Christian Emphasis

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The Christian Basis

Article 2, Section 1, of the International Constitution sets out the Christian basis of Y’s Men International and its loyalty to the YMCA:

The International Association of Y’s Men’s Clubs is a worldwide fellowship of persons of all faiths working together in mutual respect and affection, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and with a common loyalty to the Young Men’s Christian Association, striving through active service to develop, encourage and provide leadership to build a better world for all mankind.

Guideline 201 gives an interpretation of the words “based on the teachings of Jesus Christ” in Article 2, Section 1:

“Based on the teachings of Jesus Christ” means that club members acknowledge what Jesus Christ has taught and that the acceptance of those teachings leads club members to be prepared to put His words into action. They become guidelines for club members’ decision-making, for their mode of operation as clubs and as an international association and for the way of life of club members as individuals.

As the YMCA, Y’s Men International is open to all regardless of race, creed, colour or national origin, but while the YMCA has “open membership and Christian leader­ship”, Y’s Men International does not have any restrictions on its leadership. We therefore have members and leaders of other faiths than the Christian faith in our ranks.

Christmas 2020

International Service Director & Chaplain
Christian Emphasis
Carl Hertz-Jensen


A few years ago, I was told not to use the phrase “Merry Xmas”. I had not previously thought of “xmas” as more or less Christian, but I understand why some Christians prefer to use the phrase “ Merry Christmas”. It so clearly refers to Jesus Christ. His name is part of the greeting. Concise, easy and without any Christian implications, “Xmas,” is clearly made for business, PR, advertising. — just smart!

I have to say, that I don’t fully agree with this conclusion. I have been reading the gospel of Christ in Greek. X is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ and is the abbreviation for him. So, “xmas” is actually as Christian as can be! X is also a very visible sign for the cross.

When we wish someone “Merry Christmas”, we all likely think of the birth of the baby, Jesus Christ in Bethlehem – at least on some level. That is why we celebrate Christmas. When we wish someone “Merry Xmas” we shall remember that the child was crucified on the cross around 30 years later. To me that is the most important matter. In celebrating his birth, we should also honour his death.

Jesus became so much more than a new born baby. He was the Christian savior, the one and only to give his life for all of us. Jesus died for us! Xmas will remind us of salvation. And more than that, Xmas can remind us of any X in our lives, any cross we have had to carry, any cross which we have given others to carry.

Anyway, Christmas will come, and Xmas will bring the gospel as joy to the world!