This fight for Christmas is not a real fight. At least, not for evangelical Christians. I know that our emotions get worked up when a Christmas tree is called a Holiday Tree, when we hear of churches not having worship on Sundays (such as mine) and when the MSM (main stream media) parades before us angry people who quibble over nativity scenes on public land or about signs in the retail store. My thought is that this is artificial as the Walmart tree in my living room. Let me explain. Christmas and its roots are pagan and traditions are imported from all over the world and as evangelicals we hold to the Bible over tradition. Mark Waltz reminds us in his blog that in Boston in 1600s Christmas was outlawed since they shunned the pagan roots of it and it was not until 1870 that Christmas was declared a legal holiday. Read more from Mark with his article Christmas or Holiday: Do People Still Matter? Here is a quote from Mark.
I wish we Christ-followers wouldn’t get so worked up about whether our kids have Christmas break or a winter holiday break. Labels aren’t the point. Jesus is. Nobody is taking away our ability to honor Christ in our lives. —Mark Waltz blog
Sunday is not sacred and neither do we adhere to “holy days” as evangelical believers. There is a lot of negative chatter on the news (Christianity Today:Weblog: Megachurches Cancel Christmas and Google News) and in the blogosphere about this. Biblically, there is no reason to be upset about shifting worship services to Saturday or even Tuesday. Click the link to read the whole thing and to see discussions about this.
“This speaks to the dilapidated state of evangelical faith today,” said David Wells, a professor of theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, to the Tribune. “That we would think that going to church is getting in the way of celebrating Christmas—that the family celebration shouldn’t be impeded by having to go to church—it seems to me that our priorities are upside down.” —The Christian Post: Mega Churches to Close Doors on Christmas Sunday
After reading the stinging reactions, you must read a more reasoned and biblical take on celebrating Christmas. I am glad Todd Rhoades (C. H. Spurgeon on Christmas) has a posting where he shared the following 1871 quote from Spurgeon (a prominent evangelical in England): From a sermon on Dec. 24, 1871:
We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English. Secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. ‘Superstition’ has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. … It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western Church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. … Probably the fact is that the “holy” days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December. … Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.
We do not need the state or corporate America to propagate the story of Christmas unless we are not doing so ourselves. The president of our nation is being critiziced for putting “Happy Holidays” on the White House official Christmas cardsv(ABC News online: White House Holiday Cards Create Political Divide ). So what. We do not need Lowes to say Christmas Tree as opposed to Holiday Tree to be believers (Yahoo News: Hastert Wants ‘Christmas,’ Tree Together). We do not need the congress to call the Capitol Tree “Christmas Tree” to believe in Jesus as incarnate God. In fact, if we do, we have lost. Face it, we live in a secular state and nation. This is not our fight. Our fight is for those who do not know Jesus, not for a Christmas sign in the local retail store. Here is a quote from Nathan Hart’s blog:
“Think about what you are fighting for when you demand a department store to display a sign which reads Merry Christmas. This is not your church sanctuary. This is a department store”. —Nathan Hart
Christmas to the Christian is really about the incarnation of Christ. There would be no cross without the manger. There would be no water turned to wine at the wedding in Cana. There would be no disciples at the feet of Jesus sent to tell the good news. This is what we celebrate, not the sentiment or the fluff. We celebrate the fact that Jesus left his throne in heaven, humbled himself and gave his life for our sins to the glory of God the Father. This is what spreading good cheer is all about.