Eugene Cho

the jesus patriotic cross christmas tree

“It’s not just a tree. it’s a movement.”

Is this for real? Seriously?!?

I don’t want to be that guy that just spews random hate and criticism – especially during this season of generosity but I’m just going to be real:

I’m going to turn over some trees.

Straight up. If this tree pictured above or below is in your home, I don’t care if I’m a bad guest and you’ll never invite me to your house again but I’m going to turn over trees. For realz.

Okay, I get it. I understand that some Christians are irritated, upset, and threatened by the ongoing cultural tension and opposition to their perception of Christianity and all things glorious Christendom of America.  But starting a movement of Christ-mas trees – with some decorated in the American colors of red, white, and blue – is not the remedy. Nope.

Frankly, I’m getting tired of it. It’s the same routine every single Christmas season, right? It goes like this:

  • Christians want Christ back into Christmas.
  • Atheists hate Christmas and religion and want Christ out of Christmas. They prefer “happy holidays.”
  • Christians fight back and claim America has always been a Christian nation.
  • And in between the above bullet points, we all shop away.

Every single year.

I don’t really care because I think there are more important things to pursue as we seek to participate in the work of the Kingdom of God. We can be secure in knowing who we are and who our Christ is so that we don’t have to start “it’s not just a tree, it’s a movement.” This reminds me of last year’s post, “What are we exactly standing up for when are stand for Christmas?”

Your turn. Thoughts?

Update:

And how about this one? This is Marsha, the founder of CHRIST-mas TREE demonstrating the perfect storm.

Religion, Patriotism, Money, and Sex.

She posted this on the FB page of her company, Boss Creations. The comments about her picture are well…interesting.

  • Tammy: This is sinful.
  • Tammy: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin,
    when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
    James 1:14-15
  • David: I’ll take every single tree you have in stock. Every last one. And that girl’s phone number.
  • Janice: You’ll need to pay extra for her lips. They are still under a financing contract.
  • David: Money is no object to obtain a Christian woman like that. She’ll fit nicely into my household and will raise my children to fear the LORD.
  • Janice: I am already fearing something…
  • Tammy: The only person who should be seeing that young lady like that is her husband. The Bible tells us to dress modestly. We should be praying for that young lady and the men she is causing to stumble, not posting pictures of her next to the symbol of the Lord.
  • David: No, I think this is just perfect.  And by the way, from the looks of her forearms, she’s not that young.
  • Gabriel: I wouldn’t have that tree in my living room if you gave me the tree, but I will take the women.
  • Boss Creations: yes wearing a dress if very sinful and extremely low body fat equals age?? cud it be extremely low body fat? of course not, haha! bodybuilding competitor – haha which I’m sure is very sinful, too.. suure… ha! and of course anyone who looks half way decent must have augments anything to make yourself feel better. I don’t waste time critiquing pictures of people all day – I have a life! haha…. when you have something meaningful or interesting to say, I might chat some more… I won’t hold my breath… poor poor lonely misguided legalistic unhappy people😦 n why on a page you don’t like? just looking for someone/ place to spew your pent-up nasty venom.. ugh sad! Thanks again! -Merry Christmas!!🙂
  • David: I LOVE this page. It has made today so much cheerier. We need more TRUTH on Facebook.
  • Gabriel: I am so glad that Stephen Colbert talked about Boss Creations’ trees last night. How would I have known to look for this company on Facebook?
  • Tammy: I will pray for you. The young lady should use her body only to glorify the Lord in the way He intended. Christians should NOT be using sex to sell crosses!
  • Boss Creations: that is sex? sorry sweetie. that is a dress. nothing sexual. If I happen to wear better than you dont be a hater. that dress on some stick figure, unattractive person would get no comment whatsoever… last words on this silly topic go read a bible and live in a bubble and judge everyone – what a great ministry you have…. do something useful
  • David:  OMG, I feel the same way! TRUTH is spoken by Boss Creations. May Jesus Christ be praised!

Ok then. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Filed under: , ,

18 Responses

  1. James says:

    Put Christ BACK into Xmas! Buy your kids a Christ-box 360!

  2. Wayne Park says:

    a PrayStation, haha (could pass for a Korean Christmas too)

  3. Pretty sure God didn’t ask us to remember Jesus coming into the world–God incarnate–by buying more stuff. Somehow we’ve equated presents for US with celebrating Jesus. I’m tired of all these lame attempts to bring “Christ” back to Christmas. All we have to do is remember Christ’s life and those who Christ had special favor for: the poor, the outcast, the widows, the immigrants, the orphans–the marginalized in our society. How is a tree with a glowing cross, or more stuff from wal-mart going to help us walk with those who we are called to serve?

  4. Thank you. I was seriously getting sick of Christians going around saying put Christ back into Christmas.

  5. TreyBear says:

    This reminds me of the church I saw in Memphis that had a replica of the Statue of Liberty in their parking lot.Holding not a Torch but a Cross. And we wonder why they call Christians weirdo’s..

  6. lauren says:

    why why why does it always tie into being AMERICAN?! I really can’t stomach that. I agree with Sophia above, let’s just actually remember Christ at Christmas and then we won’t need a huge cross tree. But more than that let’s please stop making it some patriotic thing as well. Dude, Eugene, that letter to Obama that’s signed “American Patriots”!!! that makes me want to jump out of my skin. Also the thought of you tipping people’s trees over is hilarious and will be my moment of zen for today!

  7. jennyraearmstrong says:

    Normally I would be disturbed, but frankly, those trees just crack me up. Especially the red, white, and blue one with the patriot scroll. I mean, seriously? People are putting those things in their living rooms? UGGGLYY!

    I don’t think we have to worry about those becoming a trend.😀

  8. Deborah says:

    Wow…

    Those trees just leave me speechless

    Have you heard about Advent Conspiracy? It gets right at what you are talking about in that in the midst of fighting to put Christ back into or taking him out of Christmas we all just keep spending away. Advent Conspiracy focuses on that consumeristic aspect, by “reclaiming” Christmas through attacking consumerism and encouraging people to give presence instead of presence. The few churches who have done it the past few years have taken the tiny dent their congregations are in the millions usually spent on the holidays and used it to provide fresh water wells in third world countries. Its pretty cool!

  9. ben adam says:

    I want to turn over some trees, too. I also want to turn over some malls and maybe a church or two. I want to have conservative friends just so I can do that. I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  10. Laurel says:

    What I would like to know is why conservative Christians never consider that hiring a graphic designer might be a good idea.

  11. Annah says:

    Sorry, but when I read the comments all I get is a sense of intolerance. A condescending sense of how stupid the rest of you are for not celebrating Christmas “the right way”. The way I do.

    Yeh, I get it. It is a bit much – the patriotic trees, the crosses. But somewhere there are families who think those types of decorations are important. I don’t understand it. But they do. I’m not sure I want to make fun of that.

    • Andy M says:

      We do need to be careful about who we make fun of. But nobody here is arguing for celebrating Christmas the “right” way. Rather, it is a critique of the ridiculousness of how some people have chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Much of what they are celebrating, Jesus would either be indifferent to, or in opposition to, but it feeds their narrow worldview. In all likelihood, it is the people with those trees who are probably arguing for celebrating Christmas the “right” way, which only means “their” way.

      If something is ridiculous, why shouldn’t I be able to call it out for what it is without being labeled as “intolerant”? I don’t want to be mean, and I don’t think that anyone else here does either. And I don’t think that they have been.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family, in whatever way that you may celebrate it.

  12. Jason says:

    I think the trees are neat, but think the purpose of them is kind of lame. Take back Christmas? Did not know it was taken, and to where? And by whom? Can anyone truly “take” anything?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small group of leaders from around the country. Learning. Listening. Asking hard questions. Head exploding. Heart trying to have hope. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

my tweets

  • It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small… instagram.com/p/BK_409Ohzr1/ || 5 hours ago
  • Life has its share of pain but don't get down and cynical. Stay engaged. Self-care. Keep learning and growing. Remain hopeful. Be steadfast. || 11 hours ago
  • The Gospel, not social justice, is our identity as believers but the Gospel compels us to love God/love people incl. work 4 the common good. || 2 days ago
  • Folks often ask me, "What is social justice?" "Social justice" are fancier words for "Give a Damn". || 2 days ago
  • RT @EugeneCho: Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to f… || 2 days ago
  • Thank you @fullerfyi @KPowellFYI for this important resource about listening, engaging, and discipling young people: churchesgrowingyoung.com || 2 days ago

JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK

advertisements

Blog Stats

  • 3,419,276 hits