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Happy HOLY-Daze!

December 27, 2006

Don’t get me wrong! I do love the Lord … and best I can, I love His peoples. But there is one thing that really irks me about “good Christian folk” and I guess I’ve been on a rant about them of late. But I do wish they would listen (at least) and take heed to what I’m saying.

The thing that irks me about “good Christian folk” of today is when they react as extremists about things that basically cause them to look ignorant, hateful and un-credible.

For instance, from time to time I get what I consider SPAM … but is basically forwards from “supposedly Christian organizations” slamming various and sundry aspects of American society. An example would be the recent notifications that Wal-mart was financially supporting homosexual organizations and that we should all boycott Wal-mart. One evening while shopping in Wal-mart, I met up with a fellow follower of Christ who apologized to me for being in Wal-mart. She explained that she was trying to do the boycott but just couldn’t see paying higher prices for milk and such at other stores.

At the time, I didn’t know what she was talking about, but a few days later I started getting the SPAM from well-meaning folks who just “wanted to do the right thing.”

A few years back, I got so sick of receiving propaganda from organizations and Christian people that I started researching the validity of some of these bits of information via email. What I found was an enormous amount of half-truths, untruths and scare tactics. These tidbits of informations ranged from outdated bills that were being introduced to Congress to rumors about Hollywood producers and actors that were promoting evil causes and supporting left-wing candidates through their work. The claim about Wal-mart was so overblown that I just had to investigate and find the truth.

I could not understand how a company like Wal-mart, who is perhaps one of the largest contributors to the GOP, could openly and blatantly divert their money to fund gay-rights causes. Come to find out, it was not the case at all. Much like many online retailers, they offer non-profit entities the option to provide a link from their site to Wal-mart.com. From purchases that are made through these links, Wal-mart gives 5% of those sales to the organization. I’ve got such a link (not to Wal-mart but to an online book retailer) on our church site. I assume that I could place a Wal-mart.com link on my site too.

Realistically, Wal-mart could not discriminate between Westwood Baptist Church and any other non-profit organization … now could they? Does that mean that Wal-mart is Baptist? NO! Get real!

I said to my friend in the Wal-mart that evening … “Think about this … when Christians spend all their energy bashing and judging folk, do you really think that it offers any idea of transformation to those that you think need it? Does that really share the love of Jesus with people … who don’t know of it? And do you really think buying your milk or eggs or light bulbs at another store is going to change the sad state of moral affairs in the world?”

No it is not! Oh, if every Christian in the world stopped shopping at Wal-mart, you might get their attention for a minute. But so what? Lost people will still be living and dying and spending eternity in hell. And you will have drunk a lot of high dollar milk.

Of late, I have been appalled at “good Christian folk” who have spent far too much time worrying about the verbiage used to extend season’s greetings to the world around us. WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE TO SIT AROUND ON OUR PHARISAICAL PORCHES AND CAST JUDGEMENT ON THOSE WHO TO THE BEST OF THEIR HUMAN ABILITY ARE “damned if they do and damned if they don’t.” I’m talking about this ridiculous controversy about whether a store says, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”

I’m 43-years old, and I am absolutely certain that I have received many a Christmas card that bore the words, “Happy Holidays.” I’ve seen it in stores for years. I’ve also seen “Season’s Greetings” “Merry Christmas” “Joy to the World” “Noel, Noel, Noel” and “Happy Hanukah” “Happy Kwanzaa” … and I’ve seen a few sweatshirts that said, “Bah-Humbug.”

I’ve seen many a nativity scene on the front lawn of a home, with a Santa Claus on the roof or a sleigh with reindeer sitting next to the manger. Now that’s talking out of both sides of your mouth!!!

So when I see or hear of “good Christian folk” getting up in arms about whether a sign says “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” — I have to stop and wonder if they realize how much time they have wasted … that could have been used to share the love of Christ with someone, rather than passively expecting a sign or banner to do that for them.

This “holy-daze” in which we walk around is exactly what causes Christians to lose credibility and be viewed as mean, judgmental and ignorant.

I have asked good friends … good Christian friends … who send me such garbage to PLEASE carefully reconsider these forwards and these stands as an effective means of changing the world.  Most often, by sending outdated, scare tactical bits of information, it only serves to confirm that Christians are “uninformed” and are being “re-active” rather than “pro-active” to the problems that seem to stir their passion.

To those on the outside looking in … it only serves to portray Christians as people who walk around in a “holy-daze” — clueless to what’s really going on in the world around them.

I just wish that these passions that are stirred … would take a pro-active stance rather than reactive.  If we cared enough to get involved with people on the front end … our “caring” would not seem so “extreme” on  the back end.

Be a light, for crying out loud.  Be salt … like we are commanded to do.

But don’t be a stone-thrower … and get the beam out of your own eye before you start trying to pick the speck out of others’.

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