Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Duct Tape - Again!

Just in case, it's always good to have a spare roll of duct tape around! Here's the latest thing that I need duct tape for. Apparently Operation Christmas Child has become like most of the rest of Christmas - all about everything but Christ.

Here's the deal. According to this news report, Operation Christmas Child, run by the charity Samaritan's Purse (Franklin Graham) has banned all Christmas themed children's gifts.

Donors are asked to pack shoeboxes with a cuddly toy, a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and flannel, notepads, colouring books and crayons - but nothing to do with Christmas.

Stories from the Bible, images of Jesus and any other Christian literature are expressly forbidden - in case Muslims are offended.

A Church of England spokesman (see my previous post about the Church of England) said: "We are very clear that in Britain, Muslims are not offended by Christians celebrating Christmas." But he added: "In other parts of the world, in Muslim countries, if Muslims have strong values that would regard this as a hostile act..."

A spokesman for Samaritan's Purse had this to say, "Christianity motivates many of our supporters to help children in need. We are a Christian charity and that's about helping people. But it's our policy not to put religious, political or military items in boxes which go to areas of different cultures. All shoeboxes are checked in the UK warehouses in case someone has ignored the instruction and put such an item into a shoebox and, if found, any such item is removed."

Giving children gifts is good and all, but I think the whole purpose of giving gifts started because of the wisemen bringing gifts to Jesus. Isn't this what Christmas is all about? Oops, sorry if I offended anybody...

It seems to me that a Christian organization using money and gifts given by Christians at Christmas time for Christmas gifts - those who give ought to be able to at least give gifts that tell the true meaning of Christmas.

I guess I agree with Ann Widdecombe who is quoted in the article, "Either this is being done in the name of Christ or it isn't. This is Christmas, a Christian festival. If it's being done for Christmas, there is no reason on earth why they should not have Christian symbols."


  1. I totally agree with you. I can not believe that the simplest of holidays can be turned into a religous battle. I mean, we don't attack any of their holidays, so why are they not tolerant of Jesus.

    I guess its like one great pastor said, "People do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself. They reject the Bible because it contradicts them."

    But we can be sure of this one fact....Christ is coming soon! We should take hope and continue to press on for the sake of Christ!

    Thank you for your site. I enjoy reading your posts each day.

  2. I was blog surfing today and found your post. I too had seen the article from the Daily Mail and so actually contacted Samaritan's Purse to find out what's going on as they are one of my favorite charities. Here is a copy of their response to me. I hope it eases your mind just a bit. ---

    Thank you for expressing your concern about the newspaper article published recently in United Kingdom. The article stated that Christian literature is banned from gift-filled shoe boxes donated to Operation Christmas Child. Please be assured that the commitment of Samaritan's Purse to evangelism is as strong as ever.

    Christian literature is not banned from Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes in the United Kingdom or any other sending country. However, there is a difference in the way the boxes are processed in the U.K. for overseas shipment. The U.K. program removes all religious items (Christian as well as other religions) and forwards any Christian literature to our National Leadership Teams working in countries where shoe box gifts are distributed, so the Christian literature can be used with children through the local church.

    Samaritan's Purse staff in the U.K. is dedicated, as we all are, to ensuring that Christian literature given by donors is used in effective ministry outreach to children through Operation Christmas Child.

    The Gospel is also presented locally as part of the distribution of the gifts, and wherever possible, children are offered a Gospel storybook written in their own language called The Greatest Gift of All. Many children are also invited to enroll in a 10-lesson follow-up Bible study program, and upon completion receive a New Testament as a graduation gift.

    In the United States, Christian literature remains inside the shoe box gifts given by donors. We are developing and implementing standard operating procedures to ensure that this practice is followed in the U.K. and other sending countries.

    It grieves us that this article has caused confusion at this particularly crucial time for Operation Christmas Child in the United States, as National Collection Week began Monday, November 13. On behalf of Franklin Graham, we thank you for writing and expressing your concerns.

    We invite you to please join us in prayer for Operation Christmas Child.
    Soon we will be delivering 7.8 million shoe box gifts to hurting boys and girls in over 90 countries around the world. Each box can make an eternal difference in the life of a child!


    Donor Ministries
    Samaritan's Purse
    PO Box 3000
    Boone, NC 28607

  3. Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. The date of the celebration is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth. Christmas festivities often combine the commemoration of Jesus' birth with various secular customs, many of which have been influenced by earlier winter festivals.
    I wonder who to thank for that mixing of the two.

    To me it is a season of giving and peace and unity not pushing our beliefs and ‘liberating’ any countries. It is helping those in need without a label. No brownie points. Do you think your christ would find it important to give on the ‘motive of your heart’ (quoting from your scripture) to the need of someone than pushing your idealism where you have no business? Or are you giving purely for the advertisement and selling of your religion like a cheap tobacco company or better yet a MLM? If your motive of your heart is to help those in need and in your personal relationship with christ do you not think he would bless you for your quiet giving? If your picture of christ caused the death of a little girl because of their belief how is that any better for your campaign?? It makes you no better than the slaughterings here:

    Now put the shoe on your foot… I’m going to be melodramatic here--You’re a poor and starving devout Christian you receive a box of goodies from a well meaning person from a far off place and inside there is a picture of Satan or a story of how he plans to take over the world—what do you think your parents/government/church would do if they found that in your possession. I do these shoeboxes every year and I don’t expect praise I don’t put anything offensive inside. I don’t push my beliefs on a child ever. That’s not the meaning of Christmas to me and christmas isn't their celebration and if you think it is then you have 2 options use the duct tape for your mouth or find an organization that will let you put your jesus pictures in…who knows…they might need kindling for their fire….

    Here is your own Christian heads stating this important detail:

    "Ideally, a child would receive a present with a Madonna and Child card, but if that is not possible, it is more important than the aid gets through than the Christian message."

    The charity has also banned war-related items such as Action Man-type figures, as well as chocolate and cake.

    I hope this season you concentrate on the motive of your heart and stop worrying about whether jesus is going to get to them or not. As you know he works in mysterious ways all on his own without you bumbling it up.