Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Many of us began preparing for Christmas and the five ‘F’s a month ago: festivities, family, food, fellowship, and fun. It’s easy to forget one of the most important aspects of the season: forgiveness – and renewed hope. Christmas is the celebration of an actual historical event that forever changed the world, as the God who never changes carried out His plan to change the hearts of mankind.

No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done or what kind of past you’ve had, there’s always hope – if you open up your heart and receive the greatest gift of all. As the song says:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing…

Through the centuries before Christ, the prophets predicted the promised Messiah would come – and from where He would come. Micah 5:2 states:

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

According to God’s preordained plan, when the perfect religious, cultural, and political conditions were in place, Jesus Christ left the Father’s presence and entered this world to become one of us. Isaiah 7:14 states:

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel,”

Three of the most astounding words in history are, “God with us.”

Most people don’t have a problem with a baby in a manger, but the same baby we sing about during Christmas grew up and preached repentance to all people only to be killed by hypocritical religious leaders.

An infant in a feeding trough isn’t too confrontational or threatening. But Jesus declared that He is the Truth and the only way to God the Father (John 14:6). This claim is something to seriously consider. Why? Because evidence backed by archaeology, eye-witnesses, and history suggests it’s true.

So what is the meaning of Christmas? At the perfect time, Jesus was born for the purpose of dying for our sins. He lived a sinless life and sacrificed Himself so that we might believe in Him and live eternally. This really is good news! The gospel is the greatest gift God has given the church – because the message about Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the greatest treasure God has given the world…

Read the full post by David Fiorazo

*Originally published by Freedom Project Media

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Lovers of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge want to snuff out Christmas for the majority of Americans. Sure, you’re allowed to sing about Rudolf and Frosty, you can make it all about Santa and presents, jingle some bells or roast chestnuts by an open fire, but don’t you dare mention Jesus Christ and the real meaning of Christmas! 

It should be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the season that atheists and activists feverishly push the agenda to blot out God. 

Their hearts are so hardened, they not only refuse to believe in Jesus and Christmas, but since misery loves company, they don’t want anyone else to believe it either! They don’t mind the commercialism and greed around the holiday; they just insist you to say ‘happy holidays’ instead of Merry Christmas.

This joyful season began because God so loved the world, but they want to censor the celebration and eradicate Christ from Christmas. But is that even possible?

You cannot divorce the true, historical event of the Child born in Bethlehem from the God of creation and the reason we celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t mean the atheists and God-haters won’t try.

After all, they were successful removing Christianity from public schools so they figure, why not ban Christmas as well?

More news stories are on the way, I’m sure. But here are a few to consider.

  • A middle school in Virginia recently decided not to allow any holiday songs that mention the name of Jesus.
  • In Newaygo, Michigan, secularists demand the elementary school remove three wise men displayed on the top of the school building.
  • A principal at a Nebraska school has banned Christmas carols, the colors red and green, candy canes, and Jesus.

This next one may be hard to believe,

  • Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is being called “seriously problematic” for bullying, racism, sexism, and homophobia. 
  • Just one more: the Huffington Post and other far-left outlets are telling people that saying “Merry Christmas” excludes people, so teach children to say “Happy Holidays” instead. I agree with Paul Bois at the Daily Wire who says it’s hypocritical for business owners and managers to decorate their stores or websites in red, green and all the rest, play Christmas music and then say “Happy Holidays.” He adds:

Christmas is the national holiday; the reason for the season. The ornaments, the lights, the music, the food, the shopping even, all reflect that; …If it looks like Christmas, smells like Christmas, sounds like Christmas, then just say Christmas.

But the annual war on Christmas is here, like it or not, and we need to decide how to respond.

First, remember that these people are lost and are far from God. They hate Christmas and often Christians as well, and need our patience and prayers because they have no real hope or peace. They’ve not yet experienced the love God has for them if they’d just turn to Him and confess their sins. That’s why Jesus was born – “the Word became flesh…(John 1:14)” and preached, “Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2).”

Second, make no mistake: this is a war on Jesus Christ. Those who are trying to blot out reminders of God by removing Christmas traditions like manger scenes and joy filled greetings simply don’t want to answer to the One who Scripture refers to as “Mighty God.”

The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus nearly 700 years before He was born:

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Apart from Jesus Christ, there is no lasting peace in this world. Know Jesus, know peace. What did Isaiah mean by referring to Him as Everlasting Father? Jesus is Lord and eternal, along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. There was never a time when Jesus did not exist. He continues from generation to generation, and His kingdom will never end.

The meaning of Christmas is based on true, actual events including angels appearing to shepherds (Luke 2) and a baby born at just the right time in history in order to redeem mankind (Galatians 4:4). Wishing someone a Merry Christmas is saying we desire for them to know the love, joy, and forgiveness of God as we do.

President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins said:

Why is something as simple as saying “Merry Christmas” so important? It reminds a hurting world of the greatest gift we can receive in Jesus Christ, and it symbolizes the freedom to celebrate that gift.

Don’t just remember the reason for the season; that Christ was born to save mankind by His sacrifice on the cross. Share the good news of salvation and let your light shine by loving others and wishing them a heartfelt, “Merry Christmas!” And make sure to have one yourself!

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It happens every year around this time. Some refer to it as the “War on Christmas,” but that’s not completely accurate.

People who are trying to remove Christmas displays are not threatened by the story of an innocent baby born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. They’re not necessarily threatened by our public worship. They simply don’t want to have to answer to the One who Scripture refers to as Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).

C.S. Lewis once said:

“There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.”

They are fighting against the person and the truth of Jesus Christ. Yes, activists take it out on us, but our struggle is not against flesh and blood people (Ephesians 6:12); it is spiritual. It’s not enough for them to have the freedom to not celebrate Christmas and the right to deny faith in God; their agenda is to take it away as an option for us. Talk about bullying.

Some atheists, humanists, activists, and progressives come out every year during Christmas and with the help of the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other Leftist groups, threaten to take you to court if you don’t keep quiet about this Jesus and conform to a godless culture. These are the very people who need God the most.

Activists would rather cause chaos than submit to the Prince of Peace, and their actions are often rooted in hatred of anything to do with God. Rather than be reminded of God’s love and His plan, they aim to silence the reminders.

For example, Sarah Palin knows what it’s like to be attacked, hated, and sued. Her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, is “about Christ and our ability to worship Him freely. It’s about America and what liberty truly means…” Most of us will never go through a fraction of the hostility she’s had to endure, so let’s give her credit for acknowledging Jesus and promoting Christmas.

You’d never hear if from most media, but polls and surveys prove the majority of Americans are absolutely fine with public displays of Christmas. The problem is we back down by either saying nothing or we give in by wishing others “Happy Holidays” in public. There is nothing wrong with saying happy holidays, but if you’re a Bible-believing Christian or even if you simply support religious liberty and free speech in America, why not wish others a Merry Christmas?

I took out a note pad and forced myself to pay attention to TV commercials the other day and noticed only a small number of ads and businesses even mention Christmas. First, kudos to Hobby Lobby, Menards, Lowes, Sears, Walmart, and a few others for acknowledging Christmas.

It is ironic many businesses that want your money avoid the “C” word in their television ads, but show festive, apparently meaningless red and green colors and decorations. Here are just a few examples of how political correctness is gaining ground:

Best Buy: “Perfect holiday gifts” and “Your ultimate holiday showroom”
Target: “My kind of holiday”
M&M’s: “Happy Holidays”
Wells Fargo: “Wishing you a magical holiday”
Scheel’s: “Unwrap the cheer” and “Deck the halls”
Honda: “Happy Honda Days”
Toys R Us: “The Big Holiday Wish Sale”

Countless other ads mention Santa, celebrating “the season,” giving gifts, or some kind of sale – but give no specific reason for having the sale! Call it what you want and celebrate it or not, but just like Jesus Christ and His Word, the meaning of Christmas never changes.

If it matters to you, check out American Family Association’s “Naughty or Nice” list. Companies can do what they want – and we can shop where we want. We’re not expecting unbelievers to live according to the Bible or to act like Christians. We do want them to receive the message and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Especially during Christmas, the point is not to judge them, act self-righteously, or relish in their future demise, but to love them enough to tell them the truth and share the good news of Jesus Christ. There will always be opposition just as Jesus told His followers in John 16:33,

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He also said we’d be hated because of Him. We are simply messengers; their problem is with the message and with their Maker. Why? A baby seems harmless until you understand the rest of the Christmas story. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, “became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14) to “give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He left no wiggle room when He stated He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

So, is the Wonderful Counselor a liar, a lunatic, or is He the only true, living God? The overwhelming archeological, historical, and biblical evidence demands a verdict.

A choice must be made: on what side of eternity do you want to live? Salvation is a free gift. Will you accept His offer and open the present?

The story of Christmas includes a holy God that loved us enough to offer His Son as a sacrifice to pay our sin debt so that His wrath would be satisfied and that He could extend His mercy toward us by forgiving our sins.

The meaning of Christmas is the ultimate love story that never changes – even when some refuse to acknowledge the reason for the season.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10: 9-10)

Merry Christmas!

David Fiorazo is the author of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA

Christmas, the new C-word

Efforts to squelch public expressions of faith in Jesus Christ intensify each year and this year they’re starting early. Activists may cause temporary chaos, but will ultimately fail to blot out God completely. This nation-wide agenda and lack of tolerance for Christianity includes government-run schools.

Many parents were outraged this week in Wausau, Wisconsin, after learning Christmas concerts would be cancelled when the school district launched an agenda against Christmas music.

Director of Wausau West High School choral program since 1981, Phil Buch said district administrators gave music educators three options: 

“Choose five secular or non-religious songs for each religious (Christmas) song performed; hold a concert and have no holiday music whatsoever; or postpone any concerts in December.”

Buch also stated he has never received a single complaint about Christmas music in his 31 years with the group. 

Sadly, nursing homes, area businesses, and grade schools in the community won’t be hearing the group’s Christmas program due to this decision. Wausau School Board President Michelle Schaefer said they wanted more balance in ‘holiday’ music out of respect for (fear of) the minority of other faiths, and noted concern over “the amount of religious music performed in the schools.” 

The 15 elementary schools in the Wausau School District have jointly decided to cancel all winter concerts. This is a blatant assault on Christianity, a national Christian holiday, and a threat to our religious freedom.

I love what Fox News’ Todd Starnes said:

The Wausau, Wis. School District says it’s okay to jingle bells and don gay apparel but lay off the Baby Jesus stuff – and that has parents and students ready to deck somebody’s halls.

This battle is not a new one. About ten years ago, a friend of mine shared an unfortunate story about her little sister getting upset with some classmates when they sang,

“Joy to the world, the teacher’s dead. We just chopped off her head. What happened to the body? We flushed it down the potty. And round and round it goes; and round and round it goes…”

She told them to stop singing those words because the song is about Jesus. An argument ensued. And guess who was sent to the principal’s office? Hint: it wasn’t the kids singing about cutting off their teacher’s head. True story.

But what do the majority believe?

According to a 2012 Rasmussen Reports poll, 82% of American adults voted in favor of celebrating Christmas on public school campuses, and 76% believe Christmas should be more about Jesus than Santa. 

In the face of facts and against the will of most Americans, public schools, government agencies, the secular media, and atheistic organizations continue to attack, criticize, and vilify the majority who believe and celebrate the Christian holiday.

Going directly against Jesus’ own words to “Let your light shine among men,” some are trying to get Christians to be silent and hide their faith under baskets. Liberals and progressives may deny there is a ‘war on Christmas’ but here’s a partial list from last year:

·         A North Carolina first grader was not allowed to recite a poem in an assembly because it mentioned God.

·         Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee replaced the state’s Christmas tree with a “holiday tree.”

·        In Alsip, Illinois, a forty-year Christmas tradition of displaying a cross on the water tower was stopped.

·         In Santa Monica, California, a sixty-year tradition of displaying a Nativity scene in a public park was discontinued due to atheist demands.

·         In Moanalua, Hawaii, the High School orchestra cancelled its Christmas concert.

·         In Warren, Michigan, they were forced to remove their Nativity scene (displayed since 1945) due to an atheist lawsuit.

·         A Florida elementary school replaced a Nativity scene with Frosty the Snowman.

We often back down because we don’t know our constitutional rights. According to Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, Christmas displays in a classroom “may include a nativity scene or other religious imagery, so long as the context also includes secular symbols.” He also emphasized school concerts can include a majority of religious songs as long as secular songs are allowed as well. The Wausau School District has it backwards.

Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter which includes the following:

It has come to our attention that teachers in the Wausau School District (the “District”) recently canceled a number of holiday choir performances after administrators severely restricted their ability to include traditional Christmas carols in school programs… We request a response to our letter by October 11, 2013, confirming that the Board of Education will right this wrong by immediately rescinding the new practice put in place by administrative officials and restoring Wausau School District’s lost holiday programs.

Christian students may feel intimidated about handing out Christmas cards or other religious material, but they are legally permitted to do so during non-instructional time. They are also allowed to wear Christian clothing or jewelry.

Why should we be bullied by Leftists when those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and celebrate Christmas are the overwhelming majority? One problem is that the malignant media trumpets the cause of the godless.

Where public schools are concerned, there are many good teachers that feel pressure in the environment in which they work, and there are some Christian teachers that really need our prayers to stand for their faith in the midst of opposition. 

Activists successfully removed prayer, the Bible, and God from schools, but they can never take Jesus Christ out of the hearts of believers. They won’t stop pushing their anti-Christian agendas and try to blot out God from America if it were possible, but we all know that in the end – eternity is what matters. To them, this life is all they live for, but Christians have a higher calling and an eternal purpose which cannot be changed by public pressure or threats.

 ***UPDATE: Wausau, WI school board meeting held: Not-so-silent Night in Wausau; Parents Call for Supt. to be Fired/Apology to Music Teacher, [Oct 11 by Wisconsin Family Action]   

no Jesus allowed