"Christmas is just commercialized materialism. Nobody even thinks about Jesus anymore because all they’re doing is putting up lights, decorating some pagan tree and watching nonsense like Santa and Frosty on TV. Besides, Christmas isn’t even endorsed in the Bible. The story is in two of the Gospels, but the date isn’t given—and Jesus never tells us to celebrate it. It’s a holiday created by the Pope to broker a political deal with 4th Century pagans. And, worst of all, most people don’t even have the decency to say, ‘Merry Christmas,’ on the birthday of our Savior, instead kowtowing to political correctness with the inane, ‘Happy Holidays!’"
Christmas has a funny way of bringing out some people’s inner weirdo. And if you’ve ever heard some Christian critic of Christmas, then you’ve certainly heard something like the arguments summarized above.
So, on behalf of my fellow Christians (or at least in their stead), I’d like to apologize to the secular culture for our behavior at Christmas. We’ve been dumb and mean—and I’m sorry. Please forgive us. There’s absolutely no excuse for our behavior, precisely because it’s so completely out of line with what we actually believe.
Allow me to explain.
At Christmas, of course, we celebrate the gift God made of Himself to us in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. In the Bible, this occasion was proclaimed by angels, celebrated by all of heaven, attended by the wealthy and the poor and induced people to poetic outbursts (Mary’s Magnificat and the Benedictus of Zacharias). It’s an event of such unique historical significance that we actually base our calendar on it. The nature of the gift was that God condescended to become human, live a perfect life and die in our place so that we could be in right relationship with Him. That’s what we Christians are celebrating.
But over time, that story and gift have been misunderstood, neglected and distorted so that the holiday is barely recognizable to those of us who cherish it. None of this is a surprise to the Giver. He knew it in advance still gave it freely. This is because God is an extremely good gift-giver. He knows that if you give a perfect gift to a widely diverse group of humans, everyone will handle it differently, especially over centuries of time.
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