Who Stole Christmas?
Who stole Christmas? Was it a grinch or has the post-modern culture stolen Christmas? The post- modern view has been growing in strength and acceptance for a number of years. This philosophy relates to systems of economics, nationalism, and religion. John Lennon expressed it in his 1971 hit song “Imagine1,” a clear ideological view of post-modern thinking. Each verse of the song lays out tenets for an imaginary new post-modern utopia brought about by forsaking or doing away with religion, nations, and possessions. I cannot nor would I want to imagine my life without these foundational areas.
For me, the most important and disturbing tenet addressed by Lennon was religion. I cannot imagine my life without God. If I did imagine life without God, then I must give up faith, hope, and love. I must dispense with a moral code and an understanding of good and evil.
In recent years the post-modern premises espoused in the song have moved from our imagination to a new reality. Gradual change has occurred in our society as various expressions of Christianity have been removed from the public square. There have been ongoing and numerous ideological assaults on the Christian worldview from the removal of prayer in school to the banning of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse wall. The changes are very subtle. Remember when we would designate time eras with the abbreviations “BC and AD”? “BC” was “based on the traditionally reckoned yearof the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth and AD meant Anno Domini. . .translated as In the year of our Lord.”2 Today you will find a new designations for these time periods: BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common or Current Era)3.
Each year major court rulings and public debate minimize and reduce our Christian influence and the Christian heritage in our nation. In recent years some displays of the Nativity have been removed. This year it is the “War on Christmas.”4 The “War on Christmas” has gotten my attention with the politically correct ways of holiday greetings to lighting of the “holiday tree.” These court rulings and debates are not isolated events. I believe they are connected conversations about Christ in our culture or, more specifically, moving Christ out of our culture.
Can we reduce the post-modern culture’s impact on Christmas? I think we can! This year make the “Christmas Spirit” about the Savoir. I enjoy retelling the Christmas story to my family. The story is about God’s plan for Christ to enter humanity and show us the Father’s love. The Christmas season reminds me of our Emmanuel—“God with us5”–even more important and personal “God in us the hope of glory6.” Each year my wife decorates the Christmas tree with beautiful ornaments collected over our years of marriage. It is my job to purchase a tree and to string the lights. The lighting of the tree reminds me that Christ shattered the darkness and brought us light becauseHe is the light of the world7. How can you change your family culture to share and show God’s glorious story of Christmas? We can be like the angels at Christmas by expressing peace on earth and good will to our neighbors. We can be like the innkeeper providing shelter to the needy. We can be like the Wise Men giving gifts to a stranger. We can be like Mary and Joseph faithfully obeying God’s plan for our lives!!
- Matthew 1:23
- Colossians 1:27
- John 9:5
Posted by Dr. R. W. Bobby Martin
Dallas Baptist Association exists to assist our churches individually and cooperatively in fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations.