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.