Published December 8, 2015

Shelia Shares
"Jesus or Jingle Bells"

Listening to a talk by an authority on Islam, I was surprised – and challenged – by his comments.

The Muslims are faithful to Allah. They stop to pray at certain times of the day regardless of where they are. They convert others by any method available. They are willing to kill and die for Allah.

When they approach outsiders, they don't water down their message or soften their beliefs. The same rules apply to new converts and they are enforced. And, still, Islam is rapidly growing in converts.

I've noticed that often Christian churches are purposely avoiding the "hard parts" of Scripture. Have you noticed that, too? Many churches don't talk or sing about the blood. Many churches preach the "gospel" that says you will be prosperous if you follow Christ. Some churches are more into programs and entertainment than into presenting the Gospel and reading the Bible. Many churches no longer name sin as sin. Are we "hiding the Light under a bushel basket?"*

As in the church, perhaps the same is true of some Gospel singing groups. I've noticed that a few new albums contain just a few Gospel songs and then other "clean, nice" songs. This seems especially true with Christmas albums. There may be some carols with the true message of Christmas, but they seem almost hidden among secular seasonal songs.

Are we guilty of diluting the Gospel so it is more "palatable?"

How are we going to bring people to Christ if we are ashamed to proclaim loudly His message? By "preaching and singing out of both sides of our mouth," are we making converts? Or are we entertaining sinners and confusing the people who are searching? Are we ashamed to stand up for Jesus Christ as the only way and truth and life?

As we go into the Christmas season, how are you keeping Jesus in the center of your holidays? Are you focused on gifts and decorated trees and celebrating? Is Jesus merely an after-thought, as you read the Christmas story on Christmas day?

I don't want the apparent complete devotion of any other religion to put me to shame. I'm not worshiping Santa. I'm not worshiping snowflakes. I'm not worshiping jingle bells. I want to proclaim loudly that I am serving the Lord Jesus Christ, who came and lived a perfect life and died for me. Being a Christian isn't easy. Jesus told us it wouldn't be. Living for Jesus is the only way and the gift of eternal life is the best gift anyone could possibly receive.

- Shelia

*See Matt.5:15, Mark 4:21, Luke 11:33

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