There recently has been an uproar over the City of Bangor calling the Christmas Tree a “Holiday” tree in downtown’s West Market Square- even though they made this change 15 years ago. I find it disingenuous for city officials to have made this change in the name of political correctness- especially because no other faith-based holidays use a tree as a major symbol. However, what I consider even more disingenuous is people getting all worked up about this being an example of “taking Christ out of Christmas” when a majority of these same people only want to talk about Jesus Christ this time of year, and only in this context.
What’s most unfortunate is the large percentage of the American population that have taken Christ out of their lives year around. Then when the Christmas season comes they become the flag-bearers for keeping His name stamped on pagan traditions and in the stores that promote the greed and materialism our Savior was so dead-set against.
It would be insincere to say I was surprised by the results of the same-sex marriage vote in Maine this time around. I uphold that as a supporter of traditional marriage, it was out of principle- not hate- to vote No on Question 1. But a majority of Mainers have spoken, and because we live in a democracy rather than a theocracy, we must begin to move beyond the debate over civil marriage as Christians.
While there are many places in Scripture that seem to exactly describe where our culture is today (Romans 1:24-32 is one New Testament example), the question that remains is what are we to do about it? One thing we should NOT do is just gloss over such warnings and ignore the Word of God at these uncomfortable points, or explain them away as not applying to our current situation. But correction and reproof from Scripture are for those inside the church, not those on the outside (see 1 Corinthians 5:12-13).
So what about the people “on the outside”?
This past weekend Treworgy Family Orchards became the “Chick-Fil-A of Maine” in that they exercised their freedom of speech to show support for traditional marriage, and as a result received backlash from the homosexual community and those that support their agenda. The simple act of placing a “NO on Question 1″ campaign sign in front of their family-owned business was labeled bigotry and hate-speech. Much of this backlash was expressed on their business Facebook page, but the Bangor Daily News reports that they were finally strong-armed into removing the sign by people stopping into the business to express their displeasure with it being there.
This incident is further proof that the crowd who continually cries for tolerance is only “tolerant” if you support their agenda.