by David Sisler

On May 17, 2005, with finals approaching (in my advanced dotage I am working on a Master of Divinity degree) this column went into retirement. It was a great deal less traumatic for America than December 31, 1995, when Bill Waterson retired “Calvin and Hobbes.” Two or three of the faithful did write to see what had happened, and I told them I was taking a brief break. Like missing church, it became easier not to write. Even outrageous comments by Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Bill and Hillary, et al did not stir me. But as Popeye says, “That’s all I can stands! I can’t stands no more!”

Dateline: Associated Press – November 29 9:46 PM US/Eastern

“If it’s a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capital grounds in December, it’s a Christmas tree, and that’s what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.”

The AP quotes Speaker Hastert: “I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree.”

In “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Or Else!” the Chicago Tribune quoted some local folk.

“I used to say Merry Christmas but now I don’t,” said Candice Barrera, a hospital therapist who was admiring the nativity scene in Daley Plaza.

“It’s drilled into you that you need to be culturally sensitive,” she said. “For my family I still say Merry Christmas.”

As a plaza security guard, Ocie Spruill has all day to admire what the city of Chicago calls an 87-foot “holiday tree,” but even he can’t decide on what to call it.

“It’s got lights and a star – it’s a Christmas tree,” he said confidently.

Just then, fellow security guard Steven Flores started giving Spruill a hard time about being sensitive and inclusive.

“OK, wait a minute,” Spruill said, looking up at the glowing lights. “It’s a holiday tree.”

On December 5, 1998, with tongue firmly in cheek, I wished you a “Happy Sparkle Season.” Jersey City, NJ stacked the grounds around the court house with a nativity scene, a menorah, Santa Claus, and Frosty the Snowman. The city had celebrated Ramadan, the Festival of Lights, and Earth Day – for the Muslims, Hindus, and pagans. But Christmas? The ACLU attacked in full-force and the Christmas decorations went into storage!

I used to write in this column that I was glad that Christmas was commercialized. I would hate to think, I said, that something as wonderful as the birthday of the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, would be ignored by the retailing world.

Well, they sure don’t ignore it anymore. Instead, they have obliterated it. The powers of political correctness have decreed that this is the Holiday Season.

I have been listening carefully to commercials and reading newspaper advertisements (two things I normally avoid with near-total dedication). One local car dealer, and one local store which sells costumes and decorations – out of the dozens and dozens of retailers who have purchased ads – use the word “Christmas” in our weekly paper. One national department store – Macy’s – uses “Christmas” in its commercials. If there are others, I have not heard them.

The spineless declare that we cannot say “Christmas” because that would insult all of the non-Christian world.

Well, as a believer in Jesus Christ, I say it is time, and beyond time, that we insult them!

Jesus said he came not to bring peace, but a sword.

Jesus said that he is the way, the truth and the life.

Jesus said that the only approach to the Father, to the Lord God Almighty, is through him.

If he was right, and as a Christian I have staked my life and my death on those truths, we need to start insulting people.

If Jesus is the Christ, then all who receive him – according to his Word – have eternal life. If Jesus is the Christ, then all who deny him – according to his Word – do not have eternal life, but have eternal punishment.

God told Ezekiel: “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul” (Ezekiel 33:8-9).

I have never written an advertising campaign. When I run newspaper ads for the church I serve, I have the paper’s art department work up ideas for me. But with this column I am offering an ad – feel free to use it.

“If this is only the ‘Holiday Season,’ if this is not ‘Christmas,’ then you do not have a Savior! Merry Christmas!”


Copyright 2005 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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