It’s that time of year again when Christians and Non-Christians join in our annual bickering over Christmas. It’s a culture war that won’t go away. Just type in “War on Christmas” in Google and having fun reading! Christians get upset about people “taking Christ out of Christmas.” Those outside of the Christian faith (religiously or irreligiously) point out that there are many other celebrations going on in December besides Christmas- among other arguments. The Christian Post ran this story yesterday about Atheist in Wisconsin displaying a ‘secular’ nativity scene. The scene features Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Emma Goldman, the goddess Venus, and The Statue of Liberty as the Magi. In place of the baby Jesus there is a baby girl. The display is set up in the Wisconsin Capital Building to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
Here’s what I think (for what its worth):
First, while I may not agree with the display mentioned above, our country was founded with the idea of religious freedom for all groups. As Christians, we should work to honor freedom for other religious groups. This is true tolerance- it’s not necessarily acceptance of their beliefs, but supporting the same freedom we want to enjoy as Christians.
Secondly- I think as Christians we need to get over ourselves sometimes. I love Christmas and think that it is a sacred time of worship and celebration in our churches and in my personal faith. But our participation in the War on Christmas really sets a bad example to the world. We have bumper stickers that talk about keeping Christ in Christmas, Yard signs to display, songs on the radio that sing about it, and pastors who rail about how our society is going down the tubes because we’ve taken Christ out of Christmas.
Christian- get over yourself.
If you want to keep Christ in Christmas, here are a few suggestions.
- Christmas is not your birthday (to use Mike Slaughter’s book title), It’s Jesus. Take a look at your Christmas celebration, what is God honoring about it? How quickly do we (and I point the finger at myself, too) read through Luke 2 on Christmas morning to get to the gifts, or the Ham, or whatever our celebration is.
- Stop participating in the Commercialization of Christmas: Sick of those crazy Target ads? Stop shopping and use your money to care for the poor in your community. Can you imagine the impact the Church in America could make by caring for those less fortunate than ourselves in our country?
- Christmas is about how God’s love came to us in flesh and bone in the form of Jesus. How about this Christmas, we truly love our neighbors, our co-workers, the Scrooge on our street, and those who believe differently than us. That is when we will know we are keeping Christ in Christmas. That is when our actions will match the message of Christmas.
For further reading, I would suggest checking out website for Advent Conspiracy.