While there are very real concerns about what unbelievers do with the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, commonly (and regrettably) known as Easter, the more pressing concern is what Christians often do with the celebration.
David Nelson, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes his point well in “Foolishness During the Easter Season,” published at Baptist Press.
Dr. Nelson correctly notes that Christians are to bear the burden of being called foolish when the offense is the cross of Christ. But . . .
The problem is that too often the church creates its own “foolishness,” which obscures the divine word that the world desperately needs to hear. Last spring the Glassport Assembly of God, located near Pittsburgh, Pa., put on an Easter program in which the Easter bunny was whipped in an attempt to show how Jesus was crucified. The show attracted not only the ire of several parents who attended with their children, but also the attention of national media.
Patty Bickerton, the youth minister at the Glassport church, who portrayed the bunny in question, answered critics, “The program was for all ages, not just the kids. We wanted to convey that Easter is not just about the Easter bunny, it is about Jesus Christ.” Whatever the intentions of the church, and it seems they were good, this all comes off as so much, well, foolishness. But it is foolishness of the wrong kind. Now we have the world objecting not to the foolishness of the cross but clamoring about the foolishness of the church.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this: The “Easter Bunny” is not a Christian symbol — period. Flogging the Easter Bunny is about as foolish an idea as I can conceive. Prescribe a dose of theological clarity here . . . please.