Friday, December 17, 2010

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas ?

I know … sounds like a silly question! Who in their right mind, while claiming to be a Christian, would have a problem with celebrating the birth of Christ?

But, have you ever wondered where this holiday come from? It’s obvious, you say – from the birth of Christ! : )

However, most theologians and historians agree, Jesus Christ was most likely born in the fall (September ?).

So … how did we end up celebrating Christ’s birth in December?

The Encyclopedia Britannica reports that "The traditional customs connected with Christmas have developed from several sources as a result of the coincidence of the celebration of the birth of Christ with the pagan agricultural and solar observations at midwinter. In the Roman world the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchange of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Persian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness." Mithraism was a primary pagan devotion within the Roman Empire, especially amongst the Roman Legions.

Colliers Encyclopedia agrees. Quote: "After the triumph of Constantine, the church at Rome assigned December 25 as the date for the celebration of the feast, possibly about A.D. 320 or 353. By the end of the fourth century the whole Christian world was celebrating Christmas on that day, with the exception of the Eastern churches, where it was celebrated on January 6. The choice of December 25 was probably influenced by the fact that on this day the Romans celebrated the Mithraic feast of the Sun-god (natalis solis invicti), and that the Saturnalia also came at this time."

Both encyclopedias plainly reveal that the source of the celebration of December 25 is the birthday of Mithra, the pagan sun god.

Sun worshippers since the time of Babel recognized this time of year in honor of their gods.

December 25th is well known as the birthday of various pagan gods.

A Roman calendar drawn up by a "Christian" in 354 A.D. (The Codex Calendar of 354) shows December 25 to be the birthday of Sol Invictus. Not only is it listed as a pagan birthday; but, it is listed as the most important pagan birthday of the whole year. It was celebrated in the Roman Circus with extra chariot races. This is the sun god that Constantine the Great worshipped while claiming to be a "Christian." His coins state that he was "committed to Sol Invictus." Constantines’ form of "Christianity" continues to influence Christianity today. December 25th is just one example. Satan wants to be "God." The first four commandments tell us who "God" really is. Satan hates that and has done everything possible to abrogate those commandments. Calling December 25th the birthday of Jesus is nothing less than sticking a pagan god in the face of the "God" of the Bible - a direct violation of the first commandment.

There was no consensus among third and fourth century scholars as to the birthday of Jesus. Different scholars gave many different dates. It seems that January 6th was one of the more popular choices during that time period.

Before the fourth century, the only possible reference to December 25 as the birthday of Jesus is assumed from the writings of Hippolytus. In his writings he indicates that Jesus was born on Passover, which would be either March 25th or April 2nd. Those who desire a December 25th birthday have theorized that Hippolytus really meant "conception" instead of "birth," therefore nine months after "conception" the baby would be born on December 25th. A study of his other writings however, indicates that the Greek word he chose does indeed mean "birth." An ancient monument of Hippolytus, now in the Lateran Museum in Rome, shows April 2nd as the birthday of Christ.

There is no record of a December 25th celebration of the birth of Christ in Rome earlier than 336. In Constantinople, no record of a celebration before 378. In Alexandria, not before 400; and in Jerusalem, not before 425.

The bottom line is that there are no reliable historical documents that would place the birth of Jesus on December 25th. On the other hand, there is overwhelming documentation that the birthday of many of the sun gods of antiquity was recognized as December 25th.

In 273 A.D. Aurelian brought the worship of Baal, from Syria, back to Rome, and instituted the cult of Sol Invictus, which combined the worship of all the pagan sun gods into one - "Sol Invictus." A few years earlier, the Roman emperor Elogabalus had unsuccessfully attempted to make the worship of the sun god Baal the predominant religion in Rome. The way Aurelian was able to get everyone, with their own specific sun gods, to be happy, was by proclaiming December 25th to be the birthday of Sol Invictus. They recognized December 25th as the birthday of their own god, therefore they were happy with the new name "Sol Invictus" - The Invincible Sun. Because of the association with December 25th. they recoginzed Sol Invictus as their own God.

The abominable worship of Tammuz, as spoken of in the book of Ezekiel, is related to December 25th. Today visitors to Bethlehem are taken to a subterranean cave, under the "Church of the Nativity" and are told that Jesus was born there on December 25th. It was Helena, the mother of Constantine, who declared that site to be the birth place of Christ. Jesus was not born there. It is a pagan sun worship cave in honor of Tammuz. The "church" historian Jerome, who wrote the Latin "Vulgate" tells us that Tammuz was worshipped there. He ought to know. His school was right next door. In fact, the back door of his school leads into the temple of Tammuz. In spite of all these facts, thousands of unknowing Christians bow down and kiss the spot in the niche where the idol of Tammuz was placed. Although theologians know, they will not tell people the truth. They will be held accountable.

Our Christian ancestors knew better. The celebration of December 25th was illegal (at one time) in England. It was outlawed in New England from 1649 to 1658. The December 25th celebration was condemned for its pagan roots by the Puritans, the Methodists, the Quakers, the Amish, the Presbyterians, and the Baptists. Why would they do that if there was not a legitimate problem? Christmas was made a legal holiday in Massachusetts in 1856.

Considering these facts, it is not unreasonable for a person to want to disassociate himself from a pagan birthday that never had anything to do with Christ Jesus. The Bible says that "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." We are only responsible for what we know. Even so, we must not be "willingly ignorant." Everyone will have to make their own decision.

These are just a few facts that no scholar will deny.

At this point you may be asking; should we even care about this? Does it matter?

I would argue that it does.

Dan 12:4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."

The “book” has been unsealed in the form of the book, Revelation. The "unsealing" has been accomplished. Knowledge IS increasing, people ARE running to and fro and the remnant church IS forming as we live and breath.

The Bible is very clear on this – Christians will literally separate themselves during the end times. Who are they separating from?

Other Christians!

One group of Christians will cling to their traditions and man-made laws. The other group will excise themselves from those pagan and false traditions and return to the Apostolic way of worship (as close as possible) .

This second, more Apostolic group will be persecuted by the first group. This is what the Bible means when it speaks of the final false church and the final true church.

Most of the people of the world, in general, are already lost. The ending battle will be between the false church and the true church.

Which one do you trust and how can you tell which one is correct?

That’s easy – read your Bible and see which "church" it agrees with.

With an honest, biblically-based study I think you’ll see that the Word of God is agreeing with those who are separating from man’s traditions.

BTW, I'm sharing these facts to lovingly warn my friends and family, not to ruin their Christmas celebration. It is right and proper to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But is it right to do so with so many pagan trappings?

Reference: Christmas (much thanks to Richard Rives of

The Observer

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does God’s Grace Make The Law ‘Unnecessary’ ?

Most Christians grow up in a church-world where they are taught that the 10 Commandments are one of the following:

- Moses’ Law

- Fulfilled (to them, meaning “finished”, “completed”)

- Impossible to live up to

- or, are covered by Grace

The biblical reality is that none of these are true. I was also taught these things and didn’t know any better until I began to study the subject myself. We must continuously ask ourselves; do we believe in man, or God?

As always, I ask you, I plead with you to check everything I say with the Bible. I’m just a sinner like you. But, I implore you to also believe the Bible!

I will try to biblically answer many questions. Questions like:

In what sense are Christians free from the Law?

What does it mean to be under the Law?

Does God’s grace nullify the 10 Commandments?

Is a Christian justified in breaking ANY of the 10 Commandments because he is under grace?

What attracts me to Bible study is the fact that you can use the intellectual disciplines of logic and reason. Child-like belief does enter into the picture, of course – you either believe in God or you don’t, but Christianity can be argued with reason.

So I’ll start with a basic truth. When a person commits a premeditated murder, stands before a judge and jury, is found guilty, and given a sentence; then he must fulfill the requirements of that judgment. It may be death!

The Bible clearly establishes that ALL OF US are guilty of sin (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of sin (our sentence) is death (Romans 6:23). Did ya ever wonder why we die?

As the old saying goes; it’s because we’re all guilty, guilty as sin!

Does God define what sin is? Yes! Sin is defined as transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4). What Law? Why, the Big 10, of course (Romans 7:7).

All of us have been caught red-handed. We must acknowledge our crime and take the punishment – death!

The human sinner tries to justify himself so the sentence won’t be carried out. He uses “works”, but it’s no good. Can man even justify himself by always obeying the Big 10? No, afraid not! (Romans 3:20)

Here’s a great illustration. A thief is sentenced to 10 years. By his works (the 10 years in prison) he has justified his freedom. But what if a person is sentenced to death as we are? No amount of time spent in prison will fulfill the requirement of our sentence. No matter how hard we try to follow the Big 10 until the sentence is carried out we will never be justified! Without the shedding of blood no remission for our sin will be allowed. (Hebrews 9:22-28)

Now hold on, Tiger! You’re proving the point that the Big 10 doesn’t matter, right!

Nope, you’ve got to keep reading the Bible. Our very logical and reasonable friend Paul tells us different.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

… Paul continues in Chapter 6 …

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Whoa! I’m confused now, Tiger. Paul just said we’re under grace NOT THE LAW!

Sure. But Paul also said, “God forbid”, and that because we Christians are under grace we should not SIN. And what is SIN?

TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You’ve got to appreciate Paul’s logic here! If I were a Zen Buddhist I would say; Paul has just taken Yin and Yang, wrapped them both up in a complete circle, and one-hand clapped them into an immutable truth – we Christians must obey the Big 10 because of the love Christ has for us (declared through His grace) and because of the love we have for Him!

(my apologies to the Zen Buddhists out there) : )

Christians shouldn’t obey the Big 10 because of works, but because of LOVE ! And to think some people say Christianity has no intellectual appeal. Can you imagine!

… I’ll explain further …

Yes! We are saved by GRACE, not works. (Romans 3:20) So, why do we need the Law? Because the Law is a mirror.

What! Now your making up things!

Nope. Read this:

James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Yes, it’s referring to the Big 10!

You see; although we are “under grace and not the Law” we should still practice the Law. This logic may seem odd, but Paul explains it this way:

Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

In other words, those who are under the Law and are guilty of breaking it are under condemnation of the Law. This is the case with Jews, before the advent of Christ. Christians are not under the Law, but under grace. Paul later states:

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Rom 3:29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
Rom 3:30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

So, Paul, in his “law professor-like” logic establishes the Big 10 through faith!

A more down to earth illustration will help. (because Paul can be hard to fathom)

A murderer has been sentenced to death in the chair. This man is truly under the Law, under the guilt, condemned by the Law (like the Jew). Just before he’s executed the man receives a pardon from the Governor! (Jesus) The man is no longer under the Law but under Grace! The Law no longer condemns him. (he’s now like the Christian)

Because he is free to go and under grace is he also free to break the Law?

No! Of course not! In fact, now that he knows he’s been pardoned by the Governor he is so grateful and loves the Governor so much he will do anything to keep from breaking the Law!

Do you begin to understand why it’s so important to get on your knees and literally BEG for forgiveness when we sin? You see, by transgressing the Law, we have just made a mockery of the love and grace of our dear Savior Jesus Christ! We have also demonstrated that we think nothing of His sacrifice!

And if we continue to do this, there will ultimately be no more forgiveness of our sin!

All of us see sin around us. The United States, especially in these times, is running rampant with crime and it can only get worse. This crime is present because of transgression of God’s perfect Law.

Honestly now, is there anyone out there who wishes to place man’s law above God’s supreme Law?

rest in peace, Joe – I can’t wait to see you

The Observer


Because Christians are under God's grace always does it mean he's always "saved"? Can a saved man be lost? The answer is yes because man chooses to turn away from God, not God away from man.