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Was Christ born in Bethlehem on our celebration of his birthday? Not a Bible study. Of course not!

Updated on March 1, 2013

We like to sugar coat things. There was no room in the whole town for a woman giving birth, nice town.

Compared to the heavens the temple down below is insignificant.
Compared to the heavens the temple down below is insignificant. | Source

Not such a simple truth.There is truth on several levels.

I think that commercialism has turned many away. But a good heart asks: What is heaven? What is hell? What is Bethlehem? What is Christmas? Who is Christ? These are all worthy questions for a discerning person to ask. I know because I have raised several children. These questions must be answered for them by a loving elder. Parents know that sometimes questions are asked that deserve responses that are not easily provided. And today you must know that they will Google your answer, like it or not. So you must develop a reasonable response to answer them. Perhaps it is that training that made me, or enabled me to become a pastor.

Is Heaven real?

What is heaven? It is not a physical piece of land with buildings. The mansions there are metaphorical; the golden gates there are symbolic. Heaven is a space and place of existence for our souls where all emotions and needs are filled with Love. It is not a place of things or the existence of flesh. It is made of pure energy which is good. Each heaven is different as is each soul, so your vision is as accurate as mine. We would go there now but it is impossible for us to reach heaven in our current state.

Is Hell real?

What is hell? It is not a physical place, the descriptions of burning and unquenchable thirst and demons with pitchforks are mans best understanding of what eternal damnation would be like. As with heaven each soul has a different hell. It is a space where there is total separation from Love and goodness. It goes on forever for there is no hope there so suffering has no end in sight. It is infinitely sad because there is no faith in anything. Intentions, fairness and compassion are absent.

118 degrees that shade will be gone for 12 hours.

Hell is not a baren fiery wasteland, it is worse.
Hell is not a baren fiery wasteland, it is worse. | Source

Bethlehem: Real or Hell?

So what is Bethlehem? Bethlehem is an actual town. At one point the town had grown so eager for money and human comforts that its inhabitants would turn away a poor pregnant lady ready to give birth. It is not about the town. It is about a condition in which the hearts of men turn so cold that the compassion for infants, poor and travelers is absent. The people obey the law of man but disregard the law of Love. Perhaps at a certain time and place Bethlehem became so void of hope, so lacking in faith, and so separated from Love and goodness, that it was in a sense hell on earth.

The actual dates and places are irrelevant.

Are Christ and Christmas real and is it the day Christ was born. All of this talk of heaven and hell seems mystical and magical and not real. And in the sense of our current life they are not real in any scientific realm. But Christ is real. He is God made man, so that man could begin to understand matters more than the physical. Christ had a mission that ultimately saves all men. The gifts He gave were of His own life, so that a heaven was made available to all men. Was Christ real? Yes. Was he born? Yes. So there is a day which would be His birthday. But as He taught in Bethlehem as an infant, the laws and dates of man are not that important compared to the goals of pure Love for one another.

So Christmas is a real day to celebrate our Christ the Savior. Who cares what day it actually was, it is irrelevant to Love. Heaven and Hell are as real as we choose to make them in our hearts. And Bethlehem is both a real place and a bad state of mind. And Christ is both real and unreal at the same time. What we must remember and make real is our Love.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very nice job of pulling it all together. Love is always the key...everything else is window-dressing.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      How quick we are wired to forget that. That is what makes a man like you, extra special. Thanks for commenting. And thanks for being a reminder of priority one.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Great article that explains clearly the difference between what is meant to be literal and what is metaphorical. How these have often been mixed up in the past! Thanks and keep it up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I just love the teachings of the time. How hard it must of been for the twelve to grasp it. Thanks much for dropping by and commenting.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      I completely agree with you there Eric. Very well put and have a very happy Christmas.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thank you much for dropping by and commenting. Ours is a simple Christmas, we like it that way.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      christmas is neither a Christian holiday or something that Christians should celebrate. Jesus was clear in the scriptures in what we are to celebrate him for and how. He said in remembrance of Him we are to duplicate the last supper. If we were to remember him by his birthday we would know when it was but that was hidden from us so we could not celebrate it. (we do know from scripture it was late october or early november) The church never heard of this heresy for centuries. The catholic church appropriated a heathen holiday, a day of sexual debauchery to keep people from leaving the church during that season. The bible clearly teaches to not mix the Holy with the profane which is what is done with xmas.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tell me something celafoe: What is harmful about Christmas carols? What is wrongful about giving a gift? What is terrible about a family getting together? What is heresy in my Christmas?

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      i have absolutely no problem with any one celebrating dec 25 any way they wish as long as they do not try to bring the name of Christ into the ungodly heathen holiday. my bible says do not mix the Holy with the profane. and this a most evil day that the catholic church christianized, contrary to scripture.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      But Christ is in everything I do. My family does not eat a meal without Christ. We do not spend or make money without Christ. Christ is before us always. So when I give my son a gift I am not to say, "thank God for our blessing that He has given us"? Seems strange.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

      that is a different thing than the use of His name on a heathen holiday.

      thanking Him for his blessing is not the same . But Christians that celebrate xmas need to be sure their children know that it is not a Holy day but a worldly holiday. and understand how Christ told us to remember him. There is not a single scripture to back up celebrating His birth. That is why scripture is vague about it. --Scripture only tells us that the shepherds were still in the fields- so it was between mid October or early november because by mid november the weather is so bad all are back home

      What we are to celebrate is Him and his willingness to shed His blood for us to remove our sins.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      celafoe, thank you for your wonderful contributions to this hub. I think your points are very valid. And I certainly hope that the hypocrisy of the season does not ruin a happy time for you.

      Truthfully, I no longer travel to my home and family of origin for this season. Because they do not put Christ in the season. So I think we agree to the facts but just reach a different conclusion. But we agree that everyday is a good day with Christ and a sad one without Him.

    • profile image

      TXLAS 4 years ago

      Alot of research has been done on this. A complete astronomical research project was done to try and determine if the "star" of Bethlehem was real. There was a planet alignment in 33BC that could have caused the phenomenon. But it occurred in April. There is a coin collector that found coins minted in that time that show a bright star on one side and Aries the ram on the other, meaning if the birth of Jesus was real it occurred in the month of April. They have even narrowed it down to the date of April 17. If you google star of Bethlehem the man's name will come up who researched this. It is very credible.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you TXLAS, that is very interesting. It is interesting that we celebrate Easter at around that time and Christmas at the time we do.

      This year we celebrate our Tet a little later than normal. It is not on the same day every year,,,, yet it is on exactly the same day -- depending on how you figure it. And now we have St? Valentines? Day? Coming up.

    • profile image

      TXLAS 4 years ago

      Eric are you familiar with the studies on the Shroud of Turin? A recent study by a plant biologist found plant spores that date back to Biblical times and plants that would have grown in the Middle East. They are interwoven among the linen fibers. I admit to being somewhat of a skeptic about the Shroud but as each year goes by and more and more hard physical evidence is uncovered it just reinforces my belief and my faith.

      Also there has been some recent evidence come forward that the traditional birthplace (Bethlehem) may not be correct at all. There is actually a Bethlehem of Galilee further north in Israel that researchers believe may in fact be the real birthplace of Jesus.

    • profile image

      TXLAS 4 years ago

      Correction, my date for the star was wrong it was 2 and 3 BC. There was a planet alignment involving the planet Jupiter which caused a great light in the east.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are so lucky friend TXLAS. I mean priviledged, to be so well grounded that we look for splender in the science of our earth, and faith in the Glory of a man that simply loved us.

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