Without Jesus it would have been always winter, but never Christmas on this planet (to borrow a line from Lewis). This is especially true for an atheist. If there is no God, then there most certainly is no “Son of God” – no Jesus, no birth in Bethlehem, no 33 years of authenticating our humanity, no cross, no resurrection, no larger story to live for. For the athiest, it’s winter but never a true Christmas.
I’ve got a book entitled What if Jesus had never been Born? by D. James Kennedy. He walks the reader through every area of human endeavor and field of study or inquiry and shows how Christianity has positively impacted those areas.
Kennedy uses as a springboard for his book the 1946 film classic It’s a Wonderful Life wherein the character played by Jimmy Stewart gets a chance to see what life would be like had he never been born. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born.
Kennedy borrows this and transitions it to this question: What would planet earth have been like without Jesus and true Christianity? Hospitals and universities were first built by Christians. Christians championed the cause of literacy and education for the masses.
Did you know that many of our Ivy League schools and public universities were started by Christians who wanted to train pastors and teach the queen of the sciences – theology? Christians championed capitalism and free enterprise. They abolished slavery. They elevated the status of women. They took in the unwanted children. They clothed the poor and fed the hungry. They discovered new continents. They provided ethics and morality that holds civilizations together. They developed the arts and advanced music. They’ve explored and advanced science and philosophy and every realm of inquiry. They helped author constitutions and books on law. They have proclaimed the gospel. Why? Because Jesus came.
How many institutions of education have the atheists started? (Most atheist and/or naturalistic scholars have simply hijacked institutions for their own purposes) What atheists joined Wilberforce to abolish slavery? How many homes for the orphans have the atheists began? How many hospitals have the atheist built?
Someone once said “Well, the atheists don’t typically organize like the Christian Theists do?” Well, why do the theists organize themselves to do these great and noble things for all mankind (even Christian hospitals will nurse an atheist back to health!) Why do they do it? It’s simple really. Christmas. Jesus came to our planet in the humble manger, denied himself a privileged place, and radically served mankind, and that is our reason. It’s always Christmas for the theist.
But for the atheist… it’s always winter, but never truly Christmas.