Want A True Christmas?

Pastor Says Boycott The Presents

Retailers are looking at a rosy holiday season, but one church pastor is ready to pour a little sour milk in their eggnog.

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales will increase by 2.3 percent over last year, totaling $447.1 billion in sales during November and December. That figure, however, is less an economic indicator than it is a symptom of the diseases of materialism and immediate gratification that plague the country, according to Pastor Fred Sellers.

“Where in the Bible does it say, ‘Thou shalt buy an HD TV?’” said Sellers, pastor of the Victory Church of Norman, Oklahoma and author of The Prophet of Vail Mountain (www.prophetofvailmountain.com). “Seriously, we are inundated with TV specials and movies that remind us that the true blessings of Christmas exist not inside a box, but in our hearts. We hear it in our holiday songs and we hear it when we attend services, so why do we still persist in pursuing this gluttonous amount of material goods? If we truly did believe what our church leaders, movie producers, songwriters and our hearts are telling us about the true meaning of Christmas, what are we doing spending hundreds of billions of dollars this year for things we don’t need?”

Sellers, whose book explores and challenges the modern nature of faith, believes that the religious view of this gross materialism isn’t something anyone would want to see written in a Christmas card.

“For those who are faithful, this is not what Christ intended when he died for our sins,” he added. “While He would be pleased that we use this time to reflect on our lives and try to bring joy to others, I doubt the mob scenes at stores on Black Friday would make him believe we understood the message he was trying to send us. Truly, will our kids get more out of that new video game system and all the countless hours they’ll spend being hypnotized by it than they would out of spending real time with their families? The hard truth is that most kids, if given the choice, would probably choose the video games over their parents most of the time, and that’s sad, and entirely preventable.”

Moreover, Sellers takes issue with the fact that many people wait for the holidays to be charitable and bring joy.

“The reality is that many people spend their entire year being pretty miserable,” he said. “They don’t spend time with their loved ones; they don’t spend time with their kids; and when they do, they’re distracted by the minutiae of daily life. Bringing peace and joy should be one of our goals every day of the year, and not just when ‘the season of giving’ comes around. Christ taught us that every day should be the season of giving. My advice is to forget the gifts, spare yourself of the nightmare of the check-out lines and the crowds and spend the time and money on taking care of your families and enjoying the time the season avails you. The things that truly warm our hearts are the bonds we share with our loved ones and the peace and joy we can bring to our world — and if anyone can find a way to put that in a box, I guarantee I’ll be the first in line. In the meantime, I’m not trying to be a grinch or a Scrooge. I’m simply saying that if we remove the gifts from the picture, all we are left with in the frame is ourselves, and if we love each other the way Christ intended, that should be more than enough.”

About Fred Sellers

Born in Mangum, Oklahoma in 1946, Sellers was born again as a Christian in the summer of 1961. After college, some volunteer work and 17 years in business, Sellers sold all his business interests and was ordained as a minister. He founded the Victory Church in Norman, Oklahoma in the early 1990s in his living room. Today the church has more than 300 members, who are served by Pastor Sellers and his wife of 25 years, Priscella.

To interview Fred Sellers, or request a review copy of The Prophet of Vail Mountain, contact Russ Handler at (727) 443-7115 ext. 206 or email Russ@newsandexperts.com.

Russ Handler
Print Campaign Manager
News and Experts
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