Friday, December 19, 2014

The commercialization of Christmas

This time of year you always have some Christians and pastors bemoan the commercialization of Christmas. And, in a sense, they are right on the merits. The gratuitous spending. The kitsch. The secular Christmas songs. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, &c.

But in the providence of God, the commercialization of Christmas has a fringe benefit. For the commercialization of Christmas exposes many unbelievers to a major redemptive event. Exposes them to the story and the theology of Christmas. If it weren't for the commercialization of Christmas, many unbelievers would be utterly ignorant of this central redemptive event. 

For instance, because Good Friday isn't commercialized, many unbelievers don't know the first thing about the significance of Good Friday. They don't know what it stands for. Many of them aren't even aware of Good Friday. 

If Christmas wasn't a national holiday, with all the popular hubbub, many unbelievers would be even more ignorant than they already are of Christian theology. For all the excesses of the season, it makes them aware of something profoundly important. So even though the commercialization of Christmas is bad in itself, God can use that to create a theological foothold to reach people who never step inside a church. It's a start. Instead of complaining, we should build on that.

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