Whether it's Happy Hanukkah for those of the Jewish faith who celebrate supernatural provision, or Merry Christmas for the Christian faith that honors the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, or Happy Holidays for those who reject both of the aforementioned, this time on the calendar allows a bit of introspection.
By the way, the word "holiday" originates from the Old English word which means Holy Day. So, Happy Holy Days to all!
Back to the introspection: Regardless of faith, there's either a simple belief or rejection of a creator whose desire in our creation is to fellowship, love and grow with Him and with each other. While belief in the Judeo-Christian God, Yahweh, acknowledges His love, benevolence, grace, mercy and forgiveness, many want to reject the aspects of His justice, righteousness and judgment.
The Christian faith embraces the ultimate Redemption born from the price required for our sin, Jesus -- born of a virgin, who lived as a man, yet defeated death, sin, and the grave as the wages for our sins through His crucifixion and resurrection.
But let's admit what our culture has truly become, regardless of faith or lack thereof: a secular, rotting society.
The more intellectual and advanced we've become, the greater criticism has been targeted toward any of faith and the more high-tech and global our evil has become. The dramatic increased role of all levels of government has displaced a benevolent God who works through His creation as a neighbor, friend or concerned citizen. The greater the opportunities for affluence, the more people reject the unseen hand of providence and an exertion of individual will, pride, and self-praise. The more educated and reasoned our citizenry, the more intense the mockery and disdain toward those who pursue a daily walk with our Lord seeking His favor and blessing.
Where are we on this Dec. 24, 2012? About where Paul, the Jewish-Christian, scholar, and apostle said we would be: "... Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.... Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchange the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator."
I challenge any of you to read Romans 1, written around A.D. 56, and miss the words painting the portrait of our world today. It is as if a digital, high-resolution photograph was available to St. Paul in his writing to the church at Rome.
Our intellect and free will have yielded tremendous "progress" but an honest look at the evil perpetrated at the Sandy Hook School and other tragic events offers evidence to the contrary. It's really not about the weaponry, the technologies, the legislative environment, the politics or any other influence. Our culture today, on the third planet from the sun spinning about 93 million miles away from our source of heat and light, reflects the hearts of each us. Our individual core is collectively creating the world in which we now live.
Laugh; chortle; sniff. But the fact is our willful rejection of that which is good has ensured the evidence of that which is evil.
My prayer is that each person will find the true reason for not just this season but for existence. Our world depends on it.
Robin Smith is a wife and mother living in Hixson. She served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009.