The other day I was walking through the city and stumbled across a great phenomenon. I was innocently walking down the street to the beautiful smell of fried hot dogs wrapped in bacon (only in L.A.), natural gas fueled buses, and two dollar Chinese buffets. I was minding my own business until I noticed a sign that read "Do not spit on the sidewalk".
Other than when I am playing baseball, I am not the kind of person who walks around spitting. But somehow, after reading this sign I could think of nothing other than the pressing need I had to spit. Not only did I feel an overwhelming need to spit, something inside me told me the only satisfactory place to spit would be on the sidewalk. I began thinking about the psychology of this sign and its effectiveness. I assume there once was a spitting problem in this city, but has this sign reduced the problem or made it worse? Has it really helped to make those who spit, to spit somewhere else or has it raised up a whole new generation of "sidewalk spitters"?
I then began thinking about all of the ridiculous things our "National Christian Leaders" say. Things like, "boycott Starbucks because they have poetry about homosexuality". Or, "Don't shop at stores that say 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas'". What really is that proving? If they said, "boycott Starbucks because they don't practice fair trade" then I would be listening. If they said, "avoid stores that exploit their workers and that practice shady accounting" then I would heed the call. The problem is that these "leaders" are fighting the wrong issues. They are fighting for the popularity of God instead fighting for things that are the heart of God. As my wife says, "they are blaming the dark for being dark". And in the process they are missing the point.
So as Christmas approaches let us use our time and energy fighting for God's causes, not God's popularity. He doesn't need our help to keep Himself in the limelight. He doesn't need us to alienate ourselves from the homosexual community and to disassociate with people who say "Happy Holidays". In fact, I think we should do just the opposite. So stop by a "fair trade-practicing coffee shop, visit some good o'l non-Christian stores, and have a "Happy Holiday"!