Daily Devotional for Thursday December 21, 2006
Is There Really a "War on Christmas and Christians" as FOX News Claims
(James 5:10; 1 Peter 5:10)
Every day for the past month, the FOX News channel has been beating the drum with story after story about the "war on Christmas and Christians." This "war on Christmas" was the subject of a book by John Gibson of FOX News, and nearly every night for weeks Bill O'Reilly has done a segment on this topic. In addition, mail boxes and email boxes of Christians across the nation are being flooded by numerous organizations who are fighting this "war on Christmas and Christians," and of course asking for you to give them money to wage this supposed war. So it is a fair question to ask, is there really a "war on Christmas and Christians?"
Several weeks ago I received many nasty emails and phone calls from people in various organizations, chastising me for my stand on the whole "Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays" issue. They were upset that I would have the audacity to actually bring a voice of reason to what I described as a "non- issue." My position was simple. Why do we expect a secular business like Wal-Mart or Target, not spiritual entities but businesses whose only goal is to sell merchandise, to promote the birth of Jesus when that is clearly the job of the church and of Christians. I would love it if they did, but not upset if they don't since that is not their job...it is MY JOB...and YOURS!
The great hypocrisy of that "faux issue" came full circle last year when it became known app. 30% of Christians churches made the decision to not even have services on Christmas Sunday! Follow me now. We expect a secular business like Wal-Mart to promote the birth of Jesus, yet the church, whose job it is to promote the birth of Jesus made the decision to hang up the "Gone Fishing" sign on the door on Christmas Sunday morning!!!
I realize that what I am going to share today is not going to be very popular, but often the truth isn't. First, let's be honest about who FOX News is. It is owned by News Corp. whose CEO is Rupert Murdoch, a man who has made his billions peddling sleaze and porn worldwide. Included in News Corps holdings is DirecTV which derives a HUGE percentage of their profits from its pornography channels. Murdoch is a marketing genius however, and realized that there was a void in the TV news business and set up FOX News to speak directly to the 50% of the nation who were conservative and mostly Christian.
Just like the major networks and CNN put a liberal slant on the news, FOX News became an overnight powerhouse by being the only national broadcast news organization to put a conservative slant on the news despite their defensive "fair and balanced" moniker. In discussing if there really is a "war on Christmas and Christians" as FOX News suggests, it is important to accurately define who they are and who their target audience is.
The thing that has always been amusing to me about FOX News, and something that I have pointed out numerous times over the years, is that they still can't shake Murdoch's penchant for sleaze. Despite the fact they target conservatives and Christians, you will see an endless stream of "news stories" on anything to do with sex. Between the drop- dead gorgeous female news women ( I guess there are no slightly overweight, average looking competent news women out there) and daily interviews and video clips of anything Victoria's Secret or the porn stars of the day are up to, I have actually counseled men and women who struggle with porn to NOT watch FOX News.
The egomaniacal O'Reilly (you have got to be egomaniacal if you sell people doormats, puzzles, and umbrellas with your name on them...of course, all the money goes to charity) has fashioned himself as the champion of saving Christmas for the Christian community. The sad fact is, despite his claim of being a Christian, O'Reilly espouses the universalistic lie that "all good people will get to Heaven" and makes himself look foolish when he tries to discuss theology. Memo to Bill: There is only ONE way to be saved, and that is by confessing and repenting of your sins, asking the Lord to forgive you, and inviting Jesus Christ into your heart and life by faith. NO AMOUNT OF GOOD WORKS OR CHARITABLE DONATIONS WILL GET YOU INTO HEAVEN!
The fact is, O'Reilly knows who his audience is and has been hammering this "war on Christmas" issue night after night to pander to that audience. Like those organizations that were so outraged by Wal-Mart and Target and other retailers over not saying "Merry Christmas," O'Reilly doesn't understand that it is not the responsibility of secular businesses to promote Christmas, but the responsibility of the Church and of Christians. The world we live in rejects God, rejects the Bible as our final authority in all matters, and rejects Jesus Christ. Why should we expect them to promote what they reject? They are simply exercising their free will in speaking up in their rejection of what we as Christians believe but are too shy and timid to declare!
This really goes to the larger issue of this "war on Christians." News flash: THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A WAR ON CHRISTIANS! In case you missed it, they killed Jesus! The church has always been under some degree of persecution. We live in a lost and sinful world that lives in rebellion to the God of the Bible and that world will always do its best to silence and destroy the Church and all those who follow Christ. This is nothing new. Anyone who has studied church history over these past 2000 years realizes that there has ALWAYS been a "war on Christians!!!"
Let me help O'Reilly and the good folks at FOX News. The problem is not a lost world that has rejected God, the Bible, and Jesus, the problem is the Church and Christians who have not done their job! The only reason we think there is a "war on Christmas" is the same reason we think there is a "war on Christians." The Church has become silent and Christians have retreated into the subculture they created over the past 40 years, leaving the world to...the world. The world has become more bold in speaking out against the Church and Christians because they have been largely unopposed for so long. People like Howard Stern became so popular because nobody in the church had the guts to go toe-to-toe with him in his forum, the secular media, speaking to his audience, telling them there is a better answer than the garbage Stern spews!!!
Until Jesus returns, there will always be men living in rebellion to God who want to take Him out of the marketplace and all public life. There will always be men who will minimize the Bible and try to destroy God's Word since it is the very Truth that condemns them. There will always be men who reject who Jesus really is. This is nothing new and will never change until human history as we know it concludes. It is the job of the Church and Christians to be the salt and light in this world and to share God's Truth and the hope and love of Christ with the lost world we live in. We have been called to let our light shine bright, NOT hide it under a bushel!
Please hear me clearly today. I am NOT saying there are not those who oppose God and Christ, those who are doing everything they can to remove God from our culture and silence His people. Of course, there are. What I AM saying is that those people have always existed. There are many great legal ministries that are doing a great job in seeing that the rights of Believers in this nation are protected. The key, however, is that the Church, those who claim Christ as their Savior, must quit sitting back and letting the Godless speak without opposition. It is time for the followers of Christ to take a stand for our faith in the marketplace, on our jobs, in our schools, where we shop, the places we enjoy our recreation time. We can't blame those who reject what we believe for speaking out, they are only doing what comes natural in their lost state.
*IT IS TIME FOR THOSE WHO KNOW THE LORD TO GET OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE AND GET SERIOUS ABOUT SHARING THE HOPE AND LOVE OF JESUS WITH THIS LOST WORLD. IF THE WORLD THAT REJECTS JESUS CAN SPEAK UP, WHY CAN'T THOSE WHO KNOW HIM SPEAK UP? ACTUALLY, SHARING OUR FAITH IS NOT EVEN AN OPTION, BUT WHAT GOD HAS COMMANDED US TO DO IN HIS WORD!!!
I love you and care about you so much. O'Reilly and the people at FOX News have done a great job in promoting this "war of Christmas and Christians" to pander to their core audience and generate ratings. That is fine since just like I don't expect Wal-Mart to promote the birth of Jesus, I don't expect a secular news organization owned by a sleaze merchant and pornographer to do the job of the Church and Christians. The only reason this perceived "war on Christmas and Christians" exists is because the Church and Christians have been silent for so long and allowed those who live in rebellion to the God of the Bible, reject His Word, and deny Jesus to speak out unopposed.
I pray today that God will move your heart and challenge you to become bolder in sharing your faith. It starts with how you live your life each day. That will always be your most effective witness for Christ. But never forget that you can speak out, you can share His Truth, you can tell people that Jesus is their only hope and answer. Now more than ever, people are hurting and looking for the hope YOU POSSESS! Rather than letting O'Reilly or any organization manipulate your feelings, simply realize that there will always be people who live in rebellion to God. Don't be upset by them, be motivated to speak even louder and bolder than they do! We as Christians have to be more serious in declaring our faith in Jesus to this lost world we live in.
Is there really a "war on Christmas and Christians?" ABSOLUTELY! But it is nothing new, it has always existed and always will. The fact is nobody can win a war against God, so they have lost before they even started. Rather than hiding like we are the ones who are defeated, it is time to rise up and start acting like the victors we are. FOX NEWS ALERT! The war on Christmas and Christians is over....Jesus already won!!!