Fool Me, Fool Me!

I wasn’t going to write anything for today because around this time, it seems something posted here should be seasonal. Well, I don’t do Christmas, so anything I say about it is going to be perceived as antiChristmas and will be unpopular. Nonetheless, I ask you to bear with me for a few minutes because this may go a different direction than you expect. I want to look at a bigger picture.

Yesterday morning I noticed one of our country music radio stations was playing Christmas music instead of their country oldies show. They have a bigger music library than any other country station in the area, so I listened a while to see what gems they’d play. In my opinion, some of the country Christmas songs from times past are the best. And I wasn’t disappointed in my assessment as I listened.

A funny thing happened. I started to cry. I felt compelled to stop and get introspective for a moment. I asked myself why I’d cry over country Christmas music when I don’t celebrate Christmas.

I thought of Ecclesiastes 1:18. It says, For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

When I started to cry, I soon realized it was for the loss of innocence and naivety that comes with maturing and learning truth. I’m ashamed because it’s an indictment of how much I’m still attached to this present world. Shouldn’t I be glad about separating from it? But, alas, emotions are abundant this time of year.

Allow me to give a little background about why I don’t celebrate Christmas because it will help me make my larger point.

So much Christmas music rings with innocence and make believe. That’s what Christmas is all about, regardless of what Linus says in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

While Scripture proclaims Christ’s birth, we’re not commanded to celebrate it. We are to keep what is traditionally known as the Lord’s supper or communion to commemorate Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Celebrating His birth may not be specifically prohibited in Scripture, but any good Bible teacher will tell you Christ wasn’t born on December 25th.

Furthermore, the traditions of Christmas are steeped in pagan origins, which aren’t in step with true worship of our holy God.

Make of this what you will, but I’m telling you how it is for me. I can’t celebrate Christmas with a clear conscience before God, knowing what I know to be true. And as the last part of Romans 14:23 says, whatever is not from faith is sin. Do Christmas if you like, but don’t ask me to.

Recently I heard a commentary where a man read a letter from someone who was against celebrating Christmas. His reasons are different than mine. The letter writer said he loathed Christmas because there’s a false expectation of peace and good will. Instead, he suggested we set aside one day a year for hostility and ill will. Leave the other 364 days for peace and good will.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Christmas truce in 1914 that took place on the European battleground. It happened a few months into World War I. Why just one day?

We like to escape into a world of pretend. Facing reality is just too hard. We’ll recreate it any time we can. Plus, most of us who are believers in Christ are far more attached to this world than we realize or want to admit.

Let’s face it. We like all the pretty lights, harmoneous carols, gift exchanges, office parties, etc. We teach our children lies from an early age when we make them believe in the myth of Santa Claus.

OK, let’s say you didn’t indoctrinate your children about Santa Claus in your Christian home. But have you ever sung “Oh Christmas Tree”? If so, you’ve worshipped an evergreen tree.

No matter how many times people say, “Put Christ back in Christmas,” He was never in it to start with. Trying to mix the Gospel message in with everything that goes with Christmas these days is like a boy trying to whisper sweet nothings in his girlfriend’s ear at a heavy metal rock concert. The precious message is going to get lost in the commotion.

A top 40 song from the 1990’s said “Fool me, fool me.” The girl wanted the man to tell her he loved her, even if it wasn’t true. We’re like that when it comes to Christmas. “Naysayers, go away!”

We’re like that when it comes to a whole lot of other things, too. We like being lied to. It makes us feel good. Self deception is easily rationalized and justified.

Do you know anyone who questions the official story about 9/11? How about questioning official election results? Know anybody who doubts America’s exceptionalism? How about the current flap over the alleged cyber attack by North Korea? Know anybody who thinks it was an inside job and a false flag event?

Stepping out of the norm and breaking with conformity is seen as sin–practically blasphemy. It’s hard to walk a different path. So most of us don’t. We like bfitting in. We like the good feeling of not going against the grain. Besides, we don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, do we?

And so it goes.

Jesus was a man of sorrows. He was miles ahead of you and me on the road to acceptance of reality. He knew (and knows) what’s true. He knew (and knows) what’s in man’s hearts. He had no naivety to lose. If we want to be more like Him, shouldn’t we be that way, too?

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