On the ‘War’ on Christmas

war-on-christmasPastors who use the pulpit as a platform to engage petty verbal disputes in the realm of public discourse are not teaching God’s word, and are wasting the time of God’s people.

What do they think their passionate defenses of the quixotic norms of holiday discourse are supposed to accomplish, anyway? Do they think singing only carols that mention Christ instead of Jingle Bells and co., or saying “Merry Christmas” instead if “Happy Holidays” will bring us closer to realizing God’s will on earth? Do they honestly believe that this is how to fight a culture ‘war’? If so, it’s an unsuccessful strategy to win a losing battle that’s completely irrelevant to the actual war.

Or is it possible that they’re actually doing more harm than good, teaching by example that Christians ought to care about something not worth caring about (which, of course, only results in Christians appearing uptight and petty—a stereotype that the writers of The Office capture perfectly in the character of Angela)? Or is it possible that God’s Kingdom is much deeper, much more substantial than this pathetic annual quarrel fueled by a misbegotten form of Christian pride that is actually nothing but religious chauvinism?

Christians who get all plooped about whether the name “Christ” is mentioned enough in an ostensibly ‘Christmas’ song or story, or whether “Merry Christmas” is a politically correct salutation, somehow fail to realize that these things will not change the way anyone already celebrates Christmas, and certainly will not change anyone’s heart, mind, or life in any significant way for the better (it’s comical to imagine a scenario in which they would). And anyone who actually believes that these frivolous disputes are a matter of deep significance needs to heed 2 Tim 2:23 and reassess his or her priorities. Because the battles one chooses to fight reflects how shallow or deep one’s vision of the Kingdom is.


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