Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Problem With Christmas

There are some things you have to know, before reading the rest of this article:

1)  I am a evangelical hard core conservative Christian Jesus Freak;

2) I am NOT offended by Happy Holidays, and I do not think anyone should be;

So, if that does not make you want to ripe this off the world wide web, then the rest of this article is about where Christmas came from to begin with, so you will understand why I am NOT offended by it apparent secularization in America and the world today.

Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year, and just happens to be my wedding anniversary.  It is also the the beginning of the "return of the sun," according to many ancient religions, including the pagans in Britain long before the birth of Christ.  The date?  December 21.  Traditionally, this was a time to party, and celebrate the return of the sun.  Things like mistletoe come from this celebration.

Saturnalia was a Roman Holiday where the god Saturn was celebrated. It just happens to have been celebrates on December 25 using the Julian calendar.  How was it celebrated, you ask?  By giving gifts and again partying.  This was the most favorite holiday of the Roman year.

350 years after the birth of Jesus, the church set aside December 25 as the day to celebrate Jesus' birthday, co-oping many popular holidays in the pagan world, and turning it into a holy day for Christians.  Why take over these holidays?  It was normal practice for the rulers to be converted to Christianity, and to then convert the holidays and traditions that the common man loved and wanted into a Christian holiday, so that there would be an easy transition.

First Point:  Christmas was NOT the celebration of Jesus' birth when it was first celebrated.  That came hundreds of years after the birth of Jesus.  Just the name, not the holiday, was about Jesus.

Did you know that in the North East of the United States it was against the law to celebrate Christmas when the colony was first formed?  Why, you ask?  Many reasons, but mostly because it was a Party for 12 days in Europe, where drinking and dancing and loss of control was normal.  The Puritans, as with most of the protestants until quite recently, did not want to celebrate a secular holiday, and call it a Christian one.

Second Point:  Christmas has not been changed into a Secular Holiday; it always was one.

Point Three: Do you remember that old question on wrist bands, What Would Jesus Do, or WWJD?

What would Jesus do about people saying happy holidays, or happy Hanukkah or any other non-offensive blessing?  Would he insist that you acknowledge that his birthday was worth upsetting other people over?  Would he demand that you say merry Christmas?  Would he purposely say something that would cause friction.

I think he would love you no matter what.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Final Point:  Are you really offended when someone what you to have a good Holiday?  

Holiday actually means holy day, but you don't have to go there.  If some one tells you that they really want you to have a good holiday, you should be happy.  That's a blessing.

Our job is to Love the Lord, and ALL his people and to make sure our life reflects that love.  If God sends you a blessing from one of his people, who is not yet a Christian, and you get upset, you might be the stumbling block between them and salvation.  Don't be.  Be the one that loves them.

So, I hope you have a Happy Holiday.

I hope that celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus is as meaningful for you as it is for me, and I pray that we all get to see some of the fruits of our love for our fellow man, as they accept Jesus as their Lord too.

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