By Warren Coe
Sometime ago The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article by Paul Tice. He titled the article ‘Silent Night’ has been Silenced. “There’s no room for religion at school ‘winter concert.’” He observed the cultural war on Christmas. We are not talking about Christmas lights or trees. There is no war on gift giving or mistletoe. Tice sees an all-out effort to eradicate the message of Christmas. Here is what Tice wrote.
“Over the past 20 years as my children have progressed through the local New Jersey public-school system, my wife and I have attended our share of such concerts. We’ve watched as these performances have slowly declined, arriving at the current phase: denial. “It has now been several years since the word “Christmas” has even been spoken, let alone sung, at any of these school events. Gradually, the balanced approach gave way to frivolity. A greater emphasis was placed on the commercial and materialistic side of Christmas and the other holidays, with Santa, Rudolph and Frosty receiving top billing. Sacred Christmas music was still allowed, but only if sung in a dead foreign language (such as Latin or French Creole), with the meaning of the words safely obscured.”
‘Gagging of God’
As I read the WSJ article my mind wandered to a quote I read a long time ago from Gagging of God by D. A. Carson. In a different realm, the same dark dynamic has removed the meaning of Christmas from…well, Christmas, Dr. Carson tells us what happened.
“In the moral realm, there is very little consensus left in Western countries over the proper basis of moral behavior. And because of the power of the media, for millions of men and women the only venue where moral questions are discussed and weighed is the talk show, where more often than not the primary aim is to entertain, even shock, not to think. When Geraldo and Oprah become the arbiters of public morality, when the opinion of the latest media personality is sought on everything from abortion to transvestites, when banality is mistaken for profundity because [it’s] uttered by a movie star or a basketball player, it is not surprising that there is less thought than hype. Oprah shapes more of the nation’s grasp of right and wrong than most of the pulpits in the land. Personal and social ethics have been removed from the realms of truth and structures of thoughts; they have not only been relativized, but they have been democratized and trivialized.”
The Gospel Light in Darkness
In spite of pc morality or pc “holiday,” never does the Gospel shine brighter than in spiritual darkness. Rome could not extinguish the gospel in the first century, though they tried with all their might. Mao imprisoned and killed countless Christians but the gospel spread like wildfire. Not to sound like a glass half full kind-of-guy but great days are ahead for pastors, churches and people who boldly proclaim the gospel and willingly suffer for it. I’m all in with Paul. “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation.” (Romans 1:16)