Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Christmas Celebrations...

I grew up in a fellowship that did not celebrate Christmas. There might be a brief acknowledgement of the season, but there certainly were not any pagents, plays, or even Christmas carols sung. Sometimes I even heard theological explanations for why this was: after all, we do not know the exact day Jesus was born so we should not celebrate any one day more than any other. It was sometimes explained that we should celebrate Christmas every day, not just once a year. However, I always wondered if we just wanted to be sure that we were not being like all those denominations.

Now that same fellowship has Christmas pagents, sermons on the birth of Christ at Christmas time, and we sing lots of Christmas songs. And I hear theological explanations for why this is now the right thing to do: after all, the birth of Christ is an event worth celebrating. And at a time the whole world is thinking about Jesus, we need to say a word for the Christ child. However, I wonder if we just want to be sure that we are as much like everyone else as possible. We don't want to be seen as different or quirky.

Christmas is just the latest example of our difficulty in knowing how to relate to other religious groups. I used to think we would rather climb in and out of a window rather than a door so we wouldn't be seen as denominational. We learned almost nothing from our religious friends because we had almost no interaction with them.

Now I think it has become trendy to be as much like everyone else as we can. Now we want to be popular with all our religious friends. If we disagree about an issue, it is almost assumed that we must be wrong. So we become so afraid of offending someone that we won't take a stand on anything. It is as if we are saying "this is true unless you disagree and then it may not be true".

Wouldn't it be wonderful to make decisions based on God's Word, and not worry about what everyone else thinks? After all, I am going to have to answer to God, not to the religious leaders of the world.

Just food for thought.

The whole "we refuse to acknowledge Christ's birth when the rest of the world is celebrating it" is very baffling to me. I honestly didn't know that belief/ ideology existed until I moved to Abilene 4 years ago. Blissfully ignorant, I guess.

And, I agree about trying to fit in or not being a strong motivator. I'm studying John to teach in January. It's kind of painful how much I recognize the religious leaders.
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