Why ponder Christmas?
I’ve witnessed many an intellectual tortured by wondering about what he does not understand. In his arrogance, he believes that if he can’t figure out a mystery, then there is no answer.
Faith in something that he cannot comprehend is not an option. And so he is consumed by anguish as he spends his days and nights thinking through problems without a foundation of truth.
When he gathers with others to debate, he departs having either won the particular contest by his brilliant oratorical skills or lost due to a lack of them. The result that eventually settles upon him is the same: emptiness.
Unless and until the Lord’s wisdom is sought, no ultimate answers will emerge. The manner in which mankind must live in order to find lasting peace is found only in Christ. Isaiah speaks of the only solution to the endless battle of mere ideas as he foretold the coming of Jesus: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” — Isaiah 1:18
The Creator of the universe invites us to reason with him! When we do, He frees us from sin’s oppression, revealing the only ideas that matter: His.
All ideas are not equal. Only those based on God’s truth have the potential to create a healthy culture, save our land and bring healing to the human soul.
The most wicked accomplishment of the dark force that seeks to rule our lives has been to convince us that the battle is over mere ideas. It’s your opinion against mine, and vice versa. “Let’s agree to disagree,” we say, seeking temporary peace.
But as we shut down the conversation, we fail to realize that when the search for truth ends, darkness wins. This is why the Christian must engage in the debate — not with just another idea, but with truth.
It is a deadly mistake to believe that we can dance on the edge of the precipice without ever falling into the eternal void. As we struggle with our adversary over mere ideas, a false sense of security develops when we win the next public opinion poll. “Hooray!” we proclaim. “We are winning!”
How easily we forget that public opinion changes with the wind. We’re always shocked to discover that yesterday’s good idea has become old-fashioned. We forget that the human heart, absent truth, is always fickle.
A good idea will not save us. A better idea will not save us. Even if you could get the majority of people to agree on what is the “best idea,” it will not save us.
Only truth provides the firm foundation upon which to build a life, a family, a nation. Everything else is shifting sand. Cultural stability crumbles as “new” and “better” ideas emerge, and past bad ideas re-emerge because people forget the lessons of history — or never knew them in the first place.
Evil has a brilliant way of operating. Very seldom does the devil appear with horns and pitchfork; he more often masquerades as an angel of light. At Christmas he comes in the form of the “happy holiday” celebrations complete with sparkly lights and presents under the “holiday” tree.
The goal is to make us feel good for a moment — to believe that all is well as we lounge before the fireplace, our hearts full from the kisses of our children and our tummies full from our “holiday” dinner. In this beautiful moment of secular euphoria there is no need to ponder truth; no need to look to the Christ child for answers.
Yet tomorrow will come with its inevitable struggles. And so evil tells us that there really is no need to worry. After all, it is nothing more than another battle of ideas. If we lose, although it may bring temporary disappointment, we are easily pacified by the thought that the future will bring a change in public opinion favoring our ideas, once again.
With the endless swinging of the pendulum back and forth between very different ideas, we are lulled into believing that this is the way it will always be, and that it is OK.
It is not OK. Christ came to plant our feet on his firm foundation. He alone is “the way, the truth and the life.”
Ponder Christmas; reason with Christ. It is in so doing that we come to know truth and are set free.
⦁ Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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