Jim Denison provides a cultural commentary: “Charleston, West Virginia has held an old-fashioned Christmas Parade for many years. In early October, the city’s official Facebook page announced, “The Charleston Winter Parade will begin at the corner of…”

Their recently elected mayor made the change to signal that their city was a place for people of all faiths and cultures. However, that is not how many residents saw her decision and the City Council began hearing from constituents who were upset. On the third day after the mayor’s announcement, she changed her position and the Christmas Parade was back on.

Divisions over Christmas seem to be escalating as our culture’s secularism escalates. Here are two examples in the news: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has renamed the state’s Christmas tree the “Capitol Holiday Tree.” Starbucks recently unveiled new seasonal cups for the holidays, none of which uses the word Christmas. Two of them say “Merry Coffee.” Each cup’s sleeve displays the words, “We wish you a merry coffee.” (A Starbucks spokesman noted the company still offers a “Christmas blend” and their stores will be decorated during the holidays with Christmas colors and candy cane ribbon.)

It is a cultural fact that secularism and relativism go hand in hand. In order to move away from historic religious truth and orthodox morality, secularists must begin by redefining truth and morality as personal and subjective. Once they convince us that “truth” is what we believe it to be, the way is clear to redefine those religious beliefs and practices they find as objectionable.

But, as John Adams wisely noted, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.””

Here are the facts: Jesus came under the title “God with us.”  His role had a dual purpose; as an ambulance to save us from the sin that was destroying us. But also, as a Disney-like resort bus taking us to our new destination, Heaven, which begins the moment we embrace God’s Christmas gift. Why? Because God loves His creation and at Christmas, specifically, came to earth to rectify the problem that hurts us and separates us from Him. Be sure to open His gift—it’s new every year!

-Rev Dr William Lewis