Our little county in West Michigan has made a bit of a splash lately, but not in a way that we would hope for.
Newaygo Elementary school was recently pressured by the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA) to remove a display that had sat atop the school since the 1940s – three wise men riding camels towards a star.
MACRA’s complaint, of course, was based on a perceived violation of the establishment cause, saying the district is using the display to promote the Christian religion.
MACRA has a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing in West Michigan, having been behind the removal of “The Dewey Hill Cross” in Grand Haven as well as attempting to oust another cross-shaped monument on public land in the Ludington area, and attempting to end a Released Time Bible class in Fremont, which gives school children and their parents the choice for the child to attend an offsite Bible study during school hours.
It was up to the Newaygo School Board, then, to decide whether to cave to MACRA’s complaint or maintain their decades-long tradition. To the credit of the citizens of Newaygo, they applied their own pressure to the school board, circulating petitions to keep the wise men right where they’ve been for the past 70 or so Christmases.
We were pleased to hear that at the December 10, 2018 school board meeting, the board decided unanimously to keep the historic display on top of the school.
While we celebrate that common sense ruled the day this time, experience, including the list of MACRA’s troublemaking above, has taught us that it does not always go our way. And make no mistake, if this kind of thing can happen in sleepy little West Michigan, it can happen in your town too.
More and more, Christianity is being deemed “offensive” to the broader culture, and until such a time as the Holy Spirit moves through the American people and inspires repentance or the Lord returns, things will only get worse.
Will you stand for truth when they come to your town?
With the Christmas season upon us, we can’t help but think of gifts—either giving or receiving. The Apostle Paul shared with Titus these words of salvation (v. 11), sanctification (v. 12), securing (v. 13-14), and sending (v. 15)—all grace-wrapped gifts from our Heavenly Father.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” Titus 2:11-15 (ESV)
In our writing and events, indeed in all that we do, we strive to share these grace-wrapped gifts with others by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We daily rely upon God’s grace to do the things we do. There are many ways in which God shows us His grace and favor. One of those ways is His prompting you and others like you to graciously give monetary gifts, prayerful support, and words of encouragement.
We are so very grateful for the many ways God uses you to bless us. Frankly, we stand in great need right now; our finances are very low. Won’t you help us spread the grace of God to others as we warn, inform, and stir others to holy living? Please pray and ask the Lord what He would have you to do during this season of giving.
By faith, we are thanking God for your gift of financial support, prayer, and/or words of encouragement.
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