I think it’s wonderful when a holiday season brings out the best in us, when we feel good giving to those nearby or far away. Seeing the joy of children is a gift in itself. And we hope the smiles of joy are not the result of adults using them for their own agenda.
Even before I left Christianity (and faith) I was disturbed by the deception of some believers who use holidays and ancient stories to save souls around the world. It’s especially troubling when children receive “fake love” in the name of faith.
Christmas is probably the best (worst) time of year for this kind of Bait-and-Switch sales.
Franklin Graham is a leader in this dishonest endeavor to make more little Christians by sneaking the gospel into their cute and colorful shoeboxes: Operation Christmas Child
Here’s what I wrote to a local newspaper that reported on this gift drive for children without mentioning the true intent of the boxes:
“As worthy as a program like this can seem on the surface, people should remember this is organized by an evangelistic organization (Samaritan’s Purse, CEO-Franklin Graham).
We might note that the article does not mention what else is included in these boxes. Here is what one child says about the box he received (from the Samaritan’s Purse website):
“He boasted about a flashlight, a teddy bear, a scarf, and gloves. He also got The Greatest Gift Gospel booklet and prayed the prayer of repentance he found inside. He really enjoyed the Operation Christmas Child event, especially the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, coming to this world.”
The ultimate goal is not to help children with school–it is to lead them to Christ.
“Good news” is fine to share, but so is honesty.”
“David Niose, the legal director of the American Humanist Association (AHA) said: “As taxpaying citizens with children in the school district, these families object to their schools supporting the efforts of Christian missions to convert children in developing countries.
“Pressuring students to participate in religious programs in their public schools flies in the face of the separation of church and state that the Establishment Clause demands.”
It’s easy to be duped by these deceptive programs. And even when there isn’t conscious deception, using the story of a poor, palestinian jewish family to “sneak preach” to children is unethical to say the least.
In this consumer-crazed season, let’s not buy this cheap God Toy, and find better ways to help children to live healthier lives.
Let’s save children in this world from those who are out to save them for another world.