Better To Speak Truth or Live Truth?

In my last post, I talked a little bit about the merits of criticism and judgment. Reading comments that others have shared and just taking some time to meditate on this over the course of the day, I feel like I have a little more to talk about with this one.

Like I said before, I think that it’s a bit naive to say that there isn’t wrong in the world, in the same way that, feeling ill, it would be naive to say “I don’t have pneumonia” until one is bedridden and debilitated. Sometimes something is genuinely wrong, and it needs to be addressed. I think the crux of the matter of criticism lies in the motive.

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Lions

You know lower standards will lower the culture. The Roman Empire was destroyed because of lower standards and moral decay. You know they fed each other to lions for entertainment – humans, when left to their on devices, seem to be hopelessly selfish and bent on their own destruction. It seems that unless a power greater than us captures our hearts, nothing will change that trajectory – wealth, knowledge, success – seems to only feed the beast.”
– Propaganda

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The Light Bulb Has Been Banned

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5

On the precipice of New Years Day, in the first hours of the year of our Lord, 2014 as fireworks lit up the sky and neon lit up the streets, one last assembly line inside one last factory stopped. It was a 19th century innovation that changed the world with a little glass and a little metal. A twisted thread around a translucent globe, containing one fine wire filament – an invention that first brought controlled, lasting light to the earth – the light bulb.

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Unpopular Opinion: Get Santa Out Of My Face

Warning: This article contains Christmas spoilers. Oops.

As a follower of Christ, I try my hardest to love all people. During the celebration of Christ’s birth, it’s a great reminder of God’s love for mankind. Sometimes it’s hard, especially during this season when, unfortunately, many people seem to be stressed, angry, and at their worst behavior. But it’s something I work on every day. I genuinely want to love all people, and I’m getting better at it.

And luckily, Santa isn’t people. Because I really am developing a serious problem with Santa.

Not Saint Nicholas, mind you. If you set aside the fact that he punched a heretic in the face for denying that Jesus is God, which may or may not have been justified, Nicholas was renowned for acts of kindness done in secret. That’s righteous, and I like that.

Whether or not Santa haphazardly represents some righteous values for our society, the simple fact is that Santa is not Jesus. Jesus is the perfect moral example. If we focused our Christmas on Jesus Christ, I believe it would look a lot different than the Christmas we’ve built focusing on Santa.

For instance, with Santa, we have children expecting boatloads of presents and getting upset when they don’t get exactly what they want. We have adults complaining about the holidays, about their family, about work, about gifts, about shopping, about the weather… all because “the meaning of Christmas” according to society is a million different things. It’s family, it’s warmth, it’s snow, it’s charity, it’s gifts, it’s food, it’s friendship. So when those things don’t pan out the way we’d like them to, we get upset and disappointed. Anything we center Christmas on other than Christ himself will let us down.

Similarly, in life, the only thing that will never truly disappoint us is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God’s Word doesn’t return void. Put anything else at the center of your life, and things go wrong.

I’m honestly really tired of Santa. These Christmas decorations featuring the jolly man in red, with his big rosy cheeks, or reindeer and a sleigh, or elves. Maybe I’m a scrooge, but they really just don’t excite me at all. Believe me, it’s not because I don’t get excited. I get excited as all get-out, by practically everything. So the fact that Santa is the absolute buzzkill for me says something.

I have to ask myself: “what does Santa do for me?” Well, I guess he brings me presents. He brought me a really nice blender. Cool, I needed a blender. Thanks, Santa. Santa brought me a Twilight book. Thanks, Santa. He doesn’t really enlighten me. He doesn’t have much to say. He’s basically a cardboard cutout. We can throw all our problems into his big burlap sack and he’ll carry them away and replace them with a new shaving kit and some moccasins.

Except it doesn’t seem to be working anymore, does it? We’re not happy with Santa, are we?

Compare that to Jesus, who died for our sins on a cross to save us and then came back to life. He wants nothing more than to fill us with his Holy Spirit, regardless of whether we’re “naughty or nice” when we come to him, so long as we are willing to accept the fact that we don’t have it together and we need him to be our savior and the Lord of our life. He died so that we could could be more than we ever were without him, and so that even in the midst of the suffering and disappointment this world has to offer, we can have eternal peace and joy in his presence.

Salvation > Moccasins. Sorry Santa.

So please, if society could just stop. Please stop manically flinging Santa at me everywhere I turn and let me have Jesus. I would be really grateful.

Merry Christmas! Remember the real reason for the season, Christ Immanuel. That is something worth celebrating.