8 Reasons Christian Holidays Should Not Be Observed

Those who tried to reform the church in the 16th and 17th century did an effort to go back to the biblical Truth and to the early followers of Jesus.

For centuries there had always been true followers of Christ, who did not believe in a triune god and did not want to partake in the heathen festivals of their region.

The pastors who came from the Roman Catholic church, like Luther and Calvin, did an effort to bring the focus back onto the Word of God, but never managed to go so far with their Reformation that their followers would come to agree to only keep to the days given by God. Today we can only notice that lots of their hopes and teachings are gone away, and that we can see again protestant churches with statues or graven images and traditional rites and festivals.

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To remember

The writers who try  to promote Presbyterian perspectives, as summarized in the Westminster Standards bring a summary of Reasons Against Holy Days, one of the five points of dispute written by David Calderwood and the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland in 1618 when King James forced the Kirk to adopt the Five Articles of Perth.

 

1. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Ex. 20:9).

six days of work = a command or as permission

some feel they have a moral right to have the day off from their employer + wrongly think the employer would be infringing on their Christian liberty if forced to work on one of these holidays

2.  Only God can make a day holy

Man made holy days + ceremonies = > Assigning spiritual significance to something Scripture doesn’t = epitome of will worship (Col. 2:23), i.e. idolatry.

Human beings have no authority to sanctify a day,

we must worship God how He has told us He wants to be worshiped

Unbiblical ceremonies = lighting of candles, waving of palm branches, + certain decorations with intended religious significance = violate Regulative Principle of Worship + subvert headship of Christ over His Church.

Occasional days of public fasting or thanksgiving

lawful + necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for public fasting or thanksgiving

3. No one but God has ever appointed a holy day

Purim

= days of civil mirth + gladness > not a religious holiday, rather = civil celebration

The Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah)

commemoration of rededication of the second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt in the inter-Testamental period

> unduly instituted + ungroundedly

Pharisees added many festivals without divine warrant > feasts of the Tekuphas (equinoxes) and the Feast of Xylophoria, <= Feast of Dedication = Pharisaical tradition.

Jesus’ presence in Jerusalem during the Feast of Dedication

4. Annual holy days were part of the Ceremonial Law and abrogated with it

observation of days served to the people of God for a typical use and a rudiment of religion.

To substitute other days in place of the Jewish, a Christian Pascha [Easter] and Pentecost for the Jewish, is but to substitute rudiments + elements to the Jewish, and not to chase away, but to change the Jewish holy days…

Jews had no anniversary days

observation of anniversary days = pedagogical, rudimentary + elementary, + consequently ceremonial

5. Jesus Christ has not instituted any other holy day but the Lord’s Day

no Christian holy days other than the Lord’s Day, the Christian Sabbath

Holy days in the Early Church

conflicting accounts in the Early Church about where Pascha, or Easter, comes from.

Some reported that Philip + John kept the 14th day of the month (ed. = 14 Nisan), and others that Peter kept the first Lord’s Day after the 14th day of the month, which turned into a long lasting controversy.

6. Specific dates

If God wanted religious festivities for events of Christ’s life = would have recorded exact days of the year that those events took place

7. Even things indifferent, when they are abused and polluted with superstition, ought to be abolished.

Things indifferent, when abused + polluted with superstition, ought to be abolished

 

8. That which has lawfully been abolished cannot be received and put in practice again

After the attainments of the Protestant Reformation, wherein the Reformed Church cast off the superstitious, idolatrous, and arbitrary rituals and holidays of the Papal Antichrist, how can we justify slipping back into a lukewarm position?

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Preceding

Followers, protestors and reformers

Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time

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Further reading

  1. Holy Day
  2. High Holy Days 1
  3. High Holy Days 2
  4. The High Holy Days
  5. Just a holy day – not a holiday
  6. What is a holy day of obligation? When are they?
  7. Why Are There Holy Days of Obligation?

Purely Presbyterian

8 reasons christian holidays should not be observedReformed churches have historically been opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Even the Reformed churches on the continent, which left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions, did so because of either compromise with the stubborn people for the sake of further Reformation, or because the civil magistrates forced them to (c.f. John Calvin and Holy Days). Gisbertus Voetius, a delegate to the Synod of Dordt, relates that the Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but the allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches, in and of itself in an absolute sense unwelcome; to which Synods were summoned, compelled, and coerced to receive, bring in, and admit, as in the manner of a transaction, in order to prevent…

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Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time

For real Christians it is clear that lovers of God should keep their hands of the many pagan feasts, like Christmas and Easter, which entered the Roman Catholic Church and several protestant churches.

Luckily we may come to see some changes in some protestant churches willing to debate the reason why to keep only to God given holy days.

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To remember

Reformed churches historically opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter.

on the continent left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions < compromise with stubborn people for sake of further Reformation, or because civil magistrates forced them to.

Gisbertus Voetius, (delegate to the Synod of Dordt), relates Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches,

In Why are Ecclesiastical Feast Days in our Church Order? Rev. Dr. R. D. Anderson gives

Article 65 – Ecclesiastical feast days
On Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Ascension Day, and at Pentecost the consistory shall call the congregation together for church services. The sacred events which the congregation commemorates in particular on these days shall therein be proclaimed
Already in 1573 we see the topic coming to the floor of the Particular Synod of North Holland, that year held in Enkhuizen.
Also decided in respect of feast days, that in common no feast days are to be held other than Easter (Sunday) and the day thereafter, Pentecost (Sunday) and the day thereafter, Christmas, and similarly New Year’s day and Ascension day.
The churches in South Holland were somewhat stricter. A year later their Synod gathered in Dordrecht
making the following pronouncement:
Respecting the feast days which are in addition to the Sunday: it has been decided to rest content only with the Sunday. Nevertheless, the normal material relating to the birth of Christ shall be handled on the Sunday before Christmas day together with an admonition to the people not to observe Christmas day. If Christmas day falls on a Sunday, the same material shall be preached on that day. It is also permitted to preach on the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday, the which is left to the freedom of the ministers.
That seems clear enough. Behind the scenes, however, there was a political battle going on between the Roman Catholic forces and the Protestants. The celebration of these extra days came right in the middle of all that. It was the sort of thing that got people fired up. The Reformed churches needed to be careful to steer a righteous course between all manner of Roman Catholic superstitions which had become associated with these days and an over zealous extremism which could easily lead to political riots. We see that reflected in the decision of the Particular Synod of South Holland held in Rotterdam a year later:

As much as concerns feast days: The government shall be petitioned that they allow everyone to open his shop and to work 6 days in accordance with the 4th commandment of our Lord. And if the government desires to ordain any others besides the Sunday, the delegated ministers will petition parliament that they inform them in such a way that they may consider how much and how far one can permit in this matter, so that on the one hand people don’t fall into superstition as warned by Paul in Gal. 4, and on the other hand that people will not be led to fight too fiercely against the aforesaid government because of certain feast days.
Three years later a national synod was finally able to be held in Dordrecht. By this time it was slowly becoming clear that the political will to be rid of these extra feast days was weak.
On the 12th of July 1578 the government made a “declaration of religious freedom” in which the various Roman Catholic feast days were made compulsory for protestants. The synod in its response attempted to minimise the damage by steering the churches away from any special ways of celebrating these feast days, and keeping them as “normal” days.
1578 National Synod of Dort {Acta, Rutgers p.253 (art. 75, cap.4,23)}
It was indeed to be desired that the freedom from God to work 6 days be permitted in the church, and that only the Sunday be celebrated. Nevertheless since certain other feast days are maintained by authority of the government, namely, Christmas day and the day thereafter, likewise the day after Easter and the day after Pentecost and in some places new years day and ascension day; the ministers shall do their best to teach the congregation to transform unproductive and harmful idleness into a holy and profitable exercise by sermons especially dealing with the birth and resurrection of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and suchlike articles of the faith. The ministers of churches in those cities where yet more feast days are observed by authority of the government shall do likewise.
In the meantime all the churches shall work to make the use of all feast days except Christmas day (since Easter and Pentecost fall on Sunday) as normal as possible, and as soon as is fitting to abolish them.
By 1581 the goals of the churches had been reduced. It did not any longer seem possible to be rid of all the extra feast days.

 

Sadly, today, not only are many Reformed churches going back to observing Christmas and Easter, some are even beginning to observe Lent, Good FridayAdvent, etc. as well.

Exploring biblical worship from a Protestant Perspective “The Worship Blog” looks at

How little concern for the idea that what is done in the name of worship in so many churches has no warrant from the mouth of God! {About The Worship Blog}

Meg writes

The Scottish Presbyterians managed to remove observance of any pretended holy days other than the divinely prescribed Lord’s Day in their reformation. Indeed, the Reformed early on seemed ready to precede them in this; but due mostly it seems from desires of magistrates to preserve accustomed holidays, ie. days off for workers and servants, they retained various sets of days. This retained a set of other issues, and to ensure the riotous activities of the old days were not retained, the state churches prescribed that there be services and preaching at those times. {John Calvin and Holy Days}

In 1543–44 Calvin advised the church, that

“the observation of feast days was also to be rejected since it so easily led to superstition.”

“Calvin advised the ministers of Montbéliard to stand firm on these matters of principle but to yield wherever else their consciences would allow”. { Jill Raitt, The Colloquy of Montbéliard Religion and Politics in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 21.}

As an aside — The Reformed church of Montbéliard continued as best they could even when the rulers imposed Lutheran practices. Later, the oppressed Reformed churches of France, ruled by Roman Catholic magistrates which prohibited working on the pretended holy days,

“left unto the prudence of Consistories to Congregate the People, on such Holy-Days, either to hear the word Preached, or to join in common publick Prayers, as they shall find to be most expedient” (2nd Synod of Vitré, 1617).

American Presbyterians were opposed to the religious observation of Christmas and other ‘holy days.’  > Read more: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/the-religious-observance-of-christmas-and-holy-days-in-american-presbyterianism/

Read also: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/91380-Three-Books-on-quot-Christmas-quot-and-a-33-off-Black-Friday-Sale, Comment 25

The Worship Blog

Purely Presbyterian:

Reformed churches have historically been opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Even the Reformed churches on the continent, which left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions, did so because of either compromise with the stubborn people for the sake of further Reformation, or because the civil magistrates forced them to. Gisbertus Voetius, a delegate to the Synod of Dordt, relates that the Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but the allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches, in and of itself in an absolute sense unwelcome; to which Synods were summoned, compelled, and coerced to receive, bring in, and admit, as in the manner of a transaction, in order to prevent worse disagreeable and bad situations

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White Privilege Conference (WPC) wanting to keep the press out for obvious reasons

WPC organizers reacted very poorly to the discovery that this year’s conference was being reported on from inside. This is unsurprising, since WPC has attempted to totally ban reporters from covering its proceedings and has actively kept them out in the past.

It must not surprise you why it was kept secretly for the press the previous years. When you look at the debates it is clear we should seriously pose several questions by the speakers invited and by the set up of that conference.

Today there is a renewed attack (in the Western world) on anything to do with believing there is a God, a Creator of any kind!

There are even people who hold conferences to make it clear to others that almost every dysfunction in society, from racism and sexism to global warming and a weak economy, is united by the ideology of ‘Christian hegemony.’ That is at least what a lecturer at the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) claimed.

Believers are again open to ridicule. Academics, who are confident they have the answer (or at least acceptable opinions) to everything about how the world began, compete among themselves for the “glory” they can receive from each other and from the public with their notions. Some also want others to believe that all more active believers would be creationists and do not seem to get the difference of believing that there has been a Most High Supreme being ordering everything  and being responsible for the creation.

Contingency, Hegemony, Universality

Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Certain people, like Paul Kivel, think Christians “colonize our mind.”
Paul Kivel, is a social justice educator, activist, and writer, who to our mind looks not so social at all but is perhaps an atheist socialist against religion and willing to attack it. Though he claims to be an innovative leader in violence prevention for 35 years, it either looks like he has changed gear or has always loved to set up non-believers against believing people .

He defines Christian hegemony as the

everyday, pervasive, and systematic set of Christian values and beliefs, individuals and institutions that dominate all aspects of our society through the social, political, economic, and cultural power they wield. Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not) including our personal beliefs and values, our relationships to other people and to the natural environment, and our economic, political, education, health care, criminal/legal, housing, and other social systems. {Christian hegemony}

For him

All people who are not Christian, as well as most people who are, experience social, political, and economic exploitation, violence, cultural appropriation, marginalization, alienation and constant vulnerability from the dominance of Christian power and values in our society. {Christian hegemony}

It looks like Christendom and/or Christianity (though he constantly refers to Christianity) is/are the badness of this world.

The internalization of dominant western Christian beliefs and values by individuals in our society seems to bring all badness into the world and being the cause of the present problems we have with fundamental Muslims. but it seems also to be in participial white Christian men who are dominating this world and causing inequality and injustice.

He writes

Another level of Christian dominance is within the power elite, the network of 7-10,000 predominantly white Christian men who control the largest and most powerful social, political, economic, and cultural institutions in the country. And finally there is the level which provides the foundation for all the others – the long and deep legacy of Christian ideas, values, practices, policies, icons, and texts that have been produced within dominant western Christianity over the centuries. That legacy continues to shape our language, culture, beliefs, and values and to frame public and foreign policy decisions. {Christian hegemony}

He even wants us tot believe, that we believers are blind. It is true that we cannot go without all those companies and organisations which have their say in our communities and that economical as well as political parties want to have everything in their hands. But we think it over the top, him saying

Christian dominance has become so invisible that its manifestations appear to be secular, i.e. not religious. In this context, the phrase “secular Christian dominance” might be most appropriate, Christian hegemony under the guise of secularism. Of course, there are many forms of Christian fundamentalism which are anything but secular. Often fundamentalists want to create some kind of theocratic state. But the more mainstream, everyday way that dominant Christian values and institutions influence our lives and communities is less evident, although no less significant and certainly not limited to fundamentalists. {Christian hegemony}

According to him Christian leaders have established an annual holiday cycle that extols US militarism/ triumphalism, the nuclear family, consumerism and whiteness. Perhaps he is so much focussed on the U.S.A. that he does not see the holidays of other countries and mistakenly takes many heathen holidays as Christian holidays, though it mostly are also the heathen people who celebrate those and try to lure Christians to celebrate with them.

The holiday cycle which he presents on his website present many secular holidays which he presents as so called holidays of Christianity though Christianity argues a lot against the celebration of those feasts. But we do agree in Christendom we see many people with the name Christian celebrating those heathen festivals as so called Christian holidays.

English: Painting of Christopher Columbus. The...

Painting of Christopher Columbus. The painting Virgen de los Navegantes (in the Sala de los Almirantes, Royal Alcazar, Seville). A painting by Alejo Fernández between 1505 and 1536. It is the only state sponsored portrait of the First Admiral of the Indias called Don Cristoval Colon known today as Christopher Columbus in English. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For him those holidays downplays the violence in our history, holding up a few white Christian men, such as Christopher Columbus and his American presidents,

for uncritical praise and emphasizes faith, family and country.

he writes and continues:

For many in the US, this cycle has come to seem traditional, even though it is constantly recreated and most of the holidays originated within the last 150 years. For some, these holidays have come to feel familiar, unifying and just plain American even though for millions of others they can be painful and alienating. Most of our national holidays are seen as secular, even though their underpinnings are deeply Christian. Even Christmas and Easter are viewed as secular by many. (I have been told that the phrase Merry Christmas in bold letters on the public buses in my
city is not religious but merely a general holiday greeting.)

It looks like he does not know that Jesus was not at all born on the 25th of December and that all the traditions people flirt with have nothing to do at all with the birth of Christ nor with God, and are an abomination in the eyes of God, of which a real Christian should abstain.

That New Year’s day for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mayans and many Native peoples happens at other times of the annual cycle, has nothing to do with Christianity not with Christendom but with choosing an other calendar system.

The fact that western countries imposed this calendar worldwide, even though those in the West are a minority in the world, is never acknowledged.

he writes, but we do think that is a matter of choosing a time indication where the West has chosen to keep to that Gregorian calendar, even after some countries tried the Napoleonic calendar for some time, but whatever calendar they would choose always there would be people able to complain about the system chosen.

We do not see any reason at all why not to say “Happy Chinese New Year” or “Happy Jewish New Year”, like we do in the West of Europe? He should know that these other calendars are also culturally specific and that everybody is free to follow one or the other and that nobody would mind you saying “Happy New Year” when it is a new year for that person.
For us this article is written on the 12th of Nisan, 5776 but in the West most people would not know about which day we are talking therefore we also use the common general practised calendar indicating that it is today April the 20th of the year 2016 of the common Era (CE). For us on 22 April (Taanit Bechorot) Friday night we are looking at the 14th of Nisan, 5776 going to celebrate the Passover, the “Feast of Unleavened Bread” Erev Pesach and on the 23rd the 15th of Nisan, 5776 we look at the holiday yomtov, being part of the “Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread”or “Pesach I”, having on Sunday the 1st day of the Omer (or Pesach II) the period between Passover and Shavuʿot, the 16th of Nisan of the year 5776. {The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is an annual week long festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and slavery. Before the main festival begins for the Jews, the Christians remember the night that Jesus came together with his apostles for the Last Supper and announcement of the installation of the New Covenant. for us this 14 th of Nisan is the most important day of the year and precedes the Pesach festival which begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Nisan — which derives its name from the passing over of the homes of the Israelite slaves during the tenth plague. It is that liberation and the liberation by Christ that we should remember for ever.} Next year the Passover shall be on Monday, April 10 and in 2018 on Friday, March 30.
But this is all about arrangements and agreements and depending on which calendar you want to base your daily activities.

For economical and practical reasons an agreement has to be made to use what calendar and what to consider the first day of the week: Thursday (certain Hindus), Friday (like Muslims), Friday night – Saturday night or Sabbath (like the Jews), or the week beginning on Sunday or Monday, as such beginning the day at 00.00 hours or when the sun gets down. Here you may find calendars beginning the week with Sunday and others ending with the weekend (which I personally find more practical).
It is true that

holidays can be destructive when they celebrate war or colonialism, are promoted aggressively or when corporations use them to promote values hostile to our environment and us. {The Christian Holiday Cycle}

For sure we need to think seriously about what we celebrate and why, who is included or excluded in the celebration and what values are implicitly or explicitly communicated. But we never should condemn certain groups of people if they want to celebrate certain days, though it is our duty to point out to Christians what they are celebrating and which festivals are alright to take part in and which not.

For Kivel the choice of calendar use and the days celebrated shows the dominance of a certain group and the normalization of such a group.

It is said that WPC takes tremendous pains to protect everybody’s feelings, but this year many toes were stepped on. To ensure a gender non-conforming person isn’t labeled with a wayward “he,” attendees are asked to always introduce themselves with their name and their pronoun set. Presenters routinely ask for anybody to pipe up if they’re triggered by a presentation, and will apologize if such a complaint arises. Almost half the conference revolves around microaggressions and how to avoid them or defuse them.

A major part of WPC are the daily caucuses, where attendees segregate themselves by race and talk through their feelings on white privilege. They were assembled collectively beforehand and assigned to a specific smaller room ‘because of the large number of white people in attendance’. Organizers warned they could start physically exerting their white privilege by walking too aggressively and not paying heed to their surroundings. If attendees weren’t careful, they said, they risked getting in the way of non-white attendees who would have no choice but to shy away and debase themselves before these barreling vectors of overwhelming privilege.

Disaffected participants in the 2016 White Privilege Conference (WPC) have taken to Twitter to complain that the conference was, ironically, too white and was actually filled to the brim with white supremacy. Adopting the hashtag #WPCSoWhite, inspired by the recent #OscarsSoWhite campaign, Twitter users claimed the conference that was supposed to battle white privilege instead served to entrench it. The tag appears to have been started and pushed with particular vigour by Aeriel Ashlee, an education consultant who attended WPC and objected to several parts of a keynote address delivered by (white) historian James Loewen. Some of his comments where even described as “deeply offensive and traumatizing.”

More than 700 Barbie dolls are displayed during an exhibition which takes place from March 10 to September 18, 2016.       (MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images)Frederick Gooding, Jr., who styles himself as “The Race Doctor” gave a half-comedic, half-serious lecture intended to point out various moments of subtle white supremacy and white privilege throughout the past year. Near the end of his address, Gooding went after Hollywood for the recently-released film “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which features three Caucasian heroes in the form of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

“I have a quota where it’s just a little too much whiteness, I gotta tap out,”

the Doctor said to a laughing audience.

“One white hero at a time, I can kinda take that, but you have two of them … but then, the White Man said, we gonna show you something. And they throw in a white woman!”

For people discussing other folks it may not be easy today how to call them. All sorts of new terms have to be looked for to talk about people with an other skin colour or with an other faith. In this time of many fleeing from the Middle East and from Africa for discussing different terms are looked for, and one term which could be right at one time a few weeks later may be considered totally wrong to be used.  Undocumented immigrants may still be called “illegals” despite the fact that this also could be a highly inaccurate and pejorative term.  Whether intentional or accidental, the use of such terms has shaped public opinion on immigration policy.  Of course, not everyone who uses these terms intends to colour undocumented immigrants with the stigma that these terms carry with them.  Today the phrase “illegal immigrant” is by many considered

decidedly not okay

During a workshop titled “Nativism 101,” on the topic of immigration and the groups opposed to it, one attendee objected to another’s use of the term “undocumented immigrant.”

Instead of illegal or undocumented, the woman proposed that such immigrants be labeled

“unauthorized immigrants.”

Unauthorised where those who brought out photographs and texts from this conference where very high income prizes where charged, as if the poor people and immigrants ever would be able to pay such fees.

Dividing the people in categories for the debates Kivel finds it are the Christians who divide people and put them in hierarchical order. For him it is in-acceptable that there would be a

“God over people, men over women, parents over children, white people over people of colour,”

inevitably creating systems that justify and even glorify oppression, but was he and the organisers not doing just that?

 

Please do read also:

  1. The 17th annual White Privilege Conference a militantly Christophobic conference held in Philadelphia
  2. White Privilege Conference Attendees Complain Conference Is Too White
  3. White Privilege Conference: Almost Everything Bad Is Tied To Christianity
  4. 7 Things That Offended People At The White Privilege Conference

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Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?

Who Gets to Say What the Bible Says?

Alex Crain

bible_dusty600x300

When asked about the way popular periodicals portray Christianity, Pastor Rick Warren once observed: “I think it’s disingenuous that magazines like ‘Newsweek’ know that their circulation goes up at Christmas and Easter if they put a spiritual issue on the cover, but it’s always bait and switch.”

Newsweek magazine cover, 19 April 1982. HMS He...

Newsweek magazine cover, 19 April 1982. HMS Hermes pictured. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, this week’s cover of Newsweek is no exception. It bears the appropriate title The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin by Kurt Eichenwald. In the article, Eichenwald highlights the problem of biblical illiteracy but then proceeds to make a stunning display of his own selectively presented and—there’s no better wording I can think of—downright ignorant attacks on Christianity. Among Eichenwald’s more obvious errors are (1) overstating Bible manuscript discrepancies (which do exist, but are minor… for more detail on that begin here and here), and (2) completely ignoring the credible historical testimony of Apostles and martyrs who were killed for refusing to deny Christ‘s teachings, deity, and claims. (C.S. Lewis’ apt phrase “chronological snobbery” comes to mind here.)

Eichenwald’s attacks have been responded to time and again throughout the centuries along with every other charge levelled against Christianity. They keep getting recycled because of two perennial facts: #1 they appeal to natural human doubt and #2 they make lots of money. It’s no secret that publishers know controversy sells. In his own words, Newsweek editor-in-chief James Impoco states: “In case you haven’t noticed, The Bible is news.”

Well, of course it is, Mr. Impoco… the way you tell it. Of course, this begs the question: “Who gets to say what the Bible says anyway?”

Having a Megaphone Isn’t the Same as Having Authority

Certainly, many who self-identify as “Christian” in the broadest sense are disqualified, as Eichenwald rightly points out. Many of the world’s worst examples of professing Christians are lampooned in the Newsweek article, as well they should be. They don’t speak for Christianity. Faithful Christians recognize them as frauds. That’s half of the solution. The other half is working with and supporting credible ministries that care about the truth. How do we recognize the good ones? Fortunately, the Bible spells that out. There are certain kinds of leaders to follow, and they are the ones who get to say with authority what the Bible says. All other voices—including Kurt Eichenwald’s and even that of the mighty Newsweek magazine—are mere passing novelties.

Those who use the Bible to persuade others actually put themselves in a very dangerous place. They presume to speak for God as one of His spokespeople. (And, yes, I include myself here.) According to James 3:1, such people are considered “teachers.” Teachers are subject to strict judgment both for their character and for how well they handle Scripture. Because biblical literacy is at an all-time low, the naïve give equal weight to every opinion about the Bible. Many are unable to spot illegitimate teachers who sow confusion. A true teacher of the Bible, however, has certain observable character qualities. Titus and 1Timothy tell us they are…

“…above reproach, the husband of one wife… He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:5-9

And

“…above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:1-5).

In other words, those who declare “This is what the Bible says…” without meeting the above qualifications—be they writer, farmer, judge, professor, or president—put themselves under God’s condemnation as false teachers. Wielding a big megaphone like Newsweek isn’t the same as having true authority. The Christian faith is not a stand-alone artifact that’s subject to being picked apart by skeptics with an axe to grind. It’s a body of truth that is guarded and maintained by a community of the faithful who are led and taught by faithful men of God. Such qualified elders stand in an unbroken chain extending from the present day all the way back to Christ and the Apostles (2 Tim. 2:2). They may be hard to find, but they do exist and are far more worthy of attention than the cacophony of false teachers that are found in such abundance today.

Your turn: Are you often stumped by doubts or unable to respond to charges levelled at the Christian faith? Ask yourself this: Are you under the sound teaching of God’s Word by qualified elders? Could that be one of the reasons you are so easily tossed about with every wind of doctrine? (Eph. 4:14) What’s keeping you from seeking out and submitting to biblical pastoral leadership?
Alex Crain is the editor of Christianity.com. You can read more posts by Alex at his blog and follow him on Twitter @alex_crain.

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Naturally the Bible says nowhere that Jesus is God but in it, the Maker of all things and Only One true God says clearly that Jesus is His only begotten beloved son. Jesus himself also very well knew his position which at first was lower than angels and that God is, was and always shall be, the Most High.
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Seven Bible Feasts of JHWH

By many Christians the death of Christ is celebrated on “Good Friday.” In different denominations we also do find the Easter celebration on the Day of Estra.

The world should know not all Christians do celebrate on heathen feast-days but do keep to the Biblical days of the feast given by the Most High. The world should also know that the origins of “Good Friday” may be questioned it even not being mentioned in the Bible. Not only does it not contain “Good Friday”, the Gospels do not even speak of a Friday Crucifixion.

In a few days time we shall encounter the day we should remember. It is not on a fixed date, every time falling on the same day of the present calendar we are using in the West. On the Jewish calendar it is always falling on the same day, namely the 14th of the first month of the year or 14 Nisan, which this year shall be from Friday evening April the 3rd until Saturday evening April the 4th. Nissan was made the first month of the year because it is the month in which the Jewish People were freed from slavery in Egypt, the house of bondage.  That liberation is what we all should remember, plus a more important liberation as well, namely the liberation of all people. That general greater liberation happened by the Nazarene Jew Jeshua giving his body as a ransom for the sins of all people.

“In Nisan they were redeemed, and in Nisan they are destined to be redeemed in the future.”
(Rosh ha-Shanah 11a; Mechilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay 12:42; Tanchuma, Bo 9)

How true that is.  Jeshua or Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) suffered for us in the month of Nissan.  We should remember this offer lamb who took care to do only the will of his heavenly Father and not his will. By his offering he made a bloodcovenant with the heavenly Father and made a turning point for humankind. He became the beginning of the New Creation, and was the first born of that New World. With him may we reckon all time beginning at the point of our redemption from sin and death.
Nisan is truly a new beginning for Jew and Gentile.

That evening millions of true Christians shall remember the last meal Jesus had with his disciples. The Christadelphian community in Belgium invites everybody to their remembrance meeting Friday April 3 after sunset.

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There are seven Bible Feasts of JHWH recorded in Leviticus chapter 23.

In the Gospel of John the main Feasts of God are Sukkot (John 7 – 10) and Pesach
(John 13 – 17).

In the book of Acts we read about Sjawuot (Acts 2), the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Acts 20:6) and again Sjawuot  (Acts 20:16, Pentecost).

The first ”day”  of the week (mia toon sabbatoon) is actually the first Sabbath week of a series of 7 Sabbaths before Sjawuot, counting fifty days till Sjawuot (Leviticus 23:16).
The Jewish and Gentile believers celebrated the Feasts of JHWH.

In the Apostolic Constitutions we read that the Christians met on Sabbath in the first three centuries.

After that time Rome changed the Sabbath in a Sunday.
Jesus rose from the dead on a Sabbath day.
The early Christians did not celebrate the unscriptural feasts of Sunday (dies solaris), X-mas and Eastern.

– Martin
The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Find also:
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  • Easter and it’s Pagan Origins (infobarrel.com)
    Constantine and the Council of Nicaea sought to merge the religion of the Pagans with the religion of the Christians.

    The mission sought out was to convert the Pagans to Christianity but in a way as not to shock them and completely turn them away. Constantine and Council of Nicaea came to the conclusion that if they were able to get the Christians and Pagans to celebrate similar holidays on the same day, then conversion would go more smoothly.

  • Brannon Howse: Church of Rome versus the gospel of the Bible – March 10, 2015 (thefreedomreport.us)
    Former Catholic Priest of 22 years Richard Bennett on the gospel of the Church of Rome versus the gospel of the Bible.
  • It’s the postmodern experimentation of the New Testament that keeps it new (theguardian.com)
    The gospels of the New Testament, compiled somewhere between AD50 and 110, get older every year. They also stay strikingly new, fuelled by a literary experimentalism that keeps them alive not as religious artefacts but as pieces of writing.
  • Did Christ die on a Friday? The fulfillment of the Sign of Jonah (biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com)
    Yeshua died before the Sabbath and rose after the Sabbath. The biblical Sabbath Day coincides with the day which is presently known as Saturday. Using the above, Christian Denominations around the world believed, and still believe in the following hypothesis (Please note that the following will be disproved using Scripture subsequently)
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    Yeshua had to fulfill the Scriptures by being in the belly of the earth for three days and three nights. From the time of death and entombment to the time of resurrection and rising from the tomb should have been 3 days and 3 nights. So how is a Friday evening death and burial to sunday early morning resurrection provide 3 days & 3 nights? It barely gives 1 day and 2 nights. So what happened to the rest of the 2 days and 1 night?
  • New Age Christianity: The Crossless Gospel of Deception by Rocket Kirchner (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
    if Europe is suffering from what many critics describe as “Metaphysical boredom”, then America is plagued by “Metaphysical lunacy”.
    +
    Have the New Agers ever stopped to think that the early Christians were martyred in Rome because they refused to put Jesus of Nazareth in the pantheon with the other gods? For to them He was God. The only One. Period. Now that may not prove that He was. But it does prove that they believed that He was. And many of them knew him when He actually walked the Earth. Forgiveness and reconciliation were not just a major part of Christ’s teachings, they were at the center of His teachings. And at the center of the center is that before there can be forgiveness and reconciliation between humans and other humans, it must first begin with God reconciling the world unto Himself. Enter the cross and vicarious expiatory blood sacrifice. In other words, according to the early followers of Jesus, He did not just die as a martyr. He died as a sacrifice for sin. Does this prove that it is a fact? No. But what it does prove is that this is what the early Christians believed to be a fact, and this was a matter of public record that they believed this. This sacrificial death motif is either misunderstood today or deliberately omitted. And we wonder why there is no world peace and why humans are not reconciled with each other. They first have to be reconciled with God. There is no short cut. First things first.
  • Passover Fast Facts (gantdaily.com)
    Passover, also called Pesach, is the Jewish festival celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in 1200s B.C. The story is chronicled in the Old Testament book of Exodus. In the book, Israelites marked their doorposts with lamb’s blood to protect children from the tenth plague: the slaughter of the first born. With the protective mark, the destruction would “pass over” the house.
  • Chuck Kolb 03/20/2015 abbreviated (conpats.blogspot.com)
    This Shabbat is the last of the Four Parashiot that have special Torah readings in
    preparation for Pesach (Passover), which is only two short weeks away !

    It is called Shabbat HaChodesh (Sabbath [of the] month), and a special reading is
    added from Exodus 12:1–20, which details the laws of Pesach (Passover).

    This Sabbath also marks the first of the month (Rosh Chodesh), head of the month
    of Nissan, which God ordained as the first month of the Biblical calendar.

  • It’s all about that Group (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    The Shem Meshmuel (as told to me by my Rebbe at YU Rav Herschel Reichman Shlitta) learns that GOD commanding Moshe to use the language of gathering when instructing the Jewish people to build the mishkan teaches us about the significance of our relationship to the Jewish people as a whole and our collective role as part of our holy people.
  • Torah for Today: What does the Torah say about.. Preparing for Pesach? (jewishnews.co.uk)
    The hard work of Pesach cleaning is at odds with the obsessive desire for gratification. Why, then, do so many of us work so hard in preparation for this festival?

    In fact, if one lists all the Jewish holidays and ask what proportion of Jews observe each one, the likely conclusion would be that the holidays most adhered to are the two most difficult: Pesach and Yom Kippur.

    The very fact that people work so hard in preparation for Pesach (and fast on Yom Kippur and do other things which require self-sacrifice) is itself testimony to the potential for human beings to strive for something greater than instant gratification.

  • Grace Upon Grace (#LentChallenge) (enthusiasticallydawn.com)

Exodus 9: Liar Liar

So many of us have ideas and flirt with reality. In man the lie is in-bedded. Some people even do think a little lie would not harm. Even in many religions we do find that many lies crept in, like human dogma’s, human stories and fairy tales, pagan rites, human traditions. Many lies are even taken into the worshipping services, like Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, Saint Nicholas, Saint Maarten, Virgin Mother, Easter bunnies, Bells from Rome, etc.

Real Christian should start with taking away the lies, traditions and customs which foul their religion, than start working on themselves, trying to avoid to twist the truth and to be honest in a friendly way (which is not always easy) and to behave honestly according to the Will of God in a true religion.

Following the Word of God, doing the Will of God they shall already be able to avoid a lot of difficulties and shall be able to avoid the Wrath of God coming over them.

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Please do find to read:

  1. Objects of God’s final wrath
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  3. Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival
  4. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  5. The imaginational war against Christmas
  6. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  7. A season of gifts
  8. The pagan celebration Christmas
  9. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  10. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  11. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  12. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  13. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  14. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  15. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  18. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  19. Speedy Christmas!
  20. Christmas trees
  21. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  22. Sancta Claus is not God
  23. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  24. Idolatry or idol worship
  25. Halloween custom of the nations
  26. The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present
  27. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  28. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  29. Welcome to Easter 2014
  30. Who Celebrates Easter as Religious Holiday
  31. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  32. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  33. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  34. High Holidays not only for Israel
  35. The Weekend that changed the world
  36. Seven days of Passover
  37. Altered to fit a Trinity
  38. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  39. Focus on outward appearances
  40. Life and attitude of a Christian
  41. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  42. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  43. A Messiah to die
  44. Risen With Him
  45. The naked truth is always better than the best dressed lie
  46. Lie handle that fits all instruments

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A good reason to detect the lies are by looking in those stories:

Bobby "The Red Head"

Exodus 9:29-30 NKJV ( read Exodus ch. 9)

So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord ; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord ’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God.”

In the movie “Liar Liar”, Jim Carrey plays a lawyer that has become proficient at lying, and everyone knows it. At his birthday party his son makes a wish that his father couldn’t lie for 24 hours, after Jim’s character lied about why he couldn’t be at his son’s birthday party. The comedic irony that ensues is amazing. Everything in the lawyers life falls apart because he’s forced to tell the truth and face life, his family…

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Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be

Previously

In the previous writing we looked at the multitudes, being more obedient and yielding to the effect of the sign, who went to meet the Christ, hymning him as one who had conquered death, and carrying palm branches. And they do not praise him with ordinary language, but quote from the inspired Scripture that which was beautifully spoken with regard to him; confessing that he was indeed King of Israel, whom also they called specially their own king, accepting the lord-ship of the Christ.

We also saw that they spoke about the Son, they say, is Blessed: not because he who blesseth all things and guards them from destruction, and who is of the ineffable essence of the Father, receives the blessing which comes from the Father; but because the blessing which is due to One Who is God and Lord by Nature is offered to him from us, inasmuch as he came in the Name of the Lord.

Knowing his place under God

Many people in the old times as in the contemporary time do not see the prophetic language, which was quoted very suitably, with regard to that man that entered the gates of Jerusalem on a colt. For indeed some are called lords, who are not such by nature, but have the honourable name granted to them by favour. Many of them do not see the difference between tittles and names and do not remember that in the Holy Scriptures there is also spoken of a lot of gods and lords. In the Book of books men are also called “true,” when they abstain from falsehood: but this is not the thing to say with regard to Christ; for he is not called “Truth” for the reason that he does not speak falsely, but because he has that nature which is altogether superior to falsehood. He was a real man of flesh and blood and bones, having placed in the womb of his mother Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the lineage of king David. Though coming from a blue blood family, he was a simple ‘carpenters’ son. His earthly father Joseph was a skilled labourer. Jesus knew very well his place in the community, but also knew the task given by his heavenly Father, which was more important than his position on earth, where he could do nothing without his Father in heaven; Who is grater than him.

John 5:19-20 ESV  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (20)  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.

Showing the work of his Father and the way to God

In the short period of Jesus his public life, he did many miracles, but never claimed to do them by himself, and never wanting people to thank him, but told them to thank his heavenly Father, Whom is also our Father.

File:Jesus Christ fragment.JPG

Jesus Christ fragment before his death

John 14:6-7 ESV  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (7)  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14:28-31 ESV  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (29)  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. (30)  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, (31)  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

The love of Jesus Christ (Jeshua from Nazareth) was with his heavenly Father, to whom he always prayed and taught others to pray to Him as well.

On Palm Sunday Catholics pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst ordain that our Lord Jesus Christ should sit upon the foal of an ass, and didst teach the multitude to spread their garments or branches of trees in the way and to sing Hosanna to His praise: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be able to imitate their innocence and deserve to partake of their merit.

A redeemer for the people coming to Jerusalem

File:14th-century unknown painters - The Osnabrück Altarpiece (detail) - WGA23756.jpg

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem – The Osnabrück Altarpiece (detail) Unknown Master, German (active 1370s in Westphalia)

Never did Jesus ask the people to honour him. Jesus was an humble man. This holy week we better think about that humbleness he kept. We should think about that man about whom the children cried out, saying:

This is he that is come for the salvation of the people. He is our salvation, and the redemption of Israel. How great is he whom the Thrones and Dominions go forth to meet! Fear not, O daughter of Sion; behold thy King cometh to thee sitting on an ass’s colt, as it is written.

By this man, sent form God, salvation could come over the people there but also here now.

The multitude in Jesus his time went forth to meet their redeemer with flowers and palms, and paid the homage due to a triumphant conqueror:

the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God; and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: Hosanna in the highest!

It was the time for the this one seated on the colt:

Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest!

As Jeshua entered the holy city, the Hebrew children, went declaring the resurrection of life, with palm branches, cried out:

Hosanna in the highest.

An appeal to be stopped

The people in charge of Jerusalem city and its temple did not like it at all that when the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet him, showing more interest in him than in what the priests had to tell in what they considered to be the House of God.

For them it was better that this “Saviour” would not get any more attention. He had already received to much followers because he had taken their amazement by the many miracles he had done. His followers were also calling to take up the same mind which Christ Jesus showed them. How could they talk about his nature coming from the first, divine, and yet he did not see, in the rank of Godhead, a prize to be coveted (Philippians 2: 5-11).

Jesus, like his earthly parents Mary and Joseph, knew his origin, but he did not want to boast by his descent. He dispossessed himself, and took the nature of a slave, fashioned in the likeness of men, and presenting himself to us as a humble man doing the works of his Father in heaven. He lowered his own dignity, accepted an obedience which even was going to bring him to his death, death on a wooden stake.

A name given to be greater

We should know that that is why God has raised him to such a height, given him that name which is greater than any other name; so that everything in heaven and on earth and under the earth must bend the knee before the name of Jesus, and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ as the lord, dwelling in the glory of God the Father.

Philipppians 2:5-11 ESV  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  (6)  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  (7)  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  (8)  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  (9)  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  (10)  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  (11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Not own will but the Will of the Father

Jesus his mind had always been on trying to do what God wanted from him. He also learned the apostles that nothing that we do means anything if the mind is not continuously fixed on God. All labour, all study, all service and sacrifice and suffering, are useless if we do not keep God before our mind, for none of it is serving its intended purpose. Like Jesus always did everything for God we always should remember: if we also are not consciously doing it for God — in love of God — it is fruitless and meaningless in any eternal sense. The mind fixed on God — in total harmony with God — is the ultimate goal and purpose of all. If any activity is not contributing to this purpose, but rather diverting the mind from it to its own self, then that activity is counter-productive and destructive, however “good” it may be. It has usurped the position of God in our heart and mind and thoughts. It has become idolatry.

Pope Francis I on Palm Sunday

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. REUTERS-Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 13, 2014. – Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

The tired and somber-looking Pope Francis I, who led a Palm Sunday service before more than 100,000 people, opening two packed weeks of activities including Easter and the canonization of two popes, rode into the square of the Vatican on a white jeep and stopped at the centre of the square to bless palm and olive branches. He delivered an impromptu homily, putting aside the one he had prepared.

Francis spoke of the events on the last two days of Jesus’ life – his betrayal by Judas, his arrest, beating, trial and crucifixion – and asked his listeners to think hard about who they resembled more, those who helped Jesus or those who condemned him, betrayed him or were indifferent to his fate. For us this holy week we should think seriously about what had happened, what the people undertook and should question which site we do want to take.

We all could wonder like the pontiff:

“Where is my heart? Who among these people am I like? This question will remain with us all week.”

For the second straight year, Francis, whose has said the Roman Catholic Church must be closer to the poor and suffering, is holding two services for Holy Thursday outside one of Rome’s basilicas. In one he will wash and kiss the feet of elderly people in a nursing home to commemorate Jesus’ gesture of humility to his apostle on the night before he died.

14 April 2014 = 14 Nisan and the Holy Week

Tonight, April 14, we shall remember in our service this particular moment at the beginning of 14 Nisan, when the sun goes down and darkness might come over the world.

“For the infant Church, ‘Palm Sunday’ was not a thing of the past,”

wrote Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Ignatius, 2011).

“Just as the Lord entered the Holy City that day on a donkey, so too the Church saw him coming again and again in the humble form of bread and wine.”

That “Bread and Wine“, the symbols of a New Covenant we shall remember tonight.

“At the Last Supper, on the night when he was betrayed, our savior instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his body and blood”,

states the Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,

“He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us” (par. 47).

Form of a slave

The Catholic Church states also that Saint Paul in the great Christological hymn in his letter to the Philippians wrote that

“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped”

They say the Son of God came in the “form of a slave” and humbled himself, accepting the cruelty of death on the cross. This, of course, was a most astounding, unexpected descent, flowing from the love the Father and the obedience of the son.

In the eyes of the world, the cross was complete and utter defeat. A ‘cross’ is the sign of the god Tammuz, the god of evil and “son god”, and by presenting this man nailed on that sign of evil they consider this evil conquered. The symbol of this son god would also be used to present the Christian son god or God the son (or god-son).

But, as pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (Ignatius, 2011) noted, “The hour of the Cross is the hour of the Father’s true glory.”

The pilgrims who accompanied Jesus cried out, “Hosanna” (that is, “Save us!”), sang the praises of the Son of David, and told the unsettled city dwellers:

“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Not his will but the Will of his Father

Many had been greatly troubled by the news of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:2-3), now the city was upset by this display of joyful praise; the stage was set for the arrest and crucifixion of Christ, where the vertical and horizontal movements would meet according to Catholics on the Cross.

File:Veringendorf St. Michael Gethsemane-Szene Detail.jpg

Veringendorf St. Michael Gethsemane-Scene Detail of the left column of the choir, facing the nave, showing the Agony in the Garden (Jesus Christ praying in the garden Gethsemane )

Many have forgotten what Jesus did and whom he really was. This humble man had feelings like we and was also very afraid , like we can be. Also he doubted a moment about the position of God in his life. The gospel-writers were not afraid to write it down, so that we too could see how agony could be come master of the inner soul of Christ Jesus. We this week should also remember that cry of that man of flesh and blood, who sweated in the garden of Gethsemane.  There he brought his last hours with his disciples and asked them to pray with him. There it was that Jesus said prayers to his Father in fear of what would be coming; Though there he also declared that not his will should happen. Clearly we get to know that not Jesus his will is most important, but the Will of Jesus his Father, the Only One God of gods.

Matthew 6:10 ESV  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Those words should remind us that Jesus also said:

Matthew 7:21 ESV  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

For Christ Jesus this doing the will of the Father was most important.

John 4:34 ESV  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

A call to witness

The God of our fathers appointed Jesus and his apostles, including Saul (Paul) to know His Will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth, so that they could be a witness for him to everyone of what they have seen and heard. (Acts of the Apostles 22:14-15)

Luke 22:39-44 ESV  And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.  (40)  And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (41)  And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,  (42)  saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (43)  And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  (44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

A Spirit like God has no flesh, no blood, no bones, but Jesus had it all. He was the promise of God, the Word spoken in the Garden of Eden, that had become flesh and had brought words of truth. It was up to people to listen to those words and to take them at heart, or to ignore what they say.

Words of the Trusted One who does not forsake

Jesus had always loved and trusted the Words of his Father and had explained them to others. He also had told them they could come to his Father and trust Him. But now looking at death Jesus also was taken by fear and felt that it looked like God was far, far away from him. In case Jesus would have been God he would not have been afraid of death,because he clearly knew it could do nothing to God, or even to God’s people. But now, being a man of flesh and blood, coming into the reality to face that horror, he too was taken by fear. He also wondered, like many of us, if it could not have been that God left him on his own. He also cried like many of us want to do at certain moments:

File:Sankt Ingenuin und Albuin in Saubach Passionstafeln.jpg

Passion of Jesus (Jesus in the olive garden and Veronica wipes the face of Jesus) on painted tables in the Church of Saint Ingenuinus

Matthew 27:46 ESV  …. “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As ordinary man, also afraid of death we to shall remember those words Jesus cried out about three in the afternoon in his own Aramaic language. He was calling to Eli, the Elohim his God, Who is also the God of Abraham and the God of Moses. He did not call onto himself but on the Only One Divine Creator.

Remembering tragic events

Today we are going to remember those tragic events and would like to call also

“My God, my God, look upon me;”

We should know that God did not leave his son in the dark. God was willing to take this man as a complete offering, the purest Lamb the world could give as ransom.

We should see that man and should see ourselves placed in his world. We, perhaps may also ask

Why cannot my sinful words reach Thee, Who art my salvation?

some people even might say:

Thou dost not answer, my God, when I cry out to Thee day and night and I am patient still. Thou art there nontheless, dwelling in the holy place Israel’s ancient boast. It was in Thee that our fathers trusted, and Thou didst reward their trust by delivering them. They cried to Thee, and rescue came; no need to be ashamed of such trust as theirs.

Are we not poor worms having no manhood left?

Where in this world we would like to stand

We should question ourselves where in this world we would like to stand and whom we would like to be. Do we want to be of this world or just living in this world where others may consider us a by-word, the laughing-stock of the rabble. Are we wanting to go with everybody keeping up traditions, like having Easter decorations and chocolate eggs searchings in the garden on Easter Sunday, telling children the bells are coming from Rome to throw eggs? (What do those bells and eggs have to do with the resurrection of Christ?)

Do we want to catch sight of us falling to mocking; mouthing out insults, while others toss their heads in scorn. Do we want to accept that Jesus was really a man who really died and not fake his death because God can not die? Are we willing to commit ourselves like Jesus committed himself to his heavenly Father? Are we not afraid that we do not always feel God around us? Are we accepting that we at moments can be week and also like Jesus may wonder why we do not feel God to be with us?

Do you ever have questions why “the Lord” does not come to your rescue and set you as His favourite free? Did you, when you felt abandoned by God, ever ask yourself if you were praising the right god? Have you ever thought if you were worshipping the right god or person or spirit?

These days when we remember the Passion of Jesus Christ, looking back at the time when Jesus had ended all these words which we can find written down in the New Testament, are we willing to place ourselves in the whole story and see the full picture?

Let us look at the disciples who even got more afraid after Jesus had died, but when the Comforter had come, found ways to get over their fear and went out in the world to preach.

Night of remembrance

They also kept remembering the exodus of God His people from slavery, but also remembered the moment that whilst they were at supper in the upper room in Jerusalem, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said:

Take ye, and eat. This is My body. And taking the chalice, He gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is My blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father.

Let us not be scandalized in Jesus this night. Let us come together tonight to sit down and pray that we may not enter into temptation. We should be aware that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. We should be stronger than human tradition and show the world where we do want to stand in this world.

Behold, the hour is at hand that we remember that the Son of Man was betrayed into the hands of sinners. Let us go to feel united with the one who was sent by the heavenly Father to save us from all evil. Let us see how then the Scriptures are fulfilled, that thus it happened some two thousand years ago.

We should look at the man who was accused by the chief priests and the elders, who made no answer, so that the procurator wondered exceedingly. Pilate knew that they had delivered Jesus up out of envy. Also his wife sent to him, saying,

“Have nothing to do with that Just Man, for I have suffered many things in a dream today because of Him.”

Who do you want to be and what do you want to believe?

Are you willing to listen to such dreams and such talks from others? Do you want to believe those few people at that time who saw in Jesus the promised Messiah and accepted him as the son of God, the sent one from above? Or do you prefer to follow the same thoughts as the Pharisees and those who accused Christ of saying he was equal with God?

Do you want to be like the two robbers which were crucified with Jesus, one on his right hand and one on his left, who when the passers-by were jeering at him, shaking their heads, were saying,

“Thou Who destroyest the temple, and in three days buildest it up again, save Thyself! If Thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross!”

In like manner, the chief priests with the Scribes and the elders, mocking, said,

“He saved others, Himself He cannot save! If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He wants Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”

What do you need to believe Jesus is really the son of God and not god the son?

Do you feel with Jesus when at the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,

“Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani.”

That is,

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?”

God can not die but on that day Jesus again cried out with a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose; and coming forth out of the tombs after his resurrection, they came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now when the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, they were very much afraid, and they said,

“Truly He was the Son of God.”

What do you want more?

Do you need extra wonders or spectacular events before you want to believe who Christ Jesus is? Are would you be willing to accept the stories which God allowed to continue through the ages and to reach many people in many languages?

Are you willing to tell the Most High that you know you need no other gift to set before Him, because the ransom paid by God His son Jeshua by God His Majesty may obtain for us the grace of devotion, and ensure us an eternity of bliss. Through our lord Jesus Christ His Son.

We should know that it is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto the Father of Jesus Christ, who like Jesus looked at Him and praised Him, we also should worship Him as the Only One God Whose Will we want to do.

That we may pray tonight  to the Most High and be thankful that He wanted to accept that offering by His son, so that we can have light and eternal life. To this Most Holy Father Almighty, everlasting God Who didst establish the salvation of mankind, by the death of His beloved son on the tree, that whence death came thence also life might arise again, and that he, who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome.

Tonight we shall look on a special way to the symbols and place in our minds how that man born in Bethlehem made that our sins be purged away, and our just desires fulfilled.

We shall be looking at Jesus on the donkey, thinking we are no donkey. But perhaps it would not be bad to night to see  ways in which we can identify with him. A colt is meant to work hard, are we? Do we want to carry Jesus and have also all have heavy burdens to bear?
Being a Christian we shall not be liked so much by others. And when we only want to worship One God, we shall be in the minority outvoted by the world.

Are you  prepared to take your humble position in this world like Jesus took his position, only willing to do the Will of his Father?

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Preceding article: Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord

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Find also to read:

  1. The meek one riding on an ass
  2. The son of David and the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  3. Importance of the only proper name of God
  4. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  5. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  6. Titles of God beginning with the Aleph in Hebrew
  7. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name (Video)
  8. The Divine name of the Creator (Video)
  9. Use of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  10. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  11. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  12. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  13. Lord and owner
  14. About a man who changed history of humankind
  15. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  16. Who was Jesus?
  17. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #14 Beloved Preminent Son and Mediator originating in Mary
  19. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy
  20. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  23. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  24. Jesus is the Son of God but Not God the Son
  25. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  26. A man with an outstanding personality
  27. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  28. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  29. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  30. Impaled until death overtook him
  31. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  32. A fact of History or just a fancy Story
  33. Why do we need a ransom?
  34. Ransom for all
  35. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  36. Servant of his Father
  37. Only one God
  38. God of gods
  39. The Trinity – true or false?
  40. The Trinity – the Truth
  41. Altered to fit a Trinityod of gods
  42. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  43. Christianity without the Trinity
  44. Sitting at the right hand of God
  45. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  46. Your Sins Are Forgiven
  47. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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Additional reading:

  1. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  2. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  3. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  4. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  5. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity
  6. Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7
  7. Anyone Who Goes Too Far and Does Not Abide in the Teaching of Christ, Does Not Have God
  8. Is Jesus God?
  9. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  10. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  11. Massacre of children leaves many asking, ‘Where’s God?’

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  • Gazing at the Crucified Christ (prayersofmysoul.wordpress.com)
    We see Jesus looking at each of us with great tenderness and compassion. We hear him promising forgiveness and eternal life to anyone who turns to him in repentance. We see a Messiah who loves us unconditionally, who loves us enough to endure and conquer not only our sins but death itself.
  • “The Emptied-Out God” (stgregoryschurch.typepad.com)
    We call this Sunday “the Sunday of the Passion” as if the passion of our Lord began with his entrance into Jerusalem. But in his letter to the Philippians (2:5-11)
  • Hosanna! (kswptim.wordpress.com)
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  • Jesus is my Joy, Jesus is true peace (jesusmygodforever.wordpress.com)
    There are so many people in this world who just don’t know Jesus, and it’s sad because he truly yearns for all of us to be in a close relationship with him, he yearns to save all of us from death, destruction, hell. He yearns for our days to be filled with a great peace that no man can obtain without Jesus giving his peace to them. No matter what anyone says how happy they are or how peaceful their hearts are if they don’t know Jesus  as their Lord then they cannot know true peace.
  • Palm Sunday, a day to reflect (endtimebibleprophecy.wordpress.com)
    The day that our Lord and Savior would ride into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, while riding on the back of a donkey, the King of kings, the Lord of lords.  Coming in peace, love, and hope.  Humbling Himself before the nation of Israel.
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    Many did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament.  He did not meet the expectations of whom they believed their King should be.  He did not come with great force and to conquer their enemies.  But instead came in quiet and peacefully.  Yet, many today still do not believe that Jesus is Lord.
  • Palm Sunday 2014. At the Name of Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow. St. Matthew 21. 1-11 (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
    The crowd reads Jesus’ actions as proclaiming that He is the King. And even the people of Jerusalem pay attention, the citizens of the city the Lord chose for His dwelling place, the temple. Living in such a holy place, the people of Jerusalem aren’t easily impressed by people claiming to be prophets. But today, on Palm Sunday, when the crowds of Passover pilgrims raise the festal shout of salvation, they ask, “Who is this?” (21:10) And the answer comes back, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” (21:11)
  • Palm Sunday-hymn for Today (berry20nice.wordpress.com)
  • The Gates of Jerusalem (christinesunderland.com)
    The great festivals of the year mark our time on earth, our passage, our pilgrimage from birth to death. Where was I last Palm Sunday? Where will I be Palm Sunday 2015? We mark time with festivals, for time is limited, making it precious; numbered days are valuable days. Was I journeying closer to God or away from him?
  • Palm Sunday – “o Gates, Lift High Your Heads” (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
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    Hosanna in the highest!
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    From ancient times Christians have brought palm branches home from church on Palm Sunday.  Some place them on the wall behind a cross or sacred picture.  Farmers would bury palm branches in the corners of their fields.
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