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almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 christmas and the christian

I am interested in people's beliefs regarding christmas.

Do you celebrate it?
Do you put up a tree?
Do you tell your children about santa claus?


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Stuart

 2003/11/24 11:39Profile
5nva
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Joined: 2003/8/15
Posts: 179


 Re: christmas and the christian

Stuart:

I guess I will be the first to respond to this.

I asked a similar question before on a post concerning Christians and Halloween. I think Christmas is much different though than the wicked celebration of Halloween.

My family and I do celebrate Christmas. We do put up a tree. We tell our children that Santa Claus is a big lie and takes away the glory from our Lord, Savior and King Jesus. We do not have anything of santa claus and we try to keep our Christmas celebration to enjoying our family time together. I try to keep the gift buying for my kids to a minimum and not get caught up in the materialism of the world. I must say I have questioned the tree thing in the past but decided to continue putting a tree up and decorating it.

In the area that I live I have met so many professing Christians that take part in Halloween and the santa claus thing. Even to the point of leaders in the churches dressing up as santa claus at the mall. I have always really struggled with this.

I am curious to read what others think and do.

Sincerly in Christ,

Mike


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Mike

 2003/11/24 14:58Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re: christmas

Quote:
My family and I do celebrate Christmas. We do put up a tree.


In my family which is not a Christian family, We have celebrated Christmas with a big nice tree, lots of presents, decorations, music, food, etc..

I enjoyed this time of the year because of all of the good memories of Christmas as a child. But its quite sad the [b]Christ[/b]mas has really nothing to do with [b]Christ[/b] these days. There is a way to have a tree and all the traditions of Christmas but still have Christ as paramount in the celebration time of that month. For my kids I would ease down on the materialism part of the celebration.. it sounds abit to close to this scripture sometimes when I think about it (make sure to read the context around it):

[b]Revelation 11:10 (kjv)[/b] - And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/11/24 15:09Profile
Chosen7Stone
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Joined: 2003/7/21
Posts: 268
FL, USA

 Re: christmas and the christian

I do celebrate Christmas. I'm 19 so I really just go with the flow of my family...same situation as Greg (wrtbooks). Not a Christian family, so they do the "Hallmark Christmas" thing.
When I have a family of my own, Santa will not be in the picture. We'll probably read the account of Christ's birth in Luke on Christmas Eve and do the whole nativity scene deal. Send Christian Christmas cards, make sure we remember the reason for the season. The only red and green we'll really focus on is the red of His blood and the green of a new life in Him.
As for presents...well, I give random gifts throughout the year, why not up the amount I give in December? You can't avoid receiving gifts, and since it's better to give than receive, I'll just give more.
I like Christmas. It's one giant witnessing opportunity.


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Mary M.

 2003/11/24 16:11Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
[b]remember the reason for the season[/b]


What a neat catch phrase ha!

Quote:
I like Christmas. It's one giant witnessing opportunity.


You amazing.. thats the way to look at it! Peoples Church where Charles Price preaches are putting an emphasis on witnessing for the enitire month of dec. and 2 weeks after. They realzie that is is 'one giant witnessing opportunity' lets take hold of it.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/11/24 16:16Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re:

We have gone back and forth on the whole issue of Christmas. Yes, I know it originated from a pagan holiday, etc...

We have 3 kids and we have taken it year by year- really listening to what the Lord would have us do. As we've matured in the Lord, we have minimized the materialism big time.

I tell them that Santa is not real (I do tell them not to go around telling their friends "hey, you know what? there's no Santa!") I still let them sings songs about it (Santa Claus is coming to Town) because I explain that it is just a story, a fairy tale- like Cinderella, or any other story. Just because Cinderella isn't real- we don't ban the mention of her name :)

On the other hand- we don't have santa stuff in our home. I purposely don't buy things with Santa on them. I am appalled at the millions of children who only think of Santa and all the presents that they will be getting from him.

We have a Birthday Cake every Christmas Day for Jesus' birthday. (I know it isn't really the real date) but it teaches the kids who we are to honor on this day. That it's not about us but about Him.

We talk about what presents we can give Jesus. We can give Him all of our heart, more obedience, love others more. And we discuss alot about how He was the Father's gift to us. That's why we give gifts to celebrate His great gift to us.

Also we have decided to give the kids just 3 presents each. In the past we used to give them a ton but not anymore-because that's all they would think about. We tell them if Jesus only needed 3 gifts from the wisemen- they certainly don't need any more than Him :)

I really want to please the Lord with this. If He leads us to do something different, then I will be obedient to that. I am not so into tradition that I will follow man's tradition before I follow Him.

"May the only gift we really care about be
the gift of God Himself.
A king humbling Himself to become like
one of us.
Giving of Himself to be born -
giving of Himself to die.
Who knew a baby could change the world
by changing hearts!
Let us continue to let Him change our hearts every day of the year!" ~Chanin Dec. 2002

In His love, Chanin


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Chanin

 2003/11/24 18:23Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re:

"While Santa puts gifts under your tree
JESUS BECAME OUR GIFT
AND DIED ON A TREE"

~author unknown


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Chanin

 2003/11/25 13:33Profile
Chosen7Stone
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Joined: 2003/7/21
Posts: 268
FL, USA

 Re:

Chanin (moreofHim),
Definitely loved your post on how you and your family handle a modern Christmas. In a few years I'll be having children of my own (God willing, of course) and I've often thought on how I would raise my children in matters such as these. Awesome awesome things you shared -- thank you.
On a super-side note, we often see the abbreviation for Christmas as "Xmas". I just wanted to point out that it takes "Christ" out of Christmas. Take from that what you will.


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Mary M.

 2003/11/30 22:12Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

Mary wrote: "On a super-side note, we often see the abbreviation for Christmas as "Xmas". I just wanted to point out that it takes "Christ" out of Christmas. Take from that what you will."

Reply: Wellllll actually it doesn't, but you have to know Greek to understand the X in X-mas. The X in X-mas is not the English letter of the alphabet, but the Greek X wich is Chi. This was one of the Greek symbols for Christ. It's one of those meanings that has been lost to history.

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/12/1 12:58Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Chi-Rho & the <><

Jeremy's quote: The X in X-mas is not the English letter of the alphabet, but the Greek X wich is Chi.

It often comes as surprise to Christians to know that the early Christians didn't use the cross as the symbol of their faith. In the main they used the symbol of the fish. (I tried to draw one here but the computer thinks I am using HTML codes, so please see the title)

The Greek for fish is ixthus.
i is the initial letter of the Greek word for Jesus - Iesous
x is the initial Greek letter "ch" for Christos - Christ
th is the initial Greek letter for theos - of God
u is the initial Greek letter for uios - son
s is the initial Greek letter for soteria - Saviour
so the fish symbol stood for "Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour"

The other scratched symbol that early Christians used was the Chi-Rho. It is the joining of two Greek letters Chi (looking like our X) and Rho (looking like our upper case P). If the Rho is superimposed on the Chi we get the Chi-Rho (pronounced Cairo) symbol which would give the sound (Chr)in Greek, this being a secret code of mutual identification used among early Christians.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/2 18:30Profile





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