Archive for the ‘Christian’ Tag

It’s Just a Red Cup . . . OR Is It?   Leave a comment

Starbucks_Holiday_Cups-lowres
I woke today to another battle, another call to action . . . social media full of rants on an extremely vital topic for today’s modern Christ-follower. The war of the red cup. The assault on Christianity by the absence of Holiday fare by Starbucks. Can we all take a step back and look at the big picture here?

Today there is a war on people. There is a war on Christians. And it’s not being fought with a red cup. 700, 000 migrants so far have reached Europe, hoping to escape persecution. Thousands more never made it. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911)

Ask this little boy’s family what persecution looks like . . . most of his family is dead . . . but ask the survivors . . . What were the options? He couldn’t boycott the local coffee shop and win his battle.
refugeeboy
Ask the families of these Christians . . . beheaded for their faith. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1176709/ISIS-behead-shoot-30-Ethiopian-Christians-Libya.html) What were their options? No one was asking their persecutors to sign anything on the cup they were about to guzzle down. The only cup they got to drink was the cup of Christ’s sufferings. (Matt 20:22).
christians-beheaded
There are thousands more stories and pictures I could share here. Just google “persecution of Christians”. I PROMISE you that nothing about Starbucks or a red cup will show up on your search.

I’m not sure when North America became so spoiled. Maybe it always was, and I didn’t notice, because it’s all I knew. But it appears as if it’s become common practice to cry “persecution” every time a person or group doesn’t follow Christian values . . . to claim bigotry any time someone doesn’t agree with your stand. I have to wonder. What are we doing?! Do we really think this is persecution? Are we THAT melodramatic? I hate to say it, but I think maybe we are. I’m not saying persecution doesn’t exist on North American soil. It certainly does. I’m just asking for a little bit of perspective. Are you REALLY being persecuted by a red cup or when someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”?

Rachel Held Evans has a nifty little chart that can help you answer that questions:
http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/holidays-persecuted

If you’re pretty sure you aren’t being persecuted, but want to make sure you aren’t persecuting anyone else in your greeting, this should help you (http://www.joeydevilla.com/2013/12/08/the-flowchart-for-dealing-with-greetings-this-holiday-season/):
holiday-greeting-flowchart
As the Holidays near, the war to keep “Christ in Christmas” will certainly escalate. I wonder, though, should the battle be more about keeping “Christ in the Christian” and then He will be in EVERY DAY, including Christmas? But what about the war on Christmas?! There is a war . . . but it’s so much bigger than Christmas. It’s a war on humanity, and war on God’s creation . . . and war on God’s children. We’re over here fighting wars about cups, when there is a war on people. The war on Christianity is so much more subtle on North American soil than red cup and rainbow profile pictures. It is the battlefield of the mind, the battlefield of media, the battlefield of theologies and philosophies . . . battles that are mainly being lost due to “friendly fire”. What war are you fighting?

We were called to be a light in the darkness. There IS darkness. Ask yourself . . . are you a light in it? Light dispels darkness just by BEING what it was created to be. Are you BEING LIGHT or are you spending all your time shadow-boxing? This is where the battles are won or lost.

“For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light”
Ephesians 5:8

Here are some highly rated organizations you can partner with to be light around the world:
www.savethechildren.org
www.samaritanspurse.org/
www.convoyofhope.org

You can find even more here:
www.charitynavigator.org

Posted November 8, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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Why I Don’t Celebrate Halloween . . . And Neither Should You!   2 comments

halloween

I don’t celebrate Halloween. Right now, either you are applauding me or rolling your eyes . . . Ready for a history lesson on the pagan origins of Halloween? Well, I hate to disappoint. I think it’s common knowledge at this point that traditionally people dressed up in superstitious belief that it would scare away evils spirits. It’s also common knowledge that pagans, Satanist, wiccans, and a variety of other “non-Christian” groups do celebrate the spiritual forces they serve on October 31st . So, do you celebrate Halloween? Are you dressing your children as princesses, celebrities and super heroes as a tribute to Satan? Are you selling your soul for a night of candy and parties?

Well, I’m not, and chances are, neither are you. There is a good chance that you fall in one of two categories. Either you choose not to participate or you celebrate. Before you automatically put yourself in the “don’t participate” category, ask yourself something: Do you on or around October 31st attend a “Fall Fest”, likely including candy, games, and maybe even some bible character costumes? Why don’t you just bump yourself over to the celebrate category? The reality is, outside of hiding in your house with the blinds closed and the porch light off, you celebrate. You celebrate the same thing I do . . . and it’s not Halloween. Halloween is the label we use for a day, sometimes several days, of harmless decorations, costumes, and parties. It is only a true pagan or satanic holiday to a small portion of the population, and chances they won’t be celebrating the same way you are, at the same places. So if that’s not you, you don’t really celebrate the traditional Halloween of history . . . you celebrate something else, and so do I. Community. We celebrate community.

Have I always celebrated community on October 31st? No, I used to celebrate Halloween . . . in the sense that the history of the day always overshadowed my experience. I was one of THOSE kids. The kids that were pulled out of class if there was going to be any kind celebration that included dressing up, candy or pumpkins. I was one of those kids that thought up a different bible character each year to wear to the church “fall fest”. There was usually candy, but the price for it was being forced to watch a lengthy video about the history of Halloween, which, to be truthful, was absolutely terrifying for me. I was terrified of Halloween. Every shadow could possibly be a demon that has been summoned by the ungodly celebrations going on around me. There was so much fear surrounding the entire day for me . . . not only did I feel spiritually powerless, but it was also extremely socially awkward for me. So, as an adult, I’ve decided that Satan doesn’t get even a single day of my life. If there is a fun event in the community going on, I’m there with my child often leading the way . . . it doesn’t matter what day of the year it is, and I’m not going to let an entire day be dedicated to intentionally NOT doing something. I’m deeply confident that every plan I have to celebrate on October 31st will be spent surrounded by people who have a common interest in celebrating nothing more than community.

If you truly fit in the “don’t participate” category, I’m not trying to convince you that you SHOULD celebrate with your community on October 31st. I’m saying, let the rest of us off the hook. Stop telling me I’m less of a Christian because I celebrate. Knock it off, seriously. I completely support your decision to hang out at home, with your porch light off watching movies. I’m not asking you to agree with me, or even change your mind about it. I’m just asking you to maybe change your approach to those of us who do choose to celebrate. But how will they know we are Christians if we participate is such “worldly rituals”? John 3:35 tells us By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” So if you are full of love sitting on your couch, or full of love running door to door . . . THEY WILL KNOW.

Let’s make a deal, how about if you don’t assume I’m celebrating a pagan Holiday as a Christian on October 31st, and I won’t assume that you worship the fertility goddess when you put up your Christmas tree? If you truly have convictions about not celebrating anything that was ever historically connected to Celtic traditions, paganism, druidism or idolatry, by all means, follow your convictions. I commend you. Be true to yours, and I’ll be true to mine. How about we all give each other space to “work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12)?

Regardless of what you choose to do on October 31st, I pray it is blessed and full of joy. I pray that the enemy doesn’t get a moment of glory in your words or actions, and that darkness is not glorified in any way. I pray that fear is far from you, that you are so full of love that fear can’t exist. I pray that you celebrate . . . daily . . . and that this day is no different.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

Posted October 30, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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