It’s that time of the year again; the time when some people refuse to say Merry Christmas and those who demand they do. It’s that time of the year again when the atheists cruise around town looking for a nativity scene too close to a government facility or school. We really don’t know exactly when Jesus was born but we celebrate His birth on December 25th and that has created a firestorm of activity for and against this celebration. It’s that time of the year again when radicals of many different groups will go out of their way to look for something to complain about concerning the season we are in. It never fails to happen. During this time, every year, there are disputes over separation of church and state, someone is offended by a Christmas decoration, cashiers saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas and just about any other topic related to the Christmas season. In the office where I work, we had, before he retired, a Jewish man who loved and enjoyed decorating the office for Christmas. He was by no means a Christian and not really an orthodox Jew. But, he really looked forward to doing that every year. That was so out of place in a society that looks for every opportunity to fight over religion or the way each one thinks the Christmas holiday should be celebrated. We miss him for many reasons but particularly because he would make sure the office was decorated for the Christmas season. There are two times a year which bring much controversy to the American secular society; Easter and Christmas and both are centered around our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. The world doesn’t like Jesus. It will seize every opportunity to attack anything which points in His direction. The secular society has made Easter all about the Easter Bunny and eggs. These are the real myths, not Jesus. The secular society has made Christmas all about Santa Clause and shopping sprees. It is the one time of the year that retailers make that last, final push to get into the black and make a profit for the year. Thus, we have what is known as “Black Friday.” If you want to see the flesh in full forward motion, just watch a Black Friday mob sometime. They are relentless when the doors are opened at midnight or anytime after or now the trend is Thanksgiving evening. For the commercial world, this all about money, not anything, remotely, concerning any type of faith. People have actually died in the stampede of these mobs; and this is what Christmas is all about?
The Unseen Spiritual Battle
All of this fighting back and forth over nativity scenes and crosses and season’s greetings is all about the spiritual battle between Satan and the Church. There are so many Christians who get caught up in these arguments and don’t realize it is a spiritual battle being waged by Satan with his followers and the followers of Jesus. Satan hates to see this time of the year come around because he knows what it symbolizes. He knows it is the celebration of the savior’s birth and he hates anything associated with Jesus. He has stepped up his tactics over the years. When I was a kid, we never heard anybody complaining about a nativity scene or anybody being offended by the Church or Christianity. Speaking just of this country, the US, it has become more and more secular as those years passed and as our world has evolved into a secular society, it has brought about all these so called rights and demands for sensitivities to be soothed. What a load of political correctness! It is unbelievable, their feelings were hurt because somebody put a cross in their front yard and as this person drives by, it is in his field of view! They don’t know, and maybe don’t care, Jesus put Himself on that cross to die in our place, pay the penalty for our sin, all so we can have the opportunity for redemption and not suffer in hell for eternity! So, what is more important, their soul’s eternal destination or their current feelings? As this war rages on, more and more people are caught up in the meaningless arguments concerning what they think are right or wrong and they are missing the most important point, Jesus. Jesus is more than a Christmas celebration; He is the savior of the world and He died for our sin and He is waiting, right now, for all those who have not been saved, to come to Him and know Him as their Lord and savior. The devil doesn’t want anyone to know that; he is extremely busy throwing up these smoke screens to hide the truth. The smoke screens, such as the arguments over nativity scenes, offensive Christmas decorations, politically correct seasonal greetings and so many others.
Jesus knows, and knew, the world would react this way to Him, and anything concerning Him and those who follow Him.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19 NKJV www.gatewaybible.com
So, why do some Christians allow themselves to get caught up in these arguments and controversies? If Christians keep our eyes on Jesus instead of the world, they would be less tempted to react to these situations. If we are spending more time with Him than with the news network we choose to watch, the controversial situations will not be so much of an interest to us. Now, you might say, “We need to defend the meaning of Christmas. We need to stop these people from taking Christ out of Christmas!” Well, I say this, “Nobody can take Christ out of Christmas; it doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do. He was born into a body of flesh for the sole purpose of providing salvation for us. There is nobody anywhere who can change that!” Media outlets make a living by hyping these controversies every year. They love to broadcast this stuff because they know people will watch, get aggravated and watch some more. And, for them, it is good for the ad business, so, there you have it, back to the business end of the season. As the saying goes, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Don’t forget the real meaning of that quote; it is all about Jesus, not shopping sprees, parties, putting massive lights outside and running up your electric bill or any other humanistic form of celebrating this time of year. It’s about the birth of our savior, Jesus and what He has done for us.
Celebrate Jesus, It’s That Time Of The Year Again
When Thanksgiving ends and December rolls around, the Christmas season is already in full swing. Actually, it is not that difficult to find Christmas displays immediately after Halloween. The commercial world knows how to exploit the Christmas season to the fullest extent in order to pad their pockets. I am not a hater of the season; some people might get that impression. I hate what has been done to the Christmas holiday. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the Christmas season; I can still enjoy Christmas and the celebration of the true meaning of it. I simply choose not to allow all the secular complaining to bother me and dampen my attitude. I understand why they complain and I would use that as an opportunity to tell them about Jesus, not a local church or religious group. Tell them about Jesus not your church. That is a symbol of hypocrisy to them; a symbol of bigotry and hatred. We know it isn’t but because of a few misguided religious people, they have formed this opinion of the Church. Here is a classic example of this:
In a recent post by the liberal political media site America Blog, a blogger asks shoppers and supporters to drop off downloadable “vouchers” instead of cash to Salvation Army bell ringers in an effort to let the organization know that “bigotry is not a Christmas value.” The vouchers call the organization discriminatory and promises that the giver will donate to other groups.
“The Salvation Army discriminates against gay people, and discriminating donors should find another charity this Christmas than evangelical bigots who advocate against our civil rights,” John Aravosis writes. “And not just that – they’ve actively lobbied against pro-gay policies in a number of countries as well.”
The Salvation Army has been helping people in need for many, many years regardless of race, sexual orientation or any other bias. It is a Christian organization and since Mr. Aravosis has been mislead or has chosen to create his own ideas concerning the Christian faith, he feels the need to attack this organization because of his opinion. Well, this is America and we all have the right to do that until someone’s feelings are hurt and take you to court facing a lawsuit, which is another favorite American pastime (topic for another time). So, how do we as Christians react to this type of behavior? Do we yell and scream back? Do we call them names and make silly accusations? There are some Christians who react this way; is it right? In my personal opinion, no. When we hear this type of stuff, we should be praying for these people. They are lost and don’t even realize what the true meaning of Christmas is all about or they simply refuse to accept it. What kind of witness is it if we stand toe to toe with them arguing over a stupid secular point? Isn’t it better to tell them or remind them of the real meaning of Christmas. If we were on a public outreach, isn’t that what we would do? It wouldn’t matter who they are or what their secular agenda is, we would still tell them about Jesus. So why do so many get so bent out of shape during this time of the year and want to go to war over a few silly complaints? When you check out at a store and the cashier says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, don’t attack them and demand they tell you Merry Christmas. That cashier may very well want to greet you that way but the person may also have received a directive from their supervisor not to say that. Remember, there are a tremendous amount of retailers who find it necessary to be political correct and not offend any of their customers with a Merry Christmas greeting. We can disagree and reply with a Merry Christmas but why would anyone want to put the cashier in jeopardy of being punished for disobeying a directive from his/her boss? Think about it! Would Jesus stand there and demand a Merry Christmas greeting? How did He respond to those who refused to believe Him or what He said? They crucified Him, murdered Him because of who He is (I know this was God’s plan but the Jewish leaders did not). How did He respond when He was on the cross? He asked His Father to forgive them!
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” LK. 23:34 NKJV
So, again, how do we respond to these crazy reactions from the secular society we live in? I would suggest showing them who Jesus really is. Stop walking the fence-line and jump onto the side where Jesus is and be a bold witness for Him. Stop worrying about what any secular organization with an agenda is saying about Christianity and allow them to see a true Christian, one who is sold out to Jesus and will not be offended by silly statements and accusations. Isn’t Jesus bigger than all or anything? If an agenda wants to attack the Salvation Army, fine. But, Jesus knows the heart of this Christian organization and He will provide the funds needed to provide for their ministry needs, which in this case is providing for the needs of others. We don’t need to fight these battles in order to celebrate Christmas. The secular society will always be there stirring up hate and discontent and the media outlets will always be there to tell us about it. Keep your eyes on Jesus, the celebration is all about Him! After all, it is that time of the year again.