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philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

We have a vivid picture of Paul in a heathen context in Acts 17. There was so much that was wrong but Paul found enough things that were right to use as an opportunity for the gospel. “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. [b]What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.[/b]” (Phil. 1:14-18, KJVS)


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Ron Bailey

 2005/12/11 16:24Profile
dullrainbow
Member



Joined: 2005/8/10
Posts: 98
Iowa U.S.

 Re: Should we celebrate Christmas?

Christmas just died in me one year, and...if it is possible just kept dieing. Trusting that it is a pagan holiday for profit, this death was a gift.
As far as celebrating birthdays...the only one I can recall being celebrated in Scripture was Herad's...which as we know, resulted in the death of John the baptist.


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Eileen Teitsworth

 2005/12/11 21:54Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re: What are our responsibilities during Christmas?

We cannot ignore all the various aspects surrounding Christmas, and we can’t ignore what is on the hearts and minds of others. To do so would be very un-Christian.
The reality is that Christmas is an important observance in our culture, and we all interact with it in some way – because we interact with people. Here is an example:

Quote:
we have our own special day where we do things for them and this year were going to buy them a ping pong table. That’s all they care about. I’m even thinking of having some outdoor lighting around my house because the kids like the lights but nothing colored which I don’t care for anyway



We must seek to know what would please Christ and what would displease him. Some things that displease him are: going after the delights of this world, doing something under obligation, insisting on certain religious observances and holidays, gluttony, materialism, worshipping idols, making choices without seeking God, living according to our natural reasoning… feeling guilty when we shouldn’t (like not meeting everyone’s expectations), worry, allowing pressures to run our lives, having a form of godliness without the power, judging the way others observe holidays, Etc….etc… etc

Clearly, Christmas can induce a host of sins. Yet, not observing it does not absolve us of any sins. It’s not a matter of should we or shouldn’t we observe it, but rather: Are my choices pleasing to God? “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” There are a lot of choices that come not from faith, but from obligation, the natural flesh, or natural reasoning.

The original question should be worded, ‘What are my responsibilities regarding Christmas?

Quote:
'When you read the gospel accounts of the nativity the only one who isn't celebrating the birth of Jesus is Herod'

I don’t think that this justifies the observance of Christmas. Hardly anyone even knew of the birth of Christ, only a few lowly shepherds, and some astrologers from a distant land. It wasn’t a big event – and far from the way we celebrate birthdays in our culture.

For me, Christmas time is filled with opportunities to glorify God through contacts with others, through music, and through a heightened sense of good will, and much more. It can be our golden opportunity to shine the light of Christ in the midst of the darkness.
Diane



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Diane

 2005/12/11 23:03Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Emanuel

Quote:
Luther is supposed to have cut the first Christmas tree. The story may be apocryphal, but we know that on Christmas Eve, 1538, he was in a jolly mood, singing and talking about the incarnation. Then he sighed, saying, "Oh, we poor men, that we should be so cold and indifferent to this great joy which has been given us."



Loved Ron's sentiment expressed a couple of replies back, it is a very, very difficult verse to get around isn't it? And how often it applies and makes some of us squirm ... myself included.

One thing that is a bit puzzling is the extremes this can be taken to. Did some more searching around and some of the reasonings for opposing are just incredible, legalistic and far afield as the ones that would want to buttress an argument the other way.

Some interesting things came up though, even as this holiday developed in the US primarily. A lot of the 'lore' could be tied directly to a book almost, with a 'built in' history. Here's a few to take a look at for the curious;

[url=http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/christmas/real.html]The Real Story of Christmas [/url]

[url=http://chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2002/12/daily-12-25-2002.shtml]December 25, 336 • The First Recorded Celebration of Christmas [/url]

[url=http://chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2003/12/daily-12-24-2003.shtml]December 24, Annual • Christmas Eve.[/url]

[url=http://chi.gospelcom.net/GLIMPSEF/Glimpses/glmps084.shtml]Let's Celebrate Christmas, But When and How?[/url]

All things being equal and taking what is read with some real possibilities of misconstrueing...
Couldn't pass this one up, it seemed to be possibly a bit much at first glance but ... let the reader decide;

[url=http://www.locksley.com/6696/xmas.htm]Pagan Claus: A look at Christmas Symbols[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2005/12/11 23:11Profile
Christisking
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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 672
Los Angeles, California

 Re: A voice of reason shedding some light

I have been troubled by this discussion and how some can cling so tightly to there man made tradition instead of following the word of God. I have been reluctant to post my own thoughts and ideas, but I think the recent thread started by brother Shibu relates what I feel almost exactly. I also feel like Christmas naturally died for me when I was born again by the Spirit of God, as another brother related. Before I start to go off on a rant, I'd like to point this discussion to what I believe is a voice of reason shedding some light on the subject - Zac Poonen - as posted by brother Shibu - I feel it most likely better to let Zac do my talking for me on this matter.

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=8526&forum=34]CHRISTMAS AND EASTER - CHRISTIAN OR PAGAN? Zac Poonen[/url]

Please go read the whole article, but hear is a little taste.

Quote:
It is amazing that many believers are not willing to accept what even secular writers (like the authors of Encyclopedia Britannica) have understood clearly - that Christmas and Easter are basically pagan festivals. You can call an ass a lion, but it is still an ass. Changing the names has not made these festivals Christian! There is no difference between Christmas and Easter and Ganesh Puja and Dussera...True spirituality is to follow Jesus in all aspects of life. This involves primarily a taking up of the cross and obeying God's word in the power of the Holy Spirit in daily life. It also involves a forsaking of all human traditions that are not found in the New Testament. God desires a pure testimony in every place - a church that is not only free from all sin, but also free from Babylonian traditions.


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Patrick Ersig

 2005/12/12 1:10Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

The choice of the 25th as the day of the birth is certainly not based on chronological fact but was simply an expedient so that 'Christian's could have their own celebration without being drawn into the Winter Solstice. For many years I spoke at an 'All Saints' day conference in Poland. 'All Saints' is the day after 'Haloween'. The reason was simple. The Catholic Polish folk were used to visiting the cemetries on 'All Hallows' Eve' and paying their respects to their dead relatives and praying for their souls The cemetries are ablaze with candles at this time and it was a key aspect of Polish cultures.

Some evangelicals saw the danger of young converts being drawn back into Catholic ways and coming back under the influence of their Catholic families. The solution was a very simple expedient. They developed an alternative 'celebration' so that young Christians could meet together in a residential conference at that time of the year.

The choice of 25th December was the same kind of expedient. It provided an alternate 'celebration' so that the Christians were not drawn back into their pagan cultures. Their perceived choice was reject it or replace it. As some of you will know I am not afraid of 'replacement theology'! :-D

Quote:
Loved Ron's sentiment expressed a couple of replies back, it is a very, very difficult verse to get around isn't it? And how often it applies and makes some of us squirm ... myself included.

me too! ;-)


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Ron Bailey

 2005/12/12 3:15Profile









 Re: roadsign

I DO NOT INTEREACT WITH CHRISTMAS.Its never a good idea to judge another persons heart.We do not all intereact with it in some way.Im sorry but Im not following you at all.I think I will move to another forum now.Good-day!!!

 2005/12/12 7:36
Randilover
Member



Joined: 2005/1/21
Posts: 17


 Re:

Quote:

Christisking wrote:
I have been troubled by this discussion and how some can cling so tightly to there man made tradition instead of following the word of God.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=8526&forum=34]CHRISTMAS AND EASTER - CHRISTIAN OR PAGAN? Zac Poonen[/url]

Please go read the whole article, but hear is a little taste.

Quote:
It is amazing that many believers are not willing to accept what even secular writers (like the authors of Encyclopedia Britannica) have understood clearly - that Christmas and Easter are basically pagan festivals. You can call an ass a lion, but it is still an ass. Changing the names has not made these festivals Christian! There is no difference between Christmas and Easter and Ganesh Puja and Dussera...True spirituality is to follow Jesus in all aspects of life. This involves primarily a taking up of the cross and obeying God's word in the power of the Holy Spirit in daily life. It also involves a forsaking of all human traditions that are not found in the New Testament. God desires a pure testimony in every place - a church that is not only free from all sin, but also free from Babylonian traditions.



I'll use this post to respond to those that see Christmas as a pagan holiday that Christians should not celebrate.

First, having scripture be silent on something and using that as justification for doing it or not doing it is poor theology. The Bible never mentions thousands of things that we all partake of on a daily basis.

Second, Jesus celebrated feastivals that were not mentioned in the OT. To quote John 10:22, "Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade." The feast of Dedication was Hanukkah and in my OT is never mentioned. So who does he think he is celebrating something that is not in scripture. Did he know what he was doing?!? Now, either you have to accept that some "traditions" are ok to celebrate without Biblical basis, or you are stuck without a good basis for this arguement.

Third, Paul the aposlte backed up the Colossian believers telling them, "Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or in regards to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a Sabbath day." Now granted he was talking about OT legalists, but the point still stands. You can not expect others to submit to a legalistic process of not celebrating it based on what it was thousands of years ago.

I grew up celebrating Christmas. I never heard the pagan thing until I was in my late teens (or possibly later). Never once did I think of bowing down to my tree. We had a tree because it representing everlasting life (ever-green, get it?!?) We gave presents because Christ received gifts from the wise men. We had people over for dinner because family is important. We had a Christmas Eve service because someone (parents and church) wanted to stress the awesomeness of an incarnation that was being celebrated.

I have no problem with those that do not want to celebrate it. You follow the convictions that God lays on your heart, but please do not impress those onto others as something they are doing wrong. Neither Christ nor the aposltes gave us the liberty to do so.

 2005/12/12 12:20Profile
Eli_Barnabas
Member



Joined: 2005/2/16
Posts: 621
Cache Valley, Utah

 Re:

[i]"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more:
but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. [b]Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.[/b] And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."[/i] - Romans 14:12-23


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Eli Brayley

 2005/12/12 12:31Profile
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

brethren

Quote:
I have no problem with those that do not want to celebrate it. You follow the convictions that God lays on your heart, but please do not impress those onto others as something they are doing wrong. Neither Christ nor the aposltes gave us the liberty to do so.



i think this sums it up, let each of us seek the Lord on what we ought to do and do that. if the Lord is indeed tugging at you to leave this whole celebration alone, then leave it alone. i've never really been that into Christmas, it always seemed weird to me how all of a sudden people became all nice at this time and were mean every other time of the year :-( We never did the Christmas tree, we did get together with family but we did this often so it wasn't a big deal. i enjoy time with family, i don't do gifts, trees, cards or anything else really. i think though we should celebrate Christ each day.

if it bothers you that these holidays have pagan influences, then i would suggest you not celebrate them. at the end of the day though, let each one seek the Lord's counsel earnestly and if the Lord calls for us to repent from this then let us fall on our faces and repent, repent and repent some more.AMEN.


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Farai Bamu

 2005/12/12 12:38Profile





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