This has been a strange holiday season so far. First there was the red cup from Starbucks (minus any mention of Christmas or images of fuzzy mittens.) This week it’s the Reese’s “tree” which looks more like a brown blob one might find after Fido did his duty in the yard. Again, no mention of Christmas- to go with the “tree.”
The most bizarre thing is despite the headlines and hashtags it has been difficult to find even a handful of people in all of cyberspace who truly are upset by either of these.
We are also seeing a very visibly divided Church, on which Satan capitalizes. Some Christians find the concept of the War on Christmas laughable. December 25th was not likely even Jesus’ actual birthday. They point to the fact America is a very post-Christian nation and we should not expect any different. Their heart is most concerned with communicating with non-believers and not saying or doing anything that could push them away from a relationship with Christ. Other Christians find the War on Christmas a real battle worth fighting, a physical representation of a spiritual battle being waged in America.
To an outsider the conversation looks something like this:
Flag-waving Concealed Carrying Christian: “I was offended the word ‘Christmas’ was replaced with ‘holiday’.”
Non-Christian: (Eye-roll) “Well, we are trying to be all-inclusive.”
Hipster Bearded Christian: (Taking a sip of his fair trade coffee) “I’m so sorry about that other Christian. He’s an idiot.”
Non-Christian: “No problem. I don’t care. I’m just glad I get the day off. Religious people are just too uptight.”
Flag-waving Concealed-Carrying Christian: “I’m not uptight. It’s just that people are trying to remove references to Christ’s birth and Jesus from everything. America was founded on Christian principles and we need to bring these back… Including saying, “Merry Christmas!'”
Hipster Bearded Christian: “You are too easily offended! You just need to *!#$ chill out so Christians look good.”
Flag-waving Concealed-Carrying Christian: “So you are offended I am offended?! I’m offended you AREN’T offended. Oh, and seriously watch your mouth. And you call yourself a Christian?”
Non-Christian slinks away shaking his head… Thankful he’s not like them.
Most people don’t care. They don’t have any passion about whether this season is called Winter Solstice, the Holiday Season or Uncle Buck’s Birthday Bash… They like having days off. They like traditions, presents and family- period. They have no skin in the game and they are simply watching Believers fight it out on social media. And sadly we ARE entertaining.
Next time you are on social media and plan to post something in a conversation related to the War on Christmas, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Posting about the War on Christmas:
- Am I sharing new, unique information? The new knowledge you share could point someone to the true meaning of Christmas- Jesus Christ’s birth.
- Am I angry? If you are angry, wait to post. If you still feel the opinion/information you are sharing is important once you have calmed down, go ahead and share it.
- Does this person appear to look for opportunities to provoke Christians on social media? If this person you are responding to is not a close friend check out their timeline, place of employment and associated organizations, Facebook Likes, etc. to see if he/she has an anti-Christian agenda. Avoid playing into that person’s hands.
- Am I upholding Jesus or am I defending tradition? If someone is directly mocking Jesus, speak up intelligently with love. If someone is questioning a Christmas tradition, share why that tradition is important to you as it relates to your faith. It is important to remember just because a tradition is important to you as a point of connection to your faith does not mean an attack on that tradition is an attack on Jesus- or you.
- Have I prayed? It is true the pen IS mightier than the sword. Social media buzz can change societal opinions at break neck speed and create awareness of worthwhile causes. One of the most notable in recent weeks was #prayforParis. A healthy thought to consider is am I truly going to God first before I post something that makes me look spiritual?
- Am I attempting to distance myself from other Believers who are different from me? Use great caution. If your post is simply being used to indicate you are thankful you are not like those other Christians, delete it. Most often such posts are pride-driven. Social media is a very public place for a family fight.
What are your thoughts on the War on Christmas? Social Media? How do you handle discussions of the War on Christmas on social media? (I find this very difficult myself and to be honest I wrote this as a REMINDER to myself more than anything!)