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12.13.2005    |    "Twofold Meaning"
The full headline in this story about interfaith marriages is "This Year, the Meaning of Dec. 25 Is Twofold; 1st Night of Hanukkah Falls on Christmas Day." There is a brief disclaimer as to how Hanukkah is a "secondary" Jewish holiday and not really comparable to the central place that Christmas has in the Christian faith.

The reality being disposed of, the rest of the article basically equates the celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah, and how interfaith couples have their difficulties. The first of which appears to be incoherence about what might be important in their respective "faiths."

You can get a hint of this when one mixed couple is "raising their two daughters in both faiths." Which, perhaps, should have been written, "exposing their two daughters to both faiths." Faith is something one can't simply apply, like a bandage. God will work His will in you, or not. And it can only confuse children to have to participate in one set of rituals or liturgies that basically say the other set is a bunch of lies.

I'm very sympathetic to the problem of a mixed marriage, having been in one. I came to Christ, thanks to the Holy Spirit, so that I'm no longer in a mixed marriage. Before this, however, I did not fool myself into thinking that anyone with free will could "celebrate" two mutually exclusive faiths.

Perhaps the problem is that we are dealing with people who confuse the secular trappings of faith with the faith itself. There is no mention of God, or the Messiah in this Washington Post story. Which one might expect, if it is a story of how "faith" is celebrated. Faith in what? Father Christmas? The tooth fairy? One can get the sense of how far these mixed marriages are from anything to actually do with "faith" from this small extract:
The other night, the Liebreichs put up their Christmas tree, which has an ornament with the Star of David on one side and a tiny Christmas tree on the other.
Sigh. The Puritans were right to not celebrate Christmas as anything other than the mini-Lent it was meant to be: a time of reflection, repentance, and waiting for the Lord.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.