Saturday, November 30, 2013

The War on Christmas-a Review

The holidays are upon us, that festive time of year that some love and some actually seem to hate. Christmas is such a joyful time of year to celebrate our Saviors birth, God's gift to mankind. These days, however, there is such a war on this beloved holiday. It wasn't until just recently that I realized that there are two extremes. There are those (such as atheists) who want nothing to do with the holiday because it is focused on Jesus, but there are Christians who think it is wrong to celebrate because they feel it is from a pagan background. I have even seen someone post that if you celebrate Christmas you are breaking 8 of the 10 commandments (or more). To tell you the truth, I knew there was a war on Christmas, I just didn't realize Christmas was getting battered from both sides so much.

I had the opportunity of being on the launch team for the book The War on Christmas edited by Bodie Hodge and I have been reminded of the importance of keeping our focus on Jesus at Christmas time.

This paperback book is full of wonderful, informative articles presented with eye-catching images including maps, charts and photographs.  In this book you will "Find the truth about Christmas and the Christian's response to a culture that seems to be declaring war on traditions and the Bible!" 

The book is divided into 5 sections in addition to the introduction and conclusion, they are:
  • What About Christmas? (Which covers such topics as what Christmas is about, whether it is a pagan holiday, when Jesus was born and a helpful timeline of events surrounding Christ's birth.)
  • Confusion and Misconceptions (Which covers such topics as the X is Xmas, the three kings and whether the angels would have sang.)
  • It's All Baby Jesus (Which covers such topics as the creator in a manger, why we need the babe and the significance of his name.)
  • How Christmas Came to Be (Which covers such topics as the what that Christmas star was, the importance of the virgin birth and whether Mary remained a virgin, plus some very informative information on what the real nativity would have looked like.)
  • The War on Christmas (Which covers why creation is important to Christmas, the problems with bringing Santa into our celebrations, the significance of why Jesus came to our world starting at Genesis and understanding the reason why Christ is being taken out of Christmas.)

There are those who want to be able to celebrate the holiday without reference to Christ. They are fine with Santa Claus and trees and for a reason to party and exchange gifts, but they don't want to hear about Christ, the reason for the season. They don't want to be reminded of him through Christmas carols or Nativity scenes or even the name Christmas. I love that the book brings up the fact that even by using the term "Happy Holidays" we can turn this back to God as the word "holiday" means "holy day."  

This book does a wonderful job explaining the importance of keeping Jesus in Christmas.  Additionally, the case is made for sharing the truth of the Bible from the very first verse. Jesus coming was foretold in the very first book of the Bible and the entire Old Testament points to Him. Not only has the culture turned hostile to Jesus, but the church itself has fallen away from taking the truth of the Bible literally. 

 When I first started reading the book I didn't realize it was comprised of articles written by different authors. I couldn't understand why there seemed to be an overlapping of information, but when I realized it was a compilation I was able to enjoy it more.

The book confronts the question as to whether Christmas is a pagan holiday. I definitely learned some things I didn't know in chapter 4 "The Origin of Christmas: Isn't Christmas a Pagan Holiday?" The main point they bring up is that "There is nothing inherently wrong with celebrating a Christian holiday at the same time the pagans celebrate." We need to make sure our focus is on Jesus and the reason why he came. It is so important not to leave Jesus as a babe in a manger, but to remember that he came as Savior of the world.

Some of the information contained in this book was already known to me, such as the fact that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th. The book gives some different scenarios of when he may have been conceived and born, but admits that we can't know for sure. Some feel if we don't know the date we shouldn't be celebrating on a date that was chosen to pacify pagans in the early church. I have to admit, this is something I still struggle with, and I am not sure this book has sufficiently answered this question for me. It is definitely something I want to continue researching.

Whether or not it is right to celebrate Christmas on December 25th is still up in the air for me, however, I did love that the book delved into explaining how traditions we think we know as Biblical may not even be accurate. Here are a few little tidbits that you may think you know the answer to; however, when you actually delve into the Bible and know the culture from Biblical times you will discover that the traditions have been based on inaccuracies.

  • True or False: The Bible says that Mary and Joseph spent the night in a stable.
  • True or False: The innkeeper told Mary and Joseph there was no room for them in the inn.
  • True or False: The Bible says there were three wise men.
and one last one
  • True or False: Mary was in labor when she got into town, so Joseph had to take whatever lodging he could get.
The answer to all of these questions, as explained in the book, is "false."
These are not the only "facts" that are addressed, but it opened my mind to the fact that we focus too much on tradition around Christmas and not enough on Biblical truth. There are so many of the trapping of modern Christmas that are based on pagan traditions. In our family we try to stay away from these blatantly pagan symbols, such as the Christmas tree and Santa. I was a little disturbed that the book stated, "Why not take the distorted pagan elements of Christmas and change them to biblical elements to honor Christ?"  I would rather make sure we are honoring Christ without adding pagan elements. Maybe others will feel comfortable adding in such things, but I feel if we are truly going to celebrate Christ in Christmas we should focus on Him and the fact that he came as God's gift to the world. 

As you read this book this holiday season you can discover important truths about Christmas that will help to enhance your celebration of our Savior's birth if you so choose to celebrate. 

You can purchase the book from the New Leaf Publishing Group for $17.99 by going here.

Disclosure: I received a copy of The War on Christmas in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.


  1. This sounds like a very informative book. I completely believe in Jesus Christ and want to celebrate his birth but for certain the majority of our religion surrounding Christmas is pagan. But isn't is wonderful that God sees the heart and I feel positive He knows who loves Him and which folks are merely being religious. This a great topic that can open a whole can of worms..It's nice to meet you. I hope your weekend is off to a wonderful start.

  2. Interesting! My SIL would love this.

  3. looks like some good reading. I will have to add these to my reading list.

  4. This sounds really interesting; I'd like to read it. I'm very middle-of-the-road when it comes to the Christmas debate. I do think many Christmas traditions have their roots in paganism, but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the holiday. We do presents and the tree, but we don't read the Christmas story at home or make a big "religious" deal out of the holiday. But on the other hand I participate in the Christmas program at church, which is definitely religious. I don't think you're wrong or right to celebrate Christmas. It's up to the individual Christian, and we shouldn't judge each other over it.

  5. There seems to be so much controversy now over a holiday that used to just be peaceful and nice.


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