Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Easter Bunny is a Christian? Who Knew?

It's a sign of the times. The principal of Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama has banned the Easter bunny because, as she explained it, "people relate the Easter bunny to religion." Really? What kind of religion? Fertility rites? Actually, I've heard of people who think the Easter bunny is part of Christianity. These are the same people who see Christmas trees and Santa Claus as manifestations of Christianity. In other words, people are so gobsmacked ignorant of the Bible these days that even the most elemental acquaintance with Scripture is beyond them.

I talked recently with a man who assured me that although he isn't religious, doesn't know enough of the Bible to quote even a little bit, he doesn't need to go to church because "He lives it" - Christianity, that is.

Right. He lives it but he skipped all those parts about "If you love me, you'll keep my commandments" including the one about "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is..."

When people are so stupendously ignorant of biblical truth, it should not surprise us when they try to insult Christians by doing things that only serve to display their own ignorance to the point of embarrassment, if they could be embarrassed. Like the student in one of my classes at Wright State University, a professed atheist who blurted out in class "Do you know the Bible teaches the world was created in 4004 B.C.?" Uh, no. It doesn't. That's Bishop Usher's dating system, not the Lord's.

So now we have this teacher who is trying to be politically correct by doing away with the Easter bunny so as to not show favoritism towards Christians. What she doesn't know is that many evangelicals have been trying to do away with the Easter bunny (and all those left-over, hard-boiled eggs) for years. Let's all pretend to be offended. Maybe we can be rid of yet another pagan attachment to the gospel.

I just hope the principal doesn't catch on. Come to think of it, I think we're safe.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Will You Pray For Us?"

The officer was not serious when he asked the question. Typical for that hour of the morning, we were spending our time enjoying some coffee before hitting the streets. It was not coincidence that we were loitering in one of the most often robbed convenience stores in the area. To say they were pleased with our lollygagging around is a massive understatement. The bad guys know our routine by now, no doubt. But there's nothing wrong with robbers knowing not to show up.
At any rate, the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee, sans doughnuts, provides more than enough time to rib one another unmercifully about most anything. That was the occasion for the unexpected request: "Will you pray for us?"
I replied in a bit more serious tone, "I always pray for you guys." And that is indeed the truth.
But the police officer was not quite satisfied.
"No, will you really pray for us?"
He was still laughing, not really serious, when he said it, but this time he struck a nerve with me.
How often do we pray for people like  we pray for a long list of missionaries? You know what I mean: "Bless the missionaries."
What does that mean?
Prayers so general that they really say nothing also accomplish nothing. If we are going to actually mean anything for anyone, we need to pray in ways that are more precise, more meaningful. The Lord might as well ask - and in fact, I think He has - "Would you like to be a bit more specific?"
Nothing could be more important than precise and meaningful prayer when we are praying for, say, police officers who are about to put their lives in danger. Or a loved one about to go through surgery. Or a family facing the death of a loved one.
You get the idea. There's a lot of difference between praying and really praying.
If you know what I mean.