There is a real war on Christmas.
But it has nothing to do with Starbucks.
If you’re one of the Christians “outraged” about the war on Christmas you have been duped. Deceived. Tricked… Into thinking a company that takes snowmen and ornaments off of their cups or keeps their employees from saying “Merry Christmas” is throwing down the gauntlet on Jesus.
The over-hyped story about the war on Christmas is really a war on Christian intelligence. And, to be honest, I don’t think many of you are falling for it. Most of it’s just media noise.
The real war on Christmas, which I’ll share in just a minute, is much darker than any coffee Starbucks serves up.
One quick rant: We should never expect a mainstream, non-Christian company to uphold “our” beliefs and convictions about Jesus. Starbucks is not the church and they can do whatever they want with their cups. Besides, they never had the baby Jesus or the cross on their cups—we’re talking about Snowmen. Trees. Ornaments. Snow flakes.
These symbols might mean a lot to us, but they are not Christian.
I repeat. These symbols are not Christian.
Every year the controversy about mainstream companies assaulting our right to say Merry Christmas gets stirred up and social media goes crazy with well-meaning Christians posting knee-jerk responses.
It’s ridiculous. I’ll prove it to you.
There are Christians in prison in Iran right now. People Like Pastor Saeed Abedini who have given their life for the gospel and endured extreme persecution—with no end in sight.
There are Christians in Afghanistan who worship together—risking their lives in the midst of religious extremists.
There are teenagers in Sudan who are staking their claim for Jesus at the risk of torture, banishment and death.
This is the real war on Christmas.
The one that we like to look away from because it’s horrible, dark, gruesome and evil.
These are acts of war—focused on the actual person of Jesus and his followers.
If we could bend all of this energy away from cups and holiday greetings and open up our eyes to see the real battle—remember, the one where Satan seeks to devour us? Just think about the impact we could have on the mission of Christ?
It would be astounding.
If we could bypass all of these silly arguments and get serious about Christmas—and what it really means for the world, we would never cry out about pithy slogans or decorations. We would, instead, cry out for the world to know Jesus and for our brothers and sisters in prison—and suffering from persecution—to find freedom and relief through the very power of God.
We have the Holy Spirit within us. The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and claimed victory over death and sin forever.
This Holy Spirit does not suffer silly arguments and neither should we.
This Holy Spirit is ready to be unleashed like wind all over the world when the Church prays holy prayers filled with expectancy, power and confidence in the strength of God and his listening ears.
Who cares what happens with cups and ornaments or holiday greetings? Let’s care about what happens to people. Real people. Our real brothers and sisters who are experiencing the war on Christmas like you and I have never imagined.
Would Jesus jump on social media in outrage over Starbucks’ cups–or any other media story about a company keeping their seasons greetings generic? I think it’s silly to think so. Not just silly, I’ll say it—it’s foolish.
Don’t fall for it. Don’t get sucked in.
Instead, let’s take our collective strength—and our social media real estate—and shoot up prayers and encouragement to the imprisoned, the persecuted and the faithful.
It’s so much easier to debate the color of cups or the petty religious micro-persecutions we see in America—and call that a war—than it is to fix our gaze on real persecution and all the darkness surrounding it.
Let’s never forget about the real war on Christmas.
Jesus come quickly.
By Brian Orme, founding editor of ChurchLeaders.com & Faithit.com