Christmas Truth

Posted in: Christmas, 0654
By Dr. Larry Ollison

I love Christmas for many reasons. First and foremost, Christmas is the time of year that the church celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Although we know that Jesus was not born in the last week of December, it is still wonderful that the church and the secular world commemorate His birth during this time.

Secondly, it’s a time when friends and families gather together for food, fellowship, and the exchanging of gifts. The great joy that Christmas always brings to children makes the season very enjoyable. Regardless of the trials of life, the Christmas season causes us to focus on the plan of God and how He sent His Son to the earth to redeem us from the curse of the law.

I have always enjoyed good wholesome movies that are well produced and leave me feeling joyful and encouraged when the movie is over. With this in mind, I noticed that one of our family-friendly cable channels was going to be hosting a month of Christmas movies. Because my schedule is so erratic, I set my recorder to record five or six of these movies. Finally the time came late one evening when I got a glass of water and some popcorn and I sat down to watch a good Christmas movie.

The more I watched, the more I began to realize that the theme of the movie was how Santa Claus was going to bring great joy to a family if they could just believe in the magic of his existence. Not once throughout the entire movie was Jesus, the birth of Jesus, the wise men, the shepherds, nor the angels mentioned. The movie ended with fairy dust coming out of the sky and they all believed in Santa Claus and had a wonderful Christmas. I thought to myself that the producers of this movie must have thought Christmas was just a fairy tale. I deleted the movie because all of the theology content was false.

Over the next week, I attempted to watch the other movies. I was wiser now and knew not to waste my time on a story about elves and fairies that wasn’t true. The end result was I fast-forwarded through all of the movies I had recorded and none of them mentioned Jesus, none of them mentioned the birth in a manger or anything pertaining to the true story of Christmas.

While this may seem insignificant to many people, impressionable children and non-church-going adults were also watching. These shows were advertised as movies that will help you discover the true meaning of Christmas. What a deception!

Actually, this deception is only a continuation of Hollywood theology that has been promoted from the early times of movie making. While growing up in the Baptist church in Raytown, Missouri, I remember my pastor recommending that the families in the church watch the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart. While this movie has a feel-good ending, let’s examine its theology.

A man named Clarence died but could not enter into heaven because he had not earned his wings. This false theology teaches salvation by works and that once salvation is attained, you become an angel. So, Clarence was sent back to earth as a ghost so he could have a second chance at salvation. Likewise, this is heresy because there is no second chance.

Eternal life is not based upon what we do (Ephesians 2:8-9), but is based upon what Jesus has done. At the end of the movie, because of his good works, Clarence gets his wings and becomes an angel in heaven – which is total heresy.

While the world and Hollywood pervert the reason Jesus was born and even replace the Christ child with magical beings, the church must be the beacon of truth. The church must teach the truth without wavering. The Christmas season is the one time when the church is generally given permission by the world to proclaim the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am not advocating that we speak against the secular symbols of Christmas, but instead that we proclaim the true purpose of Christmas. The Word is positive and as the truth is proclaimed, the lies must submit to the truth. Victory always comes from knowing the truth (John 8:32).

Devotion 0654