Opinions on faith and life

Christians and Traditions

2008-12-03

A couple years ago I ranted about the motivation for removing the word “Christmas” from this increasingly generic “holiday season”. It’s part of the multicultural scene, one which accepts everything but the Jesus of the Bible. The question is, what to do about it?

So far, Christians have chosen to rage against the loss of traditions that, for all their faults, at least reminded the world that Jesus was born among us to eventually secure our salvation. But truth to tell, the predictable result of all this “tolerance” will be that the original pagan celebrations of the winter solstice and spring fertility rituals will likely be the ones every religion can agree on, provided they’re done generically enough. We pretty much have that now. Each religion does their own thing, then the country as a whole does the generic thing. What binds them all together is the need for greed, the shopping frenzy, the parties. It’s tradition, after all.

But I would invite you now to read an excellent article on this whole issue, ’Tis The Season, by Jack Kelley. Please also read at least one of the links at the bottom, the one on “The Pagan Origin of Christian Holidays”. We really need to rethink our own tolerance for participation in these celebrations that are rife with pagan symbolism. They don’t tolerate us, after all. Why do we tolerate them? Why do we try to blend in with pagan traditions? Why do we perpetuate the practice of putting a Christian sugar-coating on pagan feasts?

Let’s start being Christians: the Biblical kind, the “salt and light” kind, the kind that emphasize giving over receiving and relationships over riches, the kind that live the “Christmas spirit” all year round. It would make more sense to do the bulk of our gift giving on a person’s birthday. Yes, people brought Jesus gifts (two years after He was born!), and we can justify exchanging gifts any time we want. But we all know that we feel obligated to give when we receive-- except on our own birthdays. Only then do the givers give without expecting something in return. And the receivers become givers for the next person’s birthday.

The greatest gift we can give God is to honor Him with our lives. The greatest gift we can give other people is to treat them according to Jesus’ “golden rule”, to spread the gospel, to “walk the walk”. In this way we will shine, and the lost will no longer be able to either ignore us (because we look just like them) or accuse us of being hypocrites for our talk of piety but showing by our actions that we are as materialistic as they are. We must do more than wear pins that say “Jesus is the reason for the season”.

Traditions are fun and full of fond memories, but remember where our true citizenship lies.

2 Comments

Lin

’We really need to rethink our own tolerance for participation in these celebrations that are rife with pagan symbolism"

I agree. I don’t think we need to be Luddites about this but we really do need to rethink what we as Christians have made Christmas into.

I loved my daughters preschool for being very clever about this......several months (months are like years to kids!) after Christmas they had the ’Wise Men’ visit the kids looking for Jesus bearing their gifts. The kids were freaking out because they ’missed Christmas’. It was done on purpose to teach them what really happened.

The preschool director who goes to my church said she has made it her mission to teach the truth about this to kids.

There is a great site called buynothingforChristmas that the Canadian Mennonites are sponsoring. It really makes sense

Paula Fether

Thanks for the info on "buy nothing", I’ll check it out.