Every year my Baptist neighbor puts a sign in his front yard, “Keep Christ in Christmas” and I’m tempted to get a sign for my front yard which says, “Keep Mass in Christmas”.
Despite the un-ecumenical impulse, I agree with my neighbor’s yearly cliche. Furthermore, this Christmas I’m feeling that keeping Christ in Christmas isn’t really enough.
I look around at our society and see the Jesus Christ is absent everywhere. Forgive me for feeling grumpy, but America in 2015 seems just about as far from Jesus as you can get.
The obvious culprits are the atheists, secularist progressives who not only want to be non-religious, but are increasingly attacking Christianity and, by extension, Jesus Christ.
Sure they’re a problem, but they’re a minor problem. The other problems are huge and overbearing and even greater because most Americans don’t think they are a problem.
I’m talking about Christians of all denominations who live the affluent, aggressive, ambitious American lifestyle without ever once giving it a critical look. They simply live out the “get as much as you can so you can be successful” values of America totally uncritically. Furthermore, if they are Christians they very often not only live out what I call “Alpha Achievement American” culture uncritically, but they baptize it. They suppose that this is not only the best, most wonderful and amazing culture the world has ever seen, but it is so because it is also Christian.
In other words, “Because I am a super successful and wealthy American I must also be a good Christian. God has blessed me.”
This is a subtle lie, and one which too often has, on the other side of the coin, the assumption that “Because you are not rich and successful you must be a person God has not blessed and smiled on and therefore you probably deserve what you get.”
In all of this I’m afraid I don’t see Jesus very much. Continue Reading