Billy Idol Gets It, Why Doesn’t President Bush?
This year’s Pageant of Peace celebrated in Washington D.C. was marked by an amazing speech by President George W. Bush just prior to lighting the national Christmas tree. It was amazing because he managed to talk about Christmas without ever referring to Jesus Christ. The President said, “Each year, we gather here to celebrate the season of hope and joy -- and to remember the story of one humble life that lifted the sights of humanity.” He then went on to thank Santa Claus for coming to the pageant. This obscure comment left one wondering if he was speaking of Christ or Santa Claus. Many will say that at least he still uses the term “Christmas” rather than “holiday season”. This is of little consequence or gravity. It is true that this is the season of hope and joy, but only because Jesus makes it so for his elect. As Christ’s own, we can take great pleasure in celebrating His birth. However, for those outside of God’s election, for those without the proper wedding garments, for those who refuse the invitation to repent and be baptized, it can only be a time of fearful anticipation of judgment. Furthermore, the “one humble life” did not merely “lift the sights of humanity”, it saved men from the wrath of a holy, pure, just, and perfect God.
The President then went on to say,
"Christmas is a time to rejoice, and to give thanks for the blessings of the season and for the blessings that surround us every day of the year. We also remember that we have a responsibility to help those in need. America is a compassionate and generous land. And acts of kindness toward others fulfill the spirit of the season.[italics mine]"
Do “acts of kindness toward others” really fulfill the “spirit of the season”? Is that why Christ came to the earth, so that we would be “kind” toward others? Isn’t the spirit of the season that Jesus Christ lived the perfect life that we could not and was crucified on our behalf? The Bible says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”(1 Cor. 1:18) Don’t get me wrong, I am not against acts of kindness. I am against them being characterized as the “spirit” of the Christmas season.
President Bush made the following comments and quoted one of the great humanists of our day,
"As we approach Christmas in this time of war, we pray for freedom, and justice, and peace on Earth. In his Christmas Eve address to the nation in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt said that "Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practice them, we set our faith in human love, and in God's care for us and all men everywhere." We ask for God to watch over our men and women in uniform who are serving overseas. Their families miss them -- hold a seat open for them -- and pray for their safe return. America's military men and women stand for freedom -- and they serve the cause of peace. Many of them are serving in distant lands tonight, but they are close to our hearts.[italics mine]"
In light of the great thing which God has done for us in sending His Son to die for the sins of the elect, how is it possible for President Bush to quote such a foolish statement as the one made by F. D. R. at a Christmas celebration? Any faith placed in human love is truly a misplaced faith. Divine love is the only sure footing for our faith. People change, humans are, well, human. They are incapable of steadfast, unfailing love. Even the elect are weak and realistic enough to admit it. And does God really care for “all men everywhere”? Apart from the common grace received by the unregenerate, what care exists? Did not Jesus Himself say, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”(John 3:18) The Bible also says, “. . . For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me . . .”(Ex. 20:5) And again, “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”(Eccl. 2:26) So we see that God’s care is not universal and His grace does not extend to everyone.
I was watching all of this on the Fox News Channel as the story broke in on the regularly scheduled program. After the President, First Lady, and some children from a Katrina Hurricane charity turned on the lights of the Christmas tree, I sat dumbfounded and shocked. Still trying to digest what I had witnessed, with all its goody two shoes implications, the lyrics of a Billy Idol song came to mind. In 1982 Billy Idol wrote a song called “White Wedding” which became very popular. It always amazes me how clearly the unregenerate prophets of this age can identify the condition of the world around them. Listen to some of the words...