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.

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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?

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One Day’s Wages

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"He Makes All Things New." In other words, Christ is our eternal hope. I'm sitting in my swinging bench on the comforts of my front porch after an exhilarating and exhausting day at church. It never gets tiring, stale, or old to preach and proclaim the good news of the Gospel - not just on Resurrection Sunday but every week as we gather as the body of Christ.

But it was this picture of Coptic Christians in Egypt pouring into churches on Easter Sunday that deeply moved my heart...just a week after two churches were bombed by ISIS terrorists taking 45 lives and injuring hundreds.

Even in the face of persecution and suffering, I'm so grateful for the witness of these sisters and brothers in Christ. May they be comforted and strengthened...and wherever you are reading this post, stay encouraged. Be faithful and steadfast. Don't give up. May we keep running the race set before us as we fix our eyes on Christ.

It's not just there. It's all over the world...God is still at work. The Holy Spirit is still moving. God is not yet done. There's only one explanation: 
Christ has risen! He has risen, indeed! Jesus is alive! Hallelujah! #OneChurch Remember, there is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion; No Easter Sunday without Passion Friday; No empty tomb without the Cross.

So, before we move too swiftly to the celebration of the risen Christ, may we sit at the foot of the Cross...and consider the depths of His sacrifice and love. "Oh, what love is this..." Just when we think we get what it means to follow Him, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples including...the one He knew would betray Him,

and the one that would deny him,

and the others that would abandon Him in His greatest need.

What amazing love.
What amazing grace. Oh. What. Amazing. Grace. M(inhee) + E(ugene). Not taking anything for granted. 20 years = 7300 days = 175,200 hours. A flourishing  marriage doesn't just happen. The idea that two Christians who choose to get married will produce a Christ honoring marriage is a gigantic myth. Its also extremely dangerous. The truth is that it takes so much intentionality and work. Intimacy definitely includes physical touch but is not only about physical touch. We have to pray, read, listen, learn, mutually submit, confess, forgive, repent, laugh, dream, rest, play, and the list goes on.

In other words, we have to keep Christ at the center because it's inevitable, there's a lot of messing up. So much messing up. It's both beautiful and painful and without grace, it's impossible.

Grateful. Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. And thank you, Minhee...

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