I’ll preface this with the fact that I don’t celebrate Christmas and I think there is much greater wisdom and benefit in remembering and rehearsing the festivals given by God that Jesus himself not only celebrated (along with the apostles and the early church) but fulfilled perfectly to the precise detail and will fulfil future-tense at his coming.
Nonetheless, the church in history made something at least useful out of pagan celebrations and helped to centre Western celebrations around Jesus Christ instead of despicable false gods.
In this way, I am all for an imperfect acknowledgement of Christ’s birth and the recognition that Jesus is God, especially by those who have benefited from the peace and prosperity Christianity established in the Western Hemisphere over the Millenia.
It’s appropriate also that someone like Obama, esteemed by the powerful, should be rebukes by those whom are largely mocked and despised by those same people.
Ken Ham offers the words that our society would do well to heed:
Hi, I’m Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter. Our ministry wants to respond to some of the comments made by the President Sunday night from the White House.
In his address to the American people, the President made statements about the threat of terrorism. Now at the end of his speech, President Obama said,
Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear; that we have always met challenges—whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks—by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people. So long as we stay true to that tradition, I have no doubt America will prevail. Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
First of all, if what he calls “common ideals” are not built on the authority of the Word of God, then the common ideals are just man’s fallible opinions—which, frankly, will mean that America will not prevail. A fallible human being like the President can claim all he wants that America will prevail, but there’s a God in heaven who is in absolute control of the affairs of the nations!
I think of the verse from Daniel chapter 2 and verse 21: “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”
Sadly, our President, even though he stated last night that he wants God to bless America, will not acknowledge the Creator God of the Bible—in fact, he has done the opposite: actively supported the removal of the one true God from the public arena. His belief in this regard was seen, for instance, in the recent lighting of the national Christmas tree in Washington, DC, when the President began his speech by saying “happy holidays”—twice.
While he may use the word Christmas on occasion, we all know that when the President says “happy holidays,” like in his speech, it’s largely a deliberate way to keep Christ out of Christmas. He has turned Christmas-related events into secular ones, instead of acknowledging the Babe in a manger—the One who came to be our Savior over 2,000 years ago.
Now, Christians should respect the office of the presidency and pray for our elected officials. But when their actions go contrary to the absolute authority of God’s Word, then we should say something.
Also at the Christmas tree lighting, the first lady, along with the Muppet character Miss Piggy, read a story from the children’s book A Visit from St. Nicholas—a story about Santa Claus.
THE PRESIDENT AND THE FIRST LADY HAVE TOLD AMERICANS THAT THE REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON IS TO HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY AND ENJOY STORIES ABOUT SANTA.
So the President and the first lady have told Americans that the real reason for the season is to have a happy holiday and enjoy stories about Santa.
At our Christmas Town program at the Creation Museum, we celebrate Christmas in the right way: we reflect on the greatest gift God gave to mankind—the gift of His Son, Jesus—and worship Him. He was the Babe in a manger—the God-man—who came to earth to provide the only way for humans to live forever with their God.
Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus Christ (as we should do every day of the year) and remember the true account (the historical record) of the birth of a baby. He was the incarnation of the Son of God—the Son of God who took on a fleshly, bodily form.
Second, did God hear President Obama at the end of his speech when he said “God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America”? I suggest God did not. Hear God’s Word from Isaiah chapter 59:
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. (verses 2–3)
God’s principles do not change. What he said to the rebellious Israelites, He also says to us today.
Yes, the iniquities of this nation are great. The teaching of the true God, and the reminders of the Christian faith are being removed from this nation—crosses, Nativity scenes, and displays of the Ten Commandments are being taken down from public places. Also, prayer, the Bible, and the teaching of creation have been largely removed from public schools.
Furthermore, the President mocks God’s design for marriage, and endorses a gross sin of gay “marriage” and homosexual behavior. He has endorsed the lie of a false doctrine in regard to marriage.
And the President has helped this nation be “defiled with blood.” He has condoned the murder of millions of children in their mother’s wombs. The same President who said “God bless the United States of America” on Sunday night actually said this in July: “God bless Planned Parenthood.” In other words, he asked God to bless the biggest child-murdering machine in America! Will God ever bless a nation that is so guilty of defiling this land with the shed blood of millions of children?
HOW COULD GOD HEAR THIS PLEA WHEN THE INIQUITIES OF THIS NATION AND THE PRESIDENT ARE SO GREAT?
I humbly suggest that God “will not hear” the President when he asks for God’s blessing on this nation! How could God hear this plea when the iniquities of this nation and the President are so great?
May God have mercy, and may God raise up people to repair the breach in this nation—a breach that has allowed rampant sin and the mocking of God’s Word to permeate the culture.
The prophet Isaiah in chapter 58 declared, “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In” (verse 12).
This nation as a whole, and the President in particular, needs to repent before the one true God and return to His Word as the absolute authority in all matters of life and conduct.
The President can talk about the threat of continued terrorism all he wants. But unless this nation deals with gross sin that permeates the culture, I sadly predict that this nation will not see the end of terrible tragedies, like terrorism.
God’s Word in Jeremiah chapter 18 is a reminder to us that He is in total control of the nations, just as a potter controls the clay in his hands. In Jeremiah it says,
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.” (verses 5–10)
May God’s people be emboldened to stand for Him in this nation.