"On the third day, he rose again," reads the line from the universally recognized Nicene Creed that has served as the foundation for the holiday that we have come to know as Easter.
According to the Creed, it was on that day that Jesus Christ, who previously died on the cross, was resurrected. Believers were given the promise of eternal life since Jesus paid for their sins.
Every year around springtime, Christians commemorate the death of the Savior on Good Friday, then the resurrection of the Savior is marked on Easter Sunday.
Church attendance is usually highest on Easter, and churches always take the time to plan ahead so they can deliver one of the most important services of the year on the holy day.
Many take part in outreach efforts to draw people in. My church has been garnering attention by constantly updating the sign in the front lawn with creative messages that range from serious to slightly humorous.
As long as it isn't rude or offensive, there aren't any rules that need to be followed when creating such signs, but apparently, there are places in which churches can't include certain words, including "Jesus."
Yes, seriously, I wish I was kidding.
You would think that since Easter wouldn't exist without Jesus his name would be included in the acceptable words list, but that's not the case in New South Wales, where a church is caught in the middle of a political correctness controversy.
The reason why the church isn't allowed to include Jesus' name in the sign is actually baffling and infuriating.
Elim Church, an evangelical church in Australia, paid for digital signs to be posted at a shopping mall in the area as part of their pre-Easter advertising to drive up attendance to a free upcoming Easter event.
The signs read "The greatness of His Power. Jesus is Alive!"
Everything seemed to have been working well until Pastor Martin Duffy received a call from the shopping center manager, Lendlease, informing that that they would have to take the signs down if it included "Jesus."
Confused, Duffy asked the company why they made such a strange request, and to his utter surprise, he was told that leaving the word "Jesus" on the ad may have offended shoppers who are non-Christian.
The pastor was asked to change "Jesus is alive" to "the risen Christ" in order to be allowed to keep the ads up.
Duffy explained on 2GB, a Sydney-based radio show that removing Jesus' name from the advertisements goes against everything Christians stand for.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Jesus and the phrase ‘Jesus is alive’ is the central message of the Christian faith and what Easter’s really all about,” he explained, adding, "Really in our world today, that’s a wonderful message that people need to hear."
It took some back and forth, but Landlease eventually caved in and allowed Elim Church to use Jesus in their poster.
A spokeswoman for the shopping center issued a statement of apology and backtracked on their absurd demand.
"It was an error of judgment to ask Elim Church to change its messaging, and we apologize unreservedly. Lendlease values diversity and inclusion, and we welcome people of all backgrounds at our shopping centers."
The ads still haven't been changed back to include "Jesus," but Duffy is hopeful it will happen sooner than later.
"They’ve acknowledged they’ve made a mistake and they said in this case, they’d wished they’d not done that,” Pastor Duffy said. “So that’s a victory.”
This isn't the first time that Christians and their faith have faced this type of scrutiny. When Kentucky decided to welcome back the Bible into public schools, there were many groups that did not take the news too well.
Ironically, the new legislation was introduced after the state's political representatives felt that Christians were being discriminated against for their beliefs.
Do you think the shopping mall company should be held accountable for the way they handled the ad situation?