ImageWhen reading the list of bestsellers one has to say that the year 2007 belongs to the atheists.  The atheists have published many books that made the NY Times Best Sellers lists, they are appearing in debates on TV and university campuses, and the recent movie The Golden Compass is an attempt by the author of the books to get the concept of God out of the minds of children.  In fact, the author, Phillip Pullman, wants to achieve what C.S. Lewis has achieved with his Narnia Chronicles in reverse – instead of finding God he wants to destroy God.

The various pagan cultures have boasted of their wisdom.  The Greek and Roman cultures have many wonderful accomplishments.  These cultures have been inventive in literature, philosophy, commerce, and construction. (Other cultures have done the same before these two cultures).  Yet when it came to recognizing the true God of the universe, they were idolatrous.  It was this idolatry that sapped their energy because it created an immoral society.  Paul, in summary of the Jewish and the Greek culture writes: "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (1 Cor. 1:22-25)  Paul experienced both realities in his life as the Jews persecuted him and the Greeks rejected him, and all of that because he preached Jesus Christ.

In the gospel of John after the well-known verse, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life," we find verse 19 which reads: "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of life, because their deeds were evil." 

Christmas is a holiday of light.  Jesus is the light of the world.  Surrounding his birth there is great light.  The life of Jesus is a demonstration of light and truth.  Christ comes into the world because the world is evil and those who come to him must confess that they are coming from the darkness into the light.

The Western culture is driven by the media.  It is fascinating to read reviews of books, plays, and movies on the big screen and the TV.  For some of the reviewers the favorite expression is "pushing the envelope."  An actress is belittled if she is not willing to do a nude scene, but if she is revealing more skin when she is dressed and going for public awards and without inhibitions when she is doing movies, then she is praised.   A writer whose books are filled with vulgar words and blasphemies is regarded as avant-garde, brave and futuristic.  Loving God is interfering, while cursing God and denying God is a part of the fast-moving intelligentsia.

Light came into this world through the person of Jesus and continues through those who are Christlike in thought, speech and action.  Each one of us must decide whom we serve – if we serve Jesus Christ then everything will be light or if we serve the opposition then we will be the servants of him who is the prince of darkness.  The choice is completely yours.

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Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...