Is it difficult to be a Christian during the Christmas season?
Influential evangelical Richard Land believes so, recently noting on The Washington Post why it was becoming increasingly harder for believers in America to be “Christian” at Christmas.
“By that question I don’t mean vaguely, culturally Christian in some civil religion sense, where one may or may not attend worship services at Christmas and Easter,” Land described.
“I mean Christian in the sense of devout, practicing Christian, whether Protestant or Catholic, attending worship services more than once weekly and seeking to lead a life of spiritual discipline according to the dictates of the Christian faith.”
For devout believers who sincerely celebrated the birth of their Savior at Christmas, the president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention stated that it was painful to witness the secularization and commercialization of the holiday.
“Bethlehem and the manger story are almost completely obliterated in a blizzard of Santa Claus, Christmas trees and consumerism masquerading as gift giving,” he wrote.
Though he admitted it was okay to buy into the Christmas traditions, such as owning a Christmas tree or shopping for presents, it should not overtake the true meaning of Christmas.
“Trying to get back to the real meaning of Christmas – the greatest gift of love and sacrifice ever given –and it was given to all, everyone on earth – reminds me of the recent experience of a close friend of mine,” Land explained.
During the past Thanksgiving weekend, his friend had convinced his extended family to spend the holiday at a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. Though he had expected the weekend to be filled with quality time with each other, he ended up being disappointed as everyone busied themselves with their laptops, iPads and smartphones instead.
When a sudden storm passed through the area, however, taking the power with it, the members were torn from their gadgets, which had run out of battery.
Forced to interact now as a group, the family discovered some board games and spent the latter half of the weekend playing games and spending quality time together, which was what his friend had originally intended through the short trip.
“As Christians, we need to turn off the fights about ‘Merry X-Mas’ at malls and Santa Claus and ‘Holiday’ celebrations as opposed to Christmas celebrations and unplug ourselves from the collective cacophony of the modern Christmas season,” Land expressed.
“As Helen Keller put it, ‘The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.’”
Land, author of The Divided States of America? and executive editor of The Christian Post, urged each true believer to reflect on their faith this Christmas and focus on the incarnation of Jesus, the “reason for the season.”
“I pray that every devout Christian in this blessed land of ours will unplug for ‘Christmas’ as a secular, consumer extravaganza and focus on the true meaning of the birth of the Savior,” he concluded, “the guarantee that indeed ultimately ‘The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.’”