This simple little website was a great investment for First Baptist Dallas and Jeffress - probably cost less than $1000 to put up, and it gave him free valuable face time on national media outlets (CNN, FoxNews, CBN) that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars! If the FBC Dallas marketing consultant came up with this idea, it is time for a Christmas bonus!
Just a few thoughts:
- if we Christians pass judgement at this time of year on a business by whether they've instructed employees to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, we're ignorant boobs. The business is not there to spread the gospel. They are not there to keep "Jesus as the reason for the season". That is our job, Christian.
- where does Robert Jeffress think the "tithes" that flow into his church for the construction of his new campus and his "knock your socks off" computerized Jesus fountain come from? They come from businesses that create wealth for owners or shareholders who invested in the business, creating jobs for employees, and superior goods and services for customers - and they do it all in an intensely competitive market that will eat them alive if they falter. If a business believes it in their best interest to say "Happy Holidays" to be more inclusive of their clientele - who cares?
- contrast that to how megachurches like First Baptist Dallas raise their funds: by declaring that God requires their members to fork over 10% of their before-tax income with no real accountability in return on how the money is spent. Businesses raise their funds by taking inputs of capital, labor, raw materials, and converting them into goods and services of higher value...thereby creating wealth that enables them to hire employees who can then tithe. Mega churches - they just demand money by order of God Almighty, with threats of calamity if you don't comply.
- I have to point out: these businesses actually pay taxes at all levels of government. They pay local property taxes out the wazoo. They pay taxes on their profits. Their CEO's don't get massive tax exempt "housing allowances". Does Jeffress' mega church pay taxes on their revenues? Nope. How ironic that these taxes paid by business and not by churches are required in part because the modern church has mostly abandoned the call of Jesus himself to care for the widows and the orphans and the poor.
- And to top it all off: I dare say that the businesses on the Jeffress' Grinch list, like Nordstroms, Target and Macy's - they do more real ministry to help people in need than First Baptist Dallas or other mega churches. Look at the charitable work of these companies at their websites, supporting non-profit organizations with cash and volunteers. But that is of no consequence to the boob Christian who just wants the employee to say "Merry Christmas".
One of the most telling examples that shows the shallowness of this website was an exchange on CNN between Robert Jeffress and CNN's John Roberts (see video below):
CNN's John Roberts: There were two entitites that came forward to say that these claims against them [being on the naughty list] are inaccurate....one of them being the "Mi Cocina Restaurant"....they say they're being unfairly targeted - the staff is instructed to say 'Happy Holidays', but they point out they feed 600 children every year at their "Snowball Express" which is for the children of fallen warriors. So for someone to put them on the 'naughty list' seems a little [unfair].
Pastor Jeffress: Again, that is everybody's right of free speech, and free expression. But I said to one of the owners of Mi Cocina who called me, he said 'You know I'm a Christian and we do all of these wonderful things in the name of Christ', and I said 'Why don't you say Merry Christmas then?', and there really wasn't an answer.
Robert, there was no answer because you knocked his socks off with such an ignorant question! A Christian business owner, who does charitable work in the name of Christ, probably gives generously to his church, provides jobs to people who do give to their churches, feeds children of fallen warriors, does not owe you or anyone an answer as to why he doesn't say "Merry Christmas" at his Mexican restaurant! I say to the owner of Mi Cocina: God bless you for your successful business, for your charitable work, for the jobs you provide. Keep working hard, providing quality food at a reasonable price - and whatever you think is the best greeting this time of year for your employees and patrons, I'm all for it and I won't pass judgement!
But the good news: I'm happy to say most evangelical Christians I know absolutely do NOT think like Jeffress. They don't look to judge a business on what kind of displays they have, or based on a sample of one employee who might say "Happy Holidays". Most Christians understand that businesses are secular institutions that cater to a wide clientel, and they work hard to provide superior quality at the lowest price possible. Most rational, intelligent, clear-thinking Christians appreciate hard work, superior quality at a reasonable price, and friendly, helpful service.
And I'll take that any day from a business over a shallow "Merry Christmas", a greeting which might just be offered to me because the person thinks I'm one of those shallow, ignorant evangelical boobs who will pass judgement and put them on the FBC Dallas Naughty List.
Below is the Jeffress interview with CNN's John Roberts: