Romans 14 and Xmas Question
(Forwarded thoughts to a family in another city...)
You may well be here before you get this, but I’ll drop a short thought on you anyway! There is, of course a possibility that Romans 14 would apply for some “season” (pun intended, of course!) of time in any relationship, as it would relate to this holiday or another. I’ve been through personally, several different stages of activity and inactivity in relating to this subject with biological family and others.
Certainly, it would be unwise and unfair to drop a bomb of anything that could be construed as an insult or an attack until they have a pretty fair understanding of where y’all are coming from. To me, it would seem appropriate to “bear with” others on this point as far as conscience and responsibility to your children will allow, until they have a fair understanding of what your thinking is. It can take some time, or it could all happen quickly. The main point is that they would give you a fair hearing and dialogue with you about it, and respect your wishes as it would relate to your family unit. But, again, I’d sure ask the obvious (not necessary to say at all, I know): be patient and kind to try to help them to consider for themselves the pertinent issues relating to this holiday. And easter.
If they are totally resistant to any conversation or prayer on the subject after much thought and prayer and forbearance has been invested, you may very well need to take a stronger stand and “disappoint” (or even, depending on their understanding and experience of Jesus’ Ways, “anger”) them. Hopefully it would never come to that. However, we really cannot be asked to violate our consciences or the trust we have been given with our children. Surely your parents would not have wanted a “Way International” or Hindu neighbor to influence THEIR children (you!) to follow ways that they felt were harmful for you. They would have felt, I’m sure, the need to intervene and ask the neighbor NOT to impose on you, or speak of their religious or social beliefs that could be harmful to you, their trust. So, surely they can understand why you would also feel that way about guarding your children. Most reasonable parents or adults would work with you on all of this, surely! And the dialogue about it all, offered for their consideration for themselves as well, could be fruitful.
A thought that has been helpful to others is something like this (for what it may be worth):
Carl Sagan, the atheist astronomer and “Cosmos” television program host, just recently took a lawsuit to court against Apple Computer Corporation. They had code-named a prototype project “Carl Sagan” and he didn’t care much for that.
In a way, using Jesus’ Name in the discussion of the holiday on December 25th is more of a “code name” than reality. The songs coming from the lips of the children’s choir and the carolers are not reflective of the Truth of their lives, nor would they be open to discussing such in 999/1000 cases. Selfishness, anger, worldliness, jealousy, rage, disrespect, laziness, pride, lust—none of these are dealt with on a daily basis in the lives of the vast majority of those that say, “Merry CHRISTmas!” This is hypocrisy, to use Jesus’ word, and deeply saddening. The dj’s that “spin the xmas records” at the radio stations and the folks that are so quick to say “Merry CHRISTmas” at the shopping malls usually want NOTHING to do with obeying Jesus or talking about doing so. This is not something we can overlook, since Jesus’ Name is being used. If they would just use Napoleon’s name or someone else to blame the need to indulge in pagan revelry this time of year, the “Winter Solstice”!
If some folks decided to indulge in pagan revelry on a particular random day of the year (perhaps one that had been a demon “god” celebration in generations past) and named it after you, and said they were doing it in your honor—you wouldn’t be very honored, would you?! Even if some good things were done and nice things said, you still would prefer (since the whole of it was not authorized by you nor reflective of your life and priorities) that it NOT be named after you, I would imagine! That is certainly a good reason to not name such a tainted event as xmas after Jesus! Even if “we” were to do it “right”—why engage in something (mardi gras, xmas, or whatever) that is so tainted by the “patterns of the world” and the greed, materialism, hypocrisy, family idolatry (“on demand”—not real Love in most cases, as evidenced by the contradictions the rest of the year), vices, etc.??? Not to mention all of the historic symbolic demon mantras and icons—trees, mistletoe, xmas lights (we saw these in a demon worship holiday in Bombay, used in exactly the same manner as they are used here this time of year) that are ubiquitous this season! Why not do the “good things” at other times of the year and leave this “holiday” to the unbelievers???! We don’t really need it, I don’t think! We “count every day alike” as Paul did! That would, at least, be a good move for one with “greater faith,” as Paul would say.
I’d better sign off here, but I wanted to get back with you—good question! and I’d love to talk more with you about it as you desire. : )
Love in Yesu,