A Neat Idea, But It Still Requires Wisdom
Andy Oldham has an interesting post, Glory To God In The Highest . . . Rebuilding The Bridge With Susan And Lilka. What is it about? He begins by telling of his family’s encounter with a black family in 1958 and the lesson he learned about racism. He ends with an invitation.
I would like to invite you to the Bridge. Let’s rebuild what Satan has destroyed. Ben met me at the bridge in 1958. We met there as children, with open minds and hearts, wanting to share. We reached out to each other and found unity, if only for the day. Can we do that today? Can we become as children and overcome color? We are called by God to love one another. I believe through Bridges we can find this same child-like unity today. God is telling us unity in the Body of Christ will not only make our world better, but our lives. (from here)
How we respond to a call like ‘s is actually sort of complicated. Part of the complexity is that most Christians don’t fully consider what the Bible has to say. Hence, as I refer you to ‘s call, I also feel an obligation to refer you to some timely posts written by altruistico.
Consider how ends the second of the two posts.
Multiculturalism, in practice, is simply an expression of God’s creativity. There is much to be valued in different ideas, perspectives, and tastes (Proverbs 11:14; Romans 14:5). To what extent a particular nation enforces certain choices on others is not so much a biblical question as a political one. The Bible does not support the transformation of multiculturalism into relativism, however. Christians are obligated to be loving, respectful, and tolerant (1 Peter 3:15–16; 2:17); at the same time, we are commanded not to participate in the sins of any particular culture (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 11:3), even those of our own culture (Romans 6:17–18; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11). (from here)
Respecting the persons and the rights of other people is something the Bible calls upon us to do. However, we can carry anything to an extreme. Of course it is wrong to discriminate against someone just because they have a different sex, race or creed. Nevertheless, that does not make all discrimination wrong. It just means that to discriminate properly we must exercise Godly wisdom, and Godly wisdom requires us to discriminate between good and evil. Unless we give heed to what the Bible says about discriminating between what is good and what is evil, we cannot rightly call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ.
That brings us to what the rest of this post is about. Christmas is both a Christian and a cultural celebration with traditions that predate Christianity. Should we celebrate Christmas? How? Why is this a tolerance issue? A religious tolerance issue? Various people would pull us in different directions.
The Various Cases Against Celebrating Christmas
Some insist Christmas is everybody’s holiday! Some in our culture insist that we treat Christmas as a secular holiday (Think of it. A secular holy day?). That is, they would like to dechristianize Christmas. Consider, for example, this paragraph from a randomly chosen website, http://www.HumanReligions.info.