Mammon, the deceptive demon of wealth, has poisoned the church so that rich Christians thrive in luxury and superfluities while the poor starve and suffer. 50 000 people die because of poverty every day, while 20% of the world’s population consume 80% of the world’s resources. The biggest consumption feast of them all is Jesus’ birthday, and this has escalated massively during the last 50 years so that we now here in Sweden spend twice as much money on Christmas shopping than we give in Official Development Aid to developing countries. Then we complain about how we can’t help the homeless or receive immigrants since we’ve ran out of money.
Christians are like boiling frogs who are slowly killing their radical spirit when following the ungodly trends of the world. They are like dead fish, following the dark stream of environmental destruction and idolatrous tradition. And so they eat more meat, buy more expensive presents and spend more time and energy on pointless secular rituals, and while they hate to engage in biblical practices like fasting or street evangelism, they have no problems with putting a pointless tree in their living room or buying video games for their kids. Jesus called us to sell our stuff and give the money to the poor. On Christmas, we use our money to buy stuff to give to the rich.
Yesterday I posted this video, called “Stop Celebrating Christmas“. We have to stop this harmful and ungodly consumption feast that has replaced any decent remembrance of the birth of the Son of God. To modify the traditional Christmas celebration isn’t enough, then we risk to fall back to the old destructive wheel-tracks. No, we need to envision a radically different Christmas celebration, a simple, miraculous, worship-centred celebration. This is what it could look like:
Instead of eating expensive, fat, meat rich food that destroys the climate and your body, try to eat as simple as possible – bread, water and dried fruit – praying for the hungry in the world. Donate food to the poor in your area. Visit them, and let your children see the true face of poverty and suffering, so you can teach them godliness and simplicity.
Instead of buying luxury, entertainment and beauty products to people who already have everything, give as much as you can to missions and global development, and let your while family celebrate with you on Christmas day as you read reports such as this one about what your gifts do around the world. Share love, joy and community, not unnecessary stuff, with each other.
Instead of decorating your house with santas, reindeers and a tree, make simple wooden crosses and focus the Holiday on Him whose birthday we celebrate. Pray for angelic visitations, prophetic messages for the coming year and healing. Let Christmas be miraculous not in an allegorical sense but in a physical one, take the opportunity to pay for signs and wonders both at home and on the streets. Preach the Gospel and sing Christmas carols out in the public spaces.
If we say “both ways of celebrating Christmas are OK”, we are accepting the unacceptable status quo – that Christians joyfully destroy the environment and promoted inequality to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. No, we must agree that Simple Christmas is the only way forward, and not accept anything less.