I’ve become kind of grinch in recent years. Mostly because I have been walking with Jesus as closely as I know how and the traditions around Christmas seem to hinder that life, not help it.
In the past I found several different facets of Christmas that bothered me. The needless spending of money, all the decorating- that clashes with my laziness, the lack of focus on the thing central to CHRISTmas, Satan Claus, kid’s thinking that some random dude brought them presents while treating their parents terribly, the anxiety of opening up presents, the traditions that are too luring to avoid and too shallow to actually enjoy…
Okay, so maybe I haven’t gotten over these. But I’ve become less aware of these and have kind of traded all of them in for a bigger frustration about Christmas (works out great for a grinch, huh?) For me, it seems that Christmas has become a time of celebration of the birth of baby Jesus into the world to save us all, so that we can feel good about ourselves. Not allowing the reality of Jesus, the present King, to convict us enough to actually listen to Him and follow Him.
It seems to be more like a Jesus vaccination that prevents us from getting the virus.
That’s what bothers me most. During one time period of the year, we drum up some fierce conviction about this holiday, ready to picket in front of stores that would dare to not tell us “Merry Christmas”, and then live the rest of the year like a lush. And it appears to me that both hinge on eachother. We make sure that on Christian holidays we to go to places where they are not going to make us uncomfortable or we’ll find somewhere else to go. The celebrating seems to free us from the demands of the one whom we’re celebrating.
We’ve taken the radical Gospel of Jesus Christ and turned it into fuzzy idea. Each year we take out our plastic nativity set, pat baby Jesus on the head, eat pie, belch, and watch football on TV. The Gospel as presented by Jesus stood and now stands in opposition to the comforts of the sin of this world, not because God want’s to see us suffering like some weird monk with a whip. But because He wants to set us free from the many bondages that are currently keeping us from true peace and true Joy. I’m not saying that all is bad and we should just flush it all down the toilet, I’m just saying this is the way I see it hindering… but I warned you I am a grinch… not a recovering grinch, a happy one.
So I’m not petitioning to put the Christ back in Christmas. I petitioning that we quit taking the Lord’s name and birth in vain.
One thought on “The Comforting Revolutionary”
Part of the reason it’s so seductive is that it is real and true. When one open oneself to these areas, you’ll find not a make believe world but another real spiritual one. Remember we are warned that Satan often masks himself as an angel of light and we must test the spirits. So a guide like Artress can lead people to experiences that are very real even if not scientifically verifiable from this realm, much like an older high school teacher did teenagers in the eighties. Oddly, no one ever counts the cost, for people who play in those areas tend to have an unusually high amount of trouble or ‘bad luck’ in my experience, much how the Lord brings the grace of consequences to drug addicts in an attempt to awaken people before the lost of their live and soul. One consequence that never seems to go away is once awaken to those areas, they do not sleep, so the vale is thin even as a Christian—so if you’re in a parish that important to spiritual warfare you get a real sense of the Enemy crouching at the door desiring to overtake and see all the foolish moves even godly people make as temptation for those little compromises are sown. So in some ways there is a long term cost for playing on this road (also I can see how a system of rewards would entrap people, for it seems at time to obey Christ has the negative reward attached and only by faith).