It’s the season for giving
The atheists think so too!
First published in Prayer News, December 2011.
At this time of year we think about the greatest gift that mankind ever received—when the Creator became flesh in the humble birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. For centuries this has been celebrated by the act of giving gifts to each other at Christmas time in remembrance of the ultimate gift. After all, the Creator said “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).
Many Christians also give throughout the year to ministries like CMI, as a means of seeing this wonderful Gospel message spread into the community. This is because it is actually a command of Jesus to take this good news to everyone (Matthew 28:18–20). Although most of the world celebrates and gives gifts at Christmas, the very reason for the season is under attack. (I know some will take issue reading this because of the disputed origins of Christmas, but please put that aside for a moment and consider the big picture context of this article).
In many Western cultures, mentioning Christ at Christmas time is now deemed inappropriate ‘lest we offend those of a different point of view’. Am I exaggerating? Not at all. Many years ago, before I entered full time ministry, I managed large shopping malls. At Christmas, it was usual for the malls to be decked out with lots of Christmas decorations to remind people of the special time of the year (and, of course, to encourage Christmas spending). The traditional nativity scenes took pride of place, and even in the streets of our cities such displays were common. But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a not-so-subtle change. The displays are often now generic, and politically correct with no reference to Christ or the very reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. School teachers are not even allowed to mention Jesus in their classrooms to teach the historical meaning of Christmas to children. In addition, there is a worldwide move to have the terms BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini—‘The year of our Lord’) replaced with BCE (‘Before Common Era’) and CE (Common Era). Wow! Talk about rewriting history!
Atheists passionately believe their cause. How passionate are we?
The greatest promoters of this politically ‘inoffensive’ position are the aggressive ‘new atheists’. Sometimes they might say, “Well, there are many faiths, and so we should be considerate of other beliefs.” But, their target focus is clearly on the Christian faith. They know Christ is the Creator revealed in flesh—it’s a core doctrine. If the Savior can’t save us, who can? This is the same method employed in attacking Genesis because it is foundational to the Gospel of Christ. Undermine Genesis and the entrance of sin and death into God’s very good Creation, and you’ve destroyed the very reason why we need a Savior. Salvation becomes meaningless. Ironically, these non-believers are keen to promote their own religious views (as in, ‘there is no God’) with evangelistic zeal, and to put it bluntly, many of these atheistic organizations are ‘not short of a dollar or two’.
Because many humanists are passionately opposed to Christianity, they are working directly against missions organizations (such as CMI) to prevent the spread of Christian beliefs. For example, a major scientific organization here in the US once produced an evolutionary handbook for every high-school science teacher. Concerned that creationist beliefs were growing, it was promoted and distributed by the openly atheistic NCSE (National Centre for Science Education) and its leader Dr Eugenie Scott (a vocal critic of creationists). The NCSE is a ‘faith funded’ organization that relies upon donations from like-minded vigilantes. However, due to the giving of active and faithful Christians, we were able to fund brilliant creation scientist Jonathan Sarfati’s efforts to write a response. The result was the book Refuting Evolution, which became the biggest-ever-selling creation book of all time. (It can now be purchased in bulk with subsidized pricing for witnessing). It has even won university professors to Christ.
Besides their own individual supporters (the same way that Christians support ministries), such humanist groups also have many major and high-profile benefactors. When the spectacular PBS documentary series Evolution hit TV screens around the world a few years ago, few people were aware that Paul Allen, one of the co-founders of Microsoft, had donated vast sums of money to help produce the series. There was also an accompanying website which provided additional free resources. The NCSE even had the gall to encourage churches to add evolution to the Bible by producing a free ‘church study guide’ for the series, to help Christians ‘understand’ and reconcile evolution to the Bible. They canvassed churches far and wide. Once again, we were able to provide solid answers to refute their claims in the form of daily website responses which were later incorporated into another best-seller, also by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, called Refuting Evolution 2 (which has been re-released in an updated and expanded version).
Give us the ability to respond
Dear friends, if you’ve ever wondered if there is a battle going on, this should help you understand what we are up against. The humanists are getting behind their beliefs and doing everything they can to rid the world of Christianity. Atheistic and compromising evolutionary ‘churchian’ views have proved to be a stumbling block to a belief in the Bible. CMI is ready and able to counter the challenge. It is ultimately a spiritual battle, so, if Christians do not respond and rise to the challenge, then such inactivity is actually letting the enemy win this ‘war’ and have his way. God gave everything He could to save us. How much will we give, in whatever shape or form that may take, to counter the opposition? Would you please pray about how you will be involved?
Creation magazine—‘The world’s best witnessing weapon’
Is this hype? No, because this is what our readers tell us! As one of our subscribers, you will have seen some of the countless testimonies we receive about the evangelistic ‘power’ of the magazine. Like this one from David A.:
”My two friends … loaned me a copy of Creation as they could sense that I was at the point of needing help. After reading this wonderful magazine, … and praying to our Lord, I opened my heart to him again and allowed his love to sweep over me. Praise his name. As an ex evolutionist it was your magazine and the answers it gave that caused my heart to change. I thank you and bless you for the work you are doing.”
It’s for this reason that we are keen for its circulation to grow, and to see it passed on to as many people as possible. On our webstore you will see great opportunities to buy 4 gift subscriptions and get one free (5 subscriptions for the price of 4). Will you join with us in getting the good news out there?
You say that it is often considered inappropriate to mention Christ at Christmas. May I suggest that when told so Christians might sometimes respond that "neglecting historical facts clears the way for the acceptance of unhistorical lies"!
God bless your work.
Reply to Dillon.V
It feels good to be kind and generous with others, especially those we love.
Watching a child's face light up with joy when they open a present is a truly beautiful thing regardless of what your faith (or lack of) might be.
I can't financially support an organization that misrepresents Jesus, his teaching, the Bible and his God. Mark 10:6 Jesus taught that But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ Jesus never claimed to be the creator, God in the flesh, or God.
[...Subsequent dissertation deleted per feedback rules--Editor. ...]
Dear Sir, being based in the US I don't even know if you do support CMI in Canada. If not, if then you would be using this an emotionally manipulative statement to assert your beliefs. And when you clicked 'send' to post your comment, you actually had to agree that you would stay on topic, which you didn't. You are obviously also aware that we are unashamedly a Bible based, evangelical ministry that believes in the Trinity and unity of one God as can be evidenced by our Statement of Faith.
You also have a search engine at your disposal where you can read why the Bible does indeed indicate that Jesus Christ is the Creator. I invite you to be more informed by reading some of the information we have on this site. You might like to start with Jesus Christ our Creator: a biblical defence of the Trinity. Also, Jesus Christ the Creator God. And there is a whole Q and A section dealing with the personhood of Jesus Christ. Try reading Jesus Christ questions and answers.
As a leader in a Bible-based Christian school I have urged my teachers not to fall for the BC/BCE switch that is common in textbooks now. What I want to know is: how would atheists justify the giving of gifts in an evolutionary worldview?
A good article, CMI is definitely worth getting behind, honestly I don't know where else you can get the knowledge that is on here. I do have one dispute though, whilst creation magazine is a great witnessing tool, I think the bible takes the title of "world's best witnessing weapon". that aside, thank you, keep up the great work.
Thanks for the message Mr. Bates. I agree that Christmas is under attack. As you mention a great deal of the attack is by groups that try to destroy it's meaning by questioning its origins and/or covering it up with all the retail hype of buying gifts. I wonder how many times anyone has set their own birthday party on a Saturday because it was inconvenient for the celebration to take place on the week day it fell on… What matters is He was born. Christmas is a celebration of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. Happy Holidays… scratch that Merry CHRISTMAS to all and a happy new year. God bless CMI and every Christian that stands firm for Christ.
I just wrote a comment but need to add this: I believe CMI is the best source of information for refuting evolution and great articles. They are very worthy of any and all donations! Please do so if possible.
First, I do not believe in Christmas, but quickly will add I am a Christian who believes in His birth, life, death and resurrection. The thing I do not believe is proper is to make this arbitrary day into a celebration day for us with all the hoopla and gift giving etc. We need to concentrate on the Word and the things our Lord taught while living and base everything we do on scripture. We have gone overboard with making this a commercial day and one designed for our pleasure especially for children who are the ones who carry on the tradition from generation to generation. I do believe in Christ as Savior of the faithful and worship Him every day of the year.
Mike, it's a bit of shame that you decided to comment in this way. We are well aware how some people feel over this issue but that was not the point of the article and why I specifically wrote: "Although most of the world celebrates and gives gifts at Christmas, the very reason for the season is under attack. (I know some will take issue reading this because of the disputed origins of Christmas, but please put that aside for a moment and consider the big picture context of this article)."
I am trying to request here that one looks past the Christmas issue and glean the main thrust of the article. Thanks for your subsequent comment though (below).
Feel free to redefine and educate everyone of the true meaning of BCE (‘Before Christian Era’) and CE (Christian Era). Wow! It's true the world hates Jesus, but it's all about Him! "For by him were all things created..." He is the center of our lives.
Thank you CMI for being Christ centered!
Many years ago if I remember rightly - the Red Cross stopped their charity shops displaying Nativity scenes - so I stopped donating to them. As for the changes to BC and AD - doesn't the book of Revelation say the Antichrist will seek to change times and seasons?
Praise God for raising up faithful servants of Christ. Before any biblical answers were given to me, I was a day-ager and I couldn't answer any of the skeptical questions regarding the age of the Earth and Evolution. So I compromise hoping to reconcile 'Science' and the Bible. My questions were answered in 2011 when I heard about an AiG talk in church near my town. I only knew CMI much later. I am now 19 years old and I thank you guys for helping me in my spiritual journey in Christ. Although it is not easy get the science right given our finite knowledge I truly appreciate CMI's existence because in an 'evolutionized' society Christians really need such help. Yours in Christ