The Annual Christmas Debate

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Is it right for followers of Jesus to celebrate Christmas? It is filled with pagan traditions? Can it be honoring to the Lord? Should we celebrate Hanukkah instead? Should we just follow the biblical calendar? Or is it just a matter of personal conviction? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at  (866) 348 7884  with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There are many who say Jesus is the reason for the season.  If that’s the case then make it about Jesus.  Either way, come to your own conviction before the Lord without judging your brother or your sister.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: While it’s fine to debate whether we should celebrate Christmas or not, or how we should celebrate it, may I encourage you to rejoice in the fact that the Son of God came into the world, that the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.  Let us exalt Him in a special way before the world at this time of the year.

 

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69 Comments
  1. Dr. Brown: many Christians are using (Jer. 10:1-4) as a premise to say our modern Christmas trees have pagan roots and putting up a tree and decorating it is equal to idolatry. Some go so far as to accuse other Christians of being an idolater, and on their way to hell. After studying this passage, in its context, I happen to disagree.
    What are your thoughts?

  2. Dr Brown

    You are a brave man doing this every year! I’ve been eagerly waiting to see if you’d do one for 2012. But thank you, for your programmes helped me witness to some JWs a couple of weeks ago. They came round with a copy of ‘Awake’ slagging off Christmas. “That’s interesting,” I said.

    “Yes, not many people know that it’s got lots of pagan roots,” replied the lady eagerly.

    Imagine her surprise when I told her that many believers choose not to celebrate Christmas, or prefer Hebrew/Jewish feasts. I even quoted YOUR words from Dec 2011, telling her that some believers had not celebrated Christmas before coming to Christ, so don’t really miss the festival that much. I told her about the newish custom of the Jesse Tree, which focuses on the heritage of Christ.

    However, I also told her that all the trees belong to God, not to Druids. I told her that God specialises in taking things that are broken and dirty and sinful, and transforming them. He did it for me, after all.

    “Jesus never told us to celebrate His birth, only His death, you know,” she noted.

    I agreed. “But isn’t His birth amazing? That He came to earth? Wow! It’s AMAZING!”

    Then I told her my favourite Incarnation analogy story …

  3. I have the same approach and attitude to Christmas as David Pawson. If people must do the yule log, the mistletoe, and chop down a tree out of the forest, that’s their business, but leave Jesus out of it.

    Deut. 12:31 says,

    “You must not serve the LORD your God with their (the pagan’s) way…”

    And that is exactly what Christains are doing when they serve Jesus remembering his birth with their way. If people want to do those customs in their own life that’s one thing, but to worship God with it. That’s where I draw the line.

    http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000LkNP4CX8ZSc/s/750/750/CA-OCE-2738.jpg

  4. I just wanted to clarify. I don’t know if Mr. Pawson would use Deut. 12:31 as a proof, but he has publicly advocated leaving Jesus out of Christmas, because of how much paganism is in it.

  5. If I was Peter, the first leader if the believers or Christians, and all believers did whatever I advised, I would advise that the stronger self sacrifice for the weaker. I would rule according to Paul’s logic that he would not eat meat if it it assisted the weaker brother. My concern is the Jewish brother, even the Muslim brother, are they not the weaker brother who find all idols and idolatry absolutely repulsive?

    If I was in charge, I would ask all the stronger brothers to give up their freedom to make a statement of love to their weaker brothers, the Jews in particular, by not associating with repulsive behavior, the appearance of idolatry or roots in idolatry.
    But since I am not in charge, I would use the same principles of logic amongst the believers, the stronger self sacrifice for the weaker. Therefore, those of you who know that Christmas is rooted in sillyness, false gods, etc, don’t condemn your ignorant brother who out of the love in his heart loves G-d through Christmas. Let him love G-d. This principle comes from Paul’s use of the false god idol called unkown god idol, which Paul used to preach about the One True G-d.

    I am in charge over my own life and I avoid all personal behavior that would be the appearance of evil, idolatry before my Jewish friends, family and teachers as to self sacrifice for my weaker Jewish brothers. If it were up to me, the entire believing in Jesus millions of people would join me as to disassociate all idolatry off the name of Jesus and Christianity, so that our weaker Jewish brothers would not stumble as much over appearances of evil and idolatry.

    If money is idolatry, that would be inconsistent. I have never seen anyone worship money, make insence to money or pray to money, no one believes that money is alive and that it has a spirit. Same goes for the trees in Christmas, no one worships the tree, nor prays to it, nor believes that it has a spirit.

    I only ask that when you put your Christmas tree and lights and the five pointed star on top that you pray that no evil spirit attach itself to these items as they do have a idolatrous past, especially if you want to redeem it for G-d.

    Enjoy your time off work, read scripture, worship the Father, love your friends and family, be a light to your circle of influence.

  6. i believe that Hanukkah does have deep meaning in which all of us do not know the completeness of yet. to the Jews this is a minor holiday. the messiah is hidden in this day the 25th of Kislev. and the parallel although pagan the 25th of December is a faint reflection on the deeper meaning. in the new age this i believe Hanukkah will be the major and the mass that the world now celebrates on the 25th of dec will be adopted into the true holiday. the beauty of this is that both sides learn equal amounts of truth of this future most important day, and worship of the one true messiah. what a plan indeed.

  7. Hello everybody!

    I was thinking of writing a new song this year, but have been pretty busy.

    Always remember…Treason is the reason for the season! Try not to have a baal this Xmas.

    Don’t you love bumper sticker slogans.

    I’ve become a man of few words. 8)

    Just thought I would touch base with y’all. I might be back if the conversation really gets going.

    Shalom

  8. Idolatry is not mere form or fashion. I’m amazed when believers equate Christmas with idolatry as true idolatry is our putting trust/worship in something/someone else besides the Lord. Worship him on the 25th AND the 26th.

    In my opinion it is incredibly foolish that either side of this debate can take their position too seriously. I am personally not a holiday guy, period. Not for Christmas, Easter, Chanukah or whatever else have you….and yes Bo, that goes for Jewish holy days as well, but I digress… 🙂

    I do, however, find great spiritual significance and a deeper revelation of Jesus through the Jewish feasts/holy days/etc.

    Concerning “abstaining from the appearance of evil”, I’ve found that more to be the go to scripture for believers who are overly concerned with what the religious community thinks of them than truly being concerned that their actions may affect another’s faith. Great biblical principle, but my oh my how it’s abused and relabeled to hide fear of man. Of course that’s not always true, but often it is.

  9. Hello “No-H”Jon

    What a thought-provoking post. It seems that Jesus might have celebrated Hanukah, as it gets a mention in the gospel of John.

    Thank you for blessing us with that.

  10. There are Jewish holidays and Christian holidays. Neither are the Biblical Holy days, though they may be celebrated on the same day. Let us get our terms correct.

    Le 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

    Am 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

    One thing that we know for sure is that Xmas is not a Biblical Holy day. It may be one of ours, but it is not one of YHWH’s.

    Shalom

  11. That’s a misuse of Amos 5:21. It’s clear that God hates their hypocrisy and double-mindedness. Any ceremony/feast is debased by spiritual unfaithfulness.

    I’m off to buy some pressies. Back later to download the show.

  12. It is not a misuse and yes YHWH hates hypocrisy. He also does not like the idea of us coming up with our own feast days and feast ways…even if we say that we are worshiping Him on those days and in those ways.

    Ex 32:3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
    4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
    5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
    6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
    7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

    Haven’t we corrupted ourselves? We spend a lot of wealth (break off our earrings) for the day that man has invented and called a “feast to the Lord.”

    1Ki 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
    33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.

    1Ki 14:16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin.

    One man’s faulty ideas, followed by a multitude, caused a whole nation to be judged.

    Ex 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

    Mr 7 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition…
    13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

    Our traditions tell on us. Replacing YHWH’s feasts with our own does too. Are we any different than those who were making YHWH’s commandments, to keep His feasts, of none effect so that we can keep the commandments of men? Devising things of our own hearts leads to false worship, or at least vain worship. When we replace YHWH’s commandments about which days to keep we are just as guilty as others that have done the same…though we do not feel like we are.

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Is our heart far from Him? The people that these passages were written to thought that they were honoring YHWH by their traditions and commandments of men. It was vain worship as far as YHWH was concerned. We can only rightly judge our hearts by the word of YHWH. He says to keep His appointed times and not to follow the ways and traditions of those around us. If we are neglecting the former and practicing the latter, what can we say about following our heart?

    There is a man that is prophesied to invent new commandments and holidays. The anti-messiah.

    Da 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

    As for those that want to follow YHWH with a perfect heart, why should they follow man’s ideas?

    Le 18:3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
    4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.

    We are not to go by the ideas of any culture of the world. Who we yield ourselves to obey, that is our ruler and judge…our elohim.

    De 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
    2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
    3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
    4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
    5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
    6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
    7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
    8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.

    A circumcised heart produces obedience to YHWH’s commandments. Will we return to Him and to keeping His Holy days, or go with the flow? Israel was cast off because of their relentless failure to submit to YHWH. Many of their descendants will be brought back into covenant with YHWH…but only if they repent of disobeying His commandments. Only if they return to Him from following the practices of other elohim (judges) and serve Him only.

    Can we escape judgement if we follow in Israel’s footsteps? We are destroyed because we refuse knowledge. Knowledge of what? YHWH’s law. His feast days are part of His law. Xmas is of man.

    Ho 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

    Shalom

  13. 🙂 (I thought we’d finally gotten to you!)

    I’m inclined to think that the Christmas celebration was an offshoot of the Festival of Lights. It’s on the 25th day of the last month and it makes sense that some early church members thought to further break off from the root stock and make their own fixed holiday for the “light of the world.” Just a thought. I don’t know of any real evidence though. And I haven’t looked to see when Santa came on the scene.

    I also like “The Star of Bethlehem” DVD and how Frank Larson explains it. That makes good sense to me too. The ending and “extra” feature’s are just awesome! It’ll give you goosebumps! I wish everyone would watch it at least once.

  14. I posted this last year and the year before and the year before…it is my story and I’m sticking to it

    “1 Cor. 13
    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    This is my ongoing testimony. The more I grow up and learn the more I have to put away. The way gets narrower but more rewarding.

    I used to do Xmas (no offense intended, I think the x is an abbreviation from Greek/Latin). I wrote a song called Don’t Ex the Christ out of Christmas. It went something like this:

    People running too and fro with
    the halls all decked with holly.
    Buying all we can afford
    to make this Christmas jolly.

    But where is Jesus, where is He?

    Don’t ex the Christ out of Christmas this year.
    Don’t take Jesus out of your giving.
    Put God first place in all that you do.
    He’s your reason for living.

    Don’t let Santa Clause take Jesus Place.
    He’s really done not one little thing for you.
    Jesus bled and died to pay for your sins.
    He want’s you to come back home to Him….

    It was a bit Keith Greenish with much conviction and seriousness. It was my way of proclaiming what I thought Xmas should be.

    We never did a tree. We put a sign in our picture window that faced a busy street. It said, “Happy Birthday Jesus!” We decorated the whole house inside. The focus was a manger scene. We even put the wise men as far away as possible and left the baby Jesus out of the scene until the 25th so as to be accurate. We baked a birthday cake and sang happy birthday. We were very earnest and sincere. We put on an Xmas play with only the exact words in scripture so as to be very clear what we were celebrating….

    We did not want any thing that detracted or distracted from the truth in our celebrations. So the more we knew of the truth, the more we refined our lives to match up with His life.

    We stopped doing Xmas when our oldest child was about 10 or 12. He’s 25 now. We have 10 children and the last 5 of them have never celebrated an Xmas. They seem to be just fine with doing the Biblical holy days instead.

    I do not feel that I have exed the Messiah out of Xmas because He was never there. But He has been with us even unto the ends of the earth so to speak, though. We still recognize His birth on the Yahweh given appointed time though. It is when he came to tabernacle among us.

    I believe we have inherited lies from our fathers. (Am.2:4,1Pe. 1:18-19) (Church fathers included.) Our culture is actually what keeps Xmas going, and going worse and worse for that matter. I do not think that Messiah died to redeem certain days or practices. He died to redeem people. And redeemed people, out of gratitude should renew their minds with there Redeemer’s truth and submit their bodies to live it out. (Rom. 12:1-2)

    So once I know to good and do it not to me it is sin. (Jam.4:17)
    If I am not completely sure it is sin. (Rom. 14:23)

    Some things to consider in this are:

    Worship and Obey Yahweh only and don’t do things that the unbelievers come up with.
    De. 12:30-32, Le. 18:1-5, Gal. 4:8-11

    Keep Yahweh’s celebrations.
    Le. 23:1-44, Col. 2:16-17, 1 Cor. 5:7-8

    Yahweh does not change.
    Pr. 29:18, Ho.4:6-9, Mal. 3:6, Heb.13:8, Mt. 5:17-19

    …What ever you hand finds to do, do it with all your might.(Ec. 9:10) Be a lover of the truth not just a seeker of it.(2Thes.2:10-12) For sure, do not be a hearer only.(Jam.1:22-25)Don’t forget to do your duty. (Ec. 12:13, Lk.17:5-10, 1 Jn. 3:22)”

    Shalom

  15. I think I’ve mellowed out a lot since my last entries into the debate from last season.

    Here’s how I see it.

    Winter is just dark, generally speaking. Bright sparkly lights are just kind of a no-brainer. I put them up just because it’s so dang dark out there SO EARLY.

    I was raised without holiday traditions because of my parents’ sectarian church’s views — so there are no ‘warm fuzzy memories’ associated with Christmas that I am compelled to live up to.

    However, I like seeing the lights and the objects that reflect light, and I like Christmas Carols. I can do without Frosty and Santa and The Grinch, so I won’t be found slipping their DVD’s in the player for my grandchildren.

    I like that people make an extra effort to show kindness to strangers — any part of the year is good for that, but let’s face it, when it’s cold outside, it’s time to ladle the soup freely and stock some elderly person’s woodstove.

    I know Jesus was not born on December 25th, but I understand the reasons that day was co-opted by the Church, and I like the idea of associating the brightening hours with Him. Plus, hey — as long as Christ is preached, I’m really, really good with that!

    I never forget that God sees all and reads our hearts and minds while our fellow man judges by the surface.

    I’m just frankly not gung-ho about any major “day” on the calendar, and I plead Romans 14!

    But if family wants to have a reason to get together, enjoy a meal together, and exchange warm hugs, I’ll usually be there, too.

    I used to worry about how “the Jews” would see it all, because I tended to view them as stepping right out of the pages of the Old Testament. Having a Jewish friend who said he likes Santa because, quote, “He’s merry and he gives everyone presents! What’s wrong with that?” I realized “they” are just as individualistic as any of us Gentiles, and surely if they really want to understand their (and our) Messiah, they will disentangle the truth from all of these historic threads, too, and hopefully forgive our collective folly in a) being human, and b) trying to get it right while missing the boat at the same time. In short, I don’t worry about their opinion, but the opinion of their (and our) God.

    Fortunately, He is perfect at getting to the heart of the matter.

    Just my two coppers.

    🙂

  16. I beleive that Yeshua would not want his birth to be celebrated. He glorified the father not himself. He came to set an example of being a servant first. Do the will of the father. Make every day a love thy neighbor and family day. Why use December the 25th when you can any day of the week. We all don’t know how much time we have, so lets not try to set any dates aside for something that should be done on any and every day of the week. Doesn’t matter how you try and justify it. “There’s a way that seems right to a man but in the end leads to death.” Personally, if the whole thing is questionable and there’s controversy surrounding it, stay away from it. I think there is more reason why Jews didn’t celebrate it and it wasn’t solely because they didn’t want to have anything to do with anything Christian. Those who claim to want to follow the Hebrew roots of their faith should consider that.

  17. The early Christians had reasons for using December 25 that were independent of paganism. The date seems to have been associated with Jesus’ birth at least as far back as the early third century. The first Christians to use that date, such as Hippolytus, cite reasons for it that aren’t dependent on paganism. For documentation and further discussion of the issue, look up a November 27, 2012 post titled “The Origins Of The December 25 Date For Christmas” at Triablogue.

    Nobody who celebrates Christmas is obligated to agree with every tradition associated with the holiday or every object or practice that some people associate with it. Christmas isn’t a pagan holiday, and there are many ways to celebrated it that aren’t sinful. People who object to the alleged pagan associations of the holiday should ask themselves if they apply the same reasoning to their own associations with pagan calendars, English words that have pagan origins, types of food that come from non-Christian cultures, tools that originated in non-Christian contexts, clothing that came from pagans, etc. Look around your home and your church. You’ll see many objects and practices that have distant associations with paganism similar to what people often criticize about Christmas.

    One of my colleagues at Triablogue, Steve Hays, recently published an article at reformation21 about how it would be acceptable to celebrate Christmas even if we granted the premise that the holiday has pagan roots. The article is titled “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”. Look it up and read it, if you’re interested. And don’t forget about the first article I mentioned above. I don’t think Christmas was derived from paganism in any significant sense. But even if it had been, it could be acceptable to redeem the holiday and use it for something better.

  18. Bo good that your back this year.

    Again this year I am bringing up the only scripture that validates the appointed times/Feast days! This should settle it all. GENESIS 1:14. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for SEASONS, and for days, and years:

    The word “SEASONS”/in the hebrew is “Moedim” = “appointed times”–this is GOD’S ordained biblical/redemption calendar. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4150&t=KJV

    Teaching these from Leviticus will never make these feast relevant for today because we are no longer under the requirements of the levitical priesthood. Y’shua’s perfect blood sacrifice satisfied the requirements of the levitical system. Y’shua came thru the order of Melchizedek allowing HIM to be both priest and King, forever.

    AGAIN JOhn 4:22 Y’shua makes it all real clear….You Gentiles worship what you do not know; WE worship what we do know, for SALVATION/Y’shua is from the Jews. ( Y’shua is clearly pointing her away from her pagan root practices)Ruth was another Gentile example of this. SHe left her pagan roots.

    Jeremiah 16:19
    O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the GENTILES shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and SHALL SAY, Surely our fathers have INHERITED LIES, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

    Zechariah 14: 16
    And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of ALL the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to KEEP the FEAST of tabernacles.

    SO it is clear that GOD keeps the same calendar, that HE created in Genesis 1:14, to reveal HIMSELF to mankind and to keep the appointments year after year.

    GOD did not divorce Israel to MARRY paganism.

    GOD ordained ONE calendar and that was BEFORE there was a Jew, human, laws or sabbaths. HE told us how HE would reveal HIMSELF to us and HOW HE wanted to be worshiped. NONE of the pagan holidays of rome are there.

    Paul did not teach the pagan holidays, but rather, he taught against anything pagan as did Y’shua.
    (1 Thess. 5:1-11) … Paul said that he had no need to write unto the Thessalonians concerning the times and SEASONS. Meaning the Feast days…they were keeping what he taught them and they had a good report. Paul said “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Messiah” (1Cor.11:1)

    I do pray for us all to wake up to the lies that we have inherited. Who is the deciever that wants us to miss the very events that Y’shua HIMSELF fulfilled that made SALVATION available to us? Nothing else can tell that story. We were grafted into this HEBREW ROOT and need to let go of what we inherited from rome thru our fathers.

    Lots of history here:
    NEW – Jim Staley -TRUTH OR TRADITION – Should Christians Celebrate …
    ► 115:06► 115:06
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNuIz63zBjM
    Dec 21, 2011 – Uploaded by PassionForTruthVideo
    http://www.passionfortruth.com This is BY FAR one of THE MOST POPULAR videos on the internet detailing the …

    Rachael

  19. I have a question that I believe is worth considering.

    A hammer is for hammering, a chisel for chiselling, a sander for sanding, and a router is for routing.

    What is the purpose of the name Emmanuel? (see Matt 1:23)

  20. Didn’t God though, Rachael, divorce Israel at one point? And didn’t He marry another, to bring Israel to jealousy? And wasn’t the whole point that when Israel would leave her “lovers” and repent, and he would make atonement for her, that they would ultimately be reconciled, since God hates divorce? What then? Hasn’t God taken, metaphorically speaking, two wives? And what was the point of that? Isn’t it that both should come to a fuller understanding of our need for Him, and that all peoples, both Jew and Gentile, would find in Him our perfect Salvation?

    I’m still figuring this out, and can’t claim to understand all 14 chapters of Hosea, but I think Romans 14 guides us into a greater tolerance for those of us to whom these appointed feast days are not part of our heritage.

    I’m open to correction if I am wrong.

    Or do we just disregard Paul? I’m thinking we mustn’t.

    But sign me, Still Pondering…

  21. I sometimes think that Paul was saying (in part, in Romans 14), that as we learn more from the Word of God, and we reject the pagan roots of our mothers, and suckle from the original vine planted by the Lord, that we need to not be judgmental with our brother (and, it is presumed, sister). We are at different stages into our absorption of these roots, and we are all on our own learning trajectory. We can’t really see into each other’s hearts and minds though we often presume to, and so we need to come from love, ever-patient, and teach in love, but understand.

  22. In listening to the program this year I never heard any one respond to Mikes Question of should we keep the Biblical feasts of Eloheim… I say yes .. It is How the Father is showing His children the patterns we need to know like Israel needed to know about the Messiah coming in Pesach.. He will return in the season of the Fall feasts… we need to practice these… i can not wait till the wedding supper of the Lamb. Is it possible that THE BRIDE keeps His Feasts..and he watches to see who does???

    Also on the Birthday debate… the Roman Catholics are very keen on the Mother of God being Mary and with out the birth you of course don’t have The Mother Goddess to be venerated.
    To all the Catholics out there of which I was one… Mary is Miriam and she was a Jewess and not a blue eyed white woman she was a young teenage girl who was obediant to the Holy Spirit and she also had other children … and is not to be prayed to as she is dead and needed a saviour like the rest of the world since she was a sinner.

  23. Messiah was not easy going…esp. with the religious leaders. The blind leading the blind and making disciples twofold more the child of hell than themselves does not sound easy going to me. As far as the deceived masses, He wanted to free them from false religion and traditions of men. And Xmas is certainly not spelled out as a Biblical thing, though it is religious. If it is religious but not Biblical, which religion does it belong to? Certainly not the true worship that Messiah and His apostles preached.

    Or sentimentality is our downfall. Our teachers and shepherds have not done their job. We and they do not stand on truth but on sentimentality and smoke and mirrors. Being Mr. nice guy is not a fruit of the spirit. Love is. Love is what happens when we care more for the final outcome of people than for how they feel right now or how we will be thought of when we speak the truth.

    The truth is that Messiah asked us to celebrate Passover and remember His death and not His birth. The truth is that we are betrothed to Him and He wants us to learn His ways and keep His days…not invent our own celebrations. Going with the flow has never gotten us to the source of the waters of life. The narrow way is an uphill climb and not a party on a super highway going downhill. For which cause I offer the following few verses:

    The Rougher Way

    So many times I’ve heard it said,
    “The way to hell is smoothly paved
    with the high and good intentions
    of those that think they’re surely saved.”

    But those that turn around and climb
    the rocky path to heavens gates,
    though they stumble often times,
    for their good deeds, reward awaits.

    It’s NOT the heart or thought that counts,
    though pure and noble fain to be,
    if the hands and feet attached
    are pointed toward the flaming sea.

    The only kind of faith that’s true
    is clearly seen by all around.
    It’s not belief or what we say
    but what we DO on earthly ground.

    The Creator of our world has said
    He fights against the ones that think
    that they can go their smooth paved way
    proudly blind to how they sink.

    But grace and strength await the soul
    that can bring himself to say
    “I was wrong…I’ll do Your will.”
    And continue up the rougher way.

    Shalom

  24. Hi Ruth. As I mentioned in my post GOD did divorce Israel BUT NOT to marry paganism. I also pointed you to Genesis 1:14 and provided a link so you could look at the hebrew meanings there. This is the only scripture that validates these feast for eternity.This is where you need to review and then find Y’shua doing these feast Himself in the 2nd covenant…new testament. All the reason to imitate what our Messiah taught and did, rather than make up things that can’t be found in scripture and then pass down lies to our children…
    I agree with Bo….we stand on truth and it is for the hearer that has ears to hear the truth. We are speaking the scriptures..we are only a mouth piece as was Noah and you see how many did not want to hear the truth. Telling the truth from the words of scripture is LOVE…it doesn’t matter what stage of growth you are…truth is what sets us free…that comes from love!
    I get real tired of hearing the repeated phrase “don’t be judgemental”, etc ….I am convinced that satan promotes that phrase and others, so that the hearer closes off. Instead, the wise thing to do would be to ask questions and study the answers for yourself. Making a statement or even thinking like that only causes you to close off…then you benefit from nothing. Jeremiah says extract the precious from the worthless….studying for yourself will help you find each…”the precious” and the “worthless”…in this case the precious would be what is found in Genesis 1:14 The biblical redemption feast day calendar and the wothless would be the traditions of men that include xmas, easter and the like. Because their roots are found in paganism and forced on the body of beleivers thru Rome and cannot be found in scripture.
    If one loves the biblical Messiah one will seek ALL of HIS ways and delight in them. There is nothing like knowing when our messiah will meet with us…thru the appointed time/feast days we know that HE meets with us…because HE still uses the same calendar…HIS redemption calendar…its all about HIM! HE has not adopted the gregorian calendar to tell HIS story. Then HE would have nothing to offer, nothing true, only traditions of men. Then we would call HIS claims a LIE, all made up!!!

    Shalom, Rachael

  25. I believe in the Biblical feasts, Rachael. They are wonderful teachings aids, as types and shadows, of all that YHWH has done and will do through His Son, Yeshua. I love seeing them in New Covenantal terms, also, such as the rededication of the temple – also being related to our body as the temple and the need to cleanse and rededicate it 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” One could see Chanukah strictly in the terms explored in the Tanach, in the past, but one can also see in it a shadow of what God will be doing (and has done) in the present and future.

    I think that it’s good to teach about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah Yeshua, to the world at “Christmas”, and here are some more reasons.

    Didn’t God open the way to gentile believers? And didn’t Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, instruct us on how we are to give no offense to either Jews or Greeks or the church of God? He wrote, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” Surely the message of Salvation is more important. In the course of history (which was and is no surprise to the Lord), some earlier believers thought it wise to celebrate the Lord’s birth (No-el) on December 25th, triumphing, in essence, over how the day had been kept. The LORD God made all the days, including the vernal equinoxes and the solstices, and the Winter Solstice can be seen as symbolic of the darkness being overcome by the light, just as our Lord is the “light of the world” that overcomes the spiritual darkness. For centuries people have come to associate that day (three days later) with the Nativity, and that is a good tradition. Not all traditions are “bad.” Yeshua’s birth is written about in the gospels, so why not celebrate and herald it? There is a beautiful body of carols created in previous centuries about it. Are we to presume that in earlier centuries no one was saved by calling upon the name of Jesus? Are we to assume that the Lord was not working in those years, saving souls to His glory? Why then should we put down those earlier efforts of our brothers and sisters? The story of his arrival on earth was the advent of the Good News!

    We can’t always help offending others. For instance, some religious Jews want nothing to do with the Cross, yet we don’t stop preaching the redemption it brought to all, despite it being a rock of offense.

    Personally, I leave out certain traditions from Christmas, such as Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, and that type of (what I deem useless) fantasy.

    For many people, Christmas might be the only time they give a thought to the Messiah’s birth and story. I see nothing wrong with exalting him at that and any other time of year. He told us we are to lift him up. (John 3:14) And Paul’s attitude in Philippians 1:12-18 is exemplary, particularly as he himself concludes, “All that matters is that in every way, whether honestly or in pretense, the Messiah is being proclaimed; and in that, I rejoice.” [Complete Jewish Bible]

    I see this time of year as a wonderful time to also rejoice. The Light of the World has overcome the darkness. Tell the world!

    🙂 in peace

  26. HI Ruth,
    Many of your points take a detour. However, nothing else is the “HOLY”. WHen change the “HOLY”, you make it the profane. I would rather choose what GOD has ordained, that being, what I can find and prove in the bible. Rather than try to prove or validate anything else.
    Since Y’shua said that HE IS the same yesterday, today and forever and that HE never changes, that does not include man made traditions….which HE states that HE hates. Isn’t that enough? Following Y’shua and the early church they followed Genesis 1:14 and knew nothing about these holidays today. We did not recieve SALVATION thru the traditions of men…isn’t that enough reason to be removed for the worlds holidays?

    If you want to celebrate the BIRTH and sing those wonderful songs, The feast of Tabernacles is that time….HE came in the flesh as Emmanuel and Dwelled/tabernacled among men! Follow the time line from Mary and Elizabeth…all the way to the census that brought Mary to deliver the Bread of life in the house of bread..BeitLechem /Bethlehem

    All the best to you Ruth…and Shalom

  27. Hi Dr. Brown.
    What I am saying is that the Calendar ordained in Genesis and set up in Exodus is the same calendar that Y’shua, Disciples and beleivers followed. ITs all about HIM!!! This is the only calendar that tells the redemption story and verified in scripture. It is clear many places in scripture. As I stated about the Thess. got it right and were told that there was no need to tell them of the times and SEASONS/Gen. 1:14 because they knew it all to well. They were following and keeping that calendar. The only true calendar that can tell the true story of our SALVATION/Y’SHUA.

    This is NOT a JEWISH calendar..this calendar in Genesis 1:14 was created before a Jew, any human, or laws or sabbaths etc…..IT is the CREATORS CALENDAR.

  28. Rachael, that is NOT what Paul was talking about in 1 Thes. 5. Also, there is NO proof that all the first Gentile disciples, let alone the next generations, kept the Torah calendar. That was my point. The reverse is actually true.

  29. 1 Thess 5, “SEASONS”,… What Time and season was he talking about? We have the same reference to time and season in Genesis 1:14 sticking with the RULE/law of FIRST MENTIONS when studying scripture. When you see this word again it is referring to the biblical reference when it was FIRST mentioned in Genesis 1:14. Appointed time in its season…spring feast or fall feast…appointed time.

    Here in 1 Thess 5 they are talking about the fall Feast of trumpets…Day of destruction for the lost…it comes as a thief in the night..the only feast that has to be declared official, by the sighting of the SLIVER of the Moon. THis watch could take up to 3 days ( don’t know the day or hour) So we WATCH and as the scripture states below…”to the BRETHREN”: BUT YE, BRETHREN, are not in darkness, that that DAY should overtake you as a THIEF. WHY? Because they were watching/keeping the Feast in their time and season.

    1Th 5:1 ¶ But of the TIMES and the SEASONS, brethren, ye have NO NEED that I write unto you.

    1Th 5:2 For yourselves KNOW PERFECTLY that the DAY of the Lord so cometh as a THIEF in the night.

    1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden DESTRUCTION cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

    1Th 5:4 BUT YE, BRETHREN, are NOT in darkness, that that DAY should overtake you as a THIEF.

    Are you just suggesting that Gentiles should just stay in their own camp? Or that Y’shua and Paul were teaching a different calendar? Different Holy-days? Was Y’shua’s message to the gentile woman different in John 4:22? Jhn 4:2 YE worship ye KNOW NOT WHAT: WE KNOW WHAT we worship: for SALVATION/Y’SHUA is of the Jews. NO PAGAN stuff found here!

    All the beleivers that FOLLOWED Y’shua kept these Appointed feast days. Was Y’shua message to the gentile woman different? They are HIS and GOD makes that clear in Lev. 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are MY FEAST. Does HE say the same about the traditions of men?

    Keeping the idea that gentiles need to stay on their own side of the fence only keeps the traditions of men going and it does not teach what Y’shua said to the woman at the well in JOhn 4:22 as well as other Ref. He told her to leave her PAGAN roots of worship!

    How do you explain Jeremiah 16:19 (inherited Lies) and Zechariah 14:16 (keep the feast of Tabernacles-same calendar)???

    Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the GENTILES shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and SHALL SAY, Surely our fathers have INHERITED LIES , vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

    Zechariah 14:16
    And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to KEEP the FEAST of TABERNACLES. (same calendar)

    YOu say the reverse is true…there is always proof of those who did not follow. We SEE that clearly today. It does not change what GOD HIMSELF ordained and fulfilled that brought us SALVATION. It only proves how the traditions of man, mans design, means more to man than what GOD ordained.

    I don’t think that you can CALL OR LABEL this calendar an exclusive TORAH calendar per say. This is exclusively the CREATORS CALENDAR for ALL mankind! When you say Torah you know that gentiles already buy the LIE that the TORAH is just for the JEWS!!! So when they hear you say that, They don’t even realize that this calendar was created BEFORE there was a HUMAN created…this is the CREATORS REDEMPTION CALENDAR……that includes ALL PEOPLE!!!

    Rachael

  30. Rachel,
    “…these are shadows, but the body that cast the shadow is Christ” [Col 2:16,17]

    1. Are you saying that observing these days are essential for salvation?
    2. If they aren’t essential, why does it matter so much to you?

  31. Is your point to bring GLORY to GOD or to somehow change GOD’S SALVATION Story?

    You ask why does it matter to me? It has nothing to do with ME,…I am quoting scripture…that matters to GOD!

    Do you know what it means when you say SHADOW? Those were the FORE-shadows that played out before the fulfillment’s. Like the first blood covering was a foreshadow of the final blood covering.etc…

  32. Rachael,

    I won’t be debating you here, but 1 Thes 5 is speaking clearly about the times and seasons of Jesus return. To read anything else into the text there is eisegesis of the worst kind.

    In any case, as Dan1el was communicating, let us focus all our attention on Jesus the Messiah, the reality to whom the shadow points.

  33. DR. BRown…seriously…Isn’t that what I just said: ….I did say that was about HIS return….TRUMPETS…the trumpet will sound and the bride will be called home…right?

    who else was I focusing my attention on…can you explain that.? There is a serious blindness here. I am sorry. Your post made no real sense. Who else was I talking about…did I mention another name???

    Year after year this debate has not proved to be fruitful scripturally. No talk or validation for Genesis 1:14 where all the truth about this calendar exist! MOST people that post here are not studying the word for themselves and don’t even provide scriptures to validate the traditions that they want to glorify.

    Where are the church of todays holidays found in scripture.? Provide the scripture for christmas and the other church holidays. You can’t….why isn’t that a concern here??? But to be politically correct and to protect certain things…some stand silent and keep the blindness going.

    I presented truth, Genesis 1:14 the redemption calendar…it validates itself, CREATED BEFORE MAN, BEFORE TRADITIONS, yet no one here even acknowledges this scripture! Dr. brown you know the hebrew in this scripture talks about the Appointed times/Moedim. …so truth is withheld! what IS the point here? To present scripture to answer the question and validate the GOD who created these appointments with Men or to continue to keep the 2 camps separate? There is only ONE GOD and HE does not teach or validate pagan roots..did HE in John 4:22…another scripture that no one ever comments on!

    Regardless these scriptures are GOD revealed: GOD has been rounding up the gentiles to himself now for many many years. Yearly the numbers rise of gentiles learning of these things and leaving their pagan roots to return to the hebrew roots of the Messiah. Ephesians talks about the one new man..Jew and gentile ONE in messiah…we were not grafted into a gentile PAGAN root, but rather a Jewish/Hebrew root….the same Message that Y’shua HIMSELF gave to the woman at the well..John 4:22…..and HE did tell her that is where SALVATION is found! She had to CHOOSE right then…Pagan or Jewish…

    I’m out…Shabbat Shalom, Rachael

  34. Dr. Brown,

    The only thing we know for sure is that Paul and Luke and every other writer of the NT never use any pagan calendar to communicate with the “gentile” assemblies. The time references are all in regard to feast days and Sabbaths.

    A letter from Polycrates (bishop of Ephesus) in the early 100’s demonstrates that the assemblies in Asia minor were still keeping Passover on the 14th day of the first Biblical month, “according to the gospel,” and no amount Papal persuasion by Victor was going to convince these assemblies to start doing Easter Sunday because they learned their doctrine from the apostle John.

    Sabbath keeping Christians were found in India, I think by Jesuit missionaries, in the 1500’s and they claimed that the apostle Thomas taught them to keep the Sabbath.

    Shalom

  35. Can I presume that Rachael does not use the months January, February etc when she is speaking or writing? What about the days of the week? How would she respond if another believer implied that she was spiritually weak, or unfaithful, because she uses the terms Friday or Wednesday?

    I often warn my children, “Whenever you point fingers at people, there are three fingers pointing back at you!”

  36. PS

    I was so blessed by the debate, Dr Brown and LOF team. One of the best ‘Annual Christmas’ programmes so far. My heart was so lifted by hearing the voice of that 88-year-old new believer.

  37. That has been one of my points here is that scripture and truth gets side lined with those common blame game comments. Using scripture to point out the appointed times is not pointing fingers. If you feel that way you need to take that up with the one who wrote it. I am only the messenger of those written words.

    you had no comments about the scriptures?

    You are right about the days of the week and the months, because when I say 1st day, 2nd day etc…,as I do in Israel, this pagan set-up here has no idea what I am talking about. However, one can choose if they want to keep the biblical Holy-days or partake with the worlds choices of celebrations. Huge gulfs between the reasonings and choices..

    These blame game phrases really get old. If you are serious about scripture you are curious to learn. You don’t jump up and say that everybody that presents scripture is judging or pointing fingers.

    All the best to you, Rachael

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