most people know, the Mormons were strongly against same-sex marriages in the whole Prop 8 measure, and yet they have massive shares in Pepsico.  It seems odd that they would be shareholders in a company that engaged in efforts that were against what they wanted.

      As for these churches, I applaud them in wanting to preserve the image of themselves in all areas, so that they may be above reproach.


    7. Brandon Matthews on Mon, September 14, 2009

      If you think Pepsi machines are radical, you’d really be shocked if you got out of town sometime!

    8. David Buckham on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Forgetting the size of the church (big or small) for a moment, why do you really need vending machines in the first place?  Instead of getting upset over the gay agenda, why not get upset over the health benefits/risks of soda? There can be theological issues for both. 

      Maybe I am off, maybe I am still not awake, but why do some Christians put themselves in a position where they feel they have to boycott something in the first place? I know that position won’t always work, but it seems certain groups are always boycotting something.  Disney, McDonalds, Ford, Pepsi, Church…oh wait.

      all about Christ,

    9. Jon on Mon, September 14, 2009

      “Why are we trying to hold the world to Christian standards?”

      What other standards should we hold people to?  If not other people, what standards should we hold ourselves to?  If Pepsi (or another product - like Coke) is continuing to engage in wrongful activities, why would we continue to endorse those activities by purchasing and using the product?

      And what kind of nonsense is
      “Your church is too big if you have vending machines in it�”?

      Is Heaven going to be too big for this person?

    10. Tye Male on Mon, September 14, 2009

      I have to wonder how this is going to build bridges to those struggling with homosexuality. (and I’m talking about in the church, not out)

      I have a question. How does boycotting something help us share the love of Jesus Christ with people? Is it really the job of Pepsi to promote “Christian” values?

    11. Jon on Mon, September 14, 2009

      In response to how boycotting something helps us share the love of Jesus Christ with people, I think of how Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple, and how Jesus spoke to the Pharisees.

      Sometimes, when we speak of Love as Christians we think of it in a very shallow context.  In other words, is the way to show love to non-believers really to not boycott Pepsi?

      Addittionally, I don’t think this church is boycotting Pepsi for NOT promoting Christian values, I think they are boycotting Pepsi for promoting non-Christian values.

    12. Tye Male on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Jon - Jesus was chastising the religious people, not the local beverage company.

      Still, I ask the question. If we boycott something we must believe that they should be doing, or not doing, something we think they should not be doing, or doing.

      I really don’t expect Pepsi to hold biblical values. If this is the case, then why didn’t the church boycott them when they used Britney Spears as a spokesperson? Just saying.

    13. bishopdave on Mon, September 14, 2009

      I thought Jesus rebuking the Pharisees—wouldn’t that be at the other end of the spectrum from gay rights?

    14. Jon on Mon, September 14, 2009

      @bishopdave - who in biblical times would you compare to the gay rights crowd?

      @Tye - I understand the difference between religious people and a beverage company.  However, I think people sometimes try to make Christianity into a religion of ‘niceness’, rather than a religion of faithfulness to God, and therefore boycotting Pepsi because they support gay rights, or protesting gay rights isn’t the ‘nice’ thing to do because its not the ‘loving’ thing to do.  But Jesus rebukes people.  He does so using shame and fear.  We see exasperation and anger from him. 

      Certainly, we need to be careful in our use of these expressions, as we need to be careful in our use of all expressions.

      But to say not to boycott something because you don’t ‘expect’ them to be Christian is a little troublesome.  Who do you expect to be Christian?  No one?  What type of behavior do we allow before standing up for what we believe in some manner (boycotts, issueing statements, etc….)?

      Finally, I think you make a valid point about Britney Spears.  However, we can’t use the argument of ‘because one messed up before, its ok to mess up again’.

    15. Tye Male on Mon, September 14, 2009

      Jon said: But to say not to boycott something because you don�t �expect� them to be Christian is a little troublesome. 

      I’m confused by this. I was simply saying that when we boycott something we are hoping to change their behavior, business ideals and/or practices. How can Christians expect the world to do Christian things? I don’t think Jesus ever tried to conform the culture to his image. Rather, he called them to himself offering them eternal life.

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