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Summary: CHRISTMAS has been hijacked in America. And unlike the latest Tim Allen movie, it’s not Santa who needs to be rescued. It’s the very meaning of Christmas itself.

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This week, we begin a new series titled, "Christmas Through the Ages." Beginning with the current celebration of Christmas, we will travel back in time, looking at Christmas celebrations, until we arrive at the very first Christmas. Today we begin with Christmas 2013 - A Hijacked Holiday."

What is the international symbol of Christmas? It is NOT a baby in a manger, or Wise men presenting gifts. It is a CHRISTMAS TREE. In 2010 I visited one of our missionary families in Tokyo. We went to a popular shopping area in Yokohama. There were Christmas trees EVERYWHERE, including a 60 foot tall tree in the center of a courtyard, much like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Remember that there are very few Christians in Japan - fewer than 2% according to Operation World (http://www.operationworld.org/japa) They have Christmas trees but know almost nothing about Christ.

Christmas has been hijacked! In America a larger percentage of people know at least something about the birth of Christ, but many are almost totally ignorant of spiritual things, and a small but vocal group of religion haters work very hard at eliminating every reference to Christ in our society.

One such effort was recently promoted by a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation. In Sacramento, CA, and other cities they sponsor billboard advertising the slogan, “Believe in humanity, not in god.” (Billboard slogan in Sacramento, CA, 2013)

This same organization just won a court case from a Federal Court judge in Wisconsin claiming that the parsonage allowance is unconstitutional.

“Freedom From Religion Foundation co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker praised Crabb’s ruling in a statement Friday. “May we say hallelujah!” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/25/atheist-activists-big-legal-win-against-the-irs-could-spell-major-trouble-for-clergy-salaries/

It’s hard to miss the irony. A group wanting freedom from religion expresses “hallelujah” when they are happy.

Or, this cartoon of a child in trouble in school for saying the “C” Word - CHRISTMAS.

Here in New Jersay, South Jersey assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced legislation to settle the issue of Christmas songs and content being used in schools at Christmas. The new legislation sponsored by Assemblyman, R-Burlington, would allow New Jersey school districts to:

• Display holiday scenes or symbols on school property, although they must include scenes or symbols of more than one religion.

• Include musical selections with religious themes at holiday concerts, if the concerts also include secular music or music from at least two religions.

• Teach students about traditional winter celebrations.

• Allow students and faculty to offer traditional Christmas greeting

CHRISTMAS has been hijacked in America.

And unlike the latest Tim Allen movie, “The Christmas Clause 9,” It’s not Santa who needs to be rescued. It’s the very meaning of Christmas itself.


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