Monday, December 19, 2011

The War on Christmas & Consumerism In the Name of Christ

Photo Credit: violscraper
Syke Jethani, an editor for Christianity Today, offers an intriguing perspective on what has become known as "The War on Christmas." In a recent post, Jethani writes of the historical view that American Christians have taken of the modern holiday of Christmas and how our materialistic culture has influenced our celebration of the birth of Christ.

He says:
"It amazes me that in less than a century Christians have gone from opposing over-consumption at Christmas to demanding it be done in Christ’s name alone. The explanation may be in the numbers. Two-thirds of the U.S. economy is based on consumer spending, and 50-75 percent of most retailers annual profits are generated during December. This means the weeks before Christmas are the high holy days of consumerism. If Christians engaged the Advent season as they did in generations past, by modeling moderation and self-denial or by ignoring the holiday altogether, it would likely destroy (what remains of) the economy. 
To ensure economic survival consumers are stirred into a buying frenzy every winter with the goal of making this year’s shopping season more prosperous than the previous. Santa Claus has been the mascot of this manipulation since the early 20th Century, but if more Consumer Christians have their way the season of shopping would be inaugurated by the appearance of Jesus Christ at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade instead."
As a Christian who can be influenced by the culture I live in as much as anyone else, I hope that I can remain true to my celebration of the birth of Jesus without being unduly sucked into the consumerism that so invades one of my faith's most precious holy-days. I'm not so concerned about whether a retailer that is more interested in my money than in the birth of Jesus wishes me a hearty "Merry Christmas" or not. I'm much more concerned about whether my heart rejoices in the birth of the Christ child more than in temporal presents under my tree.

To read Skye Jethani's complete post please click here.


Unknown said... that is a change in perspective. No need to celebrate Christmas if Christ didnt resurrect is what my pastor keeps saying and Im realizing that my spending this year (funny, i have money to buy gifts) was only Christ focused. I wanted to give so I did angel tree and I got my sister a really nice gift of her spending time with me and me taking her shopping even though I dont like her on most, it came from a place of sacrifice.

scottmcrocker said...

Tyshan - Great idea to do Angel Tree! It's a great ministry.