A Voice in the
The woman opens the little velvet box to see a sparkling diamond; her eyes light up as she looks 'lovingly' into her man's eyes; after all, "diamonds-are-love"; therefore, go to the jeweler sponsoring that ad, and you, too, can buy 'love'. After she realizes just how much money you've spent, how could she possibly say, "No"?
Ch-ch-ch-Chee-ah! Clap-on, clap-off, the clapper! The snowman gets a finishing touch of a 'black' nubbin for the nose, which happens to be the key to that brand new car or SUV. These presents are promoted as being indications of the giver's 'love'. The greater the present, the greater the love.
And the continual barrage of so-called TV "Christmas specials": the sitcoms poking fun at our societal traditions and attitudes, drama portraying various faaaamly love, forgiveness and other tendernesses.
And then there's the perverse. While working on my continuing MP3 music archiving project recently, the TV was on (next to the stereo equipment) "muted", and I noticed one night they had a "Saturday Night Live" christmas special, including all the perversities that make up that program. (For you from other countries, UK's "Are you being served" or the old Benny Hill shows are somewhat 'tame' compared to the gutter SNL grovels around in.) Just dress it up with red, white and green, use other symbols of the season, while doing their explicitely suggestive and depraved activities....how does one combine the words "christmas" and "SNL" in the same sentence?
The next night it was "Fear Factor Christmas"! Zooming along high wires while trying to catch giant candy canes, without falling off the tiny perch. Or how about passing out the 'presents' from under the tree. Open a present, and the person must eat live buzzing bugs. Open another present, and it is a 'sausage' filled with live worms of all sorts which must be eaten. Again, how is "fear factor" and "christmas" used in the same sentence?
The following was forwarded to me in an e-mail...
This is a story of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable. And after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.
She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card. Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff.
When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."
From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry we already crucified him." For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
For you who have been subscribers for a few years, you may guess what direction we go from here in this discussion. 'Everything' presented here, above this present paragraph, is in error. Yes, even this last one from the 'elevator'.
In "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" after all the disappointments of the season, and the play he is directing is a flop, Charlie Brown yells out:
IS THERE ANYONE WHO CAN TELL ME WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?
Linus then piously quotes the so-called "christmas story" from Luke chapter 2 from the Bible; and then walks over and answers: "That's what christmas is all about, Charlie Brown". And 'christians' get all warm-n-fuzzy, feeling all 'blessed' for the wonderful 'testimony' for the Lord Jesus...as they turn off the TV and begin passing out their presents to each other, out from under their tree. The Peanuts gang fixed Charlie Brown's spindly tree and they gather around the tree, singing carols, all happy. After telling Charlie Brown the focus is Jesus Christ, the show ends with the gang's focus on the tree.
That, also, is IN ERROR!
In order to understand 'who' -started- "christmas" (and thus who is 'responsible' for it), we must understand it and see it clearly for what it actually is.... And what it isn't.
First of all, the catholic "mass" is an act of blasphemy. We've addressed it before; won't do so in depth now; but briefly: in the catholic mass they continually re-crucify what they call "Jesus" over and over. That wafer is magickly transformed (transubstantiated) into what they claim is the -actual- "body-of-Christ"; Jesus' -actual- "body" is being sacrificed (and eaten) each time they observe it. Even though Scripture tells us plainly that Jesus died for sin "once for all" (Rom6:10, Heb7;27), it is an "eternal redemption" (Heb9:12) by which He 'brought us to God' (1Pe3:18) and now "He lives forever to make intercession" for us (Heb7:25); and "death no longer has dominion over Him" (Rom6:9); Roman catholicism continually "exposes Him to public disgrace" by "crucifying Him again". (Heb6:6) But vs4 says that such a salvation is "impossible".
And then, also, in reality: EVERY catholic mass, according to catholic belief, is a 'Christ'-mass; because the mass purports to crucify CHRIST EACH TIME they observe it; NOT merely at this northern hemisphere's winter solstice time of year. They might celebrate mass every week, or for special occasions, or in honor of special people. But in reality, EVERY mass is actually a "Christ-mass"...or as they say it, "Christmas".
Thus, that which the world celebrates at this time of year is NOT -really- "christmas". Something can be "christmas", by definition, only to catholics. To the rest of the world there is utterly no concept of "Jesus" nor of any church rituals of sacrifice or crucifixion. And yet this time of year is a time of festivities and celebration.
So, what are they celebrating? Over what are they being festive?
"Have yourself a merry little christmas..." sung swooningly as a love song. Mistletoe where when a couple is under it, whether married to each other or not, they are to kiss. One of the 'hot' colors of the season is -red-, the color of blood, of sensual desire and passion. How much of the season is about 'romance' and what happens in front of that romantic fireplace after the guests have left, and it's just the couple alone together. Indeed, it is the season of the ancient pagan winter solstice 'fertility' rites. As was observed in one newsletter I subscribe to, a more appropriate greeting might be: Merry Winter Solstice!
The other color is green, like that so-called, "O christmas tree, O christmas tree"; suggesting "life"; when everything else is dead in the 'dead' of winter, the 'evergreen' tree suggests "life" carrying on. Of course, with the season's fertility rituals, the outcome of fertility is life, is it not!
Except guess what? I just looked up in my German/English dictionary the word of the song that pre-dates our English version, and "tannenbaum" is not about "christmas"; it means "fir tree". In German it's, "O fir tree, O fir tree". Is this, as christians try to justify the matter in their own minds, a symbol of "Eternal Life" that Jesus came to provide?
When did celebration with the fir tree begin? It was in existence at least during Isaiah's day, as he describes (purposely) growing a fir tree (like is done today on christmas tree 'farms'), cutting it down, using part of it to cook meals with, other parts to build a fire to keep warm, and with another part carving out an idol. He then bows down to this carving and worships it. (Is44:14-17)
And sings... "O Fir Tree, O Fir Tree"
In ancient times the 'tree' (of any variety) carried symbolism. In Nebuchadnezzar's dream the tree represented his world-dominion of his day, his power in rulership, and providence over his people. (Daniel ch4) The downfall of nations is depicted as trees being cut down. (Zec11:2) A Godly person is depicted as a tree with well-watered roots. (Jer17:8, Ps1:3) Jotham speaks parables to Abimelech about his treachery using tree imagery. (Jud9:6~) Abimelech was made "king" next to a tree. (Jud9:6) Deborah judged Israel from the palm tree where she lived. (Jud4:5) Saul had his military command posts under trees. (1Sa14:2, 22:6)
There's a lot more we could say about the ancient view of trees. But suffice it to say that trees, while being symbols of power, were also locations and objects of worship. (De12:2, 1Ki14;23, 2Ki17:10, Is57:5, Jer3:6, etc) And if you look these passages up, you will notice that these places of idolatry were under "green" trees (Today the term "evergreen" is especially used of the christmas tree). And all the little boys and girls did not get presents from Santa, but many babies were "slaughtered" in sacrifice. (Is57:5)
What we see today, erroneously called the "christmas" tree was also in existence during Jeremiah's time. To God's people Jeremiah proclaims: "Thus says Jehovah, Do not learn the way of the nations...For the customs of the people are vain; for one cuts a tree out of the forest with the ax, the work of the hands of the craftsman. They make it beautiful with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers, so that it will not totter. They are crafted into hammered work like a palm tree, and they cannot speak. They must be lifted up and carried, because they cannot walk." (Jer10:2-5)
Isaiah was 700 years before Jesus was born, and Jeremiah was during the Babylonian captivity, 500-550 years prior.
Notice what God says about those who are fooled by these pagan idols, "They have not known nor understood; for He has shut their eyes so that they cannot see; and their hearts so that they cannot understand. And no one considers within his heart, nor is there perception nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; indeed, also I have baked bread on its coals; I have roasted flesh and eaten; and shall I make the rest of it into an abomination? Shall I prostrate myself to a piece of wood?" (Is44:18-19)
Dear Believer in Jesus Christ: Are you still deceived? A few years ago a relative expressed words of 'pity' for me, because I do not embrace all the romanticism and symbolism of this season of the year.
Years ago I naively preached, "Put Christ -back- into christmas". Now that I understand more the origins of what goes on during this season, I shudder at the remembrance of that. People would greet, "Merry Christmas", and being more -spiritual- I would return back, "Blessed Christmas". Now I shudder in horror at even the word, "christmas". Thankfully God's grace "overlooks" our past "ignorance" (Ac17:30) I only use the word here for this commentary, because it is the term people know. But when we understand the truth about these many things, a True Believer into Jesus Christ realizes that it is a term of UTTER BLASPHEMY! Associating Jesus Christ with ancient pagan sun-worship (which is what the catholic mass 'wafer' is about) is sacrilege. To lump "baby Jesus" with parties, debauchery and nights of promiscuity, and ancient child sacrifice... is UNTHINKABLE!
The catholic mass is erroneously thought by some to be equivalent to the Lord's Supper. It is not! However, what does Paul say about mixing the Lord's Supper with idolatry?
"What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? [Indeed, Jeremiah says to not be afraid of them, because they are powerless. Jer10:2,5] Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lordís table and of the table of demons." (1Co10:19-21)
So, back to our titular question: "who" is responsible for this season of the year? It certainly was -NOT- Jesus Christ! It is of utterly, totally pagan origins, and has its roots way back in ancient times -centuries- before Jesus was born. This thing they call "christmas" is straight from the pits of hell!
Well, what about Luke ch2, then? Is that, "...what christmas is all about, Charlie Brown"? Hopefully the answer is clear. Hopefully you understand why those earlier examples were declared to be "IN ERROR". What they have come to call "christmas" has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Jesus Christ!! And to try to say it does, is a slap across the face of that precious Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. (Jn1:29)
Actually, in many ways, for what this season of the year is, its pagan roots, and demonic origins, I dare say that the "Saturday Night Live" depictions are, perhaps, the most 'honest' to its true origins and meanings. Did I hear a collective "Gasp!" out there? Polite society has dressed the season up with the glamorous, pretty wrappings and twinkly lights....but the -reality- of the season, after removing society's charade wrappings, is -precisely- what Saturday Night Live depicts regularly.
So, what about Luke ch2? What do we do with the Babe in the manger? The shepherds? The wise men? (Matthew ch2) Well, certainly, do NOT associate the birth of Jesus Christ into human "flesh and blood" form (Heb2:14), with anything that has "mass" attached, nor with the pagan idol "fir tree"!
In the O.T. to Israel God repeated the exhortations to keep the various three annual feast pilgrimages in their proper time. (Ex23:14,17, 34:23, De16:16) And Passover was so important (out of all the rest of the feasts), that if a person for some reason had become ritually "unclean/defiled" so he could not observe it at the proper time, they had provision to observe it a month later. (Num9:11) Passover was so important because it symbolized Jesus' (future) crucifixion. Anyone who refused to keep the feasts, it was said, "..that soul shall be cut off from among his people.." (Le23:29, Num9:13) Jesus' crucifixion occurred precisely at Passover, and the Holy Spirit came at the beginning of the Church age -precisely- at Pentecost. (Ac2:1)
But interestingly enough, there doesn't seem to be any O.T. feast looking ahead to Jesus' 'birth'. There are many self-proclaimed 'experts' who have researched Scripture, history of the Roman census, calendars, customs of Judean shepherds and the seasons of the year where they would have been out with their sheep at night, etc.; and with impressive scholarship, some proclaim that Jesus was, indeed, born at (or around) December 25. And with equally believable scholarship others proclaim His birth was in September, as they tie Jewish legend about Rosh Hashanah being the calendar anniversary of the creation of the universe (Gen1:1), and how Jesus would have been born at the 4000 year anniversary of creation. (I've never figured out how they get that from Scripture!)
But notice that Lk3:23 speaks of Jesus, when beginning His ministry, as being "-ABOUT- thirty years of age". The word "about" indicates a NON-PRECISION regarding the knowledge of Jesus' -exact- age. And of all the things God told Israel to observe annually, without fail; and all the teachings of the N.T., including the Lord's Supper which was to be done "in remembrance of" Jesus' death (1Co11:26); there is not one word in Scripture to inform us the Year-month-day of Jesus birth, nor even, that we should remember and celebrate it.
That is because we do not worship the "Babe in the Manger", but the "Christ who died for your sin". If we do consider thinking about Jesus' birth, what is it that should be on our minds?
"LET THIS MIND be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider clinging, to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found comprised as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Php2:5-11)
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Re5:12)
No, Linus; this is -NOT- the meaning of that pagan holiday of which we won't utter its name further. "..beware and make no mention of any other gods by name, nor let it be heard from your mouth.." (Ex23:13)
"I charge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will reveal in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen. (1Ti6:13-16)
Regarding this pagan idolatry and those who are 'responsible' for it?
"...the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, elect, and faithful...And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev17:14, 19:16)
Jesus (the one whose birth many falsely claim to celebrate) says, "I am He who searches the inner thoughts and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works." (Rev2:23)
"Even so, Amen!" (Rev1:7b)