The entire “War on Christmas” debate is exactly the opposite of what it should be.
There is utterly no threat to my freedom to begin the Advent season of the Church year culminating in the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. The freedom to express my faith how my conscience sees fit is not the issue and will likely never be the issue in my lifetime. The 1st Amendment would have to be destroyed for me to have this right revoked.
The discussion about this “War on Christmas” chicanery is missing the mark. The point is not that the commercial symbols of Christmas are at odds with the the government and “liberals.” The true point is that these commercial symbols are so focal in a public that has morphed a Christian holy day into a guile reason to buy stuff.
Let me return to the idea that this debate is missing the mark. This seasonal debate pulls Christians into a direction that is contrary to the season itself. The word translated “sin” in the New Testament is “missing the mark,” as in an arrow missing the target. It is any behavior that misses the direction that we must move in our spiritual discipline in order to become more like Christ, with the hope of union with God.
Another cheesy Christmas song from Kenny G or Mariah Carey; a nativity by the courthouse; or a singing of Silent Night in a school concert misses the point of the spiritual act of worship. These objects of experience distract from the true meaning of this holy season for Christians.
Don’t get me wrong. I like pumpkin pie, a nice ham, presents, a tree, Christmas Carols, sparkly things, and watching Elf for the 100th time with my kids. But these are part of a secular celebration that has Christian overtones and packaging.
None of these are Christ. None of these are worthy of worship. All miss the mark of the holy season. All have the potential to drive even well meaning Christians away from God rather than towards God. This is why the “war” itself is sinful.
According to Sarah Palin’s misguided attempt at “saving Christmas,” I am with “Joe McScrooge.”
It was dusk, but he could still check out the town through the glass of his windshield. Shabby. Low-class. A strip mall here, a strip mall there—no apparent zoning rules or urban planning. And, of course, there it was, the inevitable Wal-Mart Supercenter. He snorted to himself as he passed a fast-food restaurant with a sign that read,
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
What the heck does religion have to do with french fries?
Good question. Ironic that she refers to Ebenezer Scrooge. A Christmas Carol is in large part about fair labor practices, and a distribution of wealth from the well-to-do, to those who are in want.
Take Christ OUT of the kind of Christmas from which he would have cleansed the church. This is a Paschal passage, but it makes no more sense than in this age.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” John 2:13-16