Josh j Smith

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Jesus
December 23, 2005, 6:19 pm
Filed under: theology

Should I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

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Does saying “Merry Christmas” actually mean that you are a Christian and standing up for God? If it does why? “Merry Christmas” is not just a christian phrase. Politcally correct or not, several people say it and are not a christian, so if we challenge the church to say Merry Christmas in defense of the gospel, I don’t think the rest of the world cares, or even say,”wow those people are christian b/c they said ‘Merry Christmas.’”

Further on that, but separate – saying “Merry Christmas” would not save the gospel. Does that mean give up, NO! But, we have to do a whole lot more than just say “Merry Christmas” for people to encounter the gospel for this or any other Christmas season.

Last thing I would say is – Saying happy holidays could be more Christian that actually saying Merry Christmas to someone. This could be true especially now that it is a huge media thing and has become an agenda for Christians and non-Christians to battle. For example, when we are in conversation with the cashier or the someone else waiting in line at the store, saying Merry Christmas to them could really turn them off to Jesus b/c, “Merry Christmas” is nothing but a vein agenda for Christians to have their way.

This whole issue boils down to something much larger and that is tied to not being able to teach creation in schools, post the ten commandments, and say America is one nation Under God. I am afraid that Christianity has developed this reputation of winning rights to be push our agenda of prayer, ten commandments, saying God in speeches, teaching creation, and getting rid of abortion, rather than proclaiming Jesus. Can all these things be related to Jesus? Yes, but that is not it? Lesslie Newbigin said, “The confession ‘Jesus is Lord’ implies a commitment to make good that confession in relation to the whole life of the world – its philosophy, its culture, and its politics no less than the personal lives of its people. The Christian mission is thus to act out in the whole life of the whole world the confession that Jesus is Lord of all.” [the open secret]. So, our mission is the confession, not to push our agendas. I think the issue boils down to the fact that the mission has become lesser than proclaiming Jesus, it has become about proclaiming prayer, anti-abortion, etc.

When I read about Jesus, I see him interacting with people who had agendas that they were trying to push, and he shut them down like nobody’s buisness. The Pharisees came to Jesus asking and testing him about agendas all the time. Back then, they were agendas like, the Sabbath, taxes, divorce, and shaking or raising hands for a promise. If you remember, he said to them, “What ridiculous hairsplitting!.. You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment – the absolute basics! – you carelessly take it or leave it.” [matt. 23].

Sometimes i think we miss the tree for the leaf, the forest for the tree.


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