ADVENT: A CRUSADE AGAINST THE CROSS AT CHRISTMAS

We are always living in what is still really a spiritual war.

“Most modern liberality consists of finding irreligious excuses for religious bigotry.”

– G.K. Chesterton, The New Attack On Christmas

Five years ago, this post began with the following:

As our Advent inches closer to the time of Christmastide, think of what the response will be to our saying “Merry Christmas!”. Will we even be allowed to have Christmas – CHRIST’s MASS in our churches and cathedrals? Will the bells still ring at midnight? Will the candlelit processions still occur and be seen as a living witness to passersby? Will we be able to meet with loved ones, reach out to those in need? What is really happening and what will you and I do to keep Christmas as even Scrooge learned to do in this time of new attack?

Now here we are, 2 years into a waning pandemic, and churches and Christians have been attacked with lockdowns, arrests for gathering together to worship and churches having been closed. Some churches around the world reopened for a short time only to face closings and lockdowns again as the powerful elite in control of the governments of the world seized unwarranted power, egged on by their own lust for that power with only the consent of a loud and fringe populace and a medical establishment also lusting for power. The real science is showing different conclusions than those being spread on the daily news. Yet, too many viewers choose to believe the news and see little of their rights being eroded, let alone the spiritual attack on the Church. Even some in the church hierarchy have joined in this spiritual attack. And the excuse for these attacks is that all is being done “for the greater good”.

So it would seem that our opening paragraph was prescient about the spiritual war upon the Church increasing again and the attacks becoming more pronounced as we celebrate another Advent waiting and praying for the Second Coming of our Lord and King. Chesterton warned of such in our day because of the bent in our society toward material thinking and liberal modernism.

“The old Puritans attacked Christmas in its totality; the new Puritans attack it in detail, and bit by bit. Moderns have not the moral courage, as a rule, to avow the sincere spiritual bias behind their fads; they become insincere even about their sincerity. Most modern liberality consists of finding irreligious excuses for religious bigotry. The earlier type of bigot pretended to be more religious than he really was. The later type pretends to be less religious than he really is. He does not wear a mask of piety, but rather a mask of impiety—or, at any rate, of indifference. He is in a double sense in masquerade, for his mummery follows a fashion of merriment. He wears a coloured domino over his black Puritan dress. He adopts all sorts of mundane and merely utilitarian arguments to support his sombre traditions. Sabbatarianism is defended as merely part of the problem of labour and leisure. Gambling is discouraged because it involves the danger of losing. The only honourable case against gambling is that it involves the danger of winning. Wine is not frankly condemned because it is festive, as by a sincere asceticism; it is analysed as “alcoholic” by a cheap and very changeable popular science. Even war has been condemned not as wicked, but as unremunerative, for Mr. Norman Angell’s argument against arms rested rather on the latter than the former objection. To some of us the argument will seem insufficient, since it only proves to be unproductive the fights that would in any case be unjustifiable, and does not even affect the only fights that could ever be justifiable. We are not concerned to learn that it does not pay to be a pirate; and we always knew that it does not pay to be a patriot. But in any case all these arguments are alike in avoiding the old direct religious challenge of right and wrong; and falling back on certain particular and practical objections, which vary with the various cases. They are all alike in waging with secular weapons what is still really a spiritual war. For its motive is still as moral and religious as in that earlier century when the iconoclasts led what we may almost call a crusade against the Cross.” – G.K. Chesterton, The New Attack On Christmas, The Illustrated London News, December 27, 1919

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