As a Christian who is not ashamed of the Gospel, let me welcome all to participate in our most wonderful celebration. Please feel free to join-in with the festivities and recognize the birth of our Savior. But please understand that Christmas is a Christian celebration and not any kind of other event. Understand that you are honoring the most intimate beliefs of many Americans, that “unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given … and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

This is not the “season to be jolly”; it is not the time for “Jingle Bell Rock”; and no matter how much you believe it, Santa Claus is not the reason for the season. Despite the traditions of America and the world, the story of Christmas has not lost its flavor nor power. It is not about gift giving, but about a gift given. It is not about taking, but receiving.

So feel free to join us, and even bring your own traditions and beliefs with you. But like good friends visiting, do not try to take over the house. This is a Christian event, and it is steeped with history. It does not matter if the date is right or if the Magi went to the manger or whether Christ was born in 1 B.C. or 4 B.C. What matters are that the events surrounding the first Christmas are real and verifiable and should be good news to all.

I recognize that all will not rejoice as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and all did not rejoice during His actual birth. However, I ask my kind, gentle, sensitive friends to show compassion and tolerance as we spend time in “spiritual” celebration. All of you who preach diversity and understanding should consider Christmas your opportunity to show us how it is done.

This is not the time to change the meaning of the season to be politically correct. Schools are now calling it “winter holiday,” and commercials are referring to something called “Season’s Greetings,” and Americans are saying goodbyes with “Happy Holidays.” Are we ashamed of the original meaning and historical significant of the observance? It is enough that we cannot have mangers on public property without one of these “tolerant” merchants demanding its removal, but now the very language of our culture seems intolerant of recognizing the true meaning of this event.

Today there is much debate over the accuracy of the Bible, the “contradictions” in Scripture and separating the government from the church. Well, I do not care about that this season. I care about my Christian values and beliefs being forgotten and forsaken. I care when I see it becoming harder just to be a Christian openly and to express Christian beliefs. We have grown so sensitive to others’ feelings that we have forgotten our jobs as Christians.

I am not here to convince you of the accuracy of Scriptures. I have not been given a commission to make you act the right way or intrude upon your life. My job as a Christian is to continue to tell you about the events of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. You can believe it if you wish, but you will not be able to deny hearing it.

I realize this is the season of renewal of family and other relationships, as it should be. This is the season for showing our love and care for each other. We can use the spirit of the holidays to reach out to those less fortunate than we. But without the birth of Christ, this would only be a pagan winter harvest celebration with no historic significance.

This is not the season for more political battles or social struggles. It is not a time for liberals and conservatives, black or white, or us vs. them.

All that I am comes from the beliefs celebrated this season. The principles of family, duty and honor would have no meaning without belief in the birth of Christ. All of my political speeches and opinions would not have a foundation to stand on without the assurances of the birth and resurrection of Christ. So, why would I eagerly share my political and social beliefs and opinions with you without also sharing my spiritual beliefs? It is my spiritual beliefs from which all else stems.

So join in the festivities, come to our church events, speak with those Christian co-workers and find a church for Christmas Eve. But also take the time to sit down with a Christian and compare your beliefs about Christians with the beliefs of a Christian. Find out why other wise, sane people truly believe a dead man came out of a grave. Explore what could motivate worship, dedication and a transformation of the hearts of men.

Even if you are skeptical and critical, I invite you to donate a little of your holiday time having a really serious conversation with one of us Christians. Find one that is not ashamed of the Gospel and willing to give all and answer to the faith that lies within us. Search out the contradictions, look for the answers, and ask the hard questions.

If you cannot find a Christian to speak to about the real reason for this season, you can call me, and I will happily put you in touch with one. Wise men spoke and prophesied His birth, wise men sought Him at His birth, and wise men still seek Him today.

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