Santa or Jesus the Reason for the Season?
As we head into the Christmas season, we have the opportunity to tell the world about the greatest gift ever: the authentic, selfless, other-focused love of Jesus. Let us not, then, be silenced by cultural tolerance, which declares that it’s offensive, in our highly PC world, to courageously and joyfully declare that Jesus — not Santa — is the “good news” of the season.
It’s not about religion, people. Or a set of rules. Or exclusivity. Or intolerance. It’s about love. And the opportunity for all to joyfully celebrate the most authentic source of it.
Christmas and Jesus
Here’s the thing about cultural tolerance: it thinks it gets to dictate what is/is not “appropriate” Christmas conversation. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of being told to keep my religious views to myself. And forget about saying, “Merry CHRISTmas!”
My kind, warm greeting of Christian joy and cheer must be silenced because someone might get offended … but “Happy Holidays!” is fine and dandy because it’s so generic?
That’s LAME, people!
If cultural tolerance was committed to being truly tolerant, it would champion people freely celebrating Christmas as it was intended: a spiritual celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus.
Though secularists would have us forget that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, it must be noted that our founding fathers understood that a society that places man over God is unable to keep the proper perspective of human worth.
Our Constitution does not, as some erroneously think, demand a clear separation of church and state. Rather, its carefully chosen wording serves to remind us that our government should never be allowed to control our right to religious freedom.
As Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute, a Dallas-based legal organization fighting to protect religious freedom in America says, “Censoring Christmas is not what the Constitution says, not what the law says, and not even what the Supreme Court has said.”
Christmas and Santa
Our modern gift-giving Santa is a pale imitation of St. Nicholas Sinterklaas. Nicholas served as the Bishop of Myra, in the third century, in an area that is part of present-day Turkey.
Purposing to be God’s hands and feet, he used the large inheritance he received from his parents to help the needy. After his death, the Catholic Church recognized Nicholas as a saint, and a tradition of gift giving began in his honor.
If St. Nick could see how utterly commercialized his gift-giving has become, and how our fictional Santa character is used to control and manipulate behavior, he would probably spew a bit of righteous anger!
Many Christians play along with the Santa scenario because it’s fun and magical. We love the lights and bejeweled trees and eggnog and festive gatherings. But we also feel the weight of sadness that comes with recognizing that our society increasingly prefers a wondrous fantasy over a wondrous Savior.
Though cultural tolerance says God isn’t needed in the modern world, Christians recognize that Santa can’t hold a candle to Jesus.
Santa didn’t die on the cross for us; Jesus did.
Santa offers up just once-a-year gifts based on our being good; Jesus offers us the gift of his love every single second, despite our poor choices. His complete understanding and tolerance offers us unending second chances.
Santa hunkers down in an isolated, top-secret location; Jesus is fully available to us, no matter where we are. He offers us unlimited time and attention as He daily walks life with us.
Cultural tolerance, I respect the tolerance you say you’re after. But you need to prove it: show full respect and tolerance to those who view Jesus as the reason for the season. To Christians, He always will be. We are so grateful that He is our savior.
Christmas is not the time to get preachy and self-righteous because “we’re the only ones who get the real meaning of Christmas.” It’s not the time to heap guilt on friends and family who typically skip church. It’s the time to radiate God’s love. Let us do what cultural tolerance refuses: offer full tolerance to those who don’t yet know Jesus. Merry CHRISTmas! Joy to the world. He has come! Hallelujah!