It's that time of year again where we watch all of the movies and TV shows that even remotely have anything to do with Christmas. As we watch these shows about Santa Claus, magical reindeer, magical snowmen, Christmas trees and elves, I am reminded that the celebration of Christmas by our culture is not a celebration of Christ in a Christian framework, but rather the celebration of Enlightenment religious principles and philosophies.
For instance, Christ is nowhere in most of these movies. He has been replaced by some other character that has nothing to do with Him. The movies, of course, are not about these characters either though. The story of the character is simply the means to promote ideas of general, inclusivist, egalitarian religion.
The spirit of Christmas can be seen in everyone who appeals to their inner intuitive knowledge of goodness, which echoes either Kant or Schleiermacher, i.e., a human ability to know via reason or belief what is good and loving through experience. The latter way of knowing through trusting in one's heart seen much more in these movies.The movie "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "The Year without a Santa Claus" are all about believing in one's heart to find the good/Christmas spirit within. Love is directed by seeking this good through belief and feeling. The same goes for shows like "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "Elf," "Arthur Christmas." etc.
The general goodness of all humanity is promoted by movies like "Fred Clause," which argues that people just act bad because of their environment, but are all good.
Egalitarianism that logically accompanies the Enlightenment version of inclusion can be seen in movies like Disney's new "Noelle," where even a woman should be allowed to be Santa.
Love is always inclusive. In fact, many of these shows are about inclusivism. "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" is all about accepting anyone who is different. All should be included. This is perhaps the central tenet of Enlightenment religion. Of course, Christianity would agree that all should be accepted in Christ, but Enlightenment religion argues for a generic inclusivism because it argues for a generic religion that is sought by all men, since all men, regardless of whether they believe in Christ, are to be included. God is everyone's Father and all are therefore brothers. So one need not only include everyone of any race, gender, and station in life in Christ when he has repented of his sin and turned to Christ, but regardless of creed or moral lifestyle as well.
Hence, shows that depict a general loving and good spirit, defining those terms within the framework of Enlightenment inclusivism and egalitarianism dominate the Christmas season, a season that originally taught us something very different than inclusivism, a season that originally taught that all humanity was under the condemnation of God, and through the birth of Jesus Christ, hope was kindled for anyone who might believe, but none was given to those who did not. The Christmas message is beautiful and very much a message of God's love, but that love is exclusively found in Christ, and apart from Him, it is not to be found.
Enlightenment religion seeks to bring people together by denying the uniqueness of Christ and the different stations of serving Him in life. Christianity brings people together by calling them to repent and believe in Christ and to become one body with different stations that all seek to serve Him in their uniqueness. It is not their sameness in partaking of the same things that bind them, but Christ as they retain their differentness from one another in their genders, ethnicities, and stations. They are the same in terms of the One to whom they belong. He uniquely is good and they are made right with God and one another in Him, not in ignoring Him and collapsing all differences into some human commonality.
So as you're cuddling up in a blanket, sipping some hot cocoa, and eating a Christmas cookie, think about using the watching of these shows as an opportunity to speak to your children about the necessity of Christ. Teach them to be critical of what they watch, knowing that the world is not neutral, but a preacher of Satan's religions that attempts to convince you and your children of their truths over and against Christ. Teach them the Scripture that is a light that shines in a dark place. That's better than any shiny nose to see through the fog.