Archive for December, 2010

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I’m Offended That They’re Offended

Monday, December 27th, 2010

If you’re not familiar with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), they are an organization of trained legal professionals that specialize in taking on court cases where the rights of Christians have been violated. In recent days, they took on a case in Colorado Springs, Colorado that involved a middle school student named Cainan Gostnell who felt that he had to stop wearing his cross to school for fear of being punished by Mann Middle School where he attends as a 7th grader. It all began when an announcement was made by the school that all students wearing religious jewelry would either have to conceal it or stop wearing it due to the fact that some people in his school are “offended” by it. The ACLJ came to the aid of this young student by sending a demand letter to the school. As a result, the attorney from the school district responded to the ACLJ’s legal team with a letter stating that “Cainan may continue to wear and display his cross at school….”

For the life of me, I’ve never understood why any business or any school would establish its rules and policies on the basis of whether or not it might offend someone. Furthermore, I don’t understand why any state or federal government would pass laws on that basis because it seems rather pointless. A few years ago, during the month of December, a co-worker of mine had approached management and asked if he could decorate his workspace with Christmas decorations. Having received permission to do so, he proceeded to put up the decorations. As I expected, the other employees allowed him to do so without objecting to it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many businesses, offices, and schools in America today. When I was growing up, it was not unusual to see a Nativity scene on display in various public places. However, to do so today is almost guaranteed to draw criticism from those who object to it. As is often the case, they might even insist that the display be removed because it’s “offensive” to them.

Looking back on that day when my friend put up his decorations, I’ve tried to imagine what I might have done if someone had gone to management with the complaint that they were offended by his display. I think that an appropriate response would have been for me to follow up by going to management myself and explaining to them that if they make him take it down, then I will be offended! While I’m at it, I would also point out to them that they now have the unenviable position of having to decide which one of us they’re willing to offend and which of us they don’t want to offend. To make matters worse, if they choose to side with the other guy, I’ll be even MORE offended by the fact that they were willing to offend me in order to avoid offending him! Do you see how ridiculous the whole matter becomes?

The lesson in all of this is that it’s unreasonable, irrational, and counterproductive for any business, school, or government to establish laws, policies, rules, and regulations purely on the basis that it might “offend” someone. The fact of the matter is that everything is offensive to someone, and everyone is offended by something- it’s human nature and it’s unavoidable.

Posted in Christianity and Culture | 1 Comment »

It’s Time to Put CHRIST Back in CHRISTmas

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I’m running a little late in getting my Christmas cards out this year.  Normally, I try to send them out right after Thanksgiving, but the past few weeks have been so hectic that I’m just now getting around to it.  So, there I was at the local Christian bookstore looking over the various DaySpring cards that are out this year, when I came across a quote on the front of one card that really stood out to me.  It was a quote by Roy Lessin and it reads as follows:

“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.”

In a day when Christmas has become so commercialized and the very word “Christmas” has practically been removed from our culture, we must never, ever forget what Christmas is really all about.  As Roy Lessin has so beautifully stated, God sent his only Son (Jesus Christ) into this world because our greatest need was a Savior.

Why do we need a Savior?

Because:

  1. God is holy and we’re not.
  2. ALL of us have knowingly, willingly, repeatedly violated God’s laws.  Therefore, we are all guilty and we know it.  We are all lawbreakers.
  3. Most people do not see themselves that way.  Instead, most people would describe themselves as “basically a good person”.   The reason they’ve come to that conclusion is because they are measuring themselves by a standard that they invented.
  4. The BAD news is that God is not going to measure us by our own, subjective standard.  He is going to measure us by his standard.
  5. According to God’s standard, all of us have been found guilty, and guilty people cannot and will not escape the justice of a holy God.
  6. The GOOD news (“Gospel”) is that this same God who is perfectly just, demonstrated his love for us in the most profound way by sending his Son into this world to eventually die on a cross in order to pay the penalty for our offenses against him.  God has made us a magnanimous offer:  Anyone and everyone who is willing to humble themselves and receive his Son by surrendering their lives to him will be pardoned on the Day of Judgment.  Their case will be dismissed, all charges will be dropped, and they will be granted the incredible privilege of living in the presence of God forever and ever.

I realize that such a message is offensive to many people today.  But, as with anything else in life, it’s not a question of whether we like it or not, it’s a matter of whether or not it’s really TRUE. (By the way, for anyone who may be struggling with some doubts, I would like to recommend an excellent book titled, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler).

It is my hope that you’ve already made a decision to follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.   But for those of you who have never made a decision to surrender your life to him,  I would like to invite you to make that decision this Christmas.

From my family to yours,  I want to wish all of you a very merry CHRISTmas!

Posted in Theology | 1 Comment »

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  • In today's world, there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to matters of truth, meaning, morality, our origin, and our destiny. The purpose of Renewed Thoughts is to bring clarity to such issues by examining them in light of a Biblical worldview, using the tools of science, philosophy, and critical thinking.