Jim Smith at the Florida Baptist Witness has written a thoughtful editorial in response to the insanity of First Baptist Dallas’ Grinch Alert website. We want to encourage you to read the article. We also pray that Christians will embrace the true meaning of the season. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, not criticize them for acting like lost people, like sheep without a shepherd.

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  1. David,

    How does this partner with Jesus in His mission? Sheep without a shepherd act like sheep without a shepherd. Instead of criticizing we should be lovingly reaching out.

    Besides the whole naughty and nice distinction confuses the gospel with moralism. It communicates to the lost that they need to clean their act up to be acceptable to God instead of resting in the cross of Christ.

  2. I agree with Jon Akin and Jim Smith.

    As a resident of Dallas, there are many people that are very turned off to the Gospel because of the “GrinchAlert” website.

    We must reach out with the Gospel and look to God to change the heart rather than demanding businesses to state “Merry Christmas.” Perhaps this is a way to take the Gospel to your Samaria (Acts 1:8).

  3. Jon,
    I’m not saying we should angrily condemn everyone.

    But are you saying there is never a time when we should criticize the actions of the lost?
    Can’t we emphasize the biblical meaning of Christmas “and” share the Gospel?

    I believe your term of “insanity” is over the top.
    David R. Brumbelow

  4. A couple more thoughts.
    Would it also be “insane” to tactfully disagree when manger scenes are removed from public property, religious songs removed from public schools’ “holiday” programs, and the word Christmas removed from government holiday calendars?

    Is it wrong to disagree if a public school insists the word Christmas cannot even be used?

    Must we stand silently by while all vestiges of our Judeo-Christian heritage are erased from our nation?
    David R. Brumbelow

  5. David, I understand your argument and believe that Christians should know how to respond to the attacks from the world. The question then is how should we respond? How do we fight the evil in society? I think the scriptures give clear examples to the way we are to fight. First, we need to properly understand what our attitude should be like. In 1 Peter 3:8-17, it says that we should not return evil for evil, keep our lips from speaking evil, etc. The believer should know and understand that we live in an evil world and should expect this kind of treatment. secondly, the Christian should use the attack from the world as a platform to preach the gospel. In verse 15, we are to sanctify the Lord in our hearts and be ready to give an answer of the hope that we have. So if the believer is responding to the evil contrary to the way the world would respond, the world wonders why and hopefully asks why are we not returning evil for evil. This will give as a platform to speak the gospel. Thirdly, in Eph. 6:10-20, it tells us that believers ought to know who they are fighting against, and how to fight. Our fight is not against people, it is against Satan. Our fight is not physical, therefore we don’t use physical weapons. Our fight is spiritual, so we are to use spiritual weapons, namely speaking the truth, instead of lying, living righteously instead of unrighteous, etc…
    So I agree that we need to respond but I don’t agree that FBC in Dallas is responding in a Biblical way. They are also hurting the cause of the gospel not providing a platform to speak it into peoples lives. It comes across as a holier than thou approach. Lets reach people with the gospel not push them away.

  6. David,

    I am not sure that I would argue we should never criticize the actions of the lost. I think we need to call sin what it is and call people to repentance because there is mercy at the cross. But this website is not doing that. It’s expecting someone to exhibit behavior their hearts have not been transformed to exhibit yet.

    I don’t think the meaning of Christmas and sharing the Gospel are mutually exclusive subjects. The gospel is the point of Christmas. Jesus is given the name he is given at Christmas according to Matthew 1 because he will “save his people from their sins.” This is not about behavior modification. It’s about forgiveness and grace that changes the heart and begins a process of conforming us into the image of Christ.

    Again, I have no idea how the Grinch Alert website helps that mission. From what I’ve been told (though this is anecdotal) this is turning off lost people in Dallas not wooing them to Jesus. It also communicates a false gospel that behavior should precede conversion.

    I apologize if using the word insanity is over the top. The reason I used that term is because it seems to me to be insane to expect people to celebrate the arrival of a King they don’t follow, love, believe in, etc. and then criticize them for not celebrating it.

    That King said they are lost sheep without a shepherd. They need someone to shepherd them, engage them, evangelize them, not criticize them for failing to celebrate what they don’t understand and what their hearts have not been changed to accept.

    As far as your last comment I understand the frustration and share it. However, I wonder if we as Southern Baptists are sometimes more concerned about preserving a Judeo-Christian heritage than we are with the Great Commission. Are we more concerned with having a Christian American than we are with making Christians in America?

    This kind of moralism expects lost people to act like Christians before they’re changed by the Gospel of Jesus. It seems we are after conformity not conversion. The Gospel says change takes place from inside out before behavior follows…Hope this helps explain my concern.


  7. I really don’t understand why Christians expect the world/non-christians, (who live in the domain of darkness, are excluded from the life of God, don’t have the mind of Christ, and are devoid of the Holy Spirit/the One who guides us into all the truth), to think like, behave like, have the same values as Christians; and therefore have the same attitude toward Christmas, Easter, or anything else that is meaningful or significant to us as Christians. The behavior they exhibit at Christmas is the same behavior they exhibit during the rest of the year. So why point it out just at Christmas? Instead of acting in a self-righteous manner and pointing fingers, maybe the people of FBC should share the love of God (the real reason behind Christmas ie John 3:16) through the gospel with the owners and employees of those businesses.

    The Grinchalert is just the Church acting like the world. Why should they pay any attention when the Church is not acting any differently than they would. What little chance of having a witness is ruined and negated, and it proves to them that the Church is the self-righteous hypocrites they have always accused us of being. This self-righteous legalism is one of the reasons Southern Baptists have such a poor name among so many non-christians.

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