Baptists face Christmas, present and future

This is the time of year when many pastors sit in their offices muttering, "It happened again."The Rev. Rick Lance knows all about that. He has long been one of the true believers who battle the waves of "Happy Holidays" messages that define one of their faith's holiest seasons as the civic tsunami between Halloween and the inevitable wrapping-paper wreckage on Christmas morning.The problem is that whining doesn't work. Thus, Lance has grown tired of preaching his all-to-familiar annual … [Read more...]

Santa Claus vs. St. Nicholas?

We see the headlines every two or three years during the holidays.A pastor preaches on the true meaning of Christmas, warning about sins of selfishness and materialism. Then, in a moment of candor, disaster strikes.This time the dateline was Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Local newspapers, followed by national wire services, reported that Father Ruben Rocha of St. Pius X Catholic School did something shocking during a Mass for students in kindergarten through third grade. He told the children that … [Read more...]

A Baptist take on St. Nicholas

The bureaucrats charged with turning Russia into a godless utopia had a December dilemma and a big part of their problem was St. Nicholas. The early Communists needed to purge Christmas of its Savior, sacraments and beloved symbols, including this patron saint of widows and children. What they needed was a faith-free icon for a safe, secular New Year's season. Digging into pre-Christian Slavic legends they found their superman -- Father Frost."It's so ironic," said the Rev. James Parker III of … [Read more...]


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