The New Year in View – 2017

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

2017

At this time of year, when the media looks back to review the events that dominated the news, I want to look forward at the new year and view a few anniversaries that are ahead.

1962 – 1975        50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

1917 – 2017        100th Anniversary of WWI

1917 – 2017        100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

1517 – 2017        500th Anniversary of the Reformation

The upcoming year will witness the continued commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War that began in 1962 and ended in 1975. The commemoration began on Memorial Day 2012, this will continue for a 13-year period until November 11, 2025. We salute the American patriots who served in this conflict and were as loyal to our country as anyone before them.

vietnam-medal

However, these service men and women were scorned by the liberal political and academic communities 50 years ago and are still scorned today. When the Vietnam Veterans returned to the U.S. they were spit upon by the liberals and lampooned as baby killers. Many of these spiting liberals became pro-choice supporters of abortion that has killed more than 50 million babies in America alone. They are the real baby killers.

I have met many Vietnam Veterans since I was in school. I met and talked with many of my heroes who served their country, in country overseas. They told me many stories about their service under combat and afterwards. I know that they faced a relentless enemy abroad and then again at home. They were not only fighting an enemy at arms, they were fighting the larger enemy of global communism. Many liberal politicians undermined their efforts to win the war and it is only because of them that they lost.

When we have a new President in less than a month, I recommend a tradition honoring our Vietnam Veterans begins. An annual salute to these veterans on the White House lawn would help begin to heal the wounds of a generation of warfighters who never received their proper honor for a job well done. Let’s invite all who served their country during the War join the President on the White House lawn.

50 years before the Vietnam War, the U.S. was called into the European conflict called the First World War (WWI). A century is too much for most of us to remember back to but next year will the 100th anniversary of the WWI that began for America in 1917. My great uncle was drafted to serve in that conflict.

uncle-john

John Emil Carlson

He served with many veterans on the Western Front through many campaigns. Finally, the 100-day offensive broke the back of the Germans who surrendered on 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. My uncle served then and also served in the occupation of Germany thereafter.

Sadly, the Allies put too much of a burden on the defeated German people with the Armistice. It took another world war and occupation before the German nation could rebuild on a solid foundation of freedom instead of oppression. Learning the lessons of nation building, a defeated nation needs to experience the blessings of liberty and justice if they are to proper in new generations.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 began (March 8, 1917) just before the U.S. went to war in Europe (April 6, 1917). Russia’s attempt to take over Czarist Russia 100 years ago led to an attempt of world domination by Communism as well.

lennin

Russia and the Soviet Union suffered under totalitarian domination for 70 years; the communist regime of Russia finally ended in the Reagan/Bush era. It was communism that led to the Vietnam War and so many other wars. The Russian occupation of East Germany gives us a picture of how little value there was to communism compared to the capitalist structure within West Germany. The twin occupation of the German nation after WWII showed that communism was not advantageous to the people of Germany whereas capitalism was.

Communism is an atheist vision of government that didn’t care how many people died in wars to establish it worldwide. As an atheist vision of society and government, communism killed more people (94 million) than all the religious wars put together (16 – 31 million). The killing of millions around the world was nothing more than international terrorism.

Under communist rule, religious freedom was removed to prevent the people from realizing true peace with God and Christ. Today, Russia’s renewed oppression of religious freedom, outlawing the promotion of the Gospel outside Christian Churches, represents a new wave of communist style terrorism. Religious freedom is an essential freedom for any people in any country, along with the freedom of economics and political association. The people of Russia need to guard against the slow erosion of their freedoms and demand a return of religious freedom.

Religious freedom was on the mind of one reformer 500 years ago. Martin Luther began the European Reformation on October 31, 1517, as an attempt to return the Church to the authority of the Word of God. Luther nailed 95 theses to the Wittenberg Church door of Germany that refuted many traditions of the Church that were not supported by the Word of God in the Bible.

luther-reform

Translating the Bible into the native language of the German people, Luther attempted to bring God’s Word to the average person. This, however, was perceived as an act of aggression against the Roman authorities where were more interested in religious and political power than the spiritual well-being of the people.

The Reformed Church is now 500 years old and in need of a new reformation. Traditional Churches need to review their traditions and focus once again on a Bible centered Gospel message. While there is nothing wrong with tradition, let’s celebrate the Word of God and put God’s Word first. With so many traditional Churches following liberal theology, its time a new reformation took back these Churches to teach and preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. This will lead to renewed liberty for all people.

From one generation to another there has always been some conflict for war or for peace. America has seen its fair share of war since the Independence of our nation. Freedom has always been the call of this nation and we seek to share the blessings of liberty and justice with others around the world.

Next year will open new doors of opportunity for Americans to recall the burdens of war we have endured. Our prayer should be that God will open new doors of liberty and peace for all people around the world. A liberty established by law & justice and a peace established by religious freedom.

Happy Hallowed-Christmas?

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

frank-1

The idea of a Holy Day is one that gives praise to God. The tradition of All Hallows Eve was one that celebrated those who died in the past year and to prepare for All Souls Day and All Saints Day. All Hallows Eve was observed by the Church on October 31, the same day Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation in 1517. The Christian tradition that once dominated the Holy Eve of All Hallows Eve has now become dominated by the pagan activity of Halloween; turning a Holiday into an Unholy Day. It appears this trend is making its move to the Christmas Holiday season.

frank-2

Recently a commercial portrayed a Frankenstein figure gaining acceptance from the town’s people who had once rejected him. This was in the setting of the Christmas season. Clearly, advertisers have no problem confusing the themes of Christmas with Halloween.

The misguided imagination that changed the tradition of All Hallows Eve is apparently misguiding the message of Christmas. All Hallows Eve once celebrated those who are now dead that once served God. Halloween now celebrates all things dead and corrupt. The Frankenstein monster also portrays a false resurrection from the dead with a body that is partially corrupt (decayed).

Now, the Christmas season that celebrates the Son of God who was born to die for the sins of mankind is portrayed with this image of Frankenstein’s monster. Jesus Christ would die on the Cross and raise from the dead without corruption. The Christmas message was one of holiness to God in the celebration of His Son Jesus Christ. Now, Christmas is being invaded with the corrupt figure of the dead gaining acceptance from town folk who were celebrating the Christmas holidays.

I understand that for most people this confusion of themes between All Hallows Eve, Halloween, and Christmas is not that big of a deal. Religion is a burden that most people avoid and tolerate at best. But the whole point of a Holy Day or Holiday is that we celebrate the things of God, not corruption. The traditions we celebrate have a purpose beyond commercialism.

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The idea of a Santa Clause selling Coca-Cola as a large elf was something that came about in the early 1920s. This was modified later in the 1930s and for 30 years Santa Claus was the dominant figure for sales during Christmas. Macy’s portrayed him as the King of the elves and used him as a figure for their commercial needs. This might be more of a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, was a Christian minister in Asia Minor during the 4th century. As a servant of Jesus Christ, the images of Santa bowing before the Christ child is appropriate if not historically separated in time.

santa-and-christ

The commercialization of Christmas has been a problem for more than a century in America. This is nothing new. But what is new is the introduction of the culture of Halloween into Christmas. Christmas celebrates the gift of God in Jesus Christ. Light and life in Christ is what makes Christmas Holy. The death of Christ on the Cross and his Resurrection is what makes us Holy. But the darkness and celebration of death during Halloween leads to corruption. Add a false resurrection with the Frankenstein monster to the celebration and the message of mankind’s redemption is lost. The confusion of themes is not trivial.

Let’s continue to celebrate Christmas despite the many problems associated with it. The Puritans once dismissed it because it introduced many pagan customs and didn’t represent the Holy Day of Jesus’ birth like it should. Even so, there is never a problem with celebrating the gift of God in the person of Jesus, the newborn son of God. Let’s celebrate Christmas and keep it Holy unto God.

Merry Christmas!