Is the War on Christmas over yet?

December 8th, 2016

One of the most annoying things that come out of the Christmas season is the so-called “War on Christmas” narrative that dominates news and social media feeds. The worst part of of this is when some Christians claim they’re being persecuted because people won’t wish them a “Merry Christmas.”

Would it be possible to agree that American Christians are far from being persecuted? (Especially since there are actual Christians being persecuted throughout the world.)

And frankly, it’s not really the job of Starbucks, JC Penney or Macy’s to spread Christmas cheer or the Christmas story.

They’re in business to make money — and to do everything they can to bring a lot of people into their stores. So they’re going to be as generic and as broadly appealing as possible.

Why would I expect JC Penney to spread the Christmas story to their shoppers? Why would I expect Starbucks to tell the story of Christ’s birth on their cups?

That’s not their job.

It’s ours, isn’t it?

Shouldn’t we hold ourselves accountable for putting “Christ” in Christmas rather than demanding that others do?

The ironic thing about all this is that we’re talking about a war on Christmas while we’re treating Christmas as if it’s our own birthdays. We go to these retail stores, often spending more money than we have, stocking up on gifts, as if that’s the meaning of Christmas. Then we go around accusing the stores of taking “Christ” out of the season and crying persecution because our Starbucks cups don’t mention anything about Christmas.

Sometimes I feel like we harp on this issue because it’s the easiest one to deal with. Like when a church is declining, instead of assessing ourselves and really discerning what we could change and do better, we double down on changing the landscape or the color of the carpets. It’s easier to deal with those things and feel accomplished than work on changing the things that might actually make a difference.

I’m not a big fan of memes and bumper sticker theology but this one is worth repeating:

Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.

I apologize for the Jesus Juke.

While I sincerely hope that you have a blessed Christmas, remember... we're celebrating the birth of Jesus and — to quote Mike Slaughter — Christmas is not your birthday.

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