Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays”

My friend, Dr. D.P. from Disert Paths gave me a shout that he coultn't post a comment. For anyone who may have tried to do so, SORRY! Somehow the setting got changed to "team members only" and there are no team members. I fixed it. And here I thought everyone was just too busy baking cookies and drinking egg nog and wrapping presents to read blogs. :-) Now, on to more important things:

Sorry I keep posting other people's stuff right now--but hey, it's Christmas time and I'm a busy pastor, wife, mom, daughter and....I'm swamped. Besides, this is REALLY good, in my opionion. I asked Brian, of Sermon Central, if I could share it, because I've been pondering this issue for days and I certainly could not say it better than he has. Thanks, Brian!

by Brian Mavis

How did Christmas get so complicated? I want to wish you a “Merry Christmas,” but that is “politically incorrect.” I could get sued by the ACLU. Of course if I say “Happy Holidays” there are some Christian groups who will come down on me with just as much wrath. I could get sued doing that too. It’s “Christianly incorrect.” Of course I’m speaking tongue-in-cheek. I’m a private citizen just writing an electronic newsletter to Christian leaders. But still, how did Christmas become so complicated? I think there is plenty of blame to lie on both sides.

In the political and business sector the word “Christmas” has been dropped in favor of “Holiday.” Governments have put up “Holiday Trees” in public places. Retailers wish customers “Happy Holidays” and hang banners selling “Holiday Trees.”

So how have some Christian leaders reacted? With lawsuits, boycotts, and petitions. Two groups, Liberty Counsel and the Alliance Defense Fund, have almost 1,600 lawyer-volunteers to fight this movement against the display on public grounds of Nativity scenes and Christmas trees – and even the greeting “Merry Christmas.” And it’s working. For example, Lowe’s home-improvement stores took down “Holiday Trees” banners and put up “Christmas Tree” banners. And House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., ordered the “Capitol Holiday Tree” be renamed the “Capitol Christmas Tree.” As Jerry Falwell told ABC News, “We’ve gone on the offense now. We’ve put them on the defense. We’re kicking their butts, and they’re unhappy.”

I think the Christian groups fighting for our civil liberties have good motives, but bad strategies. Lawsuits, boycotts, and petitions. Is this fighting the good fight? Is this what Jesus would do? Is this obeying, “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” (Mt 5:40)? Is this applying, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does” (2 Cor 10:3)?

In addition, what are they fighting for? That we call a pine or fir tree a “Christmas tree”? There is nothing Christian or biblical about a Christmas tree. We are forsaking Christian principles in order to fight for man-made traditions. Go ahead and let Lowes, Walmart, and Macys sell “Holiday Trees”. It’s just crass commercialism anyway. It’s best that Christ’s name not get mixed up in that kind of capitalism. Do you think that these companies are changing back from “Holiday” to “Christmas” because they want to honor Christ? What a joke. They know it’s good business.

Lastly, these infringements on our civil liberties hardly amount to any legitimate persecution. I’d happily give up some of my civil liberties to honor the cause of Christ. Christianity is illegal in China and the Kingdom of God is growing like crazy. I think we (in the USA) could use more Christian persecution. Jesus said the world would hate us. Why are we so surprised and offended? And in turn, we are supposed to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us and to teach about Christ with boldness, but also gentleness and respect.

Christmas is about God sending His Son to Earth as a baby to be with us and die for us so we could be with Him and live for Him forever. That’s the Christmas I want to remember and wish onto other people.

I wish you that kind of Christmas.

© Brian Mavis 2005

1 comment:

see-through faith said...

Brilliant stuff :)