Now, that is not a politically correct greeting. To an increasing number it is “Happy Holidays”, or “Season’s Greetings” that should be the ambiguous and inclusive greeting for this time of year. Our culture wars continue as more and more we transition from a Christian societal foundation to a pagan one. But what is a pagan? A dictionary definition is, “one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods: an irreligious or hedonistic person”. Wow! Doesn’t that describe the majority of Americans today!
These are people who do not in reality “know God”. Knowing God is a biblical synonym for salvation, spiritual regeneration, being born again, being a child of God, and thus having “eternal life”. This is why Jesus came in the flesh, “…And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Christmas is about knowing God through the incarnate Son. Pagans are those who do not “know God”.
Yet, biblical teaching would affirm to us that even unbelievers have the revelation of God within them (Rom. 2:14-15; Ps. 19); even if not the revelation of Christ as the Savior. Stephen Charnock (1628-1680) the brilliant Puritan divine has listed 10 attributes of God that might be recognized by the light of nature:
- The power of God, in creating a world out of nothing.
- The wisdom of God, in the order, variety, and beauty of creation.
- The goodness of God, in the provision God makes for his creatures.
- The immutability of God, for if he were mutable (changeable) he would lack the perfection of the sun and heavenly bodies, “wherein no change has been observed.”
- His eternity, for he must exist before what was made in time.
- The omniscience of God, since as the Creator he must necessarily know everything he has made.
- The sovereignty of God, “in the obedience his creatures pay to him, in observing their several orders, and moving in the spheres wherein he set them.”
- The spirituality of God, insofar as God is not visible, “and the more spiritual any creature in the world is, the more pure it is.”
- The sufficiency of God, for he gave all creatures a beginning and so their being was not necessary, which means God was in no need of them.
- His majesty, seen in the glory of the Heavens.
All these attributes of God may be known by sinful unregenerate man by observation of the natural world, which renders them accountable to God and without excuse for being so (Rom. 1:19-20). And so, this Christmas it is an indictment against sinful men that they desire to “secularize” this season by replacing the acknowledgment of Christ (Christmas) with the disavowal of the creator God (Happy Holidays).
As Christians, we must not be kowtowed by an ever increasingly secular culture into a passive “disavowal” of Christ this Christmas. Unashamedly let people know you do wish them a Merry Christmas; that is, a Christmas in which they come to revel in the reality of knowing God through faith in the incarnate Son who came to pay the penalty of sin for those who would turn in repentant, obedient faith in Christ to save them. One does not need to get into a pitched argument with anyone. But at the same time, a “Merry Christmas” from a genuine believer in Christ is more than a benign, ambiguous, and generic greeting during this time of year; it is a wish for them to “know God” this season.
To every one of you who follow this blog, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and the best year coming that you have ever had as a result of knowing God through Christ. And “best” will defined by “most faithful to Christ” year that you have ever had. I do hope you enjoy your Christmas wherever and with whomever you find yourself engaged. Wherever you are, our hearts will be united with yours in Christ. And therein we will all have a “Merry Christmas”.