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Putting the "Christ in Christmas"

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by MysticTraveler, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie

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    Mod Post

    Thread moved to Religious Debates
     
  2. JayJayDee

    JayJayDee Avid JW Bible Student

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    Concerning your original post MT, I'm sure everyone here thinks they know the "Christmas" story, right? :shrug:
    Have you ever really read what Matthew chapter 2 says regarding the story everyone who celebrates Christmas thinks they know?

    From Matthew chapter 2.....

    "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” (Matt 2:1, 2)

    Everyone knows that there were three wise men...right? Look again. Try reading this verse in a few different translations and you will see that there is no number mentioned. It could have been two or five or seven?...we don't know. All we know is that they had three gifts.

    The word used in Greek that is translated "wise men" is "Magi". Some translations call them "astrologers", hence the fact that they followed "his (the newborn Jesus') star" in the east, which denotes they were from Babylon, the home of astrology.
    The word 'Magi' is where we derive the word magic. (These are things that the Jews were forbidden to practice. Deut 18:10-12)

    So what about the star itself? Who sent it? It is of note to mention that this was no ordinary star because it moved in the sky, guiding the Magi first to Jerusalem.....not to Bethlehem.

    What happened when they fronted up asking where the 'one born to be King of Jews' was? Herod was "King of the Jews"....no one was going to usurp his role or threaten the role of his sons after him. As a consequence of the Magi's visit, Herod ascertained the place of Jesus' birth from the Jews and the time of the star's appearance from the Magi. Then he feigned affection for the child and said they should report back to him when they found him so that he could pay homage to the child as well. The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod so they went home via another way.

    When Herod realized that he had been duped, he then ordered all of the male infants 2 years of age and under to be put to death. This was the fulfillment of a prophesy concerning one of the mothers whose children were slaughtered. (Matt 2:17, 18)

    If the star was sent by God, and it led them directly to Herod, then that makes God responsible for the deaths of all those children.

    Who wanted Jesus dead? Who set up those unsuspecting men from a land that was full of false religious practices to get the king all riled up? I have no doubt that this star was from God's enemy in an attempt to destroy the Christ child before he had opportunity to save mankind.

    Now, another thing you will notice from all those nativity scenes in the mall at this time of year....the Magi are seen presenting their gifts to Jesus with Mary and Joseph in the stable along with the animals.....right? Wrong.

    Read Matt 2:9-11 and you will see that by the time the Magi arrived, guided by the star, Jesus was no longer an infant in a manger. The star led them to a young child (possibly two years old) living in a house with his parents.

    How do we know that Jesus wasn't presented with gifts as a newborn? When Mary and Joseph presented their offering at the Temple when Jesus was eight days old, they offered two turtledoves...the offering of poor people. If they had gold, frankincense an myrrh, they would not have offered that sacrifice.

    Consider too that God's angels had announced the birth of Jesus to Jewish shepherds out in the fields at night. He would not have announced something as important as that to people who were worshippers of false gods."

    Now, in view of these facts, how do you feel about the "Christmas" story under a bit more scrutiny?

    How many of the readers here know what the Bible actually says about the birth of the savior?

    How many of you know where the festival of Christmas...i.e. the date, the customs of the decorated tree, the candles, Yule log, the gift giving and merry making came from?

    Simply Google the pagan origins of Christmas to find out. It's not pretty. :tsk:
     
    #22 JayJayDee, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  3. Me Myself

    Me Myself Back to my username

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    Of course it´s pretty! :D

    Seriously though. Simply celebrate in another date.
     
  4. JayJayDee

    JayJayDee Avid JW Bible Student

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    Why celebrate at all? There is no command in scripture to celebrate either Christ's birth or his resurrection. Both very noteworthy occasions but not to be throwing a yearly party over.

    The three festivals that the Jews held annually were prescribed in the law, as were all the things that were necessary to take place at such occasions. God's people were not free to make up their own celebrations because that was inviting trouble. The incident with the golden calf made that apparent.

    They had a good old time back then eating and drinking and dancing...even calling it "a festival to the LORD". Introducing pagan activities under a sanitized exterior won no 'brownie points' with God. He had all those people executed for their failure to render to God untainted worship.

    Look up the pagan origins of Christmas and Easter and ask yourself, not how man feels about these things...how does GOD feel about them?

    They may look "pretty" on the outside, but like the Pharisees of Jesus day, they were full of corruption on the inside. :sad:
     
  5. Me Myself

    Me Myself Back to my username

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    The incident about golden calf had to do with idolatry.

    I don´t see anything wrong with celebrating Christ´s birth if one wishes to do so.

    so that´s why I say a less pagan date would be better, so to have greater focus on the actual subject of your celebration, if you are too easily distracted by the others.
     
  6. NIX

    NIX Daughter of Chaos

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    I am 'christ'. So now I suppose all I have to do is participate 'in christmas'.
     
  7. lunakilo

    lunakilo Well-Known Member

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    "Why celebrate at all?"

    Well maybe from what you say christians shouldn't celebrate Christmas, but what about the rest of us?

    Christmas is the one time of the year where my entire family manage to get together for a few days. We live in different parts of the country and rarely see each other, especially not all of us at the same time.

    I couldn't care less about the religious back ground for the holiday.
    For me it is simply an excuse to go see my family, look at pretty lights and eat and drink til I drop.

    I see no reason what so ever to pass up this opportunity :D
     
  8. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Licorice vodka?
     
  9. JayJayDee

    JayJayDee Avid JW Bible Student

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    They decided to hold a festival to the God who liberated them from Egypt.
    They made an image of their God out of gold, but depicted him as a golden calf....adopted from the land that they had previously inhabited.
    They decided to hold their own festival, which was a pagan celebration with a different name...it did not end well for them. This was just the first incident in a history of God's people falling away to pagan worship. He punished them most severely for this. :tsk:

    The original festival over which Christmas was grafted was dedicated to a false god. It retains all the trappings of the Saturnalia. It is sharing truth with a lie. (2 Cor 6:14-18)

    I guess we have to go back and see if birthday celebrations were in fact special occasions in Jewish life both before and after Jesus' day. A person really only has one birthday. After that it is an anniversary of that occasion. Did the Jews celebrate anyone's birthday?

    Search as you might, you will find no faithful worshipper of God in the Bible who celebrated their birthday. This was something the pagans did. It was tied up with astrology, spiritism and magic...all of which were forbidden to the Jews. In fact they were warned not to adopt those disgusting practices of the nations. (Deut 18:9-12)

    “Origen [writer of the third century C.E.] ... insists that ‘of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.’” (Quoted from The Catholic Encyclopedia)

    King Solomon also stated a principle that is worthy of note, he said: "A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of one’s death than the day of one’s birth."

    How come?

    The day we are born is the beginning of hopefully many chapters in our personal book of life. At birth the pages are all blank, but if we have lived a full life, it can become quite a volume. By the time our life is over, we have either made a record of our personal relationship with our Creator.....or not.
    For Jews born into a dedicated nation, the day of their death closed a life course of faithful obedience to the laws of their God.

    So the obvious question is then, did Jesus celebrate his own birthday...if he didn't, then why would we?

    M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia said that the Jews “regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship ..., and this probably on account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born.”

    Considering all the falsehoods attached to this celebration...the date, the customs, the lies and the greed demonstrated in what is essentially a commercial event, why would a Christian want to have any part of it?

    I ditched it 40 years ago and I have never missed it, (neither have my children) in fact when I tell people I don't celebrate, many are envious and usually tell me how they wished they didn't have to do it either.

    Being a slave to tradition can be an expensive exercise in these hard economic times, with many going into debt and trying to pay it off over the coming year.
    Things can get very stressful, especially when so many families are fragmented and arguments occur over who has Christmas dinner at whose house?

    It's so much easier to just ditch it and have your own family day if you want one. Many of my friends use their wedding anniversary to have a family get together....much more meaningful and not offensive to anyone...especially to God and his son. ;)
     
  10. JayJayDee

    JayJayDee Avid JW Bible Student

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    Then don't. :)

    For you it is not a religious holiday. If you are an unbeliever, you can pretty much do as you wish. If you have no religious reason for celebrating and you couldn't care less about what God thinks...I don't see a problem.

    I can't see them banning Christmas on account of it not being Christian...can you? :rolleyes:

    The problem exists only for those who do not wish to offend the Creator.

    Eat drink and be merry.....:D was that phrase coined about Christmas? :p
     
  11. lunakilo

    lunakilo Well-Known Member

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    #31 lunakilo, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  12. lunakilo

    lunakilo Well-Known Member

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    An unbeliever. Hmm.

    Well thank you for not wanting to ban christmas.

    I will take your advice: Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet. :D
     
  13. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Ah. I think cherry wine is quite good. :D

    Cherry wine makes me wonder if the people who invented it didn't like the taste of alcohol. :cool:
     
  14. Awoon

    Awoon Well-Known Member

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    "Christ" is a title, like King/ President. A Christ can be male or female.

    Why isnt December 25 called "Jesusmas"?
     
  15. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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  16. Straw Dog

    Straw Dog Well-Known Member

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    I would rather Christmas be about a mythological figure teaching simplicity, compassion, and transcending apparent opposites than what it has become: another shallow consumerist trap. I'm so tired of advertisers and media telling us what we want under the guise it'll bring happiness. It won't.
     
    #36 Straw Dog, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  17. JayJayDee

    JayJayDee Avid JW Bible Student

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    Taking Paul's words (below), I am just making a distinction between those who accept the truth and those who do not. There aren't many truths...just one.

    Can we have a look at 2 Cor 6:14-18?

    "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be′li·al? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I shall reside among them and walk among [them], and I shall be their God, and they will be my people.” “‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’” “‘And I shall be a father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah the Almighty.”

    There can be no sharing of the practices of believers with unbelievers. That is like trying to mix Christ with the devil (Belial) Christmas is a clear mixing of light with darkness.

    The clear admonition is to "get out from among them and separate yourselves" "quit touching the unclean thing"...this is God speaking, not just Paul.

    Do you notice that this separation is necessary for those who wish to be 'taken in' as "sons and daughters" of the Almighty?

    To my way of reasoning, those who wish to fuse Christianity with paganism disqualify themselves from being "believers" and come under the banner of "unbelievers".

    If one has not been 'taken in' by God, one is naturally 'left out' by him....not by God's choice, but by their own choices. I see this as a simple truth.

    God won't remove the things we like just because they offend him. He will leave all those things that the devil promotes in his own world, so that we have clear choices to make. We are not given God's instructions and free will for nothing. Isn't this the very situation Adam and his wife faced? "Nothing new under the sun" Solomon said.....stick to what works.

    As you are free to do without any sanction from me......the diet is also optional. :p

    What we choose to do and why we choose to do it tells God a lot about our personality and character. He will not force us to do anything...he will just observe as we are all caught in the act of being ourselves. :D
     
  18. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Regardless of the consumerism, the mere fact it's called "Christmas" (Christ-mass) seems to declare it a Christian holiday.
    Whether myself or others celebrate it as such, or just a seasonal holiday, doesn't change this fact, IMO.
     
  19. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie

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    By that logic, Easter is a Pagan Saxon holiday.;)
     
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  20. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    That's fine with me. Most of the symbolic images associated with Easter are from a pagan origin anyway.
     
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