By Carroll L. Conley, Jr., Executive Director, Christian Civic League of Maine
Over half of the Mainers reading these words would naturally link Christ to myth.
According to a 2009 Gallop poll, Maine is one of our country’s least religious states. Did you know that over half of our residents have no religion in their daily lives?
So it’s logical that most Mainers are offended by the rationale of the Christmas story (i.e., the one from Holy Scripture).
Jesus Christ’s life right from conception is an insult to their modern sensibilities. You can try to sanitize the Nativity or trivialize it with Santa Claus lore, but you cannot argue that the Biblical account of the first Christmas is anything other than one unexplainable, supernatural event after another. You got angels all over the place, a direction-giving star with adoring magi, multiple cautionary dreams, and did I mention a virgin birth?
Practical, post modern Mainers may embrace the baby Jesus as a symbol of hope and love. The teacher Jesus might be a source of knowledge and wisdom. And maybe the crucified Jesus could be an emblem of sacrifice and selflessness. Yet, none of that is an effrontery to our intellect and reasonability.
What most Mainers avoid is the possibility that the Holy Scripture’s explanation of Jesus’ entrance into this world is true. What would be the implications of Christmas for their lives?
Well, first of all, it would mean there is a God, and God went to a whole lot of trouble to get this Christmas just right. What was so important to the Supreme Being, and why was it so essential for us to know what he was up to?
That isn’t really a very tough question to answer– the Creator of everything loves us. Even though we had turned our backs and rebelled against the benevolent monarch of the universe, He was still pursuing us with a Holy, paternal love– it’s called redemption.
Of course, this notion flies in the face of two commonly held fallacies:
- the universe (including humans) is a product of random chance and
- man is basically good.
If there is no God, there is no purpose or meaning to life; therefore man is continually evolving and improving. If placed in the right environment, with the right nurturing, man will do and be good.
Put simply, God is rendered a human contrivance; therefore any accounts of the divine coming to earth as the son of God to rescue us from our sinful state is not only pointless but fictitious.
But what if the Christmas story is true? What if everything we see and experience is the product of a heavenly deity designed to reflect His glory? What if there are absolute truths? What if there is an eternity? What if we need a remedy to our fallen nature?
If the orthodox Christian belief that Jesus Christ came into this world born of a virgin in order that He might die on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of man than the entrance of this perfect child and future King into the world He created would’ve been a most momentous occasion. Think about, it would have changed the very course of history. Hmmmm…. Merry Christmas!