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The Reason For the Season

  

Here is a quick reminder of what we should be celebrating this month.

 

 

Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD… Zechariah 2:6 KJV

 There you have it, the reason for the season! Santa Claus, coming down from the north, and showering us in gifts at the command of the LORD!

Right?…

 

 

Christmas is still about a month away, but how we celebrate and honor the season of Christmas begins now. I do not want to “bash” the traditional Christmas season celebration, but I do want to encourage us all to seriously consider how personally, in our families, and in our churches we can celebrate Christmas in a way that honors both Jesus as the “gift” and God as the “gift giver.”

Galatians 4:4-7 says, 

 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

This is the season that we should especially celebrate God sending His Son. For it is because God sent His Son, that we are no longer under the law, but children of God, and heirs to the Kingdom. Reflecting on that fact alone, compels me to give Glory to God in the highest because of the wonderful gift he has given us!

Before we get busy and caught in the moment, I wanted to give us a brief reminder, while we still have time, to step back and look at the big picture of what celebrating Christmas is all about. As we celebrate Christmas this month I challenge you to think of what ways you are willing to celebrate the season in an even more God-honoring way than you have in the past. Whether it is a weekly devotion about Christmas with your family, reading the Christmas story before you open presents, or simply setting up a nativity scene in your home, in what ways will you better honor God this season?

 

155 Responses to “The Reason For the Season”

  1. on 02 Dec 2012 at 1:15 pmPebbles Slade

    I saw a scripture about christmas trees in the Bible; I am not converting to be another denomination, but my question is since Christ wasn’t born on Dec 25th, why do we share the paganisim of celebrating his bday at all?

    Even Christ didn’t celebrate his birth, although on the day he was born, gifts were given unto him- why do we have to give each other gifts, and look foward to receiving them?

    In the past, I have given gifts, and have been given gifts for me n my family- especially from the church; however, it seems that I have began to get “sensitive” about the pressure and depression that some ppl go thru when the holidays are among us- I see so much of the ugliness come out of some ppl, and if we are to live Christ like, then we would be loving and giving the other 364 days of the year, therefore not having to be stressed out and pressured over 1 day-

    what do u think about this comment? please give me some feedback- I love you all, and God bless you beloveds!

  2. on 02 Dec 2012 at 5:32 pmJas

    Pebbles
    Paul preached both Grace and the Promises but found Grace the superior message because it was given to all mankind not just to those of the covenants. As an Israelite his wish was that many would return to the covenants but he knew the words of Jesus that many would not when Jesus said the gate was narrow and only a few would enter.While the odds were a large percentage of the gentiles in the areas he preached were actually former exiled Israelites who had lost their identity many generations earlier Paul was only to provide the calling not the knowledge of who they were.
    Galatians4:8-11 addresses gentiles and so called gentiles going back to the worship of the heavenly host by given honor to the planets(days),the 12 division of the zodiac(months),solstice and equinox (seasons), and the rebirth of the Sun( starting of year).
    But even to those who returned to their former belief Grace was still given because Grace was given on account of Jesus not on our account.
    So dont sweat it unless you want more than Grace.

  3. on 02 Dec 2012 at 6:08 pmtimothy

    Pebbles Slade,

    Hello and GOD bless you.

    I really like your comment and hope you like mine.

    We here on KR are students of Jesus Christ and take the Bible as our standard of truth. Strange as it may seem, not many Christians actually know much about the things you have mentioned.

    No where in the Gospels does it say there were three kings or wise-men. These Magi traveled a long distant, probably in a caravan, to see the new born King. They were astronomers and had observed an astronomical phenomena which has been proven to have taken place
    11 September 3 BC. (google the date)

    There was another astronomical event, a brighter star, that they followed and found the young Jesus. There are three gifts mentioned, gold, frankincense and mir and this must be where the “three Kings” number came from.

    A careful reading reveals that baby Jesus was already a small child when the wise men found him. Then, for fear of King Herod, Joseph escaped to Egypt with Mary and Jesus.

    The Hispanic countries celebrate 6 January as “Dia de los Reyes Magos | Three Kings Day” and exchange gifts on this day.

    The current environment allows for one to do anything they wish on 25 December. I think more important is to observe what Jesus taught:

    Mark 14: (NASB)
    22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.”

    23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

    24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

    25 Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

    🙂

  4. on 06 Dec 2012 at 11:43 amJas

    “The current environment allows for one to do anything they wish on 25 December. I think more important is to observe what Jesus taught:”

    timothy
    I agree this is the most important teaching of Jesus but how many understand the true meaning of it. The law for righteousness was given because of the transgressions of God’s commandments. Now Jesus was the end of the law for righteousness because his personal sacrifice as the Lamb of God superceded the old law for righteousness which All from Adam had to perform to be counted as righteous. The transgression it was added for oiginally was that of Adam’s but also was used for personal transgressions.Now that the transgression of Adam has been removed from all mankind we only have to be covered of our own transgressions against God’s commandments which the passage you quote is now the prescription for not walking in the footsteps of the obedience of Jesus.
    But this is only for those that seek more than just Grace

  5. on 25 Dec 2012 at 3:36 pmXavier

    “We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority…It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men, as to observe the ordinances of the Lord.” Charles Spurgeon

  6. on 25 Dec 2012 at 4:50 pmJas

    If you are not an Israelite by the perfected Covenant than there is no calling to stay separated from the heathens who are saved by Grace but if you seek the words and reward of the Perfected Covenant then you should separate yourself from the ways of gentiles

  7. on 25 Dec 2012 at 4:52 pmXavier

    Could I RESPECTFULLY ask everyone, visitors or temporary residents or “admins”, would you observe Catholic Mass? If not, why then do you observe ‘Christ-mass’?

  8. on 26 Dec 2012 at 2:32 pmSheryl

    Hi Xavier, This is an interesting question. No, I would not observe Catholic Mass. However, I don’t consider celebrating Christmas(s) a form of organized worship, like I consider a Catholic mass service. I recognize that Christmas started out pagan and has probably grown more so with decadent commercialism, but on the whole I think it is a “good” thing in that, for at least a time, it turns hearts and minds to God and opens up conversations about forms of worship.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this…wondering why the social atmosphere at Christmastime seems more joyful. It could be anticipation of “getting gifts” but I think it is more than that. People in general are more joyful, more giving, more loving (and there always exceptions) and the thought occurred to me that perhaps because this is really a time to think about God and Jesus on a grand global scale, maybe God’s spirit is more prevalent and the joy we all feel is a part of the outpouring of his loving spirit in response to the thoughts centered upon Him.

    I think this also applies to times when disaster strikes and we automatically pray to god for help, comfort, healing, etc. People drop everything and sacrifice time, effort and money to help total strangers…you see this all the time. Could this “love” also be God’s spirit flowing through us in response to so many prayers?

    ….just a thought.

  9. on 26 Dec 2012 at 2:53 pmJas

    Sheryl
    Its a nice thought but in its pagan form it also was a joyous time with gifts and good deeds.A celebration of the rebirth of the sungod through a human virgin conceived by the dying sungod himself .

  10. on 26 Dec 2012 at 5:51 pmXavier

    Sheryl

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this…wondering why the social atmosphere at Christmastime seems more joyful. It could be anticipation of “getting gifts” but I think it is more than that.

    No, I think you were initially right. My wife observed today that people are asked what did you get as opposed to what did you give. Think about it.

    Furthermore, the message of “goodwill, peace” etc., being confined to a temporal time such as this I think is sad. Shouldn’t Christians strive to have that mind-set ALL OF THE TIME?!

    Lastly, apart from the clear pagan-secular nature of it, my objections run deeper than that. As a biblical unitarian it is hard for me to turn a blind eye to the fact that the “reason for the season” is to celebrate the Orthodox definition of the Incarnation, as a well-known bible scholar has recently observed:

    Incarnation refers to the choices and acts of a pre-existent divine being, namely the Son of God, that the Son took in order to become a human being. He took on flesh, and became fully, truly human without ceasing to be fully, truly divine. Divinity is not something Jesus acquired later in life, or even after his death and resurrection. According to the theology of Incarnation he had always been the divine Son of God, even before he became Jesus, a human being. Strictly speaking the name Jesus only applies to a human being. It is the name the Son of God acquired once he became a human being in the womb of Mary, a name which he maintains to this day as he continues to be a human being. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2012/12/23/the-meaning-of-incarnation/

    Quite blasphemous wouldn’t you say?

  11. on 26 Dec 2012 at 7:56 pmSheryl

    I agree with you Xavier…..I think a pre-existent being coming to life “again” would be a REincarnation….and we know where that concept comes from.

    Still, though, I think the holiday season display of love has something to do with God’s spirit on earth for a time. I get this because believers are filled “to a measure” with God’s spirit so it’s not all or nothing…and a billion believers, having a fraction of spirit, all over the earth, I think would accumulate to a lot of love…. 🙂

    If our actions and thoughts are a matter of the heart, then the fact that we are displaying love and joy to one another with the right heart (not centered on paganism or greediness) would go a long way with our Father in Heaven. Love covers a multitude of sin…even the sin of not recognizing that we are celebrating a pagan custom. If you believe that you are celebrating the birth and life of our savior, God’s only begotten human son, I hope God would be merciful.

    I look at it like this: I choose to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends, even though I know it’s based on paganism, because I want every opportunity to share my love of Jesus and my Father and the truth with those around me. On the other hand, if I took a noble stand to choose not to celebrate to show that I don’t believe Christmas is biblical, but a total distortion of God’s truth…I think in that case I would alienate a lot of loved ones who already think I’m off the Christian beaten track because I refuse to believe in the trinity.

    You are absolutely correct that Christians should have the celebratory mindset every second of the day. It’s where our flesh wrestles with our spirit that distracts us from feeling like we do at Christmastime all year long. I like to think that the age to come will “feel” like Christmas-exponential!!

  12. on 26 Dec 2012 at 11:40 pmXavier

    So we agree that Christ-mass is both pagan and blasphemous in its ideals YET you believe God’s spirit is in it?

    I see a “spirit” all right but it ain’t God’s!

    Why can’t we preach the Gospel and the things concerning Messiah Jesus EVERY season?

  13. on 26 Dec 2012 at 11:47 pmXavier

    Sheryl

    There is charity and giving across many other religious and even non-religious institutions so why do we have to attribute THAT “spirit” to God and not just humanism?

  14. on 27 Dec 2012 at 3:08 amSheryl

    I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that celebrating God’s gift of salvation through his son is “blasphemous” … I think it depends on where your heart is. Personally I don’t think it is wrong to have festivals and celebrations … after all, God’s chosen were commanded under the Mosaic law to participate. Now we are free to choose to celebrate. God sends rain or famine on the righteous and unrighteous according to his will… likewise why wouldn’t He send his spirit on the earth as a consequence of prayerful hearts reaching out to him, if only for a season? I think what you are trying to say is that because Christmas is a pagan holiday God’s spirit can’t possibly be involved, so it must be the spirit of the anti-Christ. I don’t understand how that could be true when the result is people acting out in love and charity. A good tree produces good fruit…a bad tree can’t produce good fruit…or do you disagree?

    And I agree that all Christians should be preaching the Kingdom at every single opportunity through the whole year. This season gives us the chance to speak to people who’s hearts maybe are more open and accepting. I do understand what you’re saying, I just think, at least for myself in my situation, making a point to not celebrate Christmas with my five children and six grandchildren would not be taken as me being committed to Christ, but would be seen as rigid and legalistic. Those who are perhaps not as far along on their Christian walk, if even they have taken that first step, would not grasp a message of commitment, but would see it as contentious and divisive. However, I deeply respect your own commitment to Christ, Xavier.

  15. on 27 Dec 2012 at 3:30 amWolfgang

    Sheryl,

    I just think, at least for myself in my situation, making a point to not celebrate Christmas with my five children and six grandchildren would not be taken as me being committed to Christ, but would be seen as rigid and legalistic. Those who are perhaps not as far along on their Christian walk, if even they have taken that first step, would not grasp a message of commitment, but would see it as contentious and divisive.

    many would perhaps – rightfully so – regard you as contentious sectarian desiring to display a “know it better” attitude and showing off a “more scriptural and thus better than you” attitude under the claim of “commitment” …

    Perhaps Jesus – had he had such a mindset – would have never entered a sinners’ house and then even for the purpose of eating a meal with such an ungodly fellow … ?

    Does perhaps a section from Rom 14 apply in principles to such situations … some are offended at certain practices and being involved even in the smallest manner would violate their conscience and thus they would be committing sin ? Whereas others have grown up in their faith and would not be affected by such customs and celebrations and would thus do what they do without having a conscience problem and thus would also not be committing sin ?

  16. on 27 Dec 2012 at 7:20 amSheryl

    Thank you for your comments, Wolfgang. I’m glad you said this because my whole point was to gently try to illustrate my position as the total opposite of how what I said was perceived. And yes, Rom 14 indeed crossed my mind as I considered Xavier’s original question. I have personally been struggling with the issue of being “right” about what I believe. I honestly feel that a veil has been lifted for me and God’s truth has been revealed….and I have been trying to help those I love, to consider looking at God’s word in this new light….and the attempt is not easy!

    I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers and in this forum I see myself as a lowly student trying to express my ideas….throwing them out there to my classmates so if I am wrong I can be put back on the right path. Which is why I genuinely do appreciate your feedback.

    The ones I described as being “not so far along on their Christian walk…” are my children and family members. And that is an accurate description. I do consider myself being more knowledgeable than they simply because I know for a fact that they haven’t studied God’s word to the extent that I have (and probably everyone in this fellowship has studied.) What I was hoping to get across is that my family wouldn’t understand my reasons for choosing to withdraw myself from Christmas activities. They would see me as being contentious and sectarian…..

    So if I understand what you are saying Wolfgang, this attitude I have of joining in Christmas celebrations despite what I “know” is being condescending perhaps? It seems I have put myself into a “damned if I do and damned if I don’t” situation. I didn’t mean at all to put myself above anyone here…I really wanted to convey that I don’t have the courage to take a stand (as does Xavier) against celebrating a pagan holiday. I wanted to say that my own walk has not progressed as far as my braver companions.

    I’m interested to hear from others who celebrate Christmas traditions with their families while knowing this custom is not biblical?

  17. on 27 Dec 2012 at 7:56 amWolfgang

    Sheryl,

    So if I understand what you are saying Wolfgang, this attitude I have of joining in Christmas celebrations despite what I “know” is being condescending perhaps? It seems I have put myself into a “damned if I do and damned if I don’t” situation.

    I thought more along the lines of IF you are not in doubt about your belief while celebrating the season’s activities in your family, you should not condemn yourself either …
    As far as I understood you, even though you “know” various unbiblical points about the season’s celebrations, you are NOT celebrating with your heart and mind in your activities those pagan items …. rather, you are attempting to use opportunity as it arises to share the truth of Scripture regarding various issues.
    I think trying to be legalistic and “all so right on” will perhaps show less of a solid Christian character than participating to a degree in order to reach people and show them love, kindness, gentleness, etc …

  18. on 27 Dec 2012 at 8:21 amXavier

    Sheryl

    I don’t understand how that could be true when the result is people acting out in love and charity. A good tree produces good fruit…a bad tree can’t produce good fruit…or do you disagree?

    Like I said, charity and “love” can be demonstrated by many other religious and even non-religious institutions. It doesn’t necessarily follow that it is God’s spirit in the Mormon, Catholic or Atheist institution does it? Charity and love can be of a human origin. The confusion comes when we believe it is godly when your theology or lack thereof simply does not reflect it.

    Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves…having a form/appearance of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. Mat 7.15; 2Tim 3.5

    As for your children, I think we should be raising them from day 1 to clearly distinguish between what is biblical and what is not. Not that I deny YOUR zeal for God but we are taught not to be of the world, although we are in it.

  19. on 27 Dec 2012 at 8:35 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    I think trying to be legalistic and “all so right on” will perhaps show less of a solid Christian character than participating to a degree in order to reach people and show them love, kindness, gentleness, etc …

    That would have made Jesus and his Apostles the BIGGEST legalists in history don’t you think? :/

    I always say that the ULTIMATE act of Love, as defined by scripture, is to tell people about “the sound doctrine of our lord Jesus” that leads to a “pure and genuine religion [that keeps yourself] from being corrupted by the world” [1Tim 6.3; Jam 1.27]

  20. on 27 Dec 2012 at 9:21 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    That would have made Jesus and his Apostles the BIGGEST legalists in history don’t you think? :/

    ??? I don’t think so …

    I always say that the ULTIMATE act of Love, as defined by scripture, is to tell people about “the sound doctrine of our lord Jesus” that leads to a “pure and genuine religion [that keeps yourself] from being corrupted by the world” [1Tim 6.3; Jam 1.27]

    should we take what you claim to be the ultimate act of love, or should we rather go by what Jesus said?

    Joh 15:13
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    You give the impression of great zeal … but being zealous is no good without proper wisdom … and — yes, I do think so — some folks need to first live another 20-30 years before they begin to even see it.

  21. on 27 Dec 2012 at 9:29 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    Like I said, charity and “love” can be demonstrated by many other religious and even non-religious institutions. It doesn’t necessarily follow that it is God’s spirit in the Mormon, Catholic or Atheist institution does it?

    maybe it is the case … .even though YOU do not think so?

    Charity and love can be of a human origin.

    And when someone lives with such and thus displays Godly character, who are you to say that they are not acting in accordance with God’s will?

    The confusion comes when we believe it is godly when your theology or lack thereof simply does not reflect it.

    Well, young man, you are producing the confusion by making what you think to be “right doctrine” sort of like the measuring stick for a person’s love coming from a God fearing heart or not.
    How is it then, that one can see those folks who claim “right doctrine” all over the place so many times show less love than some who don’t know to tell the front of the Bible from the back? Who are the ones who DO the will of God?

  22. on 27 Dec 2012 at 9:46 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    So telling others how they should live and what to believe was not legalistic?

    should we take what you claim to be the ultimate act of love, or should we rather go by what Jesus said?

    Of course.

    maybe it is the case … .even though YOU do not think so?

    Yes.

    who are you to say that they are not acting in accordance with God’s will?

    Its God’s will for His spirit of truth to be involved with error [1Cor 13.6]?

    Who are the ones who DO the will of God?

    Jesus’ “spiritual” family.

  23. on 27 Dec 2012 at 9:51 amJas

    Xavier
    You are correct there has been false prophets since the beginning of christianity who do satans bidding and from them have come many false doctrines that have caused the children of Israel to once again to forsake the commandments and signs for the ways of the gentiles.
    But unless you have come completely out of them yourself then why condemn others . The fact is all mankind is saved by Grace and will be judged by the good and bad deeds they have done whether they choose to be a gentile or Israelite.Either choose the path of the very few or the path of the multitude who only choose Grace .

  24. on 27 Dec 2012 at 10:12 amXavier

    Jas

    But unless you have come completely out of them yourself then why condemn others.

    Moi?!

  25. on 27 Dec 2012 at 10:23 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    your replies show haughtiness, pride, self-righteousness, “know-it-all”, “done-it-all” attitude … you even seem unable to properly answer a question within the context it was asked … not very helpful for anyone!

    Why is it that you feel the need to show yourself this way? trying to be “smart”, eh …. yet coming across as more of “a naughty little boy” playing the professor while actually needing to learn a lot of things yourself?

  26. on 27 Dec 2012 at 11:07 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    I like you too.

  27. on 27 Dec 2012 at 3:31 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Sheryl,
    I agree with everything that you have said. I personally celebrate Christmas, but I don’t hold it against people that decide not to. From what I understand the early RC church picked the winter solstice and the spring equinox to celebrate Christmas and Easter because they were the 2 biggest pagan holidays. If the church had not done this people would have continued with their pagan rituals just out of habit and tradition.

    The idea was to replace the 2 biggest pagan holidays with the 2 biggest Christian holidays. It was apparently very successful in that only a small group of people (Wicans) ritually celebrate the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Virtually everyone else (including non-Christians) regard these days as Christian holidays. They may have started out as pagan celebrations, but they certainly couldn’t be considered pagan celebrations today (other than the unfortunate commercialization of Christmas)… 🙂

  28. on 27 Dec 2012 at 4:10 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Leave it to GOOGLE:

    http://www.historytoday.com/alison-barnes/first-christmas-tree

    I was married to a German woman until 1977. The Christmas tree and all the customs were practiced without any mention of the Christkind. But the tree with real fire burning candles and trimmings was the focus even down to a wind up rotating stand.

    Personally, I am of the opinion, that knowing the truth makes even more of a captive audience to witness about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have several great ways of showing when Jesus Was actually born. By the conception of John the baptist, his second cousin. Details about the weather. And Revelations 12:1 for the astronomical announcement for September 11, BCE.

    One can at least open a conversation about how the errors were introduced and that Jesus Christ only ask for communion, to do to remember him for what he did “giving ones life for ones friends”.

    I have already BTDT(been there done that) and was also too “know it all” UZW and think that agape love requires gentleness, meekness and patience especially with ones children.

    Do you think we are too contrary? Jesus Christ is not GOD, there is no trinity, the dead are not alive in Heaven?

    Here is an American Indian song about Santa Claus:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YkwlR6EnOps

    Timothy 🙂

  29. on 27 Dec 2012 at 5:13 pmXavier

    DT

    If the church had not done this people would have continued with their pagan rituals just out of habit and tradition.

    Did you know that because “the Romans enthusiastically celebrated birthdays with hedonistic parties and generous presents…the early Christians rejected the practice as inherently pagan”? Same with the Hebrews.
    http://www.cogwriter.com/birthdays.htm

  30. on 27 Dec 2012 at 6:22 pmSheryl

    I’ve got a question for you all that’s been sorta weighing on me these past few months.

    The most God-fearing, prayerful, loving people I personally know are:

    1) my best friend who is a JW;
    2) my sister who is a non-denom evangelical trinitarian
    and
    3) my aunt who is a devout practicing Catholic.

    These three people are solid examples to me of trees bearing good fruit. But…none of them are getting the same truth out of the bible that I get.

    So how can a bad tree bear good fruit? Are we all wrong, or are we all right? Or does doing the best we can with what we have, ie following biblical principles as best we know how…does this count? My JW friend says God, er, Jehovah, doesn’t listen if you don’t use His name. My sister and aunt say I am heretic because I don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus. I wonder if they are idolators because they don’t believe in the Jesus who Paul preached.

    I guess my question is…if a person is not of God (and it seems you either belong to the light or the dark) then how could they exhibit loving characters?

  31. on 27 Dec 2012 at 6:36 pmXavier

    Sheryl

    Sounds like you got the “trinity”. 😛

    The biblical definition of “good fruits” is rooted in the sound doctrine: i.e., who God and Jesus are, the Gospel about the coming KOG, etc. We are commanded to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God”. How do we do this? By looking at “good works” only or..?

    James says that Christianity is a combination of “works” and “faith”. If we lack either one of these we’re in trouble.

    By the sounds of it the people you admire most seem to admire you the least? Is that “good fruit”?

  32. on 27 Dec 2012 at 6:49 pmSheryl

    That’s just the thing, my “trinity” (smile) of loved ones are very loving to everyone. Very caring, very accepting. They listened while I tried to witness some good biblical truth but for whatever reason decided that I was off track, not them.

    I guess I don’t want to entertain the idea that the people I love the most just might be those who call Lord Lord, but he doesn’t know who they are. But they probably assume the same thing of me….

    Am I being arrogant to think that I am right, that my interpretation of the bible is correct?

  33. on 27 Dec 2012 at 7:00 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Sheryl,
    I don’t think that you are being arrogant at all. My 3 best friends are Trinitarians and I am convinced that they will attain salvation before me. They are wonderful, caring, loving people. I personally don’t believe that God (or Y’shua) is going to be judging us based on our doctrines. I believe he will be judging us based on our actions (our intentions). God and Y’shua can see into our hearts and know if our motives are good or not… 🙂

  34. on 27 Dec 2012 at 7:16 pmSheryl

    Thank you DT…that is pretty much how I’m feeling about it. That’s the message I’m getting out of the bible anyway.

    I forgot to mention another loved one…my oldest son is always there when I need him, one of the most generous people I know…and he’s agnostic. I hope and pray that I can always be a good example to him and he will see God’s love through me, and hopefully make the right decision.

  35. on 27 Dec 2012 at 7:48 pmXavier

    Sheryl

    Am I being arrogant to think that I am right, that my interpretation of the bible is correct?

    Well, someone is bound to be right and the other wrong don’t you think?

    Jesus faced a similar situation when his own flesh and blood siblings rejected him remember? But I guess this is what we have been called to, suffer what he suffered etc.

    If it helps you to know that most of us are going through the same ordeal with close family members so I suggest we KEEP praying for them but most importantly for each other.

  36. on 27 Dec 2012 at 8:04 pmXavier

    DT

    Are you a Universalist?

  37. on 27 Dec 2012 at 9:22 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Xavier,
    No I am not a Universalist. I just don’t believe that God is going to be judging people by what doctrines they may or may not hold. Following the example of Y’shua is a matter of the heart. For example, Mother Theresa is not going to be condemned simply because of her religious affiliation.

    BTW – I find it strange that you are willing to talk to me here, but you have blocked me on facebook. My real name is Tom Thurlow and you blocked me because I said I had doubts about whether certain books and letters should have been included in our modern NT canon.

    This took me by surprise because I have told you the same thing here on this blog in the past. So it’s not like it was the first time you heard about my beliefs on this…

  38. on 27 Dec 2012 at 9:35 pmXavier

    DT

    Didn’t know you were one and the same.

    I just find it extremely hard to discuss the Bible with someone who doesn’t even believe it.

    Thanks for letting me know and never mind my questions. 😉

  39. on 28 Dec 2012 at 1:47 amSheryl

    So just out of curiosity, Xavier, do you celebrate the holidays? If not, do you have family members that are disappointed in not seeing you? How do you handle that? it just seems to me that there is a very fine line between standing for your convictions and relaxing enough to make yourself approachable.

    After realizing I had been duped into believing a false doctrine and really getting serious about studying the bible I had an enlightening message from my 22 year old son. I might have mentioned this before, but one day a few months ago, he emailed me in response to something and said, “You’ve changed…you’re deluded.” I replied, “In what way?” He answered, “You let God rule your life.” I don’t think he realized he was giving me a great compliment. 😉

  40. on 28 Dec 2012 at 3:14 amWolfgang

    Sheryl,

    Am I being arrogant to think that I am right, that my interpretation of the bible is correct?

    that you think your interpretation of the Bible is correct as such is sort of a needed prerequisite for believing … or do folks normally want to believe what they think is a wrong or false interpretation?

    Whether one is arrogant or not about one’s convictions is a slightly different matter and will be displayed in how one deals with others over matters of what one believes …

    I’ve met people who are very arrogant over their beliefs and how “right” they are and how “wrong” everybody else is … usually such manifests itself in many claims made and judgments pronounced and a lack of willingness to enter into exchange and exploration of the scriptures regarding a topic. In addition, shunning people who believe differently and “disfellowshipping” are usually not far …

    I have met others who are equally if not more convinced of their beliefs being right, but they are not arrogant but instead willing to participate seriously (and not sort of “fakely” and “smart alecy”) in a proper exchange on topics and are willing to answer questions in detail and provide genuine and their own working of the Scriptures (rather than “trumpeting” someone else’s doctrines, etc. ) They also acknowledge that perhaps they may be wrong … and appreciate when others point out from scripture what might be in need of further study and will do further study.

    I suppose, everyone will determine for themselves whether they are going to be arrogant about their beliefs or not …

  41. on 28 Dec 2012 at 8:00 amXavier

    Sheryl

    do you celebrate the holidays? If not, do you have family members that are disappointed in not seeing you? How do you handle that?

    No we don’t [“we” as in my immediate family and most of my church “family” as well, I am happy to say].

    Most of my family lives overseas but so I don’t really have to deal with them personally but I nonetheless educate them on what ‘Christ-mass’ is really all about. Some appreciate it and others don’t.

    there is a very fine line between standing for your convictions and relaxing enough to make yourself approachable.

    Yes, its very fine. That is why I seek to daily speak the truth in love but always with the knowledge that Christians will be hated and persecuted until Messiah comes back [Mat 10.22; John 15.18-19].

    Thanks for sharing the story about your son and I am glad you are able to smile in the midst of such an attack by your own flesh and blood. It must be tough but always remember God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are a follower of Christ [Mat 5.11].

  42. on 28 Dec 2012 at 3:05 pmSheryl

    Amen, Xavier. Something we all need to remember (that we should expect to be persecuted as we strive for biblical truth) as our religious beliefs go through these growing pains. I don’t know how long this movement of …. I don’t know … unveiling? has been around, but I see people on this site and others are being in the vanguard of radical reformation. And we know what happens to those on the front line of any battle. I’m honored to take the arrows of the enemy for my faith, and grateful beyond measure to finally be able to understand what I’m reading in God’s word. So, a nice big “shout out” to all my friends on Kingdom Ready…that you for taking me along with you as we all learn and progress.

  43. on 28 Dec 2012 at 3:22 pmSheryl

    Wolfgang, I agree with you that if you don’t believe your faith is correct, then it is sorta meaningless. But if people I love and respect believe something contrary to what I believe, but are just as adamant that their belief is correct … and biblical … I can’t help but wonder what the real truth is. One thing i am convinced of, there is ONE truth but many perceptions of that truth. I just pray I have the correct perception. I tell others what I believe and why, and back it up with scripture. And always in love and with humility. I tell myself that if they are right and I end up being wrong, at least I can stand before my Lord on judgment day and say I did my very best. I suppose that’s all we can do.

  44. on 28 Dec 2012 at 4:44 pmTim (aka Antioch)

    Sheryl,

    I agree with probably everything you have stated. I do celebrate Christmas but in my heart, it is about the birth of Jesus our savior, and not about some pagan holiday or presents.

    Where the heart is, I think, is most important. As God said when Samuel was to annoint David, ‘people look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’.

  45. on 28 Dec 2012 at 6:48 pmDoubting Thomas

    Amen Tim (aka Antioch)… 🙂

  46. on 29 Dec 2012 at 3:32 amWolfgang

    hi everyone,

    how do you understand this passage from 2Ki 5?

    2Ki 5:18-19
    18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.
    19 And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

    What about Naaman’s comment / request about bowing in the house of Rimmon, even though he himself obviously was not a worshipper of Rimmon, to the prophet Elisa? how does the prophet’s answer of “Go in peace” relate to what Naaman requested?

    Does this example relate to our topic at hand here, in that Naaman was participating in outward action of worship, while in his heart he did not regard
    Rimmon as God to be worshipped? Was Naaman a hypocrite? Should he have quit the service of his master and refuse to enter into the house of Rimmon? If so, would the prophet Elisa not have answered differently?

  47. on 29 Dec 2012 at 1:48 pmAnthony Buzzard

    Wolfgang

    The prophet was just exactly right!

    To have fussed over inclining the body to support his master would have been entirely unnecessary- a terrible pickiness!

    God was watching the heart, as He always does.

  48. on 29 Dec 2012 at 2:15 pmWolfgang

    Anthony,

    I too would say that the prophet’s words were assurance to Naaman that was no problem with him still going into the house of Rimmon with his master, even bowing there … for Naaman’s heart was in a different place.

    Why then do some folks insist in such type of pickiness … when the folks they want to criticize are not even involved in their heart in pagan ceremonies ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  49. on 29 Dec 2012 at 2:38 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Anthony Buzzard has given you an answer to your post.

    I see another additional scripture which deals with the subject of causing one to stumble.

    One must read Romans 14: 1-23 and then notice these few verses:

    Romans 14:
    13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

    14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

    15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

    19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

    Seems that when one insist on bringing strange contrary criticisms about what others are doing…they are called a crackpot.

    There is much error and here on KR debating about the trinity and Jesus being GOD are hot topics.

    Most people will say: “well, what difference does it make?”

    I think trying to stop a custom is less important than confronting a doctrine that is idolotry.

    🙂

  50. on 29 Dec 2012 at 2:58 pmXavier

    timothy

    I think trying to stop a custom is less important than confronting a doctrine that is idolotry.

    What about when the “custom” is inextricably linked with a false, idolatrous, doctrine?

    PS: Its amazing how many times Romans 14 is taken out of context. The whole point is about how the “weak” amongst us should be made “strong” and not remain in that state forever.

  51. on 30 Dec 2012 at 7:08 amJaco

    I don’t think 2 Ki. 5 is consequential at all. It is the exception proving the rule. Who on earth bases his concictions on exceptions? Except Wolfgang and Trinitarians?

  52. on 30 Dec 2012 at 7:47 amRay

    I find it intersting that the prophet who would not receive even so much as a bag of dirt, that he did not lay any burden upon Naaman concerning his conscience and the matter he made known in II Kings 5:18.

    One verse that comes to my mind is James 5:16.

    It seems to me that the grace of God which had not yet appeared unto men (as was later made known), was yet making something known to Israel by these things which were written.

  53. on 30 Dec 2012 at 9:03 amXavier

    Ray

    …the grace of God which had not yet appeared unto men…

    Grace was shown by YHWH in many times such as Sodom Gomorrah, King David, etc.

    This sort of statement perpetuates the believe that the God of the OT was somehow more vindictive and cruel than the “love” God of the NT.

    Its the same God! He does not change.

    Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the YHWH GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? Ezek 18.23

  54. on 30 Dec 2012 at 9:24 amWolfgang

    Jaco,

    It is the exception proving the rule.

    so God makes “exceptions” for some people do things that with most or all other people would “normally” be sinful behavior to be condemned?

    How could God make exceptions to His laws and principles of truth and yet be true and just?

  55. on 30 Dec 2012 at 9:33 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    What about when the “custom” is inextricably linked with a false, idolatrous, doctrine?

    who says that having some lights displayed and/or having some nice decorations with bows and bells and balls and/or exchanging gifts is “inextricably linked” with a false idolatrous doctrine? You say so … but does that make it to be linked in such way for someone else who confesses and testifies to using such outward matters for example solely for the purpose of “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom 12:18)?

    Its amazing how many times Romans 14 is taken out of context. The whole point is about how the “weak” amongst us should be made “strong” and not remain in that state forever.

    Indeed …. so then why are you the one who wants to turn someone back to “weak” by pickiness and causing them to doubt themselves on a matter on which they have “grown up” and are perhaps “stronger” than you are on the matter ?

  56. on 30 Dec 2012 at 10:26 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    who says that having some lights displayed and/or having some nice decorations with bows and bells and balls and/or exchanging gifts is “inextricably linked” with a false idolatrous doctrine?

    It has all to do with ‘Christ-mass’, not only a pagan-influenced “holiday” but as well as the celebration/observance of the Incarnation.

    A parallel I would make is those Christians who choose to observe/celebrate certain OT Torah laws like Sabbath/Passover etc., with the excuse that in their heart they are still honoring Jesus somehow.

    …why are you the one who wants to turn someone back to “weak” by pickiness and causing them to doubt themselves on a matter on which they have “grown up” and are perhaps “stronger” than you are on the matter ?

    I don’t think I am doing what you suggest.

  57. on 30 Dec 2012 at 1:09 pmJas

    Xavier
    I agree about christmas being a pagan celebration that came to us as a catholic tradition because attracting the masses was the fastest way for the universal church to come to power.Their reasoning was if there was only one creating force than the pagan’s god must also be God so adopting their celebrations of the rebirth of the sun god would prove very profitable because it didnt really require any conversion from one belief to the other.
    As far as your disregard for the Sabbath and Passover you fail to see that Jesus honored them.the apostles honored them and Paul was very strict in his observance. The early church was Sabbath keeping and the observance of passover was observed on nissan 14 by some(Lords day) ,nissan 15 by others or nissan 17 as the Sabbath(not sure which cause both where Sabbaths the year of Jesus’ death.
    Both the Sabbath and the Passover were given before the Mosaic covenant and both were honored by first century church

  58. on 30 Dec 2012 at 1:11 pmJaco

    so God makes “exceptions” for some people do things that with most or all other people would “normally” be sinful behavior to be condemned?

    Well, yes! Maybe you’re not comfortable with it, but it is so.

    If it were not for exceptions, King David would have been killed after his adultery/murder conspiracy. If it were not for exceptions, Manasseh would not have survived his brutal reign, but he did! Another exception of many is Solomon’s apostasy and survival and even Daniel serving in a non-theocratic monarchy. You seem to think that you have all the answers and that God by definition has no reason or motivation to grant exception for some greater good. He does! God is Sovereign and if his Wisdom justifies Him to make exceptions to a rule, then so be it. What is does NOT justify is your making an illegitimate rules and generalisations out of these exception as if God granted you the freedom to do so. You might want to add some reservation in your all-too-confident arguments you so happily advance.

  59. on 30 Dec 2012 at 1:41 pmJaco

    So, how could 2 Kings 5:18, 19 be understood?

    Some suggest that Naaman asked for pardon/forgiveness for worshipping in the temple of Rimmon in the past. This is possible, and for this he was forgiven.

    Another possibility is that the only place for this Syrian official to worship the true God in a temple would be the temple of Rimmon. If there were no temple in Syriah like the one in Jerusalem and the synagogue tradition had not been instituted, would the true God pardon Naaman for worshipping Him in the temple at home? Possibly. Apparently a non-practicing Naaman would have done less for the Name of Yahweh than it would for him to worship Yahweh in the temple of Rimmon.

  60. on 30 Dec 2012 at 2:44 pmWolfgang

    Jaco

    You seem to think that you have all the answers

    not quite … that seems to be what others think of me though, as you do here

    and that God by definition has no reason or motivation to grant exception for some greater good. He does! God is Sovereign and if his Wisdom justifies Him to make exceptions to a rule, then so be it.

    Yes, God is certainly Sovereign … and He is just and righteous, expressed also as “with God there is no respect of persons”. Also, I am not defining God … and thus have not said anything about what God “by definition” has reason or doesn’t have reason or motivation to do or not to do

  61. on 30 Dec 2012 at 3:32 pmXavier

    Jas

    Both the Sabbath and the Passover were given before the Mosaic covenant and both were honored by first century church

    So why weren’t these made the standard for ALL churches at the Jerusalem council of Acts 15?

  62. on 30 Dec 2012 at 3:42 pmXavier

    Jaco

    Naaman asked for pardon/forgiveness for worshipping in the temple of Rimmon in the past.

    According to the text isn’t Naaman asking to be forgiven for HELPING the Syrian king to the pagan temple so HE [the King] would worship and not Naaman? Otherwise, Naaman wouldn’t go to the temple at all would he?

    He makes this clear when he says, “your servant WILL NO MORE offer burnt offering nor offer sacrifices but to YHWH only” [v.17].

  63. on 30 Dec 2012 at 3:56 pmJas

    Xavier
    You like to put requirements on people even before they can come to God or even be called christians. Since the new converts were to hear Moses preached upon the Sabbath what purpose would it serve to give them meat when they were still needing milk. If the Sabbath was no longer a sign of the children of God the apostles would of changed their habit to another day insteading repeatedly waiting to the next Sabbath.As far as the Passover Paul himself felt the need to be in Jerusalem for it when possible but knew that Jesus set forth a way to celebrate it without the temple.

  64. on 30 Dec 2012 at 4:34 pmWolfgang

    Xavier,
    as for your idea about Naaman, why not just read what the text says ..?

    2Ki 5:18-19
    18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

    Does Naaman speak about just his master bowing in the house of Rimmon, or does he speak about himself bowing ?

  65. on 30 Dec 2012 at 4:50 pmXavier

    Jas

    You like to put requirements on people even before they can come to God or even be called christians.

    Fair enough, if this is being held back can you show us where are these instructions? i.e., Sabbath, passover, dietary laws, etc. I mean, you have to teach these things somewhere to new converts don’t you? It cannot be simply assumed, especially by Gentiles.

  66. on 30 Dec 2012 at 4:53 pmJas

    Perhaps you don’t realize it, but you may have in your possession a copy of someone else’s journal written some 2,000 years ago. The author sustained this journal project for many years in a book that spans some three decades. Later his work came to be known as the Acts of the Apostles, an official Church history included in the Bible.

    This particular book of journal entries begins shortly after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and ends with the apostle Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome. This biblical journal is called Acts because it is a record of the acts of the apostles as they carried out Jesus’ command to preach the gospel to all nations.

    The record-keeper was a physician named Luke who accompanied the apostle Paul on his journeys. Line by line, Luke compiled much of Acts while Paul was experiencing the triumphs and trials of preaching the gospel, the good news, of the Kingdom of God.

    Sprinkled throughout Luke’s journal are examples of Jewish and gentile Christians participating in a form of worship that many no longer associate with traditional Christianity. This often-overlooked Christian practice is called Sabbath -keeping. Keep in mind as we review Luke’s writing that he was a gentile (Colossians 4:10-11 [10] Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
    [11] And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

    See All…, 14), and Paul, though a Jew, was the apostle to the gentiles (Romans 11:13For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

    See All…).

    Ironically, many think that Paul’s writings reject Sabbath observance as a Christian practice. Did Paul uphold the Sabbath throughout the book of Acts but reject it in the books he wrote? Reading the epistles of Paul through the lens of the historical record of Acts can open new horizons of understanding. Let’s consider certain passages in Galatians, Romans and Colossians in the light of Luke’s perspective.

    Days, months, seasons and years
    Let’s begin our examination of this aspect of the history of the early Church in the book of Galatians, usually recognized as Paul’s first epistle. Here many people assume that Paul is chastising the Galatians for Sabbath-keeping: “… How is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years ” (Galatians 4:9-10 [9] But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
    [10] Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

    See All…, emphasis added throughout).

    But is Paul criticizing Sabbath observance here?

    Actually, Paul visited several cities within the region of Galatia (in what is today central Turkey) during his first journey. He wrote this epistle as a follow-up to that journey. Notice what Luke records in Acts 13 concerning this visit:

    •Paul participates in Sabbath services at the local synagogue (verse 14).
    •He notes the practice of reading the Scriptures “every Sabbath” (verse 27).
    •Many gentiles beg Paul to preach to them “the next Sabbath” (verse 42).
    •”On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God” from Paul and Barnabas (verse 44).
    If one assumes that Galatians 4:9-10 [9] But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
    [10] Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

    See All… condemns Sabbath-keeping, we must ask why Paul would respect Sabbath-keeping while visiting the Galatian churches, yet, after departing, write a letter reprimanding them for observing these same days? Was Paul hypocritical? Did he change his mind? Was he confused?

    The situation in Galatia
    A closer look at the context, especially the verses preceding Galatians 4:9-10 [9] But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
    [10] Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

    See All…, will show that Paul was not addressing Sabbath- keeping at all. Many members of these churches had previously been engaged in religions that involved the worship of many false gods. Paul reminded them, “… When you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods” (verse 8). They were instructed not to “turn again” to their idolatrous practices of the past (verse 9).

    Therefore, since Sabbath observance was not part of these idolatrous practices, Paul could not have been referring to Sabbath observance here. After all, one cannot turn again to that which he has never observed.

    Galatia was part of the Roman Empire, in which observances and practices honoring pagan gods were attached to virtually every day, season, month and year. For instance, the first day of the week was devoted to the sun god. The first month of the year was devoted to Janus, the god of beginnings, from which January is named.

    The spring season was devoted to the goddess Cybele and her male partner, Attis, in honor of whom a joyous spring resurrection festival was celebrated. The “days and seasons and months and years” pinpoint idolatrous practices the Galatians had observed when they “did not know God.” Paul is not criticizing them for Sabbath-keeping or observing biblical festivals.

    On the contrary, we learn from Acts 13 that the Sabbath was a powerful tool used by God to bring gentiles into the truth of the Bible. Verse 43 notes that Paul was followed by Jews and “God-fearing proselytes” (New American Standard Bible).

    These devout “God-fearers” were gentiles who had not fully converted to Judaism. Paul preached the gospel “among those Gentiles who, sabbath by sabbath , went out to the Jewish synagogue … They did not accept circumcision and the obligation to keep the whole Jewish law … Some of them kept the Sabbath as a day of rest and observed the Jewish food laws. They were known as ‘God-fearers’ “.(F.F. Bruce, The Spreading Flame , Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1953, pp. 93-94, emphasis added). Sabbath-keeping was common among the “God-fearers,” many of whom became the nucleus of the gentile churches.

    Can you create your own Sabbath?
    The book of Romans is often mentioned in discussing the role of the Sabbath in the early Church. Romans 14:5-6 [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.

    See All… states: “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it…”

    At first glance this passage appears to say that observing the Sabbath, or any day of the week, simply doesn’t matter.

    Most scholars agree that Paul wrote the book of Romans while visiting the Greek city of Corinth. Does Acts shed any light on Paul’s thinking while he was in Corinth?

    Luke’s journal shows us that Paul, while in Corinth, “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath , and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 18:1After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;

    See All…, 4). It is within the context of these actions that Paul wrote the book of Romans. As the book of Acts shows, regardless of what city Paul was in, Sabbath-keeping was his manner, habit or “custom” according to God’s commandments (Acts 17:2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

    See All…).

    The congregation in Rome included a mix of Jews and gentiles (Romans 1:14I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.

    See All…; 2:17). Romans 14 deals with food-related circumstances with which Christians were confronted. Personal eating and fasting practices that were not addressed in the Scriptures became a point of contention. For instance, Jews came from a religious background in which some chose to fast “twice a week” (Luke 18:12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

    See All…). Typically, one would not fast on the Sabbath because this was a weekly feast, not fast, day.

    Romans 14 also discusses vegetarianism (verses 2-3), which had no biblical connection with Sabbath observance. Verses 5 and 6 are variously interpreted as referring to fasting, as was the Jewish custom, or avoiding meats on some days, as was the custom of some from a gentile, Roman background.

    However, the Sabbath is not even mentioned in these verses, nor, for that matter, anywhere in this entire epistle. New Testament writers did not ambiguously cloak the Sabbath in phrases such as “one day.”

    Paul explains that the issue involved observing “the day” in relation to one’s eating habits (verse 6). Those who fasted or abstained from meats on particular days of the week gave thanks to God on those days, and those who ate every day of the week similarly thanked God for their daily bread. Romans 14:5-6 [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.

    See All… was not written to address Sabbath-keeping at all.

    ‘Therefore let us keep the feast’
    The book of Acts also discusses other aspects of Paul’s Sabbath-keeping behavior while visiting Ephesus, a gentile city in Asia Minor. He told the Ephesian church, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing” (Acts 18:21But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

    See All…).

    The Sabbath was a weekly feast, but God also commanded annual feasts-the “holy convocations” recorded in Leviticus 23 and mentioned throughout the Bible.

    The Ephesian church was so well acquainted with these annual Sabbaths (feasts, or festivals) that Paul didn’t even need to name which one he referred to. Though feast days were also kept outside of Jerusalem, Paul stated that he needed to keep this one in Jerusalem.

    Later, after returning to Ephesus, Paul wrote to the primarily gentile church at Corinth, telling the brethren there: “Therefore let us keep the feast …” (1 Corinthians 5:8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    See All…). His comments make it clear that he is referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, described in Leviticus 23:6-8 [6] And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
    [7] In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
    [8] But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

    See All…. As with the Galatians, the Corinthians had at one time been steeped in paganism (1 Corinthians 12:2Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

    See All…). Now God’s Sabbath, feasts and law were part of their new form of worship.

    Paul’s visit to Philippi, another gentile city, is recorded in Acts 20. Luke notes that Paul and his companions, including Luke, “sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread” (verse 6). If these feast days had not been observed outside of Jerusalem, there would have been no need to wait for the completion of this feast while in Philippi.

    After visiting several other cities over subsequent weeks, Paul “decided to sail past Ephesus … for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost” (verse 16). Because of frequent travel while visiting the congregations of Greece and Asia Minor, Paul, as we see in Acts, decides not whether but where to keep the feasts of God.

    Let no one judge you?
    Paul was under house arrest “in chains” in Rome after his third journey when he wrote to the Colossians (Colossians 4:3Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

    See All…). While sailing to Rome, he warned others on the boat against sailing this late in the year, since “the Fast was already over” (Acts 27:9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them,

    See All…). The “Fast” was a term for the Day of Atonement, another of the annual sabbaths appointed by God, which was observed by fasting, rest and worship (Leviticus 23:26-32 [26] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    [27] Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
    [28] And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
    [29] For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
    [30] And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
    [31] Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
    [32] It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

    See All…).

    Yet some conclude that, after this voyage, Paul rejected Sabbath and festival observances in his letter to the Colossians when he stated, “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come …” (Colossians 2:16-17 [16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
    [17] Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

    See All…).

    Is it Paul’s intention here to denigrate observing God’s festivals and sabbaths? Many think so while failing to recognize that, if this statement rejects the Sabbaths, then it also rejects eating and drinking, mentioned here in the same context.

    Understanding the historical background helps us grasp Paul’s intent. This book was written to the “saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse” (Colossians 1:2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    See All…) to combat heresy that was creeping into the church. Promoters of this heresy took an ascetic approach, criticizing and condemning anything pleasurable.

    Their extremism was reflected in their criticism of the Colossian members who enjoyed the Sabbaths and festivals in the festive, joyous spirit God intended (Deuteronomy 16:11And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.

    See All…, 14-15). Paul told the Colossians not to let others judge them in “food and drink” -literally “eating and drinking” on these days-which ran counter to the self-denial and asceticism advocated by these heretical teachers.

    Such practices, Paul said, were “according to the tradition of men … and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    See All…). The phrase “tradition of men” is used only in Colossians 2:8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    See All… and Mark 7:8For 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.

    See All…. Many years earlier Christ had told the Pharisees: “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men … All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:8-9 [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.

    See All…). Now it was Paul’s turn to confront those who imposed their man-made traditions as though they were “commandments of God.”

    The Colossian heresy also involved the “worship of angels” (Colossians 2:18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

    See All…) according to the “commandments and doctrines of men,” including “self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body” (verses 22-23). The New Testament History describes this group as an “angel-cult of nonconformist Jewish foundation and pagan superstructure” (F.F. Bruce, Doubleday-Galilee, New York, 1980, pp. 415-416).

    God forbids worship of angels or veneration of anything or anyone other than Him (Exodus 20:3-6 [3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    [4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    [5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
    [6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    See All…). Church doctrines are to be established by the commandments of God, not “the tradition of men.” The feast days are a shadow of wonderful things to come, not just earlier historical events, as some suppose.

    When we come to fully understand the meaning of these days, we recognize that they portray what God has done, is doing and ultimately will do for all mankind. We see, then, that Paul’s instruction in Colossians 2:16-17 [16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
    [17] Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

    See All… was that members of God’s Church should not allow others to judge them in these areas.

    The Sabbath was made for you
    Even the few completed pages of my journal contained details I had forgotten concerning what was going on in my mind and life at the time I penned those pages. Likewise, Luke’s journal contains many reminders of the actions of Christians during the first 30 years of the Church.

    God established His Church when He poured out His Spirit on Christ’s followers who were observing the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. Throughout the ensuing years of the Church as recorded in Luke’s journal, with its share of ups and downs, we see that one thing remained constant: observance of God’s weekly Sabbaths and annual festivals.

    God has graciously shared Luke’s journal with all who are willing to read it. This journal should never be forgotten, nor should the lessons it contains be disregarded. Acts confirms the words of Jesus Christ: “The Sabbath was made for man …” (Mark 2:27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

    See All…). It truly records the acts of the apostles-as they observed God’s Sabbaths and festivals.

  67. on 30 Dec 2012 at 5:01 pmXavier

    Wolfgang

    Does Naaman speak about just his master bowing in the house of Rimmon, or does he speak about himself bowing?

    Yes, he has to go to the temple to help his master.

    But I must cede that this is a good example if we’re talking about someone doing a similar JOB or familial requirement. i.e., you have an annual work Christmas dinner or family one that your invited/expected to attend.

    The point I am making about Christmas is different though since it involves your PERSONAL observance of such practices that we all agree are representative of pagan and erroneous doctrine.

  68. on 30 Dec 2012 at 10:15 pmRay

    Men have spoken of the grace of God which they had not yet seen, and this grace of God of which I speak is Christ, the reason for every season of God.

  69. on 30 Dec 2012 at 10:28 pmDoubting Thomas

    Amen Ray… 😉

  70. on 30 Dec 2012 at 10:54 pmXavier

    Ray

    Think your confusing the person of the Messiah which was unknown by OT people with the grace of God which has always been active. See 1Pe 1.10-11

  71. on 31 Dec 2012 at 2:01 amSheryl

    Now that Christmas is over for the year, I wonder after reading all this who will have second thoughts about how to celebrate next year? …if at all?

    I think the Naaman verse perfectly answers any doubts we might have. It exemplifies to me how God is more concerned with our motive and the place our heart is at. So if one believes that participating in Christmas activities is pagan worship, then I’m pretty sure God will greatly honor that attitude. On the other hand, if one decides to commemorate the birth of God’s only begotten human son with the highest and best celebration of the year, I believe God also honors the heart of that person.

    This year our house was cheerfully decorated to the hilt, the tree couldn’t hold another ornament. But that’s all they were…just decorations. We have pots of flowers in the spring, pumpkins in the fall. And only to bring a little cheer and maybe a smile to our visitors. We don’t worship these items at all…however we very much do worship the God who created them. And I think that’s what really matters.

  72. on 31 Dec 2012 at 3:11 amtimothy

    Amen Sheryl…:)

  73. on 31 Dec 2012 at 7:44 amXavier

    Sheryl

    We don’t worship these items at all…

    Your observing/celebrating something that is inherently pagan and represents everything we unitarians stand against. But you are right, like everything else, it is a matter of personal conscious.

    I do hope anyone else reading this might get their conscious stirred and analyze themselves against scripture. It took me years.

  74. on 31 Dec 2012 at 6:45 pmDoubting Thomas

    Well. I’d just like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I’m hoping I don’t get any flak from anybody claiming that celebrating the new year is pagan in origin… 😉

  75. on 31 Dec 2012 at 7:02 pmXavier

    DT

    Actually…

    😛

  76. on 01 Jan 2013 at 2:17 amJaco

    Hey, Xavier

    I’ve taken note of your comment re. Naaman and his master at the temple. Apparently supporting his master physically because of some handicap or official custom was part of his responsibility as commander. Naaman’s abandoning this would apparently have been more detrimental to what his miraculous recovery was meant to achieve. Could Naaman worship another God, other than Rimmon, in that temple? Apparently, yes. Apparently Naaman could worship Yahweh there. Right there, in Syria, this official could use his status and influence to inform people of the True God.

    Sheryl, I do not think any theological or biblical argument can be advanced to support Christmas celebrations. There could be more arguments made against them than for them. If someone decides to celebrate Christmas, I think, he/she does it on preferrential grounds alone. I won’t judge you for doing it, but I for one have zero appreciation for it. To others it’s special, but not to me.

    Jaco

  77. on 01 Jan 2013 at 5:20 amSheryl

    Jaco, I respect and admire your strong convictions. I agree there are no biblical or theological reasons to celebrate Christmas…or really any holiday at all. It definitely is a personal preference for myself.

    This conversation has served me well….God willing if we see another Christmas season I think I will approach it much differently. I will be much more adamant in promoting biblical truths. I hope to spur some discussions in my home that mirror what we’ve talked about here. I won’t convince anyone, I’m sure, but I will give God the opportunity to open some minds and hearts. In fact, I’m not going to wait for Christmas. I think I’ll start tomorrow.

    Happy New Year promoting God’s Kingdom everyone.

  78. on 01 Jan 2013 at 5:39 amMike Gantt

    “Sheryl, I do not think any theological or biblical argument can be advanced to support Christmas celebrations. There could be more arguments made against them than for them. If someone decides to celebrate Christmas, I think, he/she does it on preferrential grounds alone. I won’t judge you for doing it, but I for one have zero appreciation for it. To others it’s special, but not to me.”

    Jaco has it right.

  79. on 01 Jan 2013 at 8:04 amWolfgang

    Jaco

    Sheryl, I do not think any theological or biblical argument can be advanced to support Christmas celebrations.

    are there any biblical arguments for celebrating one’s own birthday ? if not, why do some Christians, who are very eager to do everything “biblically”, still celebrate their birthdays?

    Could Naaman worship another God, other than Rimmon, in that temple? Apparently, yes. Apparently Naaman could worship Yahweh there.

    from where in the text does such an idea of Naaman worshiping YHWH in a pagan temple come? the text in 2Ki 5 certainly has no such indications …

    Now then, IF such were the case, then there should not be any question about a Christian’s celebrating Christmas … IF Naaman could worship the true God in a pagan temple, why can’t someone remind themselves and celebrate the coming of the true Messiah during a time when pagans celebrate the birth of a false god ?

  80. on 01 Jan 2013 at 8:55 amXavier

    Jaco

    Could Naaman worship another God, other than Rimmon, in that temple? Apparently, yes.

    I don’t think so bro. Would it be feasible for you to celebrate another holiday at your Christmas-work party? It would be highly disrespectful wouldn’t it?

    As to evangelizing outside of the pagan temple or your work-party, perhaps. But again you have to be as wily as a snake don’t you? Or else you might just get fired.

  81. on 01 Jan 2013 at 9:05 amXavier

    Sheryl

    …or really any holiday at all.

    Just to be clear, my personal objection to Christ-mass is the way it has wrapped itself in my faith & claims to be representative of it. Same with Easter or even Halloween which many churches [here in the south anyway] have intergretated as a Church service.

    Its not that I have a problem with “any holiday” as such.

    I won’t convince anyone, I’m sure, but I will give God the opportunity to open some minds and hearts.

    I don’t think there is any need to be so negative. If this is the case let us stop preaching the sound doctrine in general. :/

    I am privy of many conversion cases. Especially when it comes to the other sticky subject of non-violence so never give up and let’s continue to pray for each other.

  82. on 01 Jan 2013 at 9:07 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    IF Naaman could worship the true God in a pagan temple, why can’t someone remind themselves and celebrate the coming of the true Messiah during a time when pagans celebrate the birth of a false god ?

    You’re right. Hence my refutation of the scenario being presented here.

  83. on 01 Jan 2013 at 9:32 amtimothy

    To the Roaring Lions,

    Here is a KJV & NASB check list for your “renewed mind”/repentance examination.

    KJV
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    8 Charity never faileth

    NASB
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

    23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

    24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

    5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

    6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

    7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8 Love never fails

    Contrary to agape love:

    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    “This raises some interesting questions about the place of judgment in our culture—and in the Christian life. As a Christian, do you judge people? If so, is your judgment different than the hate and vitriol that our culture heaps on its objects of scorn?

    Here are a few specific questions to ponder:

    1. How do you understand the Biblical command to not judge others? Is it possible or appropriate to judge a person or action, or does our own sin render us unworthy to judge?

    2. What, if anything, is different about Biblical judgment compared to societal judgment? Is there a difference in motive or desired outcome?

    3. In the case of Biblical judgment, who is the judgment for? When you judge somebody, are you calling them to repentance? Warning other Christians (or yourself) to steer clear? Both?

    4. What, if anything, would you say to Sheryl if you had the chance to address her in person?

    “, but concerning judgement I think we should remember what the Bible says: God Himself is judge. And, do not judge, and you never might be judged. Do not condemn, and you never might be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. But I would say, we all have to judge one thing, that if One died for all, then all died, and He died for all so that the ones who live may no longer live to themselves but to the One who died for them and who was raised. For the love of Christ constrains us, so that we may hold to the truth in love, having been laid hold of by Him. Just as God will judge each one with a righteous judgement, so we should judge according to His standard, but not out of strife or jealousy but out of love towards repentance. Prove all things; hold fast the good things. We cannot compromise with evil or sin, but have compassion on all, for our Father is kind to the unthankful and evil. The Lord’s mercy be upon us all.

    My Chief Pastor for LHIM ministry teaching on Judging others:

    http://lhim.org/sunday/teaching_notes.php?id=349&mode=audio&page=2&find_me=

    If you truely are here to learn how to be Kingdom Ready…..then this is a small investment of your time.

    Timothy

  84. on 01 Jan 2013 at 4:07 pmSheryl

    Hey guys, If I’m understanding the Naaman verse (and perhaps I’m wrong) I thought Naaman was asking for God to forgive him for going through the motions of “pagan” worship, but in his heart he was truly worshiping the one true God. And that is how I celebrate Christmas (and Easter, for that matter.) I “go through the motions” but I make a point of decorating a tree, but praying fervently to God our Father, and giving him all the honor and glory.

    And what I meant about me not being able to convince anyone … I was just picturing myself telling my family that I have decided to refrain from any Christmas activities because I don’t want to engage in pagan rituals. I know my family well…they would see me as being judgmental and overly pious. That’s my family…not my own views of someone who abstains. So while I could and will voice my concerns out loud, I know that my own words or actions would not have the effect that God, through me, would have. So I anticipate giving God all the glory for any potential changes of heart regarding the pagan-ness of Christmas among my family members.

    I just can’t see the God I am learning to know frowning or disapproving of his children who are taking the most festive time of year to give him glory and remember the most precious perfect gift of all. So, my prayer is for God to forgive me for participating in pagan activities, but to know my heart….that my love and adoration goes to the one true God. And to allow me to be an instrument of his love to the people around me who might have forgotten the reason for the season. 😉

  85. on 01 Jan 2013 at 4:30 pmXavier

    Sheryl

    I know my family well…they would see me as being judgmental and overly pious.

    May I suggest to be loving and take your time? I would even go as far as not saying anything at all FOR NOW if you’re expecting such a harsh reaction. Remember we have been called to peace with ALL peoples.

    So, my prayer is for God to forgive me for participating in pagan activities, but to know my heart…

    Naama’s situation was partly a result of his function/job. I don’t think he would have been doing anything pagan in his own household.

  86. on 01 Jan 2013 at 5:02 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi Sheryl,
    You said, “I just can’t see the God I am learning to know frowning or disapproving of his children who are taking the most festive time of year to give him glory and remember the most precious perfect gift of all.”

    I agree 100%. It doesn’t really matter why the date of Dec 25th. was originally chosen by the early church. What matters is how and why we (each of us) celebrate it today. It is also a great time to spread the good news of the bible. People (even atheists) are thinking more about Y’shua and his birth then at any other time of the year… 🙂

  87. on 01 Jan 2013 at 6:19 pmSheryl

    Hi DT…. thank you! I think you said in one paragraph what I’ve been trying to say in a bunch of posts!

    And Xavier, just so you know….I’m not in my “own” household. I’m renting a room from my sister, her husband and their daughter. They are typical evangelical Trinitarians. We all live in mutual love and respect even though they are as firm in their Trinitarian as I am in my monotheistic beliefs. I don’t go so far as attending their church, but I’ve been gently witnessing and not wavering in what I hold as biblical truth. I see God working in their lives, but it’s a patience-building process, let me tell you. So I don’t want to do anything to alienate myself even further from them. I feel greatly honored that God has placed me here to be his witness. 🙂

    By the way, I have communicated to their pastor about what I believe is anti-Trinitarian biblical truth and after several months am still waiting to hear back. About the only feedback I’ve received is my sister telling me that she has to “protect her mind” from me.

  88. on 01 Jan 2013 at 7:35 pmSarah

    DT,

    I agree 100%. It doesn’t really matter why the date of Dec 25th. was originally chosen by the early church. What matters is how and why we (each of us) celebrate it today. It is also a great time to spread the good news of the bible. People (even atheists) are thinking more about Y’shua and his birth then at any other time of the year…

    My thoughts also. I respect the conviction of those who do not celebrate, but after a lot of reflection and investigation, I agree with you (and several others on this thread) that we have freedom in Christ on this issue.

    Sheryl,

    So you spoke to a pastor about the problems with Trinitarianism? May the Lord bless you for your courage. I’d be very interested in hearing details. Did you sit down and talk briefly? Present a paper? Or something else?

  89. on 01 Jan 2013 at 7:52 pmRay

    The grace of God unto men which has always been, is both Jesus and because of him. This mystery was hid in God.

  90. on 01 Jan 2013 at 7:58 pmXavier

    Sarah

    after a lot of reflection and investigation, I agree with you (and several others on this thread) that we have freedom in Christ on this issue.

    1 Cor 8.9; Gal 5.1

  91. on 01 Jan 2013 at 9:06 pmSarah

    Xavier,

    Yes, I’ve very familiar with the opposing argument. And I do respect your conviction.

  92. on 01 Jan 2013 at 9:08 pmSarah

    Oops… I’ve = I’m

  93. on 01 Jan 2013 at 9:13 pmXavier

    Sarah

    Likewise.

  94. on 01 Jan 2013 at 10:00 pmSheryl

    Sarah, My sister was alarmed at my unorthodox thinking and talked to her pastor about me. He wanted to meet with me, but for one reason or another we couldn’t find a mutual time to get together, so i wrote a lengthy email describing why I don’t believe in the trinity. A few weeks after receiving the email, my sister called him from home on an unrelated matter and he and I spoke, just long enough for him to confirm that he got my email and was preparing a response. That was the last I heard, and that was back last summer.

    I also have an aunt who was an ordained minister, and another aunt who is a devout Catholic…both of which I consider myself very close with. I sent both of them (at their request if I remember right) letters detailing my beliefs with plenty of scripture to back me up…and no response from either of them. I believe they are praying for me to “see the light” … but that’s just what I think since they haven’t really replied. We still have loving close relationships….they just consider me the family heretic I think. 😉

    All the silence on the matter is to me a thunderous proclamation.

  95. on 02 Jan 2013 at 8:15 amXavier

    Sheryl/Sarah

    Luke 12.51-53

  96. on 02 Jan 2013 at 10:36 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Sheryl,

    I’ve experienced similar with my pastor/elders. I spent two years researching verses, listening to and reading through debates and summarized what I found in a paper and sent it to several of the elders. I never heard anything back but some encouragement to keep reading. So too with my wife – I know she is praying for me to see the light because she ‘knows’ that Jesus is God. She does admit the trinity is a clumsy attempt to explain God’s nature.

    I’ve also met with two other older men from the church who, to their credit, did some serious investigation. One ended up dismissing me as ‘not interested in the truth’ and the other has been very intrigued but I think still has such inertia with the trinity that it will take some time for him to truly process the unitarian perspective.

    For me, I’ve seen a slow but steady confidence in my ‘unitarian’ beliefs. The more I read, the more clear it is to me. But, I imagine it is so hard for those who have been initially schooled to read the bible through trinitarian goggles. They have gotten so adept at translating clear verses into trini-speak, I think they don’t even realize that they are doing it anymore.

    Xavier – I always thought those verses applied between believers and unbelievers and not between believers as well. (Sigh)

  97. on 02 Jan 2013 at 10:50 amXavier

    Tim

    I always thought those verses applied between believers and unbelievers and not between believers as well.

    Of course they do. They’re very pertinent to our present struggles with our family/friends who are not likeminded.

  98. on 02 Jan 2013 at 11:25 amSheryl

    Xavier, I think on those verses often. It’s very interesting that the only one in my family (one of my daughters) who will even consider that Jesus is not God is ignorant of church dogma and recently wanted to start reading the bible so they can take their young son to church. She is my other half in the “two against three” and I pray that she will be able to hold that belief as she becomes more involved in church. ….I don’t know where her little mind was at while she was growing up in the traditional church we attended or the (erroneous) education I provided. I guess I’m glad her mind was wandering and didn’t get covered with sticky traditional doctrines like the rest of the family. 🙂

  99. on 02 Jan 2013 at 12:25 pmSarah

    Sheryl,

    A few weeks after receiving the email, my sister called him from home on an unrelated matter and he and I spoke, just long enough for him to confirm that he got my email and was preparing a response. That was the last I heard, and that was back last summer.

    Very interesting. Silence seems to be one of two common responses when the unitarian case is presented to entrenched trinitarians (especially those in leadership). The other is a fear-based anger. I suspect personality type has a lot to do with the type of response.

    I can see that half the battle is going to be convincing someone that it is not sinful to objectively evaluate an alternative view. One of the most effective ways I can think of to do that is to focus on accurate church history, since it’s the “smoking gun” that exposes how paganism shaped the doctrine. I’ve got a paper in the works, and dedicated a huge chunk of it to church history for that very reason.

  100. on 02 Jan 2013 at 12:40 pmXavier

    Sheryl

    It’s very interesting that the only one in my family (one of my daughters) who will even consider that Jesus is not God is ignorant of church dogma…

    I know what that’s life, having come from agnostism and a family that was mostly secular or took their faith ‘not-so-serious’. That’s why growing up things like Christ-mass & Easter were not really ‘Christ-centered’ events.

    So its best to come to the faith and the scriptures with a clean slate, as it were. In my case I quickly saw the one God and His human Son.

  101. on 02 Jan 2013 at 12:41 pmXavier

    CORRECTION: “I know what that’s LIKE…”

  102. on 02 Jan 2013 at 1:41 pmJaco

    Hi there, Wolfgang

    are there any biblical arguments for celebrating one’s own birthday ? if not, why do some Christians, who are very eager to do everything “biblically”, still celebrate their birthdays?

    There is none. Many celebrate there birthdays and include well wishes/blessings from God just as a part of life and acknowledging God in life. Others celebrate birthdays to celebrate life. I don’t find a place in the Bible where I’m told to magnify God whenever I see a flowering Arum lily. That does not prevent me from doing it, though.

    from where in the text does such an idea of Naaman worshiping YHWH in a pagan temple come? the text in 2Ki 5 certainly has no such indications …

    Nowhere. I give an explanation to the text by harmonising the surrounding texts and ANE culture. The texts certainly allow for such an interpretation.

    Now then, IF such were the case, then there should not be any question about a Christian’s celebrating Christmas … IF Naaman could worship the true God in a pagan temple, why can’t someone remind themselves and celebrate the coming of the true Messiah during a time when pagans celebrate the birth of a false god ?

    They can certainly celebrate it any time they want. Would a Christian be entertained by pagan celebrations and to join in the fun drag along Christ? I wouldn’t. But if I were living in India and people were enjoing Divhali, would I make a fuss? No. It’s part of their celebrations, and I would use the opportunity to witness to neighbors (cp. Acts 17). As I said, there’s no Scriptural mandate to celebrate Christmas. There would be more arguments against it than in favor of it…

    Hi Xavier,

    I don’t think so bro. Would it be feasible for you to celebrate another holiday at your Christmas-work party? It would be highly disrespectful wouldn’t it?

    As to evangelizing outside of the pagan temple or your work-party, perhaps. But again you have to be as wily as a snake don’t you? Or else you might just get fired.

    Worshipping another God in a thoroughly monolatrous/polytheistic culture is very different from something as season-bound and specific as a holiday celebration in a modern, peculiarly monotheistic context. The contexts are vastly different, hence hardly any application to the Christmas celebrations in our time.

    Jaco

  103. on 02 Jan 2013 at 2:18 pmXavier

    Jaco

    Worshipping another God in a thoroughly monolatrous/polytheistic culture is very different…

    So you believe paganism/polytheism allowed for the worship of YHWH without repercussions? If so, why were the Hebrews persecuted for their monotheism?

  104. on 02 Jan 2013 at 2:33 pmJaco

    Xavier,

    So you believe paganism/polytheism allowed for the worship of YHWH without repercussions? If so, why were the Hebrews persecuted for their monotheism?

    Yes, ANE paganism of several nations allowed for the expansion of the pantheon to include other gods. The hatred toward the Jews were for several reasons: the Jews were seen as invading; they had riches in Jerusalem and Samaria other nations coveted; they were one among many nations hostile neighbors wanted to conquer; the Jews detested the deities other nations worshipped; the Jews had a reputation of conquering invading marauders much more numerous than themselves, etc. Surrounding nations were not hostile to monotheism/monolatry by default. Cyrus and Darius are but two examples of Kings who show that clearly. The queen of Sheba, Alexander the Great, Zenobia of Palmyra and others were also monotheism/monolatry friendly.

  105. on 02 Jan 2013 at 4:52 pmXavier

    Jaco

    the Jews detested the deities other nations worshipped

    So this wouldn’t have caused a problem if they went and worshiped there?

    Can you provide some scriptural examples of what your saying here?

  106. on 02 Jan 2013 at 5:01 pmJaco

    Xavier,

    So this wouldn’t have caused a problem if they went and worshiped there?

    Apparently not to Naaman, no. Between visiting a temple to worship Yahweh there, along with his master as part of his duties on the one hand and becoming irreligious (in the cultural sense), the former was the latter of two evils and had the prophet’s sanction. Unique and exceptional? Yes, but the wisdom behind it all can be discerned.

    Can you provide some scriptural examples of what your saying here?

    I have provided some examples of where exceptions were made, undoubtedly within the context they occurred. And as with these examples, we can trust that God a good reason for granting these exceptions. Should these exceptions be used to create a rule, such as to permit religious hybridization and celebration of festivals today? Hardly!

  107. on 02 Jan 2013 at 5:22 pmXavier

    Jaco

    Apparently not to Naaman, no.

    I guess you’re assuming that he was publicly worshipping YHWH in 2K 5?

    I have provided some examples of where exceptions were made, undoubtedly within the context they occurred.

    Just because those particular kings showed some tolerance toward Judaism doesn’t mean Jews went and worshiped in pagan places.

  108. on 02 Jan 2013 at 6:52 pmSarah

    Xavier,

    I know what that’s life, having come from agnostism and a family that was mostly secular or took their faith ‘not-so-serious’.

    Isn’t it ironic that people with a background like yours have the advantage over those raised in religious Christian homes. Far less indoctrination to unlearn. I like how Anthony puts it, that those of us raised in “the system” require radical spiritual surgery. The last few years have basically felt like one long surgical procdure, but thank heaven I’m in the post-op room now (at least on the topic of the Trinity).

  109. on 02 Jan 2013 at 7:28 pmXavier

    Sarah

    Yes we also say that religion done badly is worse than atheism. In other words, don’t give us a ‘Bible-clutching-Christian’. 😛

  110. on 02 Jan 2013 at 9:07 pmSheryl

    When I read “Bible-clutching Christian” it reminded me of a Christian I once knew… his entire life was all about God. But I was alarmed one day when he told me in all sincerity he wished he could take his bible (the BIG one) and beat unbelievers over the head with it. It’s a reminder to us that not only is our faith important to our own selves, but it’s vitally important how we present God and Jesus to others.

  111. on 02 Jan 2013 at 9:50 pmJas

    If your purpose is to convert to you way of thinking then the more ignorant the better but if you purpose is to try your way of thinking then please give me the biggest bible-clutching christian on earth to test me everyway possible

  112. on 03 Jan 2013 at 4:03 amJaco

    Xavier,

    I guess you’re assuming that he was publicly worshipping YHWH in 2K 5

    I’m keeping that open as a possibility.

    Just because those particular kings showed some tolerance toward Judaism doesn’t mean Jews went and worshiped in pagan places.

    No, you’re right. That was most certainly not the norm.

  113. on 19 Feb 2013 at 11:14 amXavier

    “The First Amendment categorically states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Clearly, designating the date upon which Christians observe the birth of their messiah as a federal holiday is making a law respecting an establishment of religion, and placing governmental weight behind Christianity.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/02/17/which-holidays-should-government-recognize/lets-observe-dec-25-but-not-as-christmas

  114. on 19 Feb 2013 at 11:38 amJas

    Xavier
    Congress can make any law as long as we let them. They even have the right to declare a paid day off for christmas but they can not mandate the observance of it for religious reasons. Those who do not believe it should not be a paid day off can refuse to take it off or refuse pay for. I realize it offends you but it is just a tradition just like New Year ,Thanksgiving ,etc.
    Btw I do not honor christmas as christian either.

  115. on 19 Feb 2013 at 3:11 pmXavier

    Jas

    Yes, the US Congress is not SUPPOSED to “mandate the observance of” ANY religious holy day. Which is exactly what they did back in 1870 thus, breaking with their own legal code.

    Article deals with a purely legal/secular POV and not ideological/religious one.

  116. on 19 Feb 2013 at 3:36 pmJas

    The first five congressionally designated federal holidays were New Year’s
    Day, George Washington’s Birthday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and
    Christmas Day. Approved in the 1870s, they were applicable only to federal
    employees in the District of Columbia. In 1885, Congress began to extend holiday
    coverage to federal employees outside Washington.

    Xavier
    Unless you claim New Year’s
    Day, George Washington’s Birthday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day were declared mandated on religious purposes then you are wrong.
    They were designated from tradition and the right of federal employee to take part in their family traditions.
    There was never a mandate to the citizens of the USA to observe traditionally or religiously .

  117. on 19 Feb 2013 at 4:01 pmXavier

    Jas

    CHRISTmas is a RELIGIOUS tradition. I guess you would disagree. :/

  118. on 19 Feb 2013 at 4:05 pmJas

    Make no difference .
    It was not designated as one by Congress

  119. on 19 Feb 2013 at 4:43 pmXavier

    Jas

    So Christmas has NO religious connotations whatsoever?

  120. on 19 Feb 2013 at 5:10 pmJas

    Xavier
    Your claim was Congress designated it as a religious observance.
    It doesnt effect me if people hold it as a religious tradition as long as no one tries to force it upon me or condemn me for my right to observe it.
    I think your time would be better served making sure your beliefs are 100% correct before you make demands for others to conform to what you believe.
    There is nothing wrong stating what you believe as long as you are seeking the best understanding of it you can have.

  121. on 19 Feb 2013 at 8:52 pmXavier

    Jas

    Did you even read my initial post? I was making no claims and simply sharing a link. Perhaps go back to post #113 in case you missed the whole point.

  122. on 19 Feb 2013 at 9:07 pmJas

    Xavier
    It seems this subject has been discussed in many threads I have read so far. Your comments in all those were condemning to those that have the right to believe what they believe. You have even claimed they couldnt be unitarian or even real christians for celebrating christmas.
    So if you feel I read something into your initial post , know that you gave me the material to do so yourself.

  123. on 19 Feb 2013 at 11:08 pmXavier

    Jas

    Could you please quote me the part where I am condemning people and saying their not unitarians?

  124. on 19 Feb 2013 at 11:37 pmJas

    Xavier
    Are you denying saying that celebrating christmas is not sound doctrine and without 100% sound doctrine you are not a christian.
    or saying if you celebrate christmas you are celebrating God the Son and are against everything biblical unitarianism is about
    I have read probably the equivalent of 10 novels here the last 4 or so months and have very good memory. But if you need to have your memory refreshed then when I get the time I see if I can provide quotes similar to how i remember .

  125. on 20 Feb 2013 at 7:48 amXavier

    Jas

    10 novels? 😛

    Again, the article I cited has to do with the constitutionality of this US Federal holiday.

    Maybe someone else would actually like to comment or refute what the article actually says as opposed to just attacking me.

  126. on 20 Feb 2013 at 10:31 amJas

    “Again, the article I cited has to do with the constitutionality of this US Federal holiday. ”

    Xavier
    It has the same constitutionality and purpose the designation of new year,thanksgiving ,4th of July and so one. It is not mandated as a religious observance ,just a day off.
    I provided you proof when I showed you the other days that we made federal days off in 1870. There is no law that states you must not work on christmas or must observe it.

  127. on 20 Feb 2013 at 10:47 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    do you regard the US legal recognition of Thanksgiving Day to also be a violation of the US constitution as you do with Christmas?
    Thanksgiving Day is linked very deeply with a Christian holiday tradition celebrating harvest and giving thanks to God for providing.

  128. on 20 Feb 2013 at 10:49 amWolfgang

    Jas,

    regarding the matter about legal holiday at Christmas time and US constitution etc. about which Xavier has been writing, I agree with your observation and thoughts about the recognition of that day as a legal holiday.

  129. on 20 Feb 2013 at 10:51 amJas

    Xavier
    Now if you wanted to make a case on constitutionality of the State mandating a day look into the blue laws that only allowed certain types of businesses to open on SUNday.Would you be against the blue laws?

  130. on 20 Feb 2013 at 4:33 pmXavier

    Christmas is a religious holiday and this is why it was made a Federal holiday. Everybody knows this. I really don’t know what you guys are arguing against here.

  131. on 20 Feb 2013 at 4:49 pmJas

    Xavier
    Hey I dont even celebrate christmas or hold any religious value to it.But also see no harm in the love that is a part of it.
    Even I can see it was just designated for a federal employee to enjoy in family traditions .
    Did i read somewhere you are a NZ citizen .

  132. on 20 Feb 2013 at 5:54 pmXavier

    Jas

    Did i read somewhere you are a NZ citizen .

    No, why?

  133. on 20 Feb 2013 at 6:08 pmJas

    Xavier
    Must have been someone else here.
    No real reason other than you dont seem familiar with the concept of liberty.You seem to think the observance of christmas was caused by a few federal employees having a day off. That must be where thanksgiving started too.
    You have the right to choose to honor or not any traditions no matter what religion they might be associated with and so do others.

  134. on 20 Feb 2013 at 7:33 pmXavier

    Jas

    The writers of the US Constitution were all about liberty: freedom of speech, media, etc.

    What President Grant and the 1870 US Congress enacted as law was antithetical to their own Constitution.

    Again, I direct you to my initial post and the quote/link I cited as strong evidence for this.

  135. on 20 Feb 2013 at 7:46 pmJas

    Xavier
    I also gave you facts that other days were designated in the same act and only effected federal employees in DC. The fact that SUNday was forced to be observed was unconstitutional but that doesnt seem to bother you.

  136. on 21 Feb 2013 at 8:30 amXavier

    Jas

    Yes, we know other days were made holidays but that is not the point of the article.

    Also, no one is “forced” to rest on SUNday, you can still work if you want to and many businesses do. But again, this has nothing to do with the article at hand.

    It seems to me you and others on here are more invested on attacking and belittling those you disagree with than dealing with the contents of the posts.

  137. on 21 Feb 2013 at 9:27 amJas

    Xavier
    No the article point was deceive you into thinking Congress passed a law making christmas a national holiday which is a lie.
    Yes the blue restricted certain types of works on SUNday and was punishable.

    “It seems to me you and others on here are more invested on attacking and belittling those you disagree with than dealing with the contents of the posts”

    “115 Xavier
    Jas

    Yes, the US Congress is not SUPPOSED to “mandate the observance of” ANY religious holy day. Which is exactly what they did back in 1870 thus, breaking with their own legal code.

    Article deals with a purely legal/secular POV and not ideological/religious one.”

    No we are trying to show you that you were deceived into thinking that in 1870 Congress declared christmas a national holiday .

  138. on 21 Feb 2013 at 9:49 amXavier

    Jas

    So Congress did not declare Christmas a federal holiday. Fine. Let others reading this see who is “deceived”. :/

  139. on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:23 amJas

    Xavier
    Thats right. Congress as the legislative body over DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA gave 4 days off in 1870 to Only federal employees in DC . Only States and their legislative body can decide but is subject to the Constitution of the UNITED States which States agreed to follow when they joined the UNION. The is why most of the Blue Laws were repealed by the States.To present Congress has never mandated a National holiday on the citizens of the USA but can decide work schedules of federal Employees just as any employer can.
    Just because someone wrote an article doesnt make it true.

  140. on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:30 amXavier

    Jas

    States and private employers are free to adopt their own holidays and they went on to adopt Christmas.

  141. on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:40 amJas

    Xavier
    From what I see this article was just meant to mislead which was very effective causing you to make this statement.

    “Yes, the US Congress is not SUPPOSED to “mandate the observance of” ANY religious holy day. Which is exactly what they did back in 1870 thus, breaking with their own legal code.”

    which is completely false.

  142. on 21 Feb 2013 at 12:39 pmXavier

    Jas

    Fine. Agree to disagree.

  143. on 21 Feb 2013 at 1:21 pmtimothy

    Jas,

    I agree:

    “Just because someone wrote an article doesn’t make it true.”

    I say:

    “sincerity is no guarantee of the truth”

    I vaguely remember that the District of Columbia had special laws.

    I live in Florida where the blue laws about sales of booze on Sunday seem to still be in effect.

    Was stationed in Texas while in the US Army and can remember we were in a “dry county”, could bring our own booze to club and buy set ups. But had to drive to another county to a liquor store to by booze. We, of course, had a PX package store at the EM/NCO club on post.

    Well, I have since given up drinking and celebrating December 25 as Xmass too.

    Certainly, being drunk will interfere with being Kingdom Ready. But, celebrating Xmass is not. Jesus Christ birthday is given In:

    Revelations 12: (kjv)
    1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

    2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

    Jas ans Xavier ….IMHO…..the are more urgent mandates of congress confronting us than a legal holiday.

    I think, debating over a subject, that we(Jas and Timothy) already seem to be in agreement with, would be more profitable to Xavier considering his current doctrine.

    Timothy

  144. on 21 Feb 2013 at 1:30 pmJas

    Timothy
    Yes there are way more like NDAA and gun control legislation . We are not living in the vision of what the government was established for.

  145. on 21 Feb 2013 at 1:59 pmXavier

    Jas & Tim

    If this is of no interest to you why are you commenting on a thread about Christmas?

  146. on 21 Feb 2013 at 2:06 pmJas

    Xavier
    Because my Father,Mother,brothers,sisters and friends all celebrate it and standing by while someone make them less of a christian or citizen makes it my business.

  147. on 21 Feb 2013 at 2:18 pmtimothy

    Xavier,

    I was looking for Jas, and this is where I found him.

  148. on 21 Feb 2013 at 3:59 pmXavier

    Well you found each other.

    Have fun. 😛

  149. on 16 Jul 2013 at 4:43 pmBill

    First I wanna say that i’m a french Canadian and my english is way to be perfect, so that being said if you don’t understant what I say don’t be shy to ask explaination.

    Sheryl you said before: “So how can a bad tree bear good fruit? Are we all wrong, or are we all right? Or does doing the best we can with what we have, ie following biblical principles as best we know how…does this count?

    The good three is the organisation that in groupe make everything they can to fellow what Jésus command to his disciple in Math 16:24:”Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow me.” That mean that if you want to fellow him you have to put aside what you want to do and want you want to believe to be good and thrust him completely to guide you because him and his father know far better than us what is good or bad.

    So if you want to fellow him you need to know who is his terrestrial organisation, but how?? Who fellow him? There is a few thing that Jesus said that can help you to know.

    1-John 12:28: “Father, glorify your name.” Therefore a voice came out of heaven: “I both glorified [it] and will glorify [it] again.” But what his Name,who utilize his’ who call his name?? Ps 83:18 in King James!! There is a thing between know that God is one and call his name!!

    2-Jesus sais in John 17:14:”I have given your word to them, but the world has hated them, because they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” Who really doesn’t take part in war, politic, manifestation, revolution,terrorisme….?

    3-Jesus said in Math24:14: “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” Who preach the good news?? Who are organized to do that?? Who are know to preach and are hated for this?? I think it is really simple!!

    4-Jesus said in John 13:34-35:”I am giving ​YOU​ a new commandment, that ​YOU​ love one another; just as I have loved ​YOU, that ​YOU​ also love one another.35By this all will know that ​YOU​ are my disciples, if ​YOU​ have love among yourselves.” What organisation do love each other whatever the race, the contries, social classes, sex?? That they preferd to die to kill any one. They give there live to protect there brother and sister??

    5-The apostole Paul said in 1Corintians 1:10:”Now I exhort ​YOU, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that ​YOU​ should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among ​YOU, but that ​YOU​ may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought”. There is an organisation like that on earth? Yes only one!!

    6-What organisation promote and practice moral purity and said that God hate moral impurity 1Cor 6:9-10:”What! Do ​YOU​ not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom.” Only one!

    And about Christmas there is nothing about Christ in there only lies and impurity!! Even if you say do that for good reasons it stay that the spirit behind that is bad or mad because Satan want every body to sin even if they don’t know or think they do good! In the hebrew scripture Jehovah teach us that He IS exclusive and we need to stay pure from this mad world, Jesus, our model, didn’t ever celebrate is birth, he always glorify his Father, he ask us to REMEMBER his death not his birth.

    The celebration of the birth goes at the opposite of the bible that it said in Ecclesiaste 7:1-2:” A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born.Better is it to go to the house of mourning than to go to the banquet house, because that is the end of all mankind; and the one alive should take [it] to his heart”

    The REEL first Christian didn’t celebrate there birth and Christmas and there is one organisation now that every member respect that principe!!

    So that being said I think we haves personnal question to ask to ourself!!

  150. on 17 Jul 2013 at 9:00 amPat

    There are some drastic assumptions being made by you bill. You are taking the context of scripture and adding to it. Even the verses you quote illustrate the individual yet you are emphasizing the corporate structures. You are saying that you are not right to be true to yourself and your study and walk according to “that which is written” and to choose not to believe that and follow an organization. In this approach you are practicing Socialism or Marxism even if you don’t know it. It is not an organization that you are to be looking for and then put faith in it, … essentially saying that is the will of Yah in your heart. What if they teach error, which 99.99999999% do as they are not perfect. The problem is it’s leaders are not correctable by scripture unless they are in control over others.

    It is the truth that sets you free from the bondange of mankind and their traditions, much more it sets you free from Satan.

    The aspects of man’s traditions of keeping added things to scripture is correct.

    Keep seeking to purge out the error and you come along just fine.

  151. on 17 Jul 2013 at 9:42 amJas

    Bill
    Which ONE do you assume ?
    I do believe there exist the true church today but evidently they are so separated from the world I have not found them yet. God said to Elijah that he always has an elect in every generation who have not bowed to the Baal of this earth by not taking his mark or ways.

  152. on 02 Oct 2013 at 6:49 amGeorge A, Wheelan

    I do no longer do winter solstice or as you call it Christmas,I bring my 90 year old Mom,for the past 15 years or so and break bread with my family,but there is no tree in my house nor any such candles nor lights(festival of lights) nor do I worship the sun for fear it will not resume its longer days and the reason is I think and I want to be right ,is that it somehow must hurt Gods heart to see His kids His beloved children taking part in killing an evergreen which is little more then an uncut idol.And hanging lights on their homes and putting themselves in debt all to please self and others and not to please Him.I could go on but one other thing it does is it opens doors of utterance to speak His magnified word and to share the beautiful word written in the stars and share things people like why did Herod have children two and under killed and their reply is I often wondered about that!And if you can get into the end times why did the sons of Ishmael crash two planes into the towers on the day Christ was born and the shorting of days from the great quake that caused the sunami and right to the return of Christ and the end of the devil(pouting baby) and the victory over death and the New Jerusalem a city whos builder and maker is God.There is so much one can do to Love during this overblown time when sales were low in retail and two store owners got together in the late 1800s in N.Y.C. and promoted this holiday.God Bless You He Loves You

  153. on 07 Oct 2013 at 12:13 pmXavier

    This Christ-mass season ask yourself…
    http://youtu.be/hO9EH7raupc

  154. on 12 Nov 2013 at 11:18 amXavier

    Christ-mass TRADITIONALLY celebrates the Incarnation of “God the Son” into the human Jesus, called Messiah.

    Now the doctrine of the Incarnation is that in Christ the place of a human personality is REPLACED by the Divine Personality of God the Son, the second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Christ possesses a complete human nature WITHOUT a human personality. UNCREATED and ETERNAL Divine Personality REPLACES a CREATED personality in Him.” Leslie Simmonds, What Think Ye of Christ quoted in Focus on the Kingdom, ed. Anthony Buzzard, vol. 7, no. 3, p. 5.

    IF this is what Christ-mass is all about, why would you expose not ONLY yourself but your WHOLE family to them?

    Keep my commandments and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am YHWH your God.'” Lev 18.30

  155. on 22 Nov 2013 at 11:46 amXavier

    Traditionally, the very celebration of “Christmas/Noel” has been associated with the false teaching of the “incarnation”, indeed, “the Incarnation of God” is often used almost as a synonym for “Christmas/Noel”:

    “Christmas – The Incarnation of God.” http://johnmarkhicks.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/christmas-the-incarnation-of-god/

    “Christmas Incarnation” “the real meaning of Christmas — the incarnation of God” http://www.jesuswalk.com/christmas-incarnation/christmas-incarnation.htm

    “The greatest miracle in Christmas is of course Incarnation, the birth of God on earth.” “The greatest Miracle the world has ever seen thus is Christmas, the incarnation of God.” http://living.oneindia.in/christmas/2007/christmas-stories/christmas-miracles-christmas-celebration.html

    “to celebrate the birth of Jesus and proclaim their belief in the Incarnation (God made flesh).” http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Noel

    “Advent and Christmas draw our focus to the mystery of the Incarnation, of God becoming man.” http://thecatholicspirit.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=872&Itemid=108

    “Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of God.” http://www.cresourcei.org/cyxmas.html

    “the account of incarnate deity…. ” (The context shows that the author is using the word “deity” to mean the God of the Bible, the Most High.)

    “The Feast of the Incarnation… The incarnation of God.” http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Noel/angl/incarnat.htm

    “a holiday celebrating the birth of God Incarnate.” http://brothersjuddblog.com/archives/2002/12/why_are_there_no_good_chanukah_1.html

    “celebrates the birth of Christ and the wonderful mystery of the incarnation” “the good news of Christmas and the incarnation” http://www.christchurch-cardiff.org.uk/show.pl?Magazine

    “Birth of Christ, Incarnation, Nativity and Christmas Abbott http://www.abcog.org/xmas.htm

    “Christmas is the church’s celebration of the Incarnation, the supreme mystery that the holy and almighty God took on human flesh and was born in this world of the Virgin Mary.” http://www.stpaulskingsville.org/christmas.htm

    “The incarnation of God becoming human and actually living among us is the Wonder of the Christmas story.” http://www.petrafel.org/images/message_transcript/The%20Wonder%20of%20Christmas.pdf

    “Christmas focuses on the incarnation of Jesus” “The Incarnation, then, refers to God taking upon Himself a human form. So when Jesus was born into the world, Godfor one time in all human historybecame man!” http://asiteforthelord.com/articles/theincarnationofjesus.doc

    “The Christmas season celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God.” http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Worship/Planning/Christmas.aspx

    “The Christmas festival is about the incarnation of God” http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/george_pitcher/blog/2008/12/02/christmas_is_for_israel_too_

    “the pinnacle of Advent comes with Christmas, when we celebrate the Incarnation of God. ” http://dotnettemplar.net/An+American+Catholics+Thoughts+On+Christmas.aspx

    “the very heart and meaning of Christmas … the wonder of the Incarnation (the birth of God-made-man Jesus)” http://lichfieldcathedralschool.co.uk/newsmiscthe_chaplains_christmas_message.html

    “The Christmas Marvel” “The birth of God! It took place in Bethlehem.” http://www.postchronicle.com/religion/article_212194723.shtml

    Also expressed in certain Christmas carols, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
    Hail th’ Incarnate Deity,
    Pleased as man with men to dwell
    Jesus, our Emmanuel.
    Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”

    “In the Bleak Midwinter” says:
    In the bleak midwinter a stable-place sufficed
    The Lord God incarnate, Jesus Christ.

    “How Should A King Come” has two lines:
    And a King lay hid in a virgins womb, and there were no crowds to see Him come.
    At last in a barn in a manger of hay He came, and God incarnate lay!

    There are also references to the pagan “noel log”, “noel” being used almost as a synonym for “yule”.
    http://tinyurl.com/8ofs4h
    http://tinyurl.com/9qvkmk

  

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