A vicar (certain Anglican ministers are given the title) in the UK has banned the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” because it doesn’t represent the current strife in modern day Bethlehem. This, of course, is the most stupid sort of political correctness (HT: Daily Scroll). I don’t mind that he banned this one, but he did it for the wrong reasons.There are at least a few good reasons for banning this one and others:
1. They ought not to be sung during stated, Sabbath services on principle any more than any other uninspired songs should be sung. If you want to sing orthodox Christmas carols between services or on the six days of the week, that’s fine.
2. Christians probably ought not to be singing songs that contain the lyrics,
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
Do we really believe that the infant Jesus is to descend to us to be reborn subjectively in each of us? Isn’t the incarnation an historical, once-for-all event? If you’re sighing right now and asking, “Isn’t anything sacred?” (that’s a very good question! Isn’t the doctrine of the incarnation sacred?) because you want me to leave your Christmas hymns alone, maybe you should step away from the eggnog and pick up your New Testament again.
3. While we’re at it, should any Christian be singing “No crying he makes”? Really? No crying? Hello? What sort of docetic, gnostic Christology is that? Of course he cried! He had an umbilical cord. He was and remains truly human and any who says otherwise (including the Anabaptist doctrine of the “celestial flesh”) is, according the Apostle John, “anti-Christ.”