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  • Writer's pictureBy Pastor Andy Plank

Take the message with kindness

November 14, 2021

It's that time of year. It always starts about now, right after Halloween and before Thanksgiving. Folks start talking about and promoting Christmas, the biggest retail event of the year. It is also about this time of year that lots of Christians start preaching the message, and rightly so, concerning the need to keep Christ in Christmas. It is also the time of year when lots of Christians tend to get offended…a lot. When someone says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" we get all blustery defending our right to tell everyone in earshot that the real holiday is Christmas and every other holiday needs to sit back and be silent. I happen to believe that Christmas is the real holiday and I am going to wish as many folks as I can Merry Christmas. However, I will not get all bent out of shape if a Muslim wishes me "Happy holidays" or an African American says to me "Happy Kwanzaa". While I do not celebrate their holidays, at least they took the time out of their day to say something nice to me. A video that is going viral on Facebook right now was posted by a former pastor because he was "offended" at Starbucks because of their Holiday cup. To me, as a Christian, the video is downright embarrassing. Before you start writing me off as a nut and even wondering if I am saved, think about this. Can you show me one time in the New Testament where Jesus got "offended" by the society in which He lived and got vocal about that "offense" toward the "offenders"(other than that time where He flipped some tables over in the temple, but that event was aimed toward Jewish religious leaders, not someone from another faith or culture)? As a matter of fact, when Paul was in an "offensive culture", he took his "offense" to an "Unknown God" and turned it into an introduction to tell these "offenders" about Jesus. He did this in a kind, loving manner. I can't imagine Paul posting a rant on Facebook about the "Unknown God". Paul started where these people were and shared Jesus with them. I am sorry, but to me, an awful lot of the Christians who get offended this time of year are more worried about preserving their "rights" than they are about sharing Jesus in a kind, loving manner. If Christians really want to keep Christ in Christmas, we would do well to follow another Facebook post that I have seen. We could feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the stranger and the unwanted child, care for the sick, and love our enemies….after all that's what Jesus (Christ) did. This is just one guy’s take, so take it for what it’s worth. Let’s just go love others, be a blessing, and tell others Jesus loves them. After all, that is the reason for the season. Bro. Andy

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