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Easter Costs Less At Walmart

Quaker Way

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A tragic development in modern Christian faith has been the secularization of religious holidays. This has resulted in Easter becoming nothing more than costumes and candy and Christmas becoming nothing more than the World Series of Obsessive Spending. I can't think of any other religion that has allowed itself to be degraded to this point. Certainly other religious holidays may have their celebration-related 'accessories' sold to the faithful, but not a single cry of outrage and 'Enough!' can be heard from the official orthodox pulpits. This has, in my thinking, much to do about the failure of The Church to attract new members. There is no organized distancing between the Christian orthodox church and use of Christian holidays as a way to turn people of faith into simple consuming machines. If the Christian is to ever regain a position as a faith, it must first regain its own understanding of what is sacred....and what is profane. Any thoughts?

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Hi Russ,


Actually, it doesn't seem to me to be anything new. Perhaps people from all times have always loved celebrations and holiday feasts and accesories more than the original intent of the that which was to be sacred. In the OT Jews were commaned to .......

And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:

1 Chron 23:31 (KJV)

which they were recorded later being chastised for....

Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

Isaiah 1:13-14 (KJV)


Just one mans view,


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It is Easter Sunday morning. And I am not in church. Instead I am posting a message to a message board. On perhaps the most important day for Christians I do not have a place to go to that I feel can relate to Christianity.


To the extent that this situation is true for others my question is: where do you go to learn the difference between the easter bunny and Easter? To a message board? Even in some of the more “progressive” churches the sermons will not be able to deal with Easter. Sermons will be some left over message from the “human potential” movement or some attempt to appeal to both the fundamentalists and the progressives in the pew. But sermons and classes are perhaps the least effective way to teach the difference between the easter bunny and Easter (but way better than a message board). A new social movement is necessary that is built upon how people experience the knowing of faith. Much more is needed besides sermons and classes that only point to religious experience.


A new social movement is necessary if we are going to respond to secularization as Progressive Christians. I think that TCPC has some understanding of what is needed but TCPC is content to try to “tweak” the current congregations with help with sermons and classes. For the most part the current congregations that form the audience for TCPC are going down and the “tweaking” offered by TCPC will not save them because a few better sermons and few more classes are not going to do it.


For many people who call themselves progressive there is no difference between the easter bunny and Easter. They equate being progressive with being politically correct. As long as you do the correct things then you are progressive. The easter bunny can do that without any understanding of Easter. The social movements related to those progressives may in the end kill Progressive Christianity because they provide opportunities to do important things but they do this without learning the difference between the easter bunny and Easter.


For other progressives the very idea of a social movement is questionable. For them there is no need for the Church. A message board is ok but even that is not necessary. For them it is entirely a private matter. If one learns the difference between the easter bunny and Easter it will be only by chance and that’s ok.


But that may be the Easter message for us today. We will watch the death of current social institutions who call themselves churches while “progressive political movements” and private people help in that death process. We then wait with hope for a resurrection.

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Thank you for saying something about Easter on Easter. I hope you don't mind if I provide a quote from a sermon of yours that I think is a very good Easter sermon:


"I have come to view these life-stopping experiences as being more than simply roadblocks, especially because I have faced them in my own life and have witnessed them in other peoples lives. They can also be detoursways that are shown to us that take us around and away from the edge of a cliffas a route away from danger and as a way of understanding a crisis in our personal lives. Ive found myself at times of personal turmoil asking God just what it is that Im being taught. What lesson am I being presented with that is hidden inside of this roadblock? What is God asking me to look at in a different way now that my life is so completely focused on my own pain and suffering? We may come within inches of the very edgehave the gun in our hand and pointed at our head or be living with one foot in the gutter and one hand on the bottle. We may be criminals or sinners in a way known only to ourselves, to another human being, and to God, or we may be living in such an out-of-control manner that death seems like the only way out of the insanity and pain of our own life.


In our Gospel lesson, Jesus told Nicodemus that Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit. When we find ourselves face down at our most desperate crossroads, we need only to look up and see the Cross of Forgiveness and Healing before us. It is at this time that, as Reverend Thurman wrote that, out of the midst of such seemingly impossible struggle, His Presence emerges. When we bring our sickness, bring our broken-ness, our addictions, our acting-out, our behaviors, bring our heartbreak and sorrow, our resentment, fear, and anger, bring our crimes and our sins to God, honestly and directly, we can then have our lips touched by a burning coal and know that we are forgiven. We then reach a spiritual turning point and the moment when Spirit gives birth to spirit, when Gods own Presence emerges and we can take the first step in a new direction. We find that by surrendering and giving up our struggles and turning our will and our lives over to the care of God, of Christ, and at The Cross, we are taken by the hand and led away from the edge of the cliff and find within ourselves a deeper faith and meaning. Our lips are touched with a burning hot coal and we then know that we are forgiven and that we are truly worthy of Gods own love. If we look back to where we have just been, we can see that we havent been up against a roadblock at allbut have had to take a detour insteada detour with lessons to be learned and faith to be nourished as only life and faith can teach us and nourish usa detour with signs that have pointed the way back onto our journey toward unification with God and a re-birth into a New Spirit."


Thanks for the Easter message.



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