As I surfed some news sights in the early morning waiting for my coffee to finish brewing I stumbled on an article about Best-Buy putting out a Black Friday print ad with an “Happy Eid al-Adha” holiday greeting. It seems Best-Buy made the decision to exclude the greeting “Merry Christmas” a few years back and now there is no small stir over the inclusion of a Muslim holiday. I was a little offended myself, I say a little as I am reminded of Jesus’ own words that “the gospel is foolishness to those perishing” and “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” and yet there is a wake-up call to be heeded.
What is Christmas all about to you? Do we say it’s primarily of Christian themed season of commerce? Let me ask you: Why should commercial enterprises feel compelled to advertise about the birth of Jesus when it’s that very same Jesus that we seldom talk to anyone about? I like to use the term “Merry Christmas”, but that’s not enough. If every retailer on earth hung a sign in their store proclaiming, “Merry Christmas”, would it change anything? The reason there is ambivalence, and outright hostility in some cases, to the message of Christmas is most people have never been made a new creation. To try to bring more attention to the message of Christmas by means of boycotting stores and wearing pins on our coats is nothing more than than trying to cover a wicked and unbelieving culture with a thin veneer of Christianity—it will never work! The many that are still dead in their sins are not going to believe unless they hear the gospel. So what if Best-Buy or the Gap or Abercrombie and Fitch are pressured and rescind their policy against using “Merry Christmas”. Does it bring honor to Christ that they are compelled to show a friendly gesture if their heart is not changed? Jesus’ charge against the Pharisees still holds true, “These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”. Do we really need anymore hypocrites? Those that want to serve Christ, serve him and those that don’t, don’t—there is no middle ground.
“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.” 1 Kings 18:21
If we as Christians are really concerned about the honor of Christ, let us go out and proclaim the glad tidings of the that life from the dead that brought life for the dead.