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Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas; A Good Story?

Last week I wrote a piece about the rampant use of the term "Holiday" in place of Christmas. The piece was generously and surprisingly (to me) re-posted on internet venues which echo the sentiments I wrote. So of course, in preaching to the choir, responses were almost exclusively supportive.

Almost.

I am devoting this post to share with you one dissenting comment I received, and my thoughts on it. The following was posted by "Anonymous":

"Christmas is a lot of fun. The kids love it, presents, tree in the house. It's a good story. But once you get to be an adult you should of [sic] had enough time to seperate [sic] fact from fiction. And people who choose to cast aside the facts and replace them with faith are in my opinion suffering from a sort of enviromentally [sic] induced mental illness. So relax, enjoy the hollidays [sic] and for the sake of the children snap out of it." 


OK, like the mosquito said as he landed on the 400 pound man, "where do I begin?"


First, let me state the obvious right off the bat. Christmas isn't about "the sake of children". Christmas is about The Child. It's about Jesus Christ. Our culture has become so arrogant, so self-centered that we genuinely think everything is about us. Here's a news flash. It's not about us! Stop the arrogance that believes the hoax that we are able to change the climate of the world God created. Stop the arrogance that takes God out of the schools while violence, drugs and teenage pregnancies skyrocket. Stop the arrogance that takes God out of our nation's foundation while the division and turmoil in our government implodes on itself. Stop the arrogance that says that Christmas and Easter are about us. 


Next, in typical fashion when someone has no substance upon which to base their opinions, the only method to obtain perceived superiority comes in the form of insulting one's intelligence or mental stability. In this case, "Anonymous" has opted for the latter. Environmentally induced mental illness? Can anyone venture a guess as to what this means? I have no clue. But, sensibility was not a weapon in this person's arsenal, so we move on.


I particularly enjoyed the comment about replacing facts with faith. Mr. or Ms. Anonymous didn't care to back up their claim with any "facts" to debunk the meaning of Christmas, or even one element of Christianity for that matter. I, for one, am thankful for faith. I'm thankful that this life is not the end of it all, but merely the beginning. I can't imagine the empty and pointless existence it must be for someone who doesn't believe in something bigger than themselves. But when your world is all about yourself, the idea of living a life of faith and devotion in someone greater than yourself would be rather disconcerting. Faith in an unseen God doesn't make sense to the "wise" of the world. That's why it's called faith. There are going to be a lot of really smart people who will one day bow their knees before God and realize the tragic reality to which their arrogance has destined them.



The "story" of Christmas is not merely a "good story". The fulfillment of prophecy of the virgin birth of the Messiah is the root of the ultimate of love stories. God, in the form of a baby, left the comfort and perfection of Heaven to come to us as an innocent and vulnerable human baby. His arrival was foretold by prophets. His arrival announced by angels. His beginnings in a humble, smelly stable surrounded by farm animals. This baby was the King of Kings. This baby grew up to endure a horrible death as a sacrifice, an atonement for our sin, once and for all. 


What Christmas has become is fun. Absolutely. I love it. However, buried under the rubble of the secularism of what we now know as "Holiday", is a truth, a "fact" that cannot be wished away by human arrogance. Christmas is wonderful. The music, the cool winter air. The spirit of joy in people. However, all this while ignoring the true meaning of Christmas is like your best friends and family gathering at your place to celebrate your birthday. They mingle only with each other and exchange gifts amongst themselves, while completely ignoring and forgetting about you!


I understand the confusion of Mr. or Ms. Anonymous and their opinion about Christmas being about children. There is something so special and wonderful about the innocence of a child who believes in the magic of Christmas, Santa, flying reindeer and such. Sadly, childlike faith devolves into adult cynicism and arrogance that can only believe what the eye can see. This is why Luke 18:17 says this, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."


Christmas is about the Christ child. Heaven, is for the children of God. 


End of story.

8 comments:

  1. This one really touched my heart and hit a nerve! First of all, if Mr. or Ms. Anonymous wasn't ashamed of his/her writing he/she would have used their name. Don't be ashamed Anonymous especially if you're standing up for something in which you believe! 'JESUS" is the only reason for this beautiful season! I humbly bow before Him and worship Him! But I also am prepared to be critisized and persecuted. If my Jesus was persecuted who am I not to be. As we have become a secular nation, then we deserve what we get. On FB today someone posted "There has only been on Christmas- the rest are anniversaries. W.J. Cameron.

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  2. Well said! Sad to say- Satan SEEMS to be winning by helping people to indulge in themselves and wants to distract people from the miracle of the birth of Christ and all it accomplished and is accomplishing in God's plan. HOWEVER, we KNOW that Satan will never win, but there will be an awful lot of casualties and prisoners taken who will end up awfully surprised at where their eternal prison sentence is served out. I pray that we can help set as many captives free along the way by daring to share the TRUTH, not only at Christmas, but ALL year long!! God bless and Merry CHRISTmas to all!

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  3. Very well written. Thank you so much for putting this out there. Nothing makes me crazier than "Happy Holidays" or "Marry X-mas". It is called CHRISTmas because it is about Christ. It is the day we celebrate him and his love for us.

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  4. Thank you for the wonderful post! I coulndt agree more with you about everything you stated! Thank you my brother in Christ! See you in heaven one day! May the Lord bless and keep you. Stephanie

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  5. I am NOT ashamed!! Merry CHRISTmas! And may God bless us everyone!! I am proud of my faith, proud to be a Christian...a beloved, chosen and redeemed child of God. I try to live a CHRISTmas life!! To me CHRISTmas is not about the "presents" (although I LOVE to give presents!!) but it is totally about the "PRESENCE". Let's put Christ back in CHRISTmas! Jeannie D'Amico

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  6. While what you've said here Corey is well put and valid, I'd like to take the facts v fiction aspect further. In the end, it does take faith, for no one currently alive was around at the beginning of the earth or the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, as we explore, experiment, and discover this world that God created, we are finding more and more evidence that supports the Bible -- both through archeology and science. I challenge non-Believers and doubters to thoroughly investigate khouse.org and drdino.com. While they don't provide "all the answers," they provide a wealth of information that supports the Bible through facts and science.

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  7. Wait, so you're saying that Christmas isn't about Father Christmas delivering presents or about commercialism? You're actually saying that it's not about taking this sacred day and using it as an excuse for a barbecue lunch where one and all eat far too much, down a few too many bevvies to cool down from the Summer heat then complain about 'those' Christians and their baby Jesus 'story'? I'm so glad that I happened upon this blog (from a Facebook link). Do you know, having Anonymous write what they wrote actually served as a hidden blessing. This latest entry wouldn't exist were it not for their ill attempt at forming an argument. Your words make me smile but they also make me a little sad as it seems Australians are fairing a little better, yes there're the obvious 'Christmas sales' and opportunities to visit Father Christmas in large shopping centres but for all our faults in this increasingly secular landscape, the story of Christ is being told even outside of churches. Nativity plays are being performed in the heart of Perth's CBD, one of our major stations has school kids/various choirs singing their choice of carols right before the airing of a new programme! Christmas, like Easter, is really a love story. God's love for us is shown in His sending us His Son and I always love the lead up to Christmas partly because of the planning, the decorating, the get togethers etc...but also because the whole World gets to share in our faith. Despite all attempts by the PC brigade to ignore Christ in CHRISTmas, it's an entire festive season geared towards the arrival of our Saviour and I think that's brill! With regard to my 'PC brigade' comment, here in Australia you'll often find that it's not those from other faiths or immigrant backgrounds who seem hell bent on eradicating tradition. They get it! They respect it! Ironically enough it's those of us who've long since left the church, it's those who look and behave like your everyday citizen who either maintain a sense of year round apathy or occasionally sit up and choose to 'fight' in favour of the latest political/new wave/ or religious trend.

    Please keep writing, I find this all rather fascinating and I've even learnt a new term...'biblical truth'. People are so ready to believe other history books and yet here we are, we're blessed because we get to celebrate one of the greatest triumphs because of an even greater history book, the Holy Bible! I think that as long as there are people like you, individuals like my fellow commentors, well...society will be hard pressed to ignore CHRISTmas. There's an attitude over here that no doubt appealed to my parents so much so that they migrated here, it's one of 'like it or lump it' ie yes, so many Aussies have left the church or there are those who believe in other things but decades of yearly ritual have been built around the Christmas tradition and as a young country, one thing we hold dear is our tradition. You can like it or lump it but it'll still be here. It's a bit like a child poking their tongue out, they're not being mean, they're just saying...it's Christmas! Come in and share in our celebration, learn about this wonderful gift from God or choose not to but respect my right to faith as I respect yours. Wow this is longer than I intented. Well cheers for the read and Merry Christmas!

    Lovena M

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  8. I'm always amused at some people's ideas about faith. They think faith means believing something you know isn't true. The fact of the matter is that everyone exercises faith every day, Most of the time their faith is based on facts, truth and experience. If you are driving a car down the road, you are exercising great faith. You are driving a machine with many moving parts working together in ways you don't understand, propelling you at high speed down a road built with materials you trust will support you, with people you don't know coming toward you at a high rate of speed, trusting they won't hit you head on. It is not the faith that is most important. The trustworthiness of the object of your faith is the critical thing. That is why I have put my faith in Jesus Christ. His birth, death and resurrection are the well documented historical facts behind the teaching of Christianity, and the trustworthiness of the Bible and its teachings has made a great impact for good in my life and the lives of countless people throughout history.

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