True meaning of Christmas

The recent emphasis on “political correctness” has given us permission to be rude and racist without apology. Political correctness for many has become their calling card to rationalize and justify our behaviour and others who share our worldview.
There are those who would argue it’s authentic to verbally “bully”, while others would argue it’s “boorish” and has no place in a civilized society.
President Trump, a kingpin of casino gambling, foul-mouthed, arrogant, money-obsessed, womanizer, thrice-married, boaster of his adulterous affairs and grabbing women’s privates, pro-choice until he ran as a Republican has the undivided support of Vice President Pence who purports himself to be an evangelical Christian.
I don’t think you need to be a biblical scholar to know that everything Trump says, does and believes, is contrary to Biblical text and the specific teachings of Christ.
The Bible tells us to flee from evil, all people are created in God’s image, we are to love our neighbours as ourselves and give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. The Christian faith is personal and tells us that those who proclaim to be Christian will reflect nine character attributes–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The irony as I sit in church listening to pastors tell me that my freedom is under threat from a liberal society, I can’t help musing that perhaps Christians are under threat from within as so many now embrace right-wing politicians to save their faith.
I suspect Vice President Pence and the 81 per cent of American evangelicals sincerely voted for Trump. They hoped their endorsement would influence the President to restore Biblical morals to the nation through legislation and favourable Supreme Court appointments.
Unfortunately the definition of evangelist is the spreader of good news to change individual lives, not legislate morals of the minority on the majority.
The late great Christian writer, Oswald Chambers who died in 1917, asked “are you more devoted to what Jesus wants or to Jesus himself”? He also wrote “conscious influence is prideful and unchristian”.
Chamber’s question and statement are profound for today’s evangelicals, of which I am one.
Religious leaders throughout history, whether Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindi, Roman Catholic or Christian give us current and past examples where tying their God to political or military power always leads to horrid carnage for millions of defenseless men, women and children.
Politics and religion are mutually exclusive and non-compatible. Politics in a democracy requires compromise. In contrast, religion is governed by a God, traditional teachings, spiritual text, faith and absolute truths.
It’s Christmas which was once, before commercialization took over, a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of a Saviour. Maybe thinking less of what we want this Christmas season and thinking and acting more for others, we could bring back the true meaning of Christmas. Which so many claim they want!

by B.P. Schimke

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