Friday, December 24, 2010

Do Christians Emphasize Christmas Too Much?

That's the question asked by John Wilson in today's online edition of the Wall Street Journal.  His op-ed talks about the rising phenomenon of the 'anti-Christmas rant' - but from mainstream theologians, not the fringes (including that guy whose video I posted here).  The essence of this rant is that Christians tend to overemphasize Christmas to the detriment of Easter.  I can sympathize with the ranters.  Here is why.

I used to be one of those ranters.  I was one of those people who screamed 'idiots!  It's EASTER that is the center of our identity as Christians!'  However, as I become more deeply involved in my faith and in studying, I came to the realization that Wilson makes clear - that Christmas and Easter can never truly be decoupled from one another.  I always knew it intellectually, but to actually buy that notion took a lot longer.

Yes, I do believe that some people overemphasize Christmas and completely devalue Easter - usually those Christians who aren't extremely serious about their faith.  Those of us who are serious know, that while Easter is the reason we are Christians in the first place, you never get to that point without the birth of the Lord in Bethlehem.  Ergo, we must celebrate Christmas in an incredibly deep manner.  And besides, it is such a beautiful season; we would be cheating ourselves if we became grinches and started looking for pagans under our beds every December.

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