Fighting over the message

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Why aren’t Christians suing over the presence of Santa Claus when the church clearly does not believe in a jolly man who delivers toys once a year from the North Pole?

If a group of people intentionally wants to get under the skin of self-proclaimed Christians, all they need to do is wait for the holiest of holidays for Christians and start a verbal argument.

Score one for all the self-proclaimed atheists out there.

Sadly, the debate does little to convince ardent atheists otherwise. What it probably does do is just make both sides in the argument look a bit more like junior high school boys in a pick-up game of basketball, arguing whether the ball was out of bounds or someone committed a foul.

While there is validity in arguing that atheists seem to be a bit too animated about the notion of a God they firmly believe does not exist, I sometimes have to wince at the response of Christians, of which I am also guilty.

All arguments of Josh McDowell and Louie Giglio aside, I personally believe that the point of atheists involved in the latest media blitz has much less to do with informing and much more to do with picking a fight. Don’t indulge them in this fight.

You may have seen the ads already. Reports are they’re up on billboards in larger cities. An electronic billboard in Times Square claims that nobody needs Christ at Christmas. If Christ does not exist, why all the fuss? Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny don’t exist either yet Christians aren’t suing to stop kids from having their photos taken with people dressed like them.

If the campaigns and the antagonism against Christians and their faith is simply to get Christians to stop praying to their God is a billboard with flashing lights going to change that? Moreover, calling atheists “heathens” or “ignorant” certainly isn’t going to win them over to the cause of Christ either.

So then just what is all this about?

Is it part of the greater battle to twist the Constitution and things such as the letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in response to one first sent by the Danbury Baptist Association in 1801? Or, is it simply as the Apostle Paul conveys in his letter to the Church at Ephesus regarding “unseen forces” and the “spiritual battle” that wages on today?

As one who believes the Bible is as it proclaims – the holy word of God, written down by man over the course of a couple thousand years, preserved as we have it today – then I also better understand the premise behind the arguments of those promoting these billboards at Christmastime.

Rather that get just as bothered about some billboards as the purveyors of these messages seem to be about messages of faith and hope in God at Christmas, maybe our response as Christians ought to be to reflect the wonder and awe that struck the Middle Eastern inhabitants over the appearance of a star, an angel and the birth of a baby in a cold, filthy stable who was reported to be King of the Jews.

As witnesses perhaps our job isn’t to defend the historical accounts as much as it is to truthfully testify to what we’ve seen and heard in our own lives without being drug into arguments over mysteries neither of us can explain in human terms.

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