Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas is here again!

It happens every year at this time that people simply go nuts. What is it with the Christmas season?
Suddenly, people force themselves--or are they dragged along with the season?--to spend so much money that they do not have! For eleven months of the year most of these people use their money almost wisely. Then comes Christmas...! For the next twelve months people must pay off the debts they incurred over Christmas. All in the name of creating happy memories?! What is it with us as human beings? Especially here in the west? After so many years and even decades it has been proven that money and things cannot--and indeed will not--bring us happiness. It is the nature of money that it promises joy and happiness, but it will not deliver! You see, once it delivers the goods, then there is some saturation point at which one can say "I have reached happiness!" When this happens then we can indeed say that we no longer need more money than we already have! As you can get from this yourself, money will not stand for this! As long as it can promise more, the more it will create in us a desire of more of it. How is it that in so many cultures where--according to our standards--the people are poor, that they are happy, and in fact, content?
This is also the season when many anti-Christians become completely insecure. Groups like the ACLU in the USA must spoil it for everybody else. They need everybody else to be just as miserable as themselves. They cannot enjoy Christmas, so nobody can. As a result they run to their mommies and daddies (the liberal judges in the US) to get everybody else to stop having so much fun. This they do under the guise of "separation of church and state" as if that is what the American constitution promises them. As if the state can tell Christians where they may or may not celebrate Christmas or live out their Christianity! The state never tells atheists where they may celebrate their heathenistic, self-centred religion. Why should it be expected from the state to do so for Christians? You see, from the early Christian years, the state has been trying to get rid of Christianity. Since the state has not been able to do it through force, now the atheists and others are trying to do so by circumventing democracy via liberal godless judges in the courts! Every Christmas time these people cry "foul" when nativity scenes go up everywhere. Isn't it amazing how a scene with a completely innocent child can make people squirm like that? They want "happy holidays" when it should be "Merry Christmas!" These holiday will be just as empty as other holidays if Christ is removed from it.
Christmas is also the time when many Christians forget what Christmas is about. Sure, they say they do not forget, but their actions betray them. It is almost magic. One day their houses look quite normal; yet, suddenly the next day these once modest houses are transformed into Christmas fairy lands with lights, tinsel, angels and Santa Clauses everywhere. Again, under the guise of creating joyful memories. When you ask them where Jesus is in all this, they point to a tiny nativity scene that is complete overwhelmed with everything Santa around it. Of course, many of these Santas have a little button that children love switching on so that Santa could sing them a Christmas carol! Where is Jesus in all this?! Don't tell me that you believe that Jesus is the reason for the season when all I can see in your house is Christmas without the reason for the season, and tens of Santas and hindreds of other modern Christmas trinkets!
D. A. Carson writes in his book A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priotities from Paul and his prayers, (Baker Books, 1992, p109):
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior."
Adding to this, if God had perceived that our greatest need was to get gifts, coloured lights, candles, tinsel and Christmas trees, He would have sent us Santa Claus. Yet, He did not! Santa does NOT exist, yet year after year we would willingly decorate our houses to entertain our children with this fictitious character. A character that cannot fulfill our greatest need. On the other hand, almost never do we decorate our houses with anything that would betray our allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Santa gets a whole month every year of our external show of allegiance to him, but Christ has to settle for an internal allegiance that, God forbid, anyone should discover we are serious about!
If you are serious about Christ, then show it this Christmas season!!
Just thinking...

Saturday, December 04, 2004


The world's own downfall
Xenophobia is the extreme hatred or fear of strangers, people from other countries, or of anything that is strange or foreign. Based on this definition, racism and homophobia can also be called xenophobia.
It amazes me that in the world of today there are so many people that are xenophobic! All over the world people are still fighting each other purely because of this innate fear of other people. Of course this fear is not without its increasing evidences. Especially in Africa and the Middle East we can find groups that want to destroy other groups in order to claim their land. This is a real problem in the world. What happens in many countries in the west is that many people from Africa and the Middle East are literally invading the west illegally, bringing with them not just cultures that are strange, but in most cases unwanted criminal activities. Activities that include things like drugs, money laundering, robberies and many more. This is enough to strike fear into the most mild hearted person.
However, the greatest feelings of xenophobia in this world are not simply among different cultures; they are aimed straight at Christianity! How irrational are these fears of Christianity? In America the big thing now is the separation of church and state. Secularists are continuing their push to rid society of all Christian influences. The first victory for them was when prayer was disallowed in schools. It has now become so bad that groups like the UCLA--probably the most insecure group of secularists in the USA--are even trying to prevent children from wearing certain clothes to school, just because their T-shirts have Christian messages on them. They are also trying to rid Christ from Christmas. It has now become politically wrong to wish someone a merry Christmas. It has now changed to "Happy Holidays!" Why are they so scared of Christianity? Are they so insecure that they have to rid society from the presence of everything Christian before they can feel secure in what they believe or not believe? In the so-called most free country on planet earth, we see groups that shout "Freedom!" from the housetops trying their utmost to prevent freedom for those who claim to be Christians! These people, more than most others, suffer the most from xenophobia!
Christians do not wish that all of society must be ruled with an iron fist of religion. If that is what some Christians believe, then it certainly is not the Christianity that Christ brought to this planet! Christians want freedom in all spheres of life, not just for themselves but for all people. Even for those that hate Christianity and call themselves atheists or whatever other isms there are.
Why are people so afraid of Christianity and hate it so much? Is it because in Christianity they see (from deep within themselves) that God has reached out to a planet bent on its own destruction. They feel that God has no right to infringe on their "privacy" and that they have a "right" to live their lives like they want. Is it not also because people just love their own sin and destructive behaviour so much that they will rather not part with that sin to the point of death. They realize that if they have to acknowledge Christ, that they also have to acknowledge His complete "otherliness" and that He is not like them at all. This is what they fear! So, when people fear someone they cannot and will not understand, they soon start hating that person and all he stands for, even to the point of hating those who have stood up with and for that person. This is what we find when it comes to Christ and Christianity.
The fact is that Christianity has brought some of the greatest things to this planet. Things like hospitals, universities, freedom from slavery and freedom for women in many societies just to name a few.
What is it that they fear so much, if it isn't their own selves and their own shortcomings in the sight of a holy God!
Just thinking...
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