Usually I don’t try to put up Christmass stuff during Advent. Christmass is more than one day which is something that modern American culture can’t seem to fathom. So I was putting up our little creche scene in our home and it kind of struck me. Perhaps it has struck you too, but I suppose it was just so much a normal part of Americana that it never did before. Usually when you think about controversy and nativity scenes you think of some left wing legal group or some atheist with an anoying sense of moral superiority. But then it struck me that many Protestants have nativity scenes too. But why?
It is one thing if you’re Anglican or say Lutheran (maybe Anglican-lite = Methodist). They more or less have a tradition of sorts on retaining images. But why object to icons in church as idolatry if every December you put up your little Chrismass idols in your house or on your front lawn? How is it that I never hear so much as a peep about Protestant idols of the baby Jesus? Why no arguments about how Christmass idols of the baby Jesus imply a Nestorian confusion since it requires a conflating of the divine and human essence in order to depict Jesus? (This is a bad argument when used against icons of Jesus since it views the appearance or prospon as a profuct of the union, which is ironically enough Nestorian.) Why are there no howls of no graven image around Christmass time? Granted, that Protestants who are iconoclasts don’t bow to their plastic or plaster baby Jesus or kiss his feet (let alone Mary’s) but setting up the nativity scene is still a form of veneration or an expression of honor (just as tombstones are incidentally). After all, no graven image means, no graven image period, right?
I am not saying that they are bad things, but I think the Puritans in abolishing Christmass and other holy days altogether were more consistent. I suppose I am asking those who have such things and object to icons to do one or the other.