Over the years, the celebration of Christmas in society seems to have become more and more diluted by consumerism and a focus on some of the more superficial trappings of the holiday. However, this year, the Sandy Hook school shooting seems to have served as a kind of wake up call regarding the deeper meaning of Christmas.
I noticed a Christmas message by William Lane Craig that seemed to echo points others have been making this year. For example, one blogger wrote a post, "the year Christmas got real." The following is an excerpt:
"This year, more than ever, Christmas is real to me. A world, evil and cruel. Systems that oppress. People who cut short the lives of others. Abuse. War. Famine. Death. And in spite of this. In the midst of this. Because of this…hope. The promise that everything – yes, even these things – will be set right."
In his video presentation, Craig describes Christmas as "God's entry into a world that is fallen." Christmas is "not just happiness, gift giving and the festiveness of the holiday, but the hope that is given to us who are lost in an otherwise evil and unspeakably wicked world." The presence of God is real. The joy of God is real. The peace of God is real. But so are pain, suffering and trials. Depending on how we view these realities, we may appreciate Christmas on a deeper level.
Many atheists have taken umbrage with the above video presentation and have offered their opinions that Craig, and any Christians who believe the Bible is true, are morally wretched for believing that God can use terrible situations for good, as outlined in Romans 8.28. The following are some examples. Grand Rapids Atheists and Freethinkers Blog offers, "He is a moral failure on all levels and doesn’t deserve any respect whatsoever." PZ Myers offers, "Was he [God] sending us a message about the nature of the world and doing his best to extort us into believing in Jesus" Myers extorts, "...saying it reminds you of a passage in your bible doesn’t really explain anything." I would like to remind Myers that his "moral tools" have yet to explain any difficult moral questions regarding morality from an atheist perspective.
I find it hypocritical for Myers to criticize a person who does take time to explain his moral perspective when Myers refuses to explain his own. Myers has stated, "I don’t object to bestiality in a very limited set of specific conditions..." However, when I asked him by email to clarify what these conditions are and why they would be considered moral, Myers declined to answer. Apparently, Myers is unable to even address any difficult moral questions with anything but a one or two sentence blurb. Let's face it, atheists have yet to come up with an objective basis for morality. And, just because atheists do not understand how God interacts with humanity differently in different dispensations of history, this does not mean that God's existence, the basis of true morality, does not qualify as a logical basis of morality.
Tags: How Christmas got real, intense Christmas message, deeper meaning in Christmas message, Sandy Hook school at Christmas, Newtown Christmas message, Newtown at Christmas, God as the basis of true morality.