Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice?

According to the Christian Post, the Christian legal group the Liberty Council has released its annual “Naughty or Nice” christmas checklist of businesses that have a Christmas theme for their holiday marketing, and businesses that do not.

They call for a boycott of businesses that, “seek to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist,” Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, said.

Alright, I think we can all agree that Christmas is a holiday.  So I would think that the phrase “Happy Holidays” encompasses Christmas.  Or maybe I really am that naive.

Also, I think that boycotting people because they don’t advertise Christmas the way you want is a bit ridiculous.  I can see maybe boycotting a company because they are too sexual in their adds, or because the exploit child labor overseas, or because they make money in some sort of unethical way, but because they have a holiday add campaign instead of Christmas?  I mean if you are a business person, then it makes sense to try and encompass all the holidays that are happening this time of year does it not?

So this Black Friday, don’t let the Liberty Counsel tell you where to shop, decide for yourself whether a company is worthy of your dollars.

There are a lot of things going on in the world that Christians should and could get mad about.  This is not one of them.  Let’s stop wasting our time making lists about it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

As you eat turkey and talk about what you are thankful for with family and friends please remember:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17 ESV

Here is a little political cartoon for laughs to.  If only we could be thankful for football in College Station.  Gig’em Aggies, BTHO t.u.

Shane Claiborne in Esquire

Esquire's December Cover

Shane Claiborne wrote an article for this months Esquire.  Here is the article and here is what he has to say about it.

I am mostly in agreeance with Clairborne accept for his last statements.  He makes it seem like God will save the whole world simply because He can.  I believe He can, I believe He wants to, but I also believe He will only save the ones who choose to love him, by following His son Jesus.

I hope that the people I know that don’t believe in or follow Jesus will end up in Heaven, but I know that they won’t if they don’t follow end up following Jesus here on earth.  As Claiborne put it, God wants His Kingdom to come to earth, and that means He wants people to follow Him now, today.  If you miss that boat, you miss the Kingdom altogether.

Claiborne does make good points about the Church’s image now.  Again, I think this is because the Church has lost sight of God’s Kingdom and gotten too wrapped up in the empire of this world, in politics, culture, etc.

What do you think of Claiborne’s article?  Isn’t it cool that Esquire asked him to write it?  I think its funny that the more radical our faith is the more people take notice of it.

Kennedy v Tobin

Bishop Thomas Tobin and RI Rep. Patrick Kennedy

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy may not be attending mass this next weekend.  His Bishop, Thomas J. Tobin, asked him not to receive holy communion since his actions and statements about abortion were not lining up with the Catholic belief, according to a New York Times article.

Kennedy is not enthused about this recent development in the twos public feud that has been going on for a couple of months now.  Kennedy has been attacking the Catholic Church’s position on the healthcare legislation, specifically its pro-life stance, and its threats to pull support for any bill that covers abortion.

Bishop Tobin has been an outspoken critic of Kennedy, saying he is concerned for his well being (Kennedy has been in and out of rehab for substance abuse, according to this article), and that Kennedy has been acting “erratically”.  The Bishop said that if this is how he is going to continue on, then he should look elsewhere to foster his faith.

I see the Bishop’s point.  If someone is a part of the church, but out speaking against it, and disowning a core belief of the church, that life is to be cherished, then he should look elsewhere to attend.  People may criticize the Bishop’s move, but I think it is good to note that he did not make this public, Kennedy did.  Bishop Tobin only speaks about his decision now because Kennedy made it public.

Kennedy obviously has an agenda here, and the Bishop is caught up in this public feud, trying to defend his church and its position.  The fact that this ugly feud is playing out before the publics eyes is unfortunate, but it is not only the fault of the Bishop, but Kennedy as well.

This is an interesting feud, and I will continue to watch it unfold.  What do you think?  Should Kennedy be speaking out so much against the church he claims to be apart of?  Should the church be allowed to basically disown him?  Tell me in the comments section.

Declaration of Religious Freedom

Chuck Colson’s blog on The Christian Post today is  claiming that Christians need to stand up for religious freedom.  He argues that we should be standing up against the recent wave of anti-Christianity that he says is sweeping out country.

The Manhattan Declaration covers three areas: life, marriage, and religious freedom.  These are the things that the signers feel are under attack and they are not going to take it anymore.

While I agree with most of the things in the declaration, and even think that Christians should stand up for these three areas, I think this declaration is a step in the wrong direction.  We need not stand up for our right to preach the gospel, we should just preach it.  We are too worried about government restricting our freedoms and ability to do what we believe, we have stopped doing it, in order to fight to be able to do it.

The declaration should be one that simply says, we will follow Jesus, wherever that takes me, even to jail, even to death.

Our country has been wrestling with many issues that religion plays a huge factor in.  Let us night be fighting for our own rights in those issues, but let us fight for people to hear about Jesus and to know the love of God.

I encourage you to read the declaration and post your thoughts below.  I think most of it is dead on, I just think that we are spending too much time on things like this instead of just simply living out what we believe.  I am curious to know what you think.

Psalm 109

This blog post on beliefnet about using Psalm 109 as a prayer for Obama, as some people have been doing, is so good I can’t think of anything I would like to add.  I urge you to check it out and to remember:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Romans 15:1

Let us pray for his success not his failure and demise.

The Church Went Rogue

Rod Dreher wrote up a review of Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue.  In that interview he asserts that conservatives are becoming good at shirking responsibility and acting the victim.  He says, “As has often been noted, in this way of thinking, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. Or betrayed. Same with conservatives.”

Then I started thinking, the American Church thinks similarly.  My previous post identifies it.  Instead of looking at how the homosexual community feels about their actions, they continue to claim to be the victim of persecution.  We continue to assert that if our country would only follow our morality, there wouldn’t be any problems.  It isn’t that the Church is failing now, its that the country is failing the Church now.

I am going to say something controversial, I know that I said I would try to avoid it, but its coming out anyway.  Maybe the Church is failing in America and thats our biggest problem.  Maybe we are failing, and instead of looking outward for the solution, we need to get back to what the Church is supposed to be about.

So this quote from Dreher’s blog, insert Church where it says Palin.

How much better this past year would have been spent had Palin(the Church) used it to read and study. It’s this unreflective quality that puts me off Palin(the Church), and you really do see that come out in her book.

Using Palin as an analogy for the Church might be stretching, but I think it fits.  We have had a rough go for sure, but we are dwelling in bitterness that things didn’t and aren’t going the way we want instead of moving forward with what we should do and need to be doing.