The Message of the Kettle

One cannot travel through the malls and shopping centers of America during this time of year without coming into contact with it…

Red kettle3The red kettle of the Salvation Army.

For over a century, the organization founded by British evangelist William Booth has been “doing the most good” — feeding, clothing, helping the down and out, comforting the hurting, and caring for those lost in the unrelenting busyness and chaos of society.

 

William BoothWilliam Booth famously said…

I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell.

Mr. Booth’s prophetic words are — sadly — where we are today.

  • We want “feel good religion” without the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
  • We want to call ourselves a Christian nation, all the while trying to remove Christ from every facet of the public square.
  • We want to be forgiven without sacrificing the very things that we need to be forgiven for.
  • We want to separate our politics from our belief system. We have become more and more willing to sacrifice our convictions of holiness on the altar of political correctness. We are more concerned with being culturally “right” than being righteous.
  • We want all of the “warm fuzzies” that thoughts of Heaven invoke without the unpleasantness and horror of Hell.

Salvation ArmyWhen we water down the message of the Gospel for a relevant message of “I’m ok… you’re ok”, we cheapen the sacrifice of a Savior Who gave His all so that we could spend eternity with Him. When we dilute the message of grace and mercy found only in Christ, we prove that we have lost our understanding of the true meaning of this season of Christmas. As the prophet Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before His birth…

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This Christmas season let us remember that, in order to ever have Peace on Earth, we must give the Prince of Peace His rightful place on the throne of our hearts and lives; not as an ornament that we take down and wear at our convenience, but as the foundation of who we are, permeating every facet of our being.

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