Friday, December 17, 2010

Re-Reclaiming Christmas

I read that one very prominent church in Texas started a website to post complaints and report stores that say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas". It does bother me that stores are embarrassed to acknowledge the holiday that is making them boo-koos of money because they are uber-sensitive of hurting the feelings of those who do not recognize the holiday. It is ridiculous. In fact I doubt businesses are really worried about people's feelings and being offended (otherwise they wouldn't place all those women-degrading magazines at their check-out lines). They are worried about the bottom line--$$-- and if they alienate a group that group may not help their bottom line. Yet with no logic or common sense they don't mind alienating the group that boosts their profits the most-- Christmas shoppers. They are betting that people will Christmas shop anyway and that most Christmas shoppers know little of Christ or couldn't give a flip about whether He is recognized by saying "Merry Christmas". For the most part stores have placed a safe bet.

Now with regards to the church website. I think this is short-sighted. In the first place we are never commanded in Scripture to celebrate Christmas so it is not like business are openly scoffing at one of the Ten Commandments. Two, we should not be surprised that the world does not want to recognize our Lord because sin is still their master. Three, we should remember that Christmas was started by the Church to reclaim pagan celebrations for a celebration of Christ. Today Christmas is shared by the non-relgious who enjoy the common graces God has given all humanity: family, friends, expressions of love through giving, etc. So rather than gripe that unbelievers don't behave more like believers in praising Christ we should counter secular references to Christmas (or "Happy Holidays") with a Christ-exalting message and attitude. We should re-reclaim Christmas.

When you are in line at the store it does not exalt Christ to hammer an unbeliever for not saying "Merry Christmas"... especially if you've shown no interest or care for that unbeliever other than them moving customers through more quickly so you can get to your next destination. You may not have much time but rather than worrying about their words, concentrate on how your words might be a blessing to that person and how your behavior might exalt your Lord Jesus. I feel as though Christians are more passionate about unbelievers giving lip-service to Christ by saying "Merry Christmas" than they are actually knowing Christ as Lord. Let's re-reclaim Christmas by actually making sure Christ is exalted through our words and lives.

1 comment:

AJ said...

" is not like business are openly scoffing at one of the Ten Commandments."

Funny you should mention that in this post about businesses doing what they think will help the bottom line. For most restaurants, Sunday becomes so profitable because of the huge lunch crowds that come from church-goers. I'm not sure who is profaning the Lord's Day more, the secular businesses or the church itself.

Your assessment is correct. The church has got to stop being so offended that lost men behave like lost men. We need to be a light to the dark world around us and look for God to transform lost men into sons through the power of the gospel delivered in love and power.