Should Followers of Jesus Celebrate Christmas? The Annual Line of Fire Debate

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  1. It wasn’t a rodeo. We shot all the horses before we started, so that we could beat them without getting hurt. Still, we had some moments of turning the sticks on each other instead of the horses. Hopefully we will recover soon. So, no rodeo…a merry-go-round would describe it better. Lots of dead horses on a Carousel to whip up on.

    Shalom

  2. Be careful those plastic horses can throw ya when you’re least expectin’ it. Dead horses can be dangerous too. It really hurts an ego when you get throwed off a dead one whether it is plastic or not. 🙂

  3. I dropped the reigns on one of those dead horses and it carried me all the way to the end times (sorting out end time theologies) before I could get it back under control. Of course it is still dead…just laying there waiting to be beat again, but I’m going to let it rest for a while, until somebody performs a miracle and raises it from the dead. Got to go.

    Shalom

  4. Hello everybody…if anybody is out there, that is.

    Ruth posted a link on the Miss America thread. it is about culture possibly being the motivation behind some of our actions. It asks us to examine whether our participation in society around us is congruent with what the scriptures teach. It makes some of the points that I was trying to make in my posts above that met with a lot of opposition. The video is only 10 minutes long and the article below it is short. Hopefully my recommending it won’t dissuade you from partaking of it. It doesn’t mention Xmas, but the principles are pretty good. Here is the link:

    http://www.truthortradition.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=759

  5. The sad thing is Bo, the culture around us does not glorify, give honor or worship the Lord at Christmas time. The world/culture wants nothing to do with Jesus Christ. They do not acknowledge Him.

    Did you ever wonder how did Christmas turn from a pagan holiday to a Christ centered day for Christians? (Well, most Christians at least.)

  6. Debbie,

    I know how it was turned. I think that the culture of gentile/pagan religion corrupted the church about 200+ years after Messiah’s apostles died. The early apostles and believers kept YHWH’s feast days. The devil can trick us so easily when we are unaware of his tactics. Culture is one of his big, but very sneaky, tactics.

    Shalom

  7. Hey Everybody,

    Check out the link that Ruth posted above. Watch a couple more in the series. Then let us all know what you think. Jim Staley is a likable sort of preacher/teacher. I think that you all would find it difficult to disagree with him.

    Shalom

  8. Dead Horses?

    Beating dead horses wouldn’t cause as much pain,
    If those in their saddles weren’t quite so insane.
    With whips brandished high and spurs dug in deep;
    Their eyes on the goal: the top of the heap. (Of dead horses that is)

    But before we all boast of our obvious sanity,
    We might want to check in the mirror for vanity.
    Taking the “high road” with noses held high,
    We might see the crazies are passing us by.

    Perched on their mounts now flat on the ground,
    How is it we seem to be losing this round?
    As we’re riding high, holding tight to our lanyards,
    Why does it seem we’re all going backwards?

    The cause of our horses, so shiny and slick,
    Losing this race to those dead as a brick,
    Is made known to all when we hear a voice say,
    “Your carousel motor turns the wrong way.”

    So when we come to the end of the ride,
    And find our own horse false with no hide,
    We can learn from our carousel pace
    Real horses, only, finish the race.

    And since we through a glass darkly see,
    We might humbly ask of our neighbor the key,
    To mounting his horse and getting the feel
    Of handling a stallion, we thought no big deal.

    And then if we find that his steed gives us scare,
    We might want to buy of his stock for our mare,
    A stud that brings life to our dwindling herd,
    Now seeing his mount is not really absurd.

    Horses are beaten, its true, every day.
    The live ones, the dead ones, and even the play.
    If we are running the true race to win,
    A seemingly dead horse might trot once again.

    Shabbat Shalom

  9. Just found this accidentally while searching for CS Lewis quotes.

    “How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American inventor, publisher, statesman

    Shalom

  10. Christmas…a root of bitterness????

    Hebrews 12
    15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
    16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

    Here is the scriptural definition of the root of bitterness (root that bears gall and wormwood).

    Deut. 29
    10 ¶ Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,
    11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:
    12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:
    13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
    14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
    15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:
    16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;
    17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)
    18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
    19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:
    20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
    21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:

    We see here that YHWH makes this covenant with all that were there that day and all that were not there that day. That pretty much includes everyone in every age, I think.

    The “root that beareth gall and wormwood” is the same as the “root of bitteness” in Hebrews chapter 12. So if we decide that we do not have to do all that YHWH specifies and think that the curses will not come upon us though we walk after our own ideas, we are in big trouble. If we think we can have peace with YHWH while we are disobedient to the words of “this covenant”, we are badly mistaken.

    So if a “man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God to go and serve the gods of these nations” by practicing their pagan customs on their pagan days of worship, what does it mean?

    Jeremiah 6
    14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
    15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
    16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

    There are those that proclaim peace, but they reject the old paths. When we go to the word of YHWH and do not subject ourselves to it we deceive ourselves. Are we not carnal when we do this?

    Romans 8
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    James 1
    22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    I think that we deceive ourselves and “walk afer the imagination of our own hearts” when we celebrate these pagan customs. The heart of man is deceitfully wicked. That is why YHWH spells out so clearly that we should not do things like the heathen. He says not to add to or take away from what He has written. To add Christmas to His holy days is wrong. To take away from His commandments by not celebrating His holy days is wrong.

    So, what if a large group of believers (tribe?) neglects YHWH’s feasts and starts practicing their own celebrations? What if they say that they can have peace with YHWH because their hearts are right? What if this tribe of people started out as a spotless bride and now has become a great harlot that commits adultery with all the nations? (She takes the truth of scripture and mixes it with pagan worship?) (Rev. 17)

    The Word has been sown and there are few that produce fruit, because of the cares of this life and such. An enemy has planted tares (false believers) among the good seed. The kingdom of heaven has been corrupted with leaven (sin and false doctrine). It has MUTATED into a huge mustard tree so that the fouls (every foul spirit and unclean and hateful bird of Rev. 18:2) of the air nest in its branches.(Mat.13:1-52)

    This is the context that “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” is given in. Do you realize (have you been instructed in the kingdom) that the judgment of YHWH is coming to His house first. (1 Pet.4:17) We must get rid of even the appearance of evil. Do Christmas, Lent, Easter, Advent, Sunday Sabbath and such appear evil to YHWH? There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death.

    We need to come out from among this tribe and not partake of her sins so that we will not partake of her judgments.(Rev. 18) The end is close and “knowledge has increased” (Dan. 12:1-4) so that we can see these things, and we need to put on our wedding garments and fill our lamps with oil and be invited to the Lamb’s wedding feast.(Mat. 25 and Rev.19)

    That wedding feast is not Christmas, Lent, Valentines day or Easter. It is one of YHWH’s feast days. He fulfills His feasts on the exact days that He proclaimed to be Holy gatherings. Passover and Unleavened bread are approaching. Let us be ready to celebrate YHWH’s feasts and forsake our man made religion.

    Shalom

  11. Tom,

    You wrote:

    “And after your citation, Paul continues: “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.” – Titus 1.15”

    Just remember that homosexuality is not pure no matter what a supposedly “pure” persons thinks about it. Is is sin just like the other things that YHWH’s Torah says is sin. Any commandment breaking is sin…as per John and Paul. A truly pure person will agree with YHWH’s Torah.

    As Paul said:

    Romans 7
    7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Keeping the Torah is not sin. It reveals sin. The pure in heart read it and do it…because they agree with it. The carnal mind cannot agree to YHWH’s Torah.

    Romans 8
    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Shalom

  12. Do I have an axe to grind? I think I’m an impartial witness when I write here that the church loves its pagan traditions (which it tries to “Christianize”) and its bacon. When anyone mentions the Laws in the Bible, they immediately cry foul. They’ll call you a “Judaizer” and a “Legalist”. You’ve gotta wonder: Do they think Jesus died so that they could hang ornaments on trees, give easter bunnies to their children, and have their BBQs? Is this the great “freedom” they are protecting? When it comes down it, is it all about the bacon and the pagan traditions? The gospel is more than meats and drinks, definitely.

    Jerusalem Council did give Geniles that Torah-Lite version if they want it, because Grace came from God’s Holy Spirit, not from following the Law, but from Grace, so that Christ would be all in all. But they (James, Peter, Paul, etc.) also expected (see Acts 15:21) that they (Gentiles) would be getting deeper into things on the Sabbaths. Council of Laodicea in the 4th century cut off that path by declaring Sabbath a form of “Judaizing”, calling it “anathema”. Brazen! So even though the apostles intended that Gentiles would be hearing more on the Sabbaths in the synagogues, instead, the roots were cut off. Such a sad, sad legacy followed in many ways. We were intended to be “one in Messiah” and yet to this day, I see that Gentile Christians still do exult over the roots, and act as if the Jews need to be grafted into them. No, back into their own olive tree through their own Messiah! Paul is quoted in Romans 11 mostly where he says “You stand by faith” and the rest is rarely heard of. Nothing about “the root supports you” and not the other way around.

    I’m very glad for and encouraged by the Hebraic roots movement. It’s not about following traditions of men, whether its Jewish traditions or Gentile traditions, but loving and seeking to understand more about the Father, which is what Jesus taught. I do recognize that some go overboard and wind up in bondage to traditions, which is not the goal. But lest we forget, many Gentiles are also currently in bondage to their inherited traditions, too. Lets take the beams out of our eyes….

    Someone will likely write in that if we know Christ, we know everything we need to know about the Father. Why such willful ignorance? Why such enmity? Because the church cut off its roots centuries ago and exulted over them, in defiance of Paul’s warning, and the intentions of the apostles. And these attitudes have resounded down through the ages. Faith and the law are NOT mutually exclusive; rather, they are complementary. If you study His laws, and His stories, and His words through His prophets, this does not make you unspiritual, but it will enrich you and keep you from being ignorant, and help you answer the questions of others that you might want to help bring to faith in the Lord.

    [Note: If anyone wishes to argue, they are certainly free to do so, but I’m not going to be answering back. May God’s peace be with everyone…]

  13. Ruth,

    Great post above. Sometimes axes need a little sharpening…probably because they hit the ground so much when we beat our dead horses 🙂 It does seem mostly to be about bacon and softened fertility worship. Which is strange since most Christians have bought into worldly dogmas and so they use birth control and are on low fat and/or salt diets 🙂

    Shalom

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