Pastor Robert Jeffress has the grinchalert website in order to chastise those who dare offend his view of how Christmas ought to be handled. As the Dallas Morning News puts it:
The website points out those who don’t acknowledge the religious meaning of Christmas. Chief offenders are companies and groups that say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”You gotta be kidding me. There’s crime, poverty, drug abuse, murder and mayhem all over Dallas and the most prominent pastor is apoplectic about some retailer who says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”?
With the largest building program in the history of the SBC in his pocket and paid (or pledged) for does Jeffress really need to be this demagogic about Christmas?
Is Christ honored if Christians form a holy crusade to punish all who don’t handle Christmas like they think it should be handled?
Let’s see, here’s a ma and pa business that puts up a “Happy Holidays” banner in their store or restaurant rather than a "Merry Christmas" one. "Drive the clowns out of business!" manicured, well-coiffed followers of Christ rage.
Is the cause of Christ advanced by punishing them for this offense? I think not.
While in Kenya some years ago, I was struck by the ubiquitous portrait of the country’s strongman president, Daniel Arap-Moi. Almost everywhere I went - homes, businesses, offices, public places - I found his stern visage staring down at me. Seems Kenyans knew the value of respecting the president, or, more accurately, knew the consequence of not respecting him.
And is anyone not aware that there are laws in Islamic countries that punish (death penalty in some places) those who disrespect the prophet Mohammed. “Backward, evil miscreants” we might say about that.
So, why in freedom-loving, heavily Christian America do we want to stir up the masses to punish fellow citizens – restauranteurs, private businesses, small town politicians - for disrespecting Christmas? And what’s the difference, aside from the fact that the chief demagogue wears an expensive suit instead of a head covering?
One might ask, are we more interested in lost people respecting Christmas or coming to Christ?
[Jeffress has walked back the concept somewhat, disassociating himself from boycotts, for example. Still, people are invited to serve as the Christmas police and list offenders. Bah humbug.]
William - the controversy surrounding this really threw Jeffress for a loop, I think. If you listen to his explanation given to his church following his 12/12 a.m. sermon, he actually said him doing this was an important part of Christians being the "salt of the earth", to preserve society from decay.
He sent so many mixed messages during his interview. At the start of the controversy he said they were providing a forum where these issues could be discussed - no, it was heavily moderated, with only a few business making the naughty list. There was no "discussion" whatsoever. He distanced himself from the concept of a "boycott" concept, but clearly it was meant to intimidate or shame businesses for behaving in a way Jeffress things is un-Christian.
Then he said it was just a light hearted attempt to make a serious point, and that no harm was meant, etc. etc. But then he tells the congregation that this is part of standing up to the "infidels and atheists". So he wasn't sure what it was all about himself, and he wasn't prepared for the criticism. As he said Sunday a.m, he has received more criticism over this than even his controversial comments on homosexuals and Muslims the past year!
I agree completely with your assessment. While it may have been a light hearted attempt to make a point, this stunt helps further the stereotype amongst non-Christians that evangelicals are shallow, ignorant boobs. :)
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