It feels like Christmas has shifted for Christians. Oh we still open our iPods and eat our pies and throw the football around just like the rest of society. But something has changed.
I don’t know when it happened either. Michael W. Smith probably wrote a wintery song about Christmas slipping from our collective grasp or perhaps Rebecca St. James penned some lyrics on how Christmas used to be, but I must have missed them.
See, for Christians, Christmas has become open season on people who don’t share our beliefs. We seem to get rather upset with how people celebrate Christmas.
We’re funny about it though. We pick and choose what we want to be mad about.
We’re fine with the neighbor who burned down half the block because he went all Griswold with the flying angels in his oak tree. We pay no mind to the colleague who hasn’t showered or shaved since Thanksgiving because he’s trying to “be in character” as Joseph for the church Christmas play. Flocks of sheep holding up traffic in the town square for a re-enactment of Jesus’ birth? No worries.
But for some reason Christians (and conservatives – and the two are mutually exclusive) get all crazy about these four things in the month of December:
We get all crazy on people who say “xmas” – This seems to be the standard “yeahhhh, we’re gonna have to remove you and your family from the Wednesday night church dinner list” holiday sin made popular over the last 5 years. I don’t care if you had 400 Christmas cards to sign and were just trying to save time!! Use a laserjet next time!! Carlos Whittaker wrote a funny post on this the other day.
We get crazy and think people who say “Happy Holiday” are closet Satanists – For some reason the “Happy Holidays” people have been lumped in the “yep, that person hates God and probably lights wooden mangers on fire in his spare time” group Christians love to hate. Conversely a simple “Merry Christmas” lands you in the “yep, that person loves God so much he probably gives out frankincense and myrrh at his office party” group. Jon Acuff wrote a funny post on this the other day.
We get crazy about the Fox and Friends Christmas program – Not watching Fox’s Christmas special? Might as well be ramming a trident into the chests of all the inflatable wisemen in your neighborhood. Christians get crazy about their Fox News Christmas special. Don’t get me wrong, It’s a fine program, no haterade here, I just see no need to spew vitriol all over people who choose NPRs Christmas program or CNNs program. I actually have no idea if either of those networks have Christmas programs but if they do and our friends choose to entertain themselves elsewhere let’s not imagine them with poking wisemen with tridents.
We get crazy and make websites like this – Go ahead, click on it, check it out. Then scroll all the way to the bottom and look at the left-hand corner to see who your sponsor is. I’ll save the holier-than-thou rant because I’m sure I’ve spent my time and money on pursuits that were less than what the Lord desired but if this is what the church is pouring itself into: the political segregation of a community based on what words people in that community did or did not use to celebrate a holiday, well, I mean, what are we doing?
I say all this not to eviscerate any singular organization or person but rather to bring light to some things we might need to evaluate this Christmas. Do we love others or do love others as long as they love the things we love?
Feel free to disagree with us in the comments below, but if you feel the need to write a 1000-word prayer over souls however we ask that you just send an email.
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