The Grinch Can’t Steal My Christmas Joy

Grinch Navity.001This is part 2 of The “Pagan Christmas Witch Hunt” if you may not have seen it.

Peddlers of gloom who stress that Dec. 25 is a pagan holiday and should not be celebrated can’t steal my joy.

Here are a few more (I believe sane and spiritual) responses to the following objections:

1.  Jesus Wouldn’t Condone The Commercialism

I agree.  I don’t think He would.  Our Western style of commercialized prosperity has missed the mark inside and outside the church, His representative Body.

I used to try to sneak things past my father by saying, “But all the kids are doing it.”  He would always respond, “If your best friend jumps off a bridge, will you?”

The point is this:  I can live in a “commercialized society without being a participant in commercialism (whatever that actually means).  I can celebrate the incarnation of Christ at a time when attention is focused there and do so with financial dignity, and honor.

2.  Jesus wasn’t born on December 25, anyway!

I know that.  I wasn’t born on the moon.  Nobody actually knows specifically when He was born with any certainty.  The Biblical account as well as extra-biblical literature is very sparse on the timing issues of His birth.  Those opinions that are extracted from biblical passages are suspect at best because the topics in mention are “spiritual” in nature and not the subject of correct calendar dating.

It is interesting to note that a plausible presentation is given by the scholarly work of E.W. Bullinger’s “Companion Bible.”  Bullinger personally believes with confidence that it’s likely that Jesus was born on our September 29th and that December 25th would have been when Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit.   I find it interesting in that I’m one who believes that life begins at conception.  So, could it be that Jesus actually “entered” the earth 9 months earlier, through supernatural conception, on our calendar December 25?)   Still speculation, but interesting.

The Early Church Attempted To Sanitize A Pagan Holiday

I’m not going to give detail here, because I covered this in part one, however a follow-up question was asked, “Would you celebrate the birth of Christ on an Islamic holiday?

My answer:  Yes, maybe.  It depends.

A question like that assumes a negative answer by an emotionally heated shaming comparison.  However, I would rather think more deeply with my heart than that.  As I’ve stated in part one, I believe it is just as likely that the early church was not doing a cowardly job of sanitizing by turning a heathen holiday into a day to honor Christ.  But, instead, they were taking a “counter-cultural creative stand” in the face of debauchery.  They were saying, “You emphasize the birth of the sun on this day with debauchery and revelry.  We honor the birth of the True Son with our celebration.  I think that would have been a pretty ball-sy stand.

If I felt God was putting it on my heart to counter-culture my Christian beliefs in an Islamic culture, I would.

My Friend Larry De Salvo said it best

 “You know, I was wondering how so many different people came up with so many “pagan” ideas?  We can ‘witch hunt’ with so many various ideas and “pagan” days and pagan this and pagan that we can pick and choose “Which” crazy ideas we want to embrace and bring to the forefront and sensationalize and cause division within our own ranks… it seems like an excellent way for the enemy to divide and make enemies of our own brothers and sisters in The Body of Christ. It’s very easy to find a rabbit trail to follow if your looking for one and our enemy is a master of giving us something to follow whether partly true, totally true, or totally false just to keep us busy and take our focus off of the matter at hand, loving Jesus and allowing the natural flow that comes from that to our brothers and sisters…”

Larry ends with a verse that has also been on my heart, (I Samuel 16:7), “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.”

Final Word:

The religious world is full of voices that have the same spirit the Pharisee’s carried.  The details are different but the spirit is the same.  The motivating force behind the Pharisee was to keep things pure.  They added many “laws” that were not inspired by God, but they carried the spirit that it was their job to keep everything pure for God.

Religion comes from the words, “to re-bind.”  Whom the Son sets free, let him remain free, indeed.

I’m not going to let any Grinch in the robes of a Pharisee steal my joy this season.  I hope you don’t either.

Gary