This story appeared in the newspaper today. Apparently some churches and Christians have been involved in re-writing carols to highlight global warming (sorry, climate change) and protest the burning of coal.
Regardless of what you think about the particular issue, the thing I find disturbing is the watering down of the news about Jesus in order to highlight other causes. No matter what that cause is.
While it may be easy to see this with regard to carols, it isn’t so easy to recognise it in other areas. Areas we might have more sympathy with regards to the choice of cause.
Whether that cause is anti-abortion, creationism, reducing poverty, kids schooling, same sex marriage, or politics, it is very easy to remove Jesus from it, bit by bit. It might not be as obvious as literally removing “Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let Earth receive her King” and replacing it with “Cool down the world, the time has come, for targets tight and fair”.
But it is very easy to deliberately not mention Jesus. Or to end up working to convince people to change their hearts towards others, but not towards Jesus. The way some people talk about Australia being a Christian nation, and the need to keep the Lord’s Prayer being recited in parliament, but don’t try to convince their local member to follow Jesus. It’s getting the priority wrong.
Jesus should be our first and biggest concern. Pointing people to Him as their greatest need. And then trusting Jesus to change their hearts in all sorts of ways. We should work for the food of others, and advocate for social, political and behavioural change that will reduce harm to others. But we should always do this under the proud banner of following Jesus and bringing attention to Him. Not replace Jesus with our cause, as these carollers have done.