The first year I was a pastor back in the day, Christmas fell on Sunday and one of the women in church cluelessly (I thought) said, "We're not having church that day are we? Christmas is a family day". Now the leaders of leading churches are saying the same thing.
Me, I wish they were saying this (from the Times article):
"I see this in many ways as a capitulation to narcissism, the self-centered, me-first, I'm going to put me and my immediate family first agenda of the larger culture," said Ben Witherington III, professor of New Testament interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. "If Christianity is an evangelistic religion, then what kind of message is this sending to the larger culture - that worship is an optional extra?"Indeed.
So here's the latest list of recommended Christian responses to the holiday season:
- Calling down fire and brimstone on retailers who say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" - check.
- Insisting that pre-Christian northern European customs and rites which have been incorporated into Christmas celebrations be vigorously maintained and supported by the State - check.
- Putting up with all manner of sentimentality in the place of genuine spirituality because "It's the spirit of the season" - check.
- Calling off worship because Christmas is really "a family time" - Check