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As Christmas approaches we find ourselves in another round of the Christmas culture wars—this time with Christmas winning. Wal-Mart recently announced it would not only allow but encourage its Associates to jettison last year’s “Happy Holiday” greetings in favor of the traditional “Merry Christmas.” While Best Buy is sticking with generic holiday salutations, in their view, “respecting” all their customers, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Walgreen are joining Wal-Mart in a return to Christmas.

While these moves are more about profit than philosophy it’s still good to see common sense reassert itself. Christmas is more than the Christian holy day honoring the birth of Christ. It is an internationally recognized time of cheer, expressions of peace, and goodwill. It is a time of gift-giving and gift-receiving, of family and food, and of rest and reflection.

Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, curiously criticized Wal-Mart, saying that when Wal-Mart officials “cave into these demands, they are really making a statement that non-Christians should probably go elsewhere this holiday season.” If there was ever an example of a secularist mindset, this is it. What does Wal-Mart, a retail corporation, have to do with separation of church and state? And for that matter, if non-Christians are offended by Christmas, why are they shopping during the holiday season? Lynn’s comment reveals an anti-religion bias that runs much deeper than any concerns he may have about how church and state function best.

It’s true. “Merry Christmas” means something very special to Christian people, so as a believer I’m glad to welcome it back. But it does the phrase no damage to note that it has grown beyond its uniquely religious and specifically Christian heritage. It’s now a cultural expression intended to wish someone well in the season at hand. It’s no more threatening to non-Christians than Santa Claus is to Christians. So “Three Cheers” to the American retail giants restoring a bit of sanity to the season, and “Merry Christmas” to all.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at

Rev. Ted Haggard, recently pastor of the 14,000 member New Life Church of Colorado Springs, Colorado and President of the National Association of Evangelicals is another casualty in Christian leadership. He resigned his pastorate November 5th because, in his words, he was guilty of “sexual immorality.” Haggard took this action after publicly denying at least three times the accusations of an alleged lover who said Haggard had regular gay sex with him and had purchased illegal drugs. He has now owned his behaviors and is suffering very public consequences.

We should learn several things from this public fall from grace. One, “Don’t rush to judgment.” Haggard’s multiple denials and later confession should remind us that it takes time to sort out what really happened in any human drama. Two, “Check your facts.” Those who staunchly defended him without examining evidence were later embarrassed. Three, “We’re all human.” What Haggard did was immoral, deceitful, and, if he purchased narcotics, illegal. But no one is above temptation and no one is without sin, and “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Four, “Pray for leaders.” God commands us to pray for those in authority over us no matter what role they play, political, commercial, or religious. Five, “A fall from grace disqualifies one from leadership, not from life.” Haggard resigned his leadership positions, and he says he asked God and his family for forgiveness. He also asked us for forgiveness. If he is sincere he should be forgiven. What he did was sin but not the impardonable sin.

Haggards failure is monumental. It likely means he will never minister in a similar capacity ever again. Yet God is a God of second chances. Just ask the biblical Samson—and some day, ask Ted Haggard. And for that matter, ask any follower of Christ.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at


“The Reckoning:  Remembering the Dutch Resistance,” is a socially and historically significant film. It is a story of the Dutch resistance to Nazi occupation of The Netherlands during WWII, a story of Jewish resilience in the face of a systematic state policy of annihilation, and a story of religious faith.

Conceived, written, filmed, and produced by John Evans and Corey Niemchick of StoryTelling Pictures in Grand Rapids, Michigan, “The Reckoning” features several up-close interviews of survivors of this period of Dutch history. Diet Eman, now in her eighties and living in Grand Rapids, is one of those survivors whose personal experiences as a resister are featured in an especially compelling and heart-wrenching presentation.

Viewing this film, like visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., is not “fun,” but it is nevertheless something everyone in their teens and older should do. It is reality even if disturbing reality. It is a depiction of the depths to which humanity can sink in hatred, depravity, and tragedy—but it is ultimately a depiction of triumph, for in this major piece of history the bad guys do not win.

Evans and Niemchick are the creative talents that brought this documentary to the screen. If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture will fill hearts and souls for a long time to come.

Cornerstone University partnered with StoryTelling Pictures, a for-profit enterprise, to make possible “The Reckoning,” a non-profit endeavor. The university counts it an honor to have played a role.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

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In the year since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and other coastal areas of the American south, the birth rate of New Orleans has jumped an amazing 39%, May 2005 to May 2006.

Citizens, medical professionals, and counselors have said this increase in the birth rate can be explained in these ways: an inability to attain birth control support, a lack of electricity and television so therefore more snuggling and what comes with it, the fact that there are more younger people returning to the city than older people, a logical outcome of people seeking comfort in one another, the fact that people had more to worry about than contraception, sex is a stress reliever, or a conscious attempt to do something that restored direction and a future to a family’s life. Some people think it’s also a sign of the city’s renaissance. In any event, a baby boom of this magnitude is a very interesting phenomenon.

I don’t want to over-theologize or spiritualize it, but I do believe “life” in the face of death and destruction is a compelling expression of the human psyche’s deep seated understanding that human beings are or should be eternal. Experiencing the loss of many human lives is an affront to this sense of ourselves. Whether or not people are religious, they know that human beings matter.

We want to scream, “No,” in the face of something like an overpowering hurricane that seems to suggest that human beings are no more significant than flotsam and jetsam. Babies are one way to scream “No.”

I salute the new little ones, and I salute the people of New Orleans and the coastal region in their efforts to rebuild. New life is about hope, and human beings are lost without hope.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

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Male/Female relationships in the workplace have always been an important organizational consideration. At times, depending upon prevailing winds of culture, they’ve been a challenge, perhaps none more so than today.

In no particular order, here are a few things we’ve learned:

¨ God created all human beings, male and female, in his image – Genesis 1:26. God made men and women equivalent in value and importance – 1 Corinthians 11:11-12.

¨ Considering appropriate and professional male/female relationships in the workplace should neither be a “witch hunt,” nor a “whitewash.”

¨ Both male chauvinism and radical feminism are unproductive and needlessly and inappropriately provocative in the workplace (and for that matter in any part of life).

¨ The family culture of a person’s upbringing, or the current family culture in which they live, greatly influences how the person approaches male/female relationships in the workplace.

¨ There are “huggy” and “non-huggy” people, and non-huggy people do not generally appreciate being hugged by huggy people, even if the latter are offering a hug with the purest of motives and in a manner that is generally considered acceptable in polite company.

¨ At least seven types of problems can develop from inappropriate and unprofessional male/female relationships in the workplace:

1) Unpleasant or uncomfortable workplace environments in which the attitude and atmosphere is tainted by sexually-charged or gender-related jokes or comments (e.g. references to PMS, appearance, etc.) or use of a demeaning or trivializing vocabulary (e.g. “gals,” “the boys,” references to body parts or physiological functions, etc.).

2) Devaluation of women’s comments, opinions, perspectives in the workplace.

3) A generally unstated but sometimes evident expectation that women should always defer to men in authority.

4) The Glass Ceiling – an ostensibly invisible barrier in the organizational hierarchy above which women may not be promoted.

5) Touching – physical contact that, even if not intended as a sexual advance, could be interpreted as such by the recipient or others. Physical contact not generally considered sexually oriented that may still be unwanted by the recipient.

6) Sexual harassment – direct sexual advances or references or other forms of sexually-charged touching, threats of workplace discipline or dismissal, or offers of advancement related to requested sexual favors, etc.

7) Immorality – adultery or affairs among coworkers.

¨ Any one of these problems can destroy careers, marriages, or lives. Consequently, they are important for more than simply contemporary political correctness or diversity reasons.

¨ While there is a biblical teaching called “submission” that relates to husband and wife relationships in a marriage, God never said that women should be “submissive” to every man they meet.

Some practical considerations: take reasonable care when meeting with someone of the opposite gender, e.g. leaving an office door open, refraining from covering office door windows, not meeting in obscure places, particularly away from the workplace, not traveling with a member of the opposite gender without others present, etc.

The real bottom line of male/female relationships in the workplace is respect. Men and women are uniquely gifted even as they are equal in the eyes of God. Each person has value. Each person must be treated with dignity as an image-bearer of the Creator.

In the end, there are moral, legal, professional, and practical reasons why men and women should exercise mature ethical judgment in how they relate to one another in the workplace.

God is honored as we honor others.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2010

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Dr. Larry W. Poland is this year’s recipient of the Foundations of Faith Award given by Cornerstone University to those who have demonstrated significant leadership and service to the Lord. Since 1985, Dr. Poland has been the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Mastermedia International, a ministry to the top leadership of the film and television entertainment business in Hollywood and New York, the so-called “media elite,” many of whom would otherwise never meet, let alone get to know, a follower of Christ.

Dr. Poland’s ministry with these individuals “takes the long view.” He witnesses to them of the truth of Christ and Christianity by living a trustworthy life before them and being there when they are in spiritual need and looking for answers. Given the individuals involved, this spiritual seed-sowing process may literally take years to bear fruit.

Mastermedia International publishes a “national media prayer calendar” in which media leaders are listed and for whom Christians pray every day of the year. Characters on “The West Wing” television program mentioned this calendar in one episode, and media leaders have repeatedly responded with warmth to the discovery that Christians cared more about praying for them than attacking them.

Last year, Cornerstone University’s faculty approved a new Media Studies major, which will prepare students for careers in journalism, broadcasting, film, theatre, and other related fields using the Internet and new media technologies. This new program is being offered because it is currently in demand but also because it is a way of developing individuals who can lead and influence culture via the powerful impact of all forms of communications.

Dr. Poland is an outstanding Christian leader, one who Cornerstone University is pleased to honor. We trust God will use the university’s programs to produce the next generation of talented and spiritually committed servants to work in media.


© Rex M. Rogers - All Rights Reserved, 2006

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at or follow him at