Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Happy Holy-days!

According to Sean Hannity and other conservative talk show hosts, conservatives are engaged in the "Battle for Christmas."

Christian Americans fight this battle every year. Most of us get a bit weary of the over-emphasis on acquisition and year-end parties. It seems the battle starts earlier every year. Here in Phoenix, some stores were putting up displays in late September or early October although holiday marketing didn't start in earnest until Hallowe'en candy went on sale.

My Rotary Club in Canton, Ohio, usually volunteered to help ring bells for the Salvation Army during the Christmas season. Although I've never been a fan of some SA theology, I do appreciate their emphasis on community service and meeting needs. So, I would stand outside K-Mart with some of my Rotarian friends--in the cold, I might add--to ring the bells. Then the news came down that Target would no longer permit volunteers to man the kettles outside their store. The next year it was K-Mart so we moved to another location.

As we rang the bells, we were increasingly encouraged to wish those who threw their contribution into the kettle "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." I refused to do it! It wasn't that I was opposed to "HH," it was simply that I felt too many ignored the "reason for the season." You know what? Most of those passing by responded in kind.

Every year Christmas gets replaced with other things. Thank goodness for Dennis Hastert who put a stop to the foolishness of referring to the lighted tree at the capitol as the "Holiday Tree." It's back to being a Christmas tree! I still hear references to the tree at Rockefeller Plaza as a Christmas tree.

I know the battle for Christmas is underway because of our "national" political correctness craze, but that isn't all of it. It is true that the ACLU, our Public Schools, local governments, and others all avoid references to Christianity.

But ... let's put the blame where it belongs. The major cause of all this erosion of biblical values rests at the feet of Christians who succumb to all the PC "crap." (Can I say that in this blog? Well, its my blog so I guess I can say what I want!) Every year we hear about a few who stand up for Christmas and when they do they get results. For example, a Home Owners' Association in the Detroit suburbs were going to fine a family who placed a Nativity Scene in their yard. The home owners refused and there was such a swell of support that the HOA backed off. (See http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051130/
LIFESTYLE04/511300434) So speak up!

Christians also let themselves get caught up in the whole holiday atmosphere. I think it is great for families to get together during this season. I'm not against giving gifts. Is it necessary, though, to go into debt to the extent that purchases made in 2005 may not be paid off until 2007 or later?

I enjoy the lights, the decorations, the gift giving, and everything that goes with it, but that's not what it is all about. It's about a baby born in an inconvenient place and placed in a manger--a baby who grew up to be God's promised Messiah! You know what? We really don't know when he was born! We don't know the year! We don't know the month! We don't know the day! In fact, all of that really isn't important. The importance fact is that he was born, lived, died, was buried, and was resurrected and now lives to intercede for us.

The important thing is that regardless of how our culture goes, YOU keep Christ in YOUR Christmas! That will go a long way in winning the "battle for Christmas."

2 comments:

Adam Jubert said...

Wonderful post! I'm glad there are still so many people that still think that Jesus is the reason for the season!

Just a note: Jesus was most likely born in August, but like you said, it doesn't really matter.

God Bless,
Adam

Chris said...

The holidays afford us the opportunity to spend joyous times with family and friends. But it is important that we understand the origin of Christmas in pagan times and that the pope assigned Dec. 25 as the date to celebrate Christ's birth in an effort to replace the pagan worship of the sun god, but still withheld biblical truth from the people and observed pagan practices then and now in their assemblies. It should be noted that those early Christians who quoted scripture from the Bible against idolotry, infant baptism, etc. were burned alive for heresy by direct order from the popes. Although Christ's birth is an important event in the Bible and one we should read and appreciate at any time of the year, we are not instructed to celebrate it as a religious holiday. The Bible instructs that we are to observe Christ's death every first day of the week by partaking of the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7). These matters may seem trivial and harmless to us but when we read Rev. 22:18-19 we are made to realize the danger in adding to or taking away from God's word.