Mary, Did You Know?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by PastorGreg, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. PastorGreg

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    What do you think is the stupidest Christmas song? Not talking about secular or silly, but those identified as sacred. IMO it's "Mary, Did You Know?" because it shows the author's ignorance of Scripture. If he read his Bible he would know that the answer is yes, she did know that her baby was the Son of God, that He was her Savior, that He would do miracles, etc. It is a pretty song, just shallow.

    Merry Christmas!
     
  2. TaterTot

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    I dont think so. I think she didnt get it fully until He was on the cross (or even after). I like how Calvin Miller put it in his Owners Manual for the Unfinished Soul when he asked:
    "Did you ever think, 'Wow, thats God eating my soup?'"

    If you ever heard my 5 year old sing the song, you would definitely change your mind. Its precious. ;)

    Oh, I didnt answer the question. I dislike the ones that have the wise men at the manger.
     
    #2 TaterTot, Dec 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2006
  3. Helen

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    Keeping in mind that I actually do like and sing these songs, I have a problem with them for the wrong 'facts' they present:

    It Came Upon a Midnight Clear -- no record of a heavenly song or angels touching harps of gold; nor was the world, I don't think, in 'solemn stillness', as much as we would have liked it to have been.

    Hark the Herald Angels Sing -- they didn't sing

    We Three Kings of Orient Are -- the Bible never tells us how many there were; we only know there were three gifts, or three types of gifts.

    The First Noel -- Jesus was not born in the winter, and the shepherds were not out watching their flocks on a cold winter's night.

    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -- lovely song, except Christ was not born on December 25.

    Angels We Have Heard on High -- again the angels are said to be singing. They did not.

    Silent Night has angels singing, too....

    What Child is This? -- has the angels greeting Christ with 'anthems sweet', as well as shepherds 'guarding' the Christ child.

    So what does that leave? There are some:

    Angels From the Realms of Glory says the angels proclaim Messiah's birth. The four verses are strong calls to worship Him.

    Away in a Manger -- we don't know if Jesus didn't cry or not, but the song is sweet and references to Jesus as Lord clear.

    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, with the exception of Christ being born on Christmas day is fantastic, for if you get hold of all seven verses, you get a very clear story from Luke (although it says the shepherds left their flocks "a-feeding, in tempest, storm, and wind", which doesn't rhyme with 'mind' two lines above it, anyway. Poor sheep -- if there was a tempest, they wouldn't be feeding, but that's not doctrine!)

    Joy to the Word -- fantastic song. If you find a version with all six verses (which most hymnals don't have) you will find a bit from Isaiah and Revelation regarding Israel, which is lovely.

    O Come All Ye Faithful -- at least it is only asking the angels to sing, not saying they did....

    O Holy Night -- a beautiful song

    O Little Town of Bethlehem -- another beautiful song

    ---------------

    The only song I really personally don't like in this list is "We Three Kings" and I think that is primarily because it is in a minor key and talks about the Wise Men and not about Christ....

    I do love the other songs, but I find myself grating inside a little when I have to sing words that are not biblically correct.
     
  4. PastorGreg

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    Tater Tot, I think the song is beautiful, but clearly Mary did get it. With the information given her by the angel and her response, both recorded in Luke 1, it's pretty clear.

    I think, as Helen illustrated, that many of the songs (Christmas and otherwise) are Biblically inaccurate, and that is really tragic. Helen mentioned, "Joy to the World" which is a wonderful song. It's interesting though that it has been relegated to the status of a Christmas song because neither it, nor Psalm 98 on which it is based has anything to do with Christ's birth, but rather, they deal with His reign in the kingdom.
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

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    I am not really sure how it is clear in Luke 1.

    Mary's response shows she is willing to trust God. Yet, she in no way responds saying she completely gets all that is taking place. Knowing He was going to be the Son of God and knowing all that would take place with Jesus are two different things.
     
  6. Tim_D

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    Dr. Bob already gave his thoughts on this one....

    I heard the bells on Christmas day...


    <hurl>

    I was singing it yesterday and i looked at the words....



    My favorite Christmas song remains "Grandma Got Ran over by a reindeer":thumbsup:
     
  7. saturneptune

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    One wonders about Mary sometimes. Did Mary get it? In Matthew and Luke, the pronouncements made to her are quite clear from God through angels. However, there are hints in the Gospel during Jesus' ministry, that His mother and brothers were not all that in favor of His preaching and activities. It seems they were always trying to pull Him out of the crowd. So did Mary get it? In Luke 2:48-50, it is obvious that Mary or Joseph did not have a clue. No, I do not think the song is crazy. Christmas songs should be enjoyed, they do not all have to be dissected.

    For those who like to dissect songs, how about this one from Them Old Cotton Fields Down Home. One of the verses say, it was down in Louisiana, just about a mile from Texarkana. If you will pull out an atlas, you will see that there is a 50 mile gap between Louisiana and Texarkana. So that leaves you with two choices. You can:
    1. Relocate everyone in Texarkana.
    2. Redraw the Louisiana Arkansas state line. :BangHead:
     
    #7 saturneptune, Dec 11, 2006
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  8. Joshua Rhodes

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    I'm actually MORE irritated that of the Christmas songs that are in the hymnal (45 in ours) my congregation only knows about 22 of them. We tried to sing "How Great our Joy" on Sunday night, and 3 people knew it. They get frustrated when "we don't sing those Christmas songs I know and like!" I get frustrated because songs like "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" and "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" are standards in my family's Christmas tradition. And singing "Joy to the World," as great a song as it it, EVERY WEEK is exhausting.
     
  9. go2church

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    I hate Christmas music period!
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Most American carols from the golden age (1850-1900) are utopian, amillennial, and unitarian at best. While the theology of "Hark the Herald Angels" is top-rate, the American counterparts like "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” – oldest American carol 1849 – and "O Holy Night" have no mention of God or shepherds but just “Peace on Earth”. Written by militant abolitionists and Unitarian ministers, this distinct SOCIAL AGENDA was common in US carols.

    And speaking of the Wesleys and quality Christmas songs, "Angels from the Realms" was written by James Montgomery, the son of Moravian Missionaries who had been converted under the preaching of the Wesleys (he ended up writing 360 hymns). Focus of this song was the people who heard the message, not the message itself. Angels, shepherds, magi, Anna & Simeon. First printed in Sheffield, England, and an interesting carol.
     
  11. mountainrun

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    Stop beating around the bush, go2church, and tell us how you really feel. :laugh:


    MR
     
    #11 mountainrun, Dec 11, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  12. TaterTot

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    If Mary had "gotten it" , then why was she angry with Jesus when He was teaching at the temple as a young boy? I think there is so much more to the story.
     
  13. Helen

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    I don't think she was angry that He was teaching, or asking profound questions, but rather that He was not with the group returning home. Even a perfect kid can scare His parents by not being where they think He should be!
     
  14. TaterTot

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    We read about Mary pondering things in her heart and here we see that they "marvel"

    Luke 2:25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him... 33The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Back to the discussion of Jesus at the temple, sure, the parents were probably upset as his disappearing, but see his response to them:

    49"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    John 7 describes unbelief in the household. If Mary knew, why didnt she teach them?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mark 3:20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."

    Now keep in mind that this is the same setting...

    31Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." 33"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. 34Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

    Just prior to these statements, his family (mom is included) basically say he is nuts. I just cant reconcole that they understood his deity completely.
     
  15. David Lamb

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    Hello,

    I'm no killjoy, but I find it difficult to find many "Christmas hymns" that are thoroughly biblical. Helen listed several "unbiblicalities" - I would add some more:

    In the Bleak Midwinter It's highly unlikely that Jesus was born in winter, or the sheep would not have been out on the hillside. The same with See amid the Winter's snow, and any other carol that mentions winter, snow or frost. "In the Bleak Midwinter" also talks about "the ox and ass and camel which adore" and Mary "worshipping" the Christ-child with a kiss.

    The First Nowell tells us that the shepherds looked up and saw the star that the wise men did. The same carol has the wise men following the star all the way from their home to Bethlehem. That is not what the bible says.

    Once in Royal David's City is mostly OK, but adds a stable with "oxen standing by" to the simple biblical statement of Luke 2.7 that Mary "laid Him in a manger (i.e. an animal feeding-trough) because there was no room for them in the inn".

    Unto us a Boy is Born has a verse which says: "Cradled in a stall was He with sleepy cows and asses; But the very beasts could see that He all men surpasses."

    Adam lay y-bounden (a carol often sung by choirs over here - if you have ever heard the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Cambridge, you will know this one). Here, we are told that Adam's sin was eating an apple!

    But for utter stupidity, how about Every Star shall Sing a Carol?

    Every star shall sing a carol,
    Every creature high or low.
    Come and praise the King of Heaven
    By whatever name you know.

    God above man below,
    Holy is the name I know.


    When the king of all creation,
    Had a cradle on the earth.
    Holy was the human body,
    Holy was the human birth.

    Who can tell what other cradle?
    High above the Milky Way;
    Still may rock the King of Heaven,
    On another Christmas day.

    Who can count how many crosses?
    Still to come or long ago.
    Crucify the King of Heaven,
    Holy is the name I know.

    Who can tell what other body?
    He will hallow for his own.
    I will praise the son of Mary,
    Brother of my blood and bone.

    Every star and every planet,
    Every creature high and low.
    Come and praise the King of Heaven,
    By whatever name you know.

    Let us get back to what the bible says about the Lord of all glory leaving the splendour of heaven and coming to this sinful world to die for sinners.

    God bless you,
     
  16. Joseph M. Smith

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    Thank you for this scholarly post. It is genuinely appreciated. But, although it is correct that a Unitarian wrote "It Came ..", let's not tarnish the carol. A social agenda is important, and the Incarnation is about justice and hope as well as about personal salvation. I did a whole series of sermons during one Advent season about "life's crushing load" and how Christ comes to releave it.
     
  17. Joseph M. Smith

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    Actually I would have put this one on my "no fly" list, because the "sweet" idea that Jesus did not cry diminishes the Incarnation. If He is true man as well as true God, then He experienced all that we humans experience, including those things that make a baby cry .. hungry, wet, sleepy, etc. If my grandson-to-be, who is to be born in the week after Christmas, does not cry, I will worry that there is something wrong with him! "No crying He makes" is a sentimental notion of what perfection is.
     
  18. Not_hard_to_find

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    Right, and her request at the wedding was an indication of how holy she viewed His work.
     
  19. blackbird

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    Little Drummer Boy

    Give me a break, puuuuuuleeeeeeze!!!!

    Do You Hear What I Hear

    If I hear that one more time, I'll scream!!!!
     
  20. Jack Matthews

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    They weren't "kings" either, in the sense that Western Civilization understands the concept, and there were three gifts, but who knows how many Magi there were.

    From a historical perspective, they were probably from the Parthian empire, spiritual leaders who were, interestingly enough, monothestic. They recognized the miraculous, followed a star, and paid attention to visions and dreams, which makes them fairly compatible with the Judaism of the day. If you put it in a modern-day perspective, they were Iranians who practiced a religion that was likely the fore-runner of modern Zoroastrianism.
     

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