Hatred for Christmas As Demonstrated in the United States of America!

Hatred for Christmas As Demonstrated
in the United States of America!

No matter what they say or do,
Jesus Christ is STILL the reason for the season!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
Jesus speaking in John 3:16-21 NKJV

November 2005 -- The below comments were written just before Christmas 2004 -- now a year later the frontal assault on Christmas continues at a greater mad-dog intensity than ever! The internet is buzzing with emails and appeals on this problem of attempting to assassinate Christmas and reduce it to a mere heathen "holiday" observance of partying and debauchery. The response of some business executives in attempting to justify the "ordering" of employees not to use the word "Christmas" in expressing well wishes to shoppers is that they don't want to "offend" people by wishing them a "Merry Christmas!"

So what's next on the "politically correct" executioner's block? The censoring of all those "Christmas" movies? The removal of all greeting cards from card displays which contain the word "Christmas?" And the banning of all advertising that may employ a reference to that word which has the name "Christ" in it? Unfortunately we have enough candidates for straight jackets who are in positions of power and influence and who are still at large in our culture who will attempt to do away with Christmas altogether if they can get away with it! What's this bunch going to do when they personally stand before the One upon Whom Christmas is supposed to focus? And be assured, they will stand before Him, as all of us will, at precisely the time which He has already determined!

So read the following observations that are still relevant to the issue in 2005.

The Christmas season of 2004 saw unprecedented attempts to censor Christmas in new and ingenious ways.

The controversy over Christmas raged in public school systems, on government property (or what is considered to be "public" property), business establishments, and in arenas of public discussion and debate.

New bans in school systems involved Christmas music and in at least one system, the banning of certain instrumental selections of Christmas music even though no words were being sung! And there are always those law suits involving the public display of the Nativity.

There has been a new hard-hitting emphasis on use of the term, "Happy Holidays," so as to avoid mention of the term, "Merry Christmas." Plainly the effort is to avoid "offending" anyone by using a word that has the name, "Christ," in it!

Lawyers again were profiting greatly during the waning weeks of 2004 as numerous law suits were filed related in one way or another to the observance of Christmas and its significance.

OK, with that background, now it's time for a question -- why all this hatred and resentment regarding Christmas and the all too obvious attempts to censor it and force our nation to go through the latter part of the year with not so much as a whisper in reference to December 25th and the fact that it has for some time been known and observed as Christmas Day? You know, just say, "Happy holidays," and make sure you don't send a greeting that says "Merry Christmas," or makes reference to Jesus Christ!

The answer is seen in the statement from Scripture as quoted above. Actually that is a statement from Jesus Christ Himself and fully explains the fact that often the human response to a clear revelation from God is very negative and the choice is quickly made to reject that revelation.

Here are reasons why there is a growing resistance to acknowledging Christmas:

    Christmas traditionally has been observed as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, into the world. For Christians, this great event meant that the living God, Who created the mighty universe of which the earth is a very small particle, became human.

    God's revelation makes unmistakably clear the fact that the human race is engulfed in sin and rebellion against its Creator! There are no exceptions -- we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God -- in plain words, we have 3 strikes already against us before we are born into the world!

    Jesus Christ became the sacrificial substitute for us humans and paid the penalty for our sins by His death on the cross -- numerous statements in the New Testament speak of this sacrifice and the fact that humans can be forgiven by repenting of their sins and receiving Jesus Christ into their lives as Savior and Lord. John speaks of this experience of receiving Jesus prior to his mention of Jesus' statements which are quoted above.

    From the 1st Century until now there have been those persons who have heard the message of Jesus Christ and His coming into this world to provide the way of forgiveness and hope to all who would repent and receive Him into their lives as Savior and Lord.

    BUT at the same time there has been a far greater number of persons who have resisted and rejected God's offer of forgiveness, peace, and hope for eternity through His Son, Jesus. Christians have always been a minority group -- that is, those who have accepted the exclusive claims of Jesus and met His demands for becoming His disciples. There are those who claim to be "Christian" but by their "fruits" provide evidence that they know nothing about what it is to be "born again" -- to have fully repented of all known sin -- to have been genuinely "converted" -- to appropriate His life into our daily lives. Jesus mentioned these experiences specifically as being absolutely necessary.

    And so the result is a growing resentment against the Name and Person of Jesus Christ -- people do not want it mentioned and obviously do not want to be reminded over a prolonged time of Who He is and Why He came to this world, which is what is revealed one way or another during the Christmas season.

    A majority still are unwilling to face the reality of personal sin and its consequences -- even many songs at Christmas remind us of this -- a Savior was born to save sinners from the consequences of their sins.

    Those of other religious faiths also object -- Islam, for instance, has absolutely nothing that resembles the fact that God became human -- nor does Hinduism with its millions of deities -- nor does Buddhism offer anything by way of an incarnate deity who eventually took the sins of the human race upon himself -- and so it is with thousands of other religious expressions in the world -- in all the teachings of these religions, there is nothing that speaks of God becoming human and then sacrificing Himself for the sins of the human race so that each human would have the opportunity to be forgiven and become a citizen of His eternal Kingdom!

    But for a few, Christmas is very, very special -- it is a way of celebrating and expressing thanks that God loved the members of the human race so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Who came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost, namely every human being.

The moral and spiritual climate being what it is in the United States at the present time, we ought not to be surprised at the aggressive attacks against anything which will remind people in some way of Jesus Christ. Those who have their faith and confidence centered in Jesus Christ will also understand that the hatred and "legal" (that is, the misguided and misapplied principle of something called "separation of church & state) attacks against Christianity will pick up the pace as time passes. These will take many forms of expression and will be a constant reminder of the eternal truth of Jesus' statement when He said,

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."-- John 3:19-21

As mentioned elsewhere here on the Range, this whole thing is a bit like walking through the woods and kicking over a dead log -- all kinds of creepy and crawly things are under it, and when the light hits them, they run like crazy for a hole to get back into the darkness! So it is with Christmas -- the mere mention of it -- whether in the expression, "Merry Christmas," or the singing of a song with a message about God's Son coming to this world to give us a "second birth," will result in a substantial number of persons who will want to get back into their self-centered defiant world of darkness!

A final word -- think long and hard upon this statement by Jesus:

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also." -- John 15:18-23

December 23, 2004

by Clayton D. Harriger
Retired Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church
Presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy PA

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