What is the 'War on Christmas' and how should Christians respond?
The so-called "War on Christmas" is something that many people perceive in our society as a concerted effort to disassociate Jesus Christ from the Christmas holiday. The main way this is done is by removing the word "Christmas" from public discourse. For example, advertisements and media will say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Stories of people complaining of or trying to sue over nativity scenes being on display or Christmas programs occurring in public schools because it offends them are more and more common these days.
One reason given for avoiding the word "Christmas" is so as to not offend non-Christians. One problem with this reasoning is that Christians could use the exact same argument, saying it offends them when people say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Deliberate attempts to remove Christmas in the name of "tolerance" and "inclusion" actually result in intolerance and exclusion of Christian values. Though often described in political terms, the bias against Christmas and its meaning is, at its root, a spiritual issue, not a political or personal one (Ephesians 6:12).
As Christians, it's important to remember that the devil will do everything he can to keep our focus off of God. We don't want to allow the "War on Christmas" to get us riled up and respond out of anger at or fear of what we see going on. That's why the Bible tells us to keep our eyes (mind, heart, attention) fixed on Jesus—He is our example of how to respond in all circumstances (Hebrews 12:2). "Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted" (Hebrews 12:3).
In response to attempts to remove the significance of Christ from Christmas, as Christians we need to ask God for wisdom for specific situations. As mentioned before, it's a spiritual battle, so here are some ideas to keep in mind:
1) Love and pray for those who attack Christmas or passively allow Christmas to be removed (Matthew 5:44-45). Also pray for those in positions of power and leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-3) that they would encourage the honor of Christmas in their spheres of influence.
2) Celebrate Christmas yourself! Make it a point to remind yourself and teach the real meaning of Christmas in your home and let the joy of Christ's birth shine through in your life.
3) Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). When we allow God's love to flow through us in our interactions with people, the Holy Spirit can minister to them in ways we may not even realize.
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