Christmas Is Not A Moslem Holiday
This article appeared in the December 24 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle
What is the nature of the Christian faith? Is it a religion of persuasion or of coercion? Moreover, who is it that persuades or coercers?
Every true follower of Jesus Christ will tell you that Christianity is a religion of persuasion and that the convert is persuaded through the action of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Yet, millions of Christians deny these truths by embracing contrary doctrine.
Although there are many people who follow the teachings of Mohammed voluntarily, a vast throng laboring beneath the yoke of Islam shoulder the burden under threat. A cursory glance at the historical record tells us that Mohammedanism has spread at the point of a sword. This is part and parcel of Islamic doctrine.
On the other hand, Christianity has increased its reach through the preaching of the gospel. No doubt, there have been times when the church has resorted to force in order to enlarge its borders but these events have been isolated and generally condemned by a more mature body of Christ. Indeed, we understand that ?the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.?
The problem is, millions of Christians do not believe God's plan for the gospel will succeed. In other words, they do not believe Christianity will accomplish the conversion of the world through the preaching of the gospel. They do not believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to persuade through the new creation of men women and children. These millions of Christians believe the gospel will fail and that the world will grow worse and worse. They believe the only way the kingdom of God will be realized on Earth is through coercion. They believe that Jesus Christ will one day come back to this earth and, by military conquest, force people to bow the knee. They believe that then, and only then, will the reign of Jesus Christ be realized.
It is sad to think that most of the people in the world who claim to follow Jesus do not believe he has the power to accomplish his goals. These multitudes of Christians believe Satan is more powerful than Jesus since the devil is not required to appear physically in order to defeat the church. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the father and the son, is weak and cannot overthrow the kingdom of darkness. This is the reason they believe Jesus must come back in the flesh to defeat the enemies of God.
Needless to say, this defeatist attitude is entirely unbiblical. One of the things the nativity tells us is that God intends for his people to establish the rule of Jesus Christ in this time, space, historical realm. Jesus, the son of man, was born of a woman, born under the law, that he might succeed where Adam failed and establish the preeminence of a newly created race of Man. Christ, the last Adam, has done this in his life, death, resurrection and ascension, and has given his followers the responsibility to see the ?new Adamic mandate? accomplished. He has not left us alone in this task but is living in us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit, just as we are living in in him and are enthroned with him in the heavenly places.
On of my favorite Christmas carols is Joy To The World. The author, Isaac Watts, understood that the birth of Jesus Christ announced the dawn of a new age. He understood it was an age of victory not defeat. He understood that the first coming of Jesus Christ marked the progressive reversal of the Adamic curse. Thus he wrote, No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow, Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found.
Indeed, may his blessings flow - in this day, in this age, in this realm. And may we see those blessings realized in our lives as we labor to bring our arena of activity under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas.
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