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What Ever Happened To Christmas?

42 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

Not at all-no offense taken. It was my thought that this conversation was going very well and politely, though perhaps I have seemed flippant in some of my answers, and for that, I apologize. I enjoy these types of discussions because they challenge me to always stay up on WHY I believe as I do, not just that I follow something I can't back up.

Neither is any apology necessary on your, I haven't taken any offence, I also find these discussions helpful and informative. Also I find your giving of the history of Santa Clause very interesting, it reminds of my first visit to Santa Clause when I was five. My conclusion of the whole experience was that he was just a man dress in a costume and playing a part like in a play or a story book. I understood at that age that the whole thing was only make-believe and not real. So to me it was just for fun and entertainment.

I would like to continue in these discussions and perhaps learn something. I am sure although that I will continue my enjoyment in celebration of Christmas as I have since I was a child, not that I am stubborn but not  easily convinced. 

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3 hours ago, Doc Flay said:

Neither is any apology necessary on your, I haven't taken any offence, I also find these discussions helpful and informative. Also I find your giving of the history of Santa Clause very interesting, it reminds of my first visit to Santa Clause when I was five. My conclusion of the whole experience was that he was just a man dress in a costume and playing a part like in a play or a story book. I understood at that age that the whole thing was only make-believe and not real. So to me it was just for fun and entertainment.

I would like to continue in these discussions and perhaps learn something. I am sure although that I will continue my enjoyment in celebration of Christmas as I have since I was a child, not that I am stubborn but not  easily convinced. 

Slightly off topic but this reminded me of when our youngest son was still very young and he saw the "Easter Bunny" walking through Wal-Mart. Our son hugged "E.B." as the "E.B." was hugging and shaking kids hands as he walked through the store. We walked a few steps after than and our son looked up and asked me why the "Easter Bunny" was someone wearing a suit!

Most children (unless the parents go to great effort to prevent it) are pretty quick to figure out things like "Santa", "Easter Bunny", "Tooth Fairy" and such are just stories like those they read in books, pretend play and TV characters. These things open doors to help our children understand the difference between real and pretend, fiction and non-fiction, what's really important and what isn't.

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19 hours ago, John81 said:

Slightly off topic but this reminded me of when our youngest son was still very young and he saw the "Easter Bunny" walking through Wal-Mart. Our son hugged "E.B." as the "E.B." was hugging and shaking kids hands as he walked through the store. We walked a few steps after than and our son looked up and asked me why the "Easter Bunny" was someone wearing a suit!

Most children (unless the parents go to great effort to prevent it) are pretty quick to figure out things like "Santa", "Easter Bunny", "Tooth Fairy" and such are just stories like those they read in books, pretend play and TV characters. These things open doors to help our children understand the difference between real and pretend, fiction and non-fiction, what's really important and what isn't.

Quite the contrary John, I think it's right on topic and may even prove somewhat of my argument for celebrating Christmas. I have been a fundamentalist ever since may of 1976; and I have never come across this controversy before. In the seventies at Christmas time all anyone was worried about was to much of the world in Christmas and not enough Christ, or being to much about the getting rather than the giving. When I first became a Christian there was no talk about a deception in Christmas or any connection with Baal. This is all relatively new to me even though I have heard it before it seams as though it is getting more and more popular here of late.   

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4 hours ago, Doc Flay said:

Quite the contrary John, I think it's right on topic and may even prove somewhat of my argument for celebrating Christmas. I have been a fundamentalist ever since may of 1976; and I have never come across this controversy before. In the seventies at Christmas time all anyone was worried about was to much of the world in Christmas and not enough Christ, or being to much about the getting rather than the giving. When I first became a Christian there was no talk about a deception in Christmas or any connection with Baal. This is all relatively new to me even though I have heard it before it seams as though it is getting more and more popular here of late.   

Until about the last 10 years or so online I'd not heard any fundamentalists (or others) bringing up the things which seem to be the pet peeves now regarding the origins and roots of Christmas and things associated with Christmas.

While most Christians seem to realize they aren't worshiping a false god by having a Christmas tree or kissing their wife under a mistletoe, many modern-day pagans have jumped on the information provided by Christians attacking Christmas. How ironic that in attempting to tell Christians they are involving themselves in pagan worship they instead have helped in the revitalization of paganism and the outright paganistic worship practices of modern-day pagans.

Virtually all our holidays today have pagan and/or secular roots. I worship the God of Scripture each day so there are no pagan celebrations here regardless of what holiday we are or are not taking note of.

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Thank you John, that is a perfect balance to the controversy. I believe a lot of good can come out of Christmas' traditional activities. All the charities benefit at this time and I am not too sure but I think even our economy is valuated somewhat through the spending for Christmas gifts.   

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Back in the early days of Christianity, Tertullian said that pagans are faithful to their festivals.  In other words pagans would not celebrate Christian festivals.  Who celebrates Christmas? The whole world.

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If we look at Christmas, as celebrated near or far, there are really at least two "Christmases" celebrated. There is the Christmas which is focused upon the coming of Christ our Saviour, and there is the Christmas which is focused upon various secular traditions (depending upon what part of the world a person lives in dictates some aspects of this).

Only Christians promote the Christ-centered Christmas while many governments and big businesses promote the secular Christmas.

This reminds me of the differences between biblical Christianity and the "Christianity" of the RCC.

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For those that say that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on Dec. 25th entirely because of "pagan" or "RCC" practice there are good scriptural reasons to support the end of December as being an accurate time frame for the birth of Christ.  

Luke 1:5 (KJV)
5  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

This gives us an accurate time stamp.  We know that the time that Zacharias would have been fulfilling his duties in the course of Abia would have been the 8th course, or October by our current calendar.  

Luke 1:23-24 (KJV)
23  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived,

Elisabeth conceives John at the end of his duties near mid October.

Luke 1:26-27 (KJV)
26  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Jesus is conceived of the Holy Ghost in Elisebeths 6th month which puts it anywhere from April 1 through mid April.  If Mary carried Jesus near full term that puts his birth around the end of December first part of January.  A donkey ride into Bethlehem may have mother Mary delivering a bit early, just a thought from the mothers I have talked to.  

By these clear time stamps alone there is validation of the end of December (if not exactly Dec.25th) as being a reasonable and even likely time period for the birth of Christ.  

Living in Oregon, which has a very large sheep industry, I have talked to many sheep herders and found that sheep tend to conceive around the summer solstice June 21st and with a 5 month gestation, lambing season is in full swing starting end of November through the first few weeks of January.  It is by far their busiest time of year where they are constantly in the fields with the sheep.

 Luke 2:8 (KJV)
8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Don't let the fact that Satan is a great counterfeiter and has pagan practices coinciding nicely with this time frame revolving around the Winter Solstice (new light) December 21/22 have you doubting the scriptural basis for Jesus the true Light of the World coming then as well.

Bro. Garry

In His will.  By His power.  For His glory.

 

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The biggest problem with your theory is the fact that Israel is in an entirely different part of the world than Oregon.    Also, it is an entirely different climate.

 

as to the course  of Abia, where is the proof that Abia's course was in October?

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2 hours ago, Standing Firm In Christ said:

The biggest problem with your theory is the fact that Israel is in an entirely different part of the world than Oregon.    Also, it is an entirely different climate.

 

as to the course  of Abia, where is the proof that Abia's course was in October?

The biggest problem is you haven't a clue what you are talking about.  Maybe a just a small bit of study will show you that Oregon and Israel are almost identical in climate.  In fact there are plants like the "Myrtle Tree" that grow wild in only two places on the planet.  Oregon and Israel.

As far as when the 8th course of 24 courses falls is a matter of common knowledge to anyone who knows Jewish history.  A little study outside of your pet hobby horse will do you wonders.  Sorry..I didn't expect you to respond outside of "the widows mites" post.

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According to moag.gov.il/agri, the government of Israel's Agricultural Department website, lambing in Israel is in Spring,... not winter.  

 

http://www.moag.gov.il/agri/files/Israel's_Agriculture_Booklet.pdf

 

Given the fact that Israel's government Agricultural Department would undoubtedly know when sheep are lambing, it is clear that you are the one who is wrong.

Edited by Standing Firm In Christ

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There are several theories out there which try to guess the time of Jesus birth. While some hold some merit, they all for short of being able to prove the actual time (others are just way off).

Most theories proposed speculate a springtime birth of Jesus yet they are inconclusive. There are some who have gone to great lengths to try and prove a December birth time, some even to the point of say December 25th as the precise day. Most, not all, but most of these theories are flawed in that they began with the premise the December 25th date (or close to that date) was the time of Christ birth and then they found and manipulated "evidence" to fit their preconceived view. These tend to clearly stand out from actual attempts to determine timing which some have concluded wouldn't be spring, but fall or early winter.

As it stands, Scripture didn't give us a specific date or even specify a month, so the actual birth date of Christ isn't of major importance. Living for Christ every day is. How are we doing in that?

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I read an interesting comparison someone made once. It doesn't fit perfectly but makes an interesting point.

Suppose, back in the 40's, someone in Germany, while Hitler was seeming to succeed, began 'Hitlerday', as a day to commemorate his great achievements, (obviously started by a fan). The day included all kinds of fun and enjoyment, games and traditions for the family. Of course, no one else celebrated it, knowing who and what Hitler was. Just those who were his followers.

Well after Hitler's death, those followers continued to celebrate it, making the games and traditions more regular, and over the years, they continue, and as the memories of Hitler faded away, and these people moved about here and there, they brought their traditions with them, and say, in a couple hundred years, it would not be unreasonable for many people who know nothing of who or what Hitler was, to be celebrating the day, because, after all, its just about fun traditions, and family time together-they surely don't celebrate it for what Hitler did-the origins don't matter, what matters is the fun and the good, fond memories from childhood.

Despite even here, people arguing of the possibility of Jesus' birth being in December, that was never at issue from the beginning of the 'Christmas' celebration: it was, from the start, nothing but a renaming of Saturnalia, the Roman celebration of the pagan god Saturn. Only recently has anyone actually tried to prove Jesus might have been born then, because it was never at issue-it was all about Rome beginning to try to make itself the seat of Christianity, and having to deal with the fact that most of the population was pagan, and compromising with the pagan celebrations to make them feel more comfortable about being called 'christian' by allowing them to continue to celebrate Saturnalia under the name Christmas.

And I know, being raised up in church from my youth, I never heard any of this, either, but if we look into history, both American history, and other nations, in many places Christians never celebrated Christmas because they understood it to be a popish holiday. Here in America, many Christians didn't celebrate it until after the Civil War, when it was used to bring the country back together. Some early picture of Santa Claus even show him in red white and blue furs. But the Puritans actually outlawed it among themselves as being a popish festival and nothing having to do with Christmas, and those who DID celebrate it tended to be less religious people who celebrated it with drinking and gambling and various licenteousnesses.

So I guess my only question would be, would the Lord care about the origins? God, who sees the end from the beginning, for whom there IS no 'past', per se, would the fact that for us the origins are in the past, really matter to Him, or would He expect us to study to shew ourselves approved unto God, and consider these things? It's not about us, or shouldn't be, yet most of the arguments have to do with OUR perspective, 'I don't do it because of this or that, I do it for the memories, for the family, for the fun, whatever' Our reasoning tends to come down to "I", not "God". What would He have us consider?  "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified."

 

Edited to add: Here is an interesting article on Saturnalia. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/calendar/saturnalia.html

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On 15/12/2015 at 1:32 PM, John81 said:

There are several theories out there which try to guess the time of Jesus birth. While some hold some merit, they all for short of being able to prove the actual time (others are just way off).

Most theories proposed speculate a springtime birth of Jesus yet they are inconclusive. There are some who have gone to great lengths to try and prove a December birth time, some even to the point of say December 25th as the precise day. Most, not all, but most of these theories are flawed in that they began with the premise the December 25th date (or close to that date) was the time of Christ birth and then they found and manipulated "evidence" to fit their preconceived view. These tend to clearly stand out from actual attempts to determine timing which some have concluded wouldn't be spring, but fall or early winter.

As it stands, Scripture didn't give us a specific date or even specify a month, so the actual birth date of Christ isn't of major importance. Living for Christ every day is. How are we doing in that?

Spurgeon said we don't know on which day Jesus was born, but one day we know it wasn't, Dec 25

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1572625/How-Britain-invented-Christmas.html

The British invented Christmas? I don;'t think so,  It was one of the Popes who said he had discovered the date of Jesus' birth.

I did some studying of Baptist Churches near here.  I read some minutes and letters from the early  1800s and they never mention Christmas. One church held their members business meeting on Dec 25th.  In the past many people got married on Dec 25th  I knew two couples now passed away who got married on that day and in doing family research I found that several family forebears including my great grandparents were married on Dec 25th.  I have no doubt that if anyone  asked to be married on Dec 25th everyone would throw up their hands in horror, they would be far to busy.  

 

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1 hour ago, Invicta said:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1572625/How-Britain-invented-Christmas.html

The British invented Christmas? I don;'t think so,  It was one of the Popes who said he had discovered the date of Jesus' birth.

I did some studying of Baptist Churches near here.  I read some minutes and letters from the early  1800s and they never mention Christmas. One church held their members business meeting on Dec 25th.  In the past many people got married on Dec 25th  I knew two couples now passed away who got married on that day and in doing family research I found that several family forebears including my great grandparents were married on Dec 25th.  I have no doubt that if anyone  asked to be married on Dec 25th everyone would throw up their hands in horror, they would be far to busy.  

 

Exactly! Most true believers didn't celebrate any kind of Christmas until after the Civil War.

I think the idea of the British inventing Christmas, has to do with some of the current traditions, though some came right out of the Visit from Saint Nicolas poem. Before that, Christmas still was celebrated much like Saturnalia was, with gambling and drinking and sexing it up. Even carolling came from the Saturnalia celebration tradition of going from house to house singing, though they did it naked, (which, being in December, also reinforces how much they drank!)

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