All of this is a bit over the top, writes Keathley. “It is said that because the birth of Christ has been commercialized and secularized the real meaning of the season been lost. For the most part this is true. Even the story about the birth of Christ is often distorted, mocked, or misrepresented. The meaning of Christmas is said to be the spirit of giving. However, the giving of the Son of God who became the babe of the cradle that He might become the man of the cross and one day reign on earth with the crown is forgotten, rejected, or ignored.

“Nativity” by Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722)

“If we use this argument as a legitimate reason for discarding the entire celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas, it would follow that we would end up having to throw out everything–even our Bibles and our wives or husbands. Why? Because Satan and man distort and ruins everything in life–the Bible, sex, marriage, the church, food–everything. Name one thing that Satan doesn’t ruin. We don’t throw things out just because the world misuses or distorts them.

“In Titus 1:15 the Apostle Paul warns against those who see evil in almost anything and condemn it. For these people, a lot of things have the appearance of evil, but purity is first of all a matter of the mind and conscience, not merely the external. ‘To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.’

“The Nativity” by Lorenzo Lotto

“Just because the world distorts something,” writes Keathley, “that does not make it evil if we avoid the distortions and use it as God intended or in a way that does not go contrary to God’s character and holiness.”

“Here in the U.S., there is a war going on against traditional Christmas observance,” writes Ariel bar-Tzadok. Not your traditional defender of Christmas, bar-Tzadok is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. “As a simple human being dedicated to serving God, I applaud my Christian neighbors in their pursuits of our common spiritual/moral endeavors.

“I do not have to believe in Jesus Christ, or Santa Claus, to welcome, encourage and support these beliefs in my Christian neighbors, who hold these beliefs so dear to themselves.

“The Adoration of the Shepherds” by Antoine and Louis Le Nain (1600-1648)

“Christmas is supposed to bear a message of peace on earth and good will towards man. This is a universal message that all should embrace, regardless of one’s personal beliefs about Jesus.

“Christmas Tree and Manger Scenes are reminders to Christians about all that’s right about their faith,” writes Rabbi bar-Tzadok. ”These religious symbols do not divide, they unite! Christmas Trees and Manger Scenes may not be expressions of my faith, but they are an expression of a faith, a faith that has the potential to be right and good for all.

“Why then is there such an attack on these Christian symbols of what is right and good about Christianity, and equally an attack on what is right and good about the Christian people who so love and embrace these symbols?

“The Nativity” by Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510)

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