16 December 2005
Megachurch pastors are apparently hurt over the mocking they’ve been taking in the media after coverage of the fact that many of the largest churches will be closing for Sunday, Christmas day, to allow parishioners and church volunteers to spend time with their families. Christianity Today’s Leadership blog compiles several responses, and describes the controversy over the church closings, seen by some as an embarrassing surrender to commercialism, and by others as “an exercise in Christian liberty,” by pastors who value “people over policy.” More interesting, in this climate of supposed wars on Christians and Christmas is the frustrated digression of Jon Weece, pastor of Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, who took time in the midst of a defensive sermon preached last Sunday, to reference the historically pagan roots of Christmas as a holiday for Roman gods, and to point out that the symbolic celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas is not meant to be taken literally.