More Important than Christ in Christmas

At first glance, the title of this article might make some cringe. We live in a society where for decades we have heard that there is a “war” on Christmas and we need to be doing everything that we can to win this cultural war.

First, it’s a disservice to combat veterans to refer to cultural disagreements as “war.” War is an ugly, violent, and deadly thing. I’ve never fought in a war, but I have counseled those who have. I have no desire to see combat or the terror that it brings to heart, mind, and soul. So calling this a “war” is just a way of trying to stir up stronger reactions from people and help them vilify (and thus dehumanize) those who see Christmas differently than they do. When it comes to dehumanizing our brothers and sisters in this world, I have only one piece of advice – STOP. It is a clear sin to consider those created in God’s holy image as anything other than human.

Second, if we are worried that Jesus is being forced out of the Christmas season, well, in many ways, we surrendered the battle with our money and time a long, long time ago. Sure, there are many who choose to celebrate the birth of Christ without buying into all the commercialism. But how many of us expend countless hours and dollars on the decorations of trees, presents, and parties during this time of the year, all while robbing ourselves of the peace and hope Christ’s birth promises?

So, if the battle is over and we can’t really participate in any “war” to win it back, what is “more important than Christ in Christmas”?

That answer is simple. Instead of focusing on putting Christ back in Christmas in our culture, let us focus instead on putting Christ back in Christians every single day.

Happy Holidays

John 1:11 tells us: “(Jesus) came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.” Every time I buy into the warring attitude with our culture, I do the same thing – I don’t accept Jesus in me.

Every time I don’t align my finances so that at least a tenth of what I make goes to the local church, but spend even more than that on Christmas celebrations, then I do not accept him.

Every time I find some reason not to reach out to the stranger near me in the same way that Jesus stepped down from the throne of heaven to come and be with us, I do not accept him.

Every time I post something on social media that belittles a group that disagrees with the way I think, I do not accept him. Remember – Jesus is the one who ate with sinners, let the condemned adulterer live, and even forgave a thief dying next to him on a cross.

Yes, there is something much more important than putting Christ back in Christmas. It is putting Christ back in Christians.

When I do that, well, the other will take care of itself. Would you like to join in that kind of change?

A Not-So-Dark Knight

Was reading this today remembering my uncle…

Not Quite Home

The television set was only a few feet away and my older brother and I crowded around it with our eyes glued to every move.  When the “Bam!” or “Pow” would appear on the screen as Batman and his faithful sidekick Robin fought the never ending battle against evil, my brother and I would both jerk back a little from the screen, as if the action were going to somehow come into the living room of my grandparents otherwise sedate home.  Behind us, my Uncle Rodger, a single man who never had kids of his own, would be chuckling at our reactions, somehow happy at what he had invited us to watch.  And meanwhile, viewers, my grandma would be shaking her head in something of a disapproving manner. (Yes, he also made sure we saw The Lone Ranger and Superman.)  It was this same Uncle, my mom’s younger…

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Confederate Monuments: A History Lesson

Hopefully, I will find time in the next few days to complete an entry I’ve started on symbols…

One of the recurring arguments I have been hearing as to why we should not remove Confederate monuments from government lands and buildings is that we need to remember our history. Yet, the very history of these monuments is reason enough to validate their immediate removal. Keeping them is a white-washing and sanitizing of our history… not the other way around.

So, here’s a brief history lesson about Confederate monuments (especially those in the South).

The first government-sponsored monuments to the Confederacy were not erected until after 1877–a full twelve years (that’s the equivalent of 3 presidential terms, ya’ll) after the Civil War ended.

That date is important because that date marks a major turning point in the post Civil War culture of the American South.

In 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes lost the popular vote in the presidential election. However, he held an edge in the electoral college over Samuel…

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