Despite of his best attempts to remain incognito, the Grinch reached out his hand while offering me a smile. I responded in kind while also offering a hardy Merry Christmas. After all, tis the season.
Somehow Christmas means something differently to whoever views it through their own pair of rose-colored glasses. Is Christmas filled with subliminal messages? Secrets that yet have to be revealed? Except for the few that I seemed to have ran across of late, people who also dared to point their fingers at the obvious, ( I’m sure those people were the Grinch’s relatives. Or could it have been….). They continued tugging at my ears to listen as they then explained.
One of those person’s found it necessary to show me a hand-made card. The card had gilded edges, dazzling red and green fonts, and a assorted sprinkling of glitter, followed by this message:
“Jesus is the reason for the season” TRUE!
This person had crossed out the Merry Christmas part, and made it a point to plop their finger on that one part. A physical exclamation point so I would know this was serious stuff!
I was confused. But this person like a dog with a bone, and wasn’t going to let it go or me off that easily. They went on to explain how Christmas was high-jacked by the “Pagans”. “If I didn’t celebrate just so” (metaphorically speaking) and accordingly to the church / God I could be guilty of paganism.
I’m beginning to believe that many churches could advertise on their marquee that “The Grinch lives here” Why do some people like to lurk inside of the church lobbies as if they’re self-imposed “Pagan police”? You know! Those people who are only looking to be nick picky about everything in church. They hope to change everything back to the way it was. All the while forgetting that it’s about the relationship with God that extends far beyond that one or two days most people go to church per week, month, or in a year….. Sorry for the snarkiness. But some people can be more of a thorn in my back side then a delight to be around, despite having sat down on a thorn-bush. (If you know what I mean)
This person went through a whole historiography about all of the subliminal but totally accidental paganism inside of the Christmas celebration, and other celebrations that churches are involved in. So I felt the need to ask them, “How is it possible to become an accidental Pagan and not for Pagans to become accidental Christians? A look of disgust came over them as they snatched their presentation away and scoffed at me.
“You’ll more than likely be on God’s naughty list if you enjoy too much yuletide cheer.” They added calling out over their shoulders as they walked away.
I thought my question deserved an answer. After all, there are people who wear apparel, or who have tattoos, and wear jewelry with crosses on them – but nobody accuses them of being a secret Christian. It is people who appoint themselves as the Pagan police that miss the point of living what you “believe”. For it is your outwardly presentation of yourself towards others that makes a lasting impression of your beliefs. Is that going to be a positive? Or a turn off? Or is it that these pagan police are just good self-liars – presenting themselves as being good Christians in a legalistic way, in a way Re-hashing the same argument that Jesus had with the Jewish church leadership in his day. Anyone can read all about it in the Bible. It’s all there in black and white so to speak of.
When the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem and built the temple of Jupiter on its ruins, would sensational pagan evangelists have pointed out the traces of Jewish symbolism and architecture infringing on the worship of the Roman God? Yet with some Christians it seems like they are willing to credit the devil with more power than Jesus, to trick people into becoming accidental pagans even though they claim to be Christians and who dares to celebrate in the ways they’re pointing out.
It seems to those Christmas-haters acting in this way are just throwing a cold bucket of icy water onto the Christmas celebration, by calling people to the attention of possibly being accidental pagans. It would seem they are missing the point, to the same degree as the recent “Fad du jour, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” did.
Can you really have a true and lasting relationship when it is based on peer-pressure?
If there is a negative, a blanketed observation that could be made of all religions and the celebrations of Christmas, it would have to be our tendency to saturate it with sublime materialism and selfish ignorance
It seems to me it is just as dangerous to be overly critical, as it is to be overly celebratory in being a underachiever. A person who will never be perfect or good enough – and then gives up on making even those small efforts to make improvements.
We should encourage people to become a positive, though they’re imperfect. (For that is to be Christ like) Not verbally beat the imperfection out of them for the sake of having a better relationship with them. Somehow these Christmas-Haters never expect God to treat them in the same way they tend to treat others.
We should be a positive towards others, up lifting, and encouraging to try to do better. Not just be the person in church with a big stick.
Marry Christmas, and a happy new year to all.
All the best.