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By Paul Proctor
December 23, 2009

In a recent article, The Christian Post reported: “Willow Creek Community Church is asking Christ followers to make some new Christmas traditions this year.”

Beyond gift exchanges, family portraits and Christmas carols, the South Barrington, Ill., megachurch proposes serving the impoverished, visiting the lonely, and caring for the stranger to make it a more "just" Christmas.

"Just Christmas" is the title of the prominent church's latest sermon series. The more than 22,000 attendees are being asked to look at their city and see how things can be made right so the love of Christ shines through.

“Just” is a curious word to associate with Christmas. After all, making things “right” in the world implies that a wrong was committed; but as I understand the scriptures and the fall of man, it is God that was wronged, not you, me, the “impoverished,” the “lonely” or the “stranger.”

So, why then is Willow Creek calling for a “just” Christmas?

Why not a generous Christmas or a compassionate Christmas?

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Serving others is certainly appropriate for the followers of Jesus Christ, but since many non-Christians are involved in similar efforts around the world, it is clear to me that one does not have to be a “Christ follower” to help with the physical and emotional needs of others. The Bible does, however, teach that we are justified by faith; and without faith, it is impossible to please God, even with our good works.

That said, is it the church’s calling and duty to make things “right” in this world? Is that why Jesus came and died on a cross: to make the world a more “just” place through our good works; or is Willow Creek Community Church merely using Christianity to promote social justice? To many liberals, that’s what Christianity is: religious socialism. And, sometimes truths are used to frame lies behind a façade of faith where the social gospel is preached.

You see, the word “just,” is not a synonym for “charity.” And, all the volunteerism Willow Creek can muster among its members at Christmastime is not going make things “right” or “just” in a sinful world.

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” – Isaiah 64:6

Christian charity denotes the exercise of loving compassion and a self-sacrificing generosity toward others, especially those in need. It is intended to mirror and teach the unmerited love and grace God has shown for the needy sinner in His Son Jesus Christ, through His suffering and sacrificial death on the cross.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

But, calling our Christian service to others “just” suggests that the “impoverished,” the “lonely” and the “stranger” are in need because they have been wronged and should therefore be helped because they deserve it.

This subtly twists Christian charity into social engineering, which fits in perfectly with the transformational Marxist agenda of global governance, a global economy and a one-world religion – now more blatant than when this columnist first began writing about it 10 years ago.

Sinners are not entitled to God’s love and blessing in their lives. It is death that we deserve for our sin. The justice of God toward rebellion is His wrath. If we were to have a “just” Christmas, which frankly, is an oxymoron, there would be no one left alive to celebrate it.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

But the birth of Jesus Christ is not about justice or fairness – it is about God generously and compassionately providing a Savior we did not deserve. And, because of God’s unmerited gift to us, we are spared an eternity of separation and suffering in Hell.

But, if we teach the lost and needy through our good works that the service they receive from us is “just,” will they not also believe that God’s love and goodness toward them is deserved?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10

What are your thoughts on this article?