Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Views 12/16/07

Some Christians won’t be celebrating Christmas -
As Christmas draws near, the Rev. John Foster of Charleston, W.Va., won’t be decorating a tree, shopping for last-minute gifts or working on a holiday sermon for his flock. After all, it’s been 50 years since Christmas was anything more than a day of the week to him.

He’s one of very few American Christians who follow what used to be the norm in many Protestant denominations — rejecting the celebration of Christmas on religious grounds.

“People don’t think of it this way, but it’s really a secular holiday,” said Foster, a Princeton-based pastor in the United Church of God. He last celebrated Christmas when he was 8.
“In America, the saying is that the minister follows the people, the people don’t follow the minister,” Restad said. “This was more of a sociological change than a religious one. The home and the marketplace had more sway than the church.”

That’s partly why Christians like the United Church of God reject the holiday: They say divine instruction, rather than culture and society, should determine whether the holiday is appropriate.
There is still lingering unease with the holiday in denominations that once rejected it. This can be glimpsed in worries about commercialization and in individual Christians like Phillip Ross.

Ross is an elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Vienna, near Parkersburg. Well-versed in the history of Christianity, Christmas and Presbyterianism, Ross knows his church historically objected to Christmas.

On the other hand, Ross is also a father of two, and while he made up his mind to reject Christmas as a teenager, his children’s early years included gifts, decorations and a tree.

“I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas,” he said. “It seems obvious to me that there’s nothing scriptural about it, but that’s a hard sell with children.”

WorldNetDaily: Merry C----tmas!
As our nation continues to drift into a state of secular monotony that guarantees that nobody is offended (unless you are a Christian), we are again witnessing many retailers deciding to abolish "Christmas" in favor of the "holiday season."

Because Jesus Christ – the Son of God who came to earth to save us – does not meet contemporary criteria for "diversity" and "multiculturalism," the day that bears His name is becoming increasingly unacceptable. And yet these retailers that want to take advantage of the Christmas tradition of gift-giving have become painstakingly opposed to the mere mention of "Christmas."

I certainly understand that Christmas has become largely plagued by consumerism in our modern culture. Nevertheless, I find it troubling that secularist engineers are recklessly encouraging American companies to sweep the term under the rug because it might be offensive to a few people.

WorldNetDaily: Wrapping up a meaningful Christmas
What will Christmas mean to you this year? In an age of militant secularism and consumerism, nauseating self-involvement, greed and sloth, will believers be able to "keep Christ in Christmas?" Will they even be able to keep "Christmas in Christmas" as the name and ideals of Jesus Christ are sanitized from our society by groups like the ACLU? By this, I speak of the recent edict in Colorado forbidding the trafficking of red and green lights.
We all have free will, and thus we can choose to lay down our idols anytime we find enough strength to commit to that ideal. Of course "leaving the world behind," the flesh and the pride of life is a very difficult and perhaps even a life-long process. How we handle Christmas is always a good barometer.
The revolting consumerism had long before washed away the original message. This was a decision we all arrived at together. It wasn't really a conscious thing. It was no big deal. We didn't feel "better" than anyone else. We had all just simultaneously moved on to another level.
Christmas of course means many different things to many different people. We know and accept that Christmas was originally a pagan holiday built around the worship of the sun god in Rome. Long before that, the Egyptians had their own winter solstice cult. Yet Christmas doesn't have to be a pagan holiday for us. We don't worship the sun or the tree. Notions that we do can sometimes be hysterical and counterproductive, if not meaningless. This isn't a case of Halloween vs. All Souls Day. Yes we're "in the world," but we don't have to be "of the world."

WorldNetDaily: The Democrats' Jesus smack down
Well there are now at least nine members of Congress whose denials ring hollow because this time they actually voted against Christ.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 847 which simply recognized the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith to America and the world Dec. 11, 2007. So what's the problem?

The resolution passed on a vote of 372-9, with 10 voting "present" and 40 abstentions. That means nine congressional representatives flat-out refused to acknowledge the importance Christianity has played in shaping this nation. All nine votes against the resolution were cast by staunch anti-war Democrats or members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
So what I would like to know is why these nine members of Congress acknowledged the importance of every conceivable cultural celebration in America from sports to Ramadan to country music, but couldn't show the same amount of respect for Jesus Christ. If you read the resolutions for Christmas, Ramadan and Diwali, they are essentially worded the same. So, once again, what's the problem? Hatred of Jesus Christ and everything Christian, that's what.

This was a direct slap in the face of Christians in America and around the world. It's time we stop turning the other cheek and demand answers from those who show disdain for our culture and religious beliefs.

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