I’ve been told there is a war going on that is trying to take Jesus out of Christmas. I believe Jesus is the true reason for the season and I believe that he is God that came to the earth to die and resurrect again so our sins could be taken away so we could ultimately be reconnect to the father. I’m also really surprised at how surprised Christians are that the world doesn’t support our believe. I know Christmas is a Christian holiday (that actually started with a pagan holiday) but how history has played out Christmas is in the DNA of the U.S. culture, Christian or not. This is probably due to the fact that the majority of the country were Christians when it was founded (not everyone but the majority) and over time there has been a shift to where the number of Christians is decreasing compared to population size.
So what has been the response of Christians? To share the gospel more? To heal the sick? To love and care for the orphans and widows? No, its been to yell at the heathens that they aren’t celebrating our holiday correctly, and to yell that we only acknowledge our holiday and no one else’s. I cringe when someone starts bragging about how they yell “Merry Christmas” at the person who said “Happy Holidays”. And we wonder why the Church is decreasing?
This is an incredible opportunity to share what we celebrate and why we celebrate a particular boy being born. Instead we try to make everyone conform to us if they like it or not. Jesus didn’t even force people to follow him, and he didn’t go crazy if someone didn’t like him. Yes he said bold things, controversial things, but those radical comments were about him declaring he was God the savior who had the power to forgive sin. He presented himself not a ritual or holiday. We see this strange paradigm in the Bible were people are attracted to him but also repelled by him. Its like people can’t decide if they love him or turned off by him.
I’m not writing that we shouldn’t be bold or that we should sell out the Gospel. I’m writing that we are alienating the exact people we want to witness to and show God’s love too. Plus we look arrogant when we put a holiday first instead of the Gospel. Paul even took time in Athens to find out their culture and beliefs before he shared his. By doing so he was much more equipped to witness and communicate to the people of Athens.
So instead of insisting that everyone start saying “Merry Christmas” we should start listening to what is going on in the world around us so we can best know how to serve the people that God has placed in our path. Our anthem should not be “You better say Merry Christmas dang it,” but it should be an anthem of showing love by telling people the Gospel, and not shoving some holiday down a persons throat.
Are we, the church, more concerned with why someone is not celebrating Christmas then why they don’t know Jesus? Are we more territorial about a holiday then being open to the people we are commanded to love? Do we not realize celebrating a holiday is no true indicator of how much you follow Jesus?
So should a Christian say “Happy Holidays”? Sure if they know someone doesn’t celebrate it, or if you know what the person celebrates insert that holiday. Be respectful, kind and bold not a jerk. If we want to offend people lets have them be offended by the Gospel for the right reasons not the wrong.