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November 3, 1997

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Q/A -Halloween -> Christmas?

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Alternatives to pagan holidays?

Q.
My church is asking for people to help them get ideas for christian alternative activities for the "pagan" holidays; ie, christmas, halloween, easter, etc. My question is - Is there a Christian alternative to Halloween? If so, how can we celebrate it?

A.
My question to them in return is...if we truly understand "what" Halloween is, WHY would we WANT TO celebrate "anything" that has any association whatsoever to it? By celebrating anything at all, we are officially "recognizing" the holiday. And then, those who are ecumenically inclined can be tempted to say, "We celebrate Halloween...and you celebrate ??? ...see, we celebrate this date in "this" way, and you do in "that" ..as we do it "together" in ecumenicity"

Paul wrote, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." (2 Cor 6:14-17)

We 1) come out and separate ourselves from it. Not being anywhere near it. And we also 2) don't even touch it. "Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. (Prov 4:14-15)

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What about Christmas?

Q.
Having read your response of dissaproval to a church having a harvest festival at the same time as the world celebrates a pagan rooted holiday, what would be your response to that of Christians celebrating Christmas as that of Christ's birth?

A.
There is a difference. In the case of "harvest festival" in my experience in churches I've been in, the "festival" was something concocted for the occasion to replace halloween. To give an alternative. "Recognizing" halloween by celebrating something "instead of" satan's high day. The unwillingness to just say "no" to satan.

On the other hand, while there is "Christmas" ...there is also "Christ's birth." Let us make a distinction between "Christmas" and "Christ's birth." The two are not the same thing. And there is Scriptural basis for Christ's birth, because it is prophesied in the O.T. and recorded in the N.T.

Christmas comes from "Christ's MASS." It should be understood that the Catholic mass is a sacrifice of a "living" Christ on their altar, as they believe the host to be the "literal body" of Christ. Scripture plainly states that "Christ was offered ONCE.."(Heb9:28) And that attempting to offer Him up repeatedly puts Him to "open shame." (Heb6:6) And so, to have a mass bearing Christ's Name is "an" ultimate blaspheme of His noble Name. (Jas2:7)

The Christmas "tree" comes from teutonic origins, and may likely be what is referred to in Jer 10:2-5. A tree bedecked in silver and gold, fastened with nails so it doesn't topple, etc. And what about the teutonic song, "O Christmas Tree" ...how utterly silly, singing to a tree...unless the origins consider it a "deity."

On the other hand...Jesus Christ *DID* come to the world. He *WAS* born. And God thought it was important enough that He made mention of some of the details in Scripture. However, for all the instructions for worship, and remembrances to keep about all sorts of other things, there is not one mention that we should observe or "remember" the day. Nor, for all the speculative scholarship, is there any certainty as to "what" day it actually was/is...like there is for "Resurrection Sunday" (NOT "easter")

Should a Christian Believer "observe" the Birth of Christ? Well, that might likely fit into Paul's exhortations about "let each be fully convinced in his own mind"(Rom14:5) since "one person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike."

If a church assembly is going to observe/celebrate it, and have special services and pagentry over it...do not label it "Christmas." "ChristMASS" is pagan, and should not be a part of the Christian's vocabulary.

Yes...it is quite likely that the Birth of Christ occurred around the same time the world celebrates Mass and the winter solstice. So, yes, there is a similar time slot that both share. But the Christian celebrations should NOT include the pagan tree, and most certainly should not invite the antichrist, "santa" to distribute candy to the children, and pass out presents.

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"Christ MASS" - Saturnalia?

Q.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming "Christ Mass" begun by Constantine, ie Catholic Church, during Saturnalia?

A.
Well...you have appropriately enclosed the name in quotes. As such, if a person is fully realizing the fact that a mass, any mass, is a re-sacrificing of Christ on their altar, where Heb 9:28 clearly states that He was "offered ONCE" and that to attempt to re-sacrifice Him would put Him to "open shame" (Heb6:6) ...to have a "mass" with Jesus' own title in it is an ultimate in blaspheme.

I don't know that much about "Saturnalia" other than the fact that the old Roman empire worshipped Saturn as one of their deities. And this all fits with everything else the RCC has done, in taking pagan practices and putting "christian" labels on them.

The Germanic/Teutonic introduction of evergreens, thus, the Christmas "tree" has a likely earlier reference in Jeremiah, "

Thus says the LORD: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, For they cannot do evil, Nor can they do any good." (Jer 10:2-5)

This passage seems to also reference the winter-solstice paganistic "fears" of the disappearing/reimerging sun, etc.

And God says, "do not learn the way of the Gentiles [pagans]"

Q.
Right on, Paul! Now for the BIG question, which most christians would consider blasphemous in intent, do you celebrate "Christmas"?

A.
No.

Q.
Having kids, it has been very difficult not to, but we have de-emphasized it to not much of a celebration, as they got older. We would prefer to celebrate Chanukah, when Christ was probably conceived, and a festival He observed.

You will not find any pastor's willing to not celebrate it, since it's the major draw day to fill the "collection" plate. No wonder it is so hard to keep Christ in it, since He never was in it. And no wonder the pagans love it - it was conjured up for them. I've heard the Japanese even celebrate it. You should have knowledge of this.

Be careful, you will really incur wrath, if you make these thoughts public. The deception is exceptionally strong-" if possible the elect would be deceived." At any rate, keep the faith and hang in there!

A.
Actually, when I was about 9, it dawned on me one day. If any of "us" has a birthday, the person having the birthday receives presents. But at Christmas, Jesus' "birthday" we all give presents to each other. That did not make sense. So, I was responsible for our family no longer exchanging gifts. (A child shall lead them...)

There was a church years ago, where I directed choir during my college days, and one year they asked me to head up the Christmas program. Well, for whatever reason, they went along with my notion of, instead of the candy bags for the kids, to use the money/offering and give it to a designated missionary who was nearby. Boy, I'll tell you! While they did it that year, I received many strange expressions. And the following year they had their Christmas tree up front again, and "Santa" gave out the candy bags to the kids.

If a person doesn't celebrate the season, one is considered "anti-family." After all "Christmas is FAMILY!" Right?(smile) I used to get that from my in-laws all the time.

One thing I haven't come up with yet, is a proper "expression" to denote the "birth of Christ." (Even though Scripture never tells us "when" it was, nor tells us to celebrate it) For Easter..."Resurrection Sunday" rolls off the tongue well. But I have not yet come up with an appropriate title for Christ's birth. Maybe that's just as well...since it's not a Scriptural "remembrance." ...like Baptism and Lord's Supper are.

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