Does “X” take Christ out of Christmas?

Where are you Christmas?

One of my kids asked yesterday if it was OK to shorten “Christmas” to “X-mas.”

I rambled on without saying very much and I’m sure she was more confused after the conversation was finished.

This morning, I saw this post from R.C. Sproul, answering the question in a much better way.  An excerpt:

The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect.

So, the answer is “yes” it’s fine to replace “Christmas” with “X-mas,” but I do think this comes with a caveat.

I’m pretty sure in today’s culture that 99% of people have no idea of the history that Sproul explains.  Therefore, I think most of us using “X-Mas” to shorten “Christmas” are simply doing this to save time or space and are effectively “taking Christ out of Christmas.”

Sure, this is a bit off topic from college football, but I thought you might enjoy.

 

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