I know that this is a weird and quite unusual statement, especially from a self-professed Christian. However, we always hear the statement, that Jesus is the reason for the season, and although I’m mostly in aggreance with that statement, I’d like to take that particular philosophy to task for a moment.
Let’s go to work.
Many non-Christians, or those who feel that they have transcended the rest of us do to Christians what they accuse Christians of doing to non-Christians: they take someone’s philosophy and/or theology and shove it down our throat as though it is the truth. This is also the same thing that we as Christians do. We take our beliefs and shove them down the throats of non-believers, or even those who don’t believe as strongly as we believe. In fact many Christians have invented this notion of “the war on Christmas” as yet another excuse to hegemonically (if that’s a real word) force their opinons and beliefs on others.
However, it is interesting the facts that are presented by the transcended Christians and other non-Christians to support the fact that the character that we recognize as Jesus was probably not born around the winter solstice as we wonderfully celebrate each year. Although there are no biblical facts to swing the argument in either way aside from this star, which according to some scholars was really more of a literary jab at Caesar Augustus really saying that in fact this Jesus born to Mary and Joseph in Bethelehem is the Annointed One and not Augustus. That being said, I think that it does bear some notice to the fact just how twisted have we in western society twisted this notion of “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.”
Jesus never was the central focus of how western society celebrated this time of the year. In fact much of this tradition of Christmas was birthed out of the multi-cultural historical celebrations of the solstices, one in summer celebrating the longest day of the year and one in winter celebrating the shortest day of the year in anticipation of spring yet to come. Celebrating the birth of Christ, was yet another way that Christians forced their beliefs down the throats of the conquered–I mean converted–peoples of Europe, Asia, Northeast and Northern Africa thanks to that wonderful Pope Constantine I!!!
So in fact, if one were to be historically accurate, this “war on Christmas” as we know it was actually started by us Christians!!!
The non-Christians were simply responding in the only way they knew how to resist being conquered–dammit, I mean converted, I keep on doing that, sorry. They responded in the only way they knew how, they knew how to, after a war had been declared on their traditions and values, then they in turn declared a war on Christmas.
So as this post will have a December 25th timestamp, and all of this empty rhetoric of “reasons for various seaons” and “wars on Christmas” and the “X-ing” out of Christmas and the ubiquitous “commercialization of Christmas” let us remember that the real reason for the season is not the Christ child, but rather the celebration of the conquering nature of Constantine who was a converted Christian, who concocted Christmas just so he could be remembered.
Keep it uppity, JLL
7 thoughts on “Jesus Isn’t the Reason for the Season”
Joshua my Friend,
To the pure all things are pure, but to the defiled all things are defiled. In other words, its a matter of perspective.
Though I agree that the historical concept of Christmas is problematic, I wonder is it not possible to flip the historical script in order to engage in a reversal of meanings, so that a concept that was once faulty can become fruitful. This is a process intellectual freedom fighters like yourself have participated in for years. After all, Christmas isn’t the only thing that Christians developed under Constantine and the Roman Empire (clergy, clerical wear, theological creeds, tax exempt status etc.)
That being said, I agree that the Christ child is culturally not the central focus of the season and therefore perhaps the holiday is in need of baptism in the waters of purity.
To you my friend Billy,
I wrote this merely as a challenge to myself. To anyone who really knows me, knows that I like to play devil’s advocate on touchy issues such as this. That being said, I agree with you 100% by challenging for a reversal of meanings, making a “concept that was once faulty…fruitful.” My problem and my issue is that preachers (lol) and other’s hi-jack this meaning of Christmas and make it their own–historically, and that’s where I have a problem. I’m a strong proponent of defining of one’s self for one’s self and not letting others define you. However, when Christians really believe that Christianity is the only right religion out there and that Christianity has always been dominant, they make the connection that Christmas as we know it, has always been. And in the spirit of Warren Ballentine, I’m a truth fighter who would rather have a hard truth to deal with rather than an easy lie.
Alas, as a Christian, I believe that there is a liturgical need for the recognition of the birth of Jesus, whom we and I, in fact recognize as the Christ; and what other perfect time is there to do it. I believe the fathers, and no doubt mothers, of The Church, have done a good job of merging cultural traditions to the level in which we see it today. However, if I here “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” again, aside from the acidic taste that it leaves in my mouth just thinking of the Kirk Franklin song, I’m just going to think about far we still have to go.
THis morning in the midst of my 13th wedding anniversary, I had to give a, what I call and “Christmas meditation” or sermonette. It was entitled, How Do We Worship Christ,” base of Matthew 2:10-12. Of course I am in some was a traditional Baptist preacher with three points. It was more of a rhetorical sermon.
1. v10 Are we exceeding glad about the reason Christ was born–to save us from our sin. Can others see it?
2a. v11Do we fall down on our knees daily and worship CHrist?
2b. What gisfts do we bring Christ? Isn’t it better to give than receive?
3. After we are preached to and taught, do we depart differently than we came? DO we depart to spread the gospel?
It was more a diatribe about how we as Christian celebrate Christ in the manger when he was born, lived, died, resurrected and is now an advocate for us, why do we make him ech year as “little baby Jesus.?” He is the only one in the world that we make an infant to celebrate him on his so called birthday.
I agree with the winter and spring solstice of your arguement, however, when Constantine was unifying his kingdom under the banner of CHristianity (pagans and believers of Christ), he had to incorporate some of their (pagans) holidays within this newly formed kingdom. Ask yourself, or better yet research, why is the winter and spring solstice important to Wiccians, witches, and pagans? Hmmm…. It is proposed that Horus, or otherwise, Tammuz of the Bible (the god of the flocks) was born on this day….
Nevertheless, the reason for the season is what Jesus offered us, a pardon from hell, becuase he saved us from our sins. Note the words of Isaiah, “his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” These are not attributes we give to a baby in a manager or crib? One to grow on.
Pretty interesting comments. I remembering waking up early on Christmas morning to sit around the friggin tree while my parents gleefully pushed us to sing a hymn and read the infamous Lukan account of the birth of Christ. Therefore after, all 9 of us went around the room saying what we were grateful for and how we have improved throughout the year.
The focus wasn’t on gifts ann although we sung a Christmas song or two, three…oops, I meant to say four, the focus really wasn’t too much on Jesus. As I have grown I’ve come to realize it was about being around my family. My 6 siblings and my parents, until they divorced. That’s MY reason for the season.
I feel this time should be reflect time spent with with family and things birthed anew. Just as it took the family of 6lb 8 oz Sweet Baby Jesus…lol.. to ensure his safe arrival into earthly creation. I feel that some of us use this season as a means to use Jesus as a cover up for what we really are doing. Selfishness, Greed, and Idol worship of things that are not of God.
My issue with Christmas is simply….It’s not my birthday!!! For 24 years..I’m 25 and this Christmas was the first time we did not have to wake up before 9 to have this little family sit down…
Well, again Miss NatQueen, I echo the sentiments of Billy, I think we should, especially as Christians, redefine Christmas for ourselves, and not simply swallow the force-fed rhetoric of our pastors and preachers who many times are historically uninformed and suffer from chronic conscientious stupidity.
You last comments are interesting because you are in seminary and say that, one of your passions are to preach the word. How do you propose you will preach around Christ Mass time? Will you fall into “chronic conscientios stupidity” and force fed your congragation or will you be “Consciously Christian” and use the time to challenge the Masses that Christ “is the reason for the so-called season.” As pastors we are to tell the story, but how we tell it what is important.
I remember whenI started seminary both times, people told me a lot that you learn…you can not teach/preach. But I think it is how it is presented to the people…they will listen, learn, accept, and lives will change as they grow to know God and Jesus more.