It’s that time again. It’s the holiday season. It’s time for family, fellowship, food and.... controversy. As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we're going to start talking about Christmas as well. That's because, the day after Thanksgiving is the "official" start of the holiday shopping season. Therefore, we're going to take advantage of this annual launch to start talking about Christmas and what it truly means in America today.
Did you know that many people feel that Christmas should not be celebrated?
When you learn about some of its history you can understand why. Here are just a few reasons why it is not celebrated in many sectors of American society. You might have family or friends who feel this way:
1.) Christmas is just a capitalistic marketing ploy to manipulate the masses to spend money.
2.) There is no Christian church validation that Jesus was really born on December 25th.
3.) December 25th is a day on which Jews have been shamed, tortured and murdered.
4.) Many of the most popular Christmas customs – including Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas presents and Santa Claus – are modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.
5.) Most Christmas customs evolved from pagan rituals and practices and, therefore, should never be observed.
We agree that these are all very strong arguments for not participating in the festivities of the holiday. Many preachers across America will accurately and systematically destroy any reason a Christian Believer could possibly be connected to this season of the year.
However, as you know, we have built a reputation on controversy since moving to Harrisburg and we’re about to add more fuel to that fire.
Many Christians and religious people have taken the position that it is wrong to embrace things that were perverted and sinful in their origins. They feel we should never attempt to use these things for God. However, that's exactly what God did for us. Even though we were born in sin and shaped in iniquity, Christ died for us while we were still sinners. For anyone who receives Him, He gives them the power to become children of God. He changes us and sets us apart for His purpose. He didn't allow our sinful origins to keep us away from His divine purpose.
Now, as His children, we have the opportunity to take advantage of a season that has very negative origins and highly commercialized, money-making schemes. This is one of the special times in which our families can be exposed to the reality of Jesus Christ and the true reason why He came to earth.
We believe that we must do much more than just debate about all the reasons why we should not celebrate Christmas. Most people simply REACT to the negative aspects of Christmas. We believe that we need to provide Believers some Godly ways to RESPOND to this season.
Beginning this week, and up until Christmas, we want to give you Five Godly Responses to December 25th.
This week we’re presenting response #1: Become All Things to All Men.
In 1 Corinthians 9:18-23, Paul writes, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you."
We see the Christmas season as the perfect opportunity to connect with many different kinds of people. This scripture does not mean that we become hypocrites and pretenders in order to indulge in secular practices. This is talking about connecting with people ON THEIR LEVEL of understanding. This is about identifying with them, the same way Christ identified with all of mankind.
Don't shun people because of what they believe or practice during this season. Don't isolate yourself from the office party or the family gathering because they may have traditions or rituals that are against your beliefs. Become all things to all men, so that you might by all means save some.
Enjoy the holiday; enjoy your family!
Chris and Carol Green have been called under-the-radar leaders in rebuilding, restoring and renewing hearts and homes. The Greens are certified professional life coaches who founded C and C Connections, LLC, a coaching and consulting business that specializes in equipping leaders in the principles of CARE (Compassionate Awareness with Respect and Empathy); and the Fruitful Life Learning Community, a unique merging of a life-development church with home groups, house churches, ministers and outreach ministries.