Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Hallmark Christianity

And I don't mean "hallmark" like the craftsman's marks on silver, I mean the greeting card company. Greeting cards and calendars have reduced Christianity to mere sentimentality with an accompanying sunset. The message of the gospel becomes a feel good moment, a teary reminder of a fond memory, a sentimental shadow of the message of life. The next time you see a calendar sale you'll see these.

The trouble with them, and with that medium in general, is the way that it corrodes the gospel. We have a message from Jesus that is both a call to repentance and a source of comfort. It is a message that turns the wisdom of the world upside down. Surprisingly the inversion is almost too good to be true. Here's a winner.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
becomes
"Don't smile because it's over, cry because it happened." Blessed are those who mourn, right?

It's a terrible version of the gospel and probably has more to do with Ralph Waldo Emerson than Jesus. I'm sure it sells a lot of calendars, though.
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