Wednesday, December 24, 2014

VIDEO: Watch and See What Christmas Is

Share with your friends and family ... so they better understand the blessing at the end of the line!
video

Christmas With a Capital "C"

As of this writing, the GoFish song "Christmas with a Capital C" is one of the most requested songs on Christian radio. This song sampled my Christmas rant from “Put a Helmet On!” and has well over 17 MILLION hits on YouTube. The song and my routine is simply a response to the politically correct nonsense that has essentially censored the age-old American tradition of celebrating Christmas in stores, schools and businesses.

Of course “Christmas” itself is not being censored in that there is still a break given to school kids nation wide that has somehow morphed into a celebration of snow and winter, because after all, who doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy inside when they see slush and freezing rain? It is the use of the word Christmas and its religious connotations that are being erased of course. The fact that we still have stores selling gifts, ribbon, trees, wrapping paper, tinsel, stars, ornaments, and the green and red theme colors is a sad testimony to what political correctness does to truth.

Even though all of these items are here ONLY because of Christmas, (not Hanukah or Kwanza or Ramadan) they pretend it isn’t there and by doing so it will force it to disappear. My beef with this fascism in the name of sensitivity by the way is not saying we shouldn’t be respectful of non-Christians and dissenting viewpoints. My problem was that this tradition has existed for well over 150 years in America. It is not about forcing non-Christians to celebrate Christmas, it is the fact that it has been taken away from everyone. Removing something that always was is a far cry from forcing it on others.

I could quibble about the immaturity and lack of tolerance from the small minority that is apparently outraged and traumatized by a dogmatic religion that would pound us over the head with such intolerant a concept as “Peace on earth good will towards men” when it suddenly occurred to me. Christmas is a gift. Christmas is a celebration of God almighty humbling Himself towards His creation in creating an opportunity for humanity to be restored to fellowship with its creator. Yet even from its inception there were those that refused the gift. Those who want the grace and forgiveness and love but are adamant that they want nothing to do with repentance, humbleness, and sanctification.

What has happened in America is a natural outcropping of the fallen man and his rebellion. We will accept God in small doses and only under the caveat that we get to decide who God is and what role He will be permitted to affect our behavior. We have the proof even in some Christian denominations that have kept the Jesus of “love” as long as love doesn’t conflict with the new cultural norm of morality. They allow the culture to define their faith instead of the purpose of Christianity and Christmas in redeeming culture.

Does Jesus love us all, you bet. Does love mean no perimeters for our choices? No. That is actually called hate. To allow someone to make choices that are repulsive to God without GENTLY and humbly steering them toward freedom isn’t love at all.

I guess what I’m saying is Christmas will never leave America. It will be celebrated by churches and in the homes of Christ followers who can decorate all they choose (for now). We are to offer the gift of Christmas to everyone and yet allow him or her the option to opt out. I feel sorry for America though. It was at one time such a beautiful tradition for us all. We are post modern now folks and secular, and so now we are to draw inspiration from holiday tree’s and freezing snow and wind to truly bring us as a nation together. What a gift we’ve been given huh?

-Brad Stine

**Brad Stine will be performing at St. Mark on Friday, March 20th!  Tickets on sale now by visiting http://www.stmarkdepere.com/bradstine

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's Your Favorite Christmas Song? Why?

There's just something about Christmas that makes even the worst singers among us belt out those old Christmas songs!  "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams, and "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole are just a few of my favorite Christmas songs.  The tradition in our house is that on the day of Thanksgiving on the way down to visit family we tune into a Christmas radio station so that we can listen to our favorite Christmas songs.

What's your favorite Christmas song?  Why?  I'd like to hear from you what your favorite Christmas song is and why.  But let me ask a question: Why do you like to listen to your favorite Christmas songs?  Is it because they bring up favorite memories?  Is it because it just sounds cool?  What's the reason?

Let me ask you another question: Do you consider what Jesus did for you something worth singing about?  The apostle Paul put it this way, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16).  Both the Old and New Testament accounts are filled with the echoes of God's people singing His praises.  Even in heaven we will be singing God's praises (Revelation 5:13).  Why?

Why?  Because God kept His promise and sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to be born in time.  That first Christmas, Jesus wrapped himself in human flesh so that years later on a Friday we call good, He could give His life to save us from our sins and three days later take His life back again to prove that we are forgiven.  The greatest event in world history, the resurrection, would never have happened if Jesus had not been born in time to be our Savior.  That's something worth singing about!  Take a moment to check out this video link that I hope will help you keep Christmas in perspective.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CHRISTMAS QUIZ

Here's a fun quiz you can share with family and friends to share the REAL meaning of the season.  Do the quiz first and THEN look at the answers!  No cheating!

http://www.orlutheran.com/Christmas_Quiz.pdf

http://www.orlutheran.com/Answers.pdf