Monday, November 11, 2013

The Real God Market (7)

This time of year always seems to be a period of musing for me as we draw closer to the Season of Joy, I mean that is Christmas.  Recently there has been a lot of hype in the media about how we should respect other groups on our celebratory methods of this important season.  We need to be mindful (in their opinion) that the Word Christmas is offensive to many of these minority groups that have established their own cultures within our communities.  Now I've never been one to stand on my soapbox and shout back at the world, (not too much) but there has been a quiet revolution overtaking all of our foundational societies in the past 150 years or so and as North Americans and Canadians, we have allowed it to happen.  Both of our countries Canada and the US of A were founded on solid Christian biblical principles.  Formed out of the blood and ashes of our forefathers as they stood against oppression and gave us the freedom we all now enjoy.
I say this, what a bunch of hypocrites we have become to bow down to these crying minorities and impale our foundational ideals on this spike we have planted in the ground.  Slowly but surely we have rolled over and fallen out of the bed to allow one group after another establish a place of rest on our pillows.
While I'm all for community and open relationship for refugees and war torn nations needing assistance from our governments, I do not agree with this sacrifice Christians have unwillingly placed upon the fire in our own cities that God has built for all of us.  And while you may not agree entirely with how you came to be or why, if you sit down and look at your own roots of your very existence, I am absolutely positive you will find a fore-father or mother who followed foundational Christian principles in their lives.

Christmas has always been about the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  At least until recent years.  Now the focus seems to be on consumerism rather than God.  The world has created a new god around this time of year and most of us Christians are as guilty as the next guy when it comes to failing badly at Christmas.  It is incredible to me how many people are dragged into this new belief that you have to "gift" your way into developing your children.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a grinch!  I love the Christmas season, for what it is!  Not for what it has become!
Here are some consumer stats that just might blow your mind:  Many of you know about the annual shopping phenomenon that occurs each year after the American Thanksgiving day, commonly known as "Black Friday"  Well the one day sale has now become almost a month-long frenzy of  consumerism which runs not until Christmas day but fully a week past!
In the US alone 2011 spending topped out at just over 52 billion dollars for the four day weekend beginning on Nov 25 Thursday through to Sunday.  Over 50% of that spending was on credit card!  The people never even had the money to buy these "Sale" items!  Last year for 2012 the sales topped out for the same weekend at just under $60 billion, an incredible 13% increase in spending, again more than half of the purchases on credit card!  The stats are even more astounding for the next month moving right through Christmas and into the new year...all in the name of Christmas!
What is wrong with this picture?
Is it wrong to want to buy a gift for your child at this special time of year?  Have we changed our focus on what we are doing at this time of year?  Have we replaced our "Reason for the Season" with another?
Some of you are probably thinking "What business is it of yours that you can tell me what to spend my money on at Christmas"? or even "Who do you think you are, that I should listen to you?"
Frankly I pray you do give at this time of year, for it is written, "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35 ESV.  But look at the context here, give to the weak!  We have replaced our giving to the weak with giving to ourselves, even when we don't need it! 
Hear me out and please don't kill the messenger, for I am sure all of us from time to time feel exactly the same way I do about this frantic time of year that this Season of Christmas is becoming.  We all sit and watch the same news broadcasts each year of the massive crowds of consumers who end up fighting each other for this gift or that gift in a dog-eat-dog event at the local Wal-Mart.  Shaking our heads at the absolute stupidity of these people, some of whom have actually died during these events during "Black Friday" sales!  Have we gone mad as a society!
This is not the "Reason for the Season"  and my plea is very simple.
If you still believe in a Truth, a very real "Reason for the Season" then embrace that Truth before you join the world in this lie again this year.  For each year that we give in to this new doctrine of consumerism we surely replace our former belief of the Truth for our lives.
 " I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14 NASB
We are humanity, we are not depraved animals that kill each other over a bone...or are we?

My prayer is that we all remember this when someone says to us "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".
I for one will reply "Bless you and Merry Christmas!"
In love

Michael


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