The case for Christmas -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

The case for Christmas

December 4, 2005

Albany - This Christmas season is adorned with debate over whether "Merry Christmas" should be replaced by "Happy Holidays." 

Some say the notion of taking Christ out of Christmas is politically correct; others say it's ridiculous.

Here in South Georgia, sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping Christ in Christmas and Albany's oldest baptist church is leading the way.  

Away in a Manger is an age-old Christmas hymn, but church leaders say the the true meaning of the song and who it's about are being lost to the world outside the church.

"In the last several years, there's been great discussion about Christmas and some adversity to saying Christmas because it mentions the name of Christ," says Albany First Baptist Pastor Dr. Butch Knight.

 For Christians, Christ is the at the heart of Christmas and is the root of, well, all things Christmas.

"It's a holiday tree but it's for one particular holiday, Christmas," says Knight.

Knight says the issue has evolved over the years and in the shuffle of shopping and whether to say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, the true meaning of the day is lost.

"The idea to make it all generic is something that robs the holidays or the season of it's true meaning," says Knight.

"The message is, this is the time we celebrate the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life," says Associate Pastor Keith Gaines.

 In two weeks, First Baptist church will make the Case for Christmas with a community-wide video presentation.

"The Case for Christmas is a video presentation by Lee Strobel. Lee Strobel was an atheist who was also a legal journalist," says Gaines.

"It answers many of the questions that have been raised about the origins of Christmas, the significance, and I think he does a good job in answering those questions," says Knight.

One big question is where's the Christ in Christmas these days.

 "Christmas is Christmas. Hannukah is Hannukah and Kwanzaa is Kwanzaa but Christmas is Christmas," says Gaines.

But church leaders say the answer to that question comes from something bigger.

 "It's not simply about the bows or the ribbons and the symbols of Christmas. The symbols point to something greater than themselves," says Knight.

And they say those who still can't find the Christmas spirit at stores need only to head to the nearest church.

The Case for Christmas video will be presented on the big screen at First Baptist Church Albany Sunday, December 18th at four p.m.



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