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1 “Why Can’t We Put The Christ Back Into Christmas?”

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1 1 “Why Can’t We Put The Christ Back Into Christmas?”

2 2 1. The Christmas tree -  Because the festive aspects of the German- American Christmas, including the tree, were considered pagan, the Puritans in New England shunned them until about 1875.  It is generally acknowledged that the Christmas tree is of German origin. In the pre- Christian era the oak was the sacred tree for the Germanic peoples.

3 3 The Christmas Tree  “We Wish You a Merry Nimrod?” by Christopher C. Warren –  Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah.  It was Nimrod who built the original tower of Babel, the first city of Babylon, Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) and many other commercial and pagan-religious centers.  Nimrod was so evil that he married his own mother, Semiramis.

4 4 The Christmas Tree  After Nimrod's untimely death, Semiramis established a false Messiah or anti-Christ doctrine which was adopted subsequently by many pagan religions.  She claimed that a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of the dead Nimrod.  On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. 25 December was the birthday of Nimrod.

5 5 Jeremiah 10:2-5  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

6 6 3. What about the mistletoe?  “Mistletoe” by Sara Williams -  Roman worshippers of Mithra, the Persian sun god, also celebrated the winter solstice as the "nativity" or "birth" of the sun.  When the feast was celebrated in Rome, it was called the festival of Saturn and lasted for five days.  In ancient Rome and Babylon, this festival involved wild parties and orgies that might have begun with an "innocent kiss" underneath the mistletoe leading to justification of all sorts of perverted behavior.

7 7 4. What About Santa Claus?  World Book Encyclopedia:  " Some of Santa Claus's characteristics date back many centuries.  The belief that Santa enters the house through the chimney developed from an old Norse legend. The Norse believed that the goddess Hertha appeared in the fireplace and brought good luck to the home.“  Children are taught through it that he has many of the characteristics that only God actually has: omniscience (knowing all - "he knows when you've been bad or good"); omnipresence, being able to cover the world with gift-giving in one night, etc.

8 8  The Catholic Pocket Dictionary of Saints Says about Santa Claus: "His popularity, already great, increased enormously in the West when his relics were brought to Bari in 1087, and his shrine was one of the great pilgrimage centers of medieval Europe.“  AustralianMedia.com Family Network:  St Nicholas was a Christian priest, who later became a bishop. He was a rich person, and traveled the country helping people, giving gifts of money and other presents. St Nicholas did not like to be seen when he gave away presents, so the children of the day were told to go to sleep quickly or he would not come!

9 9 Was Christ Born December 25th?  The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible  states that, “.. weather phenomena and climatic conditions as pictured in the Bible correspond with conditions as observed today". The temperature in the area of Bethlehem in December averages around 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) but can drop to well below freezing, especially at night.  Sara Ruhin, chief of the Israeli weather service, noted in a 1990 press release that the area has three months of frost: December with 29 F. [minus 1.6 C.]; January with 30 F. [minus 1.1 C.] and February with 32 F. [0 C.].

10 10  Snow is common for two or three days in Jerusalem and nearby Bethlehem in December and January. These were the winter months of increased precipitation in Christ's time, when the roads became practically unusable and people stayed mostly indoors. Note that, at the time of Christ's birth, the shepherds tended their flocks in the fields at night.  The Companion Bible, Appendix 179  Says: Shepherds and their flocks would not be found "abiding" in the open fields at night in December (Tebeth),… there would be no pasturage at that time. It was the custom then (as now) to withdraw the flocks during the month Marchesven (Oct.-Nov.) from the open districts and house them for the winter.

11 11 6. Why Celebrate Christmas December 25th?  Macmillan Compact Encyclopedia says:  "In the West it [Christmas] has been celebrated on 25 Dec since 336 AD, partly in order to replace the non-Christian sun worship on the same date."  The New Encyclopedia Britannica, states:  "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 [Roman Catholic] church as Christmas, the nativity of Christ, to counteract the effects of these festivals."

12 12  “A Treasury of Christmas” By Frank and Jamie Muir:  "25 December was a particularly good date for a Christian festival celebrating new life, because there were several pagan festivals all doing much the same thing.  The Romans honored their god Saturn between 17 and 23 December. Saturnalia was a festival in celebration of Rome's Golden Age, which all hoped one day would return.  Many of its festivities became part of the traditional Christmas... When Christianity became the official religion of the Emperor Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century AD, the pagan celebrations of the 25th stayed to become part of Christmas."

13 13  The New Catholic Encyclopedia  says: "the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian) because on this day, as the sun began its return to the northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun)."  “Christmas and Its Customs”, By Christina Holes  tells us: "It was the policy of the early [Roman Catholic] Church to transform pagan festivals wherever possible instead of trying to abolish them, and by giving ancient practices a Christian significance, to purify and preserve for the new faith.

14 14  - whatever was innocent and deeply-loved in the old. In the yet-unconverted world of the fourth century, December 25 was already a sacred day for thousands of people throughout the Roman Empire. It was Dies Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."  “The Christmas Book” By Gyles Brandreth:  "Practically every country in the world, from China to India, from South America to the Middle East, held celebrations at this time.  In fourth century Pope Julius I declared that December 25 should be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ,

15 15  We now celebrate Christmas every year, with a little bit of pagan superstition, a Norse Yule log, Druid candles, a drop of wine from Saturnalia, and a feast from the winter solstice."  Conclusion –  God is not honored by traditions of men. He seeks those that will worship him in spirit and in truth.  Matthew 15:8-9 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  We can’t expect to drink from the cup of paganism and from the cup of Christ too!..  1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.


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