Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reup: Christmas 2009: Reflections On The Divinity Of Jesus

~Re-Up From Christmas 2009~
Originally Published 12/15/2009

A personal message to every reader of this blog,
I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and Happy New Year!
~ Pastor Harvey Burnett~

Isaiah 9:6 ~ "For unto us A CHILD IS BORN, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."


As we enter the 2009 (now 2010) celebration of Christmas, let us never forget that as Christians we celebrate the miraculous birth of an individual so unique, that his very person simply defies human understanding. Unlike any counterparts or parallels throughout history, Jesus, being God, and without divesting himself of his divine nature, came to Earth for a singular purpose; to redeem man back to God because of the damage that sin had done.

2 Corinthians 5:19 ~ "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of RECONCILIATION."

Although the simple but yet immensely complicated truth of the incarnation of God  (god putting on the limitations of humanity and dwelling among us) has been hailed for centuries, there are yet questions as to at what point, how and to what extent the divinity of Jesus came to be. The controversy of Modalism (aka Sabellianism) (AD 215) (known today as Oneness or Jesus Only doctrine)  affirmed the equal deity of the three modes of God, but denied  their distinction as anyone other than Jesus. This was one of the first controversies over the "Economy of God" or how Jesus was divine. This doctrine was rejected by early church leaders and considered heretical.

Later  Arianism (250-336 AD)came on the scene as another attempt to understand God's Economy, but went so far as to separate God from Jesus to the extent that Jesus was said to be a created divine being created before the beginning of the world. In other words in Arius's hermeneutic Jesus was also a creature and did not share the same essence or nature of God, but was god with a LITTLE g. The Jehovah's Witness is a modern group that still holds this view. This doctrine was put down in spite of political expedience but in a biblical manner in 325 AD at the Council of Nicea as referenced below. Contrary to them that hold modalistic doctrine in many circles, those that hold to Arianism today are generally not considered Christians.

Later, in AD 415 the Council of Chalcedon declared Jesus "fully human and fully divine." in efforts to finally put an end to any divinity misunderstandings. (A portion of that statement is listed below also)

Dissension Proves What Was Taught & Believed

Even through controversy, this leads us to the truth that as early as the recording of the birth and physical life of Jesus within the earliest Christian community and the written accounts of his life called the gospels and encouragements to the church called epistles and letters to the community of believers, the concept that Jesus was divine and the concept of the God/Man (a person being both fully divine and fully human) was delivered, believed and received among them that called themselves Christians. The proclaimed Greek parallels would be worked and reworked centuries after the death of Jesus and the success of the Christian church in response to the success of this religion based on a living, dying and physically resurrected God/Man. It is interesting to note that the divinity of Jesus doesn't rest on a Creed as Creeds seek to find rest in Jesus, and does not model itself after pagan gods who were constantly dying, rising, in controversy and ultimately banished to the underworld or forced to share power with other gods sometimes unsympathetic to the plight of other god fellows.

The Renaissance

Although the Renaissance was a period of great social advancement it was also a period from which the most backwards steps would be taken spiritually and unfortunately considered to be an advancement. As noted in The Raging Battle For The Jesus OF History , Hermann S. Reimarus (1694-1768), was one of a new breed of critical thinkers who suggested that the “historical Jesus” was a very different person from the “Christ of faith”, and that Jesus was simply a misunderstood man who didn't intend to start a religion or have a religious following. Although the character of Jesus was undeniable to him, his nature and essence could only be reconciled as being flesh.

These thoughts and others like them sold in the form of biblical criticism have been the subject of much criticism and controversy in the 20th and now 21st century in movies, books, councils and amongst individuals both in and out of the pulpit.

Neo Renaissance Assertions

Modern day ministers and ministries have even put a new spin on the divine nature of Christ. Pastor Creflo A. Dollar of World Changers Church International has said this regarding the divine nature of Jesus:

"And somebody said, well, Jesus came as God! Well, how many of you know the Bible says God never sleeps nor slumbers? And yet in the book of Mark we see Jesus asleep in the back of the boat. Please listen to me. Please listen to me. This ain’t no heresy. I’m not some false prophet. I’m just reading this thing out to you of the Bible. I’m just telling you, you all these fantasy preacher have been preaching all of this stuff for all of these years and we bought the package!" ~ [Creflo Dollar, "Jesus' Growth into Sonship," December 8, 15, 2002, Product Number: 3422093, 3132094]

He also said in that same message:

"If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint him? If Jesus - See God’s already anointed. If Jesus came as God, then why did God have to anoint him? Jesus came as a man, that’s why it was legal to anoint Him. God doesn’t need anointing. He is anointed. Jesus came as a man and at age thirty, God is now getting ready to demonstrate to us and give us an example of what a man with the anointing can do." [Creflo Dollar, "Jesus' Growth into Sonship," December 8, 15, 2002, Product Number: 3422093, 3132094]

Still others, appealing to a modern social gospel that is quick to accept anything that sounds sensational, have been quick to state that Jesus wasn't divine until the Council of Nicea claimed him to be so in 325 AD, nearly 300 years after his death. One such novel idea was embraced, endorsed and promoted by Dan Brown in his book 'The Divinci Code' and later in a movie by the same title directed by Fonzie's favorite friend "Richie Cunningham" aka: Ron Howard:

"Jesus establishment as the 'Son of God' was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicea." [Dan Brown, The Divinci Code Pg. 233]
 
Michael McAteer, a former Catholic, and co-author of the 1996 book 'The Man in the Scarlet Robe: 2000 Years of Searching for Jesus' holds that Jesus is a shadowy historical figure, obscured by myth. Like many skeptics, he dismisses Jesus as a religious fiction as if the world had not started thinking until he arrived with his skepticism. In fact he states: 
 
"I don’t believe in the virgin birth,"..."I don’t believe in the Resurrection."..."I would accept that somebody like Jesus existed,...That’s as far as I can go. Anybody who has a definitive answer, I think, is either dishonest or disillusioned." 
 
McAteer claims that the Gospels are secondhand accounts, written 50 or 60 years after Jesus's death and are full of embellishments. Each of these criticisms, though false are beyond the scope of this writing, but don't worry I'll get to them.
 
Then there are even others such as Rev. Bill Phipps, former moderator of the United Church of Canada (who imposes the same methodology as McAteer setting forth what he "thinks" as if the world was dependent upon his interpretations. He ignited a firestorm when he said the following regarding Jesus:
 
"I believe that God is more than Jesus. God is huge, mysterious, wholly beyond our comprehension and beyond our total understanding. Jesus therefore does not represent or embody all of God, but embodies as much of God as can be in a person. But to me that does not diminish the divine that Jesus embodies. I can say the traditional formulations very easily - Jesus is the son of God, the word made flesh, God Incarnate. Jesus is unique and special and the Christian makes the leap of faith that such divine revelation has not happened in this way in any other place, in any other historical figure." [ Rev. Bill Phipps ~ 'Maclean's' December 15, 1997]

1 Timothy 4:1~ "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and doctrines of devils;"

Lines Of Argumentation

In the Podcast attached to this post I reveal 6 lines of argumentation validating the divinity of Jesus and supporting the Christian teaching that the Apostles and early church not only thought that Jesus was divine but placed their life on the line for the conviction that they lived out daily. My argument is as follows:
 
1- The Historical Veracity Of The Bible
2- The Thoroughly Referenced Old Testament Within The New Testament
3- The Prophecies Of THE Old Testament & Their Fulfillment In Jesus
4- The Jewish Interpretation Of The "Suffering Servant" And The Subsequent Reversion To Nationalism
5- The Specific Reference Within The New Testament Scriptures Affirming The Deity Of Jesus
  • Creeds
  • Inclusios
  • Declarations, Demonstrations & Doxologies
6- Extra Biblical Accounting Of The Deity Of Jesus

****The Deity Of Jesus Podcasts Are As Follows:****

1- The Deity Of Jesus Pt. 1
2- The Deity Of Jesus Pt. 2
3- The Deity Of Jesus Pt. 3
4- The Deity Of Jesus Pt. 4
5- The Deity Of Jesus Pt. 5

Because of the intricate nature of this subject and time constraints, this will not be a thoroughly comprehensive rendering but there will be enough material to encourage study and get your spiritual wheels turning. I will render at least two different broadcasts to cover all pertinent subject matter. Please feel free to send links to friends as I believe God to touch hearts and minds of many individuals. Remember, I have completed a 5 part series with over 2 hours worth of material on this subject. Please please feel free to pass this on to friends, family or individuals seeking the truth.
 
As we celebrate Christmas we should be reminded that this subject is highly important. If Jesus was just a man like any other man, his death, though noble, does not do enough to save us from our sins. For there is no perfection appealing to God by way of human flesh. If he was just a man, we cannot expect him to have been raised bodily in a physical resurrection. If Jesus is God however, and he has come to Earth taking upon himself the "likeness of sinful flesh" (Rom. 8:3) then there is a demand for action in response to what he both stated and did. Since our response has such a great eternal weight of significance attached to it, a non answer to the question of Jesus and his divinity is the equivalent of total rejection.
 
Blessed! 

Abbreviated Creeds:

The Council Of Nicea (A.D. 325):
"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended to heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead... (Percival, 1899, p. 3)."

Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) . The 150 members of the Council declared that Jesus was one person with two natures:

"...we teach with one voice that the Son [of God] and our Lord Jesus Christ is to be confessed as one and the same [Person], that he is perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, very God and very man, of a reasonable soul and [human] body consisting, consubstantial with the Father as touching his Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching his manhood.... This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union... (Percival, 1899, pp. 264-265)."

31 comments:

  1. I'm having some trouble with the attached podcast. Please excuse my inexpertise.

    You should click the "posts" link at the bottom of it and click the highlighted message to play the full broadcast. Pt. 1 is about 35 minutes and I'll try to size down parts 2 and 3 (if necessary)

    There is more complete discussion of the material and more details within teh casts. Let me know what you think and respond with any questions. Thanks and God bless.

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  2. Sometines preachers can get excited and go way past what the word says. If we say what the Bible says, in proper context, the enemy does not hear us but he hears the Word of GOD, not the wisdom of men.
    John 1:1-3 (KJV)
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    John 1:14 (KJV)
    14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
    John 1:17 (KJV)
    17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

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  3. I LOVE Jesus. And that's for real.

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  4. Merry Chriwtmas to you and your family too Pastor Burnett!


    Blessings! Sister Pat

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  5. oops...typo in "Christmas"...

    Sister Pat

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  6. When one reads things like this:The 150 members of the Council declared that Jesus was one person with two natures:

    That's very deceptive, because the council didn't declare that, they simply described what was communicated within scripture.

    The critical circles tend to use that type of language to bolster their assertion that Jesus wasn't considered divine until these councils but that's totally inaccurate. The councils (at least these) made no non biblical assertions, just an effort to unify the people aroiund what was taught within the bible.

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  7. To Pastor Burnett and Family and all the Family of God, have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!


    With all my love and admiration,
    The Rev. Mack E. Velly

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  8. Rev. Mack E. Velly,

    The same sentiments are reciprocated my brother! I appreciate your stand for righteousnessa dn true holiness as I've seen you commentary in various posts all over the internet.

    Good work my friend, thanks for standing and I and we appreciate your prayers. Be blessed!

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  9. I've just completed all 5 parts of this series. It's avaialable for free download or you may wish to send a contribution of no greater than $20 (or whatever the Lord lays upon your heart even if more)If you'd like a CD set let me know, I'll be preparing that to go out next week.

    The CD's and podcasts contain over 2 hours of teaching on the subject of Jesus's divinity and I address many modern areas of concern pertaining to the issue. Let me know of specific areas that you would like to see me develop more fully or maybe write about more indepthly.

    Please pass this on to others and also check out some of the specials on CNN, Discovery and other venues regarding this subject over the holidays.
    I guarantee that after listening to this, you'll be better able to decipher the truth from the errors that some of those programs set forth at times. Every now and then they're on point but all too often they present radical and fringe scholarship as if they offer statements of fact regarding this subject.

    Jesus said we would know the truth and because of it we'd be free from bondage. That's what the point is...to set men and women free from the bondage of satan.

    Thank God for that.

    God bless and Merry Christmas!

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  10. Merry Christmas to all, a personal Christmas best-wishes to Pastor Harvey, Cole, Paul and Nightmare!

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  11. Thanks Laura and Harvey. Best wishes to you too.

    Cole

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  12. King of Kings
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-mTXdQHWro

    I had become very upset after watching the PBS Frontline special "From Jesus to the Christ" on Christmas eve. The smug, elitist attitudes of the professors as they spoke of us dumb Christians. It so full of lies and half-truths that one would have to have a pretty good grounding in the Bible to see most of them. And on Christmas eve!

    After, I ti-vo'ed it back and started noting every lie, because I had to wonder how many people were watching this carp and had been influenced, how many's faith had been rocked? After doing the first 3 in the first 10 minutes of a 2 hour show, I thought "maybe someone else has already done this" and googled it. I found one site that said "Beware" of the show but no details, and then I found that this Frontline special has been polluting minds since 1998! Can you imagine?! I guess they pull it out every Christmas eve.

    It hurts my stomach and makes me sick when I see shows like that where they try to reduce Jesus to an ordinary man, stripping His deity. And then I see the video "King of Kings" that uses all scripture to describe His majesty, and I see the likes of those in the frontline special as nothing but specs of dirt, to put it mildly.

    No one can even try to take His deity, they are just empty words of the lost, completely insignificant in the big picture. There's scripture that says He sits in heaven and laughs. I wish I could too, but I have to wonder how many they influence who take the word of unbelieving professors, PBS and Frontline as authority.

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  13. This new generation doesn't preach like Lockridge did... the new generation is weak and without conviction...

    To the point Laura, that was the reason for my post. I wanted to deal with this issue for a minute and still just scraped the surface. Frontline and other PBS specials get the most liberal and worst scholarship and call it mainline. They set up the clowns from the Jesus seminar (Yes, I said CLOWNS) and pretend that what they say is accepted by biblical scholars.

    They are all Hume and Spinozites in their philosiophy and criticisms and have nothing to offer except a bunch of so called biblical difficulties to one degree or another. Their logic is most times made up and their conclusions are reaffirmed by each other.

    These are the people who have perverted the truth and turned the hearts of men and women to fantasies created by their own thoughts and desires.

    So that's the focus of the series. The lies of shows and organizations like those of Frontline are nothing but that...LIES!

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  14. Look people like John P. Meier of Notre Dame Univ. and Richard Bauckham, Darrell Bock, Robert Bowman, Ed. Komoszewski just to mention a few are TOP of the table scholars in this sort of study.

    Meier produced 4 to 5 volumes of comprehensive work on Jesus called a "A Marginal Jew" that addresses all of Frontline's lame assertions and Lee Strobel, picked it up for the common man and blasted lame scholarship like Frontline's in "The Case For The Real Jesus".

    Frontline introduces apostates like Crossan, lethargic sholars like Pagels and weaklings like Helmut Koester, that come with large price tags and no SPIRIT and or power of God, and a claim that these people know what they're talking about. From what I've seen, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Certainly they have abundant knowledge and have said many good things on occasion, but they're ultra liberals and totally weak. In my opinion a bunch of overrated sleeping giants.

    Now, give me somebody like Dr. Daniel B. Wallace who became a leading authority in Greek, lost his memory, relearned from his own textbooks and is now, once again, a leading authority in Greek today...Forget Ehrman and the weaklings with no conviction, give me people who have trusted, believed and depend upon God to make the difference. Those are the one's I want to hear expound on this subject.

    Fact is that these weaklings (and I know what I'm saying) can't teach what they don't know and the sure can't lead where they don't go!

    I like you Laura, am sickened by their smug attitudes and perverted scholarship presented as if it were cutting edge...well it may be cutting edge...the cutting edge of hell!

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  15. Yes, Pastor. I agree.
    And they don't deserve the excuse that they just don't believe. They are out to belittle and deceive and noted by how they presented a so-called problem and just left it hanging. (pardon the judas pun)

    And the thing that makes it worse - our tax dollars pay for it! (pbs)

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  16. Pastor, I pray all is well with you and your family and that you are just taking a rest to re-charge your batteries for the new year.
    God bless you and yours.

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  17. Thanks Laura, that's what it is I'm recharging-LOL

    Actually I've been working on something special and it's about done. I'll have that marriage post up later today. God bless.

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  18. Merry Christmas, Pastor!

    Wish you had named the Reup "Frontline From Jesus to the Christ" to catch those looking for the rebuke this year. I'm sure PBS will run it again.

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  19. Thanks Laura and Merry Christmas to you too my friend.

    Yea, I'm going to come out with one that deals directly with these so called credible programs that about on PBS and Discovery. They are a travesty most of the time.

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  20. I don't want anyone to be politically correct and say happy holidays.

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  21. Merry Christmas to everyone! Pastor Burnett, may God continue to richly bless you and your ministry; and, please know that you are a tremendous blessing to each of us.

    Sincerely,

    Jim, Vancouver

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  22. Jim,

    Thanks and Merry Christmas to you also. I appreciate your prayers as always.

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  23. FM,

    Merry Christmas to you too! Thanks for sticking around a little longer.

    Anon,

    Yea, "politically correct" that's how they do it nodays.

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  24. It bothers me that Christians, especially those who are appointed to lead, are not teaching the truth about Christmas. I am not a Jehovah's Witness or a Seventh Day Adventist or from a cult or anything. But I've done my research, and so much of christmas is rooted in pagan idolatry. Christ was never in christmas. I was surprised to see an idolatrous nativity scene on your website. What about the 2nd commandment? God does not want to be worshipped as the heathens worship their gods. So many cultures have worshipped a false messiah and his mother way before Christ, and we know that satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, deceiving even the elect if he can. When the catholic church made christmas a "christian" holiday, they kept all of the pagan practices and deceived the masses into thinking it's from God. Christmas didn't become an official holiday in this country until the late 1800's. Even the puritans rejected it. We are not supposed to love the world or the things thereof. Doesn't the world love christmas? We need to stop spreading the lies of the enemy.
    I know that we have free will, and we can choose to do what we like, so I know people will continue the traditions because that's what we've been taught. Christians, do your research. Know the truth. Accept it or reject it, but learn the truth. Read about Baal, Tammuz, Molech and the pagan worship. Read about Easter (Ashteroth) and how women cried out to Tammuz (the resurrection of this false god). satan has so many counterfeit gospels, and we're incorporating these demonic practices into our worship!
    We should celebrate Christ every day, His birth, death, and ressurrection. Giving should be a part of our nature. We should not embrace the world's traditions and claim them as our own. I know that there are arguments for and against, but people should know the truth.

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  25. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your commentary and you raise some very valid points that we are more than willing to study, but please place a name or handle in your comments.

    Nevertheless, thanks and we can undertake looking at what you said.

    Blessed!

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  26. Anonymous 12/12/2010,

    I wanted to address some of the issues that you pose.

    One of the first things that flaws your argumentation is that it is rooted in what is called the genetic fallacy.

    Now, the genetic fallacy is a logical fallacy that basically states that because something began a certain way then it is evil, wicked or no good...etc.

    Your claim is that Christ was added to the Christmas celebration and that Christmas was not a celebration of Christ to begin with and therefore cannot be Christianized.

    We understand that claim but I don't believe it's wholly accurate. Although the pagans have their end of year celebrations and revellings, such as the Yule celebrations of the west and Satrurnalia and Juvenalia of the east and Rome. Then there was Mithra which was a cultic celebration in Rome also.

    Christians also have celebrations which initially were primarily based around the resurrection. However the 4th century feast day of the nativity was declared and Christians alternatively celebrated the birth of Christ on Dec. 25th, teh same time of the winter solstice.

    All representations were changed to suit...evergreens, holly, etc...new themes were adopted to suit and teach Christ. The Puritans hated this of course and did away with the celebration. So we certainly understand what you're saying.

    Was this wrong? Probably so. Has Christmas been abused even by church folk through the years? Certainly it has...so has the church itself...so what are we to do? Boycott it all?

    The church gave up the opportunity to control the celebration by merging the day with pagans. However the Christian celebration was not pagan neither was it based on paganism.

    So your point although well taken, is a little more rigid than necessary. It is uncalled for to be so literalistically bound that you cannot exercise your freedom to celebrate a holy day when you feel such is warranted. What does the scripture say regarding such a thing:

    Rom. 14:5-9~"5-One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6-He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7-For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8-For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9-For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

    This is why every Christian can easily and readily preach and teach that JESUS is the reason for the season. Others do not have to ascribe. It is a holy day for Christians to esteem and be fully persuaded in their own minds who and what they are celebrating, worshipping and honoring.

    Now what are we to say to those folk who have a birthday on, let's say Halloween. You men to tell me that I can't celebrate another saints birthday on Halloween simply because it is a day where the celebration of demons take place? We all know that that would be a ridiculous argument. Jesus LIVES and we do not have his birth certificate. There is NOTHING wrong with celebrating and commemorating his coming to earth through a virgin womb to save mankind from their sins.

    Thanks for your input.

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  27. My purpose of commenting was not to get into an intellectual debate or question the deity of Christ. Neither was it intended to imply that we shouldn't celebrate the birth of Christ. How and when is the issue. It's an issue of worship. And also, to make the point that we, as believers, should know the truth. I was hurt, after 21 years of being saved, to find out that all I grew up believing and was taught was based on lies. There are available resources online, books, taechings, and even TV documentaries that address the origins of Christmas. Pastor Marvin Winans of Perfecting Church has an excellent teaching from 2006called "Unwrapping Christmas." Here are some of the facts that most are unaware of:
    The Roman Saturnalia festival took place from Dec. 17-24. It marked the winter solstice, the return of the sun, and honored saturn, the god of sowing. The citizens decorated their homes with greens, candles, and gave gifts to children and the poor.
    Dec. 25 is called natalis solis invicti - the birth of the unconquered sun.
    Saturn, the fire god, was needed for sowing/planting crops. He was worshiped so he would return. Egyptians called him Vulcan, Babylonians called him Tammuz/Nimrod, Molech, or Baal. Greeks called him Kronos.
    Children were sacrificed in the fire to worship this false god (Jer. 32:35). Ezekial 8:13-18 recounts the vision that was seen as the women cried for Tammuz and the men worshiped the sun.
    The Christmas (or evergreen/fir) tree symbolized Nimrod who had come to life again as Tammuz. There was tree worship in many cultures. The fir tree was decorated during Saturnalia.
    Branches of holly were exchanged as a token of friendship and represented fertility.
    The mistletoe also represented fertility.
    Yule means "wheel" and was a pagan representation of the sun. The yule log (after the god Jul) was burned for 12 days as animal and child sacrifices were made (hence the 12 days of Christmas).
    Dec. 25 also celebrated the birthday of Mirthna, the god of the unconquerable sun. The infant god was said to be born of a rock.
    Now having shared all of this, God said in Duet. 12:30-32 "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 even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
    " Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to or take away from it."
    Also read Exodus 34:10-17. Our God is a jealous god. He does not want to be worshiped the way the pagans worshiped their gods.
    Paul says in I Corinth: 10-14 ; Therefore my beloved, flee from idolotry. In v. 20-21 he says "Rather that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons."
    Jesus said in John 4:24 that God is Spirit and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
    The truth is that Christmas (not the biblical account of the birth of Christ, but its traditions) is a lie and based on pagan worship. My point is this: just let believers know the truth.

    Respectfully,

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  28. Anon,

    My friend TRUTRH isn't restrained nor withheld on this site. Your observations of history are poignant and very well taken, however, none of that alters the fact that as Christians we do not celebrate, Molleck, Ashtoreth Baal, Tammuze etc...in fact as believers our worship and celebration of Jesus entry into the world is unassociated from that of Mithra who was born from a rock...

    There is no correlation between the Christmas Celebration that we have or conduct and the origins of pagan festivities...

    Yes, there have been some anachronism in order to bridge historic cultural gaps. Now the tree was replaced with a teaching regarding the everlasting love of GOd who endures even through a "winter" season or a time of death in the world. Other concepts such as yule was replaced and introduce a perpetual and burning and consuming fire of the Lord as he has described himself to be within scripture.

    Christianity didn't copy pagan festivals nor rituals. The elements came together and were redefined with a Christian world view. What happened? We have to be reminded that there was anything that resembled paganism. Paganism is not celebrated through it...it is totally uprooted!

    So the point as stated is well taken and information received, but to suggest that truth is somehow withheld is far over the top and misses the point...the point is that God became flesh and dwelt among man and we beheld his Godly as of the only begotten of the Father full of Grace and Truth! This is the story of Christmas...Not that the ceremony was pagan...For instance, our very calendar is pagan...Every month is named after a Roman deity or historical figure hailed as deity, but do we celebrate every month to the pagan Gods or deities??? Is our existence constrained and subject to the very calendar that we all hand on the walls etc??? Absolutely NOT.

    So what is needed is balance and a reasonable approach to issues. This is one that it takes balance and reason to apprehend and put in the proper context.

    That Christ came to this world and dwelt among men REPLACED, the pagan symbols and representation of paganism because of his work, power and might. It's really that simple.

    Further, parallels do not make a case against any Christian celebration or Christian symbol. Example, since you reference Mithra, part of the Mithra cult initiation was the ceremonial, sacrificial, bull blood bath that all adherents had to undergo. Are we to assume that because a Mithraic initiation brought together the elements of sacrifice, blood washing and purification that the blood of Jesus which is efficacious for every believer, shed for every believer and applied to us for righteousness is also somehow pagan in nature and symbolism??? That would be an absurd line to draw and train of thinking to make.

    The same is true for Christmas and the celebration of the birth and nativity of Jesus. There is an excellent article regarding the subject at CRI and many other fine resources on the subject...available at places like CARM, Tektonics and Christian Think Tank.

    Thank you my friend.

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  29. TRUTH may not be restrained, but it sure wasn't spelled correctly...

    TRUTH

    OK, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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