This time of year, we have to contend with endless salvos in the War on Christmas. While there are some areas of concern to be sure, I often think that the War on Christmas gets blown out of proportion at times.
And then there’s Dr. Eric Sprankle, a sex therapist and professor at Minnesota State University – Mankato. Sprankle has decided to insert the #MeToo movement into the debate over Christmas with an idiotic tweet.
That’s right. Sprankle, whose bio on Twitter expresses his devotion to “Sex workers’ rights,” his love for Charles Manson and his declaration of “Ave Satanas” (or “Hail Satan”), clearly hasn’t read the Gospel of Luke. If he had, he would have seen that Mary completely agrees to carrying the Messiah in her womb.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38 (ESV, emphasis mine)
Not so fast. When another Twitter user countered Sprankle with the facts from Scripture, the professor had a retort that may be more insane than his initial assertion.
That’s right. In Sprankle’s eyes, the Almighty was the ultimate “powerful man” exerting His will upon a poor, defenseless woman. Never mind the fact that Mary clearly possessed the faith to understand that the Lord had chosen her to fulfill His plan for redeeming the world.
It’s easy to make fun of Sprankle (Lord knows I have), to tut-tut him, and to look at him in judgment. It’s more difficult to feel sorry for Sprankle, to view him with sorrow, and to pray for him. He needs our prayers more than anything else – as do the countless numbers of those who would deny the miracle of Christmas or try to insert cheap political shots into the timeless story.
I’ve decided to pray that somehow the Lord will reach Sprankle this Christmas season, or some other time soon. May he learn that “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27, ESV) and come to faith in the God he now denies.
Photo credit: Annunciation by Fra Angelico – Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons