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December 16, 2017
 
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The Grinch is Alive and Well and Visiting New England Churches

Dec 05 2017

I was reminded this Christmas season of a show we had in a New England church.  It was also During the Advent season, and the church was hosting a Christmas open house.  Our contact person told us that they'd be explaining to people coming to our performance that it had a religious theme, so people might be offended by the message could opt out.  My first response was, "We're used to that. They have to do that when we do prison ministry as well."  

I immediately felt bad about comparing their church openhouse to prison, but before I had time to try to explain my comment, our host continued. It seems that they did this event one other time, and they didn't tell those in attendance that the skit that was performed was "religious" (such a stuffy, pharisaic word") Apparently the church got bad mouthed around town for pulling a "bait and switch." 

Really?

People were offended that a church had a Christian program at Christmas time?  Don't get me wrong, I hate the evangelistic bait and switch.  A professing satanist disrupted my show one time in jail and demanded to be brought back to his cell.  Apparently he hadn't been told in was a special chapel program, and the truth is, in that setting he was right to be upset.  But come on, offended that a church talks about Jesus at a Christmas event! What's next?

Worse than that, though, was the apologetic attitude of this church.  There is a time a place to proclaim, like Saint Paul, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." (Romans 1:16). I am getting sick of this soft sell approach to faith, which is, frankly, a bait and switch that never seems to get around to the switch.  

In another passage by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:33), he warns that "bad company corrupts good morals".  What few people notice is that, in the context of the passage, the "bad company" isn't drunkards, whores or thieves. The bad company in this passage is the Pharisees (the biblical legalists of the era) and the Sadducees (the hip, trendy religious leaders who, more and more, left God out of the equation.) The bad company of modern day Sadducees,it seems, is now corrupting churches. 

It looks like the Grinch has entered our churches, but instead of a sled and his dog, Max, he's trying to remove Christmas with hot cocoa, a welcoming committee, and an official tally of how many people passed through the front doors but never were told why the church existed in the first place.

My apologies to those who were not expecting a "religious" blog on my ministry's web site.


 

 

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I just wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

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