Thursday, December 08, 2005

Let the Pagans Have the Holiday (a reprint of a posting from last year)

Although I am a terribly lazy person, I am not trying to be lazy today by reprinting a blog posting from last year. As I watch the AFA and its boycott of Happy Holiday stores, our local megachurch's To Hell With Happy Holidays sign and other ridiculous attempts to retake Christmas from the pagans I will remind us of this great article, called

Let the Pagans Have the Holiday

Rodney Clapp, editor of the best Christian imprint available, Brazos Press and one of the most thoughtful Christian writers in the business offers some wonderful thoughts for Evangelicals, who are always complaining about the destruction of and commercialization of Christmas in his essay "Let the Pagans Have the Holiday."

“I want to suggest that Christians may best reclaim Christmas,
indirectly, by first reclaiming Easter. Ours is an ironic faith, one that trains
its adherents to see strength in weakness. The irony at hand could be that a
secularizing culture has shown us something important by devaluing Christmas. In
a way, Christians have valued Christmas too much and in the wrong way. I defer
again to Hoffman, who writes,“‘Historians tell us that Christmas was not always
the cultural fulcrum that balances Christian life. There was a time when
Christians knew that the paschal mystery of death and resurrection was the
center of Christian faith. It was Easter that mattered, not Christmas. Only in
the consumer-conscious nineteenth century did Christmas overtake Easter,
becoming the centerpiece of popular piety. Madison avenue marketed the change,
and then colluded with the entertainment industry to boost Christmas to its
current calendrial prominence.’“The Bible, of course, knows nothing of the
designated holidays we call Easter or Christmas. But each holiday celebrates
particular events, and there can be no doubt which set of events receives the
most scriptural emphasis.”(“Let the Pagans Have the Holiday,” p. 80.)

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