CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTMAS

Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 27th, 2010, 8:36 am #11

Dear Readers:

Today's lesson reminds us that we must be content to abide within the doctrine of Christ (II John 9-10). The desire to be like the world is a powerful allurement that has caused many to go astray. As more and more of our congregations adopt the ways and practices of the Catholic and Protestant denominations we need this reminder. Please share this lesson with those where you worship. Forward it to others who are in your address book.

-John Waddey


*********************************

CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTMAS

Around the word, religious people observe the Christmas Holy Day. Is such a religious observance approved by God? As we consider this, remember our commitment is to worship God exactly as did the first Christians.

Is December 25 Christ's birthday? Neither Scripture nor history offer not a word to determine the date of his birth. "The day of Christ's birth cannot be ascertained from the New Testament, or indeed from any other source. The fathers of the first three centuries do not speak of any special observance of the nativity..." (McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, Vol. 3:p.276). "Chrysostom, in 386, states that the celebration of the birth of Christ according to the flesh `was not inaugurated in Antioch until ten years before that date'" (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Relgious Knowledge, Vol. 3, p.46).

December 25th was determined by the decree of Liberious, bishop of the church in Rome, in 354 A.D. The date was widely and hotly disputed by others. Days in nearly every month were set forth. "The Western Church ordered the feast to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun (Americana). "The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit or in manner" (Schaff-Herzog, Vol 3, p. 48). The very name Christ's Mass reveals its origin.

Jesus tells us to "observe all things whatsoever (he) commanded" (Matt. 28:20). But he did not command a Christmas observance. Therefore we should not observe this day as an act of worship and devotion. Paul warns us "not to go beyond the things which are written" (I Cor. 4:6). But no New Testament writing tells us to observe a holy day for Christ's birth. To do so is to go beyond what is written. Such religious practices are vain worship, being the precepts of men rather than of God (Matt. 15:9).

God gave his church only one special day, the first day of the week. This is the day of Christ's resurrection; the day of the church's beginning (Mark 16:1-2; Acts 2). It is presumptuous for us to add other items to God's divine plan. Had God wanted such an observance he would have told us. When Christians in Galatia took up the observance of "days, and months, and seasons and years," Paul wrote, "I am afraid of you, lest by any mans I have bestowed labor upon you in vain" (Gal. 4:10-11).

Our society makes Dec. 25th a national holiday. We do not observe the religious observance of this day, but neither can we "go out of this world" (I Cor. 5:9-10). It is the author's view that we can observe the legal, civil, social holiday, just as we do Independence Day or Thanksgiving Day. We can take the day off from work with pay; accept a Christmas bonus; receive a Christmas gift; eat a Christmas feast; give presents to family and friends and; enjoy the holiday festivities without sin. But the church should not make a religious observance of that which God has not authorized.

___________________________________
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now

E-Mail: [url=mailto:johnwaddey@aol.com]johnwaddey@aol.com[/url]
Dave,

You make such general statements that many christians already know [as in "common knowledge"] or believe :

-- People erring/sinning since Adam (oh, yeah?)
-- Man making God's ways better (change agents' specialty)
-- That Jesus had a day that He was born (who didn't know that?)
-- To show observance to our King around this time of the year -- the issue
-- SEVEN days a week to worship Him (why not?)
-- Only God's ways are right (no Christian objects to that)
-- etc., etc.

Those are not arguments in favor of designating December 25 as the "birthday" of Christ, and therefore celebrating and singing "Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Jesus" as you would "Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Dear Dave."

Christmas is a "historical pagan holiday." How can you think otherwise? Unless you rewrite history. And Dave rewriting history?


Roman Pagan Religion:
Attis was a son of the virgin Nana. His birth was celebrated on DEC-25. He was sacrificed as an adult in order to bring salvation to mankind. He died about MAR-25, after being crucified on a tree, and descended for three days into the underworld. On Sunday, he arose, "as the solar deity for the new season." 5 His followers tied an image of Attis to a tree on "Black Friday," and carried him in a procession to the temple. His body was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread. Worship of Attis began in Rome circa 200 BCE.
Greek Pagan Religion:
Dionysus is another savior-god whose birth was observed on DEC-25. He was worshipped throughout much of the Middle East as well. He had a center of worship in Jerusalem in the 1st century BCE. Some ancient coins have been found in Gaza with Dionysus on one side and JHWH (Jehovah) on the other. In later years, his flesh and blood were symbolically eaten in the form of bread and wine. He was viewed as the son of Zeus, the Father God.
Egyptian Pagan Religion:
Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. "He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods...the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd...the god who 'made men and women be born again'" 5 Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat which symbolized his body. Many sayings associated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible. This included: (1) 23rd Psalm: an appeal to Osiris as the good Shepherd to lead believers through the valley of the shadow of death and to green pastures and still waters; (2) Lord's Prayer: "O amen, who art in heaven..."; (3) Many parables attributed to Jesus. Worship of Osiris, and celebration of his DEC-25 birth, were established throughout the Roman Empire by the end of the 1st century BCE.
Persian Pagan Religion:
Mithra was a Persian savior. Worship of Mithra became common throughout the Roman Empire, particularly among the Roman civil service and military. Mithraism was a competitor of Christianity until the 4th century. Their god was believed to have been born on DEC-25, circa 500 BCE. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and by gift-carrying Magi. This was celebrated as the "Dies Natalis Solic Invite," The "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun." Some followers believed that he was born of a virgin. During his life, he performed many miracles, cured many illnesses, and cast out devils. He celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples. He ascended to heaven at the time of the spring equinox, about March 21.
The Babylonians: . . .
. . . celebrated their "Victory of the Sun-God" Festival on DEC-25. Saturnalia (the Festival of Saturn) was celebrated from DEC-17 to 23 in the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Aurelian blended Saturnalia with a number of birth celebrations of savior Gods from other religions, into a single holy day: DEC-25. After much argument, the developing Christian church adopted this date as the birthday of their savior, Jesus. The people of the Roman Empire were accustomed to celebrating the birth of a God on that day. So, it was easy for the church to divert people's attention to Jesus' birth.
I gather that, as you said, since "EVERY day, given to the Lord, is special and a day to serve Him" ... would you observe the Lord's Supper every day to commemorate His suffering and death?

How did you come up with: "Yes, we, as Christians, OBSERVE the BIRTH, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and King.....everyday"? Without including His suffering? Observe His birth? I gather from that assertion that you are in favor of "celebrating" Jesus' birthday everyday of the year. Do you do it?
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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 27th, 2010, 2:20 pm #12

"that even after people have been taught better they still go after the old WRONG ways"

IS CORRECT.....

People have been erring/sinning since Adam........they take the Right Ways of God and think they can make His Ways better. All OLD ways are not right.....man takes his wishes to be right over God. Those old ways will never be better. Only the Ways of God are right......NEW and OLD.

So try as you might, Donnie, you cannot make this Christmas holiday something bad. What is bordering on lunacy is that you take it to be a historical pagan holiday. If men continue to uphold Christmas with CHRIST in it, it will ALWAYS be good, no matter how much you whine and spit at it.
Jesus DID have a day that He was born. Most historians believe that it wasn't December 25th. That isn't the point. The point is that some men still take time to show observance to our King, around this time of the year. It isn't so much a particular day, but an observance. Yes, we, as Christians, observe the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and King.....everyday.

J. Waddey said....."God gave his church only one special day, the first day of the week."
I would consider that near blasphemy. God continues to give us SEVEN days a week to worship Him. They are ALL SPECIAL. We do gather together on the first day of the week to worship as a whole body.
HOWEVER, does that make Sunday more special to Thursday as a day of worship. Let us go to the Scriptures to see what God says, instead of what J. Waddey believes.
Romans 14
5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
What did Jesus say about healing on the sabbath? Why did He say that? EVERY day, given to the Lord, is special and a day to serve Him.

The most wonderful thing about this time of the year is that maybe....just maybe.....someone takes a look at our Savior and sees Him as the Savior of the World and comes to believe in Him. Even if one person has done so, and you KNOW that it has happened before.....then Christmas is GOOD!!!




Dave wrote: "The most wonderful thing about this time of the year is that maybe....just maybe.....someone takes a look at our Savior and sees Him as the Savior of the World and comes to believe in Him. Even if one person has done so, and you KNOW that it has happened before.....then Christmas is GOOD!!!"

Let's see what happens when we edit this statement a bit: "The most wonderful thing about every day of the year is that maybe....just maybe.....someone takes a look at our Savior and sees Him as the Savior of the World and comes to believe in Him. Even if one person does so on each day of the year, and you KNOW that it has happened before.....then every day of the year is GOOD!!!"

In reality, people don't have to depend on man-made days like Christmas to discover Christ and believe Him as the Son of God. They can do so every day of the year.



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Sonny
Sonny

December 27th, 2010, 4:57 pm #13

Dave,

You make such general statements that many christians already know [as in "common knowledge"] or believe :

-- People erring/sinning since Adam (oh, yeah?)
-- Man making God's ways better (change agents' specialty)
-- That Jesus had a day that He was born (who didn't know that?)
-- To show observance to our King around this time of the year -- the issue
-- SEVEN days a week to worship Him (why not?)
-- Only God's ways are right (no Christian objects to that)
-- etc., etc.

Those are not arguments in favor of designating December 25 as the "birthday" of Christ, and therefore celebrating and singing "Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Jesus" as you would "Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Dear Dave."

Christmas is a "historical pagan holiday." How can you think otherwise? Unless you rewrite history. And Dave rewriting history?


Roman Pagan Religion:
Attis was a son of the virgin Nana. His birth was celebrated on DEC-25. He was sacrificed as an adult in order to bring salvation to mankind. He died about MAR-25, after being crucified on a tree, and descended for three days into the underworld. On Sunday, he arose, "as the solar deity for the new season." 5 His followers tied an image of Attis to a tree on "Black Friday," and carried him in a procession to the temple. His body was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread. Worship of Attis began in Rome circa 200 BCE.
Greek Pagan Religion:
Dionysus is another savior-god whose birth was observed on DEC-25. He was worshipped throughout much of the Middle East as well. He had a center of worship in Jerusalem in the 1st century BCE. Some ancient coins have been found in Gaza with Dionysus on one side and JHWH (Jehovah) on the other. In later years, his flesh and blood were symbolically eaten in the form of bread and wine. He was viewed as the son of Zeus, the Father God.
Egyptian Pagan Religion:
Osiris is a savior-god who had been worshipped as far back as Neolithic times. "He was called Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods...the Resurrection and the Life, the Good shepherd...the god who 'made men and women be born again'" 5 Three wise men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat which symbolized his body. Many sayings associated with Osiris were taken over into the Bible. This included: (1) 23rd Psalm: an appeal to Osiris as the good Shepherd to lead believers through the valley of the shadow of death and to green pastures and still waters; (2) Lord's Prayer: "O amen, who art in heaven..."; (3) Many parables attributed to Jesus. Worship of Osiris, and celebration of his DEC-25 birth, were established throughout the Roman Empire by the end of the 1st century BCE.
Persian Pagan Religion:
Mithra was a Persian savior. Worship of Mithra became common throughout the Roman Empire, particularly among the Roman civil service and military. Mithraism was a competitor of Christianity until the 4th century. Their god was believed to have been born on DEC-25, circa 500 BCE. His birth was witnessed by shepherds and by gift-carrying Magi. This was celebrated as the "Dies Natalis Solic Invite," The "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun." Some followers believed that he was born of a virgin. During his life, he performed many miracles, cured many illnesses, and cast out devils. He celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples. He ascended to heaven at the time of the spring equinox, about March 21.
The Babylonians: . . .
. . . celebrated their "Victory of the Sun-God" Festival on DEC-25. Saturnalia (the Festival of Saturn) was celebrated from DEC-17 to 23 in the Roman Empire. The Roman Emperor Aurelian blended Saturnalia with a number of birth celebrations of savior Gods from other religions, into a single holy day: DEC-25. After much argument, the developing Christian church adopted this date as the birthday of their savior, Jesus. The people of the Roman Empire were accustomed to celebrating the birth of a God on that day. So, it was easy for the church to divert people's attention to Jesus' birth.
I gather that, as you said, since "EVERY day, given to the Lord, is special and a day to serve Him" ... would you observe the Lord's Supper every day to commemorate His suffering and death?

How did you come up with: "Yes, we, as Christians, OBSERVE the BIRTH, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and King.....everyday"? Without including His suffering? Observe His birth? I gather from that assertion that you are in favor of "celebrating" Jesus' birthday everyday of the year. Do you do it?
Brother Cruz,

Most, if not all, of the "most conservative" C of C Christians I know (in my extended family, in my congregation, in other congregations) celebrate Christmas. (They refer to themselves as conservative.) They sing songs that include Jesus' birth at the worship assembly in December, etc. If you believe they are all wrong for celebrating the story of Jesus including the birth of Jesus at Christmas, what do you conclude about the situation?

For example, do you conclude they are not true Christians? Do you believe their salvation is in jeopardy? Or will Jesus' blood cover any shortcomings about Christmas?

Furthermore, for which of the following could a Christian be mistaken and still be covered by grace. For the sake of time I will only list 10. You can respond by saying something like, "If they are mistaken about #'s 2,3 and 8 they will be o.k. as long as they are not on the other 7." Or "If they are wrong on any 1 then they are not a true Christian or their soul is at least in jeopardy but God is the judge." or whatever. In my examples, I am not saying which is correct, but just the topic in general. For example, you could interpret that one may be mistaken on #1 by saying that observing Christmas is sin and be mistaken.

1. Observance of Christmas
2. Interpretation of Revelation
3. Children using crayons at the church building in class or pews - yes, I've heard some say this is "entertainment"
4. Knowledge of Bible Translations (inaccurate knowledge)
5. Knowledge of "Denominations" (inaccurate knowledge - whatever that might be)
6. Inconsistent Prayer Life
7. Knowledge of the Holy Spirit (inaccurate knowledge)
8. Worship (this could be on any worship matter - heart, spirit, truth - including a mistaken conservative or mistaken liberal)
9. Lifestyle Sin (judgmental attitude(s), unforgiving spirit, materialism, sexual impurity, pride, slander, etc.)
10. Financial Giving (mistaken or inconsistent in tithing, helping the poor, generosity, etc.)

-Sonny
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 27th, 2010, 7:12 pm #14

There are only Two "actors" in the God to Man actions:

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God
hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,
both Lord and Christ.

1Cor. 8:5 For though there be that are called gods,
whether in heaven or in earth,
(as there be gods many, and lords many,)
1Cor. 8:6 But to us
there is but ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him;
and ONE LORD Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him

2Cor. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts,
to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.

If you believe and teach and REST your opinion on the belief that a spirit ''people" guides you beyond the sacred page then you are beyond redemption because you will never again believe that that "sexual arousal" by the singy-clappy boys was NOT what they blasphemously call "worship." Hebrews 6 makes it clear that there is no redemption for those who reject the Word of Christ.

The TWO ACTORS overwhelms all of the letters where The Holy Spirit Who is "Jesus Christ" completes guiding the Apostles into ALL truth. If you deny that the same John who said that the NAME of the Holy Spirit Comforter is "Jesus Christ" the ONLY human mediator, then you are an ANTI-christ and I would say that is a "SalvaShun Issure" where simply stating the term means contempt for the fact that God is God and you are not:


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Dr. Bill Crump
Dr. Bill Crump

December 27th, 2010, 7:14 pm #15

Brother Cruz,

Most, if not all, of the "most conservative" C of C Christians I know (in my extended family, in my congregation, in other congregations) celebrate Christmas. (They refer to themselves as conservative.) They sing songs that include Jesus' birth at the worship assembly in December, etc. If you believe they are all wrong for celebrating the story of Jesus including the birth of Jesus at Christmas, what do you conclude about the situation?

For example, do you conclude they are not true Christians? Do you believe their salvation is in jeopardy? Or will Jesus' blood cover any shortcomings about Christmas?

Furthermore, for which of the following could a Christian be mistaken and still be covered by grace. For the sake of time I will only list 10. You can respond by saying something like, "If they are mistaken about #'s 2,3 and 8 they will be o.k. as long as they are not on the other 7." Or "If they are wrong on any 1 then they are not a true Christian or their soul is at least in jeopardy but God is the judge." or whatever. In my examples, I am not saying which is correct, but just the topic in general. For example, you could interpret that one may be mistaken on #1 by saying that observing Christmas is sin and be mistaken.

1. Observance of Christmas
2. Interpretation of Revelation
3. Children using crayons at the church building in class or pews - yes, I've heard some say this is "entertainment"
4. Knowledge of Bible Translations (inaccurate knowledge)
5. Knowledge of "Denominations" (inaccurate knowledge - whatever that might be)
6. Inconsistent Prayer Life
7. Knowledge of the Holy Spirit (inaccurate knowledge)
8. Worship (this could be on any worship matter - heart, spirit, truth - including a mistaken conservative or mistaken liberal)
9. Lifestyle Sin (judgmental attitude(s), unforgiving spirit, materialism, sexual impurity, pride, slander, etc.)
10. Financial Giving (mistaken or inconsistent in tithing, helping the poor, generosity, etc.)

-Sonny
Sonny wrote: "Most, if not all, of the 'most conservative' C of C Christians I know (in my extended family, in my congregation, in other congregations) celebrate Christmas."

Beware the masses. Is the opinion of the masses always correct? Just because "most" of a group of people follow a man-made tradition does not guarantee those people are biblically correct.

In other words, if a group of church of Christ congregations imitate the Roman Catholics and observe Christmas as a "holy" day, does that guarantee those congregations are correct? Absolutely not.
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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 27th, 2010, 7:36 pm #16

There are only Two "actors" in the God to Man actions:

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
that God
hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified,
both Lord and Christ.

1Cor. 8:5 For though there be that are called gods,
whether in heaven or in earth,
(as there be gods many, and lords many,)
1Cor. 8:6 But to us
there is but ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him;
and ONE LORD Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him

2Cor. 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts,
to give the light of the
knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.

If you believe and teach and REST your opinion on the belief that a spirit ''people" guides you beyond the sacred page then you are beyond redemption because you will never again believe that that "sexual arousal" by the singy-clappy boys was NOT what they blasphemously call "worship." Hebrews 6 makes it clear that there is no redemption for those who reject the Word of Christ.

The TWO ACTORS overwhelms all of the letters where The Holy Spirit Who is "Jesus Christ" completes guiding the Apostles into ALL truth. If you deny that the same John who said that the NAME of the Holy Spirit Comforter is "Jesus Christ" the ONLY human mediator, then you are an ANTI-christ and I would say that is a "SalvaShun Issure" where simply stating the term means contempt for the fact that God is God and you are not:

Worship (this could be on any worship matter - heart, spirit, truth - including a mistaken conservative or mistaken liberal)

Christ ordained the only meaning of IN the spirit worship for the synagogue or Church of Christ in the wilderness.
It was INCLUSIVE of Rest, reading and rehearsing the Word of God: that defines a disciple--not a ceremonial legalist.
It was EXCLUSIVE of vocal or instrumental rejoicing: that which no reverent person does when the Word of God is being PREACHED by being READ.

That never changed until the time of Jesus who was chosen to carry out all of the prophecies made by Christ for Messiah.
His task was to fire the doctors of the law because they then and always "take away the key to knowledge."
And to repudiate the Scribes and Pharisees (writers-sermonizers) as hypocrites whom He names in Isaiah

In the New Testament the pattern of PREACHING the Word by READING the Word never changed.

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Tim 4:2

Hupokrinô reply, make answer
2. expound, interpret, explain [outlawed by Peter as private interpretation] II. Att., speak in dialogue, hence play a part on the stage, be an actor, kômôidian, of orators and rhetoricians, represent dramatically, use histrionic arts, exaggerate, deliver a speech, declaim, of orators and rhetoricians, represent dramatically. Cantus sing and repeatsongs.


If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 1 Tim 4:6

1Tim. 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.


Prophesy of Uncovered Prophesying:

<font>
"For from this roof never departs a choir chanting in unison, but singing no harmonious tune; for it tells not of good. And so, gorged on human blood, so as to be the more emboldened, a revel-rout of kindred Furies haunts the house, hard to be drive away. "Lodged within its halls they chant their chant, the primal sin; and, each in turn, they spurn with loathing a brother's bed, for they bitterly spurn the one who defiled it. Have I missed the mark, or, like a true archer, do I strike my quarry?

Or am I prophet of lies, a door-to-door babbler? Bear witness upon your oath that I know the deeds of sin, ancient in story, of this house."</font>

1Tim. 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to (public) reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
1Tim. 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy,
with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Tim. 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
1Tim. 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

People who FABRICATE their own sermons always use MYTHS and OLD WIVES TALES.
I would say that to be both DAMNING and causing the ENABLERS to also be lost.
The Lord's Supper is to PREACH the death of Jesus Christ and thereby cause people to sacrifice (burn up) their FLESH so that their worship is RATIONAL which means SPIRITUAL--in the PLACE of the human spirit.

People who work so desperately hard to GET themselves UP trying to appease God define LEGALISM.

Literal worship means to FALL ON YOUR FACE in reverence and godly fear. Hebrews 12 prophesies another SHAKING like the trumpet sounds at Mount Sinai. Only those things which WILL NOT SHAKE will remain. EVERYTHING fabricated by human hands and human composers will FALL. John defined the speakers, singers and instrument players as SORCERERS: Sorcerers along with the DOGS (old style praise singer) will be CAST ALIVE INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. I would call that a SalvaShun Issure.

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Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

December 27th, 2010, 7:43 pm #17

Sonny wrote: "Most, if not all, of the 'most conservative' C of C Christians I know (in my extended family, in my congregation, in other congregations) celebrate Christmas."

Beware the masses. Is the opinion of the masses always correct? Just because "most" of a group of people follow a man-made tradition does not guarantee those people are biblically correct.

In other words, if a group of church of Christ congregations imitate the Roman Catholics and observe Christmas as a "holy" day, does that guarantee those congregations are correct? Absolutely not.
10. Financial Giving (mistaken or inconsistent in tithing, helping the poor, generosity, etc.)

YOU are free to give 100% of all you own to the POOR.

Anyone who tells YOU that YOU should tithe to THEM or preach a Law of "laying by in store in the COLLECTION plate" is a liar and a thief: Paul's presence would be an EXTORTING influence and extortionists are lumped with all ofther terminal sinners.

If you give anything because the preacher holds out his hand in place of the DESTITUTE and YOU believe that you have to obey his LAW then you have been taken captive and the blind who are caused to fall into the pit or hell gets no sympathy from a holy God.


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Fred Whaley
Fred Whaley

December 27th, 2010, 8:21 pm #18

Sonny wrote: "Most, if not all, of the 'most conservative' C of C Christians I know (in my extended family, in my congregation, in other congregations) celebrate Christmas."

Beware the masses. Is the opinion of the masses always correct? Just because "most" of a group of people follow a man-made tradition does not guarantee those people are biblically correct.

In other words, if a group of church of Christ congregations imitate the Roman Catholics and observe Christmas as a "holy" day, does that guarantee those congregations are correct? Absolutely not.
Good old Doc. I guess he believes even the conservatives are going to burn. Only ULTRA-conservatives who do not celebrate Christmas in any form have a chance to make it to heaven. I am certainly thankful that the Doctor does not make that decision. The Doctor's beliefs do not emulate the loving Father and loving Son Jesus found in Scripture.

Fred Whaley
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 27th, 2010, 8:26 pm #19

Brother Cruz,

Most, if not all, of the "most conservative" C of C Christians I know (in my extended family, in my congregation, in other congregations) celebrate Christmas. (They refer to themselves as conservative.) They sing songs that include Jesus' birth at the worship assembly in December, etc. If you believe they are all wrong for celebrating the story of Jesus including the birth of Jesus at Christmas, what do you conclude about the situation?

For example, do you conclude they are not true Christians? Do you believe their salvation is in jeopardy? Or will Jesus' blood cover any shortcomings about Christmas?

Furthermore, for which of the following could a Christian be mistaken and still be covered by grace. For the sake of time I will only list 10. You can respond by saying something like, "If they are mistaken about #'s 2,3 and 8 they will be o.k. as long as they are not on the other 7." Or "If they are wrong on any 1 then they are not a true Christian or their soul is at least in jeopardy but God is the judge." or whatever. In my examples, I am not saying which is correct, but just the topic in general. For example, you could interpret that one may be mistaken on #1 by saying that observing Christmas is sin and be mistaken.

1. Observance of Christmas
2. Interpretation of Revelation
3. Children using crayons at the church building in class or pews - yes, I've heard some say this is "entertainment"
4. Knowledge of Bible Translations (inaccurate knowledge)
5. Knowledge of "Denominations" (inaccurate knowledge - whatever that might be)
6. Inconsistent Prayer Life
7. Knowledge of the Holy Spirit (inaccurate knowledge)
8. Worship (this could be on any worship matter - heart, spirit, truth - including a mistaken conservative or mistaken liberal)
9. Lifestyle Sin (judgmental attitude(s), unforgiving spirit, materialism, sexual impurity, pride, slander, etc.)
10. Financial Giving (mistaken or inconsistent in tithing, helping the poor, generosity, etc.)

-Sonny
Sonny,

We certainly can sing, "Joy to the world, the Savior reigns ... born to give them second birth ... Christ the Savior is born...." Actually, "conservtive" churches of Christ would sing these songs throughout the year -- NOT JUST in December. And the more important message than the physical birth of Christ is to proclaim to the world that He came to earth with the mission to be the Redeemer. Without that message associated with the physical birth, the "Christmas" observance is simply a man-made religious festivity.

The message must be that Christ came to earth to become the Savior of mankind. BUT NOW, we are in this situation -- the world has come to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. What do we do then? We continue to proclaim the message THROUGHOUT THE YEAR -- that Christ was born with a mission. And this has been the message of "conservative" churches all along. In my earlier post, I posed a number of questions waiting for answers. I even mentioned the following:
7. Should preachers, without making it a religious festival, take the opportunity to preach the birth of Christ and emphasize why He came to earth and God's plan of redemption?
I notice that your list is comprised of different topics besides the "observance of Christmas." But I get the point. [Hopefully, you mentioned "tithing" -- not as a New Testament Christian's requirement, but as a "mistaken" command for the Christian to obey.]

Firstly, we must distinguish the individual Christian's responsibilities from the local church's (or the congregation's) responsibilities. Let me stress that when it comes to the local church, unless commands and examples are specified in Scripture or implications are scriptural, the elders are responsible for making the right or wrong decisions over discretionary matters. They (the elders) should not mislead the congregation.

Secondly, we must understand that grace is God's part, as well as His love and mercy:

(1) The sinner is converted to Christ by God's grace because he has believed, repented and put on Christ in baptism in order to have his sins forgiven.

(2) The Christian (a member of God's church) is still under God's grace. Does he "continue in sin that grace may abound"? No. Does he still sin? Yes. But: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). Yes, God's grace is still there, but does grace automatically "cover" sin without confession? No.

Thirdly, there is still that human nature in the Christian. We still sin. And a confessed sin can be forgiven. Man's salvation is an ongoing process -- contrary to the man-made doctrine of "once saved, always saved." The Christian's salvation is not in jeopardy so long as he remains faithful. The Christian is admonished to remain faithful to the end in order to receive the crown of life as promised. Faith without works is DEAD (James 2). The Christian is to maintain good works. God's judgment is inevitable and righteous, and "there is no respect of persons with God" -- He "will render to every man according to his DEEDS [plural]" (Romans 2:1-8).
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Joined: January 2nd, 2005, 6:45 am

December 27th, 2010, 8:36 pm #20

Good old Doc. I guess he believes even the conservatives are going to burn. Only ULTRA-conservatives who do not celebrate Christmas in any form have a chance to make it to heaven. I am certainly thankful that the Doctor does not make that decision. The Doctor's beliefs do not emulate the loving Father and loving Son Jesus found in Scripture.

Fred Whaley
Brother Fred,

Your message is spiteful. Toward Dr. Crump as usual.

Would you present your own arguments for the observance of the Christmas festivity in the local church? Local church, Fred. Perhaps at your own congregation?

Thanks!
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