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04 December 2009

the aclu doesn't need a christmas card

For my friends and family who've forwarded me the e-mail suggesting that all Christians send a Christmas card to the ACLU, I honestly, totally, completely love you guys, but please, don't send a Christmas card to the ACLU. In the e-mail we read this gem: "Make sure [the card] says 'Merry Christmas' on it. [Below is] the address, just don't be rude or crude. (It's not the Christian way, you know.)" Wow. This statement obliterates any validity the e-mail may have had to start with. Note the sarcasm attached to the parenthetical statement.

This is like going to a store, having the clerk be rude to you, you getting indignant (because you're paying them for what they're doing for you, they are not allowed to have a bad day, and you're entitled to a good one), and closing the conversation by saying with dripping sarcasm, "God bless you." This just doesn't jive with any attitude we're supposed to have according to the Word of God.

If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
Proverbs 25:21-22 (NLT)

"What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way...

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you."
Jesus in Luke 6:22-23, 27-31 (NLT)

The argument against mine is going to be the one that says that Christians must not take opposition lying down. I would counter by saying that while that statement is true to some degree, I don't see a New Testament example of anyone trying to remold a government by storm. (Remember, the apostles were puzzled that Jesus never did this.) However, I do see plenty of men speaking out against the corruption of the religious leaders. I also see them saying that we must not be a part of the world's system and in some cases they speak candidly to secular governing officials, but I generally see a pronounced difference in tone: harsh to religious people who claim to love God, and gently but directly to secular leaders who do not claim allegiance to God.

I cannot read the Bible and gather from it that we are supposed to offer venemous sarcasm as a way to "help the Holy Spirit" convict anyone. Rather, I see where we're supposed to directly and lovingly speak truth. If you're going to contact the ACLU, do it in something that speaks truth that 1) they'll actually read, and 2) by its sincere loving tone proves to them that you are not stooping to angry mockery.

I'm rather glad that Jesus didn't stand up for His rights as Creator of the Universe. Is there any application for us to take away from that, or is was it all different for Jesus because He was the Son of God, with a specific purpose for the redemption of man? If the latter is true, then why is the Bible littered with statements that reinforce "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)

I argue that we've adopted the world's system when we are pushy, aggressive, self-assertive, and do all we can to make sure that our God-given rights are not taken away. I don't read in the Word where we will always be guaranteed the right to worship or assemble. Rather, I see where it's guaranteed that we'll suffer, be punished, beaten, thrown into prison, etc. In none of this are we told, "When this happens, stand up for yourself!" For me, this attitude immediately brings things like the Crusades to mind for me -- events that the atheist world still sees as "evidence" that all religion is bad.

He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
Isaiah 53:78 (NLT)

I look forward to responses, because I have many Godly, well-reasoned friends who completely disagree with me on this and who will back up their position with Scripture, which is about the only thing I'll listen to because I'm stubborn.

Just don't be rude or crude. (It's not the Christian way, you know.)  :-)


Jacob said...

You know where i stand on this issue, Dean.

I'm honestly trying to figure out why ANYONE would want Christ's name attached to this season anyway. I mean, one could say "well. it's about spending time with family and reaching out to others less fortunate." I say "you're supposed to do that ALL the time."

I'll be saying "Happy Holidays" this season. I'm not going to attach Christ to a season full of greed and capitalism.

Our *LIVES*, not a season, should be a celebration of his birth, life, death, and resurrection.

jeff.fessler said...

SPOT ON, BOYS! (I'm referring to Dean and his commenter, Jacob)

I couldn't agree more. It's been a struggle for intelligent, God-fearing people to try and pull the church "out" of such a commercial holiday as Christmas, but I'm more than confident that the next generation of believers is going to make it happen (finally). Christmas has become what America has made it and the Bible doesn't say ANYTHING about "protecting Christmas" the way many believers adamantly attempt to do.

there, I've said my peace...and I might send a carbon copy of my "peace" in a Christmas card to the ACLU, also, but I will include lots of disclaimers for Dean...who loves disclaimers like he loves waiting 30 minutes for a cold cup of coffee.

Cheers, happy holidays, Merry Shoppingmas, and a Happy New Year!

Leroy said...

I'm not sure this is relative, but many people confuse their "God-given rights" with our fore-fathers-given rights to life, liberty, and the *pursuit* of happiness.

dubdynomite said...

I can't wait for Christians to finally come to the realization that we can't change the country/government by wielding political influence.

We will change this nation by affecting the hearts and minds of it's people, one at a time. Which, as I remember, is how Jesus operated.

Preston N said...

I think Dub summed it up rather well. Nothing really more to say.

Jacob said...

SP4M b0Tz iz S4t4N!

Something in your post must have put it high up on a google search return.

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