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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The loneliest time of the year

A female commenter at Alpha Game describes how Christmas can be hard on the lonely:
This is my second Christmas with no family and no friends, and I'm at the point where I'd lay down my life for someone who made me feel like he or she cared.
This is one of the downsides of the secular aspect of Christmas that stresses holiday togetherness.  It can be very hard on those who don't have friends and family to witness the merriment of those who do.  However, it is important to remember that in some cases, the apparent happiness is a mirage, or at least, a collective self-delusion.

When I was in college and for several years afterwards, my family had literally picture-perfect Christmases.  As the White Buffalo, an occasional guest at our Christmas Day dinners, once commented, the experience like living in a Christmas commercial for Neiman Marcus.  From the moment that the guest arrived in the beautiful white marble foyer amidst the softly falling snow and was immediately handed a hot buttered rum by my grandfather, to the postprandial arrival of Big Chilly and his family to partake in the devouring of the pumpkin and pecan pies, everything was aesthetically perfect and utterly enjoyable.

Those gorgeous images are now pleasant memories.  But the family is as dead as my grandparents, fractured by lies, greed, deceit, and sociopathic self-interest.

And yet, there is still no shortage of joy.  We have new traditions, with new family members who have never known what they are missing.  There is no snow; the grass is green as I look outside the window today.  Instead of the dulcet strains of Handel piped throughout the vast house, I hear Maddens on the PS/3 in the next room.  There is no one to serve hot buttered rum and no one will drink it.  No one will arrive after dinner, their eyes bright with anticipation and their cheeks red with the cold outside.

But the ham will arrive, massive and steaming and looking like something out of an Asterix and Obelix comic.  The wine will flow, white and red, and the egg nog will beat its predecessor hollow.  A dash of kirsch will enliven the fondue and if the presents are not stacked halfway to the ceiling, the good cheer of the recipients will be in no way diminished, not even by comparison.

And yet, these new traditions too are an illusion.  The children will grow.  The butcher will retire.  One day I will follow in the footsteps of that smiling server of hot butter rum.

The only thing that will remain, one thousand years from now, is the original reason for the celebration.  It is the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we celebrate; that fact will remain as true tomorrow as it is today and as it was yesterday.  And no celebrant of that holy birth can ever be alone, because she is bound into the great shining web of believers, past and present.

So don't allow yourself feel alone this Christmas season because you are not.  Buy some toys and sweets and bring them to a shelter.  Join the Salvation Army and help them feed the homeless.  Go to one of the midnight services that will be held around the world on Monday, preferably at a strange church where you know no one, and permit yourself to be engulfed in the worldwide joy at Jesus Christ's birth.  Even if you have no hope, remember that the Word became flesh in order to bring hope to the hopeless.

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135 Comments:

Anonymous Pablo December 23, 2012 8:50 AM  

Amen!
Merry Christmas to the Ilk. God bless you all.

Anonymous Cinco December 23, 2012 9:01 AM  

Amen.
Merry Christmas to all.

Anonymous Josh December 23, 2012 9:06 AM  

Well said.

Merry Christmas to the ilk, and may God bless us every one.

Anonymous For All the Saints♪♫ December 23, 2012 9:06 AM  

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Anonymous Anonymous December 23, 2012 9:07 AM  

Amen.

My four children will be doing the Christmas program at church this morning, then my wife's side of the family will be here this afternoon to spend time together.

I will be speaking for a few minutes following the program about Jesus Christ the political figure, :) From Isaiah 9

6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:.....
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever."

I have to work Christmas day, do it will just be our family at home Tuesday.

farmer Tom

Blogger William December 23, 2012 9:36 AM  

I've been on my own for more than 30 years. In the last 6 or so, even more as older family members die off. Yet, I've lived all over Wisconsin, and have never lacked for Thanksgiving or Christmas invites that were genuine. I count this as a blessing. Though I never married,and have no kids, I am blessed with friends who are very much my family, most met in church. Praise God. I'm alone, but not alone, if that makes any sense. Merry Christmas, Vox, to you, Spacebunny, and all of yours. I look forward to another year of your writings..

Anonymous JartStar December 23, 2012 9:50 AM  

One of the reasons I love to read history is it keeps my life in perspective. Far greater men than I have done far greater things, but they are all gone too. Our hope relies on Christ Jesus the Lord.

Anonymous Susan December 23, 2012 9:56 AM  

Your last paragraph is so true. You have to be a friend to have one. Unfortunately, our culture doesn't practice that notion, our culture only exploits it. May your family have a blessed rest of the year VD, and may next year be fruitful for you and yours.

As to gifts this year, I already received mine in that my kids are doing well and are successfully settled (for the moment) in their lives. A parent can't hope for much more than that.

Very merry Christmas to the ilk!!

Blogger Keith December 23, 2012 10:20 AM  

Well said, and something that bears repeating. May you and all your family and friends have a joyful Christmas season.

Blogger Markku December 23, 2012 10:25 AM  

Grass was not all that green at my parents' back yard yesterday

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 23, 2012 10:38 AM  

This post was balm to some wounds that happened this week.

Merry Christmas. All the hype of impending doom and evil in the world will never destroy the joy of Christmas.

While I don't ever say it, everyone is in my prayers. Please remember me, please ask God to help me make the best decisions for mom and dad - to get them and myself through all these problems. I already accepted problems that will always occur as such is life. And even if I was delivered from these situations, sometimes we trade old problems for the new problems.

In Charlotte I found that it was time to create new traditions and have my own holidays. It was awkward and growing up wasn't easy.

A great comfort over the years was the reality that I could have happier, healthier new traditions, a different home to get used to, new babies to pass around and a different tone. A tone of renewed thankfulness that we have one more year together not knowing how life will turn or what funerals are to come.

Regrettably but purposefully I have weeded out the wrong people that would hinder my parents recoveries and my own joy.

Today like everyday is a gift from God. This season isn't about my stupid broken heart, the henhouse of problems or the pain we've/I've felt. It is about the Lord, his Word and our relationship to Jesus Christ.

Anonymous daddynichol December 23, 2012 10:52 AM  

Joy to the world!

Anonymous jack December 23, 2012 11:01 AM  

Markku December 23, 2012 10:25 AM

Grass was not all that green at my parents' back yard yesterday

Congrats Markku, you will have a white Christmas! We would almost kill for a little of that here in Alabama. Not that much, of course.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Ilk and Vox and Family.

And, to war torn Solenoth.

Anonymous Mark Call December 23, 2012 11:08 AM  

Just Maybe the reason why Xmas is 'the loneliest time of the year' (and also the time for the highest suicide rate in many places) is that the reality does not match the hype - or the 'tradition'.

As most of the Ilk SHOULD be aware, our Savior was NOT born in near the winter solstice (although most of the pagan deities claim a December 25 birthday). It was simply too cold for shepherds to be out "keeping watch over their flocks by night" in the Holy Land. It is a relatively easy thing to confirm (certainly for the above average in IQ and curiosity) from some investigation in Scripture that He was almost certainly born during the Biblical "Fall Feast" Time of Sukkot, or "Tablernacles" (coincidently, aka "Mangers" in the Olde English) when the men of the Land would have all been returning to Jerusalem anyway. (And - the obvious logical time for a tax and census!)

Why is this even important? After all, if the issue IS His birth, what does it matter if we have the date wrong, and celebrate something associated with paganism in its place?

Because He says so, and tells us NOT to do as the pagans do, and then claim it somehow "glorifies" Him. (Deuteronomy chapters 7, 12; Lev. 23:2, 34-44; Jeremiah 10:1-8; and etc.) He even says - over and over again - that He "hates" such things - calling them "abomination" to Him.

Most of the churches during the founding era knew, and taught, this truth, and did not celebrate Xmas - for that very reason.

Why is there such contention about this "holy-day"? In part, because it was never really His to begin with!

Yes, it is tough to come to the realization that much of what we do, and "feel" all warm and fuzzy about, is not pleasing to Him. But it does go a long way toward understanding what the problem is, and why the "reason for the season" has been so perverted. IT NEVER WAS His PLAN to begin with!

Spend time with family, if you have such plans. But don't participate in the lie. If you want to seek Him, ask Him what He wants, and then earnestly seek Him out. READ what His Word actually says, and understand just WHY He was so "dead-set" against the vain "traditions of man" - both then and now.

The bottom line is this: If we truly desire to "worship Him in Spirit and in Truth" - it helps to know the Truth!

Blogger Elmo Shangnaster December 23, 2012 11:17 AM  

Merry Christmas, Vox Day and Dread Ilk. Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.

To the Blessed Hope in Whom there is companionship for the loneliest of souls.

Isaiah 60:19...

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 23, 2012 11:19 AM  

"It was simply too cold for shepherds to be out "keeping watch over their flocks by night" in the Holy Land. It is a relatively easy thing to confirm."

Nonsense. I live on the same latitude line and the same altitude as Bethlehem, with an equivalent climate. The Navajo shepherds who live here keep their sheep out all night at this time of year, too. (As do modern-day shepherds around Bethlehem.) I've been to Bethlehem in the winter and the coldest month of the year in Bethlehem, January, barely gets below freezing. It might have been a little chilly for the shepherds, but guess what? They have access to lots of WOOL, nature’s best insulator. As did the sheep.

Like Navajo shepherds, I would presume the shepherds around Bethlehem would have some shelters they could throw up quickly, or that might have been set up permanently, like lean-tos or rock walls, to herd the sheep into if the winds got bad. In temperate climes, like the middle east, sheep are often kept outside year-around.

Sheep do quite well outside, and don’t like the dust that can build up inside standing barns. Keeping sheep inside in temperate climes like Bethlehem is bad for the sheep’s feet and their metabolic adjustment and it aids in the spread of disease. If you pen the sheep, you will also have to supply them with hay (which would have been in short supply and an additional cost for the owners of the herd in 1st century Palestine), it would have been more economical to leave them outside and let them graze. The sheep of 2000 years ago were presumably of tougher stock than modern breeds and more able to survive the cold.

The “no sheep outside in the winter” argument was first propagated by an old Scottish killjoy, the Rev. Alexander Hislop, in a turgid little classic of anti-Catholicism craziness he first published in 1853, “The Two Babylons: Or: The Papal worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and his Wife”, a screed filled with hate for all things associated with Catholicism, including the celebration of Christmas, and the source for most of those crazy “The Pope secretly worships Ba’al” things you find nowadays on websites full of typos and blurry photos. Hislop, a Free Church of Scotland Minister who had only a nodding acquaintance with history, anthropology, or, apparently, sanity, may have been thinking about the Scottish winters of his homeland when writing that. Jerusalem can get cold, but not Scottish cold. In addition to that kind of provincialism, Hislop filled his book with voluminous footnotes (many misquotes, out of context, or simply made-up) that convinced many of the credulous by sheer volume. But even Ralph Woodrow, who traffics in this sort of thing now, has disavowed Hislop’s poor scholarship.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch December 23, 2012 11:27 AM  

Merry Christmas from the Land of Drought!

Rejoice, for Christ is born!

-Laramie

Anonymous Stickwick December 23, 2012 11:28 AM  

@ Markku: Your photo makes me homesick. I grew up in northern British Columbia, and our back yard always looked like that in December. Here in Texas, it's usually warm and sunny in December.

@ Mark: The heavenly host celebrated the incarnation at conception, which would have taken place in December for a September birth. That was His day as far as the angels were concerned. And, to me, this indicates that the problem with Christmas isn't the time of year, but (at least nowadays) the increasing secular expression of the holy-day, with so much emphasis on the material aspects.

Anonymous Anonymous December 23, 2012 11:29 AM  

The key that unlock the dungeon of the self is found in the service of others.

James Stephenson.

OpenID newrebeluniv December 23, 2012 11:35 AM  

Nice one Vox. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

--Hale

Anonymous salt December 23, 2012 11:38 AM  

Merry Christmas Ilk, from sunny Florida.

Anonymous Rantor December 23, 2012 12:03 PM  

Sunny and 50 in the nation's capital. I loved Markku's picture, reminds me of Norway. Our daughter is home from college and she joined us for a wonderful church service today. Everything was perfect and the love and truth of Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection was clearly taught in the songs, prayers and sermon.

Today we shall enjoy our lunch of beef goulash, noodles, and vegetables. Tonight we shall join the Messiah sing-along at the Kennedy Center. Christmas eve will be Prussian with smoked pork, greens and potatoes before attending an 8PM communion service. Christmas day, prime rib. Bourdeaux, Pinot Grigio and Champagne will flow.

May love and laughter fill your days at this Christmas time and throughout the coming year.

Anonymous Mr. Nightstick December 23, 2012 12:05 PM  

Those traditions are no illusion, they are are foretaste of what is to come in the next life.

Anonymous zen0 December 23, 2012 12:07 PM  

What better time than Christmas to have a good old fashioned Christian dust-up?

The argument for a December conception is much more than just whether shepherds were outside or not.

Be that as it may, how is the Annunciation not something to celebrate? To wit:






[30] And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
[31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
[32] He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
[33] And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
[34] Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
[35] And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Anonymous Rekrapt December 23, 2012 12:13 PM  

I guess my Beta is creeping in... got choked up at the end of that.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! And, God bless Vox and his Ilk!

Anonymous Jack Amok December 23, 2012 12:16 PM  

It'll probably be a Wet Christmas here in the Puget Sound region, but that's mostly a family tradition now for us too. And I'd gladly drink a hot buttered rum if you handed me one. As for the time of year, whatever the truth of birthdays and sheep herding, it's good that we celebrate Christmas in the depths of winter so that we're reminded hope can be born even on the longest of nights.

Merry Chirstmas everyone.

Blogger Bruce Lewis December 23, 2012 12:25 PM  

Joyeux noël, tout le monde.

Blogger JDC December 23, 2012 12:25 PM  

Lonely for Mary too...I love the scene where Mary and Elizabeth meet, and John jumps for joy (apparently the Baptist knew something only the angels in heaven knew, and Mary suspected). One old woman, birthing a child who would signal the end of an age, and one young woman, about to birth the beginning of a new age of joy and salvation. Believe it.

Repeat the sounding joy
Re-e-peat the sounding joy
Re-e-pe-eeet Repeat the sounding joy!

Do it! Don't make the caroler's say repeat again. It gets annoying after a while.

Anonymous CMC December 23, 2012 12:33 PM  

Thank you. Just this past weekend I got to remembering your essay from last year (or the year before?) about Christ the Alpha and Omega coming for all and calling all.

Anonymous AXCrom December 23, 2012 12:42 PM  

A very Merry Christmas to Vox and family, and to the Dread Ilk.

Anonymous Desiderius December 23, 2012 12:45 PM  

God, in Christ, knows too what it is to be alone, to be utterly forsaken.

That is the message of the Cross.

Even in our suffering, especially in our suffering, we are not alone.

Anonymous Desiderius December 23, 2012 12:48 PM  

Matthew 27:46

Blogger Good Will December 23, 2012 12:53 PM  

Beautiful sentiments, Vox.

I join with many here in saying "Thank God for Vox Day!" Yours is one of the few voices I pray will ring out for many, many years to come. The world is a MUCH better (saner) place because you're in it!

Thank you and Merry Christmas to all!

Blogger Rantor December 23, 2012 12:55 PM  

Looking forward to the final commentaries. I hope Joe plans to run them

Blogger rcocean December 23, 2012 1:01 PM  

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Anonymous Kickass December 23, 2012 1:25 PM  

And, if you do a little research you realize people are actually celebrating a false god. So dont feel bad.

Blogger SarahsDaughter December 23, 2012 1:32 PM  

Thank you for such a fantastic post, Vox!

LP, I will keep you in my prayers.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Blogger Doorstop December 23, 2012 1:37 PM  

Most beautiful Christmas post I've read in years, Vox. A real gem! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 23, 2012 1:50 PM  

Shepherds have to be watchful, and although among the poorest, were thus open to the appearance of the divine before them. The watchers of the lambs were open to the appearance of the Lamb of God, even during one of the longest, darkest nights of the year, when hope for the Messiah must have seemed lost.

That He who offered himself, Body and Blood, to us in the Last Supper should be born in a manger, which is the name for the humble feeding trough used for animals, is surely no coincidence, either.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Anonymous philip December 23, 2012 1:56 PM  

Merry Christmas and thank you for reminding me there is hope in the Word that became flesh.

Anonymous Hood December 23, 2012 2:14 PM  

Amen

Anonymous Simon Grey December 23, 2012 2:36 PM  

"Why is this even important? After all, if the issue IS His birth, what does it matter if we have the date wrong, and celebrate something associated with paganism in its place?

Because He says so, and tells us NOT to do as the pagans do, and then claim it somehow "glorifies" Him. (Deuteronomy chapters 7, 12; Lev. 23:2, 34-44; Jeremiah 10:1-8; and etc.) He even says - over and over again - that He "hates" such things - calling them "abomination" to Him."

I don't really see how those verses apply to anyone unless they're still living under the old law. Those of us who live under the new law can celebrate any day we damn well please as long as our consciences tolerate it (cf. Rom. 14:5-6).

Anyhow, merry Christmas Vox and Ilk. May God bless all of you.

Blogger Rantor December 23, 2012 2:42 PM  

WND has Vox' Christmas post up, Merry Christmas.

Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good December 23, 2012 2:46 PM  

Excellent. Praise God for His mercy unto us.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother December 23, 2012 2:52 PM  

Dear Christmas Scrooges,

If we knew Jesus' exact birth date, people would worship that. There is a reason we don't have the real cross, the nails that held him there, or anything that Jesus touched or any actual artifacts. People would worship all of that. No one thinks Jesus was born on December 25. The only people who think that also think Santa Claus is real.

Stop being legalistic and pull the stick out of your ass. Merry Christmas!!

Anonymous Stickwick December 23, 2012 2:57 PM  

Most beautiful Christmas post I've read in years, Vox. A real gem! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Indeed. This was particularly moving:

The only thing that will remain, one thousand years from now, is the original reason for the celebration. It is the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we celebrate; that fact remain will remain as true tomorrow as it is today and as it was yesterday. And no celebrant of that holy birth can ever be alone, because she is bound into the great shining web of believers, past and present.

Not much more one can add to that. Hyvää joulua, y'all.

Anonymous tspoon December 23, 2012 3:29 PM  

I live alone. It's christmas. It's summer here. Me and my brother are taking the boat out. Way more enjoyable than sitting in a room with someone elses family for 6-8 hours.

Anonymous Sheila December 23, 2012 3:48 PM  

Lovely post, Vox. The neighbors with whom I spent my first Christmases (as a teen/young adult) used to hand me a brandy Alexander when I walked in. They (and I) moved hundreds of miles apart years ago, and politically I'm now beyond the pale in their eyes. The friend's family I spent quite a few Christmases with before I married used to start Christmas morning off with champagne and chocolate. Her wonderful father died some years ago, and she has gone full-bore Obama. I haven't spoken to her since '08.

I thank God for all my blessings, in particular my wonderful husband and our sometimes not-so-wonderful sons.

Stickwick, they're claiming there's a chance of snow here in the Dallas area on Christmas Day. Keep your fingers crossed - you might not need the AC! (The Christmas I spent in Jamaica I closed all the blinds and turned the AC up as cold as I could get it.)

Merry Christmas to all.

Anonymous Stingray December 23, 2012 3:50 PM  

Thank you, Vox. Merry Christmas to you all.

Blogger Duke of Earl December 23, 2012 4:00 PM  

Merry Christmas to all.

Maranatha.

Anonymous Stickwick December 23, 2012 4:12 PM  

Stickwick, they're claiming there's a chance of snow here in the Dallas area on Christmas Day. Keep your fingers crossed - you might not need the AC!

Nice! You lucky northerners. It's supposed to get down into the 20s on Christmas evening where we are, but dunno about snow. We're going to Santa Fe / Taos for a few days after Christmas, just to get in some snow and mountain scenery, so we're covered either way. Wishing you a white Christmas up there in Dallas. :^)

Anonymous Curlytop December 23, 2012 4:22 PM  

Out of all your writings, I do believe my favorites are ones like this thread post. Well said, Vox.

As I am blessed to be with the ones I cherish the most during this time, I extend my wish for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Vox, Spacebunny, and all the intrepid Ilk!

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother December 23, 2012 4:51 PM  

Stickwick,

Where in Texas do y'all live? We should have an Texas Ilk gathering.

Anonymous kh123 December 23, 2012 5:10 PM  

"looking like something out of an Asterix and Obelix comic."

Laughed out loud, I'll admit.

"... and if the presents are not stacked halfway to the ceiling, the good cheer of the recipients will be in no way diminished, not even by comparison."

Dickens, that.



Anonymous yukonyon December 23, 2012 5:12 PM  

Well spoken, Vox. God bless

Blogger Rev. Right December 23, 2012 5:57 PM  

That was very good.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous Mudz December 23, 2012 6:05 PM  

Pretty sure Jesus said to celebrate the passover in remembrance of him, not his birthday.

There are some nice sentiments involved with Christmas, but I don't think it's appropriate as it is. For one thing, all the kids are sending their hopes, dreams and requests to Santa, who's the imaginary festival god of the season parents deliberately lie to their kids about (because Jesus didn't match up well with the spirit of the season?). I'm sure people think it's cute, but you know how you read the Old Testament and think 'gosh those Israelites are so dumb, making a golden calf right after God shows up'? Well, we've demonstrated the principle of still-messing-up-in-not-very-different-ways. (Although, I hope the offense would be mitigated by the fact that people at least think they're celebrating Jesus. Because otherwise, people are screwed.)

I love the public celebration of Jesus, I just think it'd being done wrong. And the commercialism, yeech. But that's not necessarily Christians fault.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 23, 2012 6:38 PM  

"Pretty sure Jesus said to celebrate the passover in remembrance of him, not his birthday."

Where did Jesus say, "Don't celebrate my birthday"?

The Incarnation was an awesome event, we should commemorate it, even as we do Easter.

Anonymous Anonymous December 23, 2012 6:59 PM  

Vox, why don't you write a book about your family. They sound very interesting and with your style, it would be amusing as well. I know you have mentioned a little bit over the years, but I am sure not many know very much about it.
God bless, one and all.
riley

Anonymous Holla December 23, 2012 7:06 PM  

You are really getting maudlin in your old age.

Anonymous Kickass December 23, 2012 7:15 PM  

Stg58, before you tell me to pull the stick out of my ass pull the log out of yours. If you want to celebrate xmas have at it. If you want to choose the one day out of the year when a false gods bday is celebrated, your business. But I have an issue with those who claim Jesus is the reason for the season when He never was.

BJT, stupid argument. He said what we should celebrate and not to join in with pagans. It is whoring to God and hypocritical and a bad witness to pagans. Or, feel free to join in an orgy, just call out your wifes name.

Anonymous Kickass December 23, 2012 7:19 PM  

Otherwise, nice of Vox to try to comfort. My life often looked perfect and wasnt. It is better to be without evil and lonely. WoOoould love to hear more about Voxs family.

Anonymous Kickass December 23, 2012 7:21 PM  

I have no clue where the exta ooo came from.

Anonymous Stickwick December 23, 2012 7:31 PM  

Where in Texas do y'all live? We should have an Texas Ilk gathering.

We live in the part that's hot and ugly. Seems like there are a goodly number of Texan Ilk. A gathering could be fun.

Anonymous rycamor December 23, 2012 7:41 PM  

While some may be lonely this Christmas, remember that Joseph and Mary had a pretty lonely Christmas themselves. Forced to stay with the animals, the husband forced to deliver a baby that was not his without the help of a midwife, perhaps still nursing some doubt about this whole crazy situation he was being drawn into. Not exactly a magnificent time, I'm sure.

Anonymous zen0 December 23, 2012 7:49 PM  

We live in the part that's hot and ugly. Seems like there are a goodly number of Texan Ilk. A gathering could be fun. @ Stickwick

What part of B.C. did you live in?

Anonymous A Visitor December 23, 2012 7:52 PM  

"The only thing that will remain, one thousand years from now, is the original reason for the celebration. It is the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we celebrate; that fact will remain as true tomorrow as it is today and as it was yesterday."

Amen! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Vox!

In the spirit of the season, here is "Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)" performed by a choir from Dublin, Ireland.

I'd like to go one day, if possible, to Bethlehem. I think attending Mass at the Church of the Nativity would be a great pilgrimage.

Anonymous mattt December 23, 2012 8:53 PM  

Good lord..the mohawk'd young man with a jawline is spinning in his grave.

Anonymous elmer December 23, 2012 8:59 PM  

Well, I guess here one proves their Sigma...

One thousand years from now, if planet Earth still exists in its present form, and humans still roam its surface, I do hope we humans, specifically we Christians finally get one thing right. That on (or around) December 25th, we celebrate the Feast of Lights. That we finally come into consensus, that celebrating thus, will be in fact celebrating the Virgin conception, that will fulfill itself in the Virgin birth at the Feast of Trumpets.[1] And, will no longer follow the decree given some years before, by some man (or group of men), that accurately turns out to be more capitulation to the masses, that could not bring themselves to cast off their pagan ways, and the hierarchy lacking the mettle to instruct them otherwise, putting expanding Christendom (by any means and cost) more important than Scriptural truth.

So, here in the 21st century, and the centuries beyond, with our supercomputers and such, we can forgive our ancestors for their ignorance. But for us, we cannot claim that same ignorance. From this point on, for those that investigate the information provided, it can be nothing more than less than willful ignorance. The Church has to reconsider its calendar, to be the True Church, it believes itself to be, especially in accordance to the words of the Apostle John, instructing us, in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 12...



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[1] I was born 2 weeks late, from my scheduled birth date. So could have been our Lord and Savior.

Blogger Duke of Earl December 23, 2012 9:38 PM  

The only pagan birthday attached to December 25th is Sol Invictus, and there is little evidence that it was much celebrated prior to the fourth century.

It can reasonably be argued that Christian celebration on the 25th of December, being 9 months after the 25th of March, which was celebrated as the day of Annunciation, predates the Roman celebration of Sol Invictus, and falling on the same day was little more than a coincidence.

Really, getting your knickers in a twist over a day to celebrate Christ's birth is very gamma. Still more so to get said knickers in a twist over something that is quite possibly false.

Anonymous The CronoLink December 23, 2012 9:48 PM  

Merry Christmas and the Grace of God be upon your lives!

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother December 23, 2012 10:20 PM  

<b.Really, getting your knickers in a twist over a day to celebrate Christ's birth is very gamma. Still more so to get said knickers in a twist over something that is quite possibly false.</b.

Exactly,

No one actually thinks Jesus was born on December 25. It is merely the time Christians have set aside to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Blogger tz December 23, 2012 10:46 PM  

We already have the Annunciation on March 25th (9 months earlier than Christmas), a feast for the birth of John the Baptist (around 6/24).

As Gabriel the archangel said: "Hail [Mary], the Lord is with you".
And at the visitation with her cousin Elizabeth who was carrying John the Baptist: "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb [Jesus]".

Solar or lunar calendar? Baptism apparently works at a level for Pagan holidays. All Saints day becomes All Hallows [eve]. A festival that the year didn't die (visible a few days after the solstice, originally Mithraz IIRC) becomes the celebration of the feast of the nativity.

And he shall be called "Emmanuel", "God With Us". Yet that is one of the things implying the trinity.

Gloria in excelsis Deo! Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

Jesus didn't write even one book. We have the Gospels written by others. Jesus established a Church. "Upon this 'Peter' I will build my church". The church wrote and/or approved the scriptures which became the Bible - the Bible itself does not have a list or test for which are canonical, you need a superior authority to say what the bible is (or should be). The church that gave us Dei Verbum (Vatican II document) also gave us Christmas. Christ - Mass.

As to the loneliness of Christmas, it might be one reason more souls are released from Purgatory on Christmas than on All Souls. Suffering and prayer of the lonely.

Christ, Jesus, cares. And he is worthy of laying down your life for him. And yet note he calls us to give, not receive. We should be the ones who care.

Anonymous Anonymous December 23, 2012 10:50 PM  

You expressed such a profound truth in this column - well, several truths. Truths about Christ, Christianity, the Church militant, and the Church triumphant. Thank you for expressing these truths so lucidly and with such feeling.
Linda Katy

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother December 23, 2012 10:53 PM  

What is the scriptural basis for Purgatory? How do we know the Soul Release Rate (SRR) is higher on Purgatory than any other day? Is there a unit of measure for this phenomenon?

Can't you Catholics not ruin one thread with your paganism, idol worship and superstition?

Anonymous Josh December 23, 2012 10:57 PM  

Really, getting your knickers in a twist over a day to celebrate Christ's birth is very gamma.

Most gammas consider themselves to be sigmas

Blogger Doom December 23, 2012 10:59 PM  

I've got to admit, I was trying to work out why holidays, especially ones such as Christmas, no longer haunt me. I worry neither about the gifts, given or received, or being with family or friends, if those things happen or not I am quite alright. I finally looked back on things last year and came to the conclusion you are presenting (if I think it from the male side of things, women being much more social and emotional, truly, often). Becoming a public Christian and then actually doing my best to follow through with learning His will, way, and Word has left me quite fulfilled. Even in what would otherwise be very dark hours. Heck, I think many things that used to hurt or be difficult are now sort of... humorous.

My mother was crying, on the phone, about me being "all alone for Thanksgiving and Christmas", so came out for Thanksgiving this year. I was chuckling at her tears because I am... well... I am never alone. I am not lonely anymore, if I still enjoy friends and family as much as possible. Actually I enjoy them even more, whether with me or not. I suppose a wife, and children, would be a boundless blessing. And having family and friends close and visit is a gift. But if that is not to be, all good. Plus, then I don't have to decorate! :p

Anonymous Stickwick December 23, 2012 11:18 PM  

@ zen0: What part of B.C. did you live in?

Grew up in Prince George, then later moved to Vancouver. Definitely preferred white Christmases to soggy Christmases.

You're in Canada, right? Which province?

Anonymous kh123 December 23, 2012 11:52 PM  

"Heck, I think many things that used to hurt or be difficult are now sort of... humorous."

This is the Monty Python/Solzhenitsyn factor when becoming a Christian.

Anonymous zen0 December 24, 2012 12:06 AM  

You're in Canada, right? Which province?

BC. Been in Prince George once in a while in the past, Vancouver a lot, now Vancouver Island...extreme south.

Anonymous zen0 December 24, 2012 12:15 AM  

No one actually thinks Jesus was born on December 25. It is merely the time Christians have set aside to celebrate Jesus' birth. @ stg58/Animal Mother

So if it is just a convention with no basis in reality, you would not object if people celebrated the birth of the Messiah on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement?

Anonymous Stickwick December 24, 2012 12:28 AM  

BC. Been in Prince George once in a while in the past, Vancouver a lot, now Vancouver Island...extreme south.

Well, hey, we were paisans and didn't even know it. The island is beautiful. I wanted to go to UVic just because it's so pretty there.

Anonymous Passinthrough December 24, 2012 12:41 AM  

For the record my sheep live outside year round. They do fine. Does it matter what day we celebrate the birth of Christ? The day does not matter what is important is what we choose to do about Christ. Will we follow or will we ignore him? Will we accept his wondrous gift and bring our lives into alinement with his divine will?

Excellent post Merry Christmas to you and yours and all the Dread Ilk.

Blogger Duke of Earl December 24, 2012 1:07 AM  

Celebrating on Yom Kippur would be awkward given the number of people who want to celebrate Yom Kippur.

The early Church calculated it out as 9 months from the Annunciation, which they decided on based on a symmetry of 14 Nisan, based on a Jewish belief that a great man's life never ended in a partial year. Sure it's a convention, the Queen was not born on Queen's birthday after all, but as far as traditions around Jesus' birth go it's one of the oldest handed down to us.

No point in changing it now.

Anonymous beerme December 24, 2012 1:14 AM  

Merry Christmas

Anonymous The Lonely Observer December 24, 2012 2:16 AM  

The arrogance of man is astounding. When tradition [man's] becomes paramount to truth [The Creator's], then one knows he's really in trouble. He cannot bring himself to change. When one cannot change, he is doomed...

Anonymous Anonymous December 24, 2012 3:14 AM  

God rest ye merry, Gentlemen.

N5

Blogger Something Feral December 24, 2012 3:54 AM  

Merry Christmas to Vox and his, the Ilk and theirs.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Anonymous VD December 24, 2012 4:43 AM  

You are really getting maudlin in your old age.

Oh, I think Obsidian would be able to testify otherwise....

Anonymous Kickass December 24, 2012 4:44 AM  

@ Duke, your lack of research skills is not my problem. Check out know your enemy add YouTube.com for the kindergarten version.

Stg, your catholic is showing. By the way let your wife know you will be celebrating your wedding anniversary on the day you first lost your virginity to another woman. I'm sure she won't mind. You have to get it through your head that Catholic does not equal Christian.

Anonymous A Visitor December 24, 2012 7:07 AM  

"What is the scriptural basis for Purgatory?" At first glance, I'd say Revelation 21:27.

Blogger Tank December 24, 2012 8:20 AM  

Well said sir.

Merry Christmas to you, SB and family, as well as all of your ilk.

Anonymous Mark Call December 24, 2012 9:42 AM  

This was pretty funny -- in a pagan sorta way -- for those that have read Scripture, and understand what He meant about building upon His Rock -- as opposed the sand of tradition:

"Pretty sure Jesus said to celebrate the passover in remembrance of him, not his birthday."

Where did Jesus say, "Don't celebrate my birthday"?

The Incarnation was an awesome event, we should commemorate it, even as we do Easter.


Luke 6:46 -- "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?"

Anonymous Steveo December 24, 2012 9:57 AM  

Yes & Amen.
Merry Christmas to Vox & Family and all the ilk, wherever ye may be.

Anonymous Kickass December 24, 2012 10:38 AM  

@ A Visitor, you do realize that once there is the final judgement you are either in or out? There is no purgatory at all. That is IF we go along with what you said.

@ Mark Call
Right on Brother!

Anonymous Toddy Cat December 24, 2012 10:46 AM  

Merry Christmas, Vox.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 24, 2012 12:59 PM  

It should also be pointed out that Mark's claim that " most of the pagan deities claim a December 25 birthday" is simply atheist nonsense.

The original source for this claim is the 1875 book "12 Crucified Saviors: Or, Christianity Before Christ" by Kersey Graves, an atheist who denied the divinity of Christ. Specific anti-Catholic writers such as Paul Jablonksi and Alexander Hislop, made specific earlier claims about Mithra, without citing any textual sources for their claims.

The myth that the December 25 feast day for the nativity is shared as the claimed birthday for pagan deities comes from chapter 7 of Graves' book, "The Twenty-Fifth of December: The Birthday of the Gods."

Graves' book, despite containing incredibly poor research, is the source of most of the arguments made by atheists who claim that Christ never existed, as well as outlier sects such as Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, etc. who deny Christian beliefs, and Puritans and Seventh Day Adventists who seek to deny specific elements of traditional Christian belief, who often claim that Christmas is pagan in origin, and claim that December 25 was the birthday of pagan idols. You will be known by the company you keep when you borrow such arguments.

Graves' book has been in and out of print for years, and is kind of a classic of crank atheist literature. Should you want to read it (and I would advise Christian apologists to read it to be able to refute its claims, as many atheists use its arguments as source material), it is out of copyright and so reprinted on many atheist websites. You can find it on one of the largest atheist websites, infidels.org, here: http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/kersey_graves/16/

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 24, 2012 1:00 PM  

Even the atheists, who have been burned on such claims as the "25th of December was used by pagan gods," have acknowledged that Graves made up most of his material, as they include this warning on the book: "ATTENTION: The scholarship of Kersey Graves has been questioned by numerous theists and nontheists alike; the inclusion of his The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors in the Secular Web's Historical Library does not constitute endorsement by Internet Infidels, Inc. This document was included for historical purposes; readers should be extremely cautious in trusting anything in this book. "

Wikipedia gives a fair assessment of the book and Graves' thesis: "It asserts that Jesus was not an actual person, but was a creation largely based on earlier stories of deities or god-men saviours who had been crucified, and descended to and ascended from the underworld.

"It has been noted that Graves derived "many of the most important facts collated in this work" from the comprehensive 1833 work, the Anacalypsis, by Sir Godfrey Higgins. These works thus present an early variant of what would come to be known as the Jesus myth hypothesis.

"The book is often used as a source for many Jesus myth hypothesis writers, including Acharya S, Tom Harpur and John G. Jackson. Its accuracy has been questioned by both Christian[1] and atheist scholars,[2] with the consensus being that the book is unscholarly and unreliable."

With regard to Graves' specific claim (that Mark has borrowed), despite what atheist and neo-Puritan websites frequently repeat, there are absolutely NO primary source texts from the ancient world that claim a date of December 25 for any pagan deity. Not one. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

There are some pagan celebrations associated with the solstice, which as an astronomical event was well known in all agricultural societies as a marker, but neither Mithra, nor Sol invictus, nor Adonis, nor Bacchus, nor Apollo, nor Zoroaster, nor any other pagan god claimed December 25 as a birthday in any original, primary text from the ancient world. Only in the fevered recesses of nutballs such as Graves, and endlessly recycled in the websites among atheists, pagans, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, and modern-day Puritans, will you find such claims.

As Paul Burke wrote, "The earliest reference I have found to Mithras being born on December 25, is in the anti-Catholic work of Paul Jablonski, an 18th century Protestant attempting to argue that the Catholic Church had become paganized, and that the date of Christmas was simply a heretical adoption of a pagan festivity, specifically the celebration of the birth of Mithras. I am always skeptical of agenda driven claims, especially when they are accompanied by a complete lack of substantive evidence, as they were in Jablonski's case... See more, and original cites, here: http://www.historum.com/blogs/sankari/621-december-25-no-connection-tammuz-saturnalia-sol-invictus-mithras.html

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 24, 2012 1:03 PM  

The date of observance was solidified by the early Church NOT as a bait and switch to attract paganism.

It wasn't necessary at that point, as paganism was already dying out because Christians had better answers to the great questions; because of the witness of the lives of Christians and the greater dignity offered the poor, women, slaves, and others attracted many converts; because of the witness of Christian love and charity in the great Roman pandemics, when Christians stayed behind to tend to the sick and dying while Roman governors and doctors fled led to mass conversions; because of the witness of the Apostles and the great Christian evangelists; and because of the Grace of God.

Nor was the date established to secretly continue pagan worship under the guise of Christianity, or to "blend" Christian and pagan doctrines - the Church believed vehemently that the false gods of the pagans were false not in that they didn't exist, they believed they were false in that they were unclean spirits and demons that tricked their followers. The writings of the early fathers of the Church, many of whom went to their death rather than bend a knee to the pagan false gods, are clear and voluminous on this point. The same fathers who established the Feast of the Nativity were strongly anti-pagan and would have no truck with the admixture of belief. See St. Augustine on this point.

The reason the birth (which was originally celebrated as part of the Feast of the Epiphany by the Eastern Church) was established by the early Church had nothing to do with paganism, but was motivated by Christian opposition to the Gnostics, who (despite what you may have read in a Dan Brown potboiler) hated sex, hated women, hated childbirth, hated kids, and hated the idea that Christ had a physical body. The establishment of a feast day to commemorate the Nativity emphasized the material nature of Christ.

It is not an item of Christian faith that Christ was born on December 25, and we celebrate other events in His life when we are unsure of the actual date, such as the Feast of the Transfiguration. That's fine, I celebrate a friend's birthday who was a foundling on a day his parents picked at random as his birthday. The date is not important.

As to the argument that we shouldn't celebrate it because nowhere in the Bible does it say we should...again, nowhere does it say we shouldn't. Churches, including Protestant/Evangelical denominations, practice all sorts of religious celebrations that are NOT required in the Bible - nowhere in the Bible does it say to wear a cross or use it as a symbol, nowhere does it say you should do altar calls, nowhere does it say you should use a ring in a wedding ceremony or that the bride should wear white (which are themselves pagan survivals), or even the table of contents of the Bible, among many, many, many examples.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 24, 2012 1:03 PM  

I happen to believe that Christ was most likely born in late December, as there is no evidence against it, as the date was not chosen at random by the Church, as there is evidence of early traditions in the Church placing the date as on or near December 25, and as the scriptural evidence and a little math indicates it is likely:

At the end of September: Zachary (Zechariah) "executed his priestly function" (Luke 1:8) according to his class(1). His wife, Elizabeth, conceived (the Church traditionally holds St. John's conception to have taken place on 23 September) just as St. Gabriel said (Luke 1:24) and hid herself away for 5 months.

March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation: In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy (Luke 1:26) - as scripture tells us, it wasn't the sixth month of the Jewish calendar, but the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy - St. Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her she is to have a child.

June 24, The Feast of St. John the Baptist: Three months after the Annunciation, St. John the Baptist was born, at a time when the days were becoming shorter.

Circa December 25: Nine months after the Annunciation, Jesus was born, at a time when the days were becoming longer

(1) The family of Abijah, of which Zechariah (Zachary) was a descendant, father of St. John the Baptist (Luke 1:5), was required to officiate twice a year, on the days 8-14 of the third month, and on the days 24-30 of the eighth month. This latter period fell at about the end of September. We know this from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as in 1958, the Israeli scholar Shemaryahu Talmon published an in-depth study on the calendar of the Qumran sect, based, in part, on Parchment Number 321 -- 4 Q 321 -- of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls], and he reconstructed the order of the sacerdotal rota system for the temple of Jerusalem (1 Paralipomenon/Chronicles 24, 7-18) in New Testament times.

To see how Talmon's evidence for the Qumranic calendar of sacrifices in the Temple, which lets us establish the dates when Zecheriah's line would offer sacrifices, see: http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2003/qumran.html

So, in addition to other early Christian traditions, there is some evidence to support a late December date from scripture. St. Augustine (in a Christmas Day sermon) believed Jesus specifically chose December 25 so as to use the Solstice for its symbolic role, as the days begin to grow longer, the days of darkness recede, and the sunlight of the Truth appears in the world.

Sorry to be so long-winded.

Whatever your belief, whether you believe December 25 is accurate, or whether you believe He was born on another day, or whether you believe His miraculous birth never happened at all, or shouldn't be celebrated at all, I wish you the very happiest of Christmases to you and yours, especially Vox, whom I thank for hosting this forum.

Blogger Duke of Earl December 24, 2012 1:48 PM  

Thank you Bobby.

Kickass, "I saw it on YouTube," is not an argument.

Blogger kurt9 December 24, 2012 2:16 PM  

This is my second Christmas with no family and no friends, and I'm at the point where I'd lay down my life for someone who made me feel like he or she cared.

Actually, its quite easy to enjoy Christmas alone if you can take the time to travel. I would just go to the beaches of either Latin America or S.E. Asia. There are plenty of people to hang out with in these places during the Christmas season. I found that it is quite easy to hook up with other people do the "lonely planet back pack" scene in S.E. Asia. In general, expats are not cliquish like the people back home.

Your female commentor needs to get out and travel more.

Blogger kurt9 December 24, 2012 2:27 PM  

In follow up to my previous post, I literally lost the capacity to experience the emotion of "loneliness" over 20 years ago. I ended up in Japan by a sequence of improbable events in summer of '91. I was literally alone, no friends, and totally cut off from everything that gave my life value during this time. Over the next 8 months, I gradually adapted, made new friends (mostly girl friends - I literally had no male friends at all during this period, and did not feel the need for them at all). It was during a trip to Bali in the following spring where I realized that I felt perfectly comfortable "in my own skin". From this point on, I was quite comfortable going out on my own (picking up women or not picking up women depending on my mood) and feeling perfect happiness. I can honestly claim that I have not experienced the emotion of loneliness since that trip to Bali, despite being over 20 years.

It is my firm conviction that the emotion of loneliness is due to a lack of personal confidence and being comfortable in "one's own skin". I believe the truly competent and self-confidence individual is incapable of feeling the emotion of loneliness.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 24, 2012 4:06 PM  

Your female commentor needs to get out and travel more.

A brilliant idea, Kurt. A young, largely defenseless white woman traveling alone in Third World nations where kidnapping and white slavery are rampant, casually indulging in copulation with whatever perfect stranger deigns to look down the front of her blouse. What could possibly go awry with this plan?

Signe, if I see even the barest hint of this idea germinating in your conical little head, I will revoke your "time off" and assign you to handling Wilson. That should neatly dispose of your "loneliness" problem; you will be eager, nay, ecstatic to be free of human company within a day.

Anonymous Beau December 24, 2012 4:43 PM  

What a whirlwind of action today. I just returned from visiting a home, "Ma'am, I'm with the Salvation Army, your son requested a cello from the Angel Tree. I have a retired orchestra teacher who would like to meet your son and size him for a cello. Since her retirement she teaches cello at the mariachi place and would like to offer your son a place in her cello class." Later this evening I'll be assisting Johnny Gonzales give out toys at the Yucca Center. I'm going specifically to pray for people and to invite them to attend church with us. Tonight I'm looking forward to a candlelight service at St Andrew's Episcopal Church.

"And the word became flesh and dwelt among us," Merry Christmas all!

Blogger kurt9 December 24, 2012 5:49 PM  

A brilliant idea, Kurt. A young, largely defenseless white woman traveling alone in Third World nations where kidnapping and white slavery are rampant, casually indulging in copulation with whatever perfect stranger deigns to look down the front of her blouse. What could possibly go awry with this plan?

I've met many young Western women traveling individually or in groups in Thailand and other places in S.E. Asia. They have been mainly Australian, but some Brits and other Europeans. Americans tend not to be common in S.E. Asia (long flight times and Caribbean/Latin America is much closer). I have a lady friend who traveled through Sumatra and Java (Indonesia) by herself. She got some hassle from men who thought a woman should not travel alone, but she told me she never felt threatened at any time during her entire trip.

Much of S.E. Asia is safer than you presume it to be. A fact you would know if you have actually had the experience of traveling and living there for any length of time.

Anonymous Signe December 24, 2012 7:14 PM  

She got some hassle from men who thought a woman should not travel alone, but she told me she never felt threatened at any time during her entire trip.

Not that I was considering it anyway...not that I could afford it on my pay anyway...but are you really, honestly offering one woman's feelings as proof of your assertion? Really?

You've got you a muscular hamster there, Mr. Kurt.

Anyway, "hooking up" is for sociopaths, and I'm not completely soulless yet. In fact, I'm taking my soul off to church now, per Vox's much better advice.

Merry Christmas, everyone. It'll be quiet here, but I do feel a lot better now.

Anonymous Mark Call December 24, 2012 8:41 PM  

I would have expected some of the Ilk to have a better handle on Logic 101.

Claiming that "atheists" believe something is irrelevant to whether or not it is true. (Fer cryin' out loud -- THAT oughtta be obvious!)

And I and saw a whole lotta tripe about what "scholar" first made some claim, and that "sheep may TOO - uhuh!" survive in the winter near Jerusalem. Which, at best, merely allows that He could have thus been born at ANY time of year. All the while the REAL proof-texts from Scripture are ignored. And yet, in all that self-serving verbiage - not a single reference to what God Himself had to say about His "holy" (set-apart) days! Or what He wants, and what He abhors.

My favorite excuse, THIS year, however, has to be, "I happen to believe that Christ was most likely born in late December, as there is no evidence against it..."

...especially since he chooses to ignore anything that might constitute such.

Since EVERY thing He did was dedicated to His service of His Father, and ultimately pointed toward a specific fulfillment of His Appointed Times, set out in His Word and ordained literally since "the Beginning" -- and happened PRECISELY according to His prophetic timetable (for those who have NOT studied His last days according to the time clock of Pesach, or "Passover" - you don't know what you're missing ;) ...

...isn't it JUST possible that OTHER milestones in His life (and His Return, as well, no doubt!) would reflect His own "Appointed Times" rather than some pagan ritual? Is He not capable of that?

The question that really should matter is not whether "every idiot" who keeps Xmas should "be buried with a stake of holly through his heart," but whether certain traditions honor Him, or NOT. I note that no one bothered to read Isaiah 10 and try to defend THAT image, or even claim that it was somehow refuted in a book ghost-written by a Catholic hamster in 1847.

So it is to the Words of the Messiah, Who Himself said we should keep the Feasts He kept, to honor His Father, that I turn. Regarding the vain traditions of men, which were treated as if they were "law", but in fact violated His Word, He said (Mark 7:5-20, but the story is repeated through other witnesses also):

"Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is Written, This people honor me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of MEN'...
...And He said unto them, Full well you REJECT the commandment of YHVH, that you may KEEP your own tradition."

Anonymous zen0 December 24, 2012 10:34 PM  

@ Bobby Joe Trosclair December 24, 2012 1:03 PM

At the end of September: Zachary (Zechariah) "executed his priestly function" (Luke 1:8) according to his class(1). His wife, Elizabeth, conceived (the Church traditionally holds St. John's conception to have taken place on 23 September) just as St. Gabriel said (Luke 1:24) and hid herself away for 5 months.


"THE COURSE OF ABIA" (Luke 1:5).

This was the eighth of the priestly courses of ministration in the Temple (1 Chronicles 24:10), and occurred, as did the others, twice in the year.

The "Courses"were changed every week, beginning each with a Sabbath. The reckoning commenced on the 22nd day of Tisri or Ethanim (Appendix 51. 5). This was the eighth and last day of the Feast of Tabernacles = the "Great Day of the Feast" (John 7:37), and was a Sabbath (Leviticus 23:39).

The first course fell by lot to Jehoiarib, and the eighth to Abia or Abijah (1 Chronicles 24:10).

Bearing in mind that all the courses served together at the three Great Feasts, the dates for the two yearly "ministrations" of Abiah will be seen to fall as follows:

The first 9 ministration was from 12-18 Chisleu = December 6-12.

The second ministration was from 12-18 Sivan = June 13-19.

The announcement therefore to Zacharias in the Temple as to the conception of John the Baptist took place between 12-18 SIVAN (June 13-19), in the year 5 B.C. After finishing his "ministration", the aged priest "departed to his own house" (Luke 1:23), which was in a city10 in "the hill country" of Juda (verse 39).


zen0 says: One of these pronouncements is incorrect. (or both, I guess)

I would bet the one the "Church" says is incorrect.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 25, 2012 12:36 AM  

Zen0 - well, that would depend on what Church you follow, and where you get your arguments. And your interpretations.

The quotations you cut and pasted are from Appendix 179 of the Companion Bible, with appendices and interpretations by ultradispensationalist E.W. Bullinger. Ultradispensationalism, also known as Bullingerism, is not taught in the Bible, is rejected by most Christians, and is merely a teaching of man, not God. Bullinger led many Christians astray with the idea that reading any part of the Bible besides 5 church epistles is harmful, an idea they got from the Companion Bible that you quote. You can tell someone who follows Bullinger's teachings If you quote from the Bible (even the words of Christ), and their stock reply is "that wasn't written to us". Completely unbiblical and non-Christian teachings, zen0.

The prominent evangelical minister Harry A. Ironside, writing of Bullinger and his companion Bible, wrote ""Having had most intimate acquaintance with Bullingerism as taught by many for the last forty years, I have no hesitancy in saying that its fruits are evil. It has produced a tremendous crop of heresies throughout the length and breadth of this and other lands, it has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth."

Bullinger's brand of Christianity included other odd beliefs, such as his claim that Christ was crucified with 4 criminals, not 2, and his belief that the earth is flat.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 25, 2012 12:36 AM  

Just glancing through the appendix from which you quoted, it's amazing how many errors Bullinger promulgated. (He also liked his own interpretations, a lot - there were about 190 (!) appendixes to the Bible with Bullinger's personal beliefs.)

For instance, Bullinger (who thought Jesus was born September 29) claims, "That "Christmas" was a pagan festival long before the time of our Lord is beyond doubt. In Egypt Horus (or Harpocrates 6), the son of Isis (Queen of Heaven), was born about the time of the winter solstice.7 By the time of the early part of the fourth century A.D., the real reason for observing Christmas as the date for the miraculous "begetting" of Matthew 1:18 and "the Word becoming flesh" of John 1:14 had been lost sight of. The policy of Constantine, and his Edict of Milan, by establishing universal freedom of religion furthered this. When many of the followers of the old pagan systems-the vast majority of the empire, it must be remembered- adopted the Christian religion as a cult, which Constantine had made fashionable, and the "Church" became the Church of the Roman Empire, they brought in with them, among a number of other things emanating from Egypt and Babylon, the various Festival Days of the old "religious". Thus "Chirstmas Day," the birthday of the Egyptian Horus (Osiris), became gradually substituted for the real Natalis Domini of our blessed Saviour, videlicet: September 29,or Michaelmas Day."

The reference he cites for this is footnote 7, "See Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, Volume III, page 79 (Birch's edition)." This is the same source that was used by Hislop’s book in "The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife." Yet after Ralph Woodrow (who is certainly no friend of the Catholic Church) published a book based on Hislop's claims, he was dinged for shoddy scholarship and went back to review Hislop (and Bullinger's) original sources - and learned that the quotes from two sections of Wilkinson's work were taken out of context to convey a false teaching. (Woodrow withdrew his book from circulation.)

Woodrow: "Yet [Hislop's] supposed proof for this is taken out of context. Having taught that Isis and her infant son Horus were the Egyptian version of Semiramis and her son Tammuz he cites a reference that the son of Isis was born "about the time of the winter solstice." When we actually look up the reference he gives for this (Wilkinson’s Ancient Egyptians, vol. 4, 405), the son of Isis who was born "about the time of the winter solstice was not Horus, her older son, but Harpocrates. The reference also explains this was a premature birth, causing him to be lame, and that the Egyptians celebrated the feast of his mother’s delivery in spring. Taken in context, this has nothing to do with a December celebration or with Christmas as it is known today." (You can read Woodrow's article about this here: http://newprotestants.com/2babylons.htm. I don't agree with Woodrow, but at least he's honest and admits when he's wrong.)

So, Bullinger in the appendix you cited joined two separate deities into one to claim that Horus was born on Dec. 25, and to try to advance his interpretation of the Bible, presumably knowingly.

His knowledge of the Qumranic calendar and the times when Zecheriah offered sacrifices is similarly dodgy, and lacked the knowledge we now have of the 364-day calendar used.

We have early Church attestation, as early as the late 2nd century, of December 25 as the date of borth of Jesus through Hippolytus, as well as other Church fathers of that period. I will trust the word of such men, who accepted martyrdom rather than compromise with paganism, over the spurious "research" and un-Christian teachings of knuckleheads like Bullinger, Hislop, and Graves.

Anonymous Beau December 25, 2012 2:52 AM  

Back home now. Prayed with many today; for reconciliation of family members, successful chemotherapy, employment, salvation, deliverance from drugs, finding the calling of God, joy, peace at home, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, surviving family members, wayward teens, close communion with Jesus. Encouraged people to seek Jesus, to attend church, to get to know their pastors, to grow in God's grace. Had fellowship with a cadet, an elderly woman, and a world record holder. Gave a new bike to a boy whose Christmas bike had just been stolen. Blessed patrons at Denny's and IHOP. Sang my heart out at Saint Andrews. Ready for bed.

Merry Christmas one and all.

Anonymous Ioannes December 25, 2012 6:21 AM  

God rest you merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Savior
Was born upon this Day.
To save poor souls from Satan's power,
Which long time had gone astray.
Which brings tidings of comfort and joy.

Anonymous Kickass December 25, 2012 2:55 PM  

Duke, that is not what I said. If you lack reading comprehension, ask for help. If you lack an argument or backing, rethink it. I did say the kindergarten version was there and it looks like that might be above your head.

Bobby whatever, cut through the bullshit and post your Biblical backing. I could care less about all the other crap you are posting. I grew up in a home filled with witchcraft. Their Satanic festivals are easy for anyone to google. The issue is what does the God of the Bible say. Not anyone else.

Again, reading comprehension people.

Anonymous Kickass December 25, 2012 2:57 PM  

Zeno, trying to get a Catholic to stick to Biblical backing for their argument is like trying to get Clinton to define "is".

I know, I was raised by two who spent their freetime in witchcraft and new age religiions.

Anonymous Kickass December 25, 2012 2:57 PM  

Beau, as usual, beautiful.

Blogger kurt9 December 25, 2012 4:03 PM  

...but are you really, honestly offering one woman's feelings as proof of your assertion? Really?

Its not feelings that I'm basing my assertions on, but the direct experiences of her's and others. I lived in Asia for 10 years. Mostly in Japan, but Southern Taiwan for a year, and have spent much time in South East Asia. I found that there are many European and Australian women traveling (and living in the region), most of whom have told me that they have had nothing but positive experiences.

I'm not saying that you have to travel. I'm not even claiming that its the best choice for everyone (its not). However, it is a suggestion as alternative for staying at home with few or no friends.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 25, 2012 4:27 PM  

Kickass, if you were raised by two Catholics who spent their time in witchcraft, then you weren't raised by two Catholics, you were raised by two witches. If I said I was raised by two Evangelicals who practiced satanism, you wouldn't say they were Evangelicals, you would say they were satanists. Same situation.

Mark Call: "Why is this even important? After all, if the issue IS His birth, what does it matter if we have the date wrong, and celebrate something associated with paganism in its place?

"Because He says so, and tells us NOT to do as the pagans do, and then claim it somehow "glorifies" Him. (Deuteronomy chapters 7, 12; Lev. 23:2, 34-44; Jeremiah 10:1-8; and etc.) He even says - over and over again - that He "hates" such things - calling them "abomination" to Him."

Because your argument collapses if the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord is not pagan, if we are not doing as the pagans do, and if celebrating the Incarnation of Jesus was never associated with paganism except in your mind. You haven't provided any good evidence that Christmas began as a pagan holiday, or that December 25 was ever celebrated as the birthday of any pagan god. Such personal beliefs may have become an item of faith for you, due to some peculiar things you have read, but they are not so for most Christians. Quoting some fusty puritans does not constitute evidence, nor does citing a YouTube video some guy made in his mother's basement, nor does a hyperliteralist, non-contextual, personal interpretation of scripture.

I have given you references that show the celebration of Christmas (on December 25) began in the early Church at least as early as the second century, that the celebration was begun and celebrated by men who were matyred by the pagans for their condemnation of pagan religion and refusal to mix Christian worship with pagan beliefs. If it's NOT pagan, but simply a worship of Christ, and if it is NOT condemned in the Bible (as shown below), how is it different from any of the forms of Christian worship that are not included in the Bible, but are practiced by Catholic and Protestant/Evangelical alike?

There is, in fact, more than sufficient biblical justification for the celebration of Christmas. It's right there in front of you, if you will take time to actually read scripture.

1. The appearance of the angel of the Lord to announce the birth of Christ to the shepherds (Lk. 2:10-12).

2. The response of the angels at the announcement of Christ's birth (Lk. 2:13-14).

3. The actions of the shepherds who left their flocks to go and see which was nothing short of a celebration (Lk. 2:15-20).

4. And the arrival of the men from the east bearing gifts as much as a year to two years later (Matt. 2:1-12).

NONE of these actions are condemned in the Bible, Mark. If it is appropriate for the shepherds to go celebrate His birth, if it was appropriate for the angels to celebrate his birth, if it was appropriate for the magi to bring gifts to celebrate the occasions...who are you to say it is wrong to celebrate His birth?

If your personal interpretation of the Bible leads you to a decision to not celebrate the birth of our Lord, we ain't gonna force you to do it. And I do find much of the commercialism and secularism of the modern culture's celebration of Christmas personally repugnant. But consider the exhortation to personal forbearance among Christians in Romans 14 in terms of differing practices. Don't look down on those of us who do celebrate it, I would just suggest celebrating it in a way consistent with Christian belief.

God bless you, and a Merry Christmas to you and your families. Who I sure hope are no longer witches.

Blogger Duke of Earl December 25, 2012 4:35 PM  

Kickass, your overestimation of your own intellect is not surprising, given your sources. In thirty odd years I've not given conspiracy nuts much time.

There is little or no credible evidence to support your contention that Christmas is pagan. Bobby has shown that you have no support from any capable scholar, your anti-Catholic rant notwithstanding. Since you have nothing, I'm invoking the rules of the blog, put up or shut up, accent on the last option.

Blogger kurt9 December 25, 2012 5:28 PM  

Anyway, "hooking up" is for sociopaths, and I'm not completely soulless yet.

Where did I say anything about "hooking up"? There plenty of other things to do in South East Asia. Scuba diving, hobie cat sailing, and hiking all come to mind. Site seeing is another. There are plenty of temples and other historical places to check out. Natural beauty, particularly in Borneo (both Malay and Indonesian sides) with beaches and tropical rain forests.

That you think South East Asia is only about "hooking up" shows a definite lack of imagination on your part.

You've got you a muscular hamster there, Mr. Kurt.

A muscular hamster? Do you really I'm that shallow? My description about how I lost the emotion of loneliness is a very true recollection of my experiences from that time. Trust me when I tell you that I did not make it up or embellish it in any way.

I think the real issue here for all of you, not just Signe, is that much of my life experiences are profoundly different from the lot of you. I don't think like you at all either. What many of you do not appreciate is that I AM NOT LIKE YOU. I don't think like you, nor do I share much of your worldviews. Because I am different from you, it is silly and ridiculous to think that I would share the same worldview as you do.

Your problem is that you think everyone is alike and that you have the One Perfect System or Worldview that is equally optimized for all humans. This is the same flaw that the liberal-left has, yet you have this same flaw even though many of you claim to be different than the liberal-left. You guys are mirror images of each other, both sides claim the One Perfect System that all humans must subscribe to. Both sides claim a monopoly on truth and authority, without considering that some of us are actually capable of thinking outside the box and can create our own purpose and objectives in life. I appreciate that this is profoundly alien to the lot of you, and accept it. Just accept the reality that there are people like me who do not fit within your proposed system or worldview.

Anonymous Mark Call December 25, 2012 8:27 PM  

"There is, in fact, more than sufficient biblical [sic] justification for the celebration of Christmas."

He just can't show it.

NOWHERE does December 25th - or ANY Romanized date, for that matter - find support! What you "demonstrated," BJ, was that Scripture says He was born. Give yourself a pat on the back.

And NOBODY here said, "don't celebrate His birth". But that is NOT the same as "don't do so in a way He says NOT to, and then try to TELL the Creator of the Universe He had better like it." I'd suggest you read the story of Aaron and the golden calf (remember, he even SAID the equivalent of the modern, "we're doin' this fer you, Lord" - Exodus 32:5! Are you gonna tell me a "golden calf" isn't "pagan", too? After all, where does it SAY that? Or maybe 'cause Bullinger -- or Graves or Augustine or Burke or Who Cares -- says so, it can't be true.)

It's already been said, BJ -- succinctly -- "reading comprehension":

"Because your argument collapses if the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord is not pagan, if we are not doing as the pagans do..."

Says His Word? Or you? And how would you KNOW, since you ignore the imagery you don't like?

"...I have given you references that show the celebration of Christmas (on December 25) began in the early Church at least as early as the second century..."

Which -- again -- has NOTHING to do with Scripture! Why didn't Paul and Peter know about that, or give gifts under the Yule Tree, decorated with little Jeremiah 10 balls? And, while I'm at it, why was Paul STILL (Acts 18:21, et al!) "by all means" continuing to keep His Feasts, AS COMMANDED (and later UN-commanded by those same 'church fathers'), IN Jerusalem! AFTER his "Damascus road" conversion, even!

NOT ONCE do you address the real issue, beyond making an unsupported claim that it somehow "is NOT" - in SPITE of the evidence of Scripture. After which you cite a bunch of verses that say NOTHING about "December the 25th" - and in fact apply at least as well to His birth during the Feast of Tabernacles -- or any other time!

And there's stuff like this, too:
"There is little or no credible evidence to support your contention that Christmas is pagan."

Good grief! "Has eyes, but WILL not see!" Even Wikipedia is more credible than crap like that. No WONDER such people can't do metaphor, or understand parables. Fer cryin' out loud - I won't even SUGGEST that 'blind guides' that like read Ezekiel chapters 8 and 9 -- you won't have a CLUE what He is talking about - since it's right in your face.

As Yahushua ALSO said, (end of John, chapter 5) about those who ignore the "foundation" and build their house of tradition "upon the sand" --
"if you will not believe [Moses'] Writings, how will you believe My Words?"

Anonymous Loki of Asgard December 25, 2012 8:55 PM  

Where did I say anything about "hooking up"?

Oh, I've no idea where Signe might have gotten that impression:

I found that it is quite easy to hook up with other people do the "lonely planet back pack" scene in S.E. Asia...

...From this point on, I was quite comfortable going out on my own (picking up women or not picking up women depending on my mood) and feeling perfect happiness.


She does fabricate things from time to time. What a silly wench she is.


Both sides claim a monopoly on truth and authority...

Whereas you, of course, are not dogmatic about anything:

It is my firm conviction that the emotion of loneliness is due to a lack of personal confidence and being comfortable in "one's own skin". I believe the truly competent and self-confidence individual is incapable of feeling the emotion of loneliness.

Fortunately, I have a rich sense of humour, and can be amused at how quickly you transitioned from pronouncing all lonely people to be insecure and incompetent based on your own personal experiences, to shrieking and flailing about how ridiculous it is to apply one's own personal experiences to the lives and souls of others.


Your problem is...

For one so self-confident, secure, and competent, you certainly spend a great deal of time trying to justify yourself to those who neither know you nor care.

I shall accept the entertainment as a Christmas gift, however.

Anonymous Mark Call December 25, 2012 9:10 PM  

And finally, since this has not yet been given the proper burial it so richly deserves:

"The second ministration was from 12-18 Sivan = June 13-19."

Good grief. Who, with ANY understanding of a Hebraic calendar, could write crap like THAT?

To claim that some 7 day period on the Roman calendar "equals" an exact 7 day period on His calendar proves the falsehood. It fails on its face. (Just look at the Gregorian dates for Sukkot every year.)

People that believe tripe like that can probably even convince themselves that "three days and three nights" can be twisted into Friday evening until Sunday morning, too! Gee, is He a liar, or what?!!! (What was Paul THINKin' when he wrote Romans 3?) Or -- just MAYBE -- He had it PRECISELY right when He made the statement, knowing that He would be in the grave, as prophesied, by "Wednesday" evening that particular Pesach (Passover) week, and OUT of the tomb before the "end of the [weekly] Sabbath" -- exactly 72 hours, 3 days and 3 nights, later. You won't get that from the 'church fathers', but you CAN see it if you do what Acts 17:11 said the Bereans did! (They did, at least, understand and keep His Appointed Times.)

Establishing the YEAR of His birth is far more problematic than the Hebrew calendar date (or, for that matter, the 'crucifixion'). And, yes, the 'course of Abiya' provides sufficient information for that -- IFF one has even a cursory knowledge of His Feasts and the Hebrew calendar.

The point here is not to condemn those who act in ignorance, although the prophet Hosea does warn (4:6) that "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge!" BUT it should be to let "iron sharpen iron." That is NOT accomplished by twisting Scripture, or making bogus claims that don't pass even minimal logical muster. And those who profess to TEACH are clearly held to a higher standard! (see Matthew 5:17-19 for the obvious "church father" warning!) Finally, read the SECOND part (the "overlooked phrase") of Hosea 4:6, too!

-----------------------

PS> More bad logic needs a quick spanking:

"We have early Church attestation, as early as the late 2nd century, of December 25 as the date of borth of Jesus through Hippolytus, as well as other Church fathers of that period. I will trust the word of such men, who accepted martyrdom rather than compromise with paganism..."


Dying for mistaken beliefs, or even someone else's lies, is nothing new, and proves nothing. Ignorant fools all across post-Biblical, post-Constitutional Amerika are being indoctrinated to believe lies TODAY. They put their faith in Big Brother ("fallen men") and deny Truths and God-given Rights that were once considered "self-evident" to other "Fathers". They're dying in "gun-free zones" and "God-free zones" (schools, theatres, you name it) because they, now, have "inherited lies from our fathers" - "things wherein there is no profit". (Jeremiah 16:19)

Some of us are realizing that what Yahushua said in the "Sermon on the Mount" -- things we have "HEARD it said" that are NOT what He either said, or Wrote! -- has far more Truth than we have been led to believe by 'church fathers', from whom we have clearly "inherited lies". We've been LIED to, and told that certain things were pleasing to Him, which He in fact says -- unequivocally -- are abominations to Him, while being told NOT to do what He said! You wanna celebrate a REALLY "Holy-Day?" Start with the SEVEN Festivals (or 'Appointed Times') He "set apart" and said we were to keep "FOREVER", "throughout our generations", so long as "heaven and earth" still exist!

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 25, 2012 10:06 PM  

Huh. Okay, so, you're like the creepy old neighbor down the street who spends all his time sticking Jack Chick tracts under all his neighbors' windshield wipers, then?

Anonymous Kickass December 25, 2012 11:30 PM  

Duke, nice try to reframe. My question was for you to prove your point using the Bible and you cannot. No amount of emoting and dancing around from either of you will change it.

Anonymous Kickass December 25, 2012 11:40 PM  

Bjt are you serious? Right because what is forbidden by the catholic religion is the same as what is forbidden by the actual Bible? Tell that to Hispanic devotees whose catholic church caters to their voodoo and santaria? Or the unity that makes it allow new age religions.
Where as Christians are commanded by the Bible to not mix the holy and profane.
Actually read the Bible.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 26, 2012 3:31 PM  

So if we can cut through the extreme emotionalism, solipsism, and obfuscation of Mark’s argument,

"There is, in fact, more than sufficient biblical [sic] justification for the celebration of Christmas."

He just can't show it.

I did, and provided scriptural justification for the celebration of the Christmas - that is, the Feast of the Nativity - and in fact, even for the giving of gifts in association with the feast day.

NOWHERE does December 25th - or ANY Romanized date, for that matter - find support! What you "demonstrated," BJ, was that Scripture says He was born.

Like, duh. The first part of the argument was that the celebration of His birth was appropriate. We weren’t to the point of the argument that December 25 is an appropriate day to celebrate it, yet. Slow down. The Gospels clearly show that it is right and appropriate to celebrate the birth of Jesus, which I’m glad you acknowledge.

And NOBODY here said, "don't celebrate His birth". But that is NOT the same as "don't do so in a way He says NOT to, and then try to TELL the Creator of the Universe He had better like it."

Unless you’re hearing voices in your head, I don’t believe anyone said that, either. It’s good that you recognize that it is appropriate for you to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and that there is scriptural justification to do so. Based on the scriptural justification I presented to you earlier, it is not appropriate to challenge other Christians on their observances if they are neither pagan nor non-scriptural. If you are hearing voices in your head that are telling you different things than were posted, you might consider an exorcism, or a pharmacological solution.

Kickass, who has now acknowledged that he is a witch-child, may wish to consider the former solution as well. He may also want to confirm that he is not, in fact, a changeling.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 26, 2012 3:34 PM  

As Mark agrees that we should celebrate the Incarnation of God, it sounds like Mark’s main objection is that he doesn’t think December 25 is appropriate as the day to celebrate that birth.

So, on which day do you celebrate His birth, Mark?

If you answer that you celebrate His birth everyday, good for you. We all should. If some (most) other Christians celebrate it especially on one day in December, there is good and sufficient reason for it in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew.

I'd suggest you read the story of Aaron and the golden calf (remember, he even SAID the equivalent of the modern, "we're doin' this fer you, Lord" - Exodus 32:5! Are you gonna tell me a "golden calf" isn't "pagan", too? After all, where does it SAY that? Or maybe 'cause Bullinger -- or Graves or Augustine or Burke or Who Cares -- says so, it can't be true.)

I checked my Christmas tree twice, and there ain’t a single golden calf on it. Stay on task, Mark. And stay classy. 



"Because your argument collapses if the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord is not pagan, if we are not doing as the pagans do..."

Says His Word? Or you? And how would you KNOW, since you ignore the imagery you don't like?

Says common sense and logic and sanity, which are all gifts of God. I know because of scholarship and research. You may be surprised to learn that you may use other resources to help understand the Bible. You pretty much have to, as without command of a language, you will be unable to understand it at all.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 26, 2012 3:35 PM  

"...I have given you references that show the celebration of Christmas (on December 25) began in the early Church at least as early as the second century...

Which -- again -- has NOTHING to do with Scripture! Why didn't Paul and Peter know about that, or give gifts under the Yule Tree, decorated with little Jeremiah 10 balls? And, while I'm at it, why was Paul STILL (Acts 18:21, et al!) "by all means" continuing to keep His Feasts, AS COMMANDED (and later UN-commanded by those same 'church fathers'), IN Jerusalem! AFTER his "Damascus road" conversion, even!

NOT ONCE do you address the real issue, beyond making an unsupported claim that it somehow "is NOT" - in SPITE of the evidence of Scripture. After which you cite a bunch of verses that say NOTHING about "December the 25th" - and in fact apply at least as well to His birth during the Feast of Tabernacles -- or any other time!

Because I am a Christian, not a minimalist, and we can and should do things that glorify the Lord, even if they are not included in scripture, and are not specifically proscribed - and none of the noncontextual cites you have given do so.. Scripture also does not say you should evangelize on the Internet, or that we should use Powerpoints in church, or have crosses on tops of churches, or wear crosses, or have altar calls, or use wedding rings in church weddings, or use the pagan names for days of the week or months in church bulletins, or sings any of the hymns we use.


Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 26, 2012 3:37 PM  

And there's stuff like this, too:
"There is little or no credible evidence to support your contention that Christmas is pagan.” Good grief! "Has eyes, but WILL not see!" Even Wikipedia is more credible than crap like that. No WONDER such people can't do metaphor, or understand parables. Fer cryin' out loud - I won't even SUGGEST that 'blind guides' that like read Ezekiel chapters 8 and 9 -- you won't have a CLUE what He is talking about - since it's right in your face.

That paragraph was so ungrammatical I don’t think anyone has any idea what you mean. Proverbs 26:4 applies here.

I say this with charity, Mark: you don’t always write clearly, so let me ask you to clarify - do you honestly think the Christian celebration of Christmas is of pagan origin? If so, what is your evidence for this?

Randomly writing words in all-caps, like a comic book, probably is not helping you stay on message, by the way.

You have yet to provide any actual evidence (i.e., original historical evidence) for your (Mark’s) earlier claim that although most of the pagan deities claim a December 25 birthday.

Which ones, Mark? And by most, do you mean more than 50% of all the pagan gods? Just the Roman pagan gods, or all pagan gods? Wow, with that many gods celebrating their birthday on the same day, the evidence should be everywhere.



As Yahushua ALSO said, (end of John, chapter 5) about those who ignore the "foundation" and build their house of tradition "upon the sand" --
"if you will not believe [Moses'] Writings, how will you believe My Words?"

I have no problem with God’s word, and try to follow it, as best I can. I am under no such obligation to follow your weird interpretation of it. No offense.

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 26, 2012 3:39 PM  

And finally, since this has not yet been given the proper burial it so richly deserves:

"The second ministration was from 12-18 Sivan = June 13-19."



Good grief. Who, with ANY understanding of a Hebraic calendar, could write crap like THAT?

To claim that some 7 day period on the Roman calendar "equals" an exact 7 day period on His calendar proves the falsehood. It fails on its face. (Just look at the Gregorian dates for Sukkot every year.)

People that believe tripe like that can probably even convince themselves that "three days and three nights" can be twisted into Friday evening until Sunday morning, too! Gee, is He a liar, or what?!!! (What was Paul THINKin' when he wrote Romans 3?) Or -- just MAYBE -- He had it PRECISELY right when He made the statement, knowing that He would be in the grave, as prophesied, by "Wednesday" evening that particular Pesach (Passover) week, and OUT of the tomb before the "end of the [weekly] Sabbath" -- exactly 72 hours, 3 days and 3 nights, later. You won't get that from the 'church fathers', but you CAN see it if you do what Acts 17:11 said the Bereans did! (They did, at least, understand and keep His Appointed Times.)

Establishing the YEAR of His birth is far more problematic than the Hebrew calendar date (or, for that matter, the 'crucifixion'). And, yes, the 'course of Abiya' provides sufficient information for that -- IFF one has even a cursory knowledge of His Feasts and the Hebrew calendar.



The point here is not to condemn those who act in ignorance, although the prophet Hosea does warn (4:6) that "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge!" BUT it should be to let "iron sharpen iron." That is NOT accomplished by twisting Scripture, or making bogus claims that don't pass even minimal logical muster. And those who profess to TEACH are clearly held to a higher standard! (see Matthew 5:17-19 for the obvious "church father" warning!)

Finally, read the SECOND part (the "overlooked phrase") of Hosea 4:6, too!


I have nothing to respond to, on this part of your diatribe, as you are responding to what zen0 wrote, and he will probably want to respond to your attack on his views himself.


Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 26, 2012 3:42 PM  

PS> More bad logic needs a quick spanking:



"We have early Church attestation, as early as the late 2nd century, of December 25 as the date of birth of Jesus through Hippolytus, as well as other Church fathers of that period. I will trust the word of such men, who accepted martyrdom rather than compromise with paganism..."



Dying for mistaken beliefs, or even someone else's lies, is nothing new, and proves nothing. Ignorant fools all across post-Biblical, post-Constitutional Amerika are being indoctrinated to believe lies TODAY. They put their faith in Big Brother ("fallen men") and deny Truths and God-given Rights that were once considered "self-evident" to other "Fathers". They're dying in "gun-free zones" and "God-free zones" (schools, theatres, you name it) because they, now, have "inherited lies from our fathers" - "things wherein there is no profit". (Jeremiah 16:19),

Right. Of course, such personal side-tracking and premature self-congratulation has nothing to do with the argument. Yes, fools die for false beliefs, all the time. No one contests that. But stay on task. We are arguing about the early Christians, who knew much more than you, were better men than you, were closer to Christ than you chronologically, were more learned than you, knew more about scripture than you, had (by necessity) memorized more of scripture than you, had far more to lose than you, often knew the men who wrote the gospels or their students personally, had (again, by necessity) more knowledge of the pagans (who were their mortal and spiritual enemies) than you do, often died as martyrs to the Church, and as such, are far greater authorities on Christianity and scripture than you were, are, or can ever hope to be.

To remain ignorant of history is to remain ever a child, Mark.

Some of us are realizing that what Yahushua said in the "Sermon on the Mount" -- things we have "HEARD it said" that are NOT what He either said, or Wrote! -- has far more Truth than we have been led to believe by 'church fathers', from whom we have clearly "inherited lies". We've been LIED to, and told that certain things were pleasing to Him, which He in fact says -- unequivocally -- are abominations to Him, while being told NOT to do what He said! You wanna celebrate a REALLY "Holy-Day?" Start with the SEVEN Festivals (or 'Appointed Times') He "set apart" and said we were to keep "FOREVER", "throughout our generations", so long as "heaven and earth" still exist!

Yes, I am familiar with Leviticus and Chumney’s book.

Are you saying that the Sermon on the Mount is not accurate as recorded in the Bible? You don’t always write in a straightforward manner (again, no offense) so it’s hard to tell. Sounds a little Gnostic to me, as a Christian, who believes in the revealed truth of the Bible for all. If you are denying that what is in the Bible - all the Bible - is true and correct, we will simply have to agree to disagree.

Anonymous Mark Call December 27, 2012 9:14 AM  

BoJo:

Dec. 25, 4:27 PM --
"NONE of these actions are condemned in the Bible, Mark. If it is appropriate for the shepherds to go celebrate His birth...
...who are you to say it is wrong to celebrate His birth?"

Dec. 26, 3:31 PM --

Quotes MC, "And NOBODY here said, "don't celebrate His birth," and then responds,

"Unless you’re hearing voices in your head, I don’t believe anyone said that, either."

You evidently don't even read your OWN BS for comprehension!

And then, THIS (3:34 PM screed):

"So, on which day do you celebrate His birth, Mark?

Good GRIEF!!! (there's those CAPS again. That means, YOU BLIND FOOL, who won't READ!)

Asked and answered, in my very first post in this thread, and then repeated. YOU even directly quoted one reference, as usual, sans comprehension.

And I KNOW you didn't read the second half of Hosea 4:6, 'cause it fits all too well.

Anonymous Mark Call December 27, 2012 9:32 AM  

BJ, 3:39 PM:

"I have nothing to respond to, on this part of your diatribe, as you are responding to what zen0 wrote, and he will probably want to respond to your attack on his views himself.
"

That's too bad, since it debunked your asinine December 25 assertion. (And I know of NO clergy of ANY faith, including the RCC, which will not admit the same thing! And, no, please don't cite a list of idiots in response. I don't wanna argue about Santa, either.)

Which is no doubt why you instinctively ignored the issue.

And I suspect that zen0 got it, since it was hardly an 'attack on his views'.



I will not bother to 'respond' to you any more, BJ -- for reasons have been made clear to "those with eyes to see".

Anonymous Bobby Joe Trosclair December 28, 2012 9:06 AM  

Mark, I can certainly understand why you would want to disengage at this point.

Dec. 25, 4:27 PM --
"NONE of these actions are condemned in the Bible, Mark. If it is appropriate for the shepherds to go celebrate His birth...
...who are you to say it is wrong to celebrate His birth?"



Dec. 26, 3:31 PM --

Quotes MC, "And NOBODY here said, "don't celebrate His birth," and then responds,

"Unless you’re hearing voices in your head, I don’t believe anyone said that, either."

You evidently don't even read your OWN BS for comprehension!


Mark... when you delete the relevant section of the cut and pasted text to bolster your point, like that, it’s more than a little dishonest.

My comment that “I don’t believe anyone said that, either” refers to the comment from your quote that you took care to delete (in bold, below):
And NOBODY here said, "don't celebrate His birth". But that is NOT the same as "don't do so in a way He says NOT to, and then try to TELL the Creator of the Universe He had better like it.

As I said, no one said that.

Honesty truly is the best policy, Mark. See 2 Corinthians 8:21.

And then, THIS (3:34 PM screed):

"So, on which day do you celebrate His birth, Mark?

Good GRIEF!!! (there's those CAPS again. That means, YOU BLIND FOOL, who won't READ!)

I would probably be remiss if I didn’t point out that Our Lord specifically condemned what you just wrote, in Matthew 5:21-22.



I realize that you, as someone who (I would guess, from the scripture you choose to empasize) regards himself as a member of the “Messianic Jew” movement has a radically different view of the Gospel of Matthew, especially Matthew 5:17 - 19 than most Christians, who do not assert the need to observe the Torah. We believe that "Yahushua" (or Jesus, as we Christians call Him), was specifically referring to the fulfillment (“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”) of the commandments he provided in the Sermon on the Mount when He stated “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” We find Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets in the commandments He then states in Matthew 5, 6, and 7.

This is supported by the rest of the New Testament, in our view. We are under Grace and not under Mosaic Law, so there is no longer any requirement to celebrate the 7 festivals that you suggested should be observed, if you are a Christian, although Pesach should be observed of course as Easter/Paschal. (Christmas is fine, too...). The other feasts should certainly be honored, but we are not required to celebrate them.

You probably feel the same at some level, as I presume you are not keeping the entire law of Moses as commanded by the Torah (such as conducting the proper rituals for cleansing yourself after being defiled by disease, or sexual contact, or contact with the dead, or ordering the stoning of disrespectful children, adulterers, idolaters, and murderers.) You don’t even need a Temple to observe these laws, as there wasn’t a Temple for the first 500 years after Moses gave the Torah to Israel. If you are not doing all these things and more, while only keeping some of the Torah, of course, you would place yourself under a curse, as described in Deuteronomy 27:26.

I have no idea of Kickass and zen0 also consider themselves to be Messianic Jews, but as you don't wish to respond any more, I'd be interested in hearing their comments.

Again, we will have to agree to disagree about such things.

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