Andy has a website called Contradict Movement, where he sells stickers that spell Contradict using various religious symbols. He also sells Contradict Gospel tracts to accompany these stickers and his book, Contradict - They Can't All Be True. Links are also given to his blog, Youtube channel, and Reconnect Podcast. All of these resources are purposed to equip Christians to defend the good news of Jesus Christ in a pluralistic age.
Periodically, Andy receives messages that call for him to stop Contradict Movement, because it is a distortion of what Coexist actually is and that Contradict is a hateful movement!
In this episode, he shares the following email and the several back and forth replies that followed:
"I'm not sure I understand your message or your goal for this "movement". The Coexist Movement is simply a call for peace among religions. Pointing out that different religions are different seems to be a mute point. Why go against a peaceful movement to point out our differences? No one is claiming that all religions are the same. We know that all religions are diverse and different from one another, we are just trying to coexist peacefully and respectfully. Will you please stop this movement? You are making a bad name for Christians everywhere, making Christianity the "hateful religion". Please stop."
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
This star is often depicted as a bright, roaming globe that shines a spotlight directly on the house of Mary and Joseph for the magi to follow. If this star actually appeared in this fashion, wouldn’t it be obvious to everyone, not just wise men from the east who studied the stars? If this star didn’t exist, what would that mean for the truthfulness about the entire Gospel narrative? Is there evidence outside of the Bible that this star existed?
These questions prompted Andy Reese to dig deep into astronomy, historical records, and the bread crumbs left in God’s Word concerning the historicity of this special star phenomenon. In this episode he will answer these questions and many more.
Andy Reese is a church leader, teacher, and writer. His website is andyreese.org.
In the first segment, Andy shares his article, "Seeing Christ In Your Christmas," and in the second segment, John Campbell discusses why Christians shouldn't worry about celebrating Christmas out of fear that they are somehow endorsing paganism!
“Seeing Christ in Your Christmas” by Andy Wrasman
There are many simple ways to see Christ in Christmas. One way to accomplish this goal is by drawing Biblical parallels with the traditional Christmas tree décor. As long as Christians are not glorifying pagan beliefs and practices, or bowing at the altar of gluttonous consumerism through our American Christmas tree traditions, then there is freedom in Christ to take what has become a hallmark of the secular world at the time we celebrate the birth of our Lord, and point it all back to Jesus being the reason for the season. With no plea to reject Black Friday shopping as the day to get your Christmas season started off on the right foot, and with no “Bah Humbug” towards the secular spirit of Christmas, here’s a list to check twice to see Christ this Christmas.
The Christmas tree is an evergreen tree, because it doesn’t lose its needles through the winter. Using this type of tree points to the eternal life that Jesus Christ offers to the world. Jesus is the one who was, and is, and is to come! (Revelation 4:8). The Christmas tree also harkens us back to the tree upon which Christ was slain, the tree by which eternal life has been given to the world. (Galatians 3:13)
The traditional tree toppers – a bow, an angel, or a star – all point to the Christmas tree representing Jesus. Bows adorn gifts, and the coming of Christ into the world is a reminder that the Father gave Jesus as a gift out of his great love for us. (John 3:16) At Jesus’ birth, Luke records a great multitude of angels proclaiming the Good News of his arrival to shepherds who watched over their flock at night. (Luke 2:8-18) Matthew tells of wise men traveling from the east, following a star to the birth place of the awaited Messiah (Hebrew for Christ). (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1-12)
The wise men from the east, who followed the star of Christ, brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, valuable gifts that were common to give to a king. If the Christmas tree is seen to represent Christ, the gifts at the foot of the tree draw us back to the gifts the wise men laid before baby Jesus as they worshiped him. (Matthew 2:11) Our gift giving at Christmas should serve to remind us that as we give to others who are in need, we are giving to Jesus. (Matthew 25:34-40) And if the gifts at the tree are seen to have come from Santa Claus, an all-knowing, all-loving, apparently all-powerful, and never dying father-figure who cares for children, it should point us to the true gift-giver, God our heavenly Father. (James 1:17)
The lights that are held up by being draped across the Christmas tree’s branches are a final touch that point back to Christians, the Church. John begins his Gospel biography of Christ by saying that in Jesus “was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4, ESV). The light of Jesus shines in the darkness of this sin cursed world. (John 1:5) The light of Jesus enlightens men as to who God is. (John 1:9) Later in his Gospel, John directly quotes Jesus as having said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). As Christians know the Lord through Jesus, and possess eternal life and the light of Christ, we become just what Jesus calls us in his Sermon on the Mount, “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).
When we look at the Christmas tree, we are reminded that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. The Light of the World has revealed himself, lighting the path to eternal life. As Christians are connected to Christ, we shine the light of Christ into a fallen world. The Church that is spread out across the world, and is still growing, shines as many dispersed beacons of hope in a fallen and depraved world. Jesus came, died for our sins, rose for our salvation, and is patiently waiting for more to come to know of his love and grace.
This Christmas, remember that Jesus came once with angels and with a star as the ultimate gift of God to this world, and Jesus will come again; this time with the entire heavenly host with the falling of all the stars as he returns for his chosen and holy people. Let’s help the world see Christ this December, as we hold out the Good News of Jesus Christ in all that we say and all that we do in our Christmas celebration.