Friday, December 09, 2005

Keep it Holy

What is all this talk from many Christians who are finally noticing that Christmas has become secularized? "Happy Holidays" is not acceptable because the reason for the season is not identified? We hear that some retailers are requiring employees to say "Happy Holidays" so as to not offend certain patrons, and this has Christians all riled up?

In Exodus 20, the fourth commandment reads:
8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Katie posted on this subject earlier and while it is upsetting to think about the fact that Christmas is so commercialized and that so much of the holiday season has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, the One and Only Son of the Living God, she did some research on the whole Christmas Holiday thing. Turns out that Christmas has it's roots in pagan celebrations. Not really surprising since I don't believe there are evergreens in the desert and the areas where Jesus walked, nor did the wise men arrive just after His birth (more like three years later probably). It is hard to discern the actual beginning of the Christmas celebration and holiday season because it seems to have come from so many different cultures and traditions and from times even pre-dating Christ!

This got us to thinking, and Katie said something rather profound:
"You know, it makes sense that many Christian traditions derived from pagan celebrations since no one is born a Christian. Everyone is born a pagan, one must be born-again to be a Christian."
I thought about this a bit more and started thinking about how in some ways it is ridiculous that Christians are signing petitions and "boycotting" Target and other retailers over the "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" greeting and for the fact that the Salvation Army bell ringer is no longer allowed to stand outside the stores.

What I find more ridiculous is that Christians don't seem to take issue with the flagrant breaking of the Fourth Commandment that tells us to work six days and rest on the seventh. We are to set aside the seventh day and keep it holy. KEEP IT HOLY!

Maybe Christians would have more of an impact on society if we actually did set a day aside for worship. An entire day devoted to the Lord! Prayer, fasting, praising, fellowship, loving others, studying scripture, etc. Not to simply attend church, then head out for dinner at the local steakhouse or buffet, but actually "remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy". "On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant...". Did you notice that part about your man/maidservant? I would take this to mean anyone who works for, or serves me...Christian or not, which would include anyone serving me...a retailer, or a waiter/waitress at the restaurant...any server!

If Christians haven't been responsible about keeping ONE DAY a week can we expect to keep an ENTIRE SEASON holy?

God intended the Sabbath to be a day of devotion to Him. Him alone. Not Starbucks. Not Burger King! Not Walmart!

Maybe if as Christians we actually started living a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord, including setting aside the seventh day, the Sabbath Day, and kept it holy, we would truly make an impact on society. Maybe if retail business decreased noticeably on the Sabbath because Christians weren't shopping, and restaurants were noticing a decrease in patronage, and gas stations weren't selling as much gas because Christians were staying home, and families started spending more time together, society would begin to change.

Christians complain about how society is depraved, and that we live in a fallen world, and that it oppresses us, but, I can't help but ponder if Christians have no one to blame but themselves. We have not kept His Commandments. We have not kept the Sabbath Holy, and now He is allowing us to reap what we have sown.

Added 12/10/05

There are a plethora of posts from Christians on or around this subject of "Happy Holidays" and the "War on Christmas" in the Blogosphere. Blogs4God has neatly listed some of those in the article "What War on Christmas?".

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