mardi 13 décembre 2011

Is Christmas Celebration Bad for Christians? part 2


Since Maurice has gone almost by doing a point by point refutation, i see no  need to venture in the avenue.

So i propose myself not to bother you by reiterating what was already said. However i do have some personal observation to make and i'll do that in a broad way.

The comment that was posted earlier, can only be used legitimately by someone who is trying to either show that Christianity as we know it, is not a true reflection of its original expression or that Christianity is not unique.

Now the non-christian resisting the gospel will use the latter one as a launch base for their arguments. However the sectarians within Christianity or the Christians who are over-sensitive to the concept of purity will use the former one to launch their criticism against the rest of Christendom by making a case for the necessity to return to absolute holiness and purity for the sake of our spiritual safety.

Now, i personally understand both side and I'm even willing to grant them some point here and there, however my disagreement with them will be that they do not separate what is the essence of Christianity and what are the form of expression christian can navigate within.

For the sake of making this brief, let me just take some stuffs from what was sent in that post and use it as a template.

1. "No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on ..."

Maybe he is right, assuming that God and the angels are clueless too. But i suspect he meant no one among the modern earthly livings. And I'm not even willing to contest that.

2. "So why do we celebrate Christ's birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th? The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas"

Let us even grant him that, despite the possible options laid at Wikipedia, let's just stick with that.

The question, I'm asking is: "SO WHAT?" The answer is barked back at us in this way: "the Christmas holiday we celebrate today is indicative of Christianity's willingness to absorb the world's customs and traditions, and forget its simple roots in the historical reality of Jesus Christ."

Each time i see comment like that, I'm certain at least of one thing! That the speaker has not done either his homework nor the proper necessary thinking through the issue. Why would a person go with the assumption that it is Christianity that has been compromised and affected by pagan practices. Why do they always forget the other side of the coin, which is - Some of the ancient pagan cults have been severely compromised by the advent of Christianity to the point that today most have been completely extinct. Meaning, It is not Christianity that were compromised but the old pagan religions that were, and they lost it!

We even have evidence that those pagans religions went almost if not completely extinct because of Christianity, to the point that people need to go back and delve into old historical documents to even find out about their presumed origin. Why do that and look into dusty books if it was clearly seen? simple, because they are no more. Their memories have faded into oblivion. The light of Christianity has effectively in many ways turned off the pagan worships and practices by invading it. This is what light does, it invades the darkness, and lo' there is no more darkness.

Even if everything that was said about the Christmas tree, day, celebration and so on were true, we should remember that some things are only bad when a meaning is attached to it. However when the meaning changes, that same practice changes the status as well. As an example: people who used to kneel or bow to idols and spirits, after their conversion, they can now still bow to the Father of spirits and not be condemned of doing a sinful act. Why? because, the act of kneeling is now regarded as good not bad because of the intention and the person who is now the object of their veneration or reverence. The Old Testament is filled with this kind of examples.

The exception to this are the things that are in themselves morally repugnant. For example; child sacrifice to gods. There is no way to render child sacrifice pure and acceptable to God. They are basically morally wrong. And they are also explicitly prohibited in the Bible (See the book of Deuteronomy). However as for Christmas, in the absence of specific divine utterance against it as a specific day, all people could do is just speculate about its wrongness based on their personal idiosyncratic views and theologies.

Some people when they know that they have lost their argument on this point, they side-step their main argument and come up with new reasons against Christmas. Here is what i heard, it's been quite a while i haven't heard someone use that again since then. Here is what i was told: "Jesus never asked us to remember his birth but his death!"

Well, that was an interesting one, because it moved away from all this tiresome exercises to prove the event to be pagan in essence when for a fact they are evidently not! It just turn out that the form may be similar, but the essence is definitely not! As for the remark above with regard to Jesus' birth and death, this is a pointless case. Jesus asked us to remember the why of his death, not to celebrate it either (which we do at Easter). The other thing Jesus asked people to remember was what the lady who poured the perfume at His feet did - to the point that the gospel should be preached along with what she did for him (see the Gospel of Mark 14:9). So what should we say, that everywhere were the gospel is preached if the story of that woman is not told, should we conclude that the gospel was not fully preached? The book of Acts reports some preaching and nowhere is it shown where this commend of the Lord was expressly followed:
"I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
What am i trying to say? All i want to say is that Jesus' death was indeed important, but this should not mean that his virgin birth should be ignored because of that. It is true that as much as the virgin birth was important, Jesus' death was even more so because it is through His death that we find the justification for the reason He was born in the first place. That is why even at Christmas although it is not emphatically presented, his death is always remember through that event. How? by the description of who he was called. At each Christmas we are reminded that a SAVIOR was born. The savior of the world was born. Only through his bloody death that he effectively put that salvation at the disposal of the world.

So Christmas, whatever the time of the year we may want to celebrate it even if it was at Halloween, would have never lost its divine meaning. The reason we who have been redeemed do celebrate this probable arbitrary day, is because of what it represents for the redeemed of the Lord.

May God Bless You all and wish you an Early Merry Christmas.

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