The War on Christmas

 
Well, after taking a few years off—I see that the war on Christmas is back.That the “Grinches” are back who want to do away with Christmas—or at least downplay it to the point that it is no longer recognizable. For example:
  • Many retailers have instructed their employees to no longer say “Merry Christmas” but instead to say something generic like “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings.”
  • Many companies won’t allow their employees to put up a Manger or to even have a small one displayed on their desk.
  • Many employers have instructed their employees that they can’t give one another Christmas cards containing any “religious” themes as they might be offensive to some.
 
Of course, one of the main areas where we see this anti-Christmas,  political correctness being promoted is in public schools across our nation.
 
When I was in school as a kid it was always called “Christmas break” now it’s called “Winter break”—but it doesn’t stop there. Many school districts have prohibited Christmas carols from being sung during school festivities I read a story about a school in eastern Massachusetts where the children were informed that they could not sing songs with any religious references in them.
They also could not wear Santa hats or even elf hats with red in them—they had to be white. Christmas trees had to be referred to as “magical trees.”  And so, when one parent walked into their child’s class while they were singing, instead of the class singing “we wish you a merry Christmas” they were singing “we wish you a swinging holiday”.
An elementary school principal sent out a memo recently with guidelines as to what would be considered appropriate for classroom decorations and assignments during the holiday season.
 
Teachers were reportedly told that sledding and scarves, the Frozen character Olaf, and other generic winter-themed items were acceptable—candy canes, however, were not. 
 
According to the principal, candy canes form the letter “J,” standing for “Jesus” and therefore made the principle’s ‘forbidden list’.
The Hallmark channel has been in full ‘Christmas mode’ for weeks—starting 5 days before Halloween with their “Countdown to Christmas” movies.
 
However, even the uber-family friendly Hallmark Christmas movies have come under fire by progressives at the ultra-liberal Salon.com who called these benign feel-good Christmas shows“horror films in disguise”.
 
One Salon.com writer snarked, “Welcome to Christmas in Hallmark Town where romantic fates are sealed through gaslighting, sabotage and torture”—TORTURE!?—SERIOUSLY?!!
 
Maybe you’ve heard that numerous radio stations across the country are refusing to play the well-known 1944 classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  So, why are progressives so up in arms about this vintage, classic tune, you ask?
 
The Wall Street Journal explained this week that: “Some radio stations refuse to play the Christmas classic over concerns its lyrics encourage the sexual assault of women”—in fact, Urban Dictionary defines “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” as a “Christmas Date Rape Song.”
 
Not even the beloved Christmas classic ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ has escaped the liberal “Christmas derangement syndrome” as the liberals at the Huffington Post weighed in on the Christmas classic calling it, ‘seriously problematic’.
 
They went on to say in a video clip on their website (now deleted)— “Yearly reminder that #Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a parable on racism & homophobia w/ Santa as a bigoted exploitative [expletive].”
 
Even the Salvation Army hasn’t been immune from the war on Christmas.
 
I heard the story of a Salvation Army worker who was informed by a policeman that a local ordinance would prevent her from ringing her bells to invite contributions. She was polite and apologetic that she had “broken” the law—however she was determined not to give up too quickly and so she came up with an idea. The next day she was back in front of the store doing a brisker business than ever… as she waved one sign and then another in the air—the one sign read “ding” and the other read “dong.”  Which is kind of fitting because the world is full of “ding dongs” who are doing all they can to sanitize and secularize the Christmas season—to the point where there will be no trace of Christianity left in Christmas when they are finished. 
 
But even more to the point—the war on Christmas is really a war on Christ Himself—Who is the “reason for the season”.  One of the groups that are leading the charge in the war against Christmas (and Christ) is a group called the American Atheists who spent $20,000 to put up a billboard in New Jersey.
 
The large billboard on Route 495 near the Lincoln Tunnel depicts a silhouette of the Three Wise Men approaching a manger alongside the words: “You KNOW it’s a Myth. This Season, Celebrate REASON!”
 
Dave Silverman, a spokesman for the group, said “the sign isn’t designed to convert Christians to atheism but rather to encourage existing atheists who are going through the motions [and painful psychological emotions] of celebrating Christmas.”—poor babies!
 
Now, while atheists want to remove Christ from Christmas and celebrate a “generic, non-specific winter holiday”—many others have simply gotten so busy with the season they don’t have time for the Savior or have forgotten Him altogether.
 
It reminds me of the mother with her little girl out Christmas shopping who passed by a beautiful Nativity Scene in a department store window.  Catching a glimpse of the beautiful scene the child grabbed her mother’s hand and exclaimed,    “Mama! Mama! Please let me stop for a minute to look at Jesus!”—but the mother quickly pulled the little girl away and said, “We don’t have time for that, it’s Christmas!”
 
Pastor and Evangelist Greg Laurie said,
 
“A friend of mine told me about his young son who prayed, “Lord, thank you for sending your only FORGOTTEN Son, Jesus.” He meant to say “begotten,” of course, but “forgotten” may be more accurate for many today!”
 
Have we, as a nation, really forgotten why Jesus came? Why God became flesh to live among us for a time?
 
Matthew 1:18-21 (NLT2) This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.  As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21  And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
 
Of course, the war on Christmas isn’t new—it goes all the way back to the first Christmas and to a Judean king known as Herod and Great.  History records that Herod the Great was extremely paranoid of his power being taken away from him—this led him to murder several in his own family including his first wife and three of his sons who he suspected might be plotting to overthrow him.
 
Jesus was born in Bethlehem during the reign of Herod the Great.  When the wise men came to Jerusalem 12 to 18 months after the birth of Christ asking, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”—this aroused Herod’s paranoia.
 
According to Matthew’s account, Herod tried to eliminate Jesus by having all the male children two years old and under in the Bethlehem region put to death (Matt 2:13-16). But God warned Joseph in a dream to take the Christ-child and flee to Egypt—there they hid safely until Herod died (Matt 2:13-15).
 
You see Herod was king not only of Judea—but also of his own life.  And as such, he was determined not to let anyone, or anything remove him from that place of absolute rulership over his life.  There are many like Herod today who reject Jesus because they’re not going to turn control of their life over to anyone—they alone are going to reign over their life and do whatever they please.  But to be a part of God’s kingdom you have to step down off of the throne of your life and invite Jesus to take His rightful place as your King—the sovereign Lord over all!
 
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and powerful Christmas hymns ever written (by Charles Wesley).
 
The first stanza goes:
 
“Hark the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled”.
Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”. Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”
 
That, for me, captures the essence of Christmas—I pray it fills your heart with awe and wonder this Christmas as we celebrate our Savior’s birth!