Back to Christmas

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by jaigner, Nov 5, 2010.

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  1. jaigner

    jaigner
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    Since the powers that be deemed our previous thread unworthy of such high BB standards, let's get back to the discussion.

    Is there actually anyone out there, seriously, who doesn't think it appropriate to celebrate Christmas at all?
     
  2. Zenas

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    It's never wrong to celebrate something that honors our Lord and Savior--as long as that is where the honor is truly directed.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    Mrs PJ and I have some relatives who are Churh of Christ amd refuse to celebrate Christmas.

    We celebrate it but keep things in perspective and dont spend tons of money.
     
  4. Thinkingstuff

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    I personally don't have a problem with Christmas. I enjoy celebrating it. However, to have this discussion I will take the side antagonistic to Celebrating Christmas and list the reasons that people who do feel its wrong here. I will refrain from my ancedotal self for this thread to keep it at a reasonable level.

    The problem people would find celebrating Christmas has to do primarily with its pagan overtones and origin. Attempting to maintain the purity of our Faith and consistency with scripture.

    As we know December 25th is not very likely to be the birth day of Jesus Christ. Jesus' actual birthday is unknown and has been speculated upon by many people using varying and many techniques to make their determination. Almost as much I may say as the diverse and quantity of methods to determine when the rapture will occure or when the Anti-Christ will ascend to power. The basic fact is we don't know when Jesus was born. There is no referrence in the NT to a celebration of Christ's birth. What is mentioned is the more weighty matters of his Teachings, Suffering, death, and ressurrection. In fact we might be safe in assuming the apostles didn't celebrate Jesus' birthday and so neither did the earliest of churches. So why Christmas? The origins of Christmas can be seen in the etymology of the world itself Christ Mass. A referrence to a liturgical celebration of Christ. The birthday is specified later. So this is a hold over from the Catholic and Orthodox tradition of celebrating a liturgy (duty/work of the people) that in our baptist traditions has little necessity. Why did these classical Churches introduce this particular Christ mass in their liturgical year? Well, The Roman Empire had a plethera of Religions. Note that Rome didn't distinguish between religion and civil duties and responsibility. To manage its people rome allowed for religions to develop haeteria or a political group. Each of these is headed by a preist and acts like an insurance company providing for the members burial and taking care of families after a member's death. We see Pliny the lessor refer to Christian groups in this fashion. Fee's were often assessed to its members. Christianity growing in Rome took on Characteristics of the Haeteria in that they had a leader "Priest"/"Bishop" and they took care of their own. By the 4th Century Roman Christians had a well developed sense of community in relation to the consept of their faith and Haeteria. Upon the Edict of Milan in 313 Christianity became a tollerated religion and allowed to own property and members were allowed to be open in their beliefs. The empire at this time had also been around for 900 years. The Roman Military had a favorite Deity to which it offered its alligance which was the Mystery religion of Mythras taken from a powerful predicessor Babylon and interestingly enough there were similarities with Christianity. In celebrating Rome's military might the respected military god Sol Invictus was a national holiday that affected all of Rome. To permit its members celebration with the empire, so as not to seem seperate which got Christians killed previously and to tie themselves with Roman success the Christians also chose to celebrate this day of Sol Invictus but to make it Palatable to the believers and with the miscalculation of Jesus' birthday by a monk named Dionysius Chistians had a liturgical celebration on December 25th.

    Now for many who don't celebrate Christmas the first question is: was it right for christians to compromise with Roman Paganism incorporating a heretofore Celebration that was not celebrated by the early Church? No. It would not be as an early christian once said "what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?". Or what about scritures when Paul says in 2 Corinthians


    We are to be seperate from the world. Yet this is one instance when Christians threw their hands down and surrendered to the world but disguised it in piety.
     
  5. DixieBoy

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    Some Seventh Day Baptist does not. I was born and raised in a religion (44 years) that didn't celebrate Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Birthdays and etc. Women wore no makeup and we abstained from the god of Ekron. Two of my family members died refusing to take any sorcery chips from the Eye of Horus. We were very strict in the observance of the Law of Moses. I used to be heavily involved in RAP (Radical Anti-Paganism.) Now, I been saved and that religion of fear no longer holds me captive.
     
  6. tinytim

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    Dixieboy.. what is the god of Ekron.. and what are sorcery chips from the eye of Horus?
     
  7. DixieBoy

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    The god of Ekron is Baalzebub the Lord of medicine.

    2Ki 1:2 Now Ahaziah had a fall from the window of his room in Samaria, and was ill. And he sent men, and said to them, Put a question to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, about the outcome of my disease, to see if I will get well or not.

    2Ki 1:3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Go now, and,
    meeting the men sent by the king of Samaria, say to them, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you are going to get directions from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?

    The Eye of Horus is the RX symbol on a drug store or prescription. It was deemed to be witchcraft or an incantation invoking the Egyptian god of medicine. Sorcery chips were viewed as pills from a drugstore. We took no pills or used any doctors.
     
  8. DixieBoy

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    True to a certain degree. His birth is recorded as part of the Gospel message. I believe it too should be proclaimed.

    Act 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

    Justin Martyr (100-165), in his noted Apology--a detailed explanation of the Christian faith addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius--stated that Jesus was born at Bethlehem "as you can ascertain also from the registers of the taxing" (Aopl. I, 34).

    Tertullian (160-250) spoke of "the census of Augustus--that most faithful witness of the Lord's nativity, kept in the archives of Rome" (Against Marcion, Bk. 4, 7).

    Cyril of Jerusalem (348-386) asked Julius to assign the true date of Christ's birth "from census documents brought by Titus to Rome" Julius assigned December 25th.

    The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfed Edersheim (Bk. 2, p. 186). says about December 25th:

    "There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds, which seem to me historically untenable."

    The city of his birth is giving. His birth is foretold in the OT. The divine Christmas star led people to him. His birth was announced by an Angel.

    Luk 2:9 And an angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of the Lord was shining round about them: and fear came on them.

    Luk 2:10 And the angel said, Have no fear; for truly, I give you good news of great joy which will be for all the people:

    Luk 2:11 For on this day, in the town of David, a Saviour has come to birth, who is Christ the Lord.

    Luk 2:12 And this is the sign to you: you will see a young child folded in linen, in the place where the cattle have their food.

    Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a great band of spirits from heaven, giving praise to God, and saying,

    Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on the earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased.

    No man knows for sure when Christ died either (save it was at Passover.) But there are no records when that Passover was. The church was the one that affixed that date too. There is also no scripture that commands a celebration of His resurrection either.
     
    #8 DixieBoy, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2010
  9. HankD

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    Right, do your Christmas shopping at the Dollar Store. :tongue3:

    HankD
     
  10. Gina B

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    I used to. That was before I truly understood Christianity and thought God would accept me as a Christian if I followed a really strict lifestyle. At the time, I learned this viewpoint from the church I attended. It was so bad that I refused to acknowledge a "Merry Christmas" from cashiers, the church had me convinced that Christmas was pagan and evil.
     
  11. WooHoo

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    Wow - some deep and heavy opinions on whether to celebrate Christmas.

    But to add my tuppence worth...

    This is going to be my first Christmas as a Christian. The first one that I will really praise the Lord Jesus Christ and celebrate his birth.

    I can not wait to go to Chapel on Christmas morning and sing that praise with all my heart. :jesus:

    I also know of someone whose parents mixed up his birthday and he actually thought his birthday was 2 days earlier than his birth certificate stated. It didn't matter what day he was born on, he still had a yearly celebration of his life, and he got older every year!
     
  12. ituttut

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  13. DixieBoy

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    This will be my sixth Christmas. They keep getting better each year. I have a friend who was born on February 29th (leap year.) Jokingly, he claims to be 13 years old. :tongue3: But his body doesn't validate his claim.:tongue3:

    I used to avoid the elevator at work during Christmastime. Christmas music was piped into it. The night crew at work decorated my office with a small tree. The next day I put it in a bag and threw it in the dumpster. My boss asked me what happened to your tree? I told him someone must have moved it.
     
    #13 DixieBoy, Nov 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2010
  14. Thinkingstuff

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    To Continue with this discussion I'll continue my opposition. The gospel message is irrelevant of the actual date of the birth of the Lord Jesus. What is of importance is not when he was born but that he was and that he is a true incarnation. Apart from that it is irrelevant. The gospel message is no less true if Christ Mass/Sol Invictus is not celebrated.

    Having read Justin Martyrs 1st and 2nd Apology his primary focus is to prove to the emperor that Christians have just grounds for their faith and shouldn't be persecuted by the legal authorities of the Roman emperor. He obviously refers to Roman Documents to verify the verasity of the existance of Jesus unlike Mythras which actual historical personage was in question.

    Tertullian another apologist who later left the universality of the church in favor of Montanism follows Justin's approach to verifying the actual existance of Christ. Niether are apologies for having Christ-Mass/Sol Invictus celebration.

    Not as in my affor mentioned post that this was the time after the Edict of Milan in 313 that Christians threw in their lot with the empire and assimilated the feast day of Sol Invictus into a celebration mass of a Christ-Mass to show solidarity with the empire but to maintain their Christian identity clothed it in falicious piety of celebrating Christ Birth. Note at this time Christians were playing a more promininant role in Empire and it was not long after that Theodocius I declared Orthodox Catholic Christianity the only legitimate state religion of the empire in 380. So a quote from Cyril of Jerusalem can be expected. Already assimulated pagan feast of Sol Invictus in the Christ Mass was accepted.

    This quote shows an opinion that does not have anymore support than tradition that dates back to the 4th Century. It can just as easily be said that "there is no adequate reason for accepting the historical accuracy of this date". There is no supportive evidence save if you have the actual Roman census paper work.

    The only thing these verses show is fulfillment of prophesy not an installation of a feast day. We can thank God for the incarnation without tieing it to a pagan holiday.

    We have a good idea with Jewish literature and their tradition.
     
  15. ituttut

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    I hesitated before this post. But a new babe born in Jesus Christ will wish to grow. We find truth in His Word, and not in any rituals, or any annual observances. The Bread and the Cup after Supper is what our Lord requested.


    Please understand this has nothing to do with your Salvation. Work out your own salvation, and be happy in the Body of Christ Church. At the Rewards Ceremony we'll see how we did. Philippines 2:9-12.


     
  16. annsni

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    Congratulations on your joining the family!! Enjoy this Christmas season as your first one where you truly will celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior :)
     
  17. billreber

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    A short but true story . . .

    Clarissa, age 5, accepted Jesus as her Savior on a November morning. Her parents, active in a Baptist church, doubted whether Clarissa could truly understand what it means to become a Christian.

    A few weeks later, Clarissa's mom found Clarissa sitting by a decorated Christmas tree, crying. When asked why she was crying, Clarissa said, "I am just so happy that the Baby Jesus came to earth to take the penalty for my sins!" By the way, Clarissa was looking at an ornament that depicted the Baby Jesus in the Manger.

    Needless to say, Clarissa's mom and dad knew that Clarissa understood! So did I, after I had talked to her in November and led her to accept Jesus!

    No matter what the "origin" of the holiday we now celebrate as Christmas, I worship The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, the Trinity that is the One True God! And I decorate my yard and my house, using everything I can to tell others about Jesus Christ.

    Christmas celebrations are NOT, my favorite holiday, however, and I am quick to bring this out. My favorite holiday is "Easter", or as I prefer to call it, Resurrection Day. If Jesus had not come back to life on the First Resurrection Day, none of us would be having this discussion!

    So, as my final statement, to those who see Christmas (or Easter!) celebrations as evil, DO NOT PARTICIPATE, but continue to worship God. For those who like them, PARTICIPATE, and continue to worship God!

    Bill :godisgood:

    Side note to Clarissa's story .. She is now the proud parent of two children herself, and teaches them regularly about Jesus! To God be the glory!
     
  18. DixieBoy

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    Since, this is only a friendly debate and you already keep Christmas. I'll try to answers some of your assertions in #14 later. I love a great debate. Busy at the moment will have to save it for a rainy day. Tomorrow is All Saint's Day, and must get some things done for that.

    I guess it depends on what you term "good idea"? Meaning you might can get the Passover timing to within or month or so. I would agree.
     
  19. saturneptune

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    There is never anything wrong with celebrating anything about the Lord. There is nothing wrong with exchanging gifts. What is wrong is the retail obsession with the holiday from August until closing Christmas Eve. It is a frantic pace of buying, eating like pigs, going to this or that, and it produces nothing. Personally, I think all the time spent putting up decorations and the like is a nuscience.
     
  20. Gina B

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    I enjoy light decorating (actually I more enjoy watching the kids decorate stuff!) and love seeing the lights and such. It's beautiful to me.

    The commercial aspect is sickening. I'm very saddened that people try to take Christ out of it.

    In light of the Halloween thread and now this one, it's interesting to see that many who discuss Christmas aren't nearly as passionate about taking Christ being kept out or taken out of Christmas as they are about trying to force the concept of Christ into Halloween celebrations.

    Whatever the case, I'm glad we still have an extra-special day that emphasizes our joy at Christ's birth and the spirit of generosity. I hope it continues for many more years despite all the efforts of outsiders to make it Christ-less.
     
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