Recently American Atheists posted an advertisement in Times Square asking who needs Christ in Christmas and answering, “Nobody.” In a Fox News segment (read: debate where people yell at each other), the president of that organization, David Silverman, said:
Christmas is actually better without the Christ… we are speculating that for a large majority of Christians, especially the Christians that only go to church on Christmas and Easter because they have to… the religion is not the best part of Christmas. In fact it’s not even a good part of Christmas. All of the fun parts of Christmas… not only predate Christianity, but they are also completely devoid of religion.
I find a lot I can agreed with in what Mr. Silverman said. For instance, I agree that for many people, especially those who only go to church a couple times a year and who feel like they “have to” go to church at Christmas, the religious aspects of Christmas really aren’t that much fun. I believe they aren’t fun because I believe that a person who checks the box, so to speak, by attending on Christmas and Easter, and who doesn’t regularly congregate with other believers to grow in their faith may not actually be a Christian when defined as “Christ follower.” After all, in the most basic terms, Jesus enjoyed going to church every week and he and his apostles encouraged believers to do the same thing.
It then follows that if a Christmas celebrant isn’t actually a “Christian” then they probably don’t mind the unabashed commercialism and greed that, for so many in modern America, Christmas has come to represent. And if that’s the case, then Christmas is absolutely more fun without God, Christ and church. So, by his definitions, Mr. Silverman may be right.
After watching this video and thinking about what Christmas means I’m left with one defining question I think I, as someone who calls myself a “Christian,” should ask myself: Do I look forward to and enjoy the non-religious parts of Christmas more than the religious parts?
If so I may have a problem.
A passage to ponder: 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.