the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
Every year it becomes less politically correct to acknowledge that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth. Indeed, in certain circles one runs the hazard of social ostracism for simply saying “Merry Christmas” rather than “happy holidays.” Even elementary schoolchildren deep in the heart of Texas have been officially prohibited from celebrating Christmas or using the (apparently) hurtful greeting “Merry Christmas” at their PTA sponsored “winter party.” (foxdfw.com, December 6, 2013)
If current trends continue we might expect to see an effort to alter the calendar so it no longer acknowledges the birth of Jesus Christ as the beginning of a new era. This was attempted in revolutionary France and the Soviet Union to no avail. We would be foolish to expect the left to have actually learned a lesson from history. Indeed, this practice has already taken root in academia. Even biblical scholars tend to use the designations “before the common era” for B.C. (before Christ) and “the common era” to replace the initials A.D. referring to the Latin phrase “in the year of our Lord.”
It is my firm belief that Christians should not succumb to societal pressure during the Christmas season. It may seem a small thing to most but a bland “happy holidays” in greeting is an act of cowardice not of cultural sensitivity. The season is merry or happy for one reason only; the Eternal Son came to earth in human form, born as a baby in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. It is the single most important event in history. The birth of Jesus the Christ began a transition from the old covenant era to the new and unleashed untold blessing on creation. Far from being the product of evolutionary advance, the tremendous prosperity we enjoy in the Western world is a direct result of God's blessing (Deuteronomy 8:18). Not only have followers of Jesus Christ experienced benefit, all of mankind has shared in the outpouring of grace characteristic of the age of the Son Of Man. As the apostle Paul said, we work hard and struggle to live a godly life, because we place our confidence in the living God. He is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe (1 Timothy 4:10). “Happy holidays” does not draw attention to this truth as it ought.
I'm not suggesting Christmas is not a holiday. Truly, it is a “holy day.” But in twenty-first century multicultural America, there are any number of “holy days.” Much ado is commonly made this time of year over celebrations of the winter solstice. Even some “churches” celebrate this pagan holy day. Pile on top of that, the myriad of holy days for the other non-Christian religions that seem to be grouped around Christmas and you can rest assured that your “happy holidays” will be misinterpreted by a significant portion of those you encounter. You will be tagged as one of the enlightened sophisticates who understands the need to be sensitive toward the beliefs of others. Hog wash.
Christians are supposed to walk even as Jesus walked. One of the things we know about Jesus is that he never minced words. Yes, he was gentle with those who were broken and repentant but even then he didn't whitewash the situation. The woman caught in adultery was told to go and sin no more. She was not given a pat on the head and a free pass for her alternate lifestyle. The rich young ruler “whom Jesus loved” was told to sell everything he owned and give that money to the poor in order to follow the prophet from Nazareth. Jesus never backed down from the truth; he never compromised. He never shaped his behavior according to societal norms so as not to offend. Neither should we. Merry Christmas!