This time of year we see lots of polls and articles telling us what we think about Christmas. Here is one of them from the PEW Research Center.
As long-simmering debates continue over how American society should commemorate the Christmas holiday, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past – even as relatively few Americans are bothered by this trend. In addition, a declining majority says religious displays such as nativity scenes should be allowed on government property. And compared with five years ago, a growing share of Americans say it does not matter to them how they are greeted in stores and businesses during the holiday season – whether with “merry Christmas” or a less-religious greeting like “happy holidays.” (continued here)
What disturbs me about the trend? The folks who are discarding Christianity are doing so primarily out of ignorance. Many fashion themselves as “free thinkers” or “free spirits”, but the only thing most of them are free of is knowledge.
I left the following comment for an Atheist over at The Lions Den. Here I think the words have a broader application. Are you one who doubts the truth of the Bible? Do you think of yourself as a freethinker? Then that “you” in my comment is for you.
With what ideology would you replace Christianity? We know you have little use for Christianity, but what do you have that is better? You are freethinking?
What is freethinking?
A smart free thinker looks at life this way. If it feels good, do it.
A wise free thinker considers the game of life four or five moves ahead. That is, although it may feel good now if “I” do that, “I” will eventually hurt far too much. A wise free thinker weighs the benefits of his pleasures and pains more carefully. For example, smoking may be pleasant, but the bill for smoke eventually comes due. In most analyzes, the costs outweighs the benefits.
A Godly free thinker looks still further ahead. The Godly consider the life to come. The Godly man (or woman) looks about. He see what must be the Creation of God. He considers his heart. Here he mysteriously finds knowledge of good and evil. Here he finds a longing for someone greater than himself to love and to worship. Therefore, he eagerly seeks knowledge of his Maker.
What have the Godly found? Many Godly men and women believe the Bible is God’s revealed Truth. An antiquated ideology? No. Just one that has withstood the test of time.
Have some people studied the Bible and still rejected Jesus? That does happen, unfortunately. Not everyone is willing to be convinced.
Most, unbelievers, however, have never bothered to study the Bible, and that is inexcusable. Without a doubt, the teachings in the Bible provide the core of the philosophy that form Western Civilization. Yet our secularized public schools do an awful job of teaching young people what the Bible says and how it affected the formation of our culture. If we have never made a serious effort to read and understand the Bible, what entitles us to have an opinion about it? Nothing, but the Bible is the one work that most people have not read that everyone feels entitled to have an opinion about.
In fact, our schools do an awful job of teaching even about secular things. Consider The United States Constitution. Supposedly, we have a “living Constitution”. Nevertheless, any serious study of The Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution itself renders the notion of a “living Constitution” absurd. Most Americans, unfortunately, have never read The Federalist Papers, and many only have a vague idea of what is in the Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution. How can we be good citizens if we are that ignorant of primary historical documents, especially the ones that formed our nation?
Do you want to be a Godly free thinker? Do you want to be a good citizen? Then make the effort. Struggle if you must. Get whatever help you need. But read and study documents that matter. Don’t let “experts” with their own agenda tell you what to think.