No Church, No Christmas

Time has an article on how most Christians no longer (if they ever did) go to church on Christmas Day.  Every pastor knows it’s true.  And I doubt there’s anything to be done about it, except call people to repent of their family idolatry and return to the true worship in the presence of the Holy Family.

Do people really think that Christ will be content to be one thing among many, one element in our Christmas traditions?

Some pastors understand the cultural emphasis but consider it an obstacle to focusing on the spiritual messages of Christmas. “We’ve seen churches embrace the Americana idea of Christmas,” says Michael Hidalgo, lead pastor at the multi-denominational Denver Community Church. “Their heart is in the right place, but in some ways they end up looking like Target celebrating Christmas.” Others, though, have accepted the idea that Christmas Day is a time for family instead of religious reflection. “I think it is our job to get Christmas off on the right foot and then get out of the way,” wrote one pastor at, in a discussion about Christmas services. “Let families celebrate by themselves.”

Families that “celebrate” “by themselves” can also go to hell by themselves.  Family is meaningless if a family does not receive Christ’s gifts together and worship together.  You aren’t going to have your family around you when you stand in the Judgment.  It’s idolatry, plain and simple, and pastors who allow their people to worship idols without comment are condoning idolatry.


9 thoughts on “No Church, No Christmas

  1. Timetheos,

    I -am- curious as to how this ties in with the old practice of only having Holy Communion once a year. Were parishioners getting the beat down that they were going to Hell if they didn’t manage to make it to the Lord’s Supper?

  2. Timotheos, I ended up here having clicked on a link to your David Bazan post. Someplace in the comments about that post, you wrote

    “Christians can certainly be a stumbling block before Christ. However, that may not be the only reason people fall away from the Faith. Many are called; few are chosen. It could just be our damn sin that drives us away from the forgiver of sin.”

    This kind of post seems to stem from the first place: the damning Christians who proclaim Christ’s judgement for God. Why bother with the journey of faith when you’ve been told up front that your efforts are pointless? Who benefits from this, you or Jesus? I suspect the former, at the cost of the latter.

  3. Jane: Telling someone that they are sinful or that what they are doing is wrong offers no benefit to “the former”, especially when “the former” is just as sinful. We’re not saying, “Be like me.” We don’t try to prop ourselves up by saying, “Thank God I’m not like him.” I think there is a parable about that…

    There -is- a judgment, and when you die, that’s all she wrote. No second chances. So is it more loving to call someone to repentance and pray that the Holy Spirit works conversion in a guy’s life, or to let someone continue their behavior and sentence himself or herself to Hell?

    The proclamation of the Law isn’t the problem.

  4. Faith is NOT (I repeat) NOT a journey. Faith is a gift of grace. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
    Stop trying to drag Christ along on some mythical “journey”. If you want faith to be a “journey”, become a Buddhist or a Hindu or even a Muslim.
    Christ does not need your help and that is a good thing.


  5. Dan,

    If the Lord’s Supper were a work of the Law and not a means of Grace, you would be spot on. Thanks be to God it isn’t.


  6. There are churches, then there are churches in which the Holy Spirit resides. Guess which church has parishoners in church all year around, not just Christmas and Easter.

    As an elder in my church, it was my great joy to help serve Holy Communion during the Christmas Eve service this year. It wasn’t my place to judge the worthiness of each person responding to my “The body of Christ, broken for you,” but to acknowledge a fellow Christian, more or less as sinful as myself- God’s call in the end run!- as he or she joined in celebration of Holy Communion.

    Where the Holy Spirit resides, we all come to glorify the Heavenly Father alone, and leave each week after services to live a life where Christ guides our walk. All this is secular, and increasingly less Christian, America.

    That there appears to be more churches than churches in which the Holy Spirit resides is what happens when pastors and priests, cardinals and bishops, people of the cloth forget Who they serve, and try to make the Christian message dilute so the majority of people truly can belong to churches and yet not be Christians. Why attend church every Sunday if you follow New Age beliefs during the week, or read your daily horoscope thinking that guides your life where Christ doesn’t? There are many reasons not to go to church, yet only one: to glorify and worship the Lord! Soli Deo Gloria!

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