Ceding the Christmas Wars (kind of)

Tis the season to start decorating for Christmas.  Yes, an early Thanksgiving means an early start to decorating the communities in which so many of us dwell.

The community that I particularly dwell in has had its decorations up since Monday, November 18th; and the surrounding communities have been putting theirs up over the past week as well; and every community will have theirs up by the weekend after Thanksgiving.

This decorating of the community light poles and changing of the street banners and signs will undoubtedly somewhere lead to what is fast becoming another Christmas tradition: the lawsuits challenging the decorating of public spaces with religious decorations, particularly the famous nativity scene.

Bill O’Reilly refers to this as part of a larger war on Christmas; the secularization of what is at its heart a Christian holy day.  And so what we see are challenges to either have the nativity scenes removed completely; or that the nativity scene must now share its space with Menorah’s, snowmen, Santa Claus’s and candy canes.  In my review of St. Matthew’s and St. Luke’s account of the Christmas narrative, I find that there are no snowmen, candy canes, Santa Claus’s or Menorah’s.

And yet, many believers are determined that in front of the county courthouse, and state house, and library and any other public building, there must be a nativity scene; and so tens of thousands of dollars are being spent in an effort to protect the space; and more often than not, those cases are losing causes.

But allow me to offer another point of view.  I am going to suggest that Christians cede the war on Christmas and the fight to keep nativity scenes in front of government buildings in all cases.

Now hear me out.  In the recent election, two states legalized homosexual marriage, and two other states legalized recreational use of marijuana.  In other words, they legalized sin.  This goes along with the national laws that declare abortion to be legal.  Do you really want a nativity scene in front of a court house, or a state house that oversees the legalizing of things that are contrary to God’s Word?

God did not smile on Israel when they engaged in idol worship, especially when the kings of Israel legalized it with the erection of altars for the convenience of the people to sin.  Neither is God smiling on our own nation as we legalize sin in terms of abortion, homosexual marriage and so on.  To have a nativity scene in front of these public building gives the very real impression that God is blessing this legalization and open practice of sin.

So allow me to offer a solution.

First and foremost, no more nativity scenes in front of public buildings; this won’t be all that complicated as half have already been removed, and the other half are well on their way to being removed.

Second, every Christian should go to the store and purchase a nativity scene of their own, as an expression of their faith, and place it in front of their home.

Because when it comes down to it; what makes a bigger statement of faith?  A nativity scene in front of the courthouse; or a nativity scene in front of every believer’s home in the community that surrounds the courthouse?

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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