Christmas without Jesus

Evicting the Sacred by Ravi Zacharias

To repress worship is to repress the irrepressible.

…”It is not accidental that even as Christian values have been jettisoned, the world is economically and morally on the verge of bankruptcy. Oh, but Jesus’ name still surfaces in the West. Maybe more often than any other name. Why? Because profanity still reigns. Oh yes, and God still figures in our philosophy: even when “Mother Earth” quakes and thousands die, we still blame “Father God.” The banishment of Christmas may be the anti-theists’ great longing. But they still want the gifts of Christmas—love, joy, peace and reason. Malcolm Muggeridge once opined that we have educated ourselves into imbecility.

What are we celebrating at Christmas? What is the message of Christmas? It is the birth of the One who promised peace, joy and love. Try as we will, we cannot realize such values without acknowledging the point of reference for these absolutes: the very person of God and his gift to us of a changed heart and will. That message needs to be heard around our world that is reeling with problems and rife with hate. For we have proven we are not fit to be God.

G.K. Chesterton was right: “The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult and left untried.”

Some years ago, I walked into the Forbidden City in Beijing. It was a cold and grey January. I paused as I saw deep inside its walls a shop with the banner still fluttering, “Merry Christmas.” That which was happily displayed in the Forbidden City is now all but forbidden in our cities. A Chinese professor once remarked to me, “You Christians need to thank God for Communism, because we left the souls of our people empty, making room for the gospel.”

Maybe someday we will thank the rabid secularists as well, when Merry Christmas will no longer be forbidden in our cities. Exhausted and disappointed in self-worship, we may turn to God again and hear his story afresh.”

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