Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays...Really?{Life Without Christ}

Hello, everyone. Today is my last in a series I've been writing for the Christmas season. Today, I've had to dig deep, as my thoughts lately have been very scattered and writing hasn't come easily for me. (Have you ever had that happen?)

One of my favorite Christmas movies is "It's A Wonderful Life" with James Stewart. I watch almost every year at this time. (I actually watched it last week.) The thing that intrigues me the most about this movie is the question that is presented.
"What would happen if you'd never been born?" 

Everyone who's ever watched the movie knows that this was the wish that the main character, George Bailey, made and his guardian angel, Clarence, decided to let George see exactly how it would have been if he weren't born. Ultimately, it reveals how great of an impact he made on everyone's life around him. Not only did he change other's lives for the good, but he also saved lives and impacted hundreds of people.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like for each of us, if Christ hadn't been born, died on the cross, and risen from the dead? I shudder at the thought of it! But, for just one moment, I would like us to think about it, because to many people who aren't saved, Christ was never born or nor died for their sins.

It is evident that without Jesus our world would be a different place than the one we have now. So here are some points:

Although many committed Christians owned slaves in history, it was Christians who historians credit with being the primary force behind ending international slave trade. Two-thirds of the members of the American abolition society in 1835 were Christian ministers. Wilberforce, Charles Finney, William Lloyd Garrison, Edward Beecher, and Theodore Dwight Weld all battled to abolish slavery. John Gregg Fee, the evangelical founder of Berea College in Kentucky called out to God in prayer on his knees and said “Lord, if needs be, make me an Abolitionist.” (Gary Haugen, Good News About Injustice, pg 62-63).

In the ancient world, for example in classical Rome or Greece, infanticide was not only legal, it was applauded. Killing a Roman was murder, but it was commonly held in Rome that killing one’s own children could be an act of beauty. Through a higher view of life, it was the early Christian church that ultimately brought an end to infanctide.
The modern pro-life movement is largely Christian. This pro-life view has been true from the very beginning of Christianity.

From the beginning of Judaism, from which Christianity is derived, there was an emphasis on the written word. But the phenomenon of education for the masses has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. 

In his book Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J. P. Moreland traces the history of what has happened in relation to the Christian mind.
Moreland discusses the history of the pilgrims arriving to the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Pilgrims along with other American believers placed a high value on the intellectual life in relation to Christian spirituality. The Puritans were highly educated people (the literacy rate for men in Massachusetts and Connecticut was between 89 and 95 percent) who founded colleges, taught their children to read and write before the age of six, studied art, philosophy, and other fields as well. Evangelical scholars such as Jonathan Edwards were scholarly and well informed about other fields other than theology.

All but one of the first 123 colleges in colonial America were Christian institutions. While these universities have lost their Christian identities, it is interesting to read the founding statements of these schools. Harvard, for example, was founded on this statement: “Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, John 17:3.”

The Printing Press
In order to promote Bible literacy, Christians have been leaders in education. This trend was accelerated with the advent of the printing press at about the same time as the Protestant Reformation. Many of the world’s languages were first set to writing by Christian missionaries in order for people to read the Bible.

A theist asserts that the physical universe is not all there is. There is an infinite, personal God who created it, sustains it and can act within it in a natural and non-natural way.

One of the most outspoken and prolific writers on the relationship between science and religion is physicist Rev. Dr John Polkinghorne. His website is here: Or, feel free to read up on former atheist Alister McGrath/Christian theologian, who holds both a DPhil (in molecular biophysics) and an earned Doctor of Divinity degree from Oxford. He is noted for his work in historical, systematic and scientific theology.To read more on this topic, see Nancy Pearcy’s article called Christianity is a Science Starter, Not a Science-Stopper.

Compassion and Mercy
Both historically and statistically, Christianity has led the way to alleviate suffering in the world. Just to name a few of these organizations that continue to alleviate suffering in the world are Samaritans Purse, The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, World Vision, Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, United Methodist Committee on Relief, ChildFund International, Catholic Relief Services, Operation Blessing, Lutheran World Relief, Prison Fellowship Ministry, and Habitat for Humanity. Not to mention the countless of efforts by local churches and the hospitals that have been built all around the world.
I also recalled that Rick Warren had taken most of his profits from his best-selling Purpose Driven Life book (which 30 million copies worldwide) and directed it towards the global HIV/AIDS crisis.

Now I know I will hear the objection that people don’t need God to alleviate suffering in the world. And I know that there are humanitarian organizations that aren’t faith based. But to be honest, I don’t see any possibility of the end of Christian based organizations leading the way in doing everything they can to alleviate suffering in the world.
Work ethic
Principles that were always in the Bible were adapted by the American founders. Self-reliance and self-denial are the foundation of the famous “Protestant work ethic.” These doctrines are at the heart of our economic (and political) way of life.

Free Enterprise
Anyone who doubts the relationship of Biblical ideas to free enterprise need only to note the stark contrast with communism. Communism is specifically an atheistic system that relies on the non-biblical notion that all men are good (thus will work for the common good). But communism has been an abject economic failure.

The Christian faith has influenced literature in such Christian writers such as Dante, Chaucer, Donne, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dickens, Milton, and scores more.


Had Jesus never been born, music would likely sound very different from what we’re used to. There may never have developed the cantata, the concerto, or the symphony. Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach were Christians who worked to honor God with their work. Bach, for example, signed all his works with Soli Deo Gloria (“Solely to the glory of God”).

Art has likewise been magnificently impacted by Jesus. Classical Christian art tries to bring out the best of mankind–pointing us to a higher plane. Artists like Michelangelo used his paintings to honor Jesus. Incredible architecture in the beautiful cathedrals in Europe were built to honor Christ.

Here is a 8 minute special presentation on how Christ's birth affected all we have today. If you have some time to watch it, it is very informative (and a great resource of info. for those who don't believe in the importance of Christ's birth).
 Salvation and Hope:
Most importantly, without Christ's birth, He would not have lived among us, nor died for our sins, and we would not have the hope of eternity in Heaven with Him one day.
The unsaved, though, have no hope! For them, the Savior wasn't born in a manger, so long ago! Oh, how despairing and meaningless Christmas, (or the "holidays" must ultimately be for them. 

Throughout this Christmas series, I've emphasized how loving the unlovable people in our families, living generously, and being mission-minded are what believers are called to when we choose to celebrate this special day, Christ's birth!! Then, when those who have no hope, see our hope and joy, may they choose to give their lives to Jesus and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!!

 Had to share this song, too....A Baby Truly Changes Everything!!!

Sharing with you the Glory,
the Wonder, the Miracle
of this Holy Season.
Have a Blessed Christmas and New Year.


  1. What great information. Thanks, Ann, for putting it all in one place! It is so true that a baby changes everything...and this baby changed the world!

    Blessings & merry Christmas!

    Love, Joan

    1. Amen!! May you have a blessed and joyful Christmas, Joan!

  2. Great post! We often forget that beyond the great gift of salvation, Jesus' coming brought us many other blessings as well.

    ("It's a Wonderful Life" is my favorite Christmas movie too. ;-) )


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