Archive for December, 2006

The Christian Coalition Misses the Boat Again

December 8, 2006

I am always thrilled to see other Christians who recognize the wide range of their responsibilities to their fellow man—and I’m likewise saddened to see how often those people are thwarted by their own Christian brethren.

The Christian Coalition has been a force in U.S. politics for over twenty years, making a crusade out of such issues as abortion and homosexuality. But for the second time in just over a year, the once-powerful organization has had a change in leadership. On November 29, it was reported that Reverend Joel Hunter would resign from his post.

One of the primary reasons for the Hunter’s departure was that he had proposed that the Coalition broaden its agenda. He was eager add poverty, the eradication of AIDS, and global warming to the list of interests the organization could address. Many within the group were wary of such issues, and some state chapters had even cited Hunter’s efforts as a reason for breaking away from the Coalition.

Rev. Hunter put his interest very succinctly.

My position is, unless we are caring as much for the vulnerable outside the womb as inside the womb, we’re not carrying out the full message of Jesus.

I’m thrilled that such a prominent Christian leader as Reverend Hunter gets the message of Christ. And I’m dismayed that so many who take the name of Christ seem to miss the big picture it presents.

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Green Eyes in Africa

December 2, 2006

Yesterday on KCPW, Ryan Hansen, founder of the Green Eyes in Africa, presented his story about the condition of orphans in Cameroon and his efforts to open the New Hope Orphanage there. It is quite an inspiring story. Give it a listen here, under December 1.

Wreaths, Wars on Christmas, and the Prince of Peace

December 1, 2006

By now, many people have heard of the hysteria in Pagosa Springs, Colorado over Lisa Jensen’s Christmas wreath cum peace sign.

Christian scholar and author Diana Butler Bass has provided rather keen insight on the subject.

This isn’t the first time that people have erroneously accused a perfectly innocent symbol of being anti-Christian or part of a “War on Christmas.” In my youth, I remember my elders vigorously objecting to the use of the term “Xmas” to refer to the holiday commemorating the birth of our Savior. According to these people, that term was part of a sinister campaign by Satanic forces to take “Christ” out of Christmas. What they fail to realize is that “Xmas” has been in use use for at least a millennium. In Greek, the lingua franca of the Classical world, the letter “chi” is the first letter of the word “Christ.” It was quite common during the middle-ages to abbreviate as much as possible (just as we do in texting today), because writing was fairly laborious and writing surfaces expensive. Christ was commonly abbreviated simply with the “chi”—translated from the Greek characters to the Roman letter “x.” Do you see where this is going? It is quite a leap to assume that the legitimate abbreviation of our Lord’s title (Christ being a title, not a name) somehow secularizes the celebration.

Yet again, too many people act rather silly, attacking superficial elements like “Xmas,” “Happy Holidays,” and peace signs instead of the more genuine—if more subtle—threats to the spirit of Christmas. Isn’t war—particularly a tragically ill-conceived and poorly-implemented war—a greater affront to the celebration of the Prince of Peace than a sign symbolizing the hope for peace? Rather than fretting over whether or not they are trying to take Christ out of Christmas, shouldn’t we be more worried about whether or not we’ve let the holiday become so materialistic and commercial that our Lord might not even want his name associated with the celebration?