And now, for a different (but correct) view....
The Deluded Christian Church
Dave Daubenmire | December 23 2004
Delusion -- an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary.
I am sure that will be the reaction from many who read this article. In this most joyful of Holiday seasons, when our thoughts turn to Ho Ho and manger scenes, why is it folks like me can't just sit back and bask in the glow of holiday lights?
"Why is it, Coach", they ask me, "that you have to be so negative? There is enough of that in the world. Christmas is the time of peace and joy, when the church gets a chance to celebrate the birth of the Savior."
Go ahead, call me Scrooge. Tell me to lighten-up, to stop being such a kill-joy, to get in the holiday spirit. Try as I might, I can't get past the fact that, to me anyway, Christmas is more than a "holiday Season". It is the prelude to the central event of my Christian Faith. Without Easter, Christmas is meaningless. The Christmas story is not about the birth, it is about the death. It is not about the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, it is about an empty tomb. In all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas the central question that must be asked is, "Why was the Christ child born?"
My family celebrates Christmas. We enjoy the lights, the music, and the Christmas spirit. We put up a tree, decorate the house, and buy each other gifts. We too, are fighting our way out of the secularists' trap.
I'm sorry, but I don't think Almighty God sent his son to die so that the main event in Christendom could be a 6 week birthday party for Him every 12 months.
The Church is so deluded.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.
Government is a verb. It is a not a noun. To govern, control, be in charge of, is the ever expanding reason for the birth of Jesus. The Christ Child's influence should be increasing.
Is it Church? Is Jesus more in control, and more prevalent in our society than He was 20 years ago? Why do we need slogans like "Jesus is the Reason for the Season", or "Put Christ back in Christmas"? Isn't that oxymoronic? Can there be Christmas without Christ? That would be like Presidents Day without presidents.
Want to know why peace is not increasing around the world? It is because His government is not. The church has yielded Christ's authority to the god of Humanism.
Consider the following:
Target stores no longer allow Salvation Army Bell-ringers on their property. Many business' have ordered their clerks to not use the greeting "Merry Christmas". Christmas assemblies in our local schools have removed all mention of Jesus. One high school principal has forbidden the viewing of Dickens's A Christmas Carol because it mentions God. The singing of Silent Night is banned. Nativity scenes are a no-no; Students are suspended from school for sharing the meaning of Christmas with their classmates. School boards have banned the colors green and red from "winter break" parties. A school district is attempting to ban the teaching of the Declaration of Independence because it mentions the G-word. In Philadelphia, using the Bible while preaching to the lost is considered being in possession of a "criminal tool".
For centuries the Church has stood as the defender of Truth. Our history is written with the blood of martyrs who stood in the face of adversity and persecution, and declared the Truth of the Gospel of Christ. What is that Gospel? That He is God, and there is nothing that He is not in charge of. Many have willing died for that cause.
We have reached the point where we no longer must fight to keep Christ in Christmas, all across America we are fighting to keep Christmas in Christmas.
Today in America, as the spiritual battle rages like no time in our history, when God-hating forces are boldly and blatantly declaring that Jesus is not Lord, what is the response of the Church? When the forces of hell are unleashed in the battle for the soul of this nation, when the culture is crumbling like a saltine cracker, when a society on the verge of self-destruction screams for Truth, how do Christians fight back?
We have Christmas programs in our churches.
Thinking that we are doing God's will, that we are "sharing the Gospel" we have become deluded into thinking that we are having an impact. All of the while, we are playing the role that secular, God-hating America has spelled out for us. Sharing Jesus, with the already converted, in the safety of our stained-glass fortresses, reducing the birth of Jesus to nothing more that a month-long birthday party.
During this season I have already attended several of the Christmas programs in the area. The music is great, the skits are touching, and the spirit of Christmas is palpable. Like all birthday parties, I always leave feeling happy.
Think of the time, energy, money and man-hours that go into these birthday parties. It is the highlight of the year. Live manger scenes, living Christmas trees, choir concerts, children's programs. For many churches, the celebration is so big that most of the congregation has to take all of January off just to rest up from the month-long fiesta.
All the while, the God-haters are at work, in our schools, at the work place, in our government conniving to undermine all that we hold true. Being driven by these forces into the safety of our church walls, we are content to have lavish celebrations, free to worship in the box that the secularists have placed us in, too scared to fight back.
At least for now.
What would it be like if our churches were to focus all of the resources currently being spent on Christmas programs to truly having an impact outside the four walls? Can you imagine an America where Christ was the center of public school Christmas celebrations, where nativity scenes were placed on government lawns, where the mention of the Savior was not politically incorrect, where we were free to share the Gospel of Jesus with a lost and dying world without fear of reprisal? Wouldn't that be more glorifying to God? Wouldn't that be a better gift of thanks to Jesus than a month-long celebration in the safety of our salt-shakers?
We have become what Matthew 5:13 has warned us about, savorless salt, good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men all of the while thinking we are having an impact. Christians must recognize that this is our Christian D-Day, that the battle for soul of this nation is at its zenith, that now is the time to come out of our caves, that the future of Christian-America lies in the hands of the church, that singing Christmas carols in our church is not sharing the Gospel. The times, and our Lord, demand so much more.
Isaiah 56:10-12 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, everyone for his own gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, and I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
I have a suggestion. Next year, as we embark on our month-long Christmas-fest, why don't you encourage your pastor to take your congregation to the local school board meeting and demand that the true meaning of Christmas be taught to the children in your public schools? What if 2 churches in your community went? How about 3? The knees of your elected officials would begin to rattle like the bells on a sleigh.
But you better begin to plan now. Get it on the schedule. Because it is always difficult to draw a crowd during Christmas time. Most folks are too busy practicing the Christmas play, or the Christmas cantata, or sharing the Gospel by going caroling. They will tell you that they are sick and tired of seeing Christ disrespected in our culture, but Christmas is just not the best time to fight it. And besides, Jesus came in peace.
"And of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end…."
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Jesus is Lord!
We are so deluded.