Jesus was born as the son of a poor couple in a stable. Because He seemed like a nobody, few even noticed. His virgin birth? How does one prove such a thing? When Jesus was full grown He performed miracles, but even those miracles were not enough to convince most people. Those in authority had Him crucified anyway.
Does the Bible tell us to celebrate Christmas Day? No, but God staged a small celebration.
- Angels sang to shepherds in a field, and those angels directed those shepherds to the stable where Jesus where born (Luke 2:1-20 NASB – Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem – Now in – Bible Gateway).
- Magi, searching for the King of the Jews so they could worship Him, brought Jesus valuable gifts (Matthew 2:1-12 NASB – The Visit of the Magi – Now after Jesus – Bible Gateway).
The mourning and weeping, however, seemingly overwhelmed the joy. Through power mad rulers Satan raged. King Herod, fearing the Christ child that the Magi sought, caused a slaughter (Matthew 2:16-23 NASB – Herod Slaughters Babies – Then when – Bible Gateway).
To keep their newborn alive, for a time, Joseph and Mary had to flee with Jesus to Egypt (Matthew 2:16-23 NASB – Herod Slaughters Babies – Then when – Bible Gateway).
So, how should we celebrate Christmas? With glorious light shows, angelic singing and gifts? Seems appropriate, but we need to remember the children who died too, the weeping and mourning. Most of all, we need to remember the reason Mary gave birth to the Christ Child. Jesus was born to die an ugly death, killed by the people He came to save, and to rise from the dead.
The God-man Jesus came to fight and win a war against sin. Because of Him, those who believe on Him have been forgiven of their sins, but for the time being we remain in this world. Here where Satan rules, and mankind continues to sin.
Those in authority remain sinners, and those in authority still persecute those who refuse to render unto Caesar that which rightfully belongs to God (Matthew 22:15-22 NASB – Poll-tax to Caesar – Then the Pharisees – Bible Gateway).
Consider SB 868 Discrimination; prohibited in public accommodations, etc., causes of action. Consider what Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, said of the bill when he signed it.
Senate Bill 868, sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, public and private employment, public accommodations, and access to credit. The legislation also extends important protections to Virginians on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, and status as a veteran.
“This legislation sends a strong, clear message—Virginia is a place where all people are welcome to live, work, visit, and raise a family,” said Governor Northam. “We are building an inclusive Commonwealth where there is opportunity for everyone, and everyone is treated fairly. No longer will LGBTQ Virginians have to fear being fired, evicted, or denied service in public places because of who they are.”
“With the Governor’s signing of the Virginia Values Act, we have made discrimination against our gay, lesbian and transgender friends, family, neighbors and co-workers in employment, housing and public accommodation illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn. “It is now the law of the land that every Virginian can work hard, earn a living wage, and live their lives without fear of discrimination based on who they are or who they love. A tremendous victory.”Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – April
The words sound good, but Northam signed a bill that clearly violates our First Amendment rights (The Bill of Rights: A Transcription | National Archives) that allow each of us to practice our own religious beliefs, not just those approved by Ralph Northam.
What does SB 868 do to organizations that uphold a belief in God?
Forty Virginia faith leaders have signed onto a letter urging Gov. Ralph Northam and state legislators not to enforce a new law that would require residents to violate their religious convictions.Faith leaders urge Gov. Northam not to enforce new law requiring – The Christian Post
Enacted in July, the “Virginia Values Act” requires churches, and religious ministries and schools to hire employees who do not share the same views regarding sexuality, marriage, and gender identity. Violators will face fines up to $100,000.
Similarly, another bill that also became law on July 1, requires churches and religious businesses to include in their health care plans coverage for elective body-altering gender surgeries and bans them from offering sports, parenting classes, and Christian discipleship should they be based on the belief that biological sex is an immutable trait. “Everyone should be free to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of unjust
government punishment — regardless of whether those beliefs are religious. Our government should protect, not threaten, this freedom,” the open letter from the faith leaders reads.
Many pastors and their churches still think that as Christians we can somehow we can remain apart from the growing secularization of our culture. Many still think we can practice our religion without suffering the consequences the cultural decay around us. Christmas itself gives lie to that naïve belief. What began as a Christian Holy Day is slowly being twisted into a secular, pagan celebration.
Consider why Jesus left His disciples in this world.
As Christians, we remain in the world for the sake of those who do not yet believe in the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. To protect our right to spread the Gospel, we must fight for each other’s God-given rights. Therefore, as Christians, we cannot stand apart from politics.
Note: In addition to protecting the right of the people who operate churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and various non-profits to practice their faith, we also must protect the right of business owners to put their faith into practice. We must remember that the anti-discrimination clauses in the Constitution were written to prevent the government from unrighteously discriminating against people based upon the race, sex, and creed. The Constitution is a device for protecting our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not a scheme that busybodies can use to force their own beliefs and practices upon others.
- Two Big Court Victories For Religious Liberty! (familyfoundation.org), Virginia Parents Are Under Siege! (familyfoundation.org), and Virginia Parents Are Under Siege Part II – Transgenderism (familyfoundation.org),
- WILL A NEW VIRGINIA LAW INTERFERE WITH OUR RIGHT AND A RESPONSIBILITY TO DISCRIMINATE? | Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance (familyallianceonline.org)
- Forty Churches, Schools, and Businesses Ask Northam to Not Enforce Virginia Values Act – Tennessee Star
- A Critique of the Virginia Values Act: Don Kroah with Denise Harle – Christian Outlook
- Virginia Churches Could Face $100,000 Fine if They Don’t Hire Non-Christian Employees | LifeNews.com
- Northern Virginia church challenges LGTB anti-discrimination protections in court : Augusta Free Press
- HISTORIC: Virginia Values Act Goes Into Effect, Extending Critical Protections to LGBTQ Virginians – HRC
- Virginia churches, ministries urge governor, legislators to protect freedom for all, not just some | Alliance Defending Freedom (adflegal.org)
- WMAL Interview – DENISE HARLE – 12.24.20