Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Truths and Traditions

Every December I look forward to two things: enjoying special times with my family, the people that I love and cherish the most, and then receiving numerous, often passionate calls to the Bible Answer Man broadcast about Christmas. Others are asking questions which are theological in perspective such as "Was it a literal virgin birth? Are the Gospels really reliable?" Then there are whose who ask these cultural questions like "Is it right to have a Christmas tree this Christmas? What should we tell our children about Santa Claus?" Then a few people, perhaps misled by the claims of the Jehovah's Witnesses, have even called into question the practice of giving gifts.

Well, throw in the fact that Christmas has become a major cultural battleground - many people in our society, of course, want Christ left out of the season - the bottom line is that the holiday commemorating God's magnificent demonstration of love towards mankind has become a source of confusion.

When Christmas was originally instituted December 25th was, indeed, a pagan festival commemorating the birthday of a false god. That's a historical fact. What is frequently overlooked is that the church's choice of December 25th was intentional. Instead of merely Christianizing a pagan festival, what the church was doing was establishing a rival celebration. The world has all but forgotten the Greco-Roman gods of antiquity but they are annually reminded that two thousand years ago Christ, the hope of humanity, invaded time and space


ChrisB said...

What is frequently overlooked is that the church's choice of December 25th was intentional.

I know some won't think that's good enough. They'll say that the whole thing is corrupted by prior pagan use of the day. But pagan use of something does not make something incurably unholy. After all, they use cups, clothes, and beds just like we do.

I'm glad the church chose to seize Dec 25 back from the pagans.

reality check said...

The American Heritage Dictionary defines astrology as; the study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs. The Magi had the belief that the star had an influence on the course of earthly events otherwise why would they follow the star? Herod only confirmed what the already believed. Thus the Magi used astrology.

Furthermore, the American Heritage Dictionary defines divination as; the art or act of foretelling future events or revealing occult knowledge by means of augury or an alleged supernatural agency. The star was used as a sign of something coming (which is the definition of augury) or the “pronouncement of Christ”. The Magi used divination to find the Messiah. Moreover, God used the star to lead them to the Messiah and thus God used divination to speak to humanity. This was not the first time God used divination. “There was divination by dreams (Gen. 20:6; Deut. 13:1, 3; Judg. 7:13, 15; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen. 41:25-32) and of Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28).
By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod.”--- Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

My question is why are pastors not thinking for themselves and asking you, Hank, to think for them? Why do they need your thoughts concerning the Magi and the bible? You are just a fallible man like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Where is the evidence that the choice of 25 December was intentional?

Jerico said...

Why waste time going into discussions about useless sorcery such as astrology? Nor are it's roots of any concern to Christians. Let the Holy Spirit give discernment on this, it is in fact a belief in an excuse for not believing in a Supreme Creator, God.