By Jack Kinsella
Every year about this time, the debate begins anew about Christmas. Does offering someone a greeting like “Merry Christmas” offend those who aren’t Christians?
Should we remember to keep the ‘Christ’ in Christmas? Is Jesus the reason for the season? Is observing Christmas an inappropriate endorsement of religion?
It is difficult to figure out, if celebrating Christmas as a ‘religious holiday’, exactly WHICH religion is being endorsed. Christianity is the only faith on earth that is NOT a religion.
Jesus Christ was the most anti-religious ‘religious’ leader who ever lived. Jesus came to dismantle religion and replace it with His doctrine of faith and trust.
Jesus called the religious leaders of His day “a generation of vipers” and likened them to “whited sepulchers [tombs], beautiful on the outside, but on the inside, ‘filled with dead men’s bones.’
Religion is the antithesis of Christianity. Religion is man’s way of making himself acceptable to God. Christianity is God’s way of making man acceptable to Himself.
Religion has rules and regulations that bind its adherents, with the promise of eternal punishment if those rules and regulations are violated.
Jesus taught the opposite; He said the truth would make us free and that salvation comes by faith alone that His sacrificial death and His subsequent Resurrection would save us, and not our good deeds.
Salvation doesn’t come by doing good works or attending church, or by being baptized or by believing in God. James 2:19 says; “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
Believing in God is NOT enough — as James points out, Satan believes in God. The Book of Job tells us that Satan regularly comes to present himself before the Lord, but that won’t keep Satan from his appointment with the Lake of Fire.
Good works won’t save a person. Isaiah 64:4 notes that, “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Note that it isn’t just our sins that are as ‘filthy rags’ before the Lord. Even our ‘righteousness’ is filthy in God’s eyes. “God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1st John 1:5)
So to a pure a Holy and perfect God, ANY sin/darkness would naturally be alien and repugnant to Him, so — humanly speaking — it IS impossible for us to be saved. THAT is why God demonstrated His love for us by coming down in human form as the Lord Jesus Christ.
God gave Moses the Ten Commandments for a single reason…to PROVE two things. The first is that we are ALL sinners — no human being who ever lived (with the exception of Jesus) ever kept all ten of them.
The second reason is to prove we ALL need a Savior. Since it is a human impossibility to keep the Commandments, it is humanly impossible, according to Scripture, for any person to be saved by his works.
James 2:10 reminds us that whoever “whoever shall keep the whole law and stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”
A person who tries to live by the Ten Commandments will die by the Ten Commandments and will stand before the judge clothed in his own righteousness, or what the Lord refers to as ‘filthy rags’.
Instead, the Scriptures teach, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Ephesians 2:8)
The gift of salvation is bestowed on mankind for the asking by the One Whose Birth we celebrate at Christmas.
“But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved…(Acts 15:11)
The celebration of Christmas has been declared, by the politically correct but overwhelmingly stupid, a religious holiday. Note well who it is that objects the most to its celebration. Religionists.
Secular humanism is a religion. It meets all of the benchmark tests — it is man’s way of making himself acceptable to his god, which, of course, is himself. It has rules and regulations — you can’t believe in humanism and believe in God, it has its own doctrine (evolution) and it requires a tremendous amount of faith.
To be a humanist, you have to deny logic and accept a constantly-changing and unprovable ‘theory’ that says that everything we know about physics is true — unless you add the unprovable element of billions of years.
To a humanist, a frog turning into a handsome prince is a fairy tale. Unless you add a couple of billion years. Then it’s scientific evolution.
To many Muslims or Jews, Christmas is offensive. To some Jews, Christmas remains a standing indictment against his religion. Many Christians believe the Jews killed Christ. The only way around that indictment is to deny He was the Messiah.
(Actually, the Jews had no law to put a man to death — it was the Romans. And your sins. And mine.)
To the Muslim, Christmas is offensive because it is an acknowledgment that the Koran is wrong — the Koran specifically denies the Deity of Christ and repeatedly tells its adherents that “God has no Son.”
Christmas finds great acceptance among Christian religionists, like the Catholic Church or mainstream Protestant denominations.
But it doesn’t do that well among non-denominational Christians, who point out that the early Church didn’t celebrate the birth of Christ and that Christmas is really a repacking of the Babylonian religion of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.
Non-denominational Christianity teaches that it is ok to celebrate Christmas if one wants to, and equally ok to not celebrate Christmas, if one wants to.
Religionists take one of two positions on Christmas. They oppose its celebration, because they find it offensive. Or, they oppose efforts to stifle its celebration, which they claim is offensive to them. Which view is correct? The Bible says both of them.
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” (Romans 14:5-6)
“Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)
The religionists on each side of the Christmas controversy strain at one another, red-faced and angry, over whether or not it is a good religious observance or a bad religious observance, and in the end, everybody ends up taking offense — over the Birth of the Prince of Peace!
The Bible — the source of all that is known of God — offers the final word on the topic, but the Bible is the last place a religionist would think to look for answers about religion.
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:19)
I pray for each of you, that you have a wonderful, merry and peace-filled Christmas.