Let’s Be Honest: Christmas’ ‘Problem’ Is Not the Offense of the Manger

Published on December 24, 2013

by Jeff Mullen
Clash Daily Contributor

To my unbelieving friends at Christmas:

My wish is that you would consider the source of your antagonism toward observant Christians. Unless you’re a major shareholder in Radio Shack or Barnes & Noble, why should you care if we prefer to shop with other companies that aren’t so Christo-phobic? OK, so we’re hung up about “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays”. Then just write us off as people who can’t take a joke.

If you really think Christianity is just a bunch of stuff and nonsense, then why should any of this matter to you at all? Because that’s not really what it’s all about.

As Jeff “You Know You’re a Redneck When” Foxworthy declared a few years ago when hosting the County Music awards, “We sing about God because we believe in Him. We are not trying to offend anybody, but the evidence that we have seen of Him in our small little lives trumps your opinion about whether or not He exists.”

Right. The operative word is “trying.” We’re not trying to offend you. But we do. We really can’t help it. And let me suggest a reason why: It’s not the babe in the manger or the shepherds or the wise men or even the nativity scenes on public property that cause you to be so offended. It’s what they all lead up to and portend.

It’s the offense of the Cross. Jesus, son of God, was born to die for sinners. Talk about politically incorrect. You know instinctively that honoring Jesus is to dishonor sinners. Think about it: Nobody naturally wants to believe that their sin is so bad as to require an atoning sacrifice so extreme as that paid by Jesus in such excruciating fashion. It’s like the horror of hell. And that’s the red flag that the babe in the Christmas manger waves in your face, is it not?

To my fellow believers:

My wish for us is that we would die to our natural desires to be liked—what James, the half-brother of Jesus called “friendship with the world,” which is enmity with God.

There’s an unfortunate movement afoot within Christendom that advocates conciliation and compromise with unbelievers so as to win friends with honey and not to alienate the unsaved by such offensive talk. Too bad such efforts are doomed to failure for very biblical reasons.

We are the “aroma of Christ,” Paul said, both to those who are being saved and to those who are perishing. “To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life” (2 Cor. 2:16). Have you ever smelled a rotting corpse? It can gag a maggot. That’s what we are to the unbeliever. We can’t help it.

And that, in the final analysis, is what it’s really all about, isn’t it?

Image: Courtesy of: http://www.ccoli.com/videos/yt-59KRqbrvN3Y

mullen JJeff Mullen is a pastor and patriot. He began ministry in 1989 and in 1995 founded Mega Church, Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa and is also politically engaged in the community. He is a musician with extensive recording and performing experience and is a dynamic, humorous communicator. Jeff is also an avid shooter and enjoys a good hunt. He’s been married been married since 1989 and has two amazing daughters. You can connect with Jeff at www.facebook.com/jeffrey.mullen or www.jeffmullen.com