Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas (04/25/05)
TITLE: Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays!
By Jackie Gregston
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Gone are the school pageants with children singing “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger” (reference to Christ). Choir teachers are left to scratch and dig to find any song that doesn’t remotely endorse a specific religion or holiday, heaven forbid! American traditions must take a backseat to conformity. When you get down to it, isn’t that what all of this is about?
The Apostle Paul gave us guidelines for living as a redeemed people in a fallen world. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (NIV)
Ouch. I became acutely aware of this very thing several years ago as our annual Christmas cards started to arrive in early December. I remember noticing the number of them that now stated simply ‘Happy Holidays’. I even observed emails sent from fellow Christians wishing me a ‘Happy Holiday’. Oh, a few still had the appropriate manger scene and greeting, but those were few and far between. I was saddened. Grieved for the Lord.
For in the wake of our country’s labor pains from 9/11, we had become increasingly more and more tolerant of allowing others to dictate how our country should function and behave. Flag-waving might offend the foreigners. Praying to our God was wrong—what about those who pray to Allah?
That was when I had had enough. First, they made us take our prayers out of schools. The few public places where prayer was allowed, you no longer heard one pray ‘in Jesus’ name’. Simple ‘Amens’ sounded somehow trite to me. And now, we cannot pray to God at all. Again, there might be people present who don’t worship our Lord and Savior.
What is wrong with this picture? If an estimated 84 percent of Americans still believe in God, why are we, the majority, bowing down to the minority? Our Forefathers would be rolling over in their graves right now if they knew what has come of our great country. We were given freedom of religion in the First Amendment. It states, in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I think Thomas Jefferson would shake his head in shame at our apathy to what they worked so hard for us to have.
Patrick Henry once stated “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations.” To that, I say, “Amen!”
I’m thankful that I live in our great nation, the United States of America, where I’m free to celebrate whichever holiday I so choose. Let’s not forget that Christmas is a U.S. national holiday. If we Christians choose to celebrate our Lord and Savior’s birth, then that is our privilege. Nobody is making anyone else celebrate it. So what’s all the fuss about? Let’s put Christ back in Christmas.
Merry Christmas everybody!
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