Letters to the Editor

The persecution of Christmas should serve as a wakeup call

What’s all the sudden fuss about Christmas, anyway? Hasn’t anyone noticed that as far as many people are concerned, Christmas ceased to be a religious term years ago? Why are the politically correct religion police suddenly so vigilant about ridding the world of Christmas?

For most people, Jesus ceased to be the “reason for the season” long ago. As long as I can remember, Jesus has had to share his birthday with Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and a host of other fictional characters. Mangers have been removed from the public for years, and the birth of Jesus Christ was overshadowed by a jolly guy in a red suit who passed out gifts to good children. Instead of a revered holy day, for the majority of celebrators of Christmas, the season has become nothing more than a gluttonous fest of shop-till-you-drop, eat-till-you’re-stuffed and office-party-the-night -away.

At least until recently the majority of the population still remembered the poor, but lately I’ve noticed a great lack of bins for toys for children and food for the hungry in most major stores, as well as some stores not even allowing the Salvation Army to stand outside and raise money for those in need.

I went into Starbucks the other day, and amid all the hot controversy about Christmas this year, I couldn’t help notice a CD called “Elton John’s Christmas Party.” Now, unless Elton’s been converted and I missed it somehow, last I knew he was a non-Christian, gay male. Elton’s very talented and I have nothing against him; however, his comfort with Christmas and the songs on his CD make my point perfectly. His CD is a collection of 21 “Christmas songs” by secular artists that have, I would guess by the titles and artists, not a single mention of Jesus. For example: Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run,” the Ronettes’ “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” by Bruce Springsteen.

To further my point, the local Christian radio station is blaring a tune by Natalie Grant entitled “What Christmas Means to Me,” among the myriad of other secular Christmas songs on their play list. The artist sings about the many things that represent Christmas to her. I couldn’t help notice that Jesus failed to make it anywhere on her list. While she does mention “angels and a little child,” it is only in a long string of other secular traditions like “kissing under the mistletoe.” No disrespect to Mrs. Grant is intended, and I believe by her other songs that she loves Jesus; it’s just that the lyrics of this particular song stood out in my heart as an example of how the true meaning of Christmas is so rapidly becoming obscured by many other non-religious traditions.

I can’t help but wonder if God is all that sad about the potential demise of a holiday that has largely become a tongue-in-check celebration of His son’s birth. I suspect that the majority of people who identify themselves as “Christians” have never read their Bible, rarely go to church, if ever, and are no more disciples and followers of Jesus Christ than an atheist. I say this boldly as one who used to fit into this hypocritical category until I had a divine personal encounter with Jesus. Now I grieve at the lack of so-called believers that actually obey what Jesus taught, or even know what the Bible says.

It further grieves me that so many people have rejected Jesus and been turned off to Christianity because they’ve never been given a chance to get to know him at all. Instead, they hear a bunch of religious people who masquerade as Christians, meanwhile whining, complaining and criticizing others while they fail to share the love of Jesus or the power of his message.

It also amazes me that anyone who hears the true message of Christmas could possibly be offended. Christmas is about a God who humbled himself and came to Earth as a little baby, experienced all the hardships and emotional pain we go through and then willingly died for all people so that we could be reunited with a perfect and holy God and live forever with Him in a perfect place. If you don’t believe that Jesus is who he says he is, why does this loving message of Jesus giving up his life for all offend you?

I love Christmas; it’s my favorite holiday and by far my favorite time of year, but as a Christian who loves Jesus with all my heart, I’m not sure if I want to cry that people are trying to wipe the word Christmas out of the season, or rejoice that Jesus is no longer connected with what has become nothing more than a gluttonous secular tradition for most people.

I hope this persecution of Christmas will be a wakeup call to Christians to take a stand and actually live out what they believe and start obeying Jesus. I hope that we won’t just settle for having a word reinstated in society, but we will actually carry out the mission that Jesus asked us to do for him. To fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, I say please return to your first love ?“?“ Jesus. To those who don’t believe in Jesus, I say please forgive those of us, including myself, who have been a poor ambassador for Jesus and have not shown you the love that He died to bring you. Please give Jesus a chance despite the many imperfections of His followers. To all people I say I hope you will open your eyes and see that this movement in America to be politically correct is nothing more than censorship. We are blessed and privileged to live in a land where people up until now have been free to express their opinions. If we try to silence everyone who says something we don’t agree with or believe in, we will soon be the society George Orwell warned about in his book “1984.” And what a sad place that would be to live.

God, please bless and touch each one who reads this, in Jesus’ mighty name.

Elizabeth Alison Hughes

Federal Way

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