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jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

If my remember correctly, the Chi-Rho that Ron mentioned is also the symbol believed to have been given to Constantine in his vision that he was to put on the shields of his soldiers.

Another interesting fact about crucifixion unsing nails. Most people were tied to crosses with ropes as it saved time and labor for the Roman soldiers. Only special cases called for the use of nails. Also, four nails were used instead of three. The feet were placed on either side of the cross and nailed through the side. The tradition of three nails came from middle-ages art. All religious art was filled with spiritual symbolism. There was nothing spiritual about four nails; however, three nails could represent the Trinity. And thus, we now have bumper-sticker that reads, "One cross + three nails = fourgiven." Interesting line of logic I think.

One last thing about using the shortened X-mas; you're still supposed to pronounce it Christmas. ;-)


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/12/2 19:42Profile
Nasher
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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Although the 'X' in Xmas is derived from the Greek langauge, most people don't know this today. For this reason I don't like it being used because it takes peoples minds away from Christ (As Mary implied).


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Mark Nash

 2003/12/3 4:41Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Calculate the value of X

Nasher's quote: Although the 'X' in Xmas is derived from the Greek langauge, most people don't know this today. For this reason I don't like it being used because it takes peoples minds away from Christ (As Mary implied).

I understand this position, however for most folk the name Christ is also without content. I can think of some titles for Christmas tracts which could home in on the idea of "X marks the spot" or perhaps one for the mathematicians "Calculate the value of X". ;-)

In my scribbling of notes I always use abbreviations e.g. X=Christ, Xn=Christian, Xnty etc. Having done this for a number of years whenever I see the symbol X my brain reads 'Christ'.

I knew an old preacher who, without cynicism, would say "Beware of Christmas; it's a trick to get you worshipping Mary". It sounds harsh but just notice your Christmas cards and see who has prime place. You might like to listen to the carols and see who has top billing there too.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/3 4:56Profile
Chosen7Stone
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Joined: 2003/7/21
Posts: 268
FL, USA

 Re:

When I went "home" for the Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to meet up with a Jewish friend I went to high school with. His friends at his college were planning to throw him a Christmas party since he had never celebrated Christmas.
This Hallmark Christmas is awful, and is taking the focus off of the real reason for the season.
Satan's laughing, and I hate it.


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Mary M.

 2003/12/3 17:49Profile
almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 Re:

Quote:
This Hallmark Christmas is awful, and is taking the focus off of the real reason for the season.



On the one hand I would agree with you and I know what you are saying. But I do see a different side to the matter. The Hallmark Christmas is the reason for the season, its (christmas) roots are unholy and so its fruits will ultimatley be unholy also no matter how much we try to put Christ into it. People say "Don't take Christ out of christmas" but there is a good argument that says that He has no buisness being yolked together with a festival that was pagan in the past and carnal today. Christmas is a time of drunkeness, lonliness greed and worldliness why do we try so hard to force spirituality into this festival?

Anyway, probably sounds like I am just harsh and legalisticly against christmas, I'm not :-) many of my dear brothers and sisters celebrate it with a good conscience and I have no problem with that.

Just giving some of the reasons why I find myself less and less interested in it.

Stuart.


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Stuart

 2003/12/3 20:20Profile
straitway
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Joined: 2003/8/10
Posts: 1
Lafayette, Tennessee

 Re:

I find it hard to beleive that people call themselves christians and celebrate and believe the lies of pagan customs. Jeremiah 10 talks about the tree. If People would study they would see that this pagan hoilday has nothing to do with Christ birth but with the birth of Tammuz. God does not condone lies neither does he approve them no matter how blind the people want to be. Many will find themselves lifting there eyes up in Hell for preaching and teaching these lies such as Christmas and Easter. People can snowball each other all they want down here, but pay day is coming. I say that the people need to REPENT! for these lies which had noting to do with Jesus. Christmas is pagan and No lie is of the truth.

Charles Dowell.


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Charles Dowell

 2003/12/3 21:31Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
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 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.

this was very early in the thread, but I am surprised that no-one has commented about the other half of the word. As we have it 'Christ-mass' is of Roman Catholic origin, hence my old friend who used to say 'Beware of Christmas, it's a trick to get you worshipping Mary'.

Now if we could get rid of the 'mass' bit that would just leave 'Christ'. I guess we would all be happy with that?

Here's a definition:
Definition: \Mass\, n. [OE. masse, messe, AS. m[ae]sse. LL. missa, from L. mittere, missum, to send, dismiss: cf. F. messe. In the ancient churches, the public services at which the catechumens were permitted to be present were called missa catechumenorum, ending with the reading of the Gospel. Then they were dismissed with these words : ``Ite, missa est'' [sc. ecclesia], the congregation is dismissed. After that the sacrifice proper began. At its close the same words were said to those who remained. So the word gave the name of Mass to the sacrifice in the Catholic Church. See {Missile}, and cf. {Christmas}, {Lammas}, {Mess} a dish, {Missal}.] 1. (R. C. Ch.) The sacrifice in the sacrament of the Eucharist, or the consecration and oblation of the host.

bold type is mine.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/6 15:06Profile
markso
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Joined: 2003/4/20
Posts: 21
Horsham, Australia

 Re:

I must confess brothers and sisters that this is a topic I struggle with. I can find no scriptural support for celebrating the birth of our Lord. (If I am wrong, please advise). By no means am I dismissing the awesome miracle of our Lord's incarnation. I mean the Eternal Word of God pressed into the womb of a woman is just incredible. I was only just talking with our local minister the other day about this very topic. I voiced my concerns as named above and also the pagan origins of Christmas to him. His reply is in line with using the time of year to reach out and to "give cheerfully" to others as God has given to us. As a side note I think that the reason why Jesus came to earth has been lost to some. I know of some ministers who, because of the increased numbers on Christmas day, let the congregants have it. (ie. Telling them that they are filthy rotten sinners and preaching a very strong message of repentance). According to Matt 1:21 the name of Jesus was given to Him "because he will save his people from their sins."
Now this is all fair and well (the using the time of the year to outreach), but are we or are we not to "worship the Lord in spirit and truth". I think of the fate of Nadab and Abihu when they offered "strange fire" to the Lord on the altar. And isn't a bit of a cop out to say "Well because it is Christmas I will be able to outreach." We are called to be witnesses 24/7 as far as I am concerned. (I am tragically guilty of not sometimes practicing what I preach).
I have waffled enough for now but I will close by leaving two links which give an interesting background to Christmas.

http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract3.html

http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract4.html


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Adam Marks

 2003/12/7 3:13Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Markso
your quote:I must confess brothers and sisters that this is a topic I struggle with. I can find no scriptural support for celebrating the birth of our Lord. (If I am wrong, please advise).


I often share your feelings and have often asked the Lord to do something to clear out the rubbish so that the gospel could be preached without all the historical baggage and new-age syncretistic nonsense. The answer I get in my heart is that it has always been like this. Christianity was always in the marketplace (not the study) competing with other so-called solutions. In the era of the New Testament we have evidence of gnostic attempts to take over the gospel (Colossians), Judaistic preversions of the truth (Galatians), false brethren sneaking in unseen trying to enslave the Christians (Galatians), the beginnnings of decadence in church life (3John)... Why doesn't God just silence all this false witness?

Time and again God takes me to this astonishing statement of Paul, and like the disciples I plead 'Lord, increase my faith'..

Php 1:15-18 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.

What kind of perverted witness could have come from people who only preached Christ so that they could get Paul into more trouble? Paul's statement sounds very much like 'any publicity is good publicity'. I'm sure Paul is right and my reactions are defensive, so I continue to pray.. Lord, increase my faith.

There is another statement that challenges my view of how things 'ought to be'. It is the comment of the leader of the town council in Ephesus For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. Paul spent more than 2 years in Ephesus and the local 'mayor' says 'they have not blasphemed your goddess'. This can only mean that Paul and the early Christians were not preaching 'against idolatry' but were preaching 'for Christ'. Of course, they were 'against idolatry' but they did not publically attack it they 'preached Christ'. Since I saw this a few years ago, my street preaching has not been 'against' the rubbish and the error but has been a witness to Christ which, after all, is part of the reason as to why the Spirit came (Acts 1:8).


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/8 4:34Profile
almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 Re:

Quote:
This can only mean that Paul and the early Christians were not preaching 'against idolatry' but were preaching 'for Christ'. Of course, they were 'against idolatry' but they did not publically attack it they 'preached Christ'.



That is an excellent insight. I reminds me of the situation in Acts 17, when Paul saw the idolatry in Athens his spirit was stirred within him. So what did he do? go to the highest mountain localy and bind the ruling spirits? no, rather:
[i]He reasoned therefore in the synagogue with the Jews, and those who worshipped, and in the market-place every day with those he met with.(Darby)[/i]
and what did his reasoning consist of? v 18:[i] because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.[/i]

Paul did noy ignore the idolatry, it stirred him. But it didn't stir him to go out and expose it by uncovering its dark history, it stirred him to preach the gospel. He did mention in his address that God is not worshiped with man's hands. That was the extent of his attack on idols.

We are faced with the dilema of idolatry in Catholic Ireland. Most homes still have some kind of graven images in them, public places often have large statues of "the maddona and child" or such like. Somtimes christians feel that if only they could convince their neighbours to get rid of their statues and pictures they would be doing well. But often the truth is that when people are brought into contact with the living Christ their idols will quickly lose their meaning.



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Stuart

 2003/12/8 5:35Profile





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