Christians and the War on Christmas

December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving was last week, which means we’re two weeks into the Christmas season. Feels like we’re starting Christmas sooner and sooner aren’t we? I think next year everyone will just dress up like Santa at Halloween and start in October.

Count me as someone who loves the Christmas season. I just love that in 2010, in a world messed up by evil, sin, and violence, we still stop to mark a holiday that celebrates the incarnation of Jesus Christ into the world.

There are certain things we can expect during the Christmas season.

Every other neighbor having better decorations.

Tins of sugar cookies and popcorn.

Really cool pageants by churches.

Christmas specials.

Gifts.

Lots of shopping and unneeded stress.

Pastors saying 1,000 times, “The real meaning of Christmas is . . .”

Churches and Christians doing toy drives and other outreaches to help the community.

Wall-to-wall Christmas music in every store and on every radio station.

No actual work getting done the last two week of December.

Christian and conservative organizations getting all hysterical about “The War on Christmas.”

Okay, I want to camp out there for a bit. In the last few years, it seems Christian organizations, Fox News, and some politicians use this opportunity to get all fired up about the seeming attempt to marginalize Christianity from Christmas.

Now I will admit there is a movement on the leftwing of this country to eliminate Christianity from the public sphere. There have been legal attempts to take down nativity scenes, crosses, etc from public displays. I hate this. Everyone hates this, and its silly.

But we Christians can also be silly about this as well, can’t we? Is it really a war on Christmas if a tired Walmart worker says Season’s Greetings? Do we really have to stomp around and demand that Walgreen’s says, “Merry Christmas.”

Christians hold the greatest story in the world, the story of God’s love for mankind, the redemption of His own people through the miraculous entrance of God into the world as a baby. Christmas is the time for us to lovingly tell our story, how the real story of Christmas, the heart of the Gospel, has the power to radically transform.

This is a story that is not so fragile that it must be affirmed by greeters at Walmart saying Merry Christmas. Honestly, why are we so sensitive. Rather than whining about the War on Christmas, let’s get out there and share the Good News of Christmas.

Maybe, then, people who work to push Christianity out of the public sphere might embrace it.

And then, yes, you might hear people at the store saying, “Merry Christmas.”