“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14
My friend (in real life, not just Facebook), Dan Wooding, who is the founder of ASSIST News Service, and almost two years ago, moved back to North Wales from Orange County, California, posted this below a few days ago.
Please American friends, who I love very much, would you please stop posting so many angry items from both sides. It’s Christmas when Jesus came to bring salvation and reconciliation and all I am reading is anger and hatred. I’m dealing with a terrible cancer and am being given blood transfusions to stay alive, and so I say, let the blood of Jesus help you to heal you from all anger you may feel and allow you think twice before posting material that does nothing to bring people together. Let’s please have a happy, not angry, Christmas. Remember your angry posts will not change anyone’s mind, even if you feel you have made a point.
And his Facebook post, unfortunately for Dan, was posted before Christianity Today and The Christian Post engaged in a battle royale of OP-EDs over the question of President Trump’s evangelical support or non-support.
It was Dan who first introduced me to the term “media missionary.” I’m still kicking myself for not taking him up on his suggestion (and offer of financial help for transportation) to cover the Orange Revolution in Ukraine during a presidential election. “Local media reports described the daily gatherings in Independence Square [in Kiev] as resembling revival services rather than political protest rallies,” Jeff Fountain stated in The Schuman Centre for European Studies.
Perhaps it’s time.
As a point of reference, the book, From Tabloid To Truth, tells the story of a working-class London tabloid journalist [Dan Wooding] investigating the sordid stories of the day before reaching the end of his rope at the bar in the “Stab in the Back” Pub. Born in Nigeria to missionary parents, this is a story you don’t want to miss.
As I think about Dan’s request to “have a happy, not angry, Christmas” I look beyond social media and to the Christmas dinner table. What will I bring to the table? Will I try to explain my viewpoint on the current state of affairs? That would be the easy thing to do, despite the growing polarization in our country and in the “evangelical” community. Of course, I want to set everybody straight. I’m confident about my version of a biblical view. Isn’t that funny that we are now having to define what it means to be a Christian more than ever?
Perhaps that’s part of the good news. We are called to not necessarily bring our political view to the table, but to share words and actions about our relationship to Jesus now more than ever.
Perhaps it’s time to not only have a happy Christmas, but seek Him, who has granted us much grace.
Political discussion may or may not be a part of your dinner discussion, but let’s make sure Jesus is a topic that will not be excluded. I pray your conversations are led by the one who has many names, including Authority.
My wife and I pray for Dan and his wife, Norma, regularly and I would hope you join us, too, in asking for God’s healing.