Summary: Preparing to celebrate Christ’s coming in a hostile world. Five key principles that should characterize our lives.

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1 Peter 3: 13-17

1. An “urban legend” has been around for a long time that has excellent instructional value for us – even if biologists question the scientific veracity of the experiment. The theory states that you can boil a live frog in a pot of water, if the water is heated slowly enough — according to the story, if you place a frog into boiling water, it will immediately jump out, but if you place it in cold water that is slowly heated, it will gradually acclimatize itself to the increasing temperature and be unable to jump out before it is too late.

2. Whether or not that legend is factually correct – I believe it is clearly being demonstrated in the growing a-morality of our society and not just the apathy and indifference towards Christianity, but the outright hostility and opposition being demonstrated on a number of fronts towards the Christian faith.

3. Had the enemies of Christianity in this country, back in the 1940’s and 50’s, and perhaps early 60’s instigated a full frontal and radical attack to ban Christmas and call for the removal of “In God We Trust” from our money and the removal of the 10 Commandments from the court houses, the acceptance and legitimizing of homosexual marriage, the recognition of pedophilia as as a consitutionally-guarded "personal freedom" - there would have been an immediate, massive, and passionate rejection of such views from by far the greater majority in this country that such a plan would have been relegated to only a mere handful of proponents on the lunatic fringe.

4. So rather than throw “the frog” into a pot of boiling water, they have been willing to bide their time and just ever so gradually and imperceptibly turn up the heat to the point where the frog has become complacently comfortable in the water without realizing that it’s death is immanent.

5. There comes a point of no return in this process where the frog loses control of its ability to save itself and control is then in the hands of the one turning up the heat. It would seem in many respects that we have already reached that point in this society.

6. At our Annual Church Conference, our District Superintendent Mike Graef shared a video with us describing how much of the Pacific Northwest is already described as “The None Zone”, with numbers of people now publicly describing themselves as having no religious beliefs or affiliation.

7. King County Executive, Ron Simms, issued a memo back in November 0f 2001 that required religion-neutral language and prohibited the wishing of anyone in the workplace a “Merry Christmas”. It is also taboo for any teachers or students to wear Christian or Christmas jewelry at school.

8. The two week vacation in the latter portion of December is no longer referred to as the Christmas holidays but as the “winter break”. The tall decorated trees during this season are now “holiday trees” and no longer “Christmas trees”.

9. The ACLU has a concerted campaign to go after the emblems of cities that portray any Christian symbol or motto as being divisive.

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