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The "YMCA,"  "YMcA," or "YMA?"
by Steve Higginbotham
July 31, 2006
I believe that most people realize that we live during a time in which our Christian beliefs do not influence our culture as they once did. Many of us reading this article may be old enough to remember a time when things were different than the way they are today. Many of us can remember a time when...
  • “Blue laws” existed and stores were closed on Sunday’s out of deference and respect to the Lord’s Day.
  • Youth sport leagues would not have played games on Sunday or scheduled practices on Wednesday night because this was time for church and “mid-week Bible Study.”
  • The Lord’s Prayer was prayed every morning in public school.
  • The Ten Commandments were displayed on the walls of our schools.
  • Sporting events and graduation began with a prayer.
  • Christianity was not ridiculed by the media through inept, out-of-touch, hypocritical caricatures of Christians as is seen in the media today.

One of the latest battlegrounds is the “C” in “YMCA.” The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded 150 years ago and was intended to provide Bible study and a helping hand to down-and-out men. However, in recent decades, the YMCA has become more known for their family fitness center than for their “Christian” outreach programs. Consequently, the battle is now being waged to remove the “C” from “YMCA”. Just this past week, the YMCA’s national convention met at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. One of the workshops was titled, “Is Your Y a Big, Small or No C at All Association.”

One chairman of the YMCA was interviewed by the Tennessean and he said, “I am not a Christian. I respect your religion. But when I see posters and placards on the wall that reflect Christian principles, I feel left out.” Well now, that’s about like a boy saying he “feels left out” after joining the Girl Scouts!

Friends, we live in a time unlike any other time in the history of our nation’s existence. “Christianity” is being challenged at every turn. From our society’s point of view, Christianity is fine so long as it is kept within the confines of a church building, but don’t let it leak out into the streets, the marketplace, and our daily lives. Paul speaks of those who “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28). We are fast becoming that society.

What we need are Christians who are unashamed; Christians who will take Jesus to the streets; Christians who will take Jesus to work and play with them; and Christians who will, through their uncompromising convictions, force our society to acknowledge Christianity, and who will refuse to allow Christianity to be swept aside as an irrelevancy. Will you do your part?

Copyright © 2006, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.