"Holiday Tree? I Don't Think So!"
December 10, 2012
If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar. Acts 25:11
And the "Christmas! Bah! Humbug! Award" of the week goes to ...
Western Piedmont Community College in North Carolina.
It seems that one of the campus student clubs, the BEST Society, wanted to raise some money for charity. For that purpose they decided to sell Christmas trees. In order to get the word out through school announcements, the BEST Society filled out the necessary paperwork.
The ad they wanted to run simply read, "The BEST Society will be selling Christmas Trees." In late October the school ran the ad as requested; but then some authorities made a politically correct decision and the ad was changed to read: "The BEST Society will be selling Holiday Trees."
I don't know what a "Holiday Tree" is. Neither do some of the other folks in North Carolina. The BEST Society lost considerable revenue as one person after another called in and said, "Sorry, I'm not buying a tree from you. I want a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree." When the BEST Society protested the change in the announcement, an official told them, "We cannot market your trees in association with a Christian event."
That might have been the end of things if lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom had not come forward and followed Paul's example by appealing to a higher authority. For Paul the higher authority was Caesar... for the ADF the appeal was directed to the Constitution. As ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp said: "Not only is it perfectly constitutional to use the word 'Christmas,' it is unconstitutional to prohibit the use of it."
Confronted by the facts and faced with the possibility of a lawsuit, the authorities at the college saw the light, reversed their decision, and today the BEST Society is, once again, selling "Christmas Trees."
Amazing, isn't it?
When Jesus was born, Herod did his best to erase the Savior's Name and stop Him from fulfilling His mission of saving us. After 2,000 years of history, authorities are still doing the same.
Still, the Savior's sacrificial story of salvation continues on and the Holy Spirit uses things like Christmas trees to get that story out to people who might not otherwise have heard it. In short, the Lord is still using the small and the insignificant things, things like Christmas trees, to share the "greatest story ever told"...
God's Son has come to rescue sinners.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, call to repentance those who would prohibit the worship of the Savior and the sharing of His life. To that end, help us take a stand so the Gospel may be shared without prohibition or prevention. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries