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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/21/2005 1:03:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 1:03:52 AM EDT by swingset]
This was in my local paper tonight. Thought it was interesting.

www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051220/OPINION02/512200324/1014

Is there actually Christ in Christmas?

In response to your article on churches that are closing for Christmas because of low attendance: Aren't many in the religious world calling for Christ to be put back in Christmas? Is the best way to put Christ back in Christmas to stay home and not attend Lord's Day worship since Christmas falls on a Sunday?

It seems clear that Christ is already not really in Christmas. First, people seemingly love the thoughts and sentiments of the religious aspect of the holiday, but they really don't want all that religious stuff to get in the way of their good time on Christmas. "Why, there are presents to open, families to visit, and turkeys to eat! We don't have time for attending worship!"

Oh yeah, don't forget to say, "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays!" What absolute hypocrisy.

Second, Christmas is not a religious holiday. It was a pagan holiday concerning the sun god and was adapted by an apostate church to a religious holiday by offering a substitute meaning -- the birth of Christ. We have no evidence of what date Jesus was born except that He almost certainly was not born on Dec. 25. The first century church did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, it didn't show up as a so-called Christian holiday until around 336 A.D. In reality, we have no Biblical authority for a religious celebration of Christmas anyway! It is something man has invented.
Our doors will be open Sunday, Dec. 25.

Michael Cox

Evangelist

West End Church of Christ


Link Posted: 12/21/2005 1:43:11 AM EDT
WHEN WAS JESUS BORN?

Each year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. After the New Year, we struggle to remember to add a year as we date our checks, which should remind us that the entire Western World reckons its calendar from the birth of the One who changed the world more than any other before or since. Yet, it is disturbing to discover that much of what we have been taught about the Christmas season seems to be more tradition than truth.

Most serious Bible students realize that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th. The shepherds had their flocks in open fields, which implies a date prior to October. Furthermore, no competent Roman administrator would require registration involving travel during the season when Judea was generally impassable.

If Jesus wasn't born on December 25, just when was he born? Although the Bible doesn't explicitly identify the birthday of our Lord, many scholars have developed diverse opinions as to the likely birthday of Jesus.

The early Christian church did not celebrate Jesus' birth, and therefore the exact date was not preserved in festivals. The first recorded mention of December 25th is in the Calendar of Philocalus (AD 354), which assumed Jesus' birth to be Friday, December 25th, AD 1. This was subsequent to Constantine's Edict of Toleration in AD 313, which officially ended the government-sanctioned persecution of the Christians. The date of December 25th, which was officially proclaimed by the church fathers in AD 440, was actually a vestige of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, observed near the winter solstice, which itself was among the many pagan traditions inherited from the earlier Babylonian priesthood.

The year of Jesus’ birth is broadly accepted as 4 BC, primarily from erroneous conclusions derived from Josephus’ recording of an eclipse, assumed to be on March 13, 4 BC, “shortly before Herod died.” There are a number of problems with this in addition to the fact that it was more likely the eclipse occurred on December 29, 1 B.C. Considerable time elapsed between Jesus’ birth and Herod’s death since the family fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s edict and they didn’t return until after Herod’s death. Furthermore, Herod died on January 14, 1 BC Tertullian (born about 160 AD) stated that Augustus began to rule 41 years before the birth of Jesus and died 15 years after that event. Augustus died on August 19, 14 AD, placing Jesus’ birth at 2 BC. Tertullian also notes that Jesus was born 28 years after the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC, which is consistent with a date of 2 BC. Irenaeus, born about a century after Jesus, also notes that the Lord was born in the 41st year of the reign of Augustus. Since Augustus began his reign in the autumn of 43 BC, this also appears to substantiate the birth in 2 BC. Eusebius (264-340 AD), the “Father of Church History,” ascribes it to the 42nd year of the reign of Augustus and the 28th from the subjection of Egypt on the death of Anthony and Cleopatra. The 42nd year of Augustus ran from the autumn of 2 BC to the autumn of 1 BC. The subjugation of Egypt into the Roman Empire occurred in the autumn of 30 BC. The 28th year extended from the autumn of 3 BC to the autumn of 2 BC. The only date that would meet both of these constraints would be the autumn of 2 BC.

Another approach in determining the date of Jesus’ birth is from information about John the Baptist. Elisabeth, John’s mother, was a cousin of Mary and the wife of a priest named Zacharias who was of the “course” of Abijah (Priests were divided into 24 courses and each course officiated in the Temple for one week, from Sabbath to Sabbath). When the Temple was destroyed by Titus on August 5, 70 AD, the first course of priests had just taken office. Since the course of Abijah was the eighth course, we can track backwards and determine that Zacharias would have ended his duties on July 13, 3 BC. If the birth of John took place 280 days later, it would have been on April 19-20, 2 BC (precisely on Passover of that year). John began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar. The minimum age for the ministry was 30. As Augustus died on August 19, 14 AD, that was the accession year for Tiberius. If John was born on April 19-20, 2 BC, his 30th birthday would have been April 19-20, 29 AD, or the 15th year of Tiberius. This seems to confirm the 2 BC date and, since John was five months older, this also confirms the autumn birth date for Jesus.

Elisabeth hid herself for five months and then the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary both Elisabeth’s condition and that Mary also would bear a son who would be called Jesus. Mary went “with haste” to visit Elisabeth, who was then in the first week of her sixth month, or the fourth week of December, 3 BC. If Jesus was born 280 days later it would place the date of his birth on September 29, 2 BC. If Jesus was born on September 29, 2 BC, it is interesting to note that it was also the First of Tishri, the day of the Feast of Trumpets.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 2:33:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:
This was in my local paper tonight. Thought it was interesting.

www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051220/OPINION02/512200324/1014

Is there actually Christ in Christmas?

In response to your article on churches that are closing for Christmas because of low attendance: Aren't many in the religious world calling for Christ to be put back in Christmas? Is the best way to put Christ back in Christmas to stay home and not attend Lord's Day worship since Christmas falls on a Sunday?

It seems clear that Christ is already not really in Christmas. First, people seemingly love the thoughts and sentiments of the religious aspect of the holiday, but they really don't want all that religious stuff to get in the way of their good time on Christmas. "Why, there are presents to open, families to visit, and turkeys to eat! We don't have time for attending worship!"

Oh yeah, don't forget to say, "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays!" What absolute hypocrisy.

Second, Christmas is not a religious holiday. It was a pagan holiday concerning the sun god and was adapted by an apostate church to a religious holiday by offering a substitute meaning -- the birth of Christ. We have no evidence of what date Jesus was born except that He almost certainly was not born on Dec. 25. The first century church did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, it didn't show up as a so-called Christian holiday until around 336 A.D. In reality, we have no Biblical authority for a religious celebration of Christmas anyway! It is something man has invented.
Our doors will be open Sunday, Dec. 25.

Michael Cox

Evangelist

West End Church of Christ





It is interesting if only by interesting you mean stupid.
In the same way the Church turned pagan Roman temples into christian churches, so to pagan holidays were erradicated or changed. No matter what day you would have liked to celebrate Christmas it almost certainly would have fallen on one pagen holiday or another.
And what does the fact that modern consumer man has turned it into secular shop orama have to do with anything. Sundays are now usually watch your favorite sport on TV day so lets stop going to church on Sundays? Yeah, that makes sense.
And it registers rather high and the nonsense meter for someone who belongs to a "church" that may or may not even be as old as he is to call anyone else "apostate". Physician heal thyself.
Man did not invent the birth of Christ.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 2:50:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 2:50:59 AM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By Belloc:

Originally Posted By swingset:
This was in my local paper tonight. Thought it was interesting.

www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051220/OPINION02/512200324/1014

Is there actually Christ in Christmas?

In response to your article on churches that are closing for Christmas because of low attendance: Aren't many in the religious world calling for Christ to be put back in Christmas? Is the best way to put Christ back in Christmas to stay home and not attend Lord's Day worship since Christmas falls on a Sunday?

It seems clear that Christ is already not really in Christmas. First, people seemingly love the thoughts and sentiments of the religious aspect of the holiday, but they really don't want all that religious stuff to get in the way of their good time on Christmas. "Why, there are presents to open, families to visit, and turkeys to eat! We don't have time for attending worship!"

Oh yeah, don't forget to say, "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays!" What absolute hypocrisy.

Second, Christmas is not a religious holiday. It was a pagan holiday concerning the sun god and was adapted by an apostate church to a religious holiday by offering a substitute meaning -- the birth of Christ. We have no evidence of what date Jesus was born except that He almost certainly was not born on Dec. 25. The first century church did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, it didn't show up as a so-called Christian holiday until around 336 A.D. In reality, we have no Biblical authority for a religious celebration of Christmas anyway! It is something man has invented.
Our doors will be open Sunday, Dec. 25.

Michael Cox

Evangelist

West End Church of Christ





It is interesting if only by interesting you mean stupid.
In the same way the Church turned pagan Roman temples into christian churches, so to pagan holidays were erradicated or changed. No matter what day you would have liked to celebrate Christmas it almost certainly would have fallen on one pagen holiday or another.
And what does the fact that modern consumer man has turned it into secular shop orama have to do with anything. Sundays are now usually watch your favorite sport on TV day so lets stop going to church on Sundays? Yeah, that makes sense.
And it registers rather high and the nonsense meter for someone who belongs to a "church" that may or may not even be as old as he is to call anyone else "apostate". Physician heal thyself.
Man did not invent the birth of Christ.



Well, the intention of the man's article went right over your head.

He's saying Christmas, the modern shop-o-rama and sidestep of the religious tradition is Man's Invention, not the other way around.

He's also saying most Biblical scholars don't place Christ's birth on Dec. 25th, making the whole "taking Christ out of Christmas" argument rather silly.

He's saying people should celebrate the birth of Christ, independant of the holiday shopping, gift-giving, going to Grandma's.

I agree with him, even tho I'm not Christian. Christmas should be what it is, a celebration of family and gift giving, and the worship of the birth of Jesus should be something unto itself, so that the two aren't at constant odds.

Jeesh.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 3:01:12 AM EDT
I didn't write that letter! Honest!

Link Posted: 12/21/2005 3:07:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 3:09:25 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 1:13:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 1:15:20 PM EDT by Belloc]
Originally Posted By swingset:
Well, the intention of the man's article went right over your head.

Really, "Christ" is not in "Christmas"? His very first assertion is nonsense. Christmas: Christ's mass.

He's saying Christmas, the modern shop-o-rama and sidestep of the religious tradition is Man's Invention, not the other way around.
If in a war that that one is ordered to fight one loses ground previously won, one does not then leave it to the enemy.

He's also saying most Biblical scholars don't place Christ's birth on Dec. 25th, making the whole "taking Christ out of Christmas" argument rather silly.
Dec. 25 was a rough guestimate and no one really knows the date, which is the whole point. Playing devils advocate for a moment if the story of God becomming man is not true he has a point. But if it is true than it is hard to comprehend how taking a day out of the year to celebrate the most important birthday in the history of mankind bothers some people so much.

He's saying people should celebrate the birth of Christ, independant of the holiday shopping, gift-giving, going to Grandma's.
Then let them create their own "holiday". They cannot have ours.

I agree with him, even tho I'm not Christian. Christmas should be what it is, a celebration of family and gift giving, and the worship of the birth of Jesus should be something unto itself, so that the two aren't at constant odds.
Christmas was never about "the celebration of family". If people want to do that then get together with Hallmark and pick a day. We picked this one already.


Link Posted: 12/21/2005 2:52:19 PM EDT
Ok, you Christians are right about everything, once again.

This guy's off the mark.

Jesus was born on December 25th, in the year 00.

Apparently we should stick to the frenzy of commercialization which masks religious meaning to the event.

Christmas isn't about family, togetherness or love. Ever. It's only about Christ......and shopping. Gotcha.

Sometimes I think it would be easier talking to dog turds out in the yard. This guy is ON THE FUCKING MONEY. He understands that Jesus was not born on Christmas, and since Christmas has been distorted into a very different celebration today (which is not altogether bad mind you), the meaning of Christ's birth is buried and misplaced for most people. Why is it the non-Christian gets it and you guys don't?
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 8:56:22 PM EDT
It is amazing to see otherwise rational people so fiendishly wedded to a holiday they know nothing about, and in fact ignore evident facts on the matter.

Christianity = True Religion.
Chirstmas = Pagan Farce.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 9:24:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 9:27:08 PM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By Pontius:
It is amazing to see otherwise rational people so fiendishly wedded to a holiday they know nothing about, and in fact ignore evident facts on the matter.

Christianity = True Religion One of many religions, no more valid than any other.
Chirstmas = Pagan Farce A Western Holiday involving gifts and family get-togethers.



Fixed it for you, Captain Know it All.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:06:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:37:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:
Ok, you Christians are right about everything, once again.

You are going to act like a wise ass because there is no way to deny that Crhistmas is about Christ

Jesus was born on December 25th, in the year 00.
No one said he was, but also know one can say for certainty when he was born. Christmas is holiday because Christians picked it to celebrate the day Christ was born.

Apparently we should stick to the frenzy of commercialization which masks religious meaning to the event.
No, just ignore it since if the date was changed commercialization would no doubt spring up around that date as well. What you are actually saying is "why not celebrate Memorial Day on some other day, or July 4th on some other day because those days are really just days people take for vacations and come together and not really about remembering fallen soldiers or the declaration of independence."

Christmas isn't about family, togetherness or love. Ever. It's only about Christ......and shopping. Gotcha.
It is about coming together to celebrate the birth of Christ, hence the name, which incredible as it seems appears to be completely lost on you.l

Sometimes I think it would be easier talking to dog turds out in the yard. This guy is ON THE FUCKING MONEY. He understands that Jesus was not born on Christmas, and since Christmas has been distorted into a very different celebration today (which is not altogether bad mind you), the meaning of Christ's birth is buried and misplaced for most people. Why is it the non-Christian gets it and you guys don't?
All distortion of reality is bad. The ONLY reason Christmas is what exists is because Christ was born and it does not matter that it is not the exact day since the exact day cannot be known. I suggest all the neo-pagans have their little gift giving day on "May Day." Why would you be opposed to non Christians having that day as their holiday?
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:38:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 1:46:16 AM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
thus why this thread is so short and your attempt to draw Christians into contraversy isn't working.

Tj



I'm not trying to draw Christians into controversy....there's no controversy to be had. This man has an opinion about the holidays, that is a different take than this whole blitz of Christmas being ruined by atheists and political correctness. His assertion that it shouldn't even be a controversy is one I think is worth pondering......but you read deeper into it. You see this as a money issue. Whatever, maybe it is. Quite perceptive that you know a good Christian minister from a charlatan though. Dare I say, almost God-like power you have. Even more amazing, is the fact I drive by his modest church, and if there's money behind his motives by God he needs it. It's not a super-church.

I happened to agree with the idea that Christmas as a celebration of family and giving should not overtake, or replace worship, and if those things were separated by recognizing the very REAL FACT that Jesus wasn't even born on Dec. 25, maybe the 2 events might take a healthier, and separate course.

But, you know, if you want to be the poor maligned Christian martyr, fine. Have a merry Xmas. Happy Holidays, have a super-duper Qwanzaannukah. Remember, Santa died for your sins.

Christmas is what you make it. If you want it to be a celebration of Christ, then that's your freedom. Enjoy it. But, if you like most Christians get caught up in the frenzy of the commercialization of Christmas, blame the pitiful Pagans for ruining the whole meaning.

I just enjoy being with my family, giving and celebrating togetherness. I suppose I'm bound for Hell's furnace for that, too? Great, add it to the long, long list of shit I do wrong.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:44:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:

Christianity = True Religion One of many religions, no more valid than any other.
Which is a statement that you not only could you never know for certain, it could not ever possibly be true. It cannot not be the case that one religion is not more true than another unless there is not God, which is something you could only believe through "faith". But if God exists than it is impossible that religions that teach opposing doctrines are equally true.
Chirstmas = The day Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Christ, hence the very name..

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:51:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:

I'm not trying to draw Christians into controversy....there's no controversy to be had. This man has an opinion about the holidays, that is a different take than this whole blitz of Christmas being ruined by atheists and political correctness.

It is only ruined for him which is something he has to deal with. Other Christians are actually not that phased or really even care about what the silly pagans do with themselves.

His assertion that it shouldn't even be a controversy is one I think is worth pondering
Yeah, if you're a loon.

I happened to agree with the idea that Christmas as a celebration of family and giving should not overtake, or replace worship, and if those things were separated by recognizing the very REAL FACT that Jesus wasn't even born on Dec. 25, maybe the 2 events might take a healthier, and separate course.
Chistmas is about the Holy Family, not your family. Please feel free to pick any day of the year you wish to celebrate your family. But you cannot call it "Christmas".

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:54:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Belloc:
Christianity = True Religion One of many religions, no more valid than any other. Which is a statement that you not only could you never know for certain, it could not ever possibly be true.



Right back atcha, sparky.

You cannot ever know that all the other ways are wrong, and yours is right. You can believe it, but you won't know till you're pushing daisies.

If you think that every devout Tibetan Monk, every Shinto priest, every Buddhist practitioner on earth is heading for the fires and you're bound for fluffy clouds, that suggests a supreme and condescending arrogance, and is precisely the reason I will NEVER follow a Christian mindset.....because God doesn't play "bigger dick" with men's souls.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 1:59:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Belloc:
Chistmas is about the Holy Family, not your family. Please feel free to pick any day of the year you wish to celebrate your family. But you cannot call it "Christmas".



Christmas is ENTIRELY ABOUT MY FAMILY, as far as I see it, and I'm not about to change the manner in which I enjoy my life and those I love for anyone, certainly not you.....and if my enjoyment of what I have somehow offends you, then all the better. I call my day "Christmas", because that's what the calendar says. Blame your church for the coincidence.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 2:06:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:

Right back atcha, sparky.

Ah, no one's called me sparky since....wait, no one has ever called my sparky.

You cannot ever know that all the other ways are wrong, and yours is right. You can believe it, but you won't know till you're pushing daisies.
But I can use faith to believe Christianity is true as you must also use faith to believe it is not. And if I believe that God exists (as everyone from Aristotle to Einstien, who believed that God not only exists, but that he must necessarily exist) it must also be true that one version about him or another must necessarily be more accurate.

If you think that every devout Tibetan Monk, every Shinto priest, every Buddhist practitioner on earth is heading for the fires and you're bound for fluffy clouds, that suggests a supreme and condescending arrogance, and is precisely the reason I will NEVER follow a Christian mindset.....because God doesn't play "bigger dick" with men's souls.
It is not the Catholic teaching that non-Christians are damned because they are non-Christians.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 2:19:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 2:25:43 AM EDT by TomJefferson]
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 2:40:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By swingset:
Christmas is ENTIRELY ABOUT MY FAMILY, as far as I see it, and I'm not about to change the manner in which I enjoy my life and those I love for anyone, certainly not you

But you have not said why you feel the need to call it Christ-mass. Why take from a Church something that you don't believe in. If you actually had the courage of your convictions you would tell you family you were going to start calling it something else.

and if my enjoyment of what I have somehow offends you, then all the better.
Because for you Christams is "all about family and coming together and getting pleasure from offending people".


I call my day "Christmas", because that's what the calendar says. Blame your church for the coincidence.
So if we Christians took our Christmas to another day what then would you call it?
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