Christmas wars

I am commenting on the article “The Christmas Wars.” There are wars indeed to be fought over Christmas, but nothing so trivial as “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays.” No, this war is much bigger. This is the war on materialism and how it detracts from worshiping God. I fear I’m alone in this war, and some of my enemies on the devil’s side are in fact, fellow Christians. I don’t believe a Christian should ever have to correct a store employee saying “happy holidays” because a Christian shouldn’t be in that store to begin with. We’re celebrating the birthday of the Messiah, who said to store our goods in heaven, not on earth by buying things. Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy in this? Has the devil blinded this society so much that even believers are submitting to the spirit of consumerism and don’t even think anything is wrong?


I’m sure the exchange of gifts was originally meant to express love to your family, which is certainly a noble cause. However, it isn’t hard to see that in this society, it’s the gift itself that matters most, not the love behind it. I think it would be more Christian to let employees use the term “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Why? I believe this because at least then they wouldn’t be taking the Lord’s name in vain.


Any dollar earned by capitalizing Jesus’ birthday is a dollar wickedly earned. I don’t think we can return Christmas to its pious roots, I think the consumerist spirit of Christmas is here to stay. That being said, the least we can do is take Jesus’ name out of the picture so people understand that it’s not Christian to pointlessly buy things.


Sam Jonesi
Grain Valley, Mo.


 


I appreciated reading Dr. David W. Loy’s article, “The Great Christmas Wars,” in the December edition of The Lutheran Witness. Dr. Loy did a fine job of outlining the true meaning of the season. However, I was disappointed that the article seemed to suggest that, because Christ won the “real Christmas war” for us, we Christians need not engage our secular culture when it comes to this issue. I disagree. Now more than ever, Christians need to recognize that secular extremists are pursuing an agenda to remove not just every manger scene, but also every expression of religion from the public square.


American Christians also need to faithfully exercise their rights and responsibilities—in Lutheran terms, their vocations—by studying our nation’s founding documents, voicing their opinions to their elected officials, and voting. Civil rights, like the freedoms of speech and assembly, are taken away incrementally, often from under our very noses.


Do keeping and defending our constitutionally prescribed freedoms have to do with hearing and sharing the Gospel? You bet they do. Just ask any of our brothers or sisters in China, the Sudan, the Middle East, former Eastern bloc countries, or even secular Western Europe.


I encourage your readers who would like to learn more about the ongoing Christmas wars and what to do about them to visit my blog, christmasevery where.wordpress.com. There they will find articles about secular extremism, videos, and legal opinions about how to preserve our rights.


The hearing and sharing of the Gospel is far too important to think that the “Christmas wars,” at least those in the public square, will be won with only “a happy heart and a genuine smile.”


Rev. Robert C. Baker, Author
What Happened to Merry Christmas?
St. Louis, Mo.


 


True to Lutheran tradition, I have a criticism regarding the article by Dr. David W. Loy. For the most part, the article is well written and based on Scripture, except for one confusing part. This is near the conclusion when Dr. Loy states: “We don’t need to fight the Great Christmas Wars on Christ’s behalf. He’s still here, and He is fighting these wars for us, and He’s quite capable of winning them Himself.”


Is there a theological vacuum here, as we know Christ is not here personally? My understanding is that we are His hands, feet, and voice. If Christ is not physically present, how can He fight those wars here on earth? Or is Dr. Loy taking potshots at “conservative Christian organizations” or other activist Christians who do take a stand?


There is need for a more biblical and well-balanced explanation, as this type of article only causes more confusion and animosity among Christians.


Cliff Pyle
Saskatoon, Sask.
Canada


 


“The Great Christmas Wars,” featured on the December cover and in the article by Dr. David W. Loy, failed to address a constant concern of mine. In more than 30 years of ministry I have found it a struggle to keep a Christmas focus on the Christ Child in the sanctuary of our congregations.


Our sanctuaries are often dominated by holiday trees, poinsettias, and shiny ribbons. It has taken a concerted effort to re-establish a place in our worship area for a nativity scene (or a symbolic manger).


Try to remove the secular greenery (with roots in the pagan celebration of the winter solstice) and see what war breaks out!


Rev. Robert M. Bjornstad
Peace Lutheran Congregation
Salem, Ore.


 


In “The Great Christmas Wars,” Dr. David W. Loy writes: “how you feel about Christmas has a lot to do with how you feel about Christ.”


Can it be said: If Christmas means anything other than “good news of great joy that will be for all the people . . . a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11), then we are rejecting the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent?


If this is so, how crucial that we, who glory in Christ Jesus “take the opportunity to share the good news of Immanuel, God-with-us,” as Dr. Loy wrote.


A day or two after reading Dr. Loy’s article, I happened to be in the grocery store, and an elderly gentleman greeted me (I am 81 years old) with the words, “Happy Holidays.”


I replied, “A Merry Christmas to you.”


He said, “Are you ready for Santa Claus to come down the chimney?”


I answered, “No, I am delighting in Christ.”


He replied, “Good for you.”


I am thankful for having read “The Great Christmas Wars.”


Helen Leopold
Baltimore, Md.


 


The December issue of The Lutheran Witness was excellent. Praise God! I went to seminary with David Loy and always found him kind and very thoughtful.


Rev. Brian Davies
St. Peter Lutheran Church
Macomb, Mich.


 


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