Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a popular, perennial tale which captures the imagination, tugs at our heartstrings, and, sadly, misses the whole point of Christmas.
Every year, new Christmas movies are released, destined to garner good ratings. Many are romantic comedy/dramas. Others address family or financial issues. Some are simply fun. And many explore the Dickensian themes of economic disparity and evil elites.
“Dickens was a Unitarian” who “focused more on morality and ethics than on traditional theology,” and whose “own faith seemed to be more of a romantic, deistic, Unitarian variety.” In fact, today he would be called a social justice warrior. “Benevolence, rather than faith, is central to Dickens’s vision of the Christmas.” Hence, his harangue against the stereotypical greedy capitalist.
According to Dickens – but contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ – Scrooge was given a second chance and was able “to save himself – to become his own savior.”
In the end, Scrooge promises to honor Christmas as his path to redemption. This is idolatry and a false gospel. Like those pagans condemned in Romans 1:25 because they “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator,” Scrooge is worshiping Christmas instead of the Babe who was born on Christmas.
But Christmas is a joyous season for one reason: Jesus Christ was born that we might be redeemed by Him and live with Him through eternity.
Virtually all traditional Christmas songs celebrate this sublime truth.
Remember, Christ, our Saviour / Was born on Christmas day / To save us all from Satan’s power / When we were gone astray. / O tidings of comfort and joy, / Comfort and joy. / O tidings of comfort and joy.
Remember the words of Isaiah’s prophecy: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).”
Don’t neglect the reason for the season. As you celebrate the birth of Jesus, spend time with the One whose birth we are celebrating.