What’s in a name?

Its a common occurrence within many evangelical’s holiday experiences. The Evangelical will be checking out at his/or her local store, purchasing gifts and items associated with this specific time of year, and the store clerk will say, “Happy Holidays!”. Here lies the problem. As a believer, should one feel offended or offer the obligatory “Merry Christmas!” back or just by into the commonly accepted notion that the world is in fact ridding this time of year of Christ? This is the dilemma that is apparently facing many believers today. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this situation before I post my own later this week.


2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Ok, I’ll bite. This is going to sound like a rant (and it kind of is), but I’m really not that worked up about it. I just kept hearing Lewis Black’s voice in my head as I typed, so that’s kind of how it came out. It’s also going to sound like I’m ranting at you. I’m not, I know you get it.

    1) I feel like evangelicals have very little room to complain in the first place, since they have contributed to the secularization of the holiday as much as anyone. First, many feel the need to begin celebrating it right when the retail world tells them to (essentially, any time after the beginning of September) rather than celebrating it in the traditional Christian way – December 25th and the 12 days following. Christians have traditionally used the month before Christmas to observe Advent, a time in which we intentionally wait for the coming of the Lord. Christians could go a long way to reclaiming the holiday by observing Advent as a season to wait. A season to get out of the culturally mandated shop-fest that Christmas has become. Second, evangelicals have contributed to the secularization of Christmas by removing the “mass” from Christmas. Instead of celebrating Christmas with church their church community (which I believe should nearly always involve communion, the mass), evangelicals join with the prevailing culture by making Christmas a day to sit around and worship consumerism. I think their own behavior means evangelicals should calm down with the complaints.

    2) I’m kind of tired of hearing the phrase “I’m offended” coming from the mouths of Christians. I feel like the cross removes any reason we have to be offended about anything. The death and resurrection of Jesus leave us in a place where we aren’t primarily concerned about the various behaviors of the world (good or bad), but about proclaiming good news in our words and deeds. That is our primary concern. I feel like Christians who get bent out of shape about how the greeter at Wal-Mart welcomes them during the holidays are just missing the point of why Jesus came in the first place.

    Christians should celebrate Christmas with our churches and families (preferably in the original time-frame). Let the gods of consumer culture celebrate the holiday how they will. And be nice to people, “for goodness’ sake!”

  2. im with Quinn on this. Taking offense to someone saying “Happy Holidays” doesn’t really make all that much sense. Not every person I come in contact with will know the Christ of Christmas. Why should we be offended if they do not acknowledge him in a greeting or farewell? I don’t believe it is the worlds responsibility to keep Christ in Christmas. It is, however, the responsibility of the believer. This shouldn’t be true during one time of year but all year long. It comes in more than just a phrase but in the way will let Christ live through us. We want people to have a “Happy Holiday” and we also want people to have a “Merry Christmas.”
    Say what you wish upon people this season, but show them Christ with your life and your love.
    Have a Happy Holidays Ryan!

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