St Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church in Auckland, New Zealand takes this weeks ‘Scroogie’ for their billboards and ‘progressive’ Christmas messages much of which is an attack on the traditional Christian understanding of Christmas. But even more important the church has launched an actual attack on the identity and significance of Jesus Christ.
The billboard pictured above with the caption-“Poor Joseph, God was a hard act to follow” -was controversial enough to bring notoriety and protests literally from all around the world. But it really doesn’t stop there, some of the other messages coming from the church are even more offensive and bring an actually attack on the central teachings and doctrines of Christianity:
“Is the Christmas miracle a male God sending forth his divine sperm, or is the miracle that God is and always has been among the poor?”
Yes God is obviously always with the poor but that is not the central message of Christmas. Jesus himself answered this message himself when he said: “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me” –Matt26:11
Here’s what St Matthew’s vicar Glynn Cary had to say about Christmas a recent sermon:
“For fundamentalist Christians, the incarnation is about the miraculous arrival of a baby soon to die and by his blood save us. For progressive Christians, the incarnation is about the miracle of this planet earth and all life that exists here.”
Of course we don’t have the vicars entire message here but he does seem to be denying the central message of not only Christmas but Christianity. Everyday one can celebrate –“the miracle of this planet earth and all life that exists here” –and one doesn’t even have to be a Christian or even believe in God for that matter. For me the central message of the Christmas season will always be John 3:16-17:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”