Darkness in the “Holiday” lights

Jesus doesn’t leave us in the dark.  He is Light.

Matthew 6:19-24  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  (emphasis mine).

Read on or visit this blog by TRUTH MATTERS

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Topeka Bible Church Taking Christ Out Of Christmas To Reach The Unbelievers

Is this just another bait and switch idea or a Biblically sound idea to reach the lost? A worship arts director takes Christ out of Christmas to reach the lost.

Here is yet another example of a church believing their man-made way is better than God’s. Below is an article written this week by Topeka Bible Church’s Worship Arts Director, Bryan Nelson. I would like to ask Bryan, is this your own human reasoning or a Bible based technique? I would encourage you, Bryan, to go into the public and boldly proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. This approach will be honoring to God!

According to Bryan, they will be teaching the Gospel at some point…that is if in fact some “unchurched” people decide to attend their church through this light show. Having this light show is not wrong but we at Truth Matters question the philosphy that says we need to hide our Christianity to get people to show up.

HERE is the article…

Yes, I did it. And I did it on purpose. And I’m glad I did it. I thought about it long and hard, but I took Christ out of Christmas. Allow me to explain.
Our church is putting together an event that synchronizes lights on a 3-story building with live musicians in 11 different windows and it’s all broadcast via a low-power FM radio station. Last year was the first year, and there were 4,000+ people who came. It was great. Last year we called it the “Christmas Light Show.”
This year on the promotional information the word ‘Christmas’ is substituted by the word ‘Holiday.’ Why did I do that? Because I really enjoy offending Christians. Seriously, it’s because of speaking the language of our target audience. Our target crowd are those who don’t celebration Christmas or fully embrace the Christmas story. These are people who don’t typically attend to church, want to go to a Christmas Eve service, or maybe don’t believe or know the biblical Christmas story at all. That being the case, I’ve thought hard about what we call this event to connect with this crowd.
Let’s say I recieved an invitation to a Hanukkah Light Show by a friend. And let’s say I also recieved an invitation to a Holiday Light Show by another friend. If they were held at the same time, which would I attend? Well, if I was selecting simply on the title – the Holiday Light Show. Why? I don’t know much about Hanukkah. What’s the story behind Hanukkah? I think it’s for Jewish people, but am I allowed to go? Are they gonna do something freaky that I’m not going to understand? Do I want my kids to ask me a bizzillion questions about the manaora and what are the caps for? Maybe. Maybe not. Frankly, I would tend to steer clear because it’s the unknown-ness of Hanukkah. The word Holiday tends to resonate with the general public. They know what the word holiday means. It’s universal.
Let me be clear on two reasons that I didn’t substitute the word. First, substituting the word ‘Christmas’ was NOT an attempt to avoid offending people with the truth. The light show at TBC has the potential to offend some with the truth of the biblical story of Christmas. I understand that – am I’m OK with that. Why? Because I believe it’s the truth – and the greatest story ever told.
Secondly, substituting the word ‘Christmas’ is not an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas, but to put Christ into people’s holiday. On the contrary, the purpose of the light show is to attract those that don’t know about Christ in an attempt to INJECT Christ INTO their Christmas (or their holiday season as they call it). If you come in your vehicle and listen to the narration, Christ is the centerpiece. He will always be the centerpiece. But when we are attempting to connect with a crowd that doesn’t know Christ is the centerpiece to begin with – we gotta speak their language so they understand.

I wonder if the angels said to God – “No, no, no…You can’t become like one of them…You can’t go in the form of a human baby!” I can almost hear God’s reply, “Yes I do. I need to become like them of them so they can understand my purpose for coming.” God not only used a language we would understand, He did it to INJECT Himself into this world!

End of post.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Is God’s ability to draw men to himself so impotent that He needs men to coax, deceive, lure (and any other method you’ve seen used) people in order to capture their attention with ‘holiday lights’  rather than with ‘Father of lights’?  Is the Light of the world not beautiful enough to save men from darkness? 

What does this veiled approach to ‘going and telling’ communicate to the lost world about the Christ we say we love and adore…so much so that we keep His name hidden from view lest someone actually meet him. 

The Cross is not innocuous.  The Gospel is not veiled.  Jesus Christ is victorious.  Let’s stop acting like the world has something better to offer and scheming to ‘trick’ some of them into a false gospel.  If you know who God is…if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…if you call on the name of the LORD – then you will be saved and your ‘hell-bound life now’ will be crucified with Christ…it will no longer be you living but Christ living in you…by faith in the Son of God who purchased your redemption in full with His blood.



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