In teaching about the Jewish feasts, John Hagee once suggested that Jesus was born in late September or early October, around the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles, rather than on Dec. 25, the date on which we traditionally celebrate His birth. Hagee developed a credible argument for his claim based on the timing of the birth of John the Baptist, who arrived on the scene shortly before Jesus.
The word we use to refer to Jesus’ birth date came from the term “Christ’s Mass,” eventually shortened to “Christmas,” which was probably the name of a celebration initiated by the early church to compete with the pagan holiday that signaled the beginning of winter. Whether we celebrate it on Dec. 25 or a more historically accurate date, Christmas has become a time when the world stops to acknowledge the miracle of God’s becoming man in the form of a baby born to a virgin in Bethlehem.
For many people, it is the happiest time of the year, not only because of the spiritual significance but also because of the special traditions, memories, love and good will that attend it.
So why is it that, in our culture today, there is an attempt to snuff out every aspect of the holiday that reflects its spiritual origins? It’s OK to decorate our homes with glittering evergreen trees and send out greeting cards with cheerful little snowmen on them, but we can’t put Navity sets in public view or even wish someone “Merry Christmas!” without inciting public criticism.
We’ve seen the demise of Christian values in the secular media, in the political arena and in the educational system. Now in the day-to-day workplace, it’s considered politically incorrect to acknowledge the Savior’s birth with a friendly greeting.
Thankfully sane voices have risen in the secular media. John Gibson, who hosts a nationally syndicated radio program on Fox News, wrote a book a few years back titled The War on Christmas (Sentinel) in which he documented what he calls “the liberal plot to ban the sacred Christian holiday.”
It’s time for Christians to stand up and say enough is enough, and I encourage our readers to get involved.
In the past, I have encouraged churches to take the lead in decorating for Christmas. That’s because we can’t expect city hall to do it. Government employees must by law add “secular” elements to make their holiday displays “seasonal.” But as private citizens, we still have the freedom to decorate our homes and businesses and the lawns in front of our churches.
Whatever you do, do something. Be a part of changing public opinion on the issue of celebrating Christmas. It isn’t as important an issue as the sanctity of human life or traditional values. But it’s a non-political way to speak up for the Christian position and do your part to reverse the secularization of America.
Finally, remember Christ in your giving this Christmas. As I have in years past, I invite you to support the ministries of our non-profit partner, Christian Life Missions (christianlifemissions.com), or a local charity or church. Remember during this time when we celebrate Jesus’ birth, that Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My bretheren, you did it to Me.” (Matt. 25:40, NKJV).