When I come home for the holidays, I am always greeted by a delightful tree and lights, a pile of presents and filled stockings, and a TV turned to Fox News, where commentators are invariably rallying the troops to fight the War on Christmas. Whether it be over city Christmas trees or Brooklyn billboards, it seems that the atheists are upping the odds and Christians are quick to fight back.
But what are we fighting for really? A tree that bears no resemblance to the one upon which our Savior was borne? Lights that twinkle upon the homes of rich materialists whose great blessings from God are barely acknowledged?
As Ross Douthat wrote recently, “the once-a-year churchgoers crowding the pews… are a reminder of how many Americans regard religion as just another form of midwinter entertainment, wedged in between ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street.'”
Let me be clear – I love the traditional fixings of Christmas, even during my atheist days just two years ago – but Christians are sorely misguided when they start fighting for the name of a holiday and its pagan trimmings instead of for the teachings of their Lord and Savior. I can’t help but wonder if we should take the commandment against graven images more seriously; it seems to have led us to fight more for our representations of Christ than to fight to actually spread the gospel.
As we battle fiercely to win this political battle, I have no doubt that we lose the war. Vehement Christians lose their sense of charity and lambaste the opposition in a way that makes them feel repressed and less receptive to the gospel.
Let us lose the War on Christmas!
Bring on the death of Christmas! And with it, bring an end to lukewarm Christianity that fights more for the image of religiousity than for the teachings of Christ.
Rather, let us take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This Christmas, let us win the battle against sin, fighting to love truly, to live righteously, and to serve honorably. That is how we will truly win the War on Christmas, by using our lives to bring glory to God and his Son who came incarnate to this earth two thousand years ago.