Presentation on theme: "How Should We View Christmas? Introduction: We are to prove all things and abide in the doctrine of Christ. We are warned against binding tradition and."— Presentation transcript:
How Should We View Christmas? Introduction: We are to prove all things and abide in the doctrine of Christ. We are warned against binding tradition and we must not think above the scripture.
How Should We View Christmas? “21: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thes. 5). “9: Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John). “9: And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mk. 7). “6: And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written…” (I Cor. 4).
How Should We View Christmas? To religiously observe Christmas seems innocent.
How Should We View Christmas? Elders Meeting With Ministry Leaders Columbine Church of Christ, 13 December 2005: J. Youth: ii. Support Operations Santa Claus on 15 December. The effort involves wrapping and delivering presents to the needy. I. Fellowship: i. Discussed Holiday luncheon this coming weekend.
How Should We View Christmas? “So, to each of you on this Reflections mailing list, and to everyone else with whom I may yet come into contact this blessed season, and from the pulpit this coming Sunday morning, I shall say loudly and boldly, and with absolutely no trepidation whatsoever -- MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I have tip-toed on egg shells around this minority of malicious malcontents for the last time.... I'm sick and tired of those within my own faith-heritage who seem to go out of their way to avoid any reference to the incarnation at this special time of year. This is nothing less than legalistic lunacy! Several of the more extremist members of one infamous Non-Institutional Church of Christ Internet "discussion" group have been applauding themselves, within their emails to one another these last few days, on their "godly resolve" to avoid any and all references to the birth of our Lord during this season... I personally shall be preaching on the topic of Christmas this Sunday morning, and I hope every other minister of the "Good News" will be doing so as well. It is time to put the Christ back in Christmas! He's been banned long enough!....”
How Should We View Christmas? “…A reader of these Reflections wrote and asked me, "Is it a sin for a Christian to observe Christmas?" I will let the apostle Paul answer this one -- "One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord" (Rom. 14:5-6). Paul also wrote, in his epistle to the saints in Colossae, "Therefore, let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day" (Col. 2:16). What is Paul's answer? Basically, his answer is: It doesn't matter one way or the other! If you want to celebrate Christmas, and you do so in honor of the Lord, then more power to you. If you choose not to observe one day above another, but to celebrate that incarnation every day, then more power to you also…..” (Reflections, Issue 226, December 20, 2005, Al Maxey.)
How Should We View Christmas? What is the origin of Christmas? The word Christmas, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, is from Christes Maesse, Christ Mass (Micropaedia, Vol. 2, pg. 903). This work tells us, "...during the 4th Century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted" (Ibid.) We are told that Saturnalia was a well known festival in ancient Rome. This was a time (Dec. 17-24) of wild merrymaking. "December 25, the birthday of Mithra, the Iranian god of light... and the day devoted to the invincible sun, as well as the day after Saturnalia, was adopted by the church as Christmas, the nativity of Christ, to counteract the effects of these festivals" (Vol. 7, pg. 202).
How Should We View Christmas? “A legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicolas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Father Christmas fills the role in many European countries. The Dutch are credited with transporting the legend…” (Ency. Britannica).
How Should We View Christmas? “The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian…” (Ency. Britannica).
How Should We View Christmas? The scriptures do not say, “Thou shalt not observe Christmas.” (Cp. Hebrews 7: 14.) Sprinkling/pouring. Mechanical instruments. Tithing.
How Should We View Christmas? “10: Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11: I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain” (Gal. 4).
How Should We View Christmas? We are taught to observe Jesus’ death, resurrection, and second advent (I Cor. 11: 24-28).
How Should We View Christmas? “You do not believe in birth of Jesus.” “You are just a negative and captious person.” “You are inconsistent because you accept a day off at your work.” “If you do not observe, then you cannot be with family….” “By not observing, you present yourself as anti- religious.”
How Should We View Christmas? Conclusion: “9: But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10: For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols” (I Cor. 8).