And as this Christmas approaches, I am understandably reminded of the first book that was shared with me when I was hired last November, The War on Christmas. Written by Bodie Hodge of Answers in Genesis, it was, and still is, one of the most incredible books on Christmas I’ve ever read. If you’ve ever had questions about the changes in Christmas traditions and beliefs throughout history, you would probably feel the same. War on Christmas answered questions I didn’t even know I had and from the first time I picked it up, I wanted to know more. Recently I was finally granted an opportunity to ask Bodie Hodge a few of my many questions.
Me: What was the inspiration for writing a book about Christmas in a society that seems to embrace it in so many ways?
Bodie: Christmas has obviously been under attack (e.g., people refraining from saying “Merry Christmas”, atheists billboards attack Christ at Christmas, etc.) and it actually relates to the same aggressions that are occurring to six-day creation. Creation has come under attack because man’s opinions about the past have been elevated to be greater than God’s Word in Genesis. This is the secular religion of humanism.
As a result, the prevailing opinion “that God’s Word cannot be trusted” has become the norm in our culture. Sadly, even many Christians have bought into this and allowed secular ideas like big bang, “millions of years”, and evolution to be used to supersede Genesis as well.
The resultant culture begins to remove Christian elements since they have been duped into believing the Bible cannot be trusted. Hence, even Christmas has come under attack by many in our culture that doesn’t want anything that is godly.
But notice, that Christmas is acceptable to the world, but not Christmas. What do I mean by this? The secular world likes the idea of Christmas, which is a holiday with time off from work and gifts and candy…but doesn’t want it to have anything to do with God and His Word, which is the very basis for Christmas—with Christ’s entrance into the world to become a man to die in the place of sinners.
So this attack then takes on subtleties like replacing the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Jesus Christ with an omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent Santa Claus (a corrupted version of a Christian Bishop in Lycia, Turkey, called Saint Nicholas/Nikolaos about 1700 years ago).
The Christian based holiday based on God’s grace, becomes a works based system where Santa judged if you’ve been good enough to received gifts! There is the neglect that Jesus Christ was the ultimate gift to mankind (which is one reasons Christians often give presents, as well as the gifts from the wise men) and this has been replaced with mere presents of secular intent. Nativity scenes are replaced with inflatable cartoon characters. And some attacks go as far as replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Winter Solstice day”.
Christmas is becoming paganized because the world in which we live is becoming paganized because of man’s opinions are sadly being elevated to be greater than God.
Me: How is it that this time of peace and love has become so controversial?
Bodie: Well, it has happened in steps. In the late 1700’s, there was an attack on the authority of the Word of God. People began questioning the age of the earth and proposing that there was no global Flood as recorded in Genesis 6-8. The debate stemmed around rock layers that have fossils. Were the rock layers that contain fossils (most of them that is) from the Flood of Noah’s day or were they laid down slowly and gradually over long period so time?
The secularists proposed there were no catastrophes and that the rocks were laid down slowly over “millions of years”. A lawyer, named Charles Lyell, heavily promoted this idea and it took off in the Western World by the end of the 1830s.
Since then, it has spread to a point, where creation was thrown out of schools, prayer was removed from schools, the Bible was taken out of the classroom, The Pledge of Allegiance to the US Flag was removed from many classrooms in the US (since it mentions God), The Ten Commandments have been removed from public places and now, among the latest attacks, are public places being forced to remove their nativity scene. Even some private businesses and individual receive threats to remove their nativities.
So attacks on Christmas are merely the latest in a secular removal of all aspect of God and Word from our culture in attempts to replace with anti-godly emblems and rituals.
Bodie: The truth of God’s Word culminating with the gospel which is discussed throughout the book. Without the Word of God, Christmas and any other holiday (Holy Day) would be meaningless. Without the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation, which is found in Jesus Christ alone through His death, burial, and resurrection.
So often as Christians, Christmas is a time of family but sometimes we fail to remember our larger family in Jesus Christ. So often as Christians, we want to get or give gifts, but we fail to remember the greatest gift of all in Jesus Christ and what He did for us—taking the punishment we all deserve for sin upon Himself. And sometimes we as Christians get so caught up in the “war on Christmas”, that miss Christ entirely during this holiday season.
Let us not forget, but instead, turn our hearts and minds to the pages of Scripture and look at the very foundation for Christmas. It begins in Genesis 3 with the fall of mankind into sin, which is the very foundation for why Christ stepped into history to become a man to die for our sin in the first place.
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