Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas, Merry X-Mas, Christian Confusion & The Whole Nine Yards

Well, this year is a lot like most years.  Some are desperately trying to “put Christ back in Christmas”.  Some are trying to kick Christ out of everything to do with our civilization.  Some are so mixed up they don’t know which way to jump.

Sometimes I must confess I am the latter. Here’s my dilemma...  As a Christian, I am absolutely compelled to stand up for my Lord and Christianity in general.  However, what most people consider to be “Christianity” is not truly Christianity.  Ironically, those wishing to attack Christianity, often end up attacking Catholicism or some other denominational variant instead.
With Christmas in mind, let’s pick one example of confusion: The nativity scenes. . .

In recent years, there has been a full court press against the public display of nativity scenes.  Those attacks are intended to drive Christianity from the public spectrum.  Ironically anyone who has a respect for the Bible, is going to be loathe to defend the nativity scenes (regardless of the motives of those attacking them!). These same Christians (myself included) may aggressively wish to defend the fact that Christianity played a huge role in developing our culture, and it’s eventual success. 

Why can’t I defend the nativity scenes?   Let me count the ways. . .
1)  Angels over the manger. The angels appeared to the shepherds in the field.  Luke 2:8ff. The angels spoke to the shepherds.  Then, “When the angels had gone away from them into heaven,”  (Luke 2:15)  the shepherds went to the manger and saw it all. Were the angels around all this? You bet. Do I have a right to place them at the manger when the Word of God doesn’t say they were there?

The three wise men.  How many wise men? The bible doesn’t say.  Many of the oldest traditions hold that there were 12.  (not three). It is thought that tradition has eventually settled on three wise men because of the three gifts.