Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Atheist Creates Explosion of Christmas Spirit
Last January an atheist contacted his local city government complaining there had been too much Christmas in their town.
He was particularly distressed by the Nativity that the city owned and displayed on city property.
Threatening to sue, he reminded the city they were violating the "constitutional separation of church and state."
Rather than just cave in to his demands and threat, the city got creative and took pro-active action.
Wadena, Minnesota is a small town---about 4,000 people---in north-central Minnesota.
After receiving the atheists complaint last January, the city council took the matter under consideration. It was discussed at several monthly council meetings during the course of the year.
In their November meeting, they voted to sell the expensive Fontanini Nativity to the Wadena Ministerial Association for $25.
They told the ministers "they were free to put the Nativity anywhere in the city they wanted except on city owned property."
During the time that the city council was considering how to respond to the atheist, people in the town, of course, became aware of the matter.
There was growing concern that the conflict may dampen the Christmas spirit in the community.
So several months ago a Facebook page was set up encouraging town residents to put up Nativities all across Wadena.
People started posting about the importance of Christmas---and the spirit of Christmas.
There was an explosion of Christmas spirit.
Mayor Weiss says there are "well over a thousand" Nativities in the town this year---a town of 4,000 people.
And the Ministerial Association Nativity is located at a much more prominent site.
There has always been resistance and persecution toward Christianity.Yet resistance or persecution has always resulted in the expansion of Christianity.
One atheist demanding a town get rid of their Nativity is hardly persecution. But it is resistance to Christianity.
While brutal persecution drove the early Christian Church to flee from Roman persecution, thus taking the gospel message to new cities and towns, the present resistance in America, I believe, is an agent to awaken an otherwise slumbering church.
Often when God is doing something big, there is a fear factor.
The Christmas story is filled with the reassurance "fear not..."
The angel said to Mary, "Fear not..."
Angels told the shepherds to "Fear not..."
The angel also told Joseph to Fear not..."
I personally believe God is beginning to do something special at this time in our country, and in the hearts of His people.
Fear Not. Stand Strong. Celebrate. Rejoice.