Statement from Tesco / Lesson for Christians

Yesterday, I mentioned what the Christian Institute had reported about Nick Lansley, the head of R & D at Tesco.  Later, I mentioned that he had removed the statement.

This has generated a LOT of activity on this blog.  So since for some reason many people are coming here (of all places) for this, I thought it was only right to ask Tesco’s press office if they had made a statement.  Their response:

This is Mr Lansley’s personal opinion and does not reflect the views and opinions of Tesco.

Fair enough — I don’t vet my blog posts with my employer, after all.  If the views of their head of Research & Development were my only concern with Tesco, I probably wouldn’t let it affect my shopping decisions.  (I might add, though, that until I phoned, they had issued no statement dissociating themselves from his comments, though they were obviously aware of the issue.)

But for Christians, there is a reminder here.  No man is an island to himself, and what we say and do will reflect on others who are associated with us.  Mr Lansley has “Tesco” associated with his name — that’s the only reason what he said really matters much to anyone except his friends and family.  Even if Tesco does not approve of or agree with his statements, they got “tarred with the same brush,” fairly or unfairly.

If you are a Christian, because “Christian” is associated with your name, what you do will reflect on Christ, whether He approves of it or not.  If we do what pleases Him, it will bring honour to His name, and if we do poorly, it will bring mocking and scorn to the One who loved us enough to die for us.  What are my actions and words saying about Christ?

Some Christians, when they hear of this matter, will allow themselves to become angry against a man they’ve never met.  That is both contrary to Scripture and a huge waste of energy.  We would do much better to pray for him, and better still to consider what lessons the Lord would have us learn in our own personal lives.  A “Christian Soldier” is not on a campaign against those who are opposed to what we believe.  He is on a campaign to become what his God wants him to be.  Our biggest concern should not be, “How is that other person doing?” but rather, “How am I doing?”

NOTE:  For those outside of the UK and unfamiliar with Tesco, it is by far the largest retailer in the UK.  According to Wikipedia, it the third largest in the world, measured by revenue, and the second largest (behind Walmart) measured by profits.

Update: Tesco’s sales dropped over Christmas compared to last year, while their rivals saw an increase.

About Jon Gleason

Former Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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5 Responses to Statement from Tesco / Lesson for Christians

  1. steve says:

    Amen brother. We all have to be wary what we say in public, especially Christians these days. It was foolish to mention on his blog. However, it makes a change to hear about someone who is not a christian getting into a bit of bother because of his opinions. If a christian working for tesco had written “evil gays” on this profile, I wonder if that person would still have a job. Most likely they would be sacked or arrested for some kind of hate crime. He could also be arrrested if someone was petty minded enough to do it.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Hi, Steve, thanks for the comment. You’re right, of course, but if we’re Christians none of that is a surprise, is it? Jesus said the world would hate us because it hated Him. He also said that we should rejoice if we are persecuted for His sake, and His disciples rejoiced when they had been beaten for His sake, that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name. So you’re correct that things aren’t treated even-handedly, but then we shouldn’t expect them to be, and it doesn’t matter at all if we’re focused on following Christ. We may certainly point it out, and ask to be treated even-handedly, but if it doesn’t happen, we can still follow our Lord, and rejoice while doing so, which is what matters.

      Of course, the main reason we need to be careful what we say is not because we might suffer for it, but because we need to please God. Many things that Christians say simply don’t please Him, and if we experience trouble because of those kinds of statements, First Peter tells us, in slightly different words, “Quit whinging, you deserve it.” 🙂

      I can’t imagine any profit in saying, to use your example, “Evil gays” on a website (and I know you weren’t saying we should, I’m not targeting you here). That’s not an accurate representation of Scripture at all — the Bible says we are all sinners. It certainly says that homosexual behaviour is sin, it uses very strong language about it (“abomination”), but as far as talking about the person is concerned, we could as well say “evil liars” or “evil sluggards” or “evil gluttons”, etc. So if a person has trouble because they’ve said something like that, I’d be inclined to say, “Quit whinging, you didn’t speak the way God wants you to speak, you can’t expect Him to bless or protect you.”

      The sluggard, the glutton, the homosexual, the benefit cheat and the liar, the adulterer and the shoplifter, the proud person and the hypocrite, and every other sinner (of all kinds) all need to be forgiven and changed, and that’s what God wants to do, and is able to do. That’s what every single person needs. That’s His message to them, and we need to keep our words consistent with that. If there is going to be enmity between Christians and gays, it should be on their side, not ours. We need to give them Christ’s message of hope, not treat them as enemies.

      Much of this is not intended to be a personal response to you, Steve, but rather for a broader readership. Your comment gave me a jumping-off point to say what I believe is too rarely said these days. I apologise if it gives the impression that I am primarily speaking to you in this comment, for I am not. Blessings to you, and may the Lord give you a great Christmas.

  2. jutecity says:

    Nick Lansley has also removed a video from his Youtube account in which he recited a poem depicting the Roman centurion having sex with the dead crucified body of Jesus.
    He also has this statement on his I-Tunes channel –
    “Nick Lansley has views. He does and there is nothing we can do about it. His views are about gays and how they should have great lives, with the same human rights just as everyone else. Nick is a gay, so it’s personal. It’s a tall order, because there are some (mostly religious) people who think that gays should not have great lives; that they should hide themselves away; or that they should die. Fortunately Nick’s podcast is not doom and gloom: the best way to counter ignorance and prejudice is to show these particular religious homophobes that they are wrong. And stupid. And ‘funny in the head’. These are ghosts, and in order to point out their error, Nick invites them to dinner.”

    Also on the channel is an audio version of the poem he removed from Youtube

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you for the comment. I’ve removed the link, because there are things there I don’t want to link to. I didn’t spend much time there, but enough that I can verify most of this comment is accurate, so I assume the rest is as well. I didn’t know about the Youtube thing, but if he’s removed it, I thank him for doing so.

      But, my friend, I’m not sure what this tells us. That Nick Lansley has a very confused and wrong view of Biblical Christianity, and of how the Bible tells us to think about and act towards homosexuals? Is this news? I think we knew that from the prior comment. It tells us that he is homosexual. OK. It tells us he needs the Lord, just like his (and your) neighbours; and that, just like most people in Britain (or anywhere else), he doesn’t want the Lord very much right now because he wants to live his life the way he wants to live it.

      This doesn’t really tell us anything new. Except, if Nick wants to invite me to dinner, and he’s willing to do it at a venue reasonable for both of us, I’d be delighted. I don’t know if it would be profitable or not, but if he wants to talk to a Christian, I’d be very glad to talk to him. If anyone who knows him reads this and wants to tell him so, I’ve got a contact page.

      I do want to be clear on something. Nick Lansley has been around and vocal for a while. But this blog is not going to be a venue to chase down everything Nick Lansley has said to which Christians might object. We now know. Tesco’s head of R & D is homosexual and doesn’t like Biblical Christianity. If that impacts someone’s decisions about where they shop, it impacts their decisions. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t think we need a lot more detail than that.

      I do thank you for the comment. It helps people understand Mr Lansley a little more, and I consider it valuable, but I don’t want to keep going down that path. I don’t think it will help any Christian be a better Christian to try to chase down everything he says. Blessings to you.

  3. jutecity says:

    Blessings to you too Jon

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