Relevant Christian Celebrates 6 Years!

Relevant Christian posted it’s first post on February 26th, 2007 entitled Rebel, or Progressive Thinker?, and at today’s count, have had over 316 posts, well over 261,000 visitors, and 1,890 published comments.

The purpose behind Relevant Christian was born out of a growing uneasiness about the state of Christianity, and a desire to start people thinking, or maybe even start a conversation. While it was not our purposeful intention to be controversial, we have at times, definitely succeeded in being so.

Our most popular post to date, “What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos?”, has been viewed 115,910 times, and was written by a very good friend and pastor Timmy Gibson.

We have had the pleasure of having some great contributors to Relevant Christian, and I would like to say thank you to those who have contributed (no pun intended) to the success of Relevant Christian.

Timmy Gibson
Joe Martino
Bill Reichart
Dave Anderson
Chris Elrod
Justin Heibert
Joel Johnson
Tracey Eldridge
Heather
Shane Anderson
Stephen McDonald

…oh yeah….Me and one or two others that I may have neglected to mention…and of course those that have written guest posts from time to time….Thank You!

It has been an exciting journey…so far!

God Made Flesh

    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

So thankful for the ultimate gift. The gift of a savior who would pay the ultimate price for our salvation.

Christ left the heavenly realm to live life as a man, still fully God, wrapping himself in human frailty to not only be an example to us, but to give that same life for us.

Merry Christmas!

Lost Birds

The Parable Of The Birds

Once there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn’t a Scrooge. He was a very kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men.

But he didn’t believe all that stuff about God becoming man, which churches proclaim at Christmas. Why would God want to do anything like that?

So when his family left to attend midnight services on Christmas Eve, he stayed home.

Shortly after the family drove away snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. Sometime later, as he was reading his newspaper by the fire, he was startled by a thudding sound that was quickly followed by another. Then another.

When he went to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through the window.

“I can’t let these poor creatures lie there and freeze,” he thought. “But how can I help them?”

Then he remembered the barn. It would provide a warm shelter. He quickly put on his coat and boots and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on the light.<

But the birds didn’t come in.

“Food will bring them in,” he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction — except into the warm, lighted barn.

“They find me a strange and terrifying creature,” he said to himself, “and I can’t seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me.”

“If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety.”

Just at that moment the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for awhile, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

Then he sank to his knees in the snow. “Now I understand,” he whispered. “Now I see why You had to do it.”

The Parable of the Birds ~ Louis Cassels 1959

What’s an Xmas?

merry_xmas_lgA good friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day that he was out getting some xmas clothes for his son. Well…needless to say…being the somewhat funny jerk of a friend that I am, I started razzing him about his choice of the word “Xmas” instead of typing Christmas.

I must admit….the exchange between he and me was quite humorous, but we do at times pick pretty hard at each other…but we have been friends for well over 20 years, so I think we can handle it.

In his defense, though I think it’s a pretty flimsy one, he was in a store chasing around a VERY active and curious 1 year old boy, and he said Xmas was easier to type on his phone than Christmas.

That is true…Xmas is much easier to type, but it lacks something. It just looks like somethings missing. It kind of reminds me of a math equation….(you know, the whole X equals Y junk?) and anyone who knows me will tell you…I hate math!

The more spiritual or religious types may tell you that it is a shadowing of our lives. How so easily and conveniently we can leave Christ out of the conversation. I can see some validity in their argument, and I must admit….my mind did go there for a moment. Probably mostly due to my many years spent in a ultra-religious and judgmental state of mind.

However, I think for the most point….we just need to get over it.

Carlos Whitaker had a humorous post a few years ago that I wanted to share with you.

    “Top 9 Reasons Why It’s Ok to Say Merry XMAS!”
    1. I love baby Jesus too but he didn’t name Christmas…Christmas. We did.
    2. If this offends you then I suggest you change your greeting to “May you have the most joyous season of celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. It is less confusing than Merry Christmas.
    3. I find it more insulting that people get mad at Bart Millard for saying Xmas and have no idea that the pagan origins of their gift exchanges started in ancient Babylon when the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.
    4. I’m thinking we should celebrate Christmas when it actually happened. More or less around September.
    The shepherds were not tending their sheep in the middle of a Judean winter. I promise.
    5. I’m not taking Christ out of Christmas when I say Xmas… I am giving more attention to the word “mas” which in the true language of God means “more”
    6. I love Jesus. If you are concerned with people seeing a Christian take “Christ” out of the word “Christmas” let’s just say it Merry Jesusmas so that everybody will get it.
    7. On twitter it is a much better way of saving your character count.
    8. Let’s face it. Jesus is the X Factor! What A Better Way To Say It!!!
    9. I hate lists of 10 so I’m gonna stop at 9…Or really 8.

So….there you have it. I like it…I think I will start using that one myself. Right now as a matter of fact.

I hope you have a Very Merry Jesusmas!

What do you think of the whole XMAS vs. Christmas debate?

A Christmas Revolution


“Two thousand years later, no one is singing songs about Herod or giving themselves to the kingdom of Caesar. Herod’s kingdom is dust, Rome is ensconced in museums, yet billions gather in the name of Jesus each week. No matter how many Caesars and Herods fill this world, they will never have the last word. The revolution of Jesus will see to that.” –Mike Erre, “Jesus of Suburbia”

Do you have a manager set up in your home or on your front lawn? Often we look into those manger scenes and observe what appears to be a tranquil and placid event. We look at the cherubic looking Christ child in the feeding trough and and we sing, “sleep in heavenly peace”. We call it a “Silent Night”. But it was anything but silent. The arrival of Jesus was anything but peaceful, quiet and subdued. It was a REVOLUTION!

The entrance of God into our world, wrapped in flesh, shook up the status quo. His arrival that fateful Bethlehem night shook the kingdoms of the earth off their fragile foundations. The arrival of Jesus ushered in a kingdom that declared war and stood in direct opposition toward the kingdoms of the day.

Too often we forget that Jesus incited revolution. We forget that his birth was in fact an insurrection against the establishment and “business as usual”. The Christmas Revolution started at the cradle but now that Revolution makes a call upon you and me.

When you are sitting behind another car in Atlanta traffic, you’ve probably seen this sticker on their bumper, “Jesus is the reason for the season” That’s incorrect...YOU are! YOU are the reason for the season.

Jesus came not because it would be cool for God to come in the flesh, but because it was absolutely necessary for Him to come in order for us to have peace with God. Jesus lived a perfect life – a life that you and I couldn’t live. And He paid the penalty of death that you and I should have paid by dying on the cross. What Jesus did on the cross was revolutionary. It allowed us, as sinners, to be reconciled again to a holy God who loves us so dearly.

We must remember though that coming to saving faith in Jesus isn’t so you can just get your ticket punched for heaven but then He doesn’t make any indelible mark on your life this side of heaven. Not at all! When the God of the universe comes into your life, He wants to bring revolution. Your life will get shifted around.

There will be shifts in your priorities. Shifts in your values. Shifts in your desires. Shifts in your heart. Shifts in your motivations.

But lets even get more concrete and practical: Shifts in the way you love your spouse. Shifts in your checkbook. Shifts in how you see and treat other people at work. Shifts in your thought life.

Jesus is a revolutionary. Let Jesus bring revolution to our life. Let that revolution overtake your life this Advent and Christmas season, and Beyond!