A Time and a Place

This afternoon, while preparing for Sunday, I noticed a Facebook post from a pastor in Pakistan sharing the joy of this year’s Easter celebration. Of course, it didn’t take long for some “well-meaning” Christian to strip away any joy from the post. An American believer responded with the tired old: “Easter is a pagan Roman Catholic holiday.” Now, before you jump on the bandwagon and try to convince me that Easter is evil and sells out the faith along with Christmas and other holidays, let me tell you what bothers me so much about the discussion—a discussion I am more than familiar with, having discussed it for decades.
The first thing bothering me is the absolute inability to celebrate what another church is doing without jumping in with judgment. Here we have a brother celebrating the resurrection of our Lord in a land where doing so makes one into a target. Then, assuming he has any right to speak against such a brother, we hear from one who will likely never actually suffer anything greater than a bit of ridicule for his Lord. I’m sorry, but I’ll put the faith of a brother in Pakistan, China, Cuba or any number of other nations up against the faith of most of my fellow American Christians—including my own faith!
The second thing bothering me is how much of what we see as so important is nothing but a symptom of our own affluence and freedom. We have time to argue and fight with one another about whether Easter or Christmas should be celebrated because our faith costs so little. Christians in America are, comparatively speaking, wealthy. We can afford to waste time with such arguments because we have so much time to waste. If we were locked in a constant struggle to eat we would have no time for such things. If we were assaulted daily for our faith we would not be so cavalier about driving wedges between ourselves and other brethren.
We in the US have time and leisure to argue, fight and divide. It is just sad to see this spoiled nature vomit out when a brother in a persecuted land shares the blessings of our Lord’s service.
This brother’s mean-spirited petty response to the praises of another is a perfect symbol of so much of American Christianity. Does this mean we should never discuss such issues or debate them? Of course not! But we must understand that such discussions are our privilege because of the freedoms we enjoy. We should not smack our unfree brethren upside the head with them—no matter how important we may believe them to be.
Remember, as the teacher said, “There is a time and a place for everything.” There is one important lesson all of us Christians can learn. We must all learn “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” –Mark Twain

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Ken Cluck
Senior Pastor at Resurgent
Ken has served in various cultures and settings, including two Native American reservations, rural communities, Korean churches, and has worked with Asian refugees living in the US.

Ken's passions are Theology, Philosophy (especially Philosophy of Religion, Ethics and Logic), History and Politics.

Ken has been married to his wife, Yong, since 1987. She is the center of his world and the greatest joy of his life.