The following accusations, and oh so many more, have been hurled at me and the church I pastor for years. Seriously, for decades.
Why would any church celebrate Satan’s holiday?
Xmas is taking Christ out of Christmas! What’s wrong with you?
Bunnies have nothing to do with Easter! Why would any Christian degrade or belittle the Cross by coloring an egg?
Before I go on, please hear my heart as you read this post.
You don’t have to agree with me—and many of you won’t—but disagreement is not an excuse for being despicable.
Somewhere along the way, we (i.e., Americans, Christians, humans) have lost the value of civility. We don’t have to like each other, and we don’t have to agree. But if you follow Jesus, common courtesy and graciousness ought to mark your life.
Rude rage doesn’t wear well on those who say they love God and others. In case you’re wondering, the great commandment to love others doesn’t only apply to those we like or to those we agree with.
Okay, so why does Eastpoint do a massive Halloween party (not a Harvest Party or Fall Festival, but Halloween)?
Answer: Because if we can get our unchurched friends and neighbors through our front doors for a fun (and very non-satanic) event designed for their kids, maybe they’ll know we love them and come back someday.
Why do we have a huge reader sign on the street every Christmas inviting people to our XMAS EVE services?
Answer: Because that’s what fits on the reader board. The word “Christmas” literally doesn’t work in the space available. Besides, and I repost this every year, X stands for Christ. So, we haven’t taken Jesus out of anything.
And then, of course, there’s the evil Easter Bunny who’s trying to steal Easter. Oh, for the love of peeps, it’s just for fun! I have never met anyone who rejected the Cross because of a furry creature who hides eggs.
However, I have a bunch of amazing stories about how our church provided a safe and fun place for someone to hear the gospel, and it changed their lives.
What would you do to reach a friend or family member with the good news that could change their eternal destiny?
God gave up His one and only Son, and He sacrificed Jesus to reach you and me. Why do we find it so hard to sacrifice our “religious pet peeves” to reach others? (I wrote more about that here.)
Frequently, modern-day Christians demand that the gospel presentation fit into their narrow model (or worse yet, their denominational bent).
However, here’s what the Apostle Paul said about his passion for reaching the lost.
I became “weak” to the weak to win the weak. I have adapted to the culture of every place I’ve gone so that I could more easily win people to Christ. I’ve done all this so that I would become God’s partner for the sake of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (TPT)
Paul was so committed to reaching people far from God that he adapted to the culture to do so.
He said he would go to any lengths necessary to win people to Jesus.
How about you?
If using a gospel tract works, I’ll use a tract.
If using secular music works, I’ll rock it.
If using a “worldly” holiday or dressing up like Santa works, I’ll be riding that sleigh to reach the people I love.
As a church, we’re trying hard to build bridges rather than barriers to the lost in our area. So, as the founding pastor, I will always encourage our community of faith to do everything we can to reach our city.
As you might expect, the unchurched people we’re trying to reach never complain to me about Halloween, bunnies, Santa Claus, or Xmas.
They don’t care, and they often shake their heads in contempt of Christians who seem to rant and rave about nothing.
I think that breaks the heart of Jesus.
Again, you don’t have to do what I do.
Just obey Jesus.
But like it or not, agree with it or not, we are obeying Jesus in our passionate pursuit of sharing His love with our city.
Jesus said, “I came to search for, seek out,
and give eternal life to those who are far from My Father.”
Luke 19:10. (Bubna Paraphrase)