We know for instance when Noahs ark settled again on dry land (i.e. 17th Nissan)
We know when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea.
We know the date when God stopped supplying manna to them.
We know when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
We know when He was crucified.
When He rose from the dead.
We know the date of Pentecost.
But the Bible does not state the date of the Christ's birth.
Because, that is the way God has ordained it.
Just as He has ordained that we have no record of Christs height, colour of eyes, etc.
And despite God repeatedly (1/2/3/4) warning us not to add or take away from His words, we have done just that.
We have ordained something that God did not ordain.
We have ordained and celebrated December 25th as His Sons birthday.
Many scholars have tried to work out His birthday with dates ranging from April to October. (never December)
A strong case has been made for spring time, since the shepherds minding their flocks at night implies the lambing season. Linking it perhaps to the lambing season around Passover time when the 'Lamb of God' was crucified.
However, Messianic Jew Hani Abu Dayyeh argues that the shepherds with their flocks at night was more likely in September after the wheat harvest when they were allowed to bring their flocks in to eat what was left after the harvest was gathered in.
Others believe He was probably born on the Feast of Tabernacles.
Messianic Jew and author Steve Maltz writes,
Many Bible scholars have looked at this passage [John 1:14] and realized that the Greek words translated as "made his dwelling" also take the meaning "tabernacled". So Jesus was born on this Earth and tabernacled with us. They investigated further and began gathering biblical evidence, particularly from the account of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, ministering in the Temple (Luke 1:5). It says that he belonged to the priestly division of Abijah and research indicates that this would have been during the period from Sivan 12th to 18th. Knowing that John the Baptist was conceived at that time and adding on nine months we arrive at John's birth around the time of Passover. Knowing that Jesus was conceived six months after John's conception, we get the birth of Jesus, six months after Passover... around the Feast of Tabernacles! (How The Church Lost The Way p 102)
Likewise, David Pawson writes,
Luke's birth narrative also indirectly gives us the month of Jesus' birth. We are told that Zechariah belonged to the priestly tribe of Abijah. We know from 1Chronicles which month this tribe was called on to serve in the temple: in the one-year cycle they were eighth tribe out of 24. So Zechariah was there in the fourth month of the Jewish calendar. We know Elizabeth became pregnant at that time, and this was six months ahead of Mary, so we can calculate that Jesus was born 15 months later, in the seventh month of the following year at the feast of tabernacles (late September or early October to us) The Jews expected the Messiah to come at that feast and still look for Him then to this day. (Unlocking the Bible, p 841)
But the plain fact is that we dont know for certain. Because God has not clearly told us.
And it is not a mistake God has made.
For whatever reason, He has chosen to leave us without a definite date of this event.
Shouldn't we honour that decision?
Lets see how we, the church, ended up with December 25th as a holy day on its calendar. And lets
see why the world agrees so
wholeheartedly with it.
And lets see if God can bless the activities we offer to Him as Christian
worship on, and around a day that is completely based on paganism.
Jesus, the Son of God, was born into the
period of time when the Roman empire was at its height.
All conquering pagan Rome had many gods.
From smaller household gods to mighty gods.
One god was called Bapho-Mithra which
means father Mithra
Mithraism - the cult of Mithra, the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom - was one of
the major religions of the Roman Empire.
In the Avesta - the sacred writings of the ancient Persians - the principality or power
referred to as Mithra was originally known as the chief jazata (Avestan,
beneficent one ) or good spirit, and
ruler of the world.
The Greeks of Asia minor, by identifying Mithra with Helios the
Greek god of the sun, helped to spread the cult.
It was thought to have been brought to Rome about 68BC by Cilician pirates - whom the Roman general Pompey
the Great had captured - and it spread rapidly through Italy and finally into the Roman provinces.
Mithras was generally represented as a bull-slayer, and his supposed birthday was December 25th but this was most likely due to its eventual Roman association with Sol Invictus.
Much has been made of similarities between Mithrasm and Christianity but there were no firmly fixed doctrines until Rome became the epicentre of the cult. A Mithras wikipedia site states, The first important expansion of the mysteries in the Empire seems to have happened quite quickly, late in the reign of Antoninus Pius (b. 121 CE, d. 180 CE) and under Marcus Aurelius'
The fact thatRoman Mithraism gained a significant boost and much of its shape between 121 A.D and 180 A.D would suggest that recorded events in the gospels were influential in its development.Edwin Yamauchi in his book, 'Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History?' pointed out that most of the textual evidence for Mithraist doctrine was written after the New Testament was in broad circulation, posits that it is more likely that Mithraism borrowed from Christianity.
Another Roman 'god' that had his birthday at this time was Saturn or Saturnalia - the god of time and also of fertility.
The Saturnalia was the most popular holiday of the Roman year. Catullus (XIV) describes it as "the best of days," and Seneca complains that the "whole mob has let itself go in pleasures" (Epistles, XVIII.3).
The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms.
However Saturn was a blood thirsty god, demanding shedding of blood for fertility and especially child sacrifice. Gladiatorial contests were staged at this time as a blood offering to Saturnalia.
His image as a bearded old man with scythe is now represented as Old Father Time with scythe and child in arms and also as the grim reaper. Note the garland of holly leaves.
However, the most mighty 'god' in Rome
wasSol Invictus, the sun god.
This Sol Invictus ("the
unconquered sun") or, more fully, Deus
Sol Invictus ("the unconquered sun god") was
introduced into Roman culture by the Emperor Aurelian
in 270, making the sun-god the premier divinity of the empire.
The emperor dedicated the Sol Invictus Temple on December 25, 274 in
a festival called 'dies natalis Solis Invicti'
or Birthday of the invincible Sun. In effect it then encompassed
two other Roman 'gods' - Mithra and Saturnalia -
and so they all became inextricably linked to the sun god. The sun was
called the eye of Mithras.
Encyclopaedia Britannica states 'In
the religion of Sol, the festivals were determined by astronomy. The
greatest festival was held on December 24-25, at the time of the winter
solstice. Because from this date the length of the day began to increase, it
was regarded as the day of the rebirth of the god and of the renovation of
As part of this great festival people decorated green trees
(ever-green) and placed presents beneath them as gifts to the gods.
decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting
life andthe Vikings
believed that evergreens were the special plant of
their sun god called
The Christmas tree was common in pagan Egypt and in pagan Rome. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree and in Rome the fir tree. The palm tree denoted the pagan messiah as Baal-Tamar and in Rome referring to him as Baal-Berith. (Hislop's 'The Two Babylons' p 97)
The Druid emblems of Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe were regarded as
magic and were also part and parcel of this pagan festivity.
Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D)
"The Druids held
nothing more sacred than mistletoe . . . and when it is discovered, it is
gathered with great ceremony, on the sixth day of the moon, which for these
Gallic tribes constitutes the beginning of the months and the years . . .A
priest wearing white vestments climbs the tree and with a golden sickle cuts
down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak."
in his book 'The history of the Celtic people' p229 states..
the Druids took part in sacrifices, public and private; they ordered the
ceremony and perhaps acted as sacrificers or ministers, at least in
certain exceptional cases where human beings were sacrificed, or white
bulls at the plucking of the mistletoe.
The 'Real Witches Handbook' states..
'The Sabbat of Yule is the festival of the rebirth of the
Sun. Having been in decline since the summer solstice, the Sun now begins
to increase in strength again. Witches will bring evergreen decorations
into the home as a reminder of the return of the growing season and this
is the origin of the Christmas tree and decorations. Holly with berries is
a favourite, the red of the berries symbolising the resting Mother and
life returning to the land, and the dark green Holly symbolising the Holly
King, who rules until this time. Mistletoe is another decoration with
strong Pagan connections. The plant has long been considered Magical
because it grows between the earth and the sky, and is not rooted in the
ground' (pages 60.61)
As part of these pagan
December festivities, people gave presents to each other, and there was much feasting and drinking and
partying, releasing a spirit of licentiousness.
Seneca the younger wrote about Rome during
the feast of Saturnalia around 50 A.D:
It is now the month of December, when the greatest part of the city
is in a bustle. Loose reins are given to public dissipation; everywhere
you may hear the sound of great preparations, as if there were some real
difference between the days devoted to Saturn and those for transacting
business....Were you here, I would willingly confer with you as to the
plan of our conduct; whether we should eve in our usual way, or, to
avoid singularity, both take a better supper and throw off the toga.-From the Epistolae
In other parts of the world December 25th was the feast
day for other 'sun gods'. In Egypt it was Horus and Osiris, in Greece it was Dionysus, and in Chaldean culture it was Adonis. In other words
on December 25th pagan worship was at its highest point all over the world.
Israel's feasts dates are often referred to as 'God's Calendar' since so many significant Biblical events occurred on these feast dates (including Christ's death, resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit) so it is highly unlikely that God would associate the Incarnation with a pagan feast date!
The early true church would of course, have had nothing to do with these pagan festivities and would have fully understood the symbolic use of these various
emblems in the celebrations. After all, 'what accord has Christ with Belial'. It is safe to say that the early church would have been shocked to think that one day, many centuries later, the church would fully embrace these pagan festivities and Christianise them. But we have.
One commentator states,
"No such thing as Christmas was ever
practiced by the early Christians, the term being unknown until the third
century. Rather they utterly abhorred the mid winter feast of Saturnalia, it
being dedicated to the birth of Paganism's archetypal false Christ, the so
However, that was all to change.
Some 300 years after Christs death, the emperor Constantine - a Mithras worshipper - had a vision before going into battle. At broad daylight he claimed that he saw a
cross above the sun, and the sign was the
inscription 'In hoc signo vinces' which translates "by this sign conquer". The
next morning he had his army paint their shields with this sign. The sign was
made using the Greek letters chi "X" and rho "P" as an
abbreviation for Christos, meaning Christ. He got his troops to wear this sign and he did have the triumph. He was converted to Christianity.
In 324 he proclaimed that Christianity was now the official religion of the mighty Roman empire.
On the face of it this seemed to be wonderful, but this is not how people are
born again, and so this single event probably birthed more death and deception and
paganism into the church in the long run than any other single event.
Determined to cleanse Christianity of all things Jewish
he moved the crucifixion and resurrection events away from God's 'holy day'
the Passover and set them within the pagan spring festival of ostara. He
also decreed that Saturday was no longer to be observed as a rest day, but
Phillip Yancey in his book book 'The Jesus I never knew' included this historical snippet.
'... early Christians were renowned within the Roman Empire for their support of the poor and suffering. The Christians, unlike their pagan neighbours, readily ransomed their friends from Barbarian captors, and when the plague hit, the Christians tended their sufferers whereas the pagans abandoned the sick at the first symptoms. For the first few centuries, at least, the church took literally Christ's commands to receive strangers, clothe the naked, feed the hungry and visit those in prison. According the church historians, this good work continued until the triumph of Constantine, who legalised the faith and established an official imperial church. From that point on the church tended to spiritualise poverty and leave 'welfare' to the emperor. Over time the church itself became part of the wealthy establishment. (p.156)
He also noted the following,
'According to historian Michael Grant, Constantine had little interest in the person of Jesus himself and found the crucifixion an embarrassment. In a remarkable irony, seeing 'the cross not so much as an emblem of suffering but as a magic totem confirming his own victoriousness". Constantine transformed the cross from a symbol of sacrificial love and humiliation into a symbol of triumph: He had it painted on the shields of his soldiers.' (p.202)
Manyrightly question whether Constantine's
Christianity was a true 'born again' conversion
experience, or merely a
matter of political expediency, because the triumphal arch of Constantine which was
built in 315 by the senate of Rome after his conversion, contains reliefs of
Jupiter, Mars, Hercules, and
with images and homage paid to Mithras, but with
no Christian symbol or reference to Christ
anywhere on the structure. Coins with the 'Sol' the sun god on one side and his
face on the other continued to be issued after his 'conversion' (However he was
baptised while on his deathbed, and some believe that if his conversion was
real it was a deathbed conversion. We can only speculate)
The Barnabas Aid bi-monthly magazine carried an excellent pull-out series titled 'A History of Christian Persecution". In the March/April (part 5) edition, and speaking of Constantine's 'conversion' it stated,
"This did not, as it turned out, mean laying aside his previous pagan religion, and he retained the title of Pontifex Maximus (High Priest) of the Roman state cult until his death in 337. But he did order that Sunday and Christian holy days be given the same legal status as the pagan festivals, he put the Christian cross on his coins (along with pagan symbols and figures) ... The shattering impact of Emperor Constantine’s public adoption of Christianity in 312 on church history, indeed on history in general, is ironic, given that his new “faith” appears to have had relatively little effect on him personally. It set in train a destructive struggle between orthodox Christians and heretics, and eventually created the new realities of sword-bearing believers and wars of theology ... It was Constantine’s decision to say he was a Christian, even more than his introduction of religious liberty, that was the turning point which changed the church from poor to rich, from despised to respectable, from shame to honour, from the cross to the sword, from weakness to earthly power, from Jesus in His humility to Christ triumphant, perceived as an emperor whose dominion is the earth and whose servants ruled as governors.
The common carpenter's son that the
empire had crucified some 300 years earlier was now officially acknowledged
to be God the Son and persecution of Christians stopped.
But what about the pagan feasts
associated with December 25th that the people loved so much?
That problem was easily resolved.
Despite the loud and clear commands from God to remove all manner of signs and symbols
associated with pagan worship
Constantine proclaimed that they could keep their much loved festival by simply
Christianising it. By simply swapping 'gods' Old one out, new one in. An
instruction clearly contrary to God's clear command on the matter.
"You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. "And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. (Deuteronomy 12:2-3)
You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:31-32) [emphasis mine]
Dale Carnegie wrote the following in one
of his books.
'For thousands of years, the Romans,
gorged with food and drunk with wine, celebrated the feast of saturnalia
in December. Saturn was their god of agriculture, and after they had
gathered in the crops for the season they held high festival in his
honour, decorating their houses with evergreen and holly, giving dolls
to their children, and showering gifts upon one another.
Centuries ago.. Constantine rose up
in Roman senate.. and decreed that Christianity was the official
religion of the Roman Empire. And when he did that, he ordered the
Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ during the feast of Saturn,
so merging the two festivals in one' (Page 145
'Little know facts about well known people' : 1947)
Pope Julius I added weight to this in 350 AD
by ordering that the
birth of Christ be celebrated on the same date. To put
these new and dramatic changes to Christianity on to a recognisable time-line, they occurred
further away from the birth of the Church than the length of time that
either America or Australia have been nations.
And so by Roman decree -through Emperor Constantine
and Pope Julius - December 25th, became a
holy day in this new era of the state church.
'The Colossians had begun observing annual, monthly and weekly festivals, despite the fact that there is no trace in the New Testament of Christian observance of a calendar - indeed the calendar that the church observes is largely a pagan one mixed into Christianity. This observance of calendars provides an outstanding example of syncretism from an unlikely source - the celebration of Christmas. Most Christians are hostile to the idea that Christians should not observe Christmas, but not one verse in the New Testament commands Christians to do anything special at Christmas. In fact, the Christmas season is based on a pagan mid-winter festival celebrating what they saw as the rebirth of the sun on 25th December'
He then goes on to explain how this Christianising of the pagan festival made its way to Britain.
'This ritual was made 'Christian' when Augustine was sent from Rome by Pope Gregory to evangelise Britain in 597, and he found that the locals would not change their celebration. They included yuletide logs, carols and orgies. Every village elected a 'Lord of misrule' for 12 days, who was able to have any young girl he wanted for the '12 days of Christmas'. So the Pope's advice was to 'Christianise' the festival. The legacy of this decision is that Christ is reduced to a baby in a manger, and is often dismissed as such' (pages 1040-1041)
Collier's Encyclopaedia states..
By the end of the fourth century the
whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the
exception of the eastern churches, where it was celebrated on January
6th. The choice of December 25th was probably influenced by the fact
that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god
(natalis solis invicta) and that the Saturnalia also came at this time.
For more than a thousand
years the pagan emblems being used in the
state church festivities
(regarded as the whole Christian world) would not have been
given place in true Christian
However that was about to
In the mid 1500's, the fir tree
reappeared, decorated with candles, as did the holly, and the ivy, and the
All the trappings of the old pagan festival. Not just one, or some,
but all of them.
In attempts to Christianise this turn of events Christian myths grew up
surrounding the tree. One story said that St. Boniface went from England to Germany to
teach people the Christian faith. There one December, he encountered a group of people
standing beneath an oak tree ready to sacrifice a child to please their god.
Boniface immediately rescued the child and chopped the oak tree down. At it's foot lo and
behold was a small fir tree, so he cut it and gave it to the people as a symbol of life.
He called it the tree of the Christ-child.
Not content with leaving the ending there, the story continues with Martin Luther then
cutting down a fir tree and taking it home because the evergreen tree reminded him that
life continued through the winter when most of nature appeared to have died. He attached a
number of candles to illuminate the tree to express the Christ was welcome in his
Queen Victorias German born husband, Prince Albert then saw them in Germany and
brought the idea back to Britain, where it caught on.
Eventually the Church unofficially
accepted 'the green tree'
into the celebration of Christ's birth as well.
Along with the holly the mistletoe and the ivy.
When the traditional
carols 'Deck the halls with
boughs of holly' and The
holly and the ivy are sung in church as part of Christmas
celebration, they are drawing wholly and historically on pagan worship.
Then another facet began to emerge in the midst of all this.
A strange figure ..who came down your chimney on the eve of December 25th
An 'omnipresent' 'beneficent one' who could supernaturally be in
every home, in every country, at the same time.
An eternal figure who never dies.
An all knowing figure who knows when children are good or bad.
He was given the title of Father. Father Christmas.
And this, despite the commandment of Jesus in Matthew 23 verse 9 not to call anyone Father because He said, we have one Father and He is in
heaven (Note: He was not talking about natural
fathers Matthew 8:21 or Christian spiritual fathers in Christ 1st Corinthians
Some linked him to a Turkish gentleman who sold everything and went about giving gifts to
the poor. Some accommodated his emergence by spiritualising him as a German Saint called
Nicholas - the Bishop of Myra in Asia. (The Dutch spelling for this German saint is
One Christian myth tells of this overworked saint who loved giving his money away to the
needy, but being a shy old man, he one day climbed up on a roof and dropped his money down
the chimney. It fell into the stockings which the little girls of the house had hung up by
the fire to dry and so it all took off from there.
(Try hanging a pair of wet stockings in a smoky fire place, then get a shy old man to
climb upon a roof in mid winter and drop coins down the chimney to see how easy it is to
emulate the Bishop of Myra.)
mythical figure was was dressed in green or brown but in the 1930's Coca cola
artist Haddon Sundblom painted him in Coca Cola's corporate colours
and the jovial red clad image we are now so familiar with was complete
Now it is a fact that satan delights in seeing and hearing his name in an anagram .
At rock concerts his devotees get the crowds to shout natas..natas.. and the
new agers tell us that their spirit guides, who speak to them and through them, answer to
a spirit overlord called sanat kumballa.
Santa is simply satan spelt slightly differently.
Earlier we mentioned the ancient fire god.
The actual name of the ancient holy fire god was.. santan.
The sad thing is that we invite this santa into our homes.
Children offer prayers up to him and lay food out for him near the fire.
As we feast and make merry he is on the table, on the walls, on the doors, everywhere.
An itinerant evangelist from Northern Ireland - travelling with his wife on a mission
through the southern states of America was placed by a Baptist church in the home of one
of their elders.
In the room he was allocated the four walls were covered with dozens and dozens of
freemasonry and shriner certificates, regalia, and trophies, and sitting around this room
were exactly sixty four santas of every shape and style. Over the wash hand basin was a
little plaque saying He is Lord
Santa is now the giver of good gifts.
The children are told that if they are good he will reward them accordingly.
And the first thing they are told on Christmas day is the lie, santa has been.
Santa is always faithful, always good, there is no evil in him. He can always be relied
upon and trusted.
And of course there are subtle (and not so subtle) attempts to Christianise this mythical figure.
Somewhat prophetically perhaps Facebook censored this not so subtle attempt calling it 'violent content'!.
The ancient Persians - from where 'Mithra emerged - would have recognised
Santa coming on December 24th from his home in the North
their god of fire coming from
his home in the north lands.
Again quoting from Dale Carnegie's book..
'Old Santa Claus, who is coming down
your chimney on Christmas eve, in his pagan youth was the fire-god of
ancient peoples. He brought presents to the children in Rome thousands
of years ago - and he comes with his reindeer and jingle bells from the
far north; for like all the gods of our tribal fathers, he lives in the
twinkling firmament around the North Star. (Page 146
'Little know facts about well known people' : 1947)
Then there is the festive time interwoven
with Christmas known as 'Yule' which was
originally the winter solstice celebration of the Germanic pagans.
These celebrations seem to have been influenced by Norse paganism where Jul, or Jule (pronounced Yule) was a fertility god.
Before Christianity came to Scandinavia, a pig was
sacrificed to the god Freyr at the December Yule celebrations. The Germanic people had a similar
celebration as did the ancient Romans, who sacrificed a pig to Saturnaliaduring the December 25th festivals.
A saying at that time was "That boar will make you a good Saturnalia' (Hislop's 'The Two Babylons' p 101)
This tradition survives today as the Christmas ham.
The 'twelve days of Christmas' is also
entirely of pagan root. It seems to have originated in Egypt around
December 25th when they celebrated the birth of Horus over a twelve day
period to represent their twelve month calendar. Eventually this twelve day
period extended to other cultures
In Scandinavia 'Yule' was honoured
with a twelve day celebration. A large single log was kept with a fire against it for
twelve days, with a different sacrifice to Jul being offered in the fire on
each of the twelve days.
The Greeks kept their Christmas
log burning for twelve days at this time as protection
since it was
believed that demons roamed more freely during this twelve day
In 567 AD Christians adopted this twelve
day pagan festivity and declared that the twelve days from Christmas to
Epiphany was a Christian sacred time.
This deliberate absorption of
paganism into Christianity seemed the smart move in its day.
Even today many people still think this
Christianising of pagan worship was a positive thing to do.
Calvinist Reformers believed that the
this mixture was not that paganism was Christianised, but
rather that Christianity was paganised.
And scripture stands firmly on this side
of the argument.
Never anywhere in scripture did God authorise merging with
pagan gods, their names,
their feast days or their forms of celebration.
"When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
"take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods' I also will do likewise.' "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their
gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:29-31)
When Jerobaom was King of Israel, we read of where he led the people into great idolatry, setting up two golden calves, one at Dan and one at Bethel. Scripture tells us that as part of the idolatry, that he was guilty of instituting a feast day for Israel that was of his own making.
Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense. 1 Kings 12:32-34
The feast of Christmas was man ordained. We might not have golden calves, but we have all the other pagan trappings.
God goes to great lengths to dismiss any
idea that He accepts a mixture. First using physical items as symbols of
'You shall keep My statutes. You
shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow
your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool
come upon you. (Leviticus 19:19)
Then in the New Testament the spiritual
outworking of this principle.
Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you
also be open. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For
what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness' And what communion
has light with darkness' And what accord has Christ with Belial' Or what
part has a believer with an unbeliever' And what agreement has the
temple of God with idols' For you are the temple of the living God. As
God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their
God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will
receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:13-17)
Oliver Cromwell - when he ruled England - banned the Christmas festivities because of
their pagan origins. (1644)
And so did the Puritans.
To use a decorated green tree to celebrate Christs birth would have meant
They knew these things were of the pagan world and that friendship with the
pagan world is enmity with God.His Kingdom has never been built upon the worlds foundations. Or pagan foundations.
However the pagan 'pull' for these
festivities proved too strong and the populace carried on with their
It has always been this way.
Scripture records for us that
the pagan practise of using green trees
became incorporated into so much of Israels idolatrous worship that the prophets
were continually (on 8 recorded occasions) called to speak against them.
Jeremiah 3:13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your
God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have
not obeyed My voice,' says the LORD.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul tells him (and of course us) to have nothing to do with Godless myths and legends.
The church (us) has not taken heed to Pauls advice.
In the Bible, God always told the children of Israel to tear down all the pagan
trappings and symbols in the land He would give them.
When they did not, the stories always, without fail, tell us that the old gods of the
lands made a comeback, and the children of Israel, would adopt them into their way of
life. An abomination to God.
Hezekiah was a good king who pulled down the pagan altars,
rebuilt the altars of the Lord and restored proper worship to Israel.
However when his son Manasseh became king he became a merciless tyrant who
undid all his father's good work. He reintroduced pagan worship in a major
way, worship which took place on the high places around Jerusalem.
For he (Manasseh) rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
(2 Chronicles 33:3)
Eventually after being defeated by the Assyrian king he
repented and God brought him back to Jerusalem where he pulled down the
pagan altars, rebuilt the Lord's altars and restored proper worship.
By removing the names of all the pagan gods and putting God's
name alone into their worship the people presumably thought they had done
enough to please the Lord. Scripture shows that they had not. They removed the old gods from their worship on the traditional pagan high
placesand inserted the true God instead, and God was not pleased at
He (Manasseh) took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. He also repaired the altar of the LORD, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the LORD their God. (2 Chronicles 33:15-17)
God had already decreed that His people were not to worship Him in the same way
and at the same high places that the pagans worshipped their gods.
Again and again in scripture (e.g. Deuteronomy 2:2, 2 Ch 15:17; 32:12; 1Ki 22:43; 2Ki 15:4)
we read where God rebuked the Israelites for not destroying the
pagan's high (physical)
places, which is a mirror image for the New Testament spiritual.
December 25th and the season around it always was, and still is, a pagan high
place on the pagan calendar.
The sad truth is that satan has in recent centuries drawn
the church on to that high place.
Throughout the year, week after week, we sing worship songs
which refer to Christ's crucifixion and His resurrection, and yet the Christianising
of this pagan 'holy day' has led to most worship songs referring to His
incarnation being huddled round one short period of the year. We could not imagine
'Silent night' or Charles Wesley's magnificent 'Hark the herald angels sing' being sung as a worship song
to God outside of 'Christmas'. It 'belongs' on that calendar high place.
That great Christmas traditional oratorio, Handel's
'Messiah' was written in summertime and first performed in springtime (April)
but it also eventually ended up in the Christmas festivities.
article in Early Music News vol. 24 no. 4 (December 1999), Southern
California Early Music Society states ..
'The performances were given throughout Vienna during
the Spring of 1789, since at that time Messiah was equated more with
Easter rather than Christmas as it is today'
The same article states .
'Thus Messiah also became a wonderful
fund-raiser, perhaps leading to its playing more often during the
The wonderful story of the incarnation - found in the
first two chapters of Matthew and the first two chapters of Luke - can be
read, preached or mediated on during any day of the year. It has the power
to change lives. Every day is the day that the Lord has made and we will
rejoice and be glad in it.
The main argument for Christmas within the
church is that it has now become established as a Christian
tradition. However scripture makes it clear that where tradition runs
contrary to the clear commands of God we should drop the tradition. Jesus
"All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Jesus did not ask us to 'remember' His birth. In fact He never once even referred to it.
was only one thing He asked us to do in remembrance of Him, and it began when He celebrated the Passover
with His disciples.
Passover involved the bread and the wine. The bread
was to symbolise His broken body and the wine was to symbolise His blood
poured out to establish the new Covenant.
For I received from the Lord that which I also
delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was
betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,
"Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in
remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after
supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as
often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (1 Corinthians
As Paul wrote to the church at Corinth..
For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed
for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7b )
Another argument put forward is that Christmas is a
good opportunity to speak of the gospel.
Yes it is.
It is an opportune time for Christians to creatively and sensitively engage with people where the culture is at, and the culture certainly is deeply, deeply, locked into festivities. It is especially an opportune time to engage with those who are poor, lonely, fearful, rejected and abandoned.
But there is, I believe, a definite Kingdom boundary line. God ask us to not to live or to worship Him contrary to
His Word and His Kingdom culture.
We can do one without the other. We can be in the world, but not of the world.
Some have protested that almost all holidays have pagan roots, but of course - other than easter - we do not use those days to do what God forbids, that is, the using of those days and their associated pagan symbols to worship Him.
Should you decide not to celebrate Christmas you will
quickly find that you get abundant opportunities to speak of Jesus because
people simply must know why!
Christmas for Christians is nothing more than the merging of a
major Biblical event into pagan festivities on a pagan 'holy' day.
Such practices wereunacceptable to Him yesterday. Presumably it is still unacceptable to Him today.And presumably, it will be unacceptable to Him tomorrow.
Whether one person or the whole world does it. Or whether the church does it or not.
One billion people offering this form of worship to God does not make it acceptable to Him.
The world has no interest in Gods special calendar days.Try interesting the world in Palm Sunday or Pentecost day.
There is public interest in Easter, because
as mentioned earlier, easter is another pagan blow in
during the rule of Constantine. Christ was not crucified during the pagan spring festival of Ostara (Eostra'
or 'Ishtar) but at Passover.Easter eggs
are Ishtar eggs etc. [see Passover or easter?]
In the seventeenth century Scottish Presbyterians were deeply suspicious of Christmas and refused to celebrate 'easter'.
When the world and the church agree on something, beware.
Moses talking to God in Exodus 33:16 declared
So shall we be separate, Your people and
I, from ALL the people who are on the face of the earth".
The Christmas / Yule festival attracts the populace because the roots are
And as an unholy feast day it produces its unholy fruit.
Parents virtually bankrupt themselves and invoke massive stress to comply with the
required festivities of excessive eating and more dangerously.. drinking heavily.
They run up debts to buy lavish presents for their children, giving all the 'glory' for
this generosity to Father Christmas.
In 2004 Great Britain borrowed £11 billion
extra in one month just to finance Christmas. That's enough to feed 50
million people in the third world for a year. (Keith
Tondeur of Credit Action)
In January 16th 2006 the Daily Mail
published a report which said ..
'Record numbers are calling debt
advisory services as Christmas spending threatens to send them bankrupt.
The National Debt line said it has been so overwhelmed with calls that
two-thirds of them had gone unanswered in the last fortnight.. In
December, it emerged that about 1.7 million had only just managed to pay
off their debts from the previous Christmas. Chris Holmes from the One
Advice debt service said: 'The scale of the debt problem facing this
country is very alarming, and it is fuelled by Christmas.'
Promiscuity and office 'flings' upsurge bringing great marital strife in their aftermath.
In December 2011 the British Pregnancy Advisory Service tried to reduce the numbers of unwanted pregnancies that traditionally increase at this time of year by making the morning after pill freely available.
This is the advertisement that they ran. Women were encouraged to claim their free ‘on-standby’ morning-after pill, by filling in an online form.
BPAS said that last January the number of Women seeking advice about unwanted pregnancies was 15 per cent up on other months.
A study has shown that January 8th is the busiest day of the year for divorce lawyers when up to one in five couples will enquire about divorce after the pressures of Christmas. The enforced intimacy of Christmas, coupled with the start of a new year is thought to be the main trigger. (Reported in the Daily Telegraph 8 January 2007)
A 1998 poll of 1,000 young males by style magazine 'Maxim' found that seven out of ten saw the 'birth of Christ' aspect of Christmas as the worst feature and the drinking and eating to excess being the best parts.
Maxim's editor Chris Maillard said Christmas 'has now come down to a simple excuse for excess'
Sudden deaths often occur near Christmas adding extra pain and poignancy to what people try to make a happy time. Drink driving contributes to many of these, by people who would not normally be that stupid, but because of excess, they do foolish things.
Police refer to the Friday before Christmas as 'black Friday' because of the mayhem that usually follows that evening of office parties. Punch-ups are common, as are serious domestic assaults, as the combination of drink and extended closeness takes it's toll.
Just ask the staff in Hospital Casualty when they last had a quiet Christmas.
In December 2011 one newspaper declared Black Friday two weeks ahead of Christmas Day when the ambulance service received more than 20,000 call outs costing £10,000,000 for one nights work. This is more than 50% up on an average weekend. One paramedic was quoted as saying "I’ve never seen it like this before. It just seems to be getting worse. It’s like a war zone” while another said “It was carnage out there. It looked like a disaster movie".
Truly the pagan-originated festival has returned to its true roots.
Against the backdrop of general merriment, the lonely and marginal in society often feel excluded and get suicidally depressed. In the local Doctor’s waiting room is a poster from the Mental Health association advertising a 3 week course called ‘Coping with Christmas) An online poll of 116 people by the mental health charity Mind found that respondents were stressed and anxious about repaying their Christmas spending. Here is a summary of the survey's findings:-
19 per cent of people felt less able to manage their mental health because of worries about paying off the cost of Christmas
25 per cent were feeling depressed
20 per cent will have problems meeting their rent or mortgage payments this month.
Over 50 per cent admitted they had spent more than they could afford on Christmas.
39 per cent used credit cards to cover the cost of Christmas.
33 per cent estimated that it would take them more than six months to pay off their Christmas spending debt
depicting a Nativity scene in which the infant Jesus is dressed in a
shockingly red Father Christmas-style suit and hat is to be used to
encourage churchgoing this Christmas.
In an attempt to promote the Christian festival as
more than an opportunity to spend money, the slogan beneath the
traditional tableau reads: "Go on, ask Him for something this
The poster, to
be displayed on more than 1,000 sites across the country in December,
is part of a '250,000 campaign by the Churches Advertising Network.
The campaign also includes radio advertisements in
which humorous words highlighting over-consumption at Christmas have
been set to the tunes of four non-religious carols. Listeners are
invited to "ask Jesus for something else this Christmas - come to
your local Christian church".
Daily Telegraph 10/09/2003
I remember attending our childrens Christmas concert at school where 'the fairies' danced round the Christmas
tree, 'the goblins' helped santa to make the toys, where each child made a wish as they took turns
to stir the spoon in the cake bowl, and where the Christmas alphabet song began, C
is for the candy on the Christmas tree. Pagan to the hilt.
Even the little lights are called 'fairy
Santa not only decorates many Church halls, but he makes personal appearances to the
children in many Church halls. They sit on santas knee to be blessed with a
gift. And so the children learn that at Christmas time all good gifts come from
They learn that santa - 'Father' Christmas - loves the little children.
In order not to offend
other faiths, political correctness has resulted in some cities
terming the Christmas festival as the Winter Festival. Or
'Sparkle' as in one city.
A survey by the Daily Mail of 5,363 cards in major supermarkets found only 45 with pictures of the Bible story. Traditional nativity scenes appear on less than 1% of all cards available.
However despite this political
correctness, the increasing persecution of all things Christian and the falling church numbers,
most non Christian people still want the carols and the children's nativity scenes to remain
an integral part of Christmas.
One newspaper vigorously campaigning to
keep the nativity story as an essential part of Christmas, added that we all
knew it was 'just a fairy tale' and proven to be so. But a nice fairy
Churches, and especially
Cathedrals are usually guaranteed a full house at this festive time.
The following week the numbers
revert to normal. Take the carols and the nativity scenes out of Christmas
and place them on any other date and we know there would be no interest shown by the
This festival is simply returning to its pagan roots, and the Church fights an increasingly difficult battle to keep
Christ-relevance in it, because what was started in the flesh must be maintained in the
flesh. Each year we have Ministers pleading with their
people to 'focus on Jesus' during the
festivities. 'He's the reason for the season' is a nice catch-phrase, but its not true. Paganism is the original reason for the season.
And it is interesting to see that in 2005 the
black Christmas tree made its first appearance in the shops and
proved instantly popular. Now - as this picture taken at a local
garden centre in October 2006 shows - people are being offered a black tree, black baubles
and decorations, alongside a black angel.
Author Steve Maltz, in his book 'How The Church Lost The Way' wrote,
Personally Christmas has gone full circle. It started of as a Roman pagan festival, marked by debauchery, over-indulgence and revelry and that's how it has ended up. I say leave it at that, by all means meet with family and friends and give presents, but don't bring Jesus into it. Yes I've said it! I've spoken what is unspeakable in many circles. (p 106)
If God doesnt build something then we labour in vain.
In God is not the Author then He will not be the Finisher.
This is just a paper to stimulate thought, perhaps debate, and certainly prayer.
Perhaps it is even a test of our obedience. Just how strong would we be in standing up
against the flow of world, and even the visible church if God revealed that our
worship was not only unacceptable, but an abomination. Any who
have chosen not to celebrate Christmas have found to their shock that the
spirit behind Christmas is an aggressive spirit. Such a simple private and
personal decision will rarely be treated as such, but will provoke abacklash from the most unexpected sources. Christian and
Following what I believe was an initial
prompting in my heart, followed by much research and prayer, I came to believe that it is not God's will to associate His Son's birth
a pagan feast day and withpagan trappings.
It was inaugurated by man,
and has no Biblical mandate.
So in 1996 we as a family chose not to
link Christ's birth to a pagan 'holy day'.
We, a people called by God, are called out from under satans rule, to abide under
Gods rule, in the Kingdom of His Son, and to display the culture of His Kingdom.
We are called to be salt and light to this dying world.
A Christianity that costs.
Lets start here. Give us wisdom Lord. Give us discernment Lord. Give us strength Lord.
And thank you for your unspeakable gift of Jesus.
Beating paganism into a Christian shape
This event happened to me in the mid-1990's and was instrumental in shaping much of my thinking.
While attending a praise service in a church one Sunday evening, I became aware that my mind was being bombarded by very anti-Christian thoughts. I was trying to worship and at the same time take each of these thoughts captive. These were not normal every day, unpleasant thoughts, but quite satanic in their nature and relentless intensity. As the service continued I became aware that the attack seemed to be coming from a young man with his back to me, two rows in front of me, and two seats to the left. (I can picture it still)
This continued right to the end of the service, so I made my way through the gradually exiting people to see if I recognised this young man, but I did not. As I drew closer I became aware that the attack seemed to be coming from a metal cross that hung around his neck. This made me think that perhaps 'I was loosing the plot'
I sought out an elder in the church and pointing out the young man, asked if she knew who he was. She did indeed, and her reply only added to my confusion. She said that he had come to church for the first time several weeks earlier and had got wonderfully saved and was 'on fire for Jesus'
I then asked her if she knew anything about the cross that hung on the chain around his neck. She did.
She said that he had been involved in the occult and upon getting saved he had gone home and melted the occult symbol that had hung around his neck and beaten it into the cross that he now wore proudly around his neck.
Of course he meant well. He acted in ignorance, as so many of us do.
Anything used in pagan / occult worship was / is never to be used to worship God. It is to be destroyed and put away as an unclean thing.
In Exodus 32 we read of where, in Moses' absence, Aaron melted down many gold earrings and made a moulded calf for the Children of Israel to worship. Upon his return, Moses made them totally destroy all the valuable gold since it was now an unclean detestable thing.
Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.
Acts 19:19 talks of new converts bringing a fortune worth of occult / pagan items to be destroyed.
Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totalled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Now see what we have done.
We have taken a pagan 'holy' day, along with all the associated pagan trappings of that day and beaten the lot into a Christian altar - a Christian holy day. Upon this altar we have placed the worship of the incarnation and offered it up to God.
I was in two minds as to whether to include a pagan calendar page and a yule ritual in
However in the end I decided to do so in order to bring home to the church just how real the paganism is
that we smeared the Kingdom of God with when we embraced the Pagan yule festival without even a hint of
scriptural mandate to do so.
The image below shows the December page from a Pagan calendar. I have included the brief
description that came with it.
The copy that follows details the yule sabbat ritual. taken from a 'Paganism and Occult sciences' section of
Yule - circa
This Sabbat celebrates rebirth and renewal, and the return of longer days as the Lord of
the Sun is reborn from the womb of the Goddess.
Wreaths and evergreen trees may decorate
Set up the Altar with your usual tools. Extra tools will include a Yule log, a
small evergreen tree, a wreath representing both the wheel of the year and the goddess,
and the God candle that you used in the Samhain ritual.
The Yule ritual will be performed skyclad. The Altar will be decorated with a variety of
evergreens, and the Altar candles shall be red and green. The
colour of the Altar cloth
shall be green. Cast the sacred circle.
Then, invoke the God and the Goddess. Then bring
the God candle used on Samhain to the front of the altar. Say:
"As this candle represents the Lord of the Sun, as did it's blowing out represent His
passing, as will it's lighting represent His return."
Take an altar candle and light the God candle. Bringing the altar candle with you, move
around the altar to the Yule log at the rear. Light the first candle, saying:
"Blessed be the Goddess in her maiden form, fresh and young. May all the world be
born young again with her."
Light the second candle, saying:
"Blessed be the Goddess in her motherly form, lovely and heavy with child. May all
that springs from her womb be strong and fruitful."
Light the third candle, saying:
"Blessed be the Goddess in the form of the crone, powerful and wise. Guardian of
Magick and the wheel of life."
Now the Yule log has been lit, put the altar candle in it's place. Return to the front of
the altar and stand, facing East. Speak these words:
"On this night the Lord of the Sun is reborn and the Goddess and the God are
reunited. As the sun returns and the wheel of the year turns once more, we honour
the Goddess and
newly born God, our Mother and Father."
Now is the time for any seasonal activities that you had planned for this evening.
is not appropriate.
Singing, decorating the Yule tree, etc., are.
After any such business has been taken care of, you may banish the sacred circle.
The myth is the familiar Mothercare stable scene, where Mary, beautifully robed, and with
a halo, stares serenely down at the baby in the glowing cradle.
Maybe theres a light sprinkling of snow outside.
Joseph is there also, gazing down, bathed in the Holy glow,
Shepherds gaze also, as do the three wise men.
The cattle are lowing, the lambs are gently bleating.
The Christmas cards portray it beautifully, and we all go aagh!..
And so we are robbed of the real beauty of what God was doing.
The truth is, that Mary was a very pregnant girl, probably around the age of 14 (average age of marriage then) who had just travelled a long way on a donkey.
She may have first given birth out in the street, and then laid the baby in the manger
because there was no room at the inn. (I like that idea. God, through the incarnation identifying with the tens of thousands of street children in places as far apart as Brazil, China, Russia and India)
Or, as tradition has it, she may have given birth in the stable
because there was no room at the inn. Scripture does not rule out either version. Especially if things happened in the order that they are written.
1 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and
2 wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and
3 laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
Nick Page, author of 'The Longest Week', suggests a different scenario in his book 'The Wrong Messiah',
The Greek word Luke uses for 'inn' is kataluma. This can mean 'inn', but more often means 'guest room', 'spare room' or anywhere you might put visitors. In fact Luke uses it this way elsewhere in his gospel; in the account of the Last Supper, where two disciples are told to go and ask, "Where is the guest room [kataluma], where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" Luke 22:11 This argument is further reinforced when we look at the only place in Luke's gospel where he does specifically mention an inn; in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:34). In that instance, the word he uses is a different Greek word, pandocheion. So if he meant 'inn' in Bethlehem, why did he not use pandocheion? Because there was no inn. Mary and Joseph were going to Joseph's family home. They would not need an inn; they would stay with relatives. But the relatives were poor and their home was crowded, there was no room in the kataluma. (guest room) So they laid the baby elsewhere in the house; in a manger, an animal's feeding trough.... In peasant homes of that time, the manger was not in another building, but inside the house. These homes were simple two level structures...the family slept in the central parts and towards the back, with the animals kept at the entrance. At night their animals would be brought into the lower level of the house, both for security reasons and to keep the house warm - their body heat acted as a kind of primitive central heating. There would be mangers set into the slope to the upper level, and it was there that Jesus was laid. [The Wrong Messiah, Hodder & Stroughton. pages 24-25]
Either way, Bethlehem and the roads into it would have been busy, noisy and stressful with crowds returning in large numbers to their home town. The stable, or the room at the back, with animals inside it would have been like all such animal shelters. Somewhat smelly and very attractive to flies. The earthen floor would be probably be partly made up with years of impacted dung. Hours of labour would have left Mary damp and bedraggled. Ask any mum to imagine what childbirth would be like under such conditions!
The shepherds, complete strangers arriving at this scene, were the gypsy equivalent of
The wise men would arrive much later. Probably one to two
years later. The Bible does not say how many of them came, and their popular names are but a romantic
fabrication. They did not give gifts to each other, but
only to Jesus.
Anything less like the romantic stable scene of the paintings would be hard to imagine. In order to identify with us, God could
not have entered this world at a lower point.
This incredible scene was Gods promise to us finally being fulfilled.
Throughout the Old Testament, in His dealings with the children of Israel, God promised
many, many times, that one day He would personally intervene into the mess that we are in,
and provide a way of escape.
Abraham , as a shadow of what God himself would do, was asked to sacrifice his only, dearly loved, son.
At the last second he was stopped. God had made his point.
On the way to the mountain altar, his son Isaac had asked the crucial question. Where is the lamb'
And from his father Abraham, had received the crucial answer. God himself will provide the Lamb.
The Children of Israels escape from Pharaohs bondage, to freedom
in the promised land, was preceded by the sacrifice of an unblemished, or perfect Lamb.
The Passover Lamb.
Always the shadow of the what was to come.
The great thing that God would do.
Gods great promise to us all.
As the time drew near the shadow grew stronger.
The writings of Isaiah were awash with expectancy and excitement..
For on to us a child is born, on to us a son is given...and his name shall be called Wonderful, counsellor, Mighty God,
Behold a young woman (virgin) shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (God with us).
Then one night, as shepherds watched over their flocks, the heavens exploded in angelic excitement.
A child is born.. a saviour
Hurrying to the scene they were shocked to see the saviour wrapped in the same
kind of rags that they wrapped their infants in.
Some time earlier, astrologers in Persia, saw a new star in a constellation called the House of the Hebrews.
To them, this was the long awaited fulfilment of the prophecy, a star will rise in Jacobs house
They left everything and followed the star, arriving in Bethlehem some time after the child was born, with gifts, to pay homage.
Shepherds and Astrologers.
There by Royal invitation.
Angels were sent to bring the shepherds.
A star was sent to bring the astrologers.
Between them they represented the open invitation to us all.
For in that honoured group stood the poor, and the rich.
The illiterate, and the highly educated. Those from nearby,
and far away. The Jew, and the non Jew.
And so Gods promise had arrived.
Born of Mary, to be the son of man.
Born of God the Father, to be the Son of God.
The go between.
A messenger from heaven to earth.
To be a messenger from earth to heaven.
The staircase in Jacobs dream.
Arriving not in a palace, to reign in majesty.
But in candle lit darkness, in a dirty, smelly stable, in poverty.
Wrapped not in rich tapestry ,but in rags.
A servant King. God had provided His lamb.
Jesus was Gods promise to us.
Even his name is a promise. It means The Lord saves.
The gift arrived from heaven free of charge.
Our worthiness did not earn it.
In fact it is our unworthiness, that made his love gift essential for our salvation.
And yet, we cannot receive this gift without playing our part.
We must open our hearts, our whole lives, to receive him. And to receive him, we must de- throne ourselves,
and enthrone him.
As our Lord.
As our God.
As our very own, personal Saviour.
Hearts not yet given to Jesus are still under satans dominion.
We are born into satans dominion, and like Pharaoh,
he would have us live, and die, in his dominion of darkness.
Only repentance on our part, and the sinless blood of Gods lamb can cleanse us, and
transfer us from the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of Gods Son, and only the
blood of Gods Lamb can reconcile us to God, and fit us for heaven.
For without the shedding of this Lambs blood their could be no remission of sins.
God never intended the wonder of His Sons birth to be ritually condensed into one
tinsel covered day.
If Christs birth means nothing to us in July without the fun the food and the
frolics, in truth it means little to us in December.
Reflect often, and feast on the wonder of it all. Bring the gift of your life and lay it at feet of the child in the stable, and celebrate
His Royal birth, anytime of the year.
Search the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and you will find no
mandate, not even the merest inference, to pick a day, let alone a pagan
'holy day', to celebrate the incarnation.
Therefore the kindest interpretation of Christmas is that it is extra
However you will find a clear instruction not to worship God the way the
heathen worship their gods and so the more serious interpretation of
Christmas festivities is that it may indeed be contra Biblical. Having read the paper you must decide for yourself.
Although I am passionate about truth I would ask you - if you are
fully convinced in your own mind - to grow gracefully into the truth,
and not to use this issue to bring division into the
Body of Christ. These issues are very precious restoration issues, not salvation issues!
Things long set in the concrete of tradition do not change overnight. The church is big enough to accommodate those who celebrate Christmas 'as
to the Lord' (i.e. esteeming one day above another) and those who do not celebrate Christmas 'as to the
Lord' (i.e. esteeming every day alike)
The apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote,
"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.
Those of us who do not celebrate Christmas 'as to the Lord'
have the liberty in Christ
to rejoice in the incarnation
with our brothers and sisters in Christon any day,
including of course, December 25th, but we
do not position it in our hearts as
Christ's birthday and we do not become enmeshed in any of the pagan
trappings and commercialism associated with the season.
That 'Prince of preachers' Charles Hadden Spurgeon, put this position well when addressing his audience on December 24th 1871..
"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. ... It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. ... Probably the fact is that the "holy" days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December. Nevertheless since, the current of men's thoughts is led this way just now, and I see no evil in the current itself, I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream, and make use of the fact, which I shall neither justify nor condemn, by endeavoring to lead your thoughts in the same direction. Since it is lawful, and even laudable, to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day in the year, it cannot be in the power of other men's superstitions to render such a meditation improper for to-day. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son." (C H Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1971, pp 697)
The common ground as
always is the love for Jesus, the honour and respect for our brothers and
sisters in Christ and the worship of God in spirit and in truth.
John 1:17 tells us that Jesus came 'with grace and truth' and in
2nd Peter 3:18 we read where Peter counsels us to 'always grow in the grace
and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ'
Therefore let us
be obedient to scripture and grow into all truth with grace, with passion and not with
aggressive soulish zeal which brings contention.
Paul reminds us that even if we can fathom all mysteries and have all
knowledge but have not love we are nothing but noisy gongs and clanging
symbols in the midst of the church.
Little known facts by Dale Carnegie (1947
History of the early church- 1990 Christian video.
History of the Christmas tree. (1992 Book)
Mark of the New Age. Texe Marrs. (1991 Christian Book)
Masonry - beyond the light William Schnoebelen (Christian book)
Whats the point of Christmas J.John (1988 Christian book)
The Wrong Messiah Nick Page Hodder & Stroughton (2011 Christian book)
Michael Card's book 'The Promise: A Celebration of Christ’s Birth' (1991 Christian book)
Earth Magic Francis Hitching 1976 archaeological historian
Perfect Home magazine Christmas edition.
'Unlocking the Bible' by David Pawson
Wikipedia web encyclopaedia
Prophecy in the News Christian monthly magazine
'Early Christian Music society article' vol. 24 no. 4 (December 1999)
Belfast Telegragh article December 1997
'Radio interview with a witch on Sunday sequence 23/11/97
state of Grace' by Charles Freeman,
Roane State Community Col.
Tennessee Electronic Library
Mystica web site
'The History of
the Celtic people' by Henri Huber : Bracken Books, London