Pharisaic Wedgey

This week my brother and his family are in town from Texas and we are making the most of the time with Mom and other family members.

Because of that this week I am repeating several posts from the past that I liked — hope you do also.

New stuff coming Very Soon!

 

Recently I heard an interview with Kirk Cameron in which he covered a range of topics — including the movie from last Christmas that concerns the celebration of– or in the case of many Christians — the lack of celebration surrounding Christmas.

savingchristmasMy first thought was “Oh boy!  Another attack on society and the materialism / consumerism surrounding Christmas that will will attack everything remotely pagan about the holiday as we know it.”

Wrong!!!

The film is about how many are keeping Christ in Christmas — but not to the point of throwing out everything tradition and becoming mean spirited, holier than thou, police around the holidays.

Cameron noted that many evangelical Christians have gone so far overboard in attacking the secular side of Christmas they have become people who can be characterized as:

  • Wearing your spiritual pants too tight and giving yourself a pharisaic wedgey.

While he admits that many traditions (holly wreaths, trees, to name a couple) can be traced to pagan roots he also notes that in the history of the church most of these traditions have been brought into church life and made part of the grand celebration of a Holy Day.

Part of the movie description puts it this way…..

Kirk realizes it’s his job to grab Christian (his brother in law in the movie)  by his seasonal sweater and show him Christ where Christ has always been: smack dab at the center of all the Christmas hoopla. KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS provides a biblical basis for our favorite time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season.

Did you know that “Saint Nick” stems from Saint Nicholas who literally punched a guy during a church council who was teaching heresy?  Nicholas was a hero of the faith and the people and they loved and revered him!

Jesus was probably not born in December.  But does that preclude us from taking a few days to recognize the significance of the event and the impact it has on history?

OK — I know it is only May and why are we talking about Christmas.  That line about wearing your spiritual pants too tight got me to thinking…..

How many other times have we been so spiritual that we have lost the opportunity to communicate our values and faith to those around us?

I’m not talking about compromising our belief or standards, but rather allowing the non-believer to stand in his disbelief and giving his beliefs (or doubts) a fair hearing.

One preacher noted that pagans will act like pagans and we shouldn’t expect them to do otherwise.  Likewise we need to stand for our faith — but not in a way that insults and ridicules everyone who doesn’t agree.

Jesus gave people room to contemplate and consider — to come to faith and have a real heart change.  In fact his harshest words were for those who sought to force spirituality on the people through a series of actions without heart change.

Kind of like saying “Merry Christmas” when you really don’t believe it.  When “Happy Holidays” is really where your heart is.

Not everyone will express their faith by dressing, talking, and looking exactly like me.

The Apostle Paul noted that it is not our job to judge the servant of someone else.  I don’t make the rules for your kids.  My daughter’s oldest son is not in charge of making the rules for the younger boys (much to his dismay).

God has made me and gifted me to minister and manifest His will in ways that look far different than you — but that is not your call — it is His.

Loosen up the pants.   Shake out the wedgey.   Get comfortable.  Experience Joy……

 

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