This is the third thing I want my kids to know for Christmas. As you grow up, you’re going to hear that out there in the world there is a pantheon of gods. There is the god who revealed himself to Joseph Smith on some strangely misplaced golden tablets. Another god whispered in Muhammed’s ear and led him to be a king. There was a string of god who ruled the sea, the sky, and the elements in the ancient world, and many of the same kind by different names that still dominate the landscape of worship in India.
We are a race of polytheists. Christmas is just the birth of another god.
But here’s the thing. Christianity is not like other religions. Religions historically come of certain stripes. There are those that help humanity escape from reality, and those that help humanity define the forces that move reality. Most of them empowered someone to be in charge of things. Christianity is not like other religions. In the story of this god, he becomes man in the name of love for a lost humanity. He endures the indignity of humility so as to restore us to a relationship that we called off.
As a result, no one gets put in charge. The forces that move reality are just a mystery and wonder as they always were. And Christians are called to do anything but escape reality – we worship the God who joined the real world.
Rather than writing Christianity off as just another religious fiction, realize that all of these religions are attempted guesses that play on the human hardwiring that makes us go looking for our Creator.
Rather than writing Christianity off as an undeservedly elitist belief system that aims to dominate other worldviews, realize that it’s claim to authority only comes from the action of a humble God who spoke into history.
And rather than giving up on God in a world where specters and shadows of God abound, don’t give up your pursuit of him until you’ve found the real thing. I suspect you’ll find it in a manger.