Thursday, December 18, 2014

I Want To Wish All My Christian Friends A Happy Holiday!

Once again, as happens every year, Christians are engaged in a nonsensical culture war over the way people greet each other around this season, and I REALLY DON'T CARE.  Too many Christians, get all militant in their insisting that people should “keep Christ in Christmas.” 

But why should they?  Most people don't really want Him in any part of their lives; they don’t even know Him.  In fact, God’s Word tells us that they hate Him. Why would we even want them to fake honor or even pretend to acknowledge Him on Christmas Day?  Besides, God would not be pleased with or honored by their phony lip service anyway. 

 And to what end do Christians keep beating that drum?  Is it for the purpose of our "witness?”  Do we really think that people might get saved if they would just recognize that “Jesus is the reason for the season?”   That doesn’t work.  That is not evangelism.  The Gospel is not about a baby in a manger surrounded by shepherds, wise men, and a little drummer boy.  

Biblical evangelism must go beyond the manger where “Mary had a little Lamb.”  Legitimate evangelism must point to the second line of the nursery rhyme – “Its fleece was white as snow.”  That’s the reason He came.  That’s the true Gospel that has the power to change lives.  The birth of Jesus is meaningless, powerless, and irrelevant without a perfect, spotless sacrificial Lamb.  It was His sinless life and His death on the cross that paid the penalty for our sin. 

We get our feathers all ruffled when someone wishes us a “happy holiday.”  We even tend to get a little testier when someone writes the dirty little four-letter word, “Xmas.” 

We Christians should be careful with the words we use, especially around this season, because “words mean things.”  Do we even know what ‘Merry Christmas’ means?  Or more importantly, Do we even care?

What does Merry Christmas really mean?  The word “Christmas” is literally the Christ Mass or the annual, unbiblical and unholy Roman Catholic celebration of the death of Christ over and over again.  In it, participants partake of two elements (bread and wine) which they believe mystically turns into the literal flesh and blood of Jesus.  Parenthetically, Catholics believe that every time they partake of the elements, they are “receiving Christ” but I digress.

In contrast, biblical communion observations are periodic reminders that Jesus gave Himself, as a sacrifice.  He shed His blood for the remission of our sin.   And there was nothing merry about Christ’s sacrifice.  In fact, it was awefu., brutal, horrific, and sad (Isaiah 53).   

Furthermore, it was “once for all” and never to be repeated again (Hebrews 10:11-14).  So, I have to ask, do you really want to wish someone to have a merry time by recreating the crucifixion of Christ on the day we celebrate His birth?

What about that substitute word, “Xmas?”   The symbol X is the Greek letter “chi” which is the first letter in the word, Christos.  And it has been used without objection, throughout most of church history, for the word “Christ,”  In fact, the symbol of the fish was adopted by the early church to identify Christians because they used the Greek word for fish as an acronym for the name, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”   The symbol X in that acronym represented the word, “Christ.”   So, as I have said before, any Christians who object to the use of X in Xmas, should remove all the fish symbols from their bumpers and business cards just to avoid hypocrisy.  Christians should be happy when unbelievers use the term Xmas because it, in a literal sense, really does keep Christ in Christmas.

Do you resent when people wish you “Happy Holidays?”   The word holiday is contracted from the words “holy day” and the biblical meaning of “holy” is akin to the word, “sanctified,” which means to separate from the profane (ordinary) or set apart for special use.  Certainly most thinking Christians would agree that we “set apart” a day to observe the birth of our Savior and treat it as special or holy.  

And it really is a happy (joyous) time for Christians to enjoy the fellowship of family, friends, and believers as we remember that He came to us wrapped in human flesh.  So I can’t imagine why any Christian would object to the use of the phrase, “Happy Holiday.”  In fact, given all the options, Happy Holiday seems to be the most accurate, appropriate, and God-honoring greeting for Christians during this holiday season. 

So, for all my Christian friends, I want to take this opportunity to wish you a HAPPY HOLIDAY.

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