Presentation on theme: "Christmas is an interesting time of the year"— Presentation transcript:
1Christmas is an interesting time of the year Christmas is an interesting time of the year. All the lights and music make it different from the other times of the year. Being able to visit family and loved ones is always a nice perk (if your family is near). Its a great time to give an excuse for people to buy those things that they have been wanting too!There is always a lot of chatter about Christmas and this year has not been any exception. Most of the shows seek to answer the pupose of Christmas by delivering the "Jesus in the manger" as the answer and power behind Christmas.There is said to be a war declared on Christmas? That may be so. I think, rather, that there is not so much a war on Christmas, per say. Perhaps that shocks you. As I see it, the war that exists in America is on faith, on God, on the Bible and biblical history, and since many people equate Christmas with being a religious holiday, they take the war to a Christmas front or battleground. The war on faith is seen to some degree in the Christmas issue, in the taking down statutes of the 10 Commandments, of taking prayer out of school and other events, of insisting on teaching the unscientific conjecture of evolution while denying an alternative approach to origins, etc.Christmas is merely a side issue in the war on faith in America, but I question whether it should be in the battle to begin with.I wish that if we were going to enter into the war on faith, that we would enter it upon a foundational level rather than seeking to defeat it with these side issues. Let’s debate whether there is a creator or not! Let’s debate whether the Bible is God’s word or not. Let’s debate the faith of infidels and see the absurd conclusions that such a faith ends in. Let's debate Darwinian time, chance and change. Let’s reason in an arena of ideas that are publicly presented and challenged. Let’s then debate whether God has a place in American government and seek to restore the real meaning of separation of church and state. But what we are doing is getting bogged down in sideshows.Christmas is an illegitimate battle for Christians to engage in. If you believe that Christmas is a religious holiday, you are buying into a belief, a doctrine that is built on human speculation and failed biblical exegesis.So this lesson is entitled "Christmas Fiction". . .“What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38)
2Truth Can Only Be Determined From God’s Word “Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17)Pilate asked "What is Truth" but we know that truth can only be determined by something that is true and without falsehood.Truth is determined by true facts. You cannot determine truth simply by diagnosing somthing is erroneous. If someone proves that doesn't equal 7, that doesn't mean that another proposition which teaches 1+1 =6 is correct. Both are wrong and we can only determin the truth of what equals when we know what 1 itself really equals! There has to be a recognized measurment or unit, a knowledge of fact which identifies and defines what "one" is. If you don't know what "one" is, you can never know what one plus one equals, can you?Jesus identified what the "one" realy means, so to speak. He challenged people to know the truth and encouraged them to pursue it. But in order to determine truth, man must know where to begin and Jesus identified it as the word of God (Jn. 17:17).Creation is not necessarily true, just because evolution is wrong. Proving evolution is false does not necessarily prove the absurd notion that man was zapped her by aliens of another galaxey. Creation is true because it is defined in God's word as true and that is what essentially disproves any other notion. If God's word is true, then it will never contradict any other fact of history or nature.In relation to the Christmas issue, what makes Christmas true or false as a religious holy day can likewise only be determined by God's word. Is its notion in the scriptures? Does the Bible give a Christmas measurement, a defined unit of truth, that people should endorse?You shall know the truth!"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"(Jn. 8:32, NKJV)
3FACT or FICTION? “Keep Christ In Christmas” was Christ ever in Christmas?if “yes,” one must show:Jesus was born on December 25thHis birth was to be observed saintsthe manner in which it is to be observedsearch what is written: prophets, Christ’s teaching, apostles’ doctrine, early church practice[CLICK THROUGH]
4FACT or FICTION? Prophets: Christ’s personal teaching: born of a virgin, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14)born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2Christ’s personal teaching:nothing[CLICK] The prophets speak of the birth of Chris; they tell us what was going to happen and where, they do not tell us to celebrate such or how to do so.[CLICK] Christ did not teach us to celebrate His birth. Mr 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.“[CLICK] The apostles taught regarding Jesus’ birth, but gave a historical narrative. They do not state what day it was nor do they tell us anywhere to keep it. (I include Luke in here, though he is not an apostle, he wrote authoritatively and by the Holy Spirit.)[CLICK] There is no example of the church celebrating the birth of Christ.
5FACT or FICTION? Apostles’ teaching: Matt. 2; Lk. 2; Gal. 4:4 a historical narrativedoesn’t tell us what day Jesus was borndoesn’t tell us to celebrate itdoesn’t tell us how to celebrate itEarly church practice:nothing[CLICK] The prophets speak of the birth of Chris; they tell us what was going to happen and where, they do not tell us to celebrate such or how to do so.[CLICK] Christ did not teach us to celebrate His birth. Mr 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.“[CLICK] The apostles taught regarding Jesus’ birth, but gave a historical narrative. They do not state what day it was nor do they tell us anywhere to keep it. (I include Luke in here, though he is not an apostle, he wrote authoritatively and by the Holy Spirit.)[CLICK] There is no example of the church celebrating the birth of Christ.
6FACT or FICTION? December 25 is Christ’s Birthday? FICTION! December 25 was not celebrated as Jesus’ birthday by anyone in the first centuryprescribed by Liberius in 354 AD to be adoptedpreviously declared by Constantine 336 ADdesire was to “Christianize” December 25th; pagans worshipped Saturnalia in December[CLICK THROUGH]
7FACT or FICTION? Three Wise Men at the Manger FICTION! The wise men never went to a manger!“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11, NKJV)[CLICK, CLICK] The shepherds went to the manger, the three wise men went to a house. All of the nativity scenes which you see out in front of church buildings are based on human speculation and poor Bible study.NOT A BARN!(1)
8FACT or FICTION? Three Wise Men at the Manger the wise men never saw a baby“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11, NKJV)The wise men didn’t see a babe wrapped in swaddling clothing, but a young child.NOT A BABY!(cf. v. 16)NOT A BARN!(1)(2)
9FACT or FICTION? Three Wise Men at the Manger the wise men never saw a baby“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11, NKJV)THE TEXT DOES NOT MENTION “THREE”(3)Read Matthew 2:1-12The only evidence that some could say to suggest three men is that there were three kinds of gifts given. Yet this is weak reasoning. Two people could give three kinds of gifts. Further, these are kinds of gifts, not specific gifts. If someone were to ask me what kind of gifts I received and I responded “money and clothes.” That doesn’t mean that only two people gave me gifts. I could have had 20 people attend and all of which could have given types of clothes and money.NOT A BABY!(cf. v. 16)NOT A BARN!(1)(2)
10FACT or FICTION? “We Three Kings Of Orient Are” FICTION! [CLICK X2] An astrologer is not a king. Where the idea that these men were kings came from, I don’t know. I just know that it didn’t come from the New Testament.
11FACT or FICTION? “We Three Kings Of Orient Are” “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem” (Matt. 2:1, NKJV)“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying” (NASB)[CLICK X2] An astrologer is not a king. Where the idea that these men were kings came from, I don’t know. I just know that it didn’t come from the New Testament.“a Magian, i.e. an (Oriental) astrologer, by impl. a magician” (NASGRK)NOT KINGS
12FACT or FICTION? The Wise Men’s Faith looked to the light of God’s WORLD“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matt. 2:2; NKJV)“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matt. 2:9, 10, NKJV)
13FACT or FICTION? The Magi’s Faith looked to the light of God’s WORD knew one was to be born king of the Jews“I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. . .” (Num. 24:17, KJV)acted on the light given“we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”obeyed warning (Matt. 2:12)[CLICK] Sometimes people think they have to know everything before they obey. In reality, you need to always be willing to obey the amount of light given to you.
14Christmas FACTS “Christmas” is not found in the Bible No New Testament Christian celebrated ChristmasDecember 25th was chosen by man to attempt to “Christianize” a pagan feastChristmas is registered as a “national holiday”Christmas is commercialized[CLICK THROUGH]RE: BIG-TIME COMMERCIALIZED. . .We buy cards and presents for Mother’s day, Father’s day, some for “Grand-mother’s day,” “secretary’s day,” “boss’s day,” and “Christmas Day.”
15November 20, 2003“Americans plan to spend an average of $734 on Christmas gifts this year. . .”(poll.gallup.com)“Americans spend nearly $7.5 billion on greeting cards each year, with the average household buying 30 cards in a year, according to the Greeting Card Association. Seasonal cards include Christmas, which accounts for 30 percent of all sales, and such biggies as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Everyday cards include birthdays and anniversaries.” Daily Press.comSo, why do you think Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, J.C. Penny, Sears, etc. have so many Christmas commercials and sales, etc.? There is a lot of money to be made in December, billion dollars that is! That doesn’t even include the 2.25 billion on cards and another 500 million on postage.$ X 250,000,000 Americans= $183,500,000,000.00
16The FACTS of Christ the birth of Christ is important fulfilled prophesy (Is. 7:14; Mic. 5:2)to begin the mission for redemption (Matt. 1:21; Lk. 2:25-35)presumptive and insulting to affix a day for one’s birth with no proof[CLICK THROUGH]
17The FACTS of Christ the death of Christ is to be celebrated ransom is in the life Jesus gave (Matt. 20:28)death is the climax of his coming; not birthto be commemorated (1 Cor. 11:23-26)on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7)THOSE WHO CONTEND FOR CHRISTMAS TO BE A HOLY DAY WILL OFTEN REJECT CELEBRATING THE DEATH OF CHRIST ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK![CLICK THROUGH] It is kind of ironic, is it not? That those who seek to insert a religious “purpose” into a day that man, apart from divine revelation, deemed to be Jesus’ birthday, these ones will often be the first to opposed in keeping the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. But that is like man. God tells him to remember something weekly and he remembers it WEAKLY! God says remember Christ’s death every week on Sunday; man says remember his birth one day a year!
18Is It Sinful To Celebrate Christmas? As a Church?YES!“You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” (Gal. 4:10, 11, NKJV)As a Holy Day?“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17)No authority![CLICK THROUGH] Where do you get authority to say this is Jesus’ birthday?Where do you get authority to celebrate Jesus’ birthday?
19Other QuestionsCan a preacher preach about the birth of Christ on Christmas?YES!preachers are to preach the whole council of God (Acts 20:27)all scripture is profitable for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16)the birth of Christ is a scriptural subject in any seasonHe cannot preach that Christmas is Christ’s birthday
20Other QuestionsCan we ascribe a certain day of the year to Jesus’ birth?NOT BY FAITH (Rom. 10:17)Bible is silent; cannot be “convinced in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5)
21Other QuestionsCan a Christian observe Christmas as a national holidayYES!Jews celebrated Purim’s national days (Esther 9:26-28)was not in the law of MosesJews celebrated the Feast of Dedication (Jn. 10:22)originated in inter-testament periodClick through
22Feast of Dedication“The feast of dedication was one of eight days’ duration and began upon the twenty- fifth of Chisleu, which, according to the calculation of M. Chevannes, fell upon the nineteenth or twentieth of December, A.D. 29. The feast was kept in honor of the renovation and purification of the temple in the year B.C. 164, after it had been desecrated by the Syrians under Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:20-60; 4:36-59; 2 Macc. 10:1-8; Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, ,7)” (J. W. McGarvey, Four Fold Gospel)
23Other QuestionsCan a Christian observe Christmas as a national holidayQUESTION: “What about it’s pagan/Catholic connections?”Christmas has nothing to do with a religious service for me!Principle: 1 Corinthians 8:4-10
244 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so–called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. 7 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse. 9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?1 Cor. 8:4-10, NKJVWe know that idols are nothing, that is, there is no such thing as other god’s. They are not living. We know that there is only one true God. We therefore know that Saturnalia was not a real god.We should also know that Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Christ because God never established such. Purim and the Feast of Dedication was not established by the law of Moses either, but became national holidays for the nation of Israel. A Jewish convert could still keep those days because of his nationality.Likewise, a Christian could eat meat in a market that may have been offered to an idol, because he knows that there is no such thing as an idol and that God has created all things and has given all flesh to us to eat and give thanks for it (cf. 1 Tim. 4:4-5). Therefore, I can put a tree in my house if I want or any other plant and not worship it as an idol. I can give gifts and light candles in an unreligious context and still maintain innocence.I can eat unleavened bread seven days in a row if I want to as a snack, without any religious strings attached and do so in innocence, can't I? Surely!Yet, we need to give consideration over our liberties [CLICK]
25Additional Thoughtsa tree (or any plant) with lights on it does not have to signify any religious themeto the faithful Christian, December 25 has nothing to do with Christ’s birthday or a lost pagan feastsif it falls on the first day of the week it is the Lord’s Daywe can call the seventh day “Saturday” without giving homage to some so-called god of Saturn—Saturn is nothing!we can call the first day of the week “Sunday” without worshipping Sun-gods: Ra, Helios, Mithrias, etc.; they are nothing!we can call the second day of the week, “Monday” without making it a “moon day” for the goddess Lunae; she is nothing!These pagan origins lost their meaning.
26Biblical Principles moderation in spending “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses’” (Lk. 12:15, NKJV)Many of the gifts we buy/receive/give will be forgotten in a year
27Biblical Principles keep yourself pure don’t defile the flesh with alcohol“Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov. 20:1, NKJV)
28Biblical Principles keep Christ’s birth out of Christmas choose Christmas cards and stamps without nativity scenesdon’t use angels and mangers on treeavoid music that leaves the impression of celebrating Christ’s birthdayopt out of religious musicalsdo not try to force God to accept man-made inventions. . .worship God in spirit and truth!