II Corinthians 10:5

"Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

December 24, 2008

Christmas Clash

From FOXNews.com:

“All right. It's the season now for disputes over holiday displays. From Olympia, Washington, there is this now. A group of atheists putting up an anti-religious sign at the state Capitol right next to the nativity scene and a Christmas tree.
Here's what the sign says. It says, quote, ‘There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens our hearts and enslaves our minds.’”

In my head, I’ve been debating over what to think about the politically correct efforts being made that try to take Christ out of Christmas. On one hand, it is very annoying to see and hear Christmas reduced to nothing more than a Christ-less, materialistic, Santa, reindeer, and jingle bells filled “happy holiday.” Nevertheless, no matter how annoying this may be, I have come to the conclusion that we, as Christians should not put our focus into fighting these skirmishes, but be neutral instead and focus on the bigger war that is waging,

My first reason for holding this view is:
What good will it do? If we focus on trying to fight and win battles over the recognition of Christmas(like getting stores to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”, or trying to get the signs like that in the WA capital removed, etc.) will it lead more people to understand and honor the real reason we celebrate Christmas? I don't think so. In order for people to truly understand/honor Christmas, a change in heart is necessary- a change that only happens when Christ is allowed into a life. Does fighting for the recognition of Christmas truly change the hearts of people? Laws, ordinances, or legal battles have never changed formerly held beliefs. Consider the words of John MacArthur: “We can’t protect or expand the cause of Christ by human political and social activism, no matter how great or sincere the efforts. Ours is a spiritual battle waged against worldly ideologies and dogmas against Christ.” So why should we fret and put our efforts into these fights over Christmas, if they wont change hearts? What good will it have done if people or groups go through life saying “Merry Christmas”, instead of “Happy Holidays”, or recognize “Christmas break”, instead of “Winter Solstice break” yet still don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Just because someone doesn’t want to recognize Christmas doesn’t change the fact that I still can and will recognize and celebrate it. Why would anyone’s view change how I celebrate the coming of the true Messiah (Jesus Christ, not Obama). In The Christmas Carol, Scrooge says, “Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.” In other words, you can keep your “holiday” in your way, and I’ll keep it my way. No one or no law can ever take that away from me. I like how Paul puts it in Romans,
“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” Romans 14:5-6
Who cares what others want to do to the blessed holiday, when I can always still celebrate Christmas unto the Lord.
What do you think?

BTW: thanks to all who took the time to vote on our poll! Just in case anyone is thinking that I was that lone neutral voter, I didn’t actually vote ;)

Wishing all a very merry Christmas!

Daniel Wanschura

December 10, 2008

I Just Happen to Believe...

Last night, I was watching ABC reporter Cynthia McFadden interview George W. Bush on the role that faith has played during his time in office, and how it will continue to affect the rest of his life. While I have always liked George Bush, I must say that this answer especially was quite disturbing.

“I do believe there is an Almighty that is broad and big enough, loving enough that can encompass a lot of people. I don't think God is a narrow concept. I think it's a broad concept. I just happen to believe the way to God is through Christ, and others have different avenues toward God…”

Of course, this response is quite shocking. However, Mr. Bush’s politically correct reply seems to be an all too common response to Christianity these days, even among Christians. We hear things like, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere”, or “If Christianity works for me, great, but I’m not going to say that it’s right for everybody”, or, “God is so big, there isn’t just one way to Him.”

I will briefly answer each one of these common objections to believing that Christ is the only way to heaven.

First, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.”
Well isn’t it possible to be sincerely wrong? For example, hundreds of years ago, very intelligent men sincerely believed that the earth was flat. Adolph Hitler sincerely believed he was doing the world a favor, and even thought he was doing God’s work. Being sincere isn’t enough. We can sincerely believe whatever we want to, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. We must sincerely believe and follow after the truth-“that which conforms to reality as it actually is”.

Second, “If Christianity works for me, great, but I’m not going to say that it’s right for everybody.”
It is extremely contradictory to believe for yourself that Christ is the only way to heaven, and then tell someone else that they can believe what they want and still make it heaven. If you truly believe that Christ is the only way, then you have to believe that no other way to God is possible. You can’t “have your cake and eat it too”. Either Christ is the only way to heaven-for everybody, or He isn’t. “Christians (should) reject pluralism in part, because defining elements of different religions contradict each other. Judaism teaches that Jesus is not the Messiah. Christianity teaches that He is. Jesus either is the Messiah or He is not. Both groups can’t be right. The notion that Christianity and Judaism (or any other religion for that matter) are somehow equally true is contradictory, like square circles. –Greg Koukl

Third, “God is so big there isn’t just one way to reach Him.”
Jesus Himself, while He walked on the earth told His disciples, “…‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6) God is God. He can do whatever He wants. He has set up the ground rules. He tells us on what terms we must come to God- through Christ alone. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim 2:5-6)

When we as Christians don’t insist that Christ is the only way to Heaven, we are being no different from the rest of our relativistic culture. We must tell people that if Christianity is right, then all other religions are wrong. Telling our culture that they can believe whatever they want as long as they’re sincere about it, or that there are many roads to God, might make them feel warm and fuzzy inside during this life, but it will do nothing to save their eternal souls. Susan Schaffer Macaulay, daughter of Christian philosopher Francis Schaffer, says, “…I believe that the world around us has a definite shape…all kinds of facts make up that shape. And I believe that only one explanation of truth and life-and only one religion or philosophy-will fit all the facts. The other options won’t work. Finding the right one is like sorting through a pile of keys for the one that fits.” We must boldly assert that we know the Truth, and that the Truth has set us free.

Meagan Wanschura