Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Do You Fear Him?

I've been thinking about this whole Christmas/Holidays thing. Approaching it from a logical angle, its only fair to wonder why people want to wash the name Christ away from everything having to do with Christmas, even to the point that they'd be happy for it to be known only as "The Holiday." Why? What is it about this name, the person -- and the idea -- it represents, that people find so objectionable?

I've come to the conclusion that it is fear, pure and simple. These people, these anti-Christians, anti-theists, non-Christians, and all others, are simply and purely terrified by the name of Christ and what He represents.

I came to this conclusion after thinking about and hearing a few things. First among these was a statement by someone which had nothing to do with this but was actually more directed towards political repression: "People hate that which they fear." I started to think about that statement in relation to this thing, and it started to make sense.

The unrepentant sinner knows they are sinning, and knows that its wrong. However, with this touchy-feely, anything goes world in which we now live, they are rarely, if ever, confronted by people about their sin. No one has the quality of character to say, "This is wrong, brother, and for your own sake, you need to live a different life." No one, that is, but Jesus Christ. He alone stands before them, with is arms open in a hug of pure love, inviting them to come to him.

But they fear this embrace. Taking that step and receiving that hug is tantamount to saying "I'm a sinner, I'm wrong, and I need to live different way." Oh, my...change. We can't have that, can we? We all know people would rather kill themselves than make a positive change in their lives. Change is terrifying, change is hard, change is hard and cold and uncomfortable, so its much easier to just fester in this warm, soft bed of sin we've been in for so long.

Think I'm exaggerating? Think of it, for a moment: Actions that are unhealthy and unhealthful, but not sins. Do you know anyone who refuses to get out of a bad relationship because they fear change, refuses to stop drinking because its too hard, refuses to eat sensibly and exercise because they don't want to make the effort, who is killing themselves with their thinking errors yet won't seek help, knows they will get killed because of what they do but just can't give up the life? I'll bet you do.

These are all habits, learned behaviors picked up somewhere along the line. Most of these are external actions, and people can't kick their habits because of fearing change. Now imagine the need for people to continue in their sinful ways, or being forced to tear down an entire lifestyle, an entire self-image, a whole definition of what their life means and what its all about. They need to not only give up one habit, but change an entire life.

Still think I'm exaggerating?

In addition to this there is the ever present person of the Devil himself. He wants nothing more than for Christmas to become nothing more than a pleasant winter festival, full of over eating, over drinking, indulgence, sloth, and greed. One should easily be able to see his hand in all of this.

I came to this conclusion by thinking about other religions' sacred holidays and how they understand them. Ask most 100 people what Christmas is about, and I will be surprised if two of them say "the birth of Jesus." Ask 100 Muslims what Ramadan is about, or 100 Jews what Hanukkah is about, and you will get a religious answer.

Should we be surprised? Think of all the other junk that interfere with Christ during Christmas. There's Santa, the elves, decorating, buying gifts, getting trees, holly, Frosty, bells, balls, and booze. And that's really just scratching the surface. I was struck by the fact that there are fictional characters and non-Biblical traditions for both Christmas and Easter that diminish the sacred nature of both of these holidays. Why is there no Ramadan Rabbit? Or Hanukkah Hooter? Or any other such nonsense. Because the Devil doesn't care if people practice Islam or Judaism properly because these religions are already separating people from Christ. It his most earnest wish to get people as far away from Christ as possible, and separating His name from the holiday named after Him is a great way to do it.

So let me ask you this: Do you fear Him? Do you have reason to fear his holiness so much that, rather than take a hard look at your own life, you turn your inward facing fear to outward pointing hate? Are you allowing your fear and hate to separate you from the only one who can save you? Or are you of those silly, foolish pawns in the hand of the Devil who allows themselves to be used in his war against God?

Which ever you are, the only way to save yourself is to turn to Jesus now, ask him to come into your life and forgive your sins. Turns out the Christmas season is the perfect time to do so.

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