The first volley of shots have been fired this year in the War against Christmas.
The claim that Christians hijacked the pagan holiday of Saturnalia is a rallying cry for some atheists. Atheists also point to the wanton materialism exhibited by many Christians during the Christmas season as proof that there is really no ethical/behavioral difference between the believer and the non-believer. They both act the same, in the sense that they use, or abuse, the Christmas season to overspend, overeat, and overindulge in various and sundry ways.
Christmas or Saturnalia?
First, on the issue of Christians hijacking a pagan holiday in order to make it a day of worship to Jesus, the thoughtful Christian would have to answer, “Yes, and why not?”
In the Christian’s worldview, God is the source of everything. He is Creator, Sustainer, Savior. Friend, Protector, etc. If God owns everything, nothing exists apart from Him. Therefore, nothing can legitimately be said to have been anyone else’s to be ‘hijacked’ in the first place.
The point is that every day is Gods anyway. No other entity has the right to claim ownership of anything anyway. It was the pagan who ‘hijacked’ the glory and worship that truly belongs to God. They took the worship rightly due to God and turned it on themselves…they worshiped the creature rather than the creator (Romans 1:18-25). Pagans ‘hijacked’ God’s day, not the other way around.
Concerning materialism, many Christians do abuse the Christmas holidays by engaging in the same behavior that they rail against at other times of the year. Christians can be hypocrites, they are not perfect. Every Christian should ask God to search their heart and reveal to them any area in which they are not in His Will.
Is the atheist claiming to justify bad behavior by pointing to the bad behavior of others? That hasn’t worked since childhood. It is not an acceptable defense.
Some Christians may conduct themselves in the same less-than-admirable way atheists do…granted. The difference is that Christians can repent, be forgiven, and live a life enriched by their relationship with God through Jesus.
The Christian is also assured of his/her eternal destiny.