It’s that wonderful time of year again. The time we celebrate family, love, fraternity, and good will. The time we dole out cheer, gifts, and plenty of money. A time intended to remember and worship the Lord for the incarnation, the dawn of redeeming grace . A time fast becoming ever more secular and material, distancing itself from everything godly or Christ honoring.
Though principally a Christian nation, America was never intended to be absolutely Christian. That is, others were entitled to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, in accord with the law (which expressly protects freedom of religion), even if they didn’t worship the Christian God. Nevertheless, the Christian roots and intentions of our founders are unmistakable. The Judeo-Christian God was, and was expected to be, the God specifically honored by our nation. The South was even more explicit in this regard, unmistakably invoking the name of of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
For all that the South may have had wrong, it’s acceptance of Christ wasn’t one of them. Too often people overlook or dismiss the deep spirituality and Christian devotion of the Southern people simply because we today find it difficult to sympathize with how they could permit, much less defend, the institution of slavery. This is largely due, no doubt, to the demonizing propaganda used to paint the South as morally inferior to the North because of slavery — despite the magnititude of contributions the Yankee’s made to the slave trade and racism in general. And that both before & after the war! Nor, if we are being honest, were they without any biblical basis for permitting slavery.
Am I saying that Scripture sanctions slavery as practiced in America? No.
Am I saying slavery was moral? No.
I am saying that Scripture gives some concessions and instructions regarding the practice that could be taken that way.
Nevertheless, the morality of slavery aside, the South largely consisted of God fearing believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, both free and bond. That surely had significant influence on the deep South becoming known as the “Bible Belt” in the post war nation. Our Southland, despite any faults and errors, was and is principally Christian. And it has remained that way in spite of the creeping apostasy of society at large eroding away at the faith and foundations of our culture.
We are slipping though. We need to give greater diligence in resisting that and related trends because our distinctive character as a God fearing, Christ honoring, Bible believing people is fast fading. Just look around! This is perhaps no more readily evident than at the Christmas season.
For instance, while it’s entirely fitting to wish one “happy holidays” given the multiple observances this time of year, many do so as an act of concession to the pressures of political correctness, if not disdain for the Christian faith. Let us not follow their example, however socially uncomfortable and stigmatized we are because of it. Let us not wish one “happy holidays” where it is proper and fitting to wish one a merry Christmas instead. Especially so with retailers who market “Christmas” for it’s material advantage and increased profits only to refuse to verbally acknowledge the holiday via personally greetings with the shoppers.
Tis the season to remember the birth of our Lord, after all. Cheerfully and unhesitantly wishing others a merry Christmas is just one small way we can do that, and preserve Southern culture to boot. Let us follow the example of our ancestors and boldly speak claim His name in all our affairs. After all, if we are shamed of Him in the here and now He will likewise be ashamed of us at the eternal judgment bar.
Merry Christmas ya’ll. Christ is born!