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Dear Partner,

It is the Christmas season as I write this letter. It seems many in America are losing sight of the "reason for the season." More and more of the advertisements in the department stores say things like "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." In my home city of Tulsa they recently renamed our annual "Christmas Parade of Lights" to the "Holiday Parade of Lights." When they interviewed on television the man who made the change in the name of the parade he said he did it in order to make the parade more "inclusive." Doesn't that sound nice? The word "inclusive?" Sounds like we want to include everybody, no matter their religious affiliation, right? What's wrong with that?

Mar 8:36-38   For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Why are the merchants and the parade organizers really wanting to remove the name Christ from Christmas? The bottom line is they want the business of all the non-Christians during the "holiday" season. They are willing to dishonor Christ by removing His name from the holiday when we celebrate His birthday in order not to offend the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. They love money more than they love God.

This whole "inclusive" trend is going on around the world and it involves a lot more than just renaming "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays." There is a false gospel being preached in the name of inclusiveness that basically says, "It doesn't matter if you are a Christian or not. Just as long as you are sincerely seeking after God, that's all that matters. You can be a sincere Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever, just so long as in your heart you are truly seeking after God, you will be okay." Again, doesn't that sound nice? Won't the world just love that kind of talk? I can hear them all now saying things like, "There are many paths to the top of the mountain but we all arrive at the same place." I have a word for that RUBBISH!

John 14:6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The apostle Peter declared:

Act 4:12   Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

This kind of false gospel (inclusionism) was already being preached during the first century. The apostle John wrote in his epistle the truth about it. I don't think it is possible to misunderstand these simple statements:

1Jon 5:10-12   He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

How important is it that we keep the name Christ in Christmas? HE IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! As a nation founded upon Christian values it is our duty to stand up and give witness for the only true Savior of mankind. We WANT the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist and all of the people of all religions around the world to know WHY we are celebrating. We are celebrating the greatest event in history the birth of Jesus Christ! Instead of being ashamed of the gospel we should be shouting from the rooftops Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! What matters is that we be not ashamed of Christ and the gospel of salvation that is in his Name.

Rom 1:16   For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Jesus himself got angry when he saw how the moneychangers had changed the temple of God from a house of prayer into a house of merchandise. He made a whip, overturned the tables of the moneychangers, and drove them out of the temple. I think America needs a whipping for our willingness to put our "pocketbook" above our witness as "Christians" to a lost world. Let us never be ashamed of our Savior nor of His words. Will it cause some people of other religions to be more reluctant to open up their wallets and purses to purchase items at the malls? Perhaps. So what? What determines whether a nation is prosperous or not is the favor of the Lord. A blessed nation is the nation whose God is the Lord.

Psa 33:12a   Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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