Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I celebrate the Birth of Christ. I am NOT a Pagan.

I celebrate the
Birth of Jesus Christ,
Savior of the World.
When I was a boy, our little church put on a Christmas play. It seemed that half the congregation was in it. The old wood-frame church house had wooden floors and a wooden stage. They strung a wire from one side to the other, and hung white sheets on large safety pins for curtains. Somebody built a long box with a series of light sockets to use as footlights. The auditorium was darkened. We had a manger scene with a homemade wooden manger stuffed with hay. One of the married couples played Joseph and Mary, and one of the babies in the church played baby Jesus. Three guys played the wise men from the East, and several kids dressed as the angel choir. One of the men narrated the Bible story, and everybody sang all the old traditional Christmas carols. Silent Night. Away in a Manger. O Come All Ye Faithful. We Three Kings. Joy to the World. It was surreal. I felt as though I was re-living the actual event. In those days, Christmas was still about Jesus. At the end of the service, everyone received a large bag of fresh fruit and nuts: apples, oranges, Brazil nuts, filberts, pecans. Those were the days.

But there were new songs coming on the scene. Frosty the Snowman. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. White Christmas. Silver Bells. Santa Claus is coming to town. In my 63 years, I have watched the Christmas season lose virtually every vestige of sanctity and holiness. The merchandisers and entertainment industry utterly hijacked the entire holiday.

The name of Jesus has almost completely vanished from the so-called Christmas holidays. Santa Claus has center stage. Instead of angel choirs, we have hordes of snowmen. Instead of cattle lowing, we have reindeer flying. No talk about Bethlehem; just the North Pole. No wise men; just elves. Etc. Etc.

I know all about Christmas's pagan roots. I have written articles on the pagan roots of certain Christmas activities, that were published 20 years ago. I do not personally participate in any PAGAN activities at Christmas time, and I preach year-round against all things pagan and heretical. So don't start posting a thousand ANTI "PAGAN-CHRISTMAS" posts to my social networks. I will delete them - every last one of them.

I do NOT defend ANY kind of pagan worship. But I will and I do defend the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is NO SIN to celebrate the birth of Christ. In a world full of atheism, witchcraft, Islamism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Confucionism, and more, nothing is more needed than a declaration of the truth about Jesus Christ; His birth, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His soon return.

The Christmas holiday as we now know it does a pathetic, if not utterly miserable job of celebrating the birth of Christ. As it stands, I cannot and do not support the bulk of Christmas celebrations. I have many wonderful friends who categorically reject and renounce all participation in the Christmas holidays. They go on about their business as if the holiday is not even on the calendar. I do not think they are over-reacting to the absolute farce that the modern Christmas holiday has become.

The whole "existence" of Santa Claus is a lie that cannot be defended. If we tell our children that Santa Claus is coming, we are simply lying to them. It is a cute fairy-tale that has been perpetuated to our own hurt. 

I often use the phrase, "The devil is a squatter." By that phrase, I mean to say that Satan is forever attempting to steal God's place in the world. Look at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In the very place where Abraham offered Isaac on Mount Moriah, where David pitched the Tabernacle of David, and where Solomon built the Holy Temple, the devil has planted an Islamic "Dome of the Rock" where Muslims claim their false prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven on a winged flying horse, Al Buraq. The devil is a squatter.

On holy sites all over the land of Israel, Roman Catholics and Muslims have built building and institutions that utterly betray their Biblical significance. Today, most Christian tourists can no longer visit Hebron, where Abraham and several other patriarchs are buried, because Muslims have squatted on the site. In Bethlehem, 8-10,000 pilgrims stream in and out of the Church of the Nativity every day while the city itself is being almost completely overrun by anti-Christian Muslims who will, when they finish their task, finally deny any visitation of the birthplace of Christ. The devil is a squatter.

And that is what has happened to Christmas. The devil has squatted on Christmas. He has replaced Jesus Christ with Santa Claus. He has replaced the manger scene with reindeer and a sleigh. He has replaced the shepherd's fields with the North Pole. "Silent Night" with "Jingle Bell Rock." Instead of talking about the Savior of the world, they are talking about Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.

The so-called Christian community is as guilty as anybody. So-called Christianity is just as secular today as if Jesus Christ never lived. Jesus is not genuinely worshipped in very many places anymore. He is patronized and plagiarized. In painful reality, this generation does not know Jesus Christ. He is a brand name like Gap, or Old Navy, or some other merchandising icon.

The real Jesus deserves honor and praise and worship that is altogether different from what modern "Christmas" celebrations now provide.

Jesus Christ was God in flesh. Emmanuel - God with us. He was born of a virgin. He is the Invisible Creator incarnate in a human body. He came to save mankind from their inherently wicked ways, and show the path to Eternal Life. He died in agony for our sins, and then He rose from the dead after three days to prove to us that He was more than just a man.

So pardon me if I utterly detest Santa Claus. If I could, I would ban him from all things Christmas. Bear with me if I am singularly unimpressed with flying reindeer and singing snowmen. Please.

I know it is a worn out adage, but it is still profoundly true:

JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON.

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen," Revelation 1:5-7.

I personally believe that we should NOT abandon the true Christmas hymns. I believe they are absolutely legitimate, appropriate, and beneficial to the Gospel cause.

Silent Night
O Holy Night
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Joy to the World
Away In A Manger
Angels We Have Heard On High
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O Come All Ye Faithful
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
...and other legitimate hymns.

I believe that we SHOULD abandon all the secular practices. Our children should know that Santa Claus is a MYTH, and that he does NOT visit our homes on Christmas eve. I believe that we should abandon the secular "Christmas" music. It is not necessary. It does not edify Christ or Christians, and as such is another example of what I have already said - "The devil is a squatter." Any time I see the devil squatting on God's holy places, I want to remove him. We can and should do whatever we can to drive Satan off the holy places. 

I realize that the celebration of Christmas is mostly a modern tradition, and that an enormous part of modern Christmas is pagan. I say, scrub Christmas of all things pagan. Get rid of all the NON-Christian icons and emblems. Get rid of the pagan and secular elements, and keep Christ in Christmas.

Don't take Christ out of Christmas. Take Santa Claus out of Christmas. Take Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer out of Christmas. Take Frosty the Snowman out of Christmas.

I know that nobody knows the exact date when Jesus was born. I know that the Bible does not tell us to celebrate Jesus' birth. I don't care if Jesus was born in December, or September or April. It doesn't matter to me. I'm just glad He came. And I am genuinely expecting Him to come again very soon. And I will celebrate His birth every year at this time until my days are finished.

I sincerely believe that the WHOLE WORLD needs to be reminded that GOD came down to Bethlehem to save our poor, lost souls. That is worth celebrating.

So please don't waste your time accusing me of "paganism!" on my social networks. If you do, I will simply delete your comments, and if you persist, I will have to block you. Nobody hates paganism more than I do. Just search my website, and you will see. But I do not believe the world will be a better place if we stop celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ altogether.

Think about it. The ANTI-CHRISTMAS movement would silence the worldwide mention and celebration of the birth of Christ. I will NOT support that kind of movement.

Purge the holiday of its pagan and secular plagiarisms, but do not ban the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Merry Christmas.


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