This post was originally featured on SFL in December of 2010
If your family read the crucifixion story every year before opening your presents, you may have been a fundamentalist. For to a fundamentalist, the Incarnation is often seen as little more than the first step on the road to Calvary. For unto us a Son is given and his name shall be called Doomed, Condemned, Destined for Destruction. He was born to die.
But we do our Savior a great injustice if we give the season a tragic tone as if this Baby should be mourned as merely mortal. Consider too the years of his humanity as a child, his miracles, his compassion, his wisdom, his teachings of love for others, his laughter and tears and hunger and weariness experienced as a God who condescended to become a man and walk among us. He was born to Live.
And yes, he was betrayed and mocked and falsely accused and beaten and crucified…but the story doesn’t end there either! For of his own will he defeated death and rose from the grave, comforting his grieving friends with words of Everlasting Life. He was born to Live.
Remember the words of his promise that he will never leave us or forsake us and that he is that friend who is closer than a brother. After our years of struggle and pain are ended we too will live with him in an eternity where there will be no darkness or pain or dying ever again. In him we will finally be truly alive. He was born to Live.
Dear heart, if you want to remember the Reason for the Season as you gather on Christmas Day this year, do not mourn as if Christ’s life was only given to be consumed in the seeming tragedy of his death. Read instead these words: “Fear not; I am the first and the last:I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.”
I’m on a “Merry Christmas” mission and I’m in full throttle. My little yellow VW Beetle has turned into a Christmas billboard with Merry Christmas written across the back window. Yes, I’ve decided to trek off to work everyday on the public highways with a message that seems to offend people.
At stop lights, I even turn my music up a little louder, and to top it off, I sing along with it. Don’t I know that stopping at a red light to roll my windows down only to share the joy of Christmas carols on public streets is a No-No? Don’t I fear the Christmas Gestapo and those who would have me remove the written message from my car?
I’m sorry folks, but the only person I’m concerned about “offending” during this Christmas season is the Lord himself. LEAVE THAT MANGER ALONE! We’ve allowed the Baby Jesus to be kicked out of His lowly manger, and those offended by Christmas are still not happy. I refuse to let this happen. I’m going to do my part to make sure “Merry Christmas” doesn’t become extinct. Because like it or not, if the believers in Christmas don’t take a stand now, it’s gone forever.
Listen folks, the Christian community has been underestimated before; we will have to show ourselves again.
I walked into a Wendy’s Restaurant the other day and was rather exuberant with my “Merry Christmas” greeting to the manager. He didn’t have much of a response and I said, “Where’s your Christmas spirit?” He said, “We’re not allowed to use the words “Merry Christmas” when greeting customers. We can only say “Happy Holiday.”
This morning I grabbed a quick breakfast at a Whataburger Restaurant. I noticed there wasn’t a single decoration in the store. I asked the manager why they weren’t decorated for Christmas. He told me the corporate headquarters decided not to send any decorations to any of their stores, and he didn’t know why.
After I heard about all the Macy’s and Federated Stores taking down their Merry Christmas signs, the Target stores not allowing the Salvation Army to “Ring the Christmas bells,” and the many incidents of children, choirs, and bands not allowed to play or sing Christmas carols, I realized it was happening right here in my own little Texas town.
Today’s challenge is to reach back into your own personal Christmas Story and recall what the holidays were like in Fundamentalism.
Has your celebration changed in form or focus? Do you do different things now than you did then? Do you now worship Santa Claus and participate in the debauchery of rock music around the Christmas tree?
We’d really like to know.
Did you know that you can give Kindle e-books as a gift? If you’ve got fundies on your list a copy of Fundamental Flaws may be just what they’re missing!
A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.