Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 159: The Controversies of Christmas

All I can say is WOW!I have never seen so much talk about the controversies of celebrating Christmas and other "issues" pertaining to the Christmas season. I have been part of conversations about using "X" instead of Christ when writing Christmas (ie. XMas), the use of trees during the celebration of Christmas and even the celebration of Christmas at all. Needless to say, I am perplexed at a lot of views. I will break each of these down for you and tell you the "issues" surrounding them.

I'll start with a big peeve of mine. Using "X" in Christmas. Yes, I know the origins. Yes, I also know that you are not Greek and that the X is probably the only abbreviation you use. So, why use it at all? Wouldn't the Greeks be wrong in shortening Christ to X as well? It is like using "C" in English to abbreviate Christ. Why not carry it further and use "O" for God? After all that's what the first letter of the Greek word for Theos is. Rationalize however you want, but it is still abbreviating Christ, no matter how you look at it. It is a step in the wrong direction and yes, I am sure that God minds.

Next is the use of Christmas trees. Seems like there are a few that want to link the use of Christmas trees to Jeremiah 10 -
Jeremiah 10:2-4
“ Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.

First off, when this was written Christmas trees were not even being used, since Jesus had not even been born yet. Second of all, this is not a warning against Christians using Christmas trees. These verses deal with actual worship of these adorned trees, as gods. So, get a grip, smack yourself around a little bit and remember that taking verses out of context is a big no-no.

Lastly, I have heard objections of even celebrating Christmas because it is a pagan holiday. Once again, I am well versed in the origins of the pagan festivals on the Winter Solstice and the worship of the sun god. Good thing I do not worship the sun or think the Winter Solstice any different than any other day or time. So, whew, I'm off the hook now. Well, apparently not. They then throw in that the Christmas season is so overly commercialized and we shouldn't participate in that. Once again, good thing I am not like "everyone" or they might have me there.

The Christmas season has been very commercialized over the past several decades and there is no end in sight. But should this dissuade people from celebrating the birth of the Savior? Even if it did not happen on December 25th? I would liken it to any Sunday morning church service across the globe. Will I stop going to church simply because most of those lining the pews on Sunday morning would really rather be somewhere else, doing something else, are recuperating from a hangover or just there to make an appearance so they will look holy? Heaven forbid I base what I do, say or believe on what the lost and perishing of this world are doing. I celebrate the birth of the Savior that died and shed His blood to cover my sins. What the stores and throngs of people do to commercialize this day will have to be answered for by them.

About 15 years ago, + or - a few years, while still unconverted I wrote a poem about the X in Christmas. I was unconverted at the time, but still felt it wrong that Christ was being replaced by an X. I was raised "in the church" after all and even though I was still under the burden of sin God had granted me the grace to see that it was wrong. Now I will be inundated with comments or remarks buy people telling me how the Greek this and the Greek that, but however you try to justify it does not make it right. Those that profess Christ should want Him forefront in anything and everything and want His Name proclaimed - not an X. People fight tooth and nail defending this practice and all the while are digging a deeper hold to crawl out of. Why would someone that has been forgiven by the grace of God and blood of Christ want to remove mention of His Name? Why would they do it for convenience sake? It makes no sense at all. If you are one of those then please pray about what you are doing. The lost and perishing see professing Christians do this and think it is fine.

I do have a question. Why do people say "ex-mas"? Is it because the "x" is short for Christ? Because in my estimation as a non English major (and one who talks like a hick anyway) that saying "ex" and saying Christ take about the same time, use about the same amount of breath and have the same amount of syllables.

Here is my poem that I wrote. Please feel free to use it in any way, but please not me as the author ans if you use it on the web link back to here.

Who Put the X in Christmas
Who put the X in Christmas ?
I ask myself today .
Who forgets the reason ,
And puts our Christ away ?
Who are the ignorant ones ,
That replace His name in vain ?
Each time I see the blasphemy ,
I hang my head in shame .
As I look upon my Christmas tree ,
And the star that's placed up high .
I think of what He gave for us ,
And for the ignorant my heart does cry .
It's been many , many years ago ,
But Christ will always be .
How great our God that gave His Son ,
That died on the cross for me .
Just one thing I'll say to you ,
And I think you will agree .
Without our Christ in Christmas ,
Just another day it would be .
Jeffery Guill

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