"Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays"
Choosing Our Battles?
The following was my response to a comment / discussion on the whole "Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays" debate.
My response here may shock a few. As I left the Dr's office a few weeks ago 2 different employees wished me "Happy Holidays", I wished them both a Merry Christmas, as I exited the building "something" knocked me upside the head (figuratively) I believe it was God and conviction. While my intent was "good", I was wrong, very wrong. Thanksgiving hadn't even yet come, these people who wished me Happy Holidays, and whom I wouldn't see again till May of next year, were covering Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, (and them not knowing my beliefs), any other holiday that might apply, and what about their beliefs, the employees. Surely any Jewish patients they have would feel slighted with "Merry Christmas". Should an employee be made to say "Merry Christmas" if they don't follow it? If your answer is yes, how would you feel about an employer telling you to wish someone a holiday you don't support or believe in?
Yes, we are a predominantly Christian nation, we are / were founded on Biblical tenets, but, we were also not bound to following Christ. Our Founding Fathers (well over 90% Christian) sought to avoid a "state", "Religion", especially state run! This gave, and allowed all the freedom to worship without interference, as long as it didn't supercede basic laws (ie no human sacrifice's etc). For many years as Christianity dominated, this "season" was seen as the Christmas Season, however as we've become a more blended nation and many "holiday's" have been incorporated. The word Holiday also implies "Holy Day" so it's not a total affront to say "Happy Holidays". IF we want our Holidays to not be disrespected by other religions, we need to not disrespect theirs as well (do unto others).
I do not refer to a Christmas tree as a holiday tree as that doesn't even make sense, however, I also don't see anything Christian about the tree... other than "tradition". Actually most of what Christmas has come to be about has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity anymore, not that it ever had a whole lot to begin with. It was a blended pagan "hybrid" implemented by Constantine (the ultimate people pleasing politician). Prior to his reign in the 300's there was NO acknowledgement of Christs birth as a celebrated day, heck, December wouldn't even line up with the right time of year! (October at the LATEST) (more likely September). The Jewish feasts & festivals NEVER changed even after Christ, not even for the Jews who followed Christ. So, to implement His birth made no sense to them. However there was a pagan religion who's "god's" birth was celebrated..., Constantine kept everyone "happy & appeased".
Jesus life, Ministry, Words and Spirit should be in our hearts everyday, as great as His birth is, it was His death and Resurrection that defeated death for us, all pointing to our own "REbirth". Birth in itself brings one into a world wrought with sin, rebirth brings us into God's plan & ideal. God bless ya'll this Season of many "Holidays". It's really interesting to note what the Messianic Jews will celebrate. Blessings! Lastly, consider this, IF we (as Christians) were as passionate about people, as adamant about adversity, as fired up about feeding (the hungry), as caring about clothing (the naked), as hyper about helping, or as serious about serving & saving as we are about "keeping Christ in Christmas" He'd likely never have been taken out. And no matter what the world does, or takes away it can never take "Christ out of your Christmas" unless you allow it. Do we "need" a "season", do we "need" a "day"? I arise every morning because I live for Him, He is the reason that I am, yesterday, tomorrow (Lord willing), and today. I set out everyday to live it for Him, many days (heck everyday) I fall short of my goal, BUT I give it my all to be surrendered to Him, be it Christmas or halloween, be it a Sunday or a Monday. Pray that "we" as Christians are a celebration of Jesus Christ EVERYDAY, that others be made aware of Him, by seeing Him in us - daily, and in a Godly spirit. Peace.