The War on Christmas: The Yule Logs in Our Own Eyes

jesus wants youI guess I’m supposed to be outraged.  A charity just called asking for a donation,  and after I declined, the charity lady wished me a “happy holiday season.”

The nerve!  Doesn’t she know there’s a war going on?  Is she one of THEM?  One of those secular humanist hell-bound Santa-haters?  You know, those people who are on the other side of The War on Christmas.  The ones who detest Jesus . . . the baby Jesus.

It’s a war, and there’s no option to be Switzerland.  You have to pick a side, they say.  It’s either “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”  Either Jesus or Madelyn Murray O’Hair.  Either heaven or . . . you get the idea.

Rise up, Christians!  There’s a War on Christmas, and your very faith is threatened.  The future of Christianity hangs on whether the part-time Best Buy computer geek with the clip-on tie acknowledges the “reason for the season” after he sets up your I-Pad.

What a crock of frankincense!

Certainly there is a war on Christmas.  But it’s an inside job.

Jesus said that the Gates of Hell couldn’t prevail against the church.  Maybe we should start acting like we believe that.  There is no threat to the church or to Christianity from outside, from the “Happy Holidays” crowd.

The greatest threat to Christianity is Christians.  It is we who have “taken Christ out of Christmas” by inflating the commercial aspect of Christmas until Best Buy is bigger than Bethlehem.

It’s fun to get all outraged, though.   To point our fingers at “them” and enjoy our entitlement to moral superiority.  Yay us!

Anger that is supposedly righteous feels good.  It makes us feel superior.

In order to “defend Christmas” against this so-called war we  threaten not to shop at establishments that dare to say “Happy Holidays.”

In other words, we want stores to say “Merry Christmas” so  they will get our money. We basically want to buy statements of allegiance and honor to God.   Sounds like Jesus to me! (That’s sarcasm.)

Do we need to hear “Merry Christmas” as we struggle to get our 70-inch TV out the door in order to assuage our own guilt at gold-plating the holiday (holy-day)?  Perhaps our insistence on “Merry Christmas” is because we have so cheapened the remembrance of our Savior’s birth that WE need the reminder that it is Christmas (Christ’s mass) we are celebrating.

black fridayThink about this . . . what does the orgy of opulence that is Black Friday and beyond have to do with the circumstances into which Jesus was born?  Joseph and Mary were dirt-poor (we know that from the sacrifice they made at Jesus’ dedication).  They lived in an impoverished country brutally occupied by a powerful empire.  He would grow up to be a homeless man.

So the way to honor all of that is to . . . head out to the mall and shop ‘til I drop, and spend money I can’t afford (or don’t really have except in plastic promises to pay) on stuff I don’t really need.

And we want to fume about the lack of respect “the world” has for Christians and Christmas?

Perhaps we Christians need to respect Christmas first, and then maybe worry about “the world.”  The more attention we pay to what stores say “Christmas” in their ads and which don’t, the farther we are from the manger.  The more we focus on stores at all, the farther our attention is from what Jesus is all about.

Jesus said our hearts will be where our treasure is.  So  our hearts this time of year are at Target, Kohl’s, Amazon, and on and on.  Which is fine, so the war theory goes, as long as they wish us a “Merry Christmas” as we are depositing our treasure and our hearts.

No wonder “the world” doesn’t respect Christmas.  Or Christians.  We come across as spoiled teenagers, “Say what I want!  Do it my way!  Me, me ME!”

Our petulance is off-putting at best.  It is anti-evangelism.  When I was an unChristian, this sort of stuff certainly did not draw me toward the church, it only pushed me farther away.

merry-xmas-dammitDo we think that by crankily correcting the Wal Mart cashier when she says “Happy Holidays” we are fulfilling Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples?”  I’m sure she’s going to say, “I’ve been standing here for 7 hours checking out an endless stream of surly, impatient people.  That guy who just got angry at me for not saying ‘Merry Christmas’ – I want what he’s got!  I wonder what church he goes to?”

Not likely.

The greatest war ever was the one Jesus fought against sin, death and Satan.  He won that war by laying down his life.  He won that war with love . . . love for sinners like you and me . . . and for folks who don’t say “Merry Christmas.”

Perhaps that’s the way Christians should remember his birth.  Not by going to war.  Certainly not be demanding our “rights.”But instead by being more loving . . . even to those who greet us with “Happy Holidays.”

About pastordavesimpson

I'm an unexpected pastor. Why unexpected? Because no one is more surprised than me that I'm a pastor. See the "About" page on my blog for more info.
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16 Responses to The War on Christmas: The Yule Logs in Our Own Eyes

  1. Peggy P. says:

    What you said makes all the sense in the world! I never got the outrage about the greeting. Certainly everyday can be a holiday to celebrate!
    One thing I do however is to send religious cards and not ones with Frosty etc on them. Just one way to remind people and express my joy in Christmas.


  2. ponderingpastor says:

    I’m pretty simple. There are multiple holidays this time of year. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, New Years. Happy Holidays covers them all. Most in this nation celebrate at least two of these. The plural is inclusive.


  3. dhkendall says:

    I don’t know about those Christians, but I worship a God that’s big enough to fight for Himself if He’s threatened in any way, He doesn’t need me to fight any battles for Him.

    Wonder what God those “Christians” worship?


  4. Karen says:

    Reblogged this on Sisters of Christ and commented:
    This is a wonderful reminder that Christ came into the world to bring peace and love! Happy Holy Day! Amen!


  5. cshowers says:

    Amen – I’ve felt this way for a long, long time. How am I showing the love of Christ if I get angry because someone wished me Happy Holidays? They’re wishing me a happy time, while I get angry because they were nice to me? Give me a break! We need to realize this is not a Christian world or country, and that we are the ones called to bring light into dark places… Boycotts and anger don’t bring any light. Thanks for this excellent post!

    In the love of Christ,


    • Thanks, Cheryl. Love the part of your comment about us being “called to bring light into dark places.” A great reminder of what Jesus said: “YOU are the light of the world. . . let your light so shine before people that they will see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.”

      Christ’s peace to you, Cheryl!


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  9. Love this post! I’m one of the “Happy Holidays” crowd, I don’t really have a big winter holiday in my religious path. And I realize so many people do, even if I don’t know which one that might be. So since I can’t really wish them joy on my holiday, and I don’t know for sure which one they may celebrate, “Happy Holidays” works for me. And being in an inter-religious marriage really teaches you ways to respect the beliefs of others better than any other situation, at least that’s what I have found so far.


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