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12.04.2005    |    Christmas un-Christian, or, Bah, Humbug
I always knew that Christmas was un-Christian. Now it's been confirmed by a writer of the Secular Times. The point of this op-ed, by Adam Cohen, is to scourge John Gibson's point of view in his book, The War on Christmas. In a great leap of illogic, and, I suspect, bah-humbuggery, the author also attempts to bring in my spiritual forebears, the Puritans:
The Puritans considered Christmas un-Christian, and hoped to keep it out of America. They could not find Dec. 25 in the Bible, their sole source of religious guidance, and insisted that the date derived from Saturnalia, the Roman heathens' wintertime celebration. On their first Dec. 25 in the New World, in 1620, the Puritans worked on building projects and ostentatiously ignored the holiday. From 1659 to 1681 Massachusetts went further, making celebrating Christmas "by forbearing of labor, feasting or in any other way" a crime.
Now I'm going to lay down my own "Bah, Humbug": Christmas as celebrated has very little to do with Christ. The Puritans had it right. There is no December 25 in the Bible. And, isn't it rather suspicious that the celebration of the Nativity coincides, within three or so days, of the Winter Solstice? In this sense, the Times' author is right on the money. Which is at the root of the modern problem.

I've railed for years against the ugly commecialization of Christmas, which should be a Mass for Christ. Period. The decorations, the forced gaity, the giving and receiving of gifts, the scrum in the box stores after Thanksgiving for the "must have" presents, all stinks to high heaven of paganism. Of worship of self and of things made by the hand of man.

Where the author errs is in thinking that John Gibson and others are proponents of, as he nastily writes, a "commercialized, mean-spirited Christmas." No. Gibson, and I, and many, many others, are proponents of not having Christ forcibly removed from the public square, just because He might offend some. To show the extremism of these enemies of Christ (not just of Christmas, mind you), consider this outrageous statement:
...their campaign to make America more like a theocracy, with Christian displays on public property and Christian prayer in public schools.
Just in case you might have wondered what a "theocracy" might look like -- the giveaway is a manger scene at city hall. Right. This man needs to calm down.

The reality is that Christmas was paganized when its date was fixed to coincide with the pagan rituals, common to many pre-Christian cultures, around the Winter Solstice. The deal was sealed the first time somebody brought in some pine wreaths festooned with holly berries. And those gifts? They were for the Son of God. Not for you or me. Think ye that ye deserve the same thing as Jesus?

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Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Yes, the commercialism is more than simply a hindrance to merriment; it's pagan and sinful. Good post, John Luke.

4:26 PM, December 06, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I quoted liberally from your post this morning at my blog. Peace.

9:08 AM, December 14, 2005  

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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.