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Beware - The "Christian" Grinch's Seasonal Awakening Is At Hand.
What Do You See In YOUR Mirror?
There Is NO Love For The Brethren.
I am sorry, but those who make it their business to vilify another believer because they do NOT maintain a personally conceived standard that they have set for themselves AND for all who claim the name Jesus; there is NO love present.
1 John 2:11 "But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." AND 1 John 4:20 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a LIAR: for he that loveth not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he hath NOT seen?"
The social media is crawling with these modern day Pharisees as they spew out their poison and for what purpose?
- They are looking for those who are new or weak in the faith that they may increase their society's membership of Christmas haters.
- They are aiding and abetting those who already detest the cross and giving them further excuses to hate the Christ of Christmas.
- They have NO joy, why should anyone else find the joy they so sorely lack.
The basis of their arguments lie in three areas: the date, the tree and their standard - the Sabbath.
The Perfect Date
The Date - December 25th
What is in a date - short and sweet!
- First question I would ask: On which date should we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? The problem is that the anti-Christmas crowd do not really want another date; they do not feel it is appropriate to celebrate our Savior's birth at all. Interestingly, the Word declares that all heaven rejoiced at his birth along with those chosen to behold the King of Kings, from the shepherds to the Magi who beheld him around two years later. A joy of THE birth which changed the course of human history, including mine.
- Why December 25th you may ask? The anti-crowd crows about it being a pagan holiday and by celebrating Christmas on such a day, then Christmas MUST be pagan. I have a completely different take on the matter. The pagan holiday Saturnalia which was celebrated between December 17th and 23rd, was first celebrated in 497 BC at the dedication of Saturn's temple. Interestingly, part of the celebration was that the rich and poor would dress alike during this time of celebration erasing much of the class differences. The only way one would know that someone was of wealth was by the gifts that were traditionally given on the 19th: finer the gift, wealthier the giver. During Julius Caesar's reign the calendar was changed to match the solar year so that Saturnalia gift giving day could remain constant. (Julian Calendar) Most of the Roman empire was still into this celebration about the time Constantine introduced the world to "Christmas". God's timing is perfect! What a perfect way to spread the Gospel over the entire Roman empire at the same time. Guess what happened? Saturnalia largely disappeared and was replaced by the celebration of the Christ-child which still included the giving of gifts and in this case; the gift of salvation spreading with the government's sanction.
- God usurped the pagan's holiday for the spreading of the Gospel in a largely Roman dominated world. You and I are the product of the European growth of Christianity, aided by Christmas. This is no different from God using godless King James' hatred of the Pope to authorize an English version of the Scriptures instead of the Latin Vulgate.
- Think of the greatness of goodness that occurs during Christmas and in the name of Christmas; much of it by those who do not believe in Jesus as Savior! Annual missions of clothing and medical aid at home and abroad. The amazing amount of "good-will" organizations like Angel Tree, which ministers to families of those who have a loved one in prison; stories of salvation, changed lives and a hope for the future given to their children. Just look around you, these organizations and their stories are ever present in our media.
I have an idea when the actual date may have been "around". Caesar Augustus was not a fool when he ordered a census of his empire (an angel may have whispered in his ear) and he had plenty of information on his Palestine holdings. The Passover would be an ideal time for that province, as a majority of the population would be in one place, making it easier to count. The Passover LAMB being born on or near the celebration would make a lot of sense to me.
The world currently has an acceptable date in which to celebrate; let us embrace it and serve our Lord with all our hearts.
Does This Really Resemble An Asherim Pole?
Similar to a Christmas Tree???
The Christmas Tree
Personally, it is a great stretch to equate the Christmas tree with the Asherim Poles, symbols worshipped by early Canaanite and Syrian cultures. The fertility goddess Asherah was worshipped with excessive sensual practices to stimulate rain and quicken both the human and animal reproductive abilities. Asherah itself means "sacred grove" whence carvings were made from certain "sacred" trees, overlaid with gold, silver and precious stones to make them pleasing to the eye. This form of depraved worship attracted too many Israelites, including Solomon which God stated "... which Solomon the King of Israel builded for Ashoreth the abomination of the Zidionians..." 2 Kings 23:13 Even King Manasseh place a carved Asherah pole in the temple in Jerusalem. 2 Kings 21:7
The purpose of these "poles" was to draw worship from the one true God to the gods of the wicked so that they could serve their own sensual desires. I have personally NEVER met anyone who worshipped their Christmas tree but I know many who have been lured by the materialism of this world in that they have made even the Christmas tree a pattern after their competitive spirit in attempting to outdo one another. In our Western culture, it is hard at times to keep things in perspective, but to the Christian it can be a time of really becoming open to needs and heart of those who need Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:19-21 - "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law that I might gain them that are under the law."
Why would anyone be drawn to the anti-crowd? They are NOT loyal to the Spirit, in that they wear a face of joylessness and scoff at others in a time of great openness to the Gospel. They are disloyal to Christ in that they belittle the birth that so many millions hold so dear and the world is so hungry to understand. They are disloyal to the Father in that they have become an obstacle rather than a channel as He draws men to the Savior. They make a date and a tree a lifestyle doctrine and no one likes a "Grinch".
caveat: I did not address santa Claus, for anything Christian always draws the devil's attempt to distract whether it is Christmas, Easter, lent or whatever a believer may hold dear. I am not a "santa Claus" type person, but I do not make it an issue that would come between me and a brother or my neighbor. If I am asked, I will give my personal reason but never as an offense to the one who asks.
I Love This Season
The Sabbath - One Last Thought
Strong's definition: Hebrew 7673 shabath - to desist from exertion, cease, celebrate, make to rest, to rid, to take away.
Colossians 2:16-17 "Let NO man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon or of the SABBATH days: which are a SHADOW of things to come: but the body is of Christ."
- Mark 2:27 states that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Please tell me the amount of spiritual rest those who followed the letter of the law truly received prior to Christ fulfilling the LAW?
- There was NO rest for any man's soul until the sacrifice for OUR sins was made upon the cross. Even Jesus' first coming did not bring peace for He brought a sword (Matthew 10:34). Man has been at unrest ever since except those who now understand the true meaning of the Sabbath.
Jesus Christ IS the Sabbath: 24/7/365 - we now have the rest, the peace man has been seeking in vain outside of our Savior, the rest the Law could NOT give. Christ became a babe in a manger for man's sake. Man was not made for the babe's sake but the babe was made for man's sake. The shadow became flesh and dwelt among us.
I say, let us rejoice during this season along with our beloved brethren, our neighbors, co-workers and all we meet, looking for every opportunity to share the love of our God and King.