- December 12, 2012
Greatest Christmas gift
If the most liberal Arminian and a staunch Calvinist back away from each other, they come to a place halfway around the earth where they meet standing back-to-back occupying the same ground, but facing and speaking in opposite directions.
The liberal cannot be sure he will be saved. Has he been good enough? Was his repentance genuine enough? Did he “slip up” somewhere? The Calvinist has the same problem. Since nothing he has done has any bearing in the matter, but rather, it is only God’s choosing who will be saved that has any effect in the outcome, he doesn’t know his end result.
Jesus himself warned, “Not all who cry, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven.”
God gave us the greatest Christmas gift about 2,000 years ago. This great gift of salvation is to be found with each of our names on it. We only need to accept and enjoy it.
Certainly we should appreciate it and live accordingly, but then, who does? We are not deserving of this gift. It is given out of love for his children.
Sometimes, I wonder if Jesus is pleased with the way Christians celebrate his birthday. Is capitalism the economic system Jesus wills for his followers? I find it hard to believe Jesus would praise an economic system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
It seems Wall Street’s idea of a “successful Christmas” is determined by the exorbitant amount of money consumers spend during the Christmas shopping season. An economy’s health so dependent on each year’s year-end shopping splurge in honor of Christ’s birth might cause Jesus to go to Wall Street the day after Thanksgiving to deliver this message: “You are again turning my house on this street into a den of thieves! You don’t care anything about me. Stop pretending you know me. It’s all about padding your bank accounts. Feed the poor, then come and follow me.”
Those are bold words that probably would get Jesus crucified again. One has to wonder if Christmas in America is more a celebration of our greed than a celebration of our Creator-Savior’s birth.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.