No Easter bunny

My posts are typically some deeply theological ideology in which I offer my perspective on what the Bible teaches. This post, however, is intended to be different. This post is simply my feelings and emotions about a practice I noticed occurring in some churches. I want to stress that I am in no way intending to apply that what I am about to discuss is in anyway happening in all churches. However, I know for certain, that some churches are engaging in this practice frankly it bothers me deeply.

What is this practice? It is the inclusion of the Easter Bunny during the church’s Easter celebration. Even my own home church participated in this by having the bunny available for pictures before the Easter service. When I saw this when I walked in the doors, I was severely bothered this. Easter is “prototype and source of the New Creation”[1] It is and should be the most important day of the Christian year. As the Apostle Paul said, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).

Now I am believer in Grace, so I can totally understand the notion that the Bunny is imaginary fiction. I also understand the desire to connect with people of the culture. Yet it seems to me that this is a compromise that church just should not be making. I believe it goes against some basic principals laid out in scripture.

The first scripture I would like to highlight is in 1 Cor 8. Here Paul is discussing meat sacrificed to idols and whether or not it is acceptable to eat. Paul concludes that both sides of the argument are correct: idols are not real and therefore the meat is acceptable to be eaten and the meat is tainted because the Christian believes that it is tainted and therefore should not be eaten. Paul, then says however if it is offensive to someone then to do it is to cause them to sin and that would make the one who caused the offense worse than the offender.

In terms of the Easter Bunny at an Easter worship service, should we be doing anything that might trip up a new-comer to the faith? What if that new comer is trying to follow Jesus and remove himself from his worldly culture and lifestyle? Should we be projecting anything that might distract from Jesus, especially on this day (although I would make the same argument for Santa on Christmas)?

The Second scripture is found in John’s Gospel, Jesus prays that we are not to be taken out of the world but that we are not of the world. (17:15-16) There have been many writers who have pointed out this not a passage of isolation but of engagement through our differences. Jesus resurrection is so important that is should be the focus of Easter. It is the means of faith, hope, and love. It is the security of our salvation. It is the evidence that Jesus is not some mere failed revolutionary or protester, but that He is the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, the Messiah, God in the flesh. Why then are we condescending on this day of all days to the whim of culture? Jesus came to challenge the culture and announce the inauguration of his Kingdom.

 

Then again, perhaps I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. I would gladly take in your own thoughts and opinions. Feel free to comment below.

[1] N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (HarperCollins, 2008).