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New research shows that fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas. Specifically, the number of Americans who think “Christmas should be more about Jesus” fell by 20% in four years.
61% of Americans wanted Christ in Christmas in 2014, LifeWay Research calculated. However, only 41% of Americans want Christ in Christmas in 2018. LifeWay Research is a Christian polling firm that gathers data to help church leaders with their ministry. LifeWay surveyed 1,004 people through the website KnowledgePanel, by mail, and by phone to gauge attitudes about Christ in Christmas. They conducted the survey between September 21 and September 23, 2018.
On the whole, LifeWay has discovered that fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas than ever. In addition, more Americans admit to being unsure about their faith.
Fewer Americans Want Christ In Christmas Than Four Years Ago
At this point, only a handful of Americans will openly admit that they want Christ out of Christmas. Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans who want Christ out of Christmas is growing considerably.
For example, 9% of Americans strongly disagreed with the statement “Christmas should be more about Jesus” in 2014. Yet, 11% of Americans now admit they strongly disagree with that same statement. As a consequence, we can clearly see that the number of Americans who admit they want Christ out of Christmas is growing at a steady rate.
Remarkably, fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas but they could be afraid to admit it. In particular, just 3% of Americans said they were not sure about Christ in Christmas in 2014. Notwithstanding, 16% of Americans will presently admit they are “not sure” about the statement “Christmas should be more about Jesus.”
As a result, Americans appear to be less sure about their faith in 2018 than in 2014.
Fewer Americans Want Christ In Christmas But Xmas Still Offends Them
The LifeWay Research data reveals that fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas because fewer people are offended by Xmas and Happy Holidays.
The number of Americans who think saying Xmas instead of Christmas is offensive fell by 10% in four years. In 2014, 25% of Americans found Xmas offensive. Today, only 15% of Americans say Xmas is offensive.
Moreover, the number of Americans who are unsure whether Xmas is offensive is growing. In detail, only 6% of Americans were not sure about Xmas in 2014. Nonetheless, 14% of Americans are unsure about Xmas today.
Fewer Americans Want Christ In Christmas But They Do Not Care About Happy Holidays
Fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas, yet hardly any of them care about the phrase Happy Holidays.
To elaborate, merely 16% of Americans find saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” offensive. Furthermore, only 17% of Americans found Happy Holidays offensive in 2014. So, the phrase Happy Holidays is even less offensive than Xmas. Unfortunately, LifeWay does not explain the difference between the two terms here.
The most likely explanation is that most Americans do not think Happy Holidays takes Christ out of Christmas. For instance, some people think Happy Holidays is respectful to Jews and other non-Christians. On the other hand, Xmas appears to be an explicitly unreligious slang term which offends many Christians.
Putting Christ In Christmas Deeply Divides Americans
The concept of Christ in Christmas deeply divides Americans, Lifeway Research demonstrates. Particularly, fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas to avoid controversy.
Overall, college graduates were less likely to agree with “Christmas should be more about Jesus” than the less educated. 59% of those with a bachelor’s degree and 55% of those with a graduate degree disagreed with the statement.
Additionally, more Protestants want Christ in Christmas than Catholics. Notably, 87% of Protestants and 74% of Catholics believe that “Christmas should be more about Jesus.”
Meanwhile, 19% of Christians disagree that “Christmas should be more about Christ.” This means that the clear majority of Christians still believe that there should be more Christ in Christmas.
Significantly, Evangelicals are the strongest proponents of Christ in Christmas. Alternatively, only 59% of non-Evangelicals support putting more Christ in Christmas.
African Americans are also more likely to want Christ at Christmas. In fact, 73% of “black, non-Hispanic” people believe Jesus should be in Christmas.
Why Do Fewer Americans Want Christ In Christmas?
LifeWay Research finds that fewer Americans want Christ in Christmas but does not ask why. Further, LifeWay does not provide a reason to explain the surging number of Americans who want Christ out of Christmas in the past four years.
One explanation is the polarizing nature of Christ’s incarnation in the first place. After all, according to scripture, Christ came as Savior to a world in need of repentance. This fact alone creates issues. To celebrate the birth of Jesus is to confess that He came to save sinners. This means that many people become uncomfortable with what looks like criticism. We’re all guilty of this to some degree. Most of us are offended when our weaknesses are pointed out. But it’s more than that. The gospel of Jesus Christ specifies how we are to live. It places very real obligations and requirements on us. Who wants to be told what to do?
But the biggest offense in our culture is to believe and proclaim that there is only one way to salvation.
The truth is, we should anticipate even more hostility to Christianity as Americans continue to press the belief that “anything goes” personally and culturally.
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What are your thoughts on fewer Americans wanting Christ in Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.