“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”
By Reverend ray
“…he(Paul) says that this ought to be reckoned of great importance, that they nevertheless promoted the cause of the gospel, whatever their disposition might be. For God sometimes accomplishes an admirable work by means of wicked and depraved instruments. 1”
It seems inevitable each year that here in America some controversy over Christmas and its association with Christ and the Christian faith will rise to the surface of media coverage.
This year is no exception as an atheist group invested a significant amount of money to place a billboard near a busy New York City bridge that advertised; “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody” would achieve its purposes to offend some Christians and draw attention to their own opinions and beliefs.
Freedom of speech is the right of every American and to restrict one’s right puts into jeopardy the rights of all, so when some religious leaders came out in defense of Christ in Christmas against the comments on the billboard, they too are exercising the privileges of those same rights.
So, I am not here begrudging either of their right, but as a Christian, I would like to suggest that much of what we spend our energy trying to defend is really a distraction from the true purpose and cause of the body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul has already set for us an example for the manner of response to such oppositions and antagonistic remarks. We as Christians today seem to think that God needs our defense, that indeed, the truth is so weak and vulnerable that it can not stand on its own.(Maybe the weakness is in our faith and belief.)
But it is apparent from the passage noted that Paul was not rattled or launched into an hysteria of fear that the gospel or the Character of Christ would in any way be violated or harmed by those who preached Christ in pretense during his time.
Rather, he rejoiced that even in this way, the message of Christ was being preached. We would learn a vital lesson from Joash the father of Gideon in his response to the men of the city who were in an uproar and sought to kill Gideon for destroying the alter of Baal; “… if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one has cast down his alter.”(Judges 6:25-32)
In fact, there are at least two areas in which the billboard defeated its own purposes. First, this organization that denies the existence of God and the reality of Christ both historically and principally by their very attention to the subject of Christ in Christmas supported the very thing they were seeking to do away with.
I had the opportunity to hear the argument of the president of this organization give their reasoning for the removal of Christ in Christmas.
His argument was that Christmas was originally a pagan festival celebrating the hope of spring and that various pagan groups contributed to the practices and traditions that are familiar to the way we celebrate Christmas today. (The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times.)
Citing such pagan forms of worship as argument against the existence of the true God undermines their own dogma and practices weak logic because it argues for the non existence of God on the basis of the existence of pagan gods.
It is reasonable to conclude that the proposition; God does not exist, is not the issue, but their lack of willingness to acquiesce to His sovereignty and holiness. Furthermore, the argument that Christ is invalidated simply because there is no positive date or time established is erroneous also.
There has been as much ambiguity over the place and time of the birth of our current president, yet they don’t deny his existence. As Christians, we do well to simply hold forth the truth and allow the lie to expose and destroy itself, (which it will do given the opportunity).
By giving time to such nonsense we fail to heed Proverb’s advice; “Answer not a fool according to his folly. Lest thou also be like unto him.”(Prov. 26:4)
Dribble from the pen.