How about a Christmas Truce?

images-89One of my favorite stories from history is the Christmas Truce of 1914. On Christmas Day, the troops from Great Britain and France along the western front stopped fighting and declared a brief and unofficial cease-fire while they exchanged gifts, sang Christmas carols and even enjoyed a friendly game of soccer with the enemy.  It was a remarkable display of peace in the middle of unthinkable carnage.

I think the “war” started for us in earnest last Spring. The looming election brought out the worst in us: we slandered people from the other party. We spewed hate across the Internet. We disrespected and despised each other. Our country was deeply divided. Not surprisingly, November came and went and yet the poison still erupts. We’ve seen it most recently in the most insensitive and uncompassionate way; surrounding the deaths of the innocent shooting victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Unbelievably, people have taken advantage of this tragic event to tout their varied political opinions.

In the interest of world peace, I am suggesting that we declare another Christmas truce. I am hoping for just one day of not saying what we want to say. Here is my idea: On social media sites – no political cartoons, no condescending comments, no judgmental insults, no divisiveness in the press, no partisan debate, nothing on gun control, fiscal cliffs, Huckabee, anti-Obama rhetoric, James Dobson… you get the idea: One day of peace on earth. I think it is an idea that could work.

I’m not asking you to agree with your enemy. I’m not naïve enough to ask for compromise on convictions or a backing down from opinions. I just think the world could use a little peace right now. In the spirit of the Prince of Peace, Jesus! How about it?

This might even be a great time to forgive someone who hurt you, repair a breach in the family or call a long-lost loved one.

Back to 1914. The war resumed with fierce bloodiness just after Christmas. Military leaders from both sides made sure there was no repeat of the truce in 1915. But for one day, peace ruled.

2012 would be a fine time to repeat history.  Our respective “wars” will surely be waiting for us on December 26, if we are still interested in fighting.

Tragedy and Bad Theology


We are all sickened by the senseless murder of so many people, both children and adults, in Newtown, Connecticut. While we mourn, we also have to hear the dime store God “experts” share their not-so-humble opinions about why this devastation occurred. Facebook and blogs are filled with smug responses surrounding the crisis – ideas like: “What do you expect? We kicked God out of our schools.” and “that’s what we get for making prayer in school illegal”.

Please stop this kind of rhetoric. It is hurtful to the families of the victims, it gives God a bad name and it is unbiblical.

It is bad theology to say that we removed God from our schools. True, we disallowed public prayer, but rest assured, God was right there in the heart of every child who lost their life. God was there. How dare we think that we can control where God goes and doesn’t go. Reminder: He is omnipresent (everywhere at the same time). We cannot confine Him. God is close to the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18), no force in nature can stop that. The arrogance that assumes we can answer such mysteries is unfathomable.  As one friend, Eddie Robbins said, “If folks believe that, how do they explain so many shootings in churches?” Humble down, people of God. This is no time to grind an axe.

True, prayer is not allowed in most public arena today, but I guarantee you that there was a ton of prayer going up in Sandy Hook Elementary School today. God was there, He was with every victim and He is with all of the survivors. To believe otherwise is heartless and in conflict with the nature of God.

We need to refute bad theology. People need to stop saying hurtful things to try to prove a point. But now is the time for mourning and praying, not arguing.