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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Should we celebrate Christmas?

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brentw
Member



Joined: 2005/12/14
Posts: 440
Ohio

 Re:

Is cutting out Christmas drawing you away from Christ?? Is celebrating Christmas a SIN?? I think not. The bible says to "enjoy life".
Not celebrating Christmas is bordering LEGALISM. Does cutting out christmas get me closer God, and thats the question!!!???


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Brent

 2005/12/17 18:57Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 ... that smell

Quote:
Since you asked for some thinking food let me suggest you apply this approach to other things Christians do. You will find enough fleshly examples of bad worship, bad preaching, bad marriages, and bad churches to consider never participating in these things because of the shameful behavior of others.

Honestly I think this issue is just another example of sectarianism that Christians seem to find purpose in. We become clannish over the most obtuse concerns. If we invent enough rules and regulations we'll eventually make backsliders and hypocrites out of all of us.



Well said MC. Think the bad preaching alone is far greater a problem, yet as you intimated, really is the issue more that we are particularly grieved or just bitter?


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Mike Balog

 2005/12/17 19:03Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2736
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
I think the earlier posts clearly expose the fallacy of this statement. It is NOT insprired by Christ, but by a desire to combine the kingdom of God with the kingdom of the world. That should be quite obvious when we look at our practises surrounding this holiday season.



As a counterpoint to this thought, here some thoughts taken from an article by Greg Koukl...

[i]The question of whether Christmas is pagan enters into the idea of cultural practices. Some have made the assertion that Christmas has pagan origins. Christmas does not have pagan origins, but there are winter celebrations that are pagan. There was, for example, a saturnal celebration around the time of Christmas that pagans celebrated, which was actually a temptation for Christians to participate in that had pagan content to it. So the church changed the day that they celebrated the birth of Christ. They used to celebrate it in the Spring. But the church said, "We can celebrate it any time we want. Let's celebrate it at the same time the pagans are celebrating their pagan festival. It'll act as a contrast to that pagan festival because our celebration is the birth of the God-man, Jesus Christ. It has Biblical content. Plus it will protect Christians from being wooed away by this other celebration to participate in what was a pagan celebration". It was really a wise thing that they did and the kind of thing that many missionaries do even nowadays. They take the momentum of a cultural practice--a cultural practice that may even have religious content to it, offensive religious content--and they redeem that for Christianity. They redefine what people have been doing. They reinvest it with new meaning. They capture the cultural form and they reinvest it with spiritual meaning. We've done that many times. We've done that in other cultures and it served to offer a springboard for us into cultures using cultural forms and reinvesting them with new meaning. If you read Don Richardson's books Eternity in Their Hearts or Peace Child, this is what he talks about. They captured cultural forms that had one meaning and reinvested it with a new meaning, and this became a springboard to reach into these cultures with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And we've done the same thing with Christmas...My point is that we have liberty in reinvesting cultural forms with spiritual meaning. We have done that with Christmas. I don't think there is anything wrong with that at all. I think it's good and healthy for us to do so.[/i]

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2005/12/17 19:27Profile
Christisking
Member



Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 672
Los Angeles, California

 Re: ... that smell

Quote:
The way you described Christmas makes me not want to observe it either.



Good! But it is not me who wrote that description. I believe it was Mike Peters for All At His Feet, but I would have to double check. I think it is a pretty factual and common view of Christmas.

I am not dogmatic about the celebration one way or the other - each has to make up their own mind and follow what is their current understanding. I think that the reason it seems like those who are against the celebration seem more contentious in their argument is that when you are shown things that are evil or an abomination to God you naturally want to warn those who have not been shown these things yet. I think we have all experienced this to at least some degree in our Christian experience - some more then others. Can you think of away that you have experience such a thing - have you come out of a false doctrine or teaching or legalism or such? This is were most who hold an opposing view of Christimas are coming from. We don't think that it is a matter of salvation or that you will be cast into hell for celebrating Christmas, by any means. We just want to eagerly and ernestly warn and tell others about what we feel God has opened our eyes to and has shown us, that's all.

Quote:
Honestly I think this issue is just another example of sectarianism that Christians seem to find purpose in. We become clannish over the most obtuse concerns. If we invent enough rules and regulations we'll eventually make backsliders and hypocrites out of all of us.



Very well put MC, you are my brother in Christ no matter what you do as far as Christmas goes. We should be able to share personal convictions, opinions, ideas, what God has reveled to us and different ways of thinking without it causing division or animosity. There are plenty of issues to take a definitive stand on that are directly related to a persons salvation. This is not one of them.

Quote:
Think the bad preaching alone is far greater a problem, yet as you intimated, really is the issue more that we are particularly grieved or just bitter?



I agree that bad preaching and many others issues are a far greater problem, but this is a thread about if we should celebrate Christmas not bad preaching, so that is what we are discussing. As for me brother, grieved, grieved, grieved, grieved. It is very easy when still walking in the flesh to become bitter when you see Christ being put to open shame in front of the whole world, but when you are dead bitterness is an emotion you no longer have. The understandable bitterness turns to grief, sadness, weeping and tears.


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Patrick Ersig

 2005/12/17 20:52Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

Quote:
...MC, you are my brother in Christ no matter what you do as far as Christmas goes. We should be able to share personal convictions, opinions, ideas, what God has reveled to us and different ways of thinking without it causing division or animosity.



That works for me brother!
Quote:
There was... a saturnal celebration around the time of Christmas that pagans celebrated,...and they redeem that for Christianity. They redefine what people have been doing. They reinvest it with new meaning. They capture the cultural form and they reinvest it with spiritual meaning. We've done that many times. We've done that in other cultures and it served to offer a springboard for us into cultures using cultural forms and reinvesting them with new meaning.



This is how I can't help but see it. Whatever superstitious winter festival was happening in the ancient world is long gone, but Christ, His Church and His gospel still lives!

Ancient Christians were not living on the moon...they had to start here with what they knew and the world they lived in. That doesn't make it right or wrong per se...just cultural or at least contextual.

MC

PS. has anyone heard that Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer was originally a socially polite nickname for spiked eggnog...and that the Easter Bunny came from an Aztec Rabbit deity? (Just kidding :-P )


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Mike Compton

 2005/12/17 23:10Profile









 Re: Should we celebrate Christmas?

Dear Friends

It really doesn't matter if you celebrate or not, we are free to observe it or to ban it.

My dad tried to ban it from his home many times, we had nothing but heartache and sorrow, because Mom wanted Christmas.

In the end I sided with Dad, but over the years I came to realize that whats the big deal?

I have a right to my own opinion about Christmas and how I view it. And this is my view:

The Tree though all of you may have all your answers on what the tree symbolizes from ancient mythology blah blah blah.

But the tree to me represents The Tree of Life-Jesus Christ.

The ornaments represents the fruit on that tree, the star atop the tree represents that star that lead the three wisemen to see thier King.

The gifts under the tree represents the gifts that the three wise men brought.

I have no interest in the Yule Log, the Mistle Toe, Santa Claus or Roudolf, I hate the drummer boy. And I love Mary's boy child, by BonyM, and O Holy Night by Percy Faith.

I have read all their is to know of the history of the Christmas tree and all the like about the sungod and December 25 etc..etc..

BUT TO ME!!!! I know who my SON GOD is, and that is all that matters, whether I observe His birth on Dec 25 or July 1, what matters is that I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED.

Seasons Greetings
Merry Christmas
Karl

 2005/12/17 23:29
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: More Christmas Cheer

Thanks Karl,

Just canned my response... it was to disjointed.
MC, thanks as well, think you got out what I would have been attempting by long discourse.

Maybe, just maybe what it needs is not support (as it is primarily, generally speaking) nor banishment (Here's a left over quip from trash can: "Think you would find more truly idolatrous behavior the way some people treat their cars, not how they decorate a Christmas tree.") neither of those two, but redemption and restoration.

It really, if anybody, ought to belong to us as a Holy - day.


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Mike Balog

 2005/12/17 23:41Profile
CyberCarbon
Member



Joined: 2005/12/16
Posts: 122


 Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to the little children, Merry Christmas to the followers of Christ.
This might be YOUR best chance this year to tell someone about the little baby in the manger and why he was born, and the 300 plus prophecies He fulfilled.
The Stores are playing songs of worship to Jesus Christ, only this time of year and most do not even know it, and you want to stop, and surrender it?
This is the day we celebrate the most important birth in the history of the world.

The only parts of Christmas I pray against is the vicious advertisement aimed at the little children. And the materialism that grips so many into deep debt. Thank You Wall Street.


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David Michael Paul

 2005/12/17 23:49Profile





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