#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
This week’s quote is from John MacArthur:
Don’t be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas…rather, be focused on the Christ of Christmas; giving all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season.
— John MacArthur
We actually don’t realise it but there are two types of atheists: those who simply don’t believe in God’s existence and those who say they believe in God but think, talk, and behave as if God doesn’t exist. Ultimately, many christians fall into the latter category. In Apologia, they are what we call “functional atheists”; they’re believers in theory but in practice, atheism is their lifestyle.
As Benjamin Franklin once said:
Many observe Christ’s birthday but so few His precepts!
Let’s not be functional atheists, living christmas without Christ involved. This christmas, let’s try our best to focus on the Christ in Christmas. Do not be consumed by baseless arguments regarding the pagan origins of christmas; the birth of Jesus is not of pagan origin, it is of a divine, heavenly nature and is well worth celebration.
If your conviction is to celebrate Christmas, then by all means put on that party hat, decorate that tree and roast that turkey but don’t push that particular conviction on to others lest you become a stumbling block to your fellow believer (Romans 14:13). And if God’s good people are giving you hell because of your Christmas tree but you’re convinced in your own mind that your celebration to the glory of God, then stand up for what you believe in.
Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
— Romans 14:16-17
As you stand your ground, remember to also give others some space for what they believe in as well. It’s called R E S P E C T!!!
Amidst all the celebrations we must not forget to give all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season, Jesus Christ. These days, we wrestle a lot with the idolatry of materialism and consumerism at Christmas time; temptations which can be well overcome by simply focusing on the Christ of christmas.
Well, if you’re now asking or wondering what that is, I’m glad you are! To take a page from Augustine and selected verses from John 1; The Christ Of Christmas is:
The baby born of a mother whom He created.
Carried by the very hands that He formed.
The infant who cried in a manger with wordless sound.
The Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.
In the beginning was this Word, He was with God and was God.
He was there in the beginning, creating order from chaos
All things were made through the Word, without Him was nothing made that is made.
In Him was life created, and this life was the light of men.
Right from birth, His light shone in the darkness, a blazing star for all to see, and the darkness comprehended it not.
So it was that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Thus begins the story of Immanuel, the Christ of Christmas.
When we shift our mindset to reindeers and trees rather than rejoicing and thanksgiving, we participate in the idolatry, secularism and consumerism that Christmas has become in many parts of the world. We must rein in our flesh and keep our focus where it should always be, on Christ: the author and finisher of our faith.
For christians, this time and season is set aside to specially rejoice about the birth of our saviour, so don’t celebrate christmas like Christ is not the star of the season. Give all diligence to remembering and focusing on the real reason for the season, Immanuel, the Christ of Christmas.