Christmas Challenge To Christians On Facebook

While it might seem Scrooge-ish to say anything at all during this holiday season, I just can't help myself. You see, I am irked. I am irked because there really here hasn't been a time in the last couple of days that I've gotten on Facebook without seeing someone post a pious status update that says something like the following:

"People might want to take Christ out of Christmas but they can't take Christ out of me. If you're proud to be a Christian and are not ashamed of Christ, then post this as your status for 1 day. Most people will be too ashamed or scared to do this."

Not only is it sad that the test or standard for being a Christian to some people comes down to a "holiday facebook status update" but it is just downright absurd and shallow. I mean, if we wanted to make this the measure of faith in good conscience, then why not make every status update all year round something like this? I mean, if this is the test, the challenge, the measure, is "1 day" really good enough people?

Besides, we are no longer fighting about or for the phrase "Merry Christmas"...that's over with. NEWSFLASH: It has been over with for quite a while! Trying to act like the government or other religions or whomever, are still trying to hijack Christmas is like what the Apostle Paul referred to as a boxer punching the air: it's pointless.

Lest you need to be reminded people, the phrase "Merry Christmas" isn't in the Bible. Nope, it's not even in the King James Version!!! If you really want to glorify God this Christmas, if you really want to exalt Jesus this Christmas, then let me issue you a challenge: serve the orphans and widows! Yes, yes, yes, this is what Scripture (James 1.27) calls "true" or "pure" or "undefiled" religion! In fact, as my good friend Xavier Pacheco has pointed out, the Greek word in Jas. 1.27 for "visit" (episkepsetai / επισκεψεται) the orphans and widows, in context, can actually be linked to Lk. 1.68 where the same word is used and has the sense of "visit and bring redemption to". In other words, "pure" and "undefiled" religion, Christianity, especially at Christmastime, should be a time where believers are bringing redemption to the orphans and widows! So, go do it. Get off of your rump and go do it! It's a little tougher than updating your Facebook status but it's definitely more pleasing to God and fulfilling! Heck, you can post pictures of it on Facebook for all I care but go and serve them!

You know what this whole stupid Facebook status thing reminds me of? It reminds me of the first ever (recorded in history) Christmas card, illustrated by J. C. Horsley. In that card, as you can see in the picture, there are wealthy people, perhaps Christians, having a "merry" time in Christ's name, while they have the destitute serving them. This is the OPPOSITE of true religion! But hey, it's what it has come to for most people in America who refer to themselves as Christians.

Perhaps we should take "Merry" out of the phrase "Merry Christmas" so that Christians here can remember what it is truly about: not being "merry" but being "followers of Christ" who strive for true and pure religion. But I don't foresee that ever happening because as long as we can keep "merry" attached, then Christians can convince themselves that it's all about having a good time and making themselves happy.

So, that's my challenge for you Christians on Facebook: Strive toward true and undefiled religion!

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