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Sunday, December 20, 2015

We’ve All Waged a “War on Christmas” (Updated)

There are few things that reveal the hedonistic, sexually depraved sin so prevalent in our culture more than a recent display on the second floor of the Georgia Capitol. It’s even more shameful that this display was done specifically to target Christmas. As my Christmas column (available in a few days) this year notes, those who hate the real meaning and message of Christmas will go to great lengths to keep us from the Truth.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Humanity Fund, a pro-homosexual organization, was granted a petition to mount a “Gay Pride Festivus Pole” in the Georgia Capitol. (The idea of “Festivus” comes from an episode of Seinfeld.) According to its website, The Humanity Fund is “an advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and promoting freedom of speech and religion, especially the separation of Church and State. The Humanity Fund believes in equal rights for all, with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.”

The obvious sexual innuendo of the “Festivus Pole” evidently escaped Georgia’s political leaders who occupy the Capitol. Few should’ve been surprised that those promoting homosexuality would attempt to distract us from the birth of Christ with something sinfully sexual. Chaz Stevens, the director of the pro-homosexual Humanity Fund, wasn’t shy about the pole’s meaning. In an email he said, “If anyone in the South could use an erection, it’s those Confederate flag waving lunkheads.”

Reveling in his “religious freedom victory” Stevens also gleefully exclaimed, “I officially declare victory in our gay war on Christmas.” You mean there really is a “war on Christmas?” I thought the “war on Christmas” was another right-wing myth dreamed up by Christian conservatives.

And why wage a “war on Christmas?” What’s so scary about Christmas? Is the birth of Jesus really that scary? Yes, it is. In fact, whether we would admit it or not, each of us, whether privately or publicly, at one time or another, has waged a “war on Christmas.”

What does Christmas really celebrate? An exasperated Charlie Brown wanted to know when you loudly asked, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” Quoting perfectly from Luke chapter two, Linus answered Charlie Brown, “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

And that is precisely why Christmas can be so scary. Christmas celebrates the birth of a savior—of the Savior. Of course, God sending His Son as a Savior implies that we need “saving.” The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Less well known, but just as important, is the very next verse. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This begs the question, “From what or whom do we need to be saved?”

In John chapter 8, Jesus says, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” What does it mean to “die in your sins?” Romans chapter 6 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, we need to be “saved” from the eternal consequences of our sin. There is eternal life with Jesus, and apart from Him, death and eternal separation from God.

This is why so many Christians are so celebratory at Christmas time. Yes, there are presents, and parties, and time off from work, but for Christians who truly understand what was done for them on that first Christmas day, nothing compares to the gift of eternal life through Jesus. Those who reject the need for salvation, or reject the miracle of Jesus, or reject their sin for what it really is, are “offended” by Christmas.

Such people don’t want to hear that Jesus came to die for their sins. They don’t want to hear of the many miracles that surround the birth of the Savior. They don’t want to hear that their greed, or lust, or pride is sin. They want to go their own way, thus they display “Festivus Poles.” And again, we’ve all been there. May God empower those of us who see Christmas for what it truly is, who see Jesus for who He really is, to spread His message of hope, love, peace, and salvation to all we encounter, all year-round.

Update: By "war on Christmas," I don't mean to imply that we've all openly displayed hostility to the "Christmas season" (protested Nativity scenes, shunned saying "Merry Christmas," and the like). And almost certainly most of us have not displayed a "Festivus Pole," but we've all, at one time or another, thumbed our nose at God and gone our own way. In other words, as Augustine alluded, at some point in our lives we turned our back on the City of God and firmly planted our feet in the City of Man.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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