Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Contrasting Christmas Messages of Britain's Leaders

Once again Britain's leaders have delivered their annual Christmas messages to the nation. The content of those messages has been varied, with many missing the opportunity afforded to them to speak to people of their need of the Saviour. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the pre-eminent 'Christian leader' in the United Kingdom, in his Christmas sermon offers no more certain hope than the statement that Jesus Christ offers 'fresh possibilities for being at peace with God and each other'. A mere possibility of peace with God is of no comfort to those in the depths of sin and despair, but what is needed by men and women is that sure and certain hope that their sins have been forgiven. The man centred message of 'seeing ourselves honestly' and 'seeing the world differently' is not the message of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ but is 'another gospel: which is not another'. Though to many it may seem the same it is but poison to the soul, for what is truly needful is that turning from self to sole reliance on the Christ who was born in the manger, yet who was born with that purpose of dying on Calvary as the substitute for our sins.

The mention of Christ in the Prime Minister's Christmas message this year would be warmly welcomed were it not for the fact that it smells greatly of hypocrisy. Conservative Party activist Tim Montgomerie has suggested that the religious overtone of his message may be an attempt to reach out to those members of the party (and perhaps those nationally) who have felt alienated by his support for the introduction of 'gay marriage'. Such an observation is likely to be close to the truth! For the Prime Minister to speak of Christ is but meaningless when by his everyday actions he violates the Word of God. His attack on the institution of marriage is an attack on Christ and on the Word of God, for marriage in scripture is a wonderful picture of the union which exists between the believer and the Saviour. Sadly there is no evidence of such a holy union in the lives of the majority who are in authority in our land.

No Christmas message is more high profile than that of The Queen, and it is in the message delivered by Her Majesty that the clearest call to those outside of Christ is found. Whilst we do not endorse her every religious action, and do not know how she stands before God, we can surely recommend her Christmas message more than that of Messrs Williams and Cameron. How few in society have sought to speak of such things this Christmas, yet in her closing words the line of a carol is quoted with this challenge; 'Yet what can I give Him - give my heart'. When at this time we consider, as The Queen rightly pointed out, that God gave Himself to us, what then can we give him? Our heart, our life, our soul, is the answer. When God the Son gave Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of men, what can we do but seek Him with all our heart, turn to Him in repentance, seeking forgiveness at the foot of Calvary's cross. There is no greater Christmas message than this, that 'unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord'.

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