Friday, December 16, 2011

How I can be grateful that “Merry Christmas” is being removed from the Culture.

   Before you get all mad and upset with me let me explain the whole story of my why. When I first came to Jesus as Savior in the early 80’s Jesus was the reason for the season. The season was a celebration of primarily celebrating the miraculous birth of Christ the Savior and celebrating a New Year a week later. During this season, other Holidays or Holy Days can often overlap from other faiths and belief systems like Hanukkah among Jews and Solstice among pagans. So now that we are invaded as Americans by other faiths the culture is making more room in the INN. 

As a kid I grew up where even the culture liked to celebrate Christmas with many of its traditions, of which gift exchanging is still associated today. However, over the last 20 plus years Christians have not stood out and transformed the American culture as they once did. Now we pay that price in a mild form of persecution.
Gradually we have seen the tolerance of other faiths and beliefs turn a distinct Holy Day (Christmas) into a do not offend others holiday season. Many Christians and Christian Organizations have boycotted businesses and done many other things to reverse this tide of secularism. Now we are beginning to experience the drastic secularization of a biblical event which is offensive to many. I say “good” grief! Jesus said if we followed Him and picked up our cross we would be persecuted for His name sake. Could it be that as the culture takes away what the Believers of Christ took for granted that it will separate the cultural Christian from the born again Christian who truly walks by faith? 

  Are we who follow Christ (who grieve over a culture fast becoming secularized) actually experiencing Christian persecution? If so, we should rejoice because biblical history reveals that whenever the Church is persecuted that it grows and God adds to its numbers daily such as are being saved.  Matt 5:10-12
Could the removal and secularization of “Christmas” actual be a blessing in disguise?  A week ago my family and I had a treat and went to a Bob Evans Restaurant after church on a Sunday. When leaving, the cashier asked me how was everything. I replied it was good, but took a long time to get our food. She proceeded to apologize and blamed the delay on the “church crowd”.  I said that is fine and just let her think I was not from the church crowd even though I was. Then as I was ready to leave she said, ‘Merry Christmas”. Then she quickly caught herself and said, “Oh I’m sorry I did not mean to offend you, I meant Happy Holidays”. My reply was, that’s ok I am not offended cause I do enjoy a Merry Christmas and celebrate it. We both smiled and I left. 

 Maybe Bob Evans has a policy among other similar businesses to make Christmas generic so as to not offend customers who are not Christians. The reality is, this removal of Christmas from the culture should actually drive the season of celebration deeper into the heart of those who follow Him and cause those of us who claim Christ to become better and more intentional about our faith in the marketplace. When a business is owned and operated by a Christian I think that as well will become more obvious. 

 Yesterday my wife Becky picked up our oldest daughter coming home from college.  After they left the  airport in Orlando they went to a mall. While they were there they could not read or hear " Merry Christmas"  ANYWHERE in the mall. The best they hunted down was a tree with a Santa. There is more Gospel power about to be revealed as the culture tries to bury a Risen Savior. Be encouraged God is still on the throne.  "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 )

    So turn those Happy Holiday and Season Greetings to your own platform to Merry Christmas your witness among those who do not know or worship Christ the Lord.

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