Don't Buy Christian Easter Candy

Last Easter, a man in a bunny costume got berated by a woman who lived in her car. Christine Weick stormed into the parking lot of a Tennessee church and rebuked the fluffy impostor for wearing a "pagan costume" saying, "Shame on you! Shame on this pastor!"

Her camera-person, Angela Cummings, also refused to be silent and chanted in the background, "Hugh Hefner, Playboy bunny! Hugh Hefner, Playboy bunny!" I imagine she said this for a reason, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it was.

Christians get defensive around Christmas and Easter because they reserve those holidays to celebrate Jesus' birth and resurrection. Bunnies may be cute and egg hunts fun, but they're ultimately just distractions to the "real meaning" of those seasons.

At the same time, Christians won't complain about chocolate crosses and jelly bean prayer tins. To the contrary, such confectioned contrivances are willingly gobbled down as pious protests to the encroaching godlessness of America. If the product is Jesus-flavored, Christians will swallow anything.

While the Freedom From Religion Foundation works to remove prayer from schools and the Ten Commandments from municipal buildings, Christians fight to preserve their place in culture--with candy. Distracted by the red herring of secularization, we've let consumerism hollow out our religion into a sugar-coated shell of its former self.

It doesn't matter if government officials are just so long as they're sworn in on the Bible. It doesn't matter if retail owners are merciful so long as they say "Merry Christmas", not "Happy Holidays". It doesn't matter if pastors are humble so long as they dress up as a medieval misrepresentation of a Middle Eastern man, not a giant rabbit.

Like the Pharisees of Jesus' day who dismissed the weightier things of the law for appearances, the church fully embraces the all-American allure of money and materialism.

Who needs love and good deeds when spirituality is for sale?

Discipleship only costs $10-20 depending on the devotional. Or if you're truly committed, you can spend hundreds of dollars to hear the same message on a cruise ship (looking at you, David Jeremiah). Our churches also have budgets for missions so we never have to leave our homes to live out the gospel.

But nothing brings Christians together across denominational lines more than a boycott. When the church rallies around a worthy cause like shaming homosexuals or transgender folks, you know that the true power of American Christianity comes not from the Bible, but the checkbook.

Christians are so easily pacified.

Though we were given the keys to the kingdom and the power to bind things in heaven, we've sold our proverbial birthright for a religion of diabetes and debt. We're so worried about conforming the church to culture outwardly that we've ignored how little it looks like Christ inwardly.

Losing Easter to childhood fairy tales and family traditions is the least of our problems. Let America have our holidays. We don't need a nationally-recognized calendar date to remember our savior's resurrection; we need a church that remembers his resurrection by dying to self daily.

Candy printed with the letters J-E-S-U-S cannot testify to God's goodness (unless it's made by Lindt), but Christians living selflessly can. These sacrifices, not our boycotts or tax write-offs, preach a hope in resurrection and point to the only person in history who accomplished it.

Show me a jelly bean that can say all of that. Until then, live like you actually believe in resurrection.

Photo credit: Gret Sher via Foter.com / CC BY

Comments

  1. It can be disheartening to walk through a Christian bookstore and see all the worthless junk that they try to sell. Ever seen Testa-mints? The Christian version of Altoids, I guess

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    Replies
    1. I have. I had the unfortunate experience of attending the International Christian Retail Show a few years ago. Just terrible. Grilled Cheesus? Seriously?

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