Azteekse en Romeinse tradities die ons nog steeds beïnvloeden

In zijn boek The Trouble With Christmas zette de schrijver Tom Flynn de conclusies uiteen waartoe hij na jaren van onderzoek in verband met Kerstmis was gekomen:

„Een groot aantal tradities die we nu met Kerstmis associëren zijn geworteld in voorchristelijke heidense religieuze tradities. Sommige hebben maatschappelijke, seksuele of kosmologische associaties die onderlegde, cultureel gevoelige moderne mensen ertoe zouden kunnen brengen de tradities te verwerpen zodra ze de oorsprong ervan beter zijn gaan begrijpen.” — Bladzijde 19.

Na een grote hoeveelheid ondersteunende inlichtingen verschaft te hebben, keert Flynn naar het uitgangspunt terug:

„Een van de grootste tegenstrijdigheden van Kerstmis is hoe weinig ervan werkelijk christelijk is. Wanneer we de voorchristelijke elementen eenmaal hebben verwijderd, is het merendeel van wat overblijft nachristelijk in plaats van authentiek christelijk van oorsprong.” — Bladzijde 155.

Kerstgebruiken — Zijn ze christelijk?

De kersttijd is aangebroken. Wat betekent dat voor u, uw gezin en uw vrienden? Gaat het om een geestelijk evenement of alleen maar om een feestelijke en vrolijke periode? Is het een tijd om over de geboorte van Jezus Christus na te denken of een periode waarin men zich niets van christelijke normen hoeft aan te trekken?

Houd bij een beschouwing van die vragen in gedachte dat de kersttradities in de streek waar u woont, kunnen afwijken.

In Mexico en andere Latijns-Amerikaanse landen wordt bijvoorbeeld zelfs een andere naam gebruikt. Zoals in de Grote Winkler Prins Encyclopedie wordt opgemerkt, is het woord Kerstmis „afgeleid van ’Christus-mis’”, terwijl La Navidad, zoals het kerstfeest in deze Latijns-Amerikaanse landen wordt genoemd, betrekking heeft op de geboorte van Christus.

Geboortedag en een geboortefeest op een andere dag

Vreemd is wel dat de beloofde Messias, de zoon van Jozef en Maria uit het geslacht van koning David geboren is op 17 oktober 4 VGT en dat men het volstrekt op 25 december wil vieren het geboortefeest van de god van het licht.

Als we kijken naar het weer zouden we niet de indruk krijgen dat wij het koudste seizoen van het jaar tegemoet gaan. We kunnen niet voorbijgaan aan de kortere dagen, die er ons aan herinneren dat we dichter bij de langste duisternis van het jaar komen.

Die duisternis maakt altijd angstige mensen en daarom keken ze in het verleden en nu nog steeds naar manieren om meer licht te krijgen. De duisternis was ook een tijd dat mensen dichter bij elkaar wensten te zijn, om zich veiliger te voelen, en om samen aangename dingen te doen die hun gedachten konden verzetten.

Medio december vierden de Romeinen feest, namelijk de Saturnalia welk voor vele latere generaties de basis vormde voor hun Winter feesten. Voor hen en voor vele mensen nu is het wat zij noemen ‘De tijd van het Jaar’ en ‘Christmas’ of ‘Kerstmis’. Van die viering werd bijvoorbeeld de uitgebreide feesten, het geven van geschenken, en het branden van kaarsen afgeleid.

Seizoenen, stormen, donkerte, donder en licht

LHS sunstones.jpg

De Winter zonnewende brengt meerdere heidense mensen samen om de terugkeer van het licht te vieren.

In andere culturen vinden we ook dat vele eeuwen voordat Jezus geboren werd de geboorte van het licht werd gevierd. De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk voelde zich niet verlegen veel tradities van heidense mensen die natuurelementen, zoals het licht en de de ‘keiringen’ van de stand van de maan en de zon en de verandering van het seizoen over te nemen. Zelfs de Israëlieten namen dergelijke natuurlijke elementen zoals de vier tekufot op in hun gebruiken (Teḳufat Nisan, Teḳufat Tammuz, Teḳufat Tishri en de Teḳufat Tebet), waarbij ook bijgeloof werd verbonden met die tekufot feest. Hai Gaon [Hai ben Sherira (of Hai geboren te Sherira (Gaon)], in de tiende eeuw, in antwoord op een vraag naar de prevalentie van de gewoonte in het “Westen” (dwz, ten westen van Babylon), gaf aan dat al het in het huis opgeborgen water in vaten in het eerste uur van de tekufah moest worden weggegooid in de overtuiging dat het water dan vergiftigd is, en als het gedronken werd zwelling van het lichaam, ziekte, en soms de dood zou veroorzaken, dat dit alleen volgde om dat het nieuwe seizoen kan worden begonnen met een toevoer van vers, zoet water.

Wanneer de zon Capricornus binnentreedt krijgt men het begin van de winter, of ” et ha-ḥoref “(strippen-tijd), wanneer de nacht de langste is van het jaar. Voor meerdere mensen was het de tijd dat iets moest worden gestript of onggedaan gemaakt worden. Met sommige dingen die gebeurd waren in het verleden moest komaf worden gemaakt. De slechte dingen moesten worden vergeten of afgelegd worden. Er werden dan voornemens gemaakt om het in de komende tijd het beter te doen. Die vermelding van betere voornemens zien wij in verscheidene landen nog opduiken met het voorlezen van een ‘Nieuwjaarsbrief‘. Na de invoering van de Gregoriaanse kalender in 1582 werd 1 januari aanvaard als nieuwjaarsdag in steeds meer landen in Europa en daarna in de wereld en werd het voorlezen van de nieuwjaarsbrief een Vlaamse traditie. ‘te zijn over met’ en nieuwe wegen weer kon worden genomen. Het was de tijd van een ‘draai’ of een wedergeboorte.

De Griekse oppergod Zeus (Jupiter bij de Romeinen), die heerste vanaf de berg Olympus, was in de Frygische en Thracische mythologie Sabazios de nomadische stormgod en vadergod. In de Indo-Europese talen zoals het Frygisch gaat het ‘-zios’ element in de naam terug op Dyeus, de gemeenschappelijke voorloper van ‘dios’, ‘deus’ (god) en ook van de naam Zeus.

Bij de ‘kering’ van de donkerste dagen naar terug lichter wordende dagen keek het volk uit naar de wedergeboorte van de zon en hoopte dat alles goed zou gaan. Daarom boden zij de rest van hun voedsel aan de goden van de natuur die er voor moesten zorgen dat in het komende jaar de gewassen veel vruchten zouden dragen en er goed weer zou zijn. Met hun offergaven, vuur maken (licht maken) en veel lawaai maken (vervangen door vuurwerk) wenste men de god van de donder (hemel en donder god Zeus) te verzoeken en hoopte men dat hij zich niet boos zou maken op hen. Het lawaai diende ook om de slechte geesten af te houden en zo het eigen huis te beveiligen. Voor hem werd ook een dag van verering genomen, namelijk de ‘zondag’ waarop mensen bijeenkwamen om Zeus of Jupiter (zoals zoon van Kronos ook genoemd werd) te vereren en offergaven te brengen.

Onder Constantijn (Constantinus) de Grote, die op de plaats van een tempel van Aphrodite de nieuwe Kerk van de Heilige Apostelen liet bouwen en de Heilig Grafkerk in Jeruzalem en de oude Sint-Pietersbasiliek te Rome stichtte,  gingen de kerkleiders akkoord om Jeshua‘s naam te veranderen (ter behoud van de vrede) naar ‘Issou‘ of ‘Heil Zeus‘ dat in het Nederlands eerst ‘Jesus‘ werd en  eind vorige eeuw ‘Jezus‘ werd. Zo kon de ‘leider’ van de christenen eveneens een godheid worden en samen vallen met de godenverheerlijking van de Romeinen. De Romeinse driegodheid werd gelijk gesteld met hun godheid die aldoende een Drie-eenheid werd. De beeltenis van oppergod Jupiter, gelijkgesteld met Jeshua/Yashua/Yahshuah/Yehoshuah voor יהושע die de naam Jezus kreeg ter verering van Zeus, kon nu door de marktkramers verder verkocht worden aan de Christenen die deze beeldjes dan ook in hun huizen opnamen.

In ruil voor de aanvaarding van de driegodheid voerde Constantijn verscheidene legislatieve maatregelen in met betrekking tot de joden: het werd hen verboden christelijke slaven te hebben of hun slaven te besnijden. Bekering van christenen tot het jodendom werd verboden. Bijeenkomsten voor religieuze diensten werden beperkt, maar het werd joden toegestaan jaarlijks Jeruzalem binnen te gaan op Tisja be’Aaw, waarop de verwoesting van  de Eerste Joodse Tempel (in 587 VGT door de Babyloniërs) als de Tweede Joodse Tempel in 70 GT (aan het einde van de Joodse Oorlog) wordt herdacht. Constantijn dwong van het eerste concilie van Nicaea ook een verbod af tegen het vieren van Pasen op de dag voor het joodse Pesach op 14 Nisan, zoals de quartodecimanen deden.

De luidruchtige activiteiten ter verering van de godheden die het lieten donderen en bliksemen en instonden voor het licht werden ook na het verval van het Romeinse rijk verder in ere gehouden.

Ook in Latijns-Amerika kunnen we zulke zeer luidruchtige feesten vinden. Voor veel mensen zijn de donkere nachten een goede gelegenheid om samen de ‘goede’ dingen naar boven te halen. Alle slechtheid moest weg naar beneden. Op 24 december was het grote moment om te kijken naar de volgende dag wanneer de godin van het licht zou terugkeren in het geval ze zich al bereid toonde haar goedheid te tonen na de gebaren van de mensen. Met al het licht en lawaai moest men de goedgezindheid van de godin van het licht oproepen.

Posada feesten

In de 16de eeuw nam de in Geeraardsbergen geboren Franciskaanse broeder Pedro de Gante ook gekend onder Pedro de Mura en Pieter van der Moere, de Spaanse gewoonte van de negen daagse viering Las Posadas mee naar zuid Amerika waar in Mexico het een nog steeds gehouden traditie is die verder vermengd werd met Azteekse elementen.

Pyrotechnische verlichting door lijnen van vuurwerk in 2007 Parrandas.

Ook in Cuba brachten Spaanse broeders in de 18e eeuw, onder leiding van ‘Vader Francisco Vigil de Quiñones’, de priester van de grote kathedraal van Remedios, de Parrandas, om volk te lokken naar hun kerken. Hij liet hen samenkomen om middernacht doorheen de week voor kerst waarbij hij groepen kinderen samenstelde en hen voorzag van potten, borden en lepels, zodat ze rond het dorp konden lopen terwijl zij lawaai maakten en verzen zongen.

Kinderen in Oaxaca, Mexico vieren Las Posadas door het breken van een traditionele stervormige Piñata.

Van 16 december tot 23 december in Latijns-Amerika worden acht Posada feesten gehouden en op de 24e, Nochebuena (De Goede of bij ons gekend als Heilige Nacht of Kerstavond) wordt gevierd, en gezinnen een inspanning leveren om samen te zijn voor een speciaal diner. Ook in West-Europa is deze gewoonte van een kerst maaltijd al lang een favoriete moment.

Gun u een ogenblik om enkele details uit Mexico te beschouwen. Hierdoor kunt u worden geholpen uw eigen mening over dit feest bij te schaven.

De posadas, „de drie koningen” en de nacimiento

Latijns-Amerika, geografisch

De festiviteiten beginnen op 16 december met de posadas. In het boek Mexico’s Feasts of Life wordt opgemerkt:

„Het is de tijd van de posadas, negen magische dagen vóór kerstavond, waarin de eenzame zwerftocht van Jozef en Maria in de stad Bethlehem en het ogenblik waarop ze uiteindelijk hartelijkheid en een onderkomen vonden, worden herdacht. Familie en vrienden komen ’s avonds bijeen om de dagen vóór de geboorte van Christus na te spelen.”

File:Piñata Animation.gifTraditiegetrouw draagt een groep mensen beeldjes van Maria en Jozef naar een huis en vraagt in een lied om onderdak, oftewel posada. De personen in het huis zingen bij wijze van antwoord, totdat het de bezoekers uiteindelijk wordt toegestaan binnen te komen. Dan begint een feestelijk samenzijn, waarbij sommigen — geblinddoekt en met een stok in de hand — om de beurt proberen de piñata, een grote versierde aardewerken pot die aan een koord hangt, kapot te slaan. Is de pot eenmaal gebroken, dan wordt de inhoud (snoep, fruit en dergelijke) door de feestvierders bijeengeraapt. Hierna breekt de tijd aan voor eten, drinken, muziek en dans. Van 16 tot en met 23 december worden acht posada-feestavonden gehouden. Op de 24ste wordt nochebuena (kerstavond) gevierd en doen gezinnen extra moeite om met z’n allen een speciale maaltijd te nuttigen.

The tradition in Spain and some Latin American...

The tradition in Spain and some Latin American countries is that the Three Wise Men are who bring gifts to children at Christmas. In recent years, as an assimilation of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of Santa Claus, they often appear at gift shops and shopping malls, where children have the opportunity to take a picture sitting on their knees and deliver the letter with their demands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Het Driekoningenfeest, Jan Steen

Kort daarna volgt nieuwjaarsdag, waarop zeer luidruchtig feest wordt gevierd. Op de avond van 5 januari is het gebruikelijk dat de Tres Reyes Magos („drie koningen”) de kinderen speelgoed brengen. Het hoogtepunt wordt gevormd door een feest op 6 januari, waarop er een rosca de Reyes (ringvormige koek) wordt geserveerd. Als dit gebak wordt gegeten, zal iemand in zijn stuk een poppetje aantreffen dat de baby Jezus voorstelt. De vinder is verplicht op 2 februari een laatste feest te organiseren waarop hij of zij als gastheer of gastvrouw zal optreden. (Op sommige plaatsen gebruikt men drie poppetjes, die „de drie koningen” voorstellen.) Zoals u ziet, gaan de festiviteiten in verband met Kerstmis alsmaar door.

In deze periode neemt de nacimiento [Geboorte (leven) kerststal) een behoorlijk belangrijke plaats in. Wat is hierbij betrokken? Welnu, zowel op openbare plaatsen als in kerken en huizen worden taferelen opgebouwd met figuren (groot of klein) van aardewerk, hout of klei. Ze beelden Jozef en Maria af, knielend voor een kribbe waarin een pasgeboren baby ligt. Vaak zijn er herders, alsook Los Reyes Magos („de drie koningen”). De entourage is een stal, en er kunnen ook enkele dieren in voorkomen om het tafereel compleet te maken. De centrale figuur is echter de pasgeboren baby, in het Spaans el Niño Dios (de Kindgod) genoemd. Deze sleutelfiguur wordt meestal op kerstavond in de stal geplaatst.

De kerststaltradities nader bekeken

The Encyclopedia Americana zegt over de kerstviering zoals men die in de hele wereld algemeen kent:

„De meeste gebruiken die nu met Kerstmis verband houden, waren oorspronkelijk geen kerstgebruiken maar veeleer voorchristelijke en niet-christelijke gebruiken die door de christelijke kerk werden geassimileerd. De saturnaliën, een Romeins feest dat half december werd gevierd, verschaften het model voor een groot aantal van de met Kerstmis verband houdende festiviteiten. Aan deze viering zijn bijvoorbeeld de uitgebreide feestmaaltijden, het geven van geschenken en het branden van kaarsen ontleend.”

In Latijns-Amerika worden aan die fundamentele kerstgebruiken vaak nog extra gebruiken toegevoegd. ’Uit welke bron’, vraagt u zich misschien af. Eerlijk gezegd beseffen velen die zich aan de bijbel willen houden dat sommige gebruiken puur azteekse riten zijn. El Universal, een krant die in Mexico-Stad verschijnt, merkte op:

„Fraters van verschillende orden trokken voordeel van de omstandigheid dat festiviteiten van de indiaanse rituele kalender samenvielen met de katholieke liturgische kalender, en daarom maakten ze hier gebruik van om hun evangelisatie- en zendingswerk te ondersteunen. Ze vervingen de vieringen ter ere van de pre-Columbiaanse godheden door festiviteiten ter ere van christelijke godheden, introduceerden Europese feesten en activiteiten en trokken ook voordeel van de indiaanse festiviteiten, hetgeen in een cultureel syncretisme resulteerde dat tot authentiek Mexicaanse uitingen heeft geleid.”

Geboorte van een kindgod

The Encyclopedia Americana legt uit:

„Kerstspelen werden al vroeg een deel van de kerstviering . . . De Heilige Franciscus is er naar verluidt mee begonnen in de kerk een kerststal in te richten.”

Deze spelen waarin de geboorte van Christus werd uitgebeeld, werden in het begin van de kolonisatie van Mexico in de kerken opgevoerd. Ze werden door franciscaner monniken georganiseerd om de indianen over het kerstgebeuren te onderwijzen. Later werden de posadas populairder. Welke oorspronkelijke bedoeling er ook achter de posadas geschuild mag hebben, de manier waarop ze in deze tijd worden gehouden, spreekt voor zichzelf. Als u in deze periode in Mexico bent, kunt u zien of ervaren wat een schrijver voor El Universal in zijn commentaar speciaal belichtte:

„De posadas, die een manier vormden om ons aan de pelgrimage van Jezus’ ouders te herinneren toen ze naar een plaats zochten waar de Kindgod geboren kon worden, zijn in deze tijd louter dagen van dronkenschap, excessen, gulzigheid, zinloosheid en toenemende misdaad.”

De gedachte van de nacimiento is tijdens de kolonisatie van Mexico uit de oorspronkelijke opvoeringen in de kerken ontstaan. Sommigen zullen het idee misschien aantrekkelijk vinden, maar geeft het correct weer wat de bijbel zegt? Dat is een goede vraag. Toen de zogenoemde drie koningen — die in werkelijkheid astrologen waren — op bezoek kwamen, verbleven Jezus en zijn ouders niet langer in een stal. Er was tijd overheen gegaan en het gezin woonde in een huis. U zult het interessant vinden dit detail in het geïnspireerde verslag in Mattheüs 2:1, 11 op te merken. U kunt ook opmerken dat de bijbel niet zegt hoeveel astrologen er waren.

Nog een detail dat niet over het hoofd gezien mag worden: In de Mexicaanse nacimiento wordt de baby „de Kindgod” genoemd, met de gedachte dat hij God zelf was die als baby naar de aarde was gekomen. In de bijbel wordt Jezus echter voorgesteld als de Zoon van God die op aarde werd geboren; hij was niet dezelfde als of gelijk aan Jehovah, de almachtige God. Beschouw eens hoe de waarheid hierover wordt uiteengezet in Lukas 1:35; Johannes 3:16; 5:37; 14:1, 6, 9, 28; 17:1, 3; 20:17.

Jezus is niet God zelf maar de gezondene van God.

35 De engel gaf haar ten antwoord: „Heilige geest+ zal over u komen en kracht van de Allerhoogste zal u overschaduwen. Daarom ook zal hetgeen wordt geboren, heilig,+ Gods Zoon, worden genoemd.+ (Lukas 1:35)

16 Want God heeft de wereld* zozeer liefgehad+ dat hij zijn eniggeboren Zoon heeft gegeven,+ opdat een ieder die geloof+ oefent in hem, niet vernietigd zou worden,+ maar eeuwig leven zou hebben.+ 17 Want God heeft zijn Zoon niet naar de wereld uitgezonden opdat hij de wereld zou oordelen,+ maar opdat de wereld door bemiddeling van hem gered zou worden.+  (Johannes 3:16-17)

36 Het getuigenis echter dat ik heb, is groter dan dat van Joha̱nnes, want het zijn juist de werken die ik in opdracht van mijn Vader moet volbrengen, de werken zelf die ik doe,+ die getuigenis over mij afleggen dat de Vader mij heeft gezonden. 37 Ook de Vader zelf, die mij heeft gezonden, heeft getuigenis over mij afgelegd.+ GIJ hebt noch zijn stem ooit gehoord, noch zijn gedaante gezien;+ 38 en zijn woord hebt GIJ niet blijvend in U, omdat GIJ juist degene die hij gezonden heeft, niet gelooft.(Johannes 5:36-37)

14 „Laat UW hart niet verontrust worden.+ Oefent geloof in God,+ oefent ook geloof in mij.+ In het huis van mijn Vader zijn vele woningen.+ ….. Jezus zei tot hem: „Ik ben de weg+ en de waarheid+ en het leven.+ Niemand komt tot de Vader dan door bemiddeling van mij.+ …. Jezus zei tot hem: „Nu ben ik al zo’n lange tijd bij ulieden, en nog hebt gij mij niet leren kennen, Fili̱ppus? Wie mij heeft gezien, heeft [ook] de Vader gezien.+ Hoe kunt gij dan zeggen: ’Toon ons de Vader’?+ 10 Gelooft gij niet dat ik in eendracht met de Vader ben en de Vader in eendracht met mij is?+ De dingen die ik tot ulieden zeg, spreek ik niet uit mijzelf; maar de Vader, die in eendracht met mij blijft, doet zijn werken.+ 11 Gelooft mij, dat ik in eendracht met de Vader ben en de Vader in eendracht met mij is; of anders, gelooft op grond van de werken zelf.+ 12 Voorwaar, voorwaar, ik zeg U: Wie geloof oefent in mij, zal ook zelf de werken doen die ik doe; en hij zal grotere+ werken dan deze doen, omdat ik heenga naar de Vader.+ 13 En wat GIJ ook vraagt in mijn naam, dat zal ik doen, opdat de Vader in verband met de Zoon verheerlijkt moge worden.+ 14 Indien GIJ iets vraagt* in mijn naam, ik zal het doen. … 28 GIJ hebt gehoord dat ik tot U heb gezegd: Ik ga heen en ik kom tot U [terug]. Indien GIJ mij liefhadt, zoudt GIJ U verheugen dat ik heenga naar de Vader, want de Vader is groter+ dan ik. (Johannes 14:1, 6, 9-14, 28)

17 Deze dingen sprak Jezus, en terwijl hij zijn ogen naar de hemel opsloeg,+ zei hij: „Vader, het uur is gekomen; verheerlijk uw zoon, opdat uw zoon u verheerlijkt,+ gelijk gij hem autoriteit over alle vlees hebt gegeven,+ opdat hij, wat het gehele [aantal] betreft [van hen] die gij hem hebt gegeven,+ hun eeuwig leven moge geven.+ Dit betekent eeuwig leven,+ dat zij voortdurend kennis+ in zich opnemen van u,* de enige ware God,+ en van hem die gij hebt uitgezonden, Jezus Christus.+ Ik heb u op de aarde verheerlijkt,+ daar ik het werk heb voleindigd dat gij mij te doen hebt gegeven.+ En nu, Vader, verheerlijk mij naast uzelf met de heerlijkheid die ik naast u had voordat de wereld was.+ (Johannes 17:1-5)

17 Jezus zei tot haar: „Klem u niet langer aan mij vast. Want ik ben nog niet naar de Vader opgestegen. Maar ga naar mijn broeders+ en zeg hun: ’Ik stijg op naar mijn Vader+ en UW Vader en naar mijn God+ en UW God.’”+ 18 (Johannes 20:17).

Viering van Jezus geboorte en de drie koningen

In Latijns-Amerika is het idee van de kerstman vervangen door de drie koningen. Maar net als in veel andere landen, verstoppen veel ouders speelgoed in huis. Op de ochtend van 6 januari gaan de kinderen er dan naar op zoek, alsof de drie koningen het hebben gebracht. Dit is een lucratieve tijd voor speelgoedwinkeliers, en sommige hebben veel geld verdiend aan wat veel eerlijke mensen als slechts een illusie beschouwen. De mythe van de drie koningen verliest onder heel wat mensen, zelfs onder kleine kinderen, aan geloofwaardigheid. Sommigen mogen het weliswaar betreuren dat steeds minder mensen deze mythe geloven, maar wat kan men verwachten van een illusie die alleen maar in stand gehouden wordt ter wille van de traditie en het commerciële voordeel?

Kerstmis, of het geboortefeest, werd niet door de vroege christenen gevierd. Een encyclopedie zegt er het volgende over:

„In de eerste eeuwen van de christelijke kerk werd het feest niet gevierd, omdat het onder christenen in het algemeen gebruikelijk was de dood van opmerkelijke personen te vieren in plaats van hun geboorte.”

De bijbel brengt de viering van verjaardagen in verband met heidenen, niet met Gods ware aanbidders. (Mattheüs 14:6-10).

Dit wil natuurlijk niet zeggen dat het niet nuttig is de werkelijke gebeurtenissen in verband met de geboorte van de Zoon van God te weten te komen en in gedachte te houden. Het bijbelse feitenrelaas verschaft belangrijke verhelderende inlichtingen en lessen voor allen die willen doen wat God van hen verlangt.

De geboorte van Jezus volgens de bijbel

In de Evangeliën van Mattheüs en Lukas zult u betrouwbare inlichtingen over de geboorte van Jezus aantreffen. Ze tonen aan dat de engel Gabriël in de Galilese stad Nazareth een jonge ongehuwde vrouw, Maria genaamd, bezocht. Welke boodschap bracht hij?

„Zie! gij zult in uw schoot ontvangen en een zoon baren, en gij moet hem de naam Jezus geven. Deze zal groot zijn en de Zoon van de Allerhoogste worden genoemd; en Jehovah God zal hem de troon van zijn vader David geven, en hij zal voor eeuwig als koning over het huis van Jakob regeren en aan zijn koninkrijk zal geen einde zijn.” (Lukas 1:31-33).

Maria was erg verbaasd over deze boodschap. Omdat ze ongehuwd was, zei ze:

„Hoe zal dit geschieden, daar ik geen gemeenschap heb met een man?”

De engel antwoordde:

„Heilige geest zal over u komen en kracht van de Allerhoogste zal u overschaduwen. Daarom ook zal hetgeen wordt geboren, heilig, Gods Zoon, worden genoemd.” Maria, die besefte dat dit Gods wil was, zei: „Zie! Jehovah’s slavin! Mij geschiede naar uw verklaring.” (Lukas 1:34-38).

Een engel vertelde Jozef over de wonderbare geboorte, opdat Jozef niet van Maria zou scheiden, zoals hij van plan was toen hij op de hoogte raakte van haar zwangerschap. Jozef was daarna bereid de verantwoordelijkheid op zich te nemen om voor de Zoon van God te zorgen.

18 De geboorte van Jezus Christus nu geschiedde aldus. Terwijl zijn moeder Mari̱a aan Jo̱zef ten huwelijk beloofd was,+ bleek zij voordat zij verenigd waren, zwanger te zijn door heilige geest.+ 19 Daar Jo̱zef, haar man, echter rechtvaardig was en haar niet in het openbaar tentoon wilde stellen,+ was hij van plan in het geheim van haar te scheiden.*+ 20 Doch nadat hij deze dingen had overdacht, zie! daar verscheen hem Jehovah’s* engel in een droom en zei: „Jo̱zef, zoon van Da̱vid, wees niet bevreesd Mari̱a, uw vrouw, mee naar huis te nemen, want dat wat in haar verwekt is, is door heilige geest.+ 21 Zij zal een zoon baren, en gij moet hem de naam Jezus*+ geven, want hij zal zijn volk+ van hun zonden+ redden.”+ 22 Dit alles is in werkelijkheid geschied opdat vervuld zou worden hetgeen Jehovah*+ door bemiddeling van zijn profeet had gesproken,+ toen hij zei: 23 „Ziet! De maagd*+ zal zwanger worden en een zoon baren, en zij zullen hem de naam Imma̱nuël*+ geven”, hetgeen vertaald betekent: „Met ons is God.”+

24 Toen ontwaakte Jo̱zef uit zijn slaap en deed zoals de engel van Jehovah* hem had voorgeschreven, en hij nam zijn vrouw mee naar huis. 25 Hij had echter geen gemeenschap+ met haar* totdat zij een zoon had gebaard;+ en hij gaf hem de naam Jezus.+ (Mattheüs 1:18-25).

Vervolgens werden Jozef en Maria, wegens een verordening van caesar Augustus, gedwongen Nazareth in Galilea te verlaten en naar Bethlehem in Judea, de stad van hun voorvaders, te gaan om zich te laten inschrijven.

„Terwijl zij daar waren, werden de dagen vervuld dat zij moest baren. En zij baarde haar zoon, de eerstgeborene, en bond hem in windsels van doeken en legde hem in een kribbe, omdat er in het gastverblijf geen plaats voor hen was.”  (Lukas 2:1-7).

Lukas 2:8-14 beschrijft wat er daarna gebeurde:

„Er waren in diezelfde landstreek ook herders, die buitenshuis verbleven en ’s nachts de wacht hielden over hun kudden. En plotseling stond Jehovah’s engel bij hen, en Jehovah’s heerlijkheid omscheen hen, en zij werden zeer bevreesd. Maar de engel zei tot hen: ’Vreest niet, want ziet! ik maak u goed nieuws bekend omtrent een grote vreugde, die heel het volk ten deel zal vallen, want heden is u in Davids stad een Redder geboren, die Christus de Heer is. En dit is een teken voor u: gij zult een baby vinden in windsels van doeken gebonden en liggend in een kribbe.’ En plotseling bevond zich bij de engel een menigte van de hemelse legerschare, die God loofde en zei: ’Glorie in de hoogste hoogten aan God, en op aarde vrede onder mensen van goede wil.’”

De astrologen

In Mattheüs’ verslag wordt vermeld dat er astrologen uit het oosten naar Jeruzalem kwamen om de plaats te zoeken waar de Koning van de joden geboren was. Koning Herodes had hier veel belangstelling voor — maar niet met goede bedoelingen.

„Hij zond hen naar Bethlehem en zei: ’Gaat, stelt een nauwkeurig onderzoek in naar het jonge kind, en wanneer gij het gevonden hebt, bericht het mij dan, opdat ook ik het hulde kan gaan brengen.’”

Toen de astrologen het jonge kind vonden,

„openden zij hun schatten en boden het geschenken aan: goud en geurige hars en mirre”.

Maar ze gingen niet terug naar Herodes.

’Hun was in een droom een goddelijke waarschuwing gegeven niet naar Herodes terug te keren.’

God gebruikte een engel om Jozef voor Herodes’ bedoelingen te waarschuwen. Jozef en Maria vluchtten daarop met hun zoon naar Egypte. Daarna, in een poging de nieuwe Koning uit de weg te ruimen, gaf de wrede koning Herodes opdracht jongens in het gebied van Bethlehem te doden. Welke jongens? Jongetjes van twee jaar oud en daaronder. (Mattheüs 2:1-16).

Wat kunnen we van het verslag leren?

De op bezoek zijnde astrologen — ongeacht hoeveel het er waren — aanbaden niet de ware God. De bijbelvertaling La Nueva Biblia Latinoamérica (uitgave van 1989) verklaart in een voetnoot:

„De magiërs waren geen koningen, maar waarzeggers en priesters van een heidense religie.”

Hun komst hield verband met hun kennis van de sterren, waaraan ze waren toegewijd. Als God hen naar het jonge kind had willen leiden, zouden ze naar de precieze plaats zijn gebracht zonder eerst naar Jeruzalem en Herodes’ paleis te hoeven gaan. Later kwam God tussenbeide om hun route te veranderen en zo het kind te beschermen.

In de kersttijd wordt dit verslag vaak in een mythische en romantische sfeer gehuld waardoor het belangrijkste feit wordt verdoezeld: dat deze baby werd geboren om een luisterrijke Koning te zijn, zoals aan Maria en de herders was bekendgemaakt. Nee, Jezus Christus is niet langer een baby, of zelfs een kind. Hij is de regerende Koning van Gods koninkrijk, dat zeer binnenkort alle regeringen die tegen Gods wil gekant zijn zal verwijderen en alle problemen van de mensheid zal oplossen. Dat is het Koninkrijk waar we in het Onze Vader om bidden. (Daniël 2:44; Mattheüs 6:9, 10).

Via de bekendmaking van de engelen aan de herders vernemen we dat de gelegenheid tot redding voor allen openstaat die bereid zijn naar de boodschap van het goede nieuws te luisteren. Degenen die Gods gunst verwerven, worden „mensen van goede wil”. Er zijn schitterende vooruitzichten op vrede in de hele wereld onder het koninkrijk van Jezus Christus, maar men moet bereid zijn Gods wil te doen. Is de kersttijd hier bevorderlijk voor en wordt dat verlangen in deze periode weerspiegeld? Veel oprechte mensen die overeenkomstig de bijbel willen leven, zijn van mening dat het antwoord duidelijk is.

10 Maar de engel zei tot hen: „Vreest niet, want ziet! ik maak U goed nieuws bekend omtrent een grote vreugde, die heel het volk ten deel zal vallen,+ 11 want heden is U in Da̱vids stad+ een Redder geboren,+ die Christus [de] Heer* is.*+ : 14 „Glorie in de hoogste hoogten+ aan God, en op aarde vrede+ onder mensen van goede wil.”*+ Lukas 2:10, 11, 14.

+

Voorgaande

Engelstalige versie / English version: Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

++

Aanvullende lectuur

  1. Atheïsme en feestdagen
  2. Kerstmis, Saturnalia en de geboorte van Jezus
  3. Voorspellingen van de Eniggeboren zoon
  4. Het begin van Jezus #1 Menselijke aspecten
  5. Het begin van Jezus #6 Beloften van innerlijke zegeningen
  6. Het begin van Jezus #11 Goddelijk verwezenlijkt en niet geïncarneerd
  7. Jezus van Nazareth #1 Jezus Geboorte
  8. Naamsverandering voor het behoud van vrede
  9. Voorwerpen rond de geboorte en dood van Jezus
  10. Kerstmis, Katholicisme en heidense feesten
  11. Kerst en wenslampions
  12. Kerstbomen
  13. Wees niet bang, er is goed nieuws want een redder is geboren
  14. Op zoek naar het kostbaarste kerstgeschenk
  15. Het grootste geschenk ons gegeven
  16. Een Groots Geschenk om te herinneren
  17. Rel om donkere Jezus
  18. Religieus aspect overslaand in Amerika
  19. Wat betreft Korte inhoud van lezingen: Bijgeloof en feesten
  20. December 2011 Nederlandstalige artikelen
  21. Zondag, zonnegodsdag en zonnepartnersdag
  22. Niet gebonden door labels maar vrij in Christus
  23. Politiek en macht eerste prioriteit #2 Arianisme, Nestorianisme en Monofysitisme
  24. Politiek en macht eerste prioriteit # 3 Verhoging van Maria en de Heilige Geest
  25. Een Naam voor een God #7 Jahwe(h) niet Hebreeuws
  26. Een Konijn dat Paaseiren legt
  27. Eieren leggende klokken en eieren verstoppende paashazen niets vandoen met Jezus opstanding
  28. Rond het Paasmaal
  29. 14 Nisan, de avond om Christus Zijn predikingswerk te herinneren
  30. Vrijdag 3 april 2015 een dag voor verenigde samenkomst ter herinnering
  31. Middeleeuws insigne Drie Koningen opgegraven
  32. Een man die de geschiedenis van het mensdom veranderde
  33. Lezen wat er staat geschreven
  34. Ongelovige Thomassen, Jezus en zijn God
  35. Onze Vader

+++

Verder interessante aanverwante lectuur

  1. Bijna wintertijd: lichtjes voor donkere dagen
  2. Winter is coming
  3. Is het al Kerstmis?
  4. adventskalenders
  5. Winter/Kerst Tag
  6. Baby & Feestdagen
  7. Over grotten, feest en tandengeklapper
  8. Kerstvakantie, Youtube | Positive Colourful❤
  9. Kerst wordt goud! vanNienke®
  10. Kerstinspiratie: Droomjurken
  11. Kerstkinderen
  12. Kerst spirit
  13. Een reisdag, Kerstmis én… de zoutvlakte-tour!
  14. Over opa’s ballen
  15. Kinderverhaal: Kerstontbijt
  16. De gehele wapenrusting van God (2015/12/15) African American Christmas?
  17. GML #4: Sinterkerst, marshmallows en Scrabble
  18. Dag 90 : Roodborstje met kerstmuts
  19. Dag 104 – Kerstmuis
  20. Mijn kerstmis
  21. Kerst met een glimlach
  22. De perfecte Kerstrui
  23. De Friezen zijn er klaar voor
  24. Gouda bij Kaarslicht
  25. Schilde Carolt
  26. ‘Een ongelofelijk verhaal’ als Kerstcadeau
  27. Sjezus!
  28. OOTD
  29. KW: Snowflakes on Silver Cove – Holly Martin – Een hartverwarmende kerstromance
  30. De vrouw die zich bij het zingen verschool achter de trompettist
  31. Muzieklijst der muzieklijsten,December style
  32. Relipop Christmas Top 50
  33. Christmas Countdown: de perfecte Kersttrui.
  34. Tweede Kerstdag.
  35. Fijne kerstplaatjes
  36. fotokes
  37. kerstkaarten!
  38. Brazilië inBeelden 091: Kerstsurprises in Guarulhos, SP (2006)
  39. Brazilië inBeelden 098: Tropische Kerstman in Rio de Janeiro, RJ (2006)
  40. DIY: superhysterische glitterkerstkrans
  41. Kerst en Nieuw jaar in India
  42. Sint Maarten of Drie Koningen
  43. Twelfth-night Pie (Driekoningentaart)
  44. Driekoningen en recept galette des rois
  45. Weemoed
  46. It’s beginning to look alot like christmas
  47. we’ve got a tree !!!!
  48. Nep of echt? That’s the question
  49. drukst
  50. De kerstman en zijn elfjes komen er aan!
  51. Nu kan jij ook jouw goede voornemens volhouden
  52. The Messiah
  53. The Messiah, een moderne Kerstvertelling
  54. December Daily 2015: geshopt!
  55. Video | Days during the Christmas season
  56. Happy Holidays!
  57. Christmas
  58. Christmas in da House
  59. The origin of…Christmas
  60. Let us adore (Adoremos).
  61. John Lewis Christmas Advert
  62. It’s beginning to look alot like christmas
  63. My Christmas wishlist 2015
  64. Three Kings’ Day
  65. Deutschunterricht: Weihnachtsteller

+++

Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today

Days shortening and darkness coming over us

When we look at the weather we would not have the impression we are coming to the coldest season of the year. We can not ignore the shorter days, which remind us that we are coming closer to the longest darkness of the year.

That darkness has always frightened people and therefore they looked for ways to get more light again.

Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs we know now as ‘The time of the Year‘ or ‘Christmas‘. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.

Seasons, storms, thunder, darkness and light

In other cultures we also find that many centuries before Jesus was born they celebrated the ‘birth of light‘. The Roman Catholic Church was not shy to take over many traditions from heathen people who celebrated such elements as the ‘turn’ of the position of moon and sun and the change of season. Even the Israelites came to feast such natural elements as the four teḳufot (Teḳufat Nisan, Teḳufat Tammuz, Teḳufat Tishri and the Teḳufat Ṭebet) by which also superstition became connected with the teḳufot. Hai Gaon, in the tenth century, in reply to a question as to the prevalence of the custom in the “West” (i.e., west of Babylon) that all water that may be in the house or stored away in vessels in the first hour of the teḳufah had to be thrown away in the belief that the water is then poisoned, and if drunk would cause swelling of the body, sickness, and sometimes death, said it was followed only in order that the new season might be begun with a supply of fresh, sweet water.

Jupiter Smyrna Louvre Ma13.jpg

Zeus, god of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice – The Jupiter de Smyrne, discovered in Smyrna in 1680

When the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or “‘et ha-ḥoref”(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year.For several people it was the time something had to be stripped down or some things that happened in the past had to be done with. The bad things had to be forgotten or to ‘be over with’ and new paths could be taken again. It was the time of a ‘turn over’ or a rebirth. People looked forward to the rebirth of the sun and hoped that everything would go well. For that reason they offered the rest of their food to the gods of nature which had to bear them fruits and good weather, not making the god of thunder (sky and thunder god Zeus) angry by forgetting him or to have bad spirits around, lots of noise was made to get them away from the own house.

Also in Latin America we can find such very noisy parties. For many people the darker nights were there for getting the ‘good’ and ‘goods’ together. All badness had to be down away. On the 24th of December it was the big moment to look for the next day when the goddess of light would return in case they all showed the goodness and willingness to her.

From December 16 through December 23 in Latin America eight posada parties are held and on the 24th, Nochebuena (The Good Night)(Christmas Eve) is celebrated, and families make an effort to be together for a special dinner. Also in West Europe this custom of a Christmas meal has been long a favourite moment.

Roman influences

Statue of three figures, seated side by side

Capitoline Triad – the three godheads side by side transposed in the Roman catholic church and shims of that church to the Trinity, being a God the Father, god the son, and a god the holy spirit.

Constantine the Great had managed to got the church leaders to agree to many of his demands so that the Christians would not any more be persecuted. For that reason they had to agree to the three-headed Roman god and Jeshua could become the ‘counterpart’ or ‘alias’ for Zeus with his name calling ‘hail Zeus‘ or ‘Issou‘ ‘Jesus‘. And they had to keep to the Roman festivals and as such should place their Christian Zeus (Jesus) his birth on the same major feast for the ‘light’ in the Roman world. As such rabbi Jeshua became Jesus , and his birth day became the 25th of December instead of October 17. Constantine insisted that the mighty king of the gods (Jupiter) or the Roman god of the sky, thunderstorms, lightning, weather and air got honoured on his day (December 25).

But it were not only Roman customs which entered Christendom.

Aztec influences

Latin Americans should come to see that American Christmas customs are nothing but Aztec rites. El Universal, a newspaper in Mexico City, commented:

“Friars from different orders took advantage of the fact that festivities of the Indian ritual calendar coincided with the Catholic liturgical calendar, so they used this to support their evangelizing and missionary work. They replaced the commemorations to the pre-Hispanic divinities with festivities to Christian divinities, introduced European festivities and activities, and also took advantage of the Indian festivities, which resulted in a cultural syncretism from which authentically Mexican expressions have arisen.”

The Encyclopedia Americana explains:

Nativity plays early became a part of the Christmas celebration . . . The representation in church of the crèche [the manger scene] is said to have been begun by Saint Francis.”

These plays featuring the birth of Christ were performed in the churches during the beginning of the colonization of Mexico. They were organized by Franciscan monks in order to teach the Indians about the Nativity. Later the posadas became more popular. Whatever the original intention behind them, the way the posadas are held today speaks for itself. If you are in Mexico during this season, you can see or sense something that a writer for El Universal highlighted in his comment:

“The posadas, which were a way to remind us of the pilgrimage of Jesus’ parents looking for a shelter where the Child God could be born, are today only days of drunkenness, excesses, gluttony, vanities, and more and more crime.”

Traditional Nativity scenes

The idea of the nacimiento emerged during Colonial times from the original live representations in churches. While some find it attractive, does it correctly represent what the Bible says?
That is a valid question.

When the so-called three wise men — who in fact were astrologers — visited, Jesus and his family were no longer living in a stable. Time had passed, and the family was living in a house. You will find it interesting to note this detail in the inspired record at Matthew 2:1, 11. You can also note that the Bible does not say how many astrologers there were.

After Jesus had been born in Bethʹle·hem+ of Ju·deʹa in the days of Herod*+ the king, look! astrologers* from the East came to Jerusalem, saying: “Where is the one born king of the Jews?+ For we saw his star when we were in the East, and we have come to do obeisance* to him.” …  10 On seeing the star, they rejoiced with great joy. 11 And when they went into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and falling down, they did obeisance* to him. They also opened their treasures and presented him with gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1-2,10-11)

Another detail should not be ignored: In the Mexican nacimiento, the baby is referred to as “the Child God” with the idea that it was God himself who came to earth as a baby. However, the Bible presents Jesus as being the Son of God who was born on earth; he was not the same as or equal to Jehovah, the Almighty God. Consider the truth about this, presented at Luke 1:35; John 3:16; 5:37; 14:1, 6, 9, 28; 17:1, 3; 20:17.

35 In answer the angel said to her: “Holy spirit will come upon you,+ and power of the Most High will overshadow you. And for that reason the one who is born will be called holy,+ God’s Son.+ (Luke 1:35)

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,+ so that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.+ 17 For God did not send his Son into the world for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him.+ 18 Whoever exercises faith in him is not to be judged.+ Whoever does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.+ (John 3:16-18)

Three wise men, Santa and birthday celebrations

In Latin America, the three wise men replace the idea of Santa Claus. Still, as is done in other lands, many parents hide toys in the home. Then on the morning of January 6, the children look for them, as if the three wise men brought them. This is a money-making time for toy sellers, and some have made a fortune on what many honesthearted people recognize is just a fantasy. The myth of the three wise men is losing credibility among a goodly number, even among little children. Though some are displeased that this myth is losing believers, what can anyone expect of a fantasy maintained only for the sake of tradition and for commercial convenience?

Christmas, or the Nativity, was not celebrated by early Christians. One encyclopedia says about this:

“The celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the Christian church, since the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth.”

The Bible links the celebration of birthdays with pagans, not with God’s true worshippers.

But when Herod’s birthday+ was being celebrated, the daughter of He·roʹdi·as danced for the occasion and pleased Herod so much+ that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Then she, at her mother’s prompting, said: “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”+ Grieved though he was, the king, out of regard for his oaths and for those dining* with him, commanded it to be given. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. (Matthew 14:6-10).

This does not, of course, mean that it is not beneficial to learn and remember the actual events involved in the birth of the Son of God. The factual Bible account provides important insights and lessons for all those who want to do God’s will.

Birth of Jesus According to the Bible

You will find reliable information about Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. They show that the angel Gabriel visited a young unmarried woman by the name of Mary in the Galilean town of Nazareth. What message did he deliver?

“Look! you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you are to call his name Jesus. This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end of his kingdom.” (Luke 1:31-33.)

Mary was very surprised by this message. Not being married, she said:

“How is this to be, since I am having no intercourse with a man?” The angel answered: “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. For that reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son.” Mary, recognizing that this was the will of God, said: “Look! Jehovah’s slave girl! May it take place with me according to your declaration.” (Luke 1:34-38).

An angel told Joseph about the miraculous birth so that he would not divorce Mary, which he was planning to do after he learned of her pregnancy. He was then willing to assume the responsibility of taking care of the Son of God. (Matthew 1:18-25).

Then a decree from Caesar Augustus forced Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the city of their forefathers, to be registered.

“While they were there, the days came to the full for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her son, the firstborn, and she bound him with cloth bands and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the lodging room.” (Luke 2:1-7).

Luke 2:8-14 describes what followed:

“There were also in that same country shepherds living out of doors and keeping watches in the night over their flocks. And suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood by them, and Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful. But the angel said to them: ‘Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have, because there was born to you today a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in David’s city. And this is a sign for you: you will find an infant bound in cloth bands and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there came to be with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: ‘Glory in the heights above to God, and upon earth peace among men of goodwill.’”

The Astrologers

Matthew’s account mentions that astrologers from the East came to Jerusalem looking for the place where the King of the Jews was born. King Herod was very interested in this — but not with good intentions.

“Sending them to Bethlehem,

he said:

‘Go make a careful search for the young child, and when you have found it report back to me, that I too may go and do it obeisance.’”

The astrologers found the young child and

“opened their treasures and presented it with gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

But they did not go back to Herod.

“They were given divine warning in a dream not to return to Herod.”

God used an angel to warn Joseph of Herod’s intentions. Joseph and Mary then fled to Egypt with their son. Next, in an effort to eliminate the new King, cruel King Herod ordered the killing of boys in the Bethlehem area. Which boys? Those two years of age and under. (Matthew 2:1-16).

What Can We Learn From the Account?

The visiting astrologers — however many of them there were — did not worship the true God. The Bible version La Nueva Biblia Latinoamérica (1989 Edition) states in a footnote:

“The Magi were not kings, but fortune-tellers and priests of a pagan religion.”

They came in line with their knowledge of the stars to which they were devoted. Had God wanted to guide them to the young child, they would have been led to the exact place without needing to go first to Jerusalem and to Herod’s palace. Later on, God did intervene to alter their course to protect the child.

At Christmastime this account is often surrounded by a mythical and romantic atmosphere that obscures the most important thing: that this baby was born to be a magnificent King, as was announced to Mary and to the shepherds. No, Jesus Christ is not a baby anymore, or even a child. He is the ruling King of God’s Kingdom, which very soon will eliminate all rulerships opposed to God’s will, and he will solve all problems of mankind. That is the Kingdom we ask for in the Lord’s Prayer.

44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom+ that will never be destroyed.+ And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people.+ It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms,+ and it alone will stand forever,+ (Daniel 2:44)

“You must pray, then, this way:+

“‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name+ be sanctified.*+ 10 Let your Kingdom+ come. Let your will+ take place, as in heaven, also on earth.+ (Matthew 6:9, 10).

Through the angels’ declaration to the shepherds, we learn that the opportunity for salvation is open to all who are willing to hear the message of the good news. Those who gain the favour of God become “men of goodwill.”
There are marvellous prospects for peace in all the world under the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, but people must be willing to do God’s will. Is the Christmas season conducive to this, and does it reflect that desire?
Many sincere people who want to follow the Bible feel that the answer is obvious.

10 But the angel said to them: “Do not be afraid, for look! I am declaring to you good news of a great joy that all the people will have. 11 For today there was born to you in David’s city+ a savior,+ who is Christ the Lord.+ 12 And this is a sign for you: You will find an infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army,+ praising God and saying: 14 “Glory in the heights above to God, and on earth peace among men of goodwill.”* (Luke 2:10, 11, 14).

+

Preceding articles:

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Focus on outward appearances

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

The imaginational war against Christmas

++

Additional reading

  1. Altered to fit a Trinity
  2. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  3. Spelling Yahshuah (יהשע) vs Hebrew using Yehoshuah (יהושע)
  4. First month of the year and predictions
  5. Hosea Say What?
  6. Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ
  7. Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot
  8. Matthew 2:7-12 – Pawns of Herod, the Magi Find the ‘Child’
  9. Matthew 2:13-15 – Escaping the Slaughter by a Flight to Egypt
  10. Matthew 2:16-18 – Slaughter of the Innocents
  11. Matthew 2:19-23 – Out of Egypt to Nazareth
  12. Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s Appearance to Mary
  13. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:39-40 – The Young Child Grows
  14. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:41-50 – Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple
  15. Truth, doubt or blindness
  16. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  17. The place where Jesus was brought up
  18. A Living Faith #7 Prayer

+++

Further reading

  1. Is Santa Real, Or Is He Really You, Dad?
  2. “Islam may have bad stuff. But …” – What of the other Bronze Age Invented Gods?
  3. Did Electricity kill Religion?
  4. Should we forgo happiness here for the sake of happiness hereafter?
  5. Life Comes in Threes
  6. The three gifts
  7. Wassail Ancient holiday tradition that involves drinking, singing, and making introverts nervous.
  8. A Christmas Wish
  9. America’s First “War on Christmas”
  10. A Breath of Fresh Air
  11. Lapland baby #blogmas day 19
  12. Snowflake Tea Light Cozy
  13. Christmas: The Giver’s Feast
  14. O Christmas Tree!
  15. Christmas Music Matters: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  16. Preparing for Christmas
  17. Living in the Moment
  18. Jesus is the True and Better David (6/12)
  19. Last Minute Gift Idea
  20. Christmas Tree Farm
  21. A Christmas round up
  22. Mr. Santa’s Boogie
  23. 7 Events Which Turned Our Christmas Upside Down
  24. Jane Austen and old friends to the rescue
  25. 7th and 6th day of Christmas! !
  26. Once Upon a Holiday

+++

Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule

Having natural bodies and hoping to get spiritual bodies in this system of things we do have to live in this world but that does not mean we have to live according to this world or according to man’s system.

Most parents get confronted more with life questions as soon as they get children and when those go to the primary school they are questioned even more about life and religious matters.

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Santa Claus with a little girl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When those schools celebrate the pagan festivals and have the children dress up and parade with Halloween and when Saint Nicholas is celebrated begin December and afterwards the Christmas tree is put up in class and Santa Claus becomes the subject of the day, parents have to be strong not to go against those worldly fashions in the wrong way but have to deal with it diplomatic.

Though they should not be afraid to make it very clear to their child what is pagan and contrary to the Will of God. Such pagan festivals are the time of the year to show the right way to children and grandchildren. Such occasions we may not miss to witness about the Gospel of the real Good Tidings and how we have to prepare ourselves to a much better world than this one.

We have to show our children and/or grandchildren how we have a much more precious gift than all the material gadgets this world is offering our greedy consumer eyes.

Male and female essences shall receive their righteous place in a new universe and shall come to to operate fully as renewed beings, but only those who are justified and shall be allowed by the God given judge, Jeshua, the master teacher and saviour Jesus Christ. On him we should put our hope and look forward to receive him as our most important gift of the year.

*

To remember

English: Illumination of Earth by Sun on the d...

Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of winter solstice on northern hemisphere. A view to eastern-hemisphere showing noon in Central European time zone (ignoring DST) on the day of winter solstice (on northern hemisphere – this is summer solstice on southern hemisphere). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • In 2015, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 22 at 4:48 a.m. UTC. To calculate the turning point in your time zone, click here.
  • Officially first day of winter > winter solstice > North Pole tilted 23.5 degrees away from sun => longest night of the year => days get progressively longer after winter solstice until summer solstice.
  • winter solstice celebrated by many people around the world as beginning of return of the sun = darkness turning into light.
  • Talmud > winter solstice = “Tekufat Tevet” ==== [Teḳufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21) Teḳufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), Teḳufat Tishri, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), Teḳufat Ṭebet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or “‘et ha-ḥoref”(stripping-time), when the night is the longest during the year. Each teḳufah, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours.]
  • China, Dongzhi Festival >Winter Solstice celebrated by families getting together + eating special festive food.
  • Until 16th century winter months = time of famine in northern Europe =>Most cattle slaughtered = wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter => solstice time fresh meat plentiful => merriment + feasting.
  • pre-Christian Scandinavia > Feast of Juul, or Yule 12 days celebrating rebirth of sun god and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log.
  • ancient Rome winter solstice celebrated at Feast of Saturnalia > honouring Saturn, god of agricultural bounty > characterized by feasting, debauchery + gift-giving = With Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity => customs absorbed into Christmas celebrations. >>> Emperor Constantine appropriated Pagan holidays for Christian ones ostensibly to make them more palatable to his people who had been Pagan for generations.
  • winter solstice in ancient ruins of Stonehenge, England > Thousands of druids + pagans gather there to chant, dance + sing while waiting to see spectacular sunrise.
  • solstices chance to still ourselves inside, to behold the glory of the cosmos, + to take a breath with the Sacred.
  • connecting with natural world (honouring sacred immanent in all things) => establish resonance with seasons
  • Ritual helps to shift our consciousness => reflect outer world inside our inner landscape
  • daughter  of 4 wants practically everything she sees toy and clothes-wise => real historic figure St. Niklaus who would bring gifts to children at Yule-time.
  • Christmas only been celebrated in the US since about the 1800s > In it’s current manifestation = more like a holiday invented by toy manufacturers to increase their profits.
  • the writer of the article underneath believes that the dying god, the male esssence, is sacrificed (or dies in the winter) and goes into the Mother (Earth) for the winter in order to be reborn again in the spring => thinking of a figure like The Green Man.
  • Incidentally a full moon this year on the Winter Solstice

+

Preceding

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Focus on outward appearances

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

The imaginational war against Christmas

++

Additional reading

  1. Politics and power first priority #1
  2. Eostre, Easter, White god, chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and metaphorical resurrection
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  4. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  5. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  6. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  7. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  10. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  11. Sancta Claus is not God
  12. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  13. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  14. Christmas in the 1950s
  15. Continued nostalgic Christmas memories
  16. The Proper Place of Excess
  17. Looking for the consummation of presents
  18. One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope
  19. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus

+++

Further reading

  1. Winter is Coming!
  2. The Dark Side
  3. Darkness to Light
  4. Winter Solstice
  5. Winter Solstice by Luna Beam
  6. Long nights’s moon
  7. Winter Solstice and Yule
  8. Yule
  9. Personal Festival of Lights
  10. Celebrating the Winter Solstice….
  11. Great Yule: The ancient and present holiday
  12. Winter Solstice Festival
  13. The Yule Countdown
  14. In Praise of the Invincible Light
  15. Hail the Return of the Sun
  16. Yule is upon us!
  17. Yule Fillable Ornament Magick
  18. Yuletide Tunes
  19. Saturnalia
  20. Christmas
  21. Christmas is Pagan!
  22. From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century..
  23. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor Appropriate..
  24. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?
  25. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  26. War On Christmas Memes: The Yule Tree
  27. A Little history on the holly tree
  28. How to bring some real Christmas spirits into your Yule-tide
  29. Santa Claus, Krampus,The Wild Hunt and Me.
  30. Christmas, the Weridest Holiday of the Year; Part one
  31. Christmas — Who gives a rip HOW we came up with the date we use?!?
  32. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  33. Jan 17 – Antony of Egypt
  34. Tanguyan
  35. Christmas Day Reads
  36. Cheers to Hot Cocoa and Peppermint Schnapps
  37. Set to Purpose
  38. Yule 2015#18
  39. Merry Yule!
  40. Online Winter Solstice / Yule Ritual by Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple
  41. Yule, Light, and rare events
  42. Following the Yule Star
  43. Cranberry & Hazelnut Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

 

+++

Mystic Myrelle

“Something in us needs to know that at the end of the longest night, there will be light.”

  • HuffPost Religion EditorsThe Huffington Post
12/16/2015 02:35 pm ET

In 2015, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 22 at 4:48 a.m. UTC. To calculate the turning point in your time zone, click here.

Officially the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This is the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after thewinter solstice until the summer solstice in 2016.

The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light. The Talmud recognizes the winter solstice as “Tekufat Tevet.” In China, the Dongzhi Festival is…

View original post 805 more words

Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

++

Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

+++

  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

The imaginational war against Christmas

American debate on celebrations and holiday season

In the United States we see a debate is going on about the celebrations or holiday season. Several camps are claiming the 25th of December as their special event, belonging to their group.

English: Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co...

Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co’s Christmas float. – Do you see the connection with ice-bears and the birth of Christ? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conservative Christians and the Tea Party members claim everything of Christmas is sanctified and belongs to the Christian community and may not defiled by the heathen atheists.

Call to encourage Christian people to worship God

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wisely advised that if atheists want their country to be free and safe, they should encourage people to worship God. Gohmert, who has a penchant for tweaking people who do not believe in God, was delivering a speech about the lack of attention given to Christians who are persecuted around the world. Although he also declared that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, as an aside he argued that only nations that turned away from the Judeo-Christian God have ceased to exist.

“No country has ever fallen while it was truly honouring the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

“So if you were completely areligious, completely atheistic, but you wanted to have a free country, and you wanted to have it safe and protected, then it would sound like — from historical purposes — that it might be a good thing to encourage those who believe in God to keep doing so,”

Gohmert said.

“Because when a nation’s leaders honour that God, that nation is protected. It’s only when it turns away that it falls.”

Historicity of birth of Christ

According many historians it is proven that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, so they wonder why so many Christians keep wanting to celebrate the birth of Christ on that day of the birthday of the goddess of light. Likewise I would like to ask those Christians, like Sarah Paling who says Father Christmas belongs to the Christians and is in honour of God, what this mythical elf had to do with the event which happened on the 17th of October 4BCE, when the Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) became the first-born in the family of Miriam (Myriam/Mary/Maria) and Joseph (Yosef/Iosíf/Josef), from the tribe of king David? What have all those Christmas trees to do with the land of Palestine or Bethlehem, were Jesus was born? (There were and are no such trees in that region).

Poster campaign against Christmas

In the United Kingdom there are also some fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group that have launched a nationwide poster campaign, but they go a step further than the American atheists because they denounce Christmas as evil.

Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in that country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead. though those Muslims should also notice many Islamic families also put the Christmas tree in their living room and give each other presents in this so called Christian holiday season. I do agree also by that population we see the pagan rituals have won above faith and they took over the western traditions, saying the same thing like Christians say about Halloween,

“It is just for fun”.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and America Atheists in the United States also started a campaign to give non-believers a voice in a Christian dominated space and taking back something what belongs to them and not to Christianity.

Holiday season rooted in pagan festivals

Real Christians should make use of the holiday season to make clear to the Christians who celebrate the Yule fest or “Kerst-mis”, “mass of Kerst” (later made in “Christ” in Anglo-Saxon countries), Yuletide or Christmastide and to Muslims that Jesus is the son of God, who is really born, whilst God can not be born nor die, because He is an eternal Spirit.

In West Europe, before the population was christened they celebrated the end of the year and the dark period and remembered the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht, (Old English “Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”). It was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans where a sacrifice may have been made, and for the Germanic people (like in Belgium) the Germanic Matres and Matrones, female beings attested by way of altar and votive inscriptions, nearly always appearing in trios, to which the Roman Catholic Church placed their Holy Trinity. The earthly spirits and natural spirits where transformed into the natural spirit Jesus who came in the place of the goddess of light and became the Light itself, but would also be the same person as the air spirits or heavenly spirits, becoming the Holy Spirit who at the same time would be God the Father and God the Spirit. Though the Divine Being God Who is One Himself is Spirit according to the Holy Scriptures.

“God is Spirit; and those who worship him must worship spiritually and truly.” (John 4:24 TCNT)

God Himself is not immaterial; He has a Spirit-body (ie 1Corinthians 15:44-54; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 1:7; Matthew 28:2-4), a Being full of Spirit power, a body with parts. Jesus contrary is a man of flesh and blood who really could be tempted (God can not be tempted) could be tortured to death and was made higher than angels to whom he was lower, but God was, is and always shall be the Most High, Almighty Who knows everything, whilst Jesus had still to learn everything and even did not know when he would be coming back.

“For he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ) is the radiance of the Glory of God and the very expression of his Being, upholding all creation by the power of his word; and, when he had made an expiation for the sins of men, he ‘took his seat at the right hand’ of God’s Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3 TCNT)

“To this Peter and the Apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men.  (30)  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, whom you put to death by hanging him on a cross.  (31)  It is this Jesus whom God has exalted to his right hand, to be a Guide and a Savior, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  (32)  And we are witness to the truth of this, and so is the Holy Spirit–the gift of God to those who obey him.” (Acts of the apostles 5:29-32 TCNT)

“He appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death–to death on a cross!  (9)  And that is why God raised him to the very highest place, and gave him the Name which stands above all other names,  (10)  So that in adoration of the Name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth,  (11)  And that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ (originally יהושע Messiah) as Lord (Master) – – to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11 TCNT)

Christians having to choose either to belong to pagan world or to have their own religious world

The Christians should know that they may live in this world but do not have to be active in al the things of this world. As children of God we should not differ from God His best servant, Jesus who is lord of all. As long as that man who did not know when he would return (remember: God knows everything) we should follow the Master teacher, the tutors he trained and the stewards till the time appointed by the Father. So also we, when we were children, were in servitude under the rudiments of the world;  but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  Having now become sons we should no longer be a servant of this world, but a son; and if a son, also an heir of God.  Formerly, not knowing God a Christian may have served beings which are not really gods;  but when converted and baptised they should Now know God, what He likes and what He does not like. Once a person came in the faith he or she should take care not to turn again to the weak and imperfect rudiments, keeping to the traditions of heathen people or gentiles.

The apostle Paul writes:

” My point is this–As long as the heir is under age, there is no difference between him and a slave, though he is master of the whole estate.  (2)  He is subject to the control of guardians and stewards, during the period for which his father has power to appoint them.  (3)  And so is it with us; when we were under age, as it were, we were slaves to the puerile teaching of this world;  (4)  But, when the full time came, God sent his Son–born a woman’s child, born subject to Law–  (5)  To ransom those who were subject to Law, so that we might take our position as sons.  (6)  And it is because you are sons that God sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, with the cry–‘Abba, our Father.’  (7)  You, therefore, are no longer a slave, but a son; and, if a son, then an heir also, by God’s appointment.  (8)  Yet formerly, in your ignorance of God, you became slaves to ‘gods’ which were no gods.  (9)  But now that you have found God–or, rather, have been found by him–how is it that you are turning back to that poor and feeble puerile teaching, to which yet once again you are wanting to become slaves?” (Gal 4:1-9 TCNT)

Christians should remember that their rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) charged his followers to follow his Fathers instructions and to love one another. Jesus warned them that it could well be that the world would hate them because of their (our) choice to follow him. We should know that the world hated Christ before us.  We either have the choice to follow the traditions of the world and showing them that we not only are part of the world but also want to be in the world; Or if we were of this world, the world would be a friend to its own; but because we are not of the world the world hates us.  We should remember the word which Jesus said to his apostles that a servant is not greater than his lord and that if they have persecuted the send one from God (Jesus the Messiah), they will also persecute his followers; if they have kept Jesus his word, they will also keep ours.  But all these things they will do to us, on his account, because they know not Him that sent Jesus. and that is the whole problem. They do not want to know God who sent his prophet to save the world. Today the world should have no pretext for their sin.  It is true that those who hate Christ Jesus also hate his Father. In Christ we should put our hope because we have seen the Works of God in his hands. The whole world has received the opportunity to get to read the Words of God, to listen to them, to study them and to get to understanding for those Words came from the God Who does not tell lies.  so when He says ‘This is my only begotten beloved son” it up to us, living in this world to either accept that Nazarene Jew as the son of God or to make him like so many pagan do with the nature elements and other man of the world (Presley, Spears, Maradonna, Madonna, Jackson, Cyrus, Cano, 1D a.o.)
With Jesus the promise in the Garden of Eden became fulfilled, and the Word of God became a reality, which the world can face now. Jesus came to live in this world so that the word written in their law may be fulfilled.  After Jesus died (remember God can not die) his Father, the Only One God gave them light from His Power, the Pneuma or Holy Spirit. When this Comforter had come, whom Jesus as mediator between God and man, had send them from the Father, the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father, he testified of Jesus and the apostles also started to testify without fear about their teacher, because they had been with him from the beginning and had seen all the things Jesus had done in the name of his Father, the God of Abraham.

” I am giving you these commands that you may love one another.  (18)  If the world hates you, you know that it has first hated me.  (19)  If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world–that is why the world hates you.  (20)  Remember what I said to you–‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have laid my Message to heart, they will lay yours to heart also.  (21)  But they will do all this to you, because you believe in my Name, for they do not know him who sent me.  (22)  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have had no sin to answer for; but as it is, they have no excuse for their sin.  (23)  He who hates me hates my Father also.  (24)  If I had not done among them such work as no one else ever did, they would have had no sin to answer for; but, as it is, they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.  (25)  And so is fulfilled what is said in their Law–‘They hated me without cause.’  (26)  But, when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of Truth, who comes from the Father–he will bear testimony to me;  (27)  Yes, and you also are to bear testimony, because you have been with me from the first.” (Joh 15:17-27 TCNT)

A pent-up woman using strong men for the opposite they believed in

Sarah Palin addressing a Labor Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express (Manchester, NH), September 5, 2011

The American politician, commentator, author, former youngest person and first woman to be elected half-term Governor of Alaska and failed vice presidential candidate, registered Republican since 1982, Sarah Palin, née Heath, said

“Today, in too many respects, it’s politically incorrect to acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season and Christ is the main part of Christmas,”

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today he would probably go on Fox News to complain about the war on Christmas.

The freedom of the Constitution of the United States

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the United States of America, Created September 17, 1787, Ratified June 21, 1788

She told the audience of students that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for moral and religious people, and that nonreligious people probably were incapable of appreciating its principles.

“If you lose that foundation, John Adams was implicitly warning us, then we will not follow our constitution, there will be no reason to follow our constitution because it is a moral and religious people who understand that there is something greater than self, we are to live selflessly, and we are to be held accountable by our creator, so that is what our constitution is based on, so those revisionists, those in the lamestream media, especially, who would want to ignore what our founders actually thought, felt and wrote about in our charters of liberty – well, that’s why I call them the lamestream media,” Palin said.

Adams who was sixty-one when he took office and by whom theological uncertainty had turned him toward a secular vocation also was not so sure about the divinity of Christ and being the God born on the 25 of December. He was a real searcher and wanted to discover as much he could in the books of law, political theory, moral philosophy, or economy from classical Greece and Rome to Enlightenment Europe. No theoretical works could escape his critical eye. and we can imagine he was also very critical of what churches said and what the Bible said. He was not an abstract political thinker; rather, he read and wrote to understand and solve the problems of society in his own day. At the outset of the Revolution he believed that the superior virtue of the American people would prove sufficient to maintain a balance between liberty and order in the new republics being formed by the states. In his Thoughts on Government, written early in 1776, and in his draft of the Massachusetts Constitution three years later, he advocated popular governments with checks on the abuse of power adequate to maintain their republican purity. I think it would be in-acceptable for him that a political party took the country in banishment like the Tea Party does. what that movement does is also against the idea of Jefferson who wanted a a free and democratic government and wanted to avoid the weakness of the Old World standards. Closely associated with liberal, enlightened circles in ParisThomas Jefferson sympathized with the revolutionary impulse but sought to direct it into moderate and pacific channels of reform.The sorting and synthesizing habits characteristic of Enlightenment thought, having a state free of the connection with religion, formed the core of his thinking.

The challenges posed by the American Revolution (1775–1783)—creating a new nation, defining its form of government and politics, and shaping the kind of nation that the United States would become and the kind of people it would have—lent practical urgency to Jefferson’s investigations of the natural, social, and political world. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008 |}

Two of the three key measures of Jefferson’s lawmaking had to do with the life of the mind and individual liberty; all three embodied his devotion to Enlightenment ideals. Arguing that any alliance between church and state was dangerous to individual liberty and the health of the political realm, Jefferson insisted on strict separation of church and state, denying government any power to direct what citizens should believe or do in matters of religious belief and observance. Jefferson’s proposed system of public education embodied his view that an informed citizenry was essential to the success of republican government. Finally, his measure for proportioning crimes and punishments reflected the profound influence of Marquis Cesare di Beccaria’s (1738–1794) Treatise on Crimes and Punishments (1764), in particular Beccaria’s commitment to humanizing law and setting aside old barbarous punishments as inconsistent with a modern, just legal system. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences; 2008}

Although he never confused France with America, Jefferson became an ardent friend of the French Revolution and in time assimilated some of its radical doctrine into his political philosophy. He sought to engender amiability and, wherever possible, to grasp “the smooth handle.” Business was conducted through day-to-day consultation with the secretaries. The cabinet met infrequently, but when it did, usually on critical foreign problems, Jefferson invariably managed to produce a consensus. He led without having to command; he dominated without ruling. {Merrill D. Peterson; A Reference History; 2002; Peterson, Merrill D.}

Liberty of choice and combination of theism, materialism, and determinism

As he viewed the American experiments in government from Europe during the 1780s, Adams lost faith in the political virtue of his countrymen. He saw them repeating the mistakes of Europe, especially in the feverish pursuit of luxury, with its inevitable social and political corruption and its nurturing of class antagonisms. Today we can see how the Tea party and the Republican Party are aiming to go back to the 18th century European tradition and would like to steer to the same mistakes the men in charge of that time had taken.

The French Revolution had further strengthened Adams his belief that political freedom could be preserved only by a balanced government effectively controlling the natural rivalry of men for wealth and distinction and that state and religion should be kept separate. Therefore I do find it so strange Palin is always waving with those bright founders of the American constitution to get the Americans believe in her system which totally opposes the ideas of the founders of the United States of America. It is true that he believed that the quest for equality would inevitably bring chaos and the loss of the freedom that the French revolutionaries sought. He clearly sought constitutional separation of powers.

The Adamses had also been fond of Joseph Priestley, the English scientist and political radical, who attempted to combine theism, materialism, and determinism, a project that has been called “audacious and original”. They where well aware of this man his ideas about Jesus not being God and our task not to worship him like a god. They strongly believed in the free and open exchange of ideas, advocated toleration and equal rights for religious Dissenters, which also led Priestley to help found Unitarianism in England.

So very strange some very conservative Christians who are very devout Trinitarians today use those names to get their ideas in favour and have people to celebrate pagan festivals as their own Christian festivals.

Secularists and their look at religious themes in Christmas celebrations

She seemed to imply that Jefferson, who spent his summers at a home not far from the present-day site of Liberty University, may have been inspired by the religious college founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell.

“Thomas Jefferson and his thinking, I believe that much of it fundamentally came from this area, having spent his summers here, having spent influential years here, two miles away from Liberty University,” Palin said. “Man, there’s something in the water, perhaps, around here – again you are fortunate you get to taste it.”

Palin said Jefferson would likely agree that secularists had set their sights on destroying the religious themes in Christmas celebrations.

“He would recognize those who would want to try to ignore that Jesus is the reason for the season, those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas,” she said. “He would recognize that, for the most part, these are angry atheists armed with an attorney. They are not the majority of Americans.”

Protection of atheists

Palin said there was a double standard that protected atheists at the expense of the religious.

“Why is it they get to claim some offense taken when they see a plastic Jewish family on somebody’s lawn – a nativity scene, that’s basically what it is right?” she said. “Oh, they take such offense, though. They say that it physically even can hurt them and mentally it distresses them so they sue, right?”

“But heaven forbid we claim any type of offense when we say, ‘Wait, you’re stripping Jesus from the reason, as the reason for the season,’ but heaven forbid we claim any type of offense,” Palin said. “So that double standard, I think Thomas Jefferson would certainly recognize it and stand up and he wouldn’t let anybody tell him to sit down and shut up.”

Though, Thomas Jefferson did not believe in Jesus being God and wanted a free America were people of different opinions could share the land and live in peace together, respecting each-others believes. He believed in a beneficent natural order in the moral as in the physical world, freedom of inquiry in all things, and man’s inherent capacity for justice and happiness, and he had faith in reason, improvement, and progress.

Jefferson’s political thought would become the quintessence of Enlightenment liberalism, though it had roots in English law and government. The tradition of the English constitution gave concreteness to American patriot claims, even a color of legality to revolution itself, that no other modern revolutionaries have possessed. Jefferson used the libertarian elements of the English legal tradition for ideological combat with the mother country. He also separated the principles of English liberty from their corrupted forms in the empire of George III and identified these principles with nascent American ideals. In challenging the oppressions of the empire, Americans like Jefferson came to recognize their claims to an independent nationality. {Encyclopedia of World Biography; 2004}

Was it not the intention of the founding fathers of America to get rid of all the boundaries they had to endure in their different countries at the European continent? Was their intention not only to protect those who had certain believes, be it in the Supreme High Being, in spirits of the world, or in nothing of that sort? And did they not want to protect atheists not at the expense of the religious, and protect the religious not at the expense of atheists ?

Defending her believes in Christmas

EXPRESS-TIMES

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin signs her new book “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas” and greets customers during an appearance at Barnes and Noble on Nov. 12, 2013, in Bethlehem Township, Pa.

The former vice-presidential candidate has also written a book, Good Tidings and Great Joy – Protecting the Heart of Christmas, published by HarperCollins, about the real meaning of Christmas.

She writes:

A tree is best felled if you do it yourself, preferably from your neighbour’s plot or your own. If you do have to buy a commercial tree, watch out for the ones sold as “holiday”, “pine” or “fir” trees. These are not Christmas trees, and Christmas is all about Christmas! Keep the saw handy: after Christmas you can chop up the tree for your burner.

Buy some felt. Collect some fur from whatever pelts you have about the house. For a really wild “frontier flair”, ask a parent to saw buttons from antlers: any species will be fine. Hoohah! “You won’t find that on Pinterest!”

A gun is a great gift because it opens up a whole world of accessories.

Every year buy the Guiness Book of Records and read aloud from it. One year, you might be in it (as, for example, 2008’s most searched name on the internet).

You may wonder how a Christian can advertise to have guns and how it would not harm to point your 30-06 rifle to an other human being.

Perseverance in retaining enjoyable memories

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palin recounts news stories from recent years—such as a North Carolina college temporarily banning students from selling “Christmas” trees—to mount evidence that there are Americans trying to “destroy” the holiday. She generally refers to her foes as “secular leftists” and waffles between how formidable they are, saying “these guys aren’t just a few malcontents with lawyers” and dismissing them as a “few haters and cranks.” Palin prebuttals critics who would say she’s tackling a “non-existent problem” but doesn’t present any shattering new statistics to move the perennial debate.

A central trope in the book is Palin’s disgust and frustration at people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” While hitting on various points about the commercialization of the holiday (it’s good, it’s bad, it’s beside the point), she extolls businesses like Hobby Lobby that use religious imagery in advertisements and shames businesses like Target and Wal-Mart who have eschewed ­Christmas for more politically correct terms.

Reviled and marginalized citizens in American society

Palin argues that Christians are being reviled and marginalized in American society — and that Christian faith should be more central to culture, politics, schools and public squares. Some chapters lean heavy on the Evangelicalism, as she recounts Biblical stories and advocates for more Christ in Christmas. “God,” she writes, “is the only cure for what ails us.”

About that last bit she is right. God is the only cure and people should concentrate more on Him, the God of gods, and should abstain from everything which goes against God His rules, the commandments He has given. His commandments make it very clear that people may not bow down in front of human made images (crosses, statues) but also not honour or decorate trees, honouring gods or natural beings. (Is the Christmas tree not a decorated tree?)

Offensive well-wishes

When people say ‘Happy Holidays’ this is considered offensive for Sarah Paling and many conservative Christians in the United States. She does not seem to see that there is no coordinated campaign against uttering Christ’s name but rather, a seeming gradual shift over decades to awareness that not everyone celebrates Christmas. “Happy holidays,” for those who say it, is not disrespectful but a catch-all phrase to which the hearer can impute anything he or she wants; presumably Palin’s faith in the Nativity is not so weak that a person failing to mention Christ in alluding to the celebration could shake it.

Palin’s claim that “the homogenization of the holiday season” is underway is hard to square with the reality that last year, shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “Grey’s Anatomy” broadcast Christmas specials. In all the Western countries on television and radio stations people can see and hear nothing but Christmas specials. Christmas is inescapable in pop culture from more than a month out — after all, Palin’s Christmas book came out in November, more than a month before the holiday, so that it could be promoted enough and become a holiday sales record.

Critique of “the war on Christmas” and separation of church and state

, staff reporter for Salon’s entertainment section, writes:

This critique of “the war on Christmas” leaves aside a tenet Palin and her fellow warriors hold dear: that Christmas has become more about Santa and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and gifts under the tree than about the glorious birth of Jesus Christ. Per the display copy connected to Palin’s book, “Palin defends the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas—whether in public displays, school concerts, and pageants, or in our hearts.” It’s hard to come up with a counterargument to this because, aside from the long-standing separation of church and state (not a new practice), no one is preventing those who celebrate Christmas from hosting pageants or keeping Jesus in their hearts.

Celebration for Santa Claus

Jon Stewart waded into the “war on Christmas” on The Daily Show on Tuesday December 3, mocking conservative personalities like Bill O’Reilly, who was driven to ask “what holiday is Santa celebrating?” after seeing a Macy’s ad depicting Santa Claus helping customers with a “holiday gift list,” as opposed to a Christmas gift list.

“That is a good question,”

Stewart said sarcastically.

"Father Christmas" is often synonymo...

“Father Christmas” is often synonymous with Santa Claus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Santa, or Sinterklass (sic), (Sinterklaas) is celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which originated in the Netherlands in the Middle Ages and occurs every December 6th. But you might not have heard about that because like every other December holiday, it was long ago sucked into the insatiable black hole that is Christmas.”

Protecting the integrity of Christmas isn’t just about God when you look at all the controversy going on. For Palin Christmas is about patriotism and strangely enough also about the liberty and rights of the American people. Christmas, in Palin’s eyes, is the All-American holiday. Nativity scenes “acknowledge the very real history and identity of the vast majority of our citizens.” (her words) for her. They are according to her a part of “our National Heritage” and should be protected.

A tradition began years after the constitution

The NSM rally on the West lawn of the US Capitol, Washington DC, 2008

To me either she knows and ignores that Americans really began to celebrate Christmas widely only in the second half of the nineteenth century or she wants to get all other thinking people, those with not the same religious believes as her, being pushed in the corner or even better shoved out the country. No wonder so many Neo-nazis are liking her and the weapon industry do not mind providing money for her.

The Americans would do better to think of the reasons why so many left Europe and how many had found out that their church had fooled them with many dogmas. The Puritans who came to the New World to escape religious intolerance in Europe, didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. It was outlawed in New England from 1659-81. The God loving people knew their Bible better than many people today, who keep up the sacred book to wave to the people and shout to them about hell and damnation, but not read it.

Papist extravagance and pagan festivals

The immigrants from the 17th and 18th century wanted to see a New World were people could live together no matter of which denomination they were. But they did not like the Catholic or Papist extravagance. As far as they were concerned “Christmas” was a fourth-century innovation adapted in part from the pagan festival of Saturnalia. To this day there are home-grown American Christians that frown upon the celebration of Christmas because it’s not in the Bible. For them, as for the Puritans, Christmas is a gaudy distortion of the original message of Jesus. Also in many other countries, lots of real God loving people detest any connection with pagan festivals.

In the west of Europe we are full of Celtic and Germanic traditions and so it is understandable that many more people would have problems to desert those heathen activities. The Old colonist had abandoned those rituals, but now the Americans have come back home, into the 17th century Europe.

Danger looming around the corner

Some people may consider Sarah Palin to be a charlatan of no harm because she shall never reach her goal. But they could be mistaken. In Europe we have seen already other ‘charlatan’ who have made it to the top and who have destroyed many other peoples lives. Americans would better look at what happened in Europe, with such nationalism Sarah Palin is trying to imagine or to imprint in the minds of many Americans. Ad some financial crisis’s and we could come back 1930s (if we are not yet there). In Europe we have seen what sort of political figures and monsters it has created. There was also presented an ideal picture of family values, youth camps, and nice family celebrations with national holidays.

First every one shall have to comply with the Christian holidays of a certain Christians group and afterwards no other religious celebrations shall be recognised and would be considered to be an infringement on the national values, even become a danger for the nation. So no Hannukkah any more the state shall say in a few years time, in case the citizens are not careful enough to keep their liberties high in the meaning that liberty is protecting the freedom of the other.

Christians should better notice the trend of the marketeers making all efforts to push the ‘Holiday Season’ trough the throat of every body, making them guilty not to spend enough on Holiday Season Gifts.

Palin doesn’t seek the original Christmas (a fourth-century invention), the traditional American Christmas (they didn’t celebrate it), or consumerism-free Christmas (you Communist!). The festival Palin wants to retrieve is the Christmas of her youth. Palin’s Christmas is a medley of joy-filled eating, present opening, charitable giving, and idiosyncratic family tradition.

Candida Moss writes.

Real Christians should look for the real reason behind the season and be aware of their actions with national, worldly activities and with pagan celebrations..

+

Please read also my article on Christadelphian World: Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights

bloggers-for-piece-badgePeace in the community is only possible
when the citizens in that community respect the other people living around them,
no matter which colour or which believes they may have.

Peace can only be there when people are willing to give each other the freedom
to have their own celebrations,
but also by not claiming something as only their own,
forgetting the real historicity.

In case people want to be of the world or in the world that is their own choice.
Christians do have to make the right choice but to respect the choices of others,
having their own celebrations, but distancing themselves from them, not promoting them themselves.

Give peace a chance
and join the movement for peace,
becoming a Peace Blogger.

++

Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  14. ‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims
  15. The atheist’s Thanksgiving dilemma  Whom to thank when there’s no recipient?
  16. Religious, political, spiritual—something in common after all?
  17. Double Standard for Americans Celebrating Christmas?
  18. Sarah Palin’s New Book About the “War on Christmas,” As a Recipe
  19. Sorry, Sarah Palin: There’s no war on Christmas
  20. Sarah Palin: ‘Angry Atheists’ Wage War Against Christmas
  21. Jon Stewart skewers Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly’s defense of ‘inexorable black hole that is Christmas’
  22. Sarah Palin Is Here to Save Christmas, Thank God
  23. ‘Christmas is evil’: Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
  24. Muslims in Malta condemn anti-Christmas poster campaign
  25. Introducing Buy Nothing Christmas + Learn About Buy Nothing Christmas Here.
  26. Tea party has roots in the Dallas of 1963
  27. A small circle taking a nation hostage
  28. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  29. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  30. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  31. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  32. American Revolution
  33. Americanism
  34. Constitution, U.S.
  35. Declaration of Independence, U.S.
  36. Enlightenment
  37. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  38. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  39. What Jesus sang
  40. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  41. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  42. What do you want for Christmas
  43. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ

+++

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) mee...

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) meet Father Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert Still Yammering About Christian Countries Or Whatever (wonkette.com)
    So how is Gohmert trying to help us save us from ourselves and the total destruction of these United States? Supporting increasing the minimum wage? Encouraging the uninsured to enroll in Obamacare? Free abortion on demand? Hahaha, don’t be Ridiculose. Gohmert’s save America plan today is so much simpler than all that commie nonsense.
    +
    we are thiiiiiiiiiis close to the end of America, and we’ve already been teetering on the brink, what with our sex educating of our children, which has practically turned us into the Soviet Union. (Gohmert spent a summer there, you know, so he is A Expert on that too.)
  • Atheist Billboards: Deliciously antagonistic or just a step too far? (theirishatheist.wordpress.com)
    Driving in America is an utter terrifying ordeal, filled with collapsing infrastructure, lunatics behind pieces of large machinery, and completely arbitrary traffic laws an interesting experience. Mainly because as you drive along, you get a good feel for the commercial values of each region of the States in the form of billboards. For example, Wisconsin. A casual traveler through Packer territory will swiftly come to realise that the hardy folk of Wisconsin value cheese, adult videos, and fireworks above all else. Or in Iowa, where they prefer outlet malls, country radio stations, and second-rate Mexican restaurants.
    +
    I didn’t realise that the Times Square billboard war was continuing until yesterday when Christian author Benjamin Corey wrote an article on the most recent salvo. Mr. Corey identifies himself as a ‘formerly fundie’ progressive Christian who works for a better level of understanding between the various factions of Christianity as well as people of other (or no) religious persuasions. Mr. Corey, having recently written an article deriding the so-called War on Christmas, took issue with the most recent atheist message to go up in Times Square. Sponsored by The American Atheists, the ad essentially asks “Who needs Christ on Christmas?” and proceeds to cross out ‘Christ’ and replace it with ‘Nobody.’
    +
    Billions of Christians are going to sit down, exchange presents, sing beautiful songs, eat delicious food, go to Mass or services, and show goodwill and kindness to others. Including atheists. And Jews and Muslims and Hindus and everyone else where Christianity is the philosophical majority. Christmas is celebrated for more than a month, it’s probably the singular most influential feature of Western culture. And you know what? It’s Christians who made it that way. Christianity is why I’m guaranteed a few days to be with my loved ones without work hanging over my head. Christianity is why all those pagan practises that they appropriated have survived for thousands of years so they could be enjoyed by us today. Christianity is why Christmas trees are everywhere, why charities do so well this month, and why I can’t listen to “Oh Come Oh Come Immanuel” without cold chills.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer to boost national security (thedailyblogreport.wordpress.com)
    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) seemingly tied Christianity to U.S. national security during a bizarre speech on the House floor on Thursday, the Huffington Post reported.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer for national security (examiner.com)
    Glenn Beck picked a really bad time to claim the Religious Right was dead. That very same day, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the exact same Congressional representative he vowed he would become the “worst nightmare” of to get him to run for the Senate, embraced one of the most asinine Religious Right talking points possible.
  • The war on Christmas trees (coupleofatheists.com)
    Every year of my life the home I lived in had a Christmas tree. Weather that was when I lived with my Atheist father or during college when I stayed with my Catholic grandparents- the tree was always there. For me, it is a symbol of another year ending and preparing for another to begin. It is a reminder of family memories that could have only been made in its presence. When I was a little girl, Christmas eve was one of the only times that everyone came together- and that has remained true well into my adult life.Christians blame Atheists for the “War on Christmas” but as much as they hate when we object to giant manger scenes on government property… they also are unhappy when we embrace the secular side of the holiday… so what if we turned it on them.

    +
    There is nothing biblical about the fir tree- that is simply Winter Solstice witch craft… thankfully we are addressing this now so you can (hopefully) make right all the wrongs you have done in regards to disrespecting the celebration of the birth of Christ.

  • Sarah Palin Disgraces History With Claim Adams and Jefferson Support Her War on Christmas (politicususa.com)
    If there is one distinguishing feature unique to conservatives, it is their predilection for war. They will declare war on anything, seemingly for sport, but primarily to advance their sick agendas whether it is war against Muslims, women, the poor, gays, or equality; they just love war. It is interesting then, that conservatives of the Christian persuasion claim there is a war on their religious liberty when they are prohibited from forcing compliance to their religious dogmata on the entire population, and then there is their annual outrage that they are victims of the “war on Christmas.” Of course, the aggressors, according to conservative Christians, in the war on Christmas are the dreaded atheists who, interestingly, enjoy the winter “holiday” season as much as the next American, but resent the fact that any sector of government uses their tax dollars to promote the religious aspect of the uniquely commercial holiday.
    +
    Thomas Jefferson, a deist, eschewed everything divine about biblical Jesus; particularly what he called the “contrary to the laws of nature” virgin birth and resurrection story. What Jefferson did appreciate about biblical Jesus was the humanitarian ethics of goodwill toward human beings, charity for the poor, and his inherent humanism that Jefferson himself espoused.  To make his point, Jefferson gathered 4 translations of the gospel accounts, edited out each and every “contrary to natural law” part, and compiled humanistic Jesus into his version of the gospels minus Christ’s miracles, Christ as divine, and especially the virgin birth and resurrection. In fact, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote to another Founding Father, John Adams, in 1823 that “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” So much for America’s resident dunce counting on Thomas Jefferson joining her in fighting against “atheists trying to abort Christ in Christmas” or the “reason for the season” that is as absurd as a star guiding wise men to Bethlehem around December 25.
  • Atheists to Bill O’Reilly: ‘Religion does more than just hurt people. Religion kills people.’
    On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O’Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed “angry” atheists, asking, “Are they that bitter against religion?”
    Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O’Reilly’s charges, which were part of the cable host’s annual protest against the so-called “War on Christmas.”
  • Makes Total Sense: Rep. Louie Gohmert Says If Atheists Want to Be Free, They Should Promote Christianity
    Gohmert previously received some lovin’ on Friendly Atheist when he introduced the Church Act, a bill that exemplified the literal opposite of church-state separation by proposing a plaque to honor the religious services that were once held inside the Capitol. Prior to that, we noted that he openly blamed the deadly mass shooting in the Aurora movie theater on the godless state of American high schools.

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

°°°

+

+

By 1890 all Americans voted to make 25 December, Christmas a legal holiday.

The old elph Claus, induced with supernatural powers, and his eight horned magical reindeer.
By 1880 Santa Claus was a very popularised folk hero.
(According to this video) Looking at conception of Elisabeth and Mary, possible birthday 1st day of Feast of tabernacles, September 25th or beginning October.

Many people use Christmas to perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus to their children. (A lie and deceivement to their children, who believe and trust their parents. Later people would wounder if other things the parents told them would be true or not like this Santa Claus and Easterbunny myths) It plants the seeds of doubt, creating disappointment and disillusion.

In schools the holidays are celebrated but no references to God or to Jesus may be made. All references to God must be omitted. They only may sing non-Scriptural songs.
“There is no Christian element in the holiday” the interviewed says.

Christians should live on a daily basis, remembering the son of God, born in Bethlehem; momentby moment dedication of their entire life to Jesus, then, and only then, they will be able to have victory over pagan influences and to have an impact on society, for the Only One God the Creator of heaven and earth.

°°°


*

“2 here is what ADONAI says: “don’t learn the way of the Goyim, don’t be frightened by astrological signs, even if the Goyim are afraid of them;
3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing. they cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe;
4 they deck it with silver and gold. they fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won’t move.
5 like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, it cannot speak. it has to be carried, because it cannot walk.
do not be afraid of it—it can do nothing bad; likewise it is unable to do anything good!”” (Jeremiah 10:2-5 CJB)

+

“18  “if the world hates you, understand that it hated me first. 19 if you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. but because you do not belong to the world—on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20 remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ if they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours too. 21 but they will do all this to you on my account, because they don’t know the one who sent me. 22 “if I had not come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin; but now, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 whoever hates me hates my father also.” (John 15:18-23 CJB)

“11  now I am no longer in the world. they are in the world, but I am coming to you. holy father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are. 12 when I was with them, I guarded them by the power of your name, which you have given to me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction, so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled).
13 but now, I am coming to you; and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.
14 “I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world—just as I myself do not belong to the world. 15 I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one. 16 they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17  set them apart for holiness by means of the truth—your word is truth.” (John 17:11-17 CJB)

“4  you, children, are from god and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 they are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them.
6 we are from god. whoever knows god listens to us; whoever is not from god doesn’t listen to us. this is how we distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4-6 CJB)

“14 therefore fear ADONAI, and serve him truly and sincerely. put away the gods your ancestors served beyond the (Euphrates) river and in Egypt, and serve ADONAI! 15  if it seems bad to you to serve ADONAI, then choose today whom you are going to serve! will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the river? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? as for me and my household, we will serve ADONAI {Jehovah}!” (Joshua 24:14-15 CJB)

*

Preceding article: Holidays, holy days and traditions

+

  1. The nativity story
  2. Religious Practices around the world
  3. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  4. First Century of Christianity
  5. Hellenistic influences
  6. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  7. Only One God
  8. Idolatry or idol worship
  9. Faith and works
  10. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  11. Compromise and accomodation
  12. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  13. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense
  14. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  15. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  16. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  17. A season of gifts
  18. God’s Special Gift
  19. What Jesus sang
  20. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  23. The nativity story
  24. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  25. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  26. Speedy Christmas!
  27. Christmas trees
  28. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  29. What do you want for Christmas
  30. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  31. Sancta Claus is not God
  32. Wishing lanterns and Christmas

++

Additional reading:

  1. Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas
    Pagan, or non-Christian, traditions show up in this beloved winter holiday, a consequence of early church leaders melding Jesusnativity celebration with pre-existing midwinter festivals. Since then, Christmas traditions have warped over time, arriving at their current state a little more than a century ago.
    +
    As Christians spread their religion into Europe in the first centuries A.D., they ran into people living by a variety of local and regional religious creeds.
    Christian missionaries lumped all of these people together under the umbrella term “pagan,” said Philip Shaw, who researches early Germanic languages and Old English at Leicester University in the U.K. The term is related to the Latin word meaning “field,” Shaw told LiveScience. The lingual link makes sense, he said, because early European Christianity was an urban phenomenon, while paganism persisted longer in rustic areas.
    Early Christians wanted to convert pagans, Shaw said, but they were also fascinated by their traditions.
    “Christians of that period are quite interested in paganism,” he said. “It’s obviously something they think is a bad thing, but it’s also something they think is worth remembering. It’s what their ancestors did.” [In Photos: Early Christian Rome]
    Perhaps that’s why pagan traditions remained even as Christianity took hold. The Christmas tree is a 17th-century German invention, University of Bristol’s Hutton told LiveScience, but it clearly derives from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors to decorate in midwinter. The modern Santa Claus is a direct descendent of England’s Father Christmas, who was not originally a gift-giver. However, Father Christmas and his other European variations are modern incarnations of old pagan ideas about spirits who traveled the sky in midwinter, Hutton said.
    +
    With no Biblical directive to do so and no mention in the Gospels of the correct date, it wasn’t until the fourth century that church leaders in Rome embraced the holiday. At this time, Nissenbaum said, many people had turned to a belief the Church found heretical: That Jesus had never existed as a man, but as a sort of spiritual entity.
    “If you want to show that Jesus was a real human being just like every other human being, not just somebody who appeared like a hologram, then what better way to think of him being born in a normal, humble human way than to celebrate his birth?” Nissenbaum said. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]
    Midwinter festivals, with their pagan roots, were already widely celebrated, Nissenbaum said. And the date had a pleasing philosophical fit with festivals celebrating the lengthening days after the winter solstice (which fell on Dec. 21 this year). “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born … Christ should be born,” one Cyprian text read.
  2. The Origin of Christmas
    The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.
    The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.
    This was done long before the birth of Jesus.
    It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.
    These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.
    Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.
    This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.
    In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.
    +
    A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.
    In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures,”Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.

    When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome.
    These reformers left Christmas intact.
    In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.
    The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.
    Near the end of the nineteenth century, when other Bible versions began to appear, there was a revival of the celebration of Christmas.

    We are now seeing ever-increasing celebrating of Christmas or Yule, its true name, as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
    In both witchcraft circles and contemporary Christian churches, the same things are going on.

  3. Is Christmas Pagan?
    There was, for example, a saturnal celebration around the time of Christmas that pagans celebrated, which was actually a temptation for Christians to participate in that had pagan content to it.  So the church changed the day that they celebrated the birth of Christ.  They used to celebrate it in the Spring.  But the church said, We can celebrate it any time we want.  Let’s celebrate it at the same time the pagans are celebrating their pagan festival.  It’ll act as a contrast to that pagan festival because our celebration is the birth of the God-man, Jesus Christ.  It has Biblical content.  Plus it will protect Christians from being wooed away by this other celebration to participate in what was a pagan celebration.
    +
    Circumcision was practiced by the Egyptians before it was practiced by the Jews.  It was a cultural practice which had some religious significance.  God captured the practice, gave it to Abraham, reinvested it with new meaning and it became a religious rite for Abraham to worship his creator.
    We think of circumcision as this really holy thing in the Old Testament associated with the covenant, which it was.  But it wasn’t that way originally.  By golly, it seems to me that if God can do such a thing–take a practice that had heathen content to it, save the practice, reinvest new information to it–then it certainly is okay for the church to do it.
    +
    Even Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, wasn’t given by God in the Scriptures.  It’s something that they do to recollect a deliverance, a special deliverance, that God gave them during what we call the inter-testamental period, those 400 years between Malachi and Jesus.  Theirs is a festival that is commonplace now but which doesn’t have its source in a direct command in Scripture; but it does function like many of those other things that are in Scripture.  It reminds people year to year of God’s faithfulness and His goodness.
  4. The History of Christmas, simple to remember
    St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus.  This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.+

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association – writing in the Catholic Church’s official commentary on the New Testament {Addison G. Wright, Roland E. Murphy, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “A History of Israel” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary, (Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990), p. 1247.}, writes about the date of Jesus’ birth, “Though the year [of Jesus birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in AD 1.  The Christian era, supposed to have its starting point in the year of Jesus birth, is based on a miscalculation introduced ca. 533 by Dionysius Exiguus.”

    +

    The DePascha Computus, an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around 243 CE, placed Jesus birth on March 28.  Clement, a bishop of Alexandria (d. ca. 215 CE), thought Jesus was born on November 18.  Based on historical records, Fitzmyer guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE.

    +

    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians

    +

    The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who  first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”{ Increase Mather, A Testimony against Several Prophane and Superstitious Customs, Now Practiced by Some in New England (London, 1687), p. 35.  See also Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America’s Most Cherished Holiday, New York: Vintage Books, 1997, p. 4.}  Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.{Nissenbaum, p. 3.}  However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.

    +

    Norse mythology recounts how the god Balder was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna.  Druid rituals use mistletoe to poison their human sacrificial victim. {Miles, p. 273.}  The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.{Miles, p. 274-5.}

  5. Christmas: Is it “Christian” or Pagan?
    “The cold of the night in Palestine between December and February is very piercing, and it was not customary for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October.” Hislop, A., The Two Babylons, Loiseaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. pg 91.
    +
    If the winter was such a bad time in which to flee, it seems unlikely that the shepherds would be sleeping out in the fields while tending their sheep during that season.
    +
    Isis, the Egyptian title for the “queen of heaven,” gave birth to a son at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The term “Yule” is the Chaldee (Babylonian) name for “infant” or “little child.”
    This pagan festival not only commemorated the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but it also was celebrated (on December 24) among the Sabeans of Arabia, as the birthday of the “Lord Moon.”

In Babylon, where the sun (Baal) was the object of worship, Tammuz was considered the incarnation of the Sun.

“In the Hindu mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the Sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who without such a birth, could not have been subdued.” Ibid pg 96

There are many other Christmas counterparts of the Babylonian winter solstice festival, such as: 1) candles lighted on Christmas eve and used throughout the festival season were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honor to him, 2) the Christmas tree was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree; in Rome it was the fir. The tree denoted the Pagan Messiah.

“The mother of Adonis, the Sun God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as the ŒMan of the branch.” Ibid pg 97

  • Should we Celebrate Christmas?
    Sometimes tradition is acceptable and perhaps even pleasing in the sight of Yahweh. But other times it is not acceptable and can even be hated by Him
    The issue of traditions transgressing the commandment of Yahweh was a key teaching of Yahushua the Messiah:
    (NKJV) Matthew 15:1- Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yahushua, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
    +
    Messiah didn’t like the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees because they transgressed Yahweh’s clear commandments. As I will share, Christmas is also transgressing the commandment of Yahweh in favor of tradition. But first, notice that He goes on to say:

    Matthew 15:7 –
    “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:8 `These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me.9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “So a tradition can honor him with the lips, but actually be a vain thing that displeases Him. I have found that Christmas is honoring with the lips but it is actually a vain tradition that has essentially become a doctrine and commandment of men.
    It is a tradition and commandment of men because there is no verse in the bible that tells us that we are to celebrate the birth nor the resurrection of Yahushua the Messiah—let alone in a way that imitates paganism and idolatry!
    So yes, I do believe we must question these traditions that have been handed down to this generation even though few dare to. Many Christians speak against the Catholic traditions of Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc. but fail to recognize that the same types of pagan elements exist in the celebration of Christmas and Easter.
  • The History of Christmas and Its Pagan Origins
    English: large wooden Santa Claus and "no...

    large wooden Santa Claus and “north pole” at Santa Claus House, North Pole, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Many people suffer from the misconception that Christmas is a Christian holiday. The earliest history of Christmas is composed of “pagan” (non-Christian) fertility rites and practices which predate Jesus by centuries. The truth is, in short, the real history of Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity. Many of the traditions which we hold dear, such as decorating Christmas trees, singing Christmas carols, and giving Christmas gifts, are rooted in the traditions of non-Christian religions.
    +
    In the Middle Ages, Christmas was a raucous, drunken celebration which resembled a carnival. Poor people would go on a Christmas“trick or treat” around the richer neighborhoods, causing them misery if they didn’t get what they wanted.
    +
    The Germans did not so much celebrate as honor the winter solstice. They believed that their god, Oden, flew through the sky at night passing judgment on his people. Generally, they would stay indoors during this season. When the Germanic people were converted to Christianity, their winter festival was naturally adopted as a celebration of the birth of Christ.
    +
    Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree, bringing it into the home and decorating it is not pagan in origin, and did not appear until centuries after Christ’s broth. The Romans decorated their homes and temples with evergreen clippings, but allowed the trees to remain intact, often decorating live trees with religious icons.
    The Druids tied fruit to the branches of live trees, and baked cakes in the shape of fish, birds and other animals, to offer to their god, Woden. We also inherited the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe from the Druids. The Christmas tree tradition we currently practice had its origins in 16th century Western Germany. “Paradise trees” were cut down to commemorate the Feast of Adam and Eve, which took place on Christmas eve every year.
    +
    Christianity and pre-Christian pagan religion have a great deal in common. Various pagan religions shared the Christian practice of worshiping a god-man who could offer salvation in the form of heaven or condemnation in the form of hell. The concept that a son of God could be born of a mortal woman is seen in many different religions spanning the globe. These concepts are universal, except to those who are extremely divisive and have a tendency to pick nits.
    +
    Fortunately there are many ways to reconnect with the original purpose and meaning of Christmas. Small traditions, such as placing apples or cookies on the tree, or decorating a live tree instead of a cut one, are a good way to get in touch with the way that our ancestors celebrated Christmas. Respecting the planet and understanding its powers and its limitations are important. The pagans were aware of the changing seasons and found earth-centered and social ways to cope with them. They were aware and appreciative of the sun. They exchanged gifts, but their gift exchange was not commercialized. Instead the focus was on bringing good fortune. Giving gifts of fruit has been a common practice throughout history, and is still popular today.

  • A History of New Years
  • Christianity gone haywire, and going down
  • The Marketing Of Catholicism
  • One of the main concerns of the Church in the last 50 years – and I mean, even from good, orthodox priests and laymen – seems to be to make the message of Christianity attractive, or easy to digest, or such that it would appear an improvement in one’s quality of life.
    +
    Christianity isn’t a “fun option”, or a “better choice”; similarly, atheism or unrepentant grave sin are infinitely worse than “poor choices”. It is no surprise 50 years of trying to persuade people of this have brought us to the level where we are now.
    Christianity is, first and foremost, harsh. Harsh in the brutal commandments – not suggestions of “better choices” -, harsh in the consequences for those refusing to do so, harsh in the crystal-clear warning that no alternative ways are acceptable.
    +
    The call to submit our will to His good and perfect will – because God’s ways work for our happiness. A call to surrender our “rights” and all that we are to Jesus – through faithful membership of His Church.

+++

  • Oh Christmas Tree (notestoponder.wordpress.com)
    We deck the halls because Pagans used to bring greenery into their homes on  the shortest day of the year for the sun god to eat.  It was an “offering” to get well soon; a custom shared by ancient Druids, Romans and Greeks. Jesus could have been born in July for all we know but Dec. 25 was set to soothe uppity Pagans by coinciding with their solstice parties.
  • Chanukah (Hanukkah) / Christmas – Facts or Fabels? (hisimagenme.wordpress.com)
    Would Yeshua Himself celebrate Christmas if He walked the earth as human today? Not likely, at least not the way most do.What about Hanukkah?
    Yeshua likely grew up celebrating Hanukkah. It is one of the Jewish Holidays that goes way back. But to be clear it is the only holiday that God did not command to be celebrated. At least Biblically speaking. At least as far as we know. This is because the time period in which the origin of the holiday takes place between Malachi and Matthew or “old and new” testaments. He did indeed celebrate this holiday, and its not a far stretch to know why. As the Light of the World that gave the oil (Holy Spirit) to His church at a critical time in its history…we are the Menorah of Adonai. The above link does a beautiful job explaining this in more detail. It’s worth the time to “study to show thyself and test the Spirit” in search of Truth.
  • The Idol of Christmas (eternalchrist.wordpress.com)
    No, we are not the Grinch who stole Christmas; but Christians should understand the origins of this most hallowed celebration.
    +
    Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Jingle Bells are born of the traditions of men, and detract from the birth of Messiah. Granted, Sinterklaas was a real person (Saint Nicholas of Myra); a 4th Century Christian bishop who gave generously to the poor.Everything else we know about Santa Claus is a creation of myth and fables. The Saint Nick who is worshiped today has become an idol of merchants and debtors; and is a sacrilege to the Nativity at Bethlehem.Christmas evolved from the winter festivals of Saturnalia (Rome) and Yule (German) from which we get the word Yuletide. These annual feasts celebrated pagan gods such as the white bearded Odin who supposedly rode his horse across the wintry skies of northern Europe delivering gifts to all the children.
  • The true reason for the season (sanchezjennifer926.wordpress.com)
    Christ will never be “the reason for the season” Jesus Christ was interjected into an already existing Pagan festival/feast and I’m here to shed a little light on an ongoing betrayal.
    +
    During the middle ages, the debased Mardi Gras atmosphere, of what was now known as “Christ’s mass” had reached a fevered pitch. Common practices included sex in the streets, rioting, murder, and a number of Druid Halloween like rituals. This blood drenched ritual got so out of hand, that by the year 1652 following the execution of King Charles I, “Christ’s mass” was finally outlawed.
  • YAHWEH’s Truth Behind The Pagan Holiday Christmas (simplylivingforyah.wordpress.com)
    Unbeknownst to the multitudes of Christians, and other religions, those celebrations are made by witches, warlocks, but mainly by Luciferians. I know you are thinking “why Luciferians”? So I’ll tell you why. Try to go over this a few times so you make sure it’s absolutely correct, and then once you do, “remember it”!The reason Luciferians celebrate it is because they know their god Satan has tricked most of the people that call themselves Christians into believing a lie, and that makes those people seen for who they are. “Weak in study and able to be told anything.” Today’s modern day believer is unequipped to do battle with Satan and that gives him an advantage over them.
    +
    These so called “church father’s” pre-existed the man who would continue in their efforts to malign the true doctrine that we were supposed to be taught. Instead Constantine, who was a wife murdering madman, and killed his very own children, found a way to align pagan worship (paganomics) with what was being called “Christianity.” It would allow pagans to bring some long time rituals into the church. “Easter” (Ishtar) The fertility goddess, whose name was originally “Asherah,” or “Astarte.” YAHWEH had the Asheran pole (may pole dancing) taken out of all HIS Tabernacles. “Churchianity brought it back with Easter.”
  • “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” (allaboutarmstrongism.wordpress.com)
    Tonight, the Christmas tree – yes, the Christmas tree – (you’re responsible for your judging thoughts, Armstrong Adherents)  is brightly lit and shining in my home. Lights flashing sequentially, the beautiful colors light the living room in a warm, inviting glow. From speakers, St. Paul’s Cathedral is singing “Hark the Herald Angels sing” – a song proclaiming the birth of the most important Figure ever to walk the face of the Earth. The words echo beautifully throughout. It is absolutely wonderful.
  • The Twelve Mysteries of Christmas, Day 2 (lmwinborne.wordpress.com)
    Fact is, green has been used by many cultures as a symbol of life.  During harsh winters, evergreens were cut down and brought into houses as a symbol that life still existed despite the bleak conditions outside.  Romans hung holly wreaths on their doors and walls to welcome back the sun in the natalis solis invicti (birth of the invincible sun”) festival, which was celebrated on December 25 each year.  Red was added to symbolize the shed blood of Jesus.
    +
    The custom of using a pine to represent the Tree of Good and Evil spread from the church to the home, creating a tradition with the two colors.
  • Falling Back To The Wall – In Length And Wordiness (experientialpagan.wordpress.com)
     I’m (not really) sorry, Christians; you don’t have a patent on festive mid-winter celebrations.  In fact, if you all bothered to know as much about your Christian history as you think you know about pagan history, you would know it was your own Puritans who wanted to banish Christmas; not the secular humanists, thank you very much.At this time of year, I often wish I could master the patter of the professional auctioneer, so I could belt out “Merry Bodhi, Soyal, Dongzhi, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa, Malkh, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solis Invicti, Saturnalia, Yalda, Hogmanay, New Year’s!” 545237without it taking me five minutes to say it.  I hear the “defend Christmas” crowd go on about how it is our “culture” to be defended, but you know what?  America doesn’t have a culture.  Not really.  Capitalism is not cultured, religious bigotry is not cultured, consumerism and materialism are not cultured….but enough of my humanism, right?  IF Americans doing the loudest screaming had ANY bloody concept of “culture” they would know what all those holidays up there ARE, for starters…and then maybe we could have a rational talk about their ill-mannered insistence that nobody ever say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas!”
  • Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    Jewish people celebrate Christmas today, not because of Christ’s birthday, but because it is a popular tradition and part of our present-day culture. It’s as American as apple pie and hamburgers. And I observed Christmas for nearly 22 years of my life, until God opened my eyes to see the falseness of this pagan holiday.It’s not because I’m a Jew that I don’t celebrate Christmas now. That has nothing to do with it. Let me tell you the real reasons why I no longer observe this pagan holiday.
  • The Christmas Season in the Italian Language (becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com)
    To celebrate la stagione natalizia in Italy, I am dedicating this month’s blog posts to the sights, sounds, tastes, and traditions of Natale.  Buone feste! (Happy Holidays!)
    +
    the key dates in a season of celebrations:*December 6: La festa di San Nicola, patron saint of shepherds and of Bari–and the inspiration for the American “Santa Claus.”*December 8: La festa dell’Immacolata, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holy day honoring Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. In Rome the Pope comes to the Piazza di Spagna to drop a garland of flowers around the statue of the Madonna. (Since she stands atop a high column, firemen on ladders do the actual placement.)*December 13: La festa di Santa Lucia, the festival of lights.

    *December 24: La vigilia di Natale, the vigil or eve of Christmas.

    *December 25: Natale,  the “birthday” of Gesù bambino.

    *December 26: La festa di Santo Stefano, Saint Steven’s day.

    *December 31: La festa di San Silvestro, Saint Sylvester’s day or New Year’s Eve (la vigilia di Capodanno).

    *January 1: Il Capodanno, literally the top of the year.

    *January 6: L’Epifania (Epiphany), which marks the arrival of the Re Magi, the three wise men, who brought gifts to the infant Jesus from afar.

Holidays, holy days and traditions

, who was nominated as one of America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts of 2012 and was named as one of America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders, does find that we as leaders, role models, and parents, we must strive to utilize every opportunity available to us to reinforce the values and beliefs that we hold dear. In such an instance we do have to have some values to which we ourselves do keep. The traditions to which we do hold on should than have a meaning.

“Many holidays are becoming so commercialized that our proud traditions are in danger of becoming trivialized.”

Sonneberg says.

Today, we’re so profit-motivated that we expect retail employees to abandon their family dinners to return to their store in time for the sale. Or worse yet, their employers force them to supervise “midnight madness” sales extravaganzas, featuring over-caffeinated shoppers seeking that “dream buy.”

Many of us can’t even remember the true meaning of the holidays. Memorial Day has morphed from remembering our fallen soldiers to the unofficial beginning of summer. Labour Day’s role in recognizing the achievements of organized labour now just marks the end of summer and a return to school. Veterans Day is honoured as a day off from work.

Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens:...

That is the strange thing about it all, many do find they should have the day free of work, but do not know what the holiday is all about. They sometimes have a vague idea or do know what certain people do believe in but they themselves do not want to know about it. For example they know that certain Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter, but they do not believe that person ever existed and they also do not believe in the God of Jesus or any god. though they would not want to loose the heathen celebration of the goddess of fertility Estra (hence Easter) or at the end of the year the pagan celebration Christmas, which is on the holy day of the goddess of light. Lots of Christians do want to keep onto that heathen celebration day, though they know it is not really the birth day of Jesus Christ (who was born on the 17th of October 4BCE) For them tradition is what counts, so all the figures which have nothing to do with the time Jesus was born and even which are an abomination in the eyes of the Divine Creator God, they do not want to loose. For them the Santa Claus is holy sacred. Do you know what Father Christmas, the Christmas tree and all the garlands have to do with the birth of the Messiah?

Halloween!!

Halloween!! (Photo credit: cafeconlecheporfavor)

Traditions have become a part of our live we would not like to change easily. Around Halloween I spoke with an English brother who did not mind all the celebrations around Halloween. For him it was just pure fun. It does not mean people are actually believing in supernatural spirits or ghosts. Lots of people like him, might simply view taking part in Halloween and similar celebrations as a way to have fun and teach their children to explore their imagination, creating all sorts of monsters. But why do they have to create ugly things, and not nice things? Why do they not want to see that many celebrations like Halloween have pagan origins and are deeply rooted in ancestor worship, but area also celebration which are of religious importance to several nature worshippers. A few streets further than mine lives a witch which still uses such days to worship the dead and to have contact with supposed spirits of the dead. (According to the Bible when a person comes to his or her end of his or her life, life goes out of that person and he or she can not do anything any-more because he or she will be dead and become dust like any other being, plant or animal.)

Belgium and England are not the only countries where the Wiccans keep to the ancient Celtic rituals, still call Halloween by the ancient name Samhain and consider it to be the most sacred night of the year.

“Christians ‘don’t realize it, but they’re celebrating our holiday with us. . . . We like it,’”

stated the newspaper USA Today when quoting a professed witch.

You may call it strange that Christians also do not mind ‘playing’ around and want to celebrate such days like Halloween which are in conflict with Bible teachings. The Bible warns:

“There must never be anyone among you who . . . practices divination, who is soothsayer, augur or sorcerer, who uses charms, consults ghosts or spirits, or calls up the dead.” (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11The Jerusalem Bible)

I do agree there are no  sons or daughters sacrificed in the fire, but the fires still symbolises such actions. I also do find the reactions very strange when the people burn the puppets ‘full of joy’. What is than the meaning of that action? Does it not show something which is hidden more inside them? Does it not present some hidden feelings or frustrations?

When God tells not to practice divination, sorcery, fortune-telling, witchery, casting spells, holding séances, or channeling with the dead, or having contact with such people doing so, why do those who call themselves Christian do not mind still doing that? Many do not mind to  dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums ‘just for fun”. But is it not hat of which the Bible warns us not to pollute our souls? (Leviticus 19:31)

““ ‘do not turn to spirit-mediums or sorcerers; don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am ADONAI your god.” (Leviticus 19:31 CJB)

Lots of people do not mind intermingling with those people who keep on those heathen traditions and want to celebrate those original pagan celebrations. Is it then not  obvious what kind of life they prefer above the Godly life? Do they not want to get their own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on like the apostle Paul could go on. More than once he warned the people who wanted to be followers of Jesus, that the master rabbi demanded purity of the soul, allegiance to the Most High and loyalty to the man who did not want to do his own will but only the Will of his Father. So why do those Christians also not want to do the Will of the father of Jesus? Do they also forget that Jesus spoke many times about ‘being of this world’ or choosing for God, loving God, and what it really means? Though from the many parables we do know that is we want to use our freedom this way, we will not inherit God’s kingdom.

 “19 and it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. it expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency; 20 involvement with the occult and with drugs; in feuding, fighting, becoming jealous and getting angry; in selfish ambition, factionalism, intrigue 21 and envy; in drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you now as I have warned you before: those who do such things will have no share in the kingdom of god!” (Galatians 5:19-21 CJB)

These celebrations we have around the end of the year may not look harmful and may represent a critical piece of our culture. For many they may help form the structure and foundation of their families and their society.

Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends.

says Sonnenberg who considers that those celebrations remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past,

shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, we’re in danger of damaging the underpinning of our identity.

But we also should know that

Tradition provides a forum to showcase role models and celebrate the things that really matter in life.

So we should question “What does really matter”.

Tradition may serve as an avenue for creating lasting memories for our families and friends, but when you look at certain celebrations, the memory or reason why those holidays were created for is all gone.

St. Martin’s Day celebration with lampoons

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet – Saint Nicholas and Black Peter

Many minimise the lies been told about Saint Maarten (St. Martin’s Day), Saint Nicholas and Saint Claus, they bringing presents to the children, one on his black horse in the streets, the other with his white gray (or grey) running over the rooftops, his black servant going through the chimneys, and than the most magical with his reindeer flying from the North-pole through the sky, having his midgets going through the walls putting the many presents under the Christmas tree. How can a child trust its parents when they tell lies for the fun and to trick their children? Why do not tell them it is their present for this or that occasion?

Some of the stories people told their children, making them afraid of the ghosts or telling them when they would not behave they were going to be put in the sack of ‘Zwarte piet’ or ‘Black Peter’ did give them an experience which was not so much fun. Naturally the presents where much like as well as all the mysticism around those days.

It is also very easy to get caught up in the hubbub of the season of Christmas and the joy people should experience at such an occasion is often obscured by the stress they do experience. The Bible does encourage all of us to remember Jesus Christ, how he gave his life for many. It also encourages us to share the same love as Christ and to be liberal in giving, to help the needy, and to spend time with our families. It also teaches us how to be peaceable.

McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states:

The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.

The Encyclopedia Americana says:

Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that

all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spa...

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spain. Olentzaro, Christmas tree, Santa Claus and elf. Photographer: Javier Mediavilla Ezquibela Date: January 6, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Western Europe in the Winter we do have very dark days and could do with some extra lighting. It is also a period of some cold weather conditions where the wind and rain are not a nice thing to go for a walk. So it can be made much cosier with some extra light and fire in the house. Nothing against that. As such the decorations in the house and bringing a nice smelling spruce in the living room made it possible to have some extra colour and a nice smell in the room which had not so much ventilation as in Summer. But we know also that in the past Europeans decorated their homes with lights and evergreens of all kinds to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits. {The Encyclopedia of Religion,}

Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.” {Encyclopædia Britannica}.

It is totally wrong to believe that those Christians who do not like to celebrate Christmas would not believe in Christ Jesus. They may not forget the early Christians never celebrated the birthday of Jesus. The only feast we should remember concerning Christ, is the day when he took the bread and wine as symbols of the instalment of  the New Covenant, on the 14th of Nisan,or celebrating Passover with a Memorial Meal (Memorial Day for many Christians worldwide.).

To think only then on the 25th of December to be generous or about peace on earth and goodwill toward men, would limit the message Christ had given to his followers. Because every day they should be messengers of peace.

“the person who blesses others will prosper; he who satisfies others will be satisfied himself.” (Proverbs 11:25 CJB)

“if possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people.” (Romans 12:18 CJB)

Jesus commanded that we commemorate his death, not his birth.

“19 also, taking a piece of matzah, he made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to them and said, “this is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of me.” 20 he did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, “this cup is the new covenant, ratified by my blood, which is being poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-20 CJB)

That action of Jesus, preparing himself for giving himself to the world, only willing to do the Will of his Father, should make us to form the right attitude, also willing to do the Will of Jesus his Father, the Only One God.

““father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, let not my will but yours be done.”” (Luke 22:42 CJB)

We should take time this holiday season to think about that and to meditate what we want to do, following human traditions and doing the same thing what people would love most, or following the Biblical instructions about how to behave, whom and what to associate with, either being part of the world or part of Christ.

+

Please do find ‘s article: Tradition: The True Meaning of Holidays

Preceding articles:

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

++

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

English: A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Find also to read:

  1. A season of gifts
  2. God’s Special Gift
  3. What Jesus sang
  4. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  7. The nativity story
  8. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  9. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  10. Speedy Christmas!
  11. Christmas trees
  12. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  13. What do you want for Christmas
  14. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  15. Sancta Claus is not God
  16. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  17. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  18. Timely Growth
  19. Idolatry or idol worship
  20. Halloween custom of the nations
  21. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  22. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  23. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  24. 1 -15 Nisan
  25. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  26. Day of remembrance coming near
  27. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  28. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  29. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  30. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  31. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  32. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  33. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  34. Seven days of Passover
  35. Jesus memorial
  36. Bread and Wine
  37. Ransom for all
  38. High Holidays not only for Israel
  39. Observance of a day to Remember
  40. Is it wise to annul the Pentecostweekend
  41. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  42. Casual Christians
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  45. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !

Additional reading:

  1. From a midwinter celebration to a Christian feast
  2. Is Christmas Christian?
  3. The Christ – Mass Lie
  4. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor
  5. Appropriate the Pagan Festival of Saturnalia to Celebrate the Birth of Christ? Matt Salusbury Weighs the Evidence
  6. The Life Mag: 12 Days of Christmas – Secret Code along the Roman Road
  7. The Real Story of Christmas
  8. What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?
  9. Have nothing to do with Godless Myths and old wives’ tales
  10. Christmas Customs–Are They Christian? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  11. Has Christmas Lost Christ? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  12. The Christmas Spirit All Year Round? – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  13. Take Your Stand for True Worship – Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site
  14. Christmas is a lie
  15. We are Christians and are not celebrating Christmas
  16. The Un-Christmas Club
  17. The Plain truth about Christmas

+++

http://belgianbiblestudents.wordpress.com/tag/Easter/

  • Origins of Holidays (xntricproductions.wordpress.com)
    Holidays originally Holy days are celebrated to pay honor to a certain time of the year, a certain day or days that are Holy or important and have meaning to the people celebrating.
    +
    With this mixing of cultures we also have, in many cases, mixing of religions, beliefs, customs and traditions. This has been happening for centuries all over the world. As people travel from place to place and settle in new areas sometimes by choice, sometimes by force or out of necessity, our traditions, customs, beliefs are brought with us. We introduce what is ours to the new place where we settle and we are introduced to what is customary to others. So even customs, traditions and religions can become intermingled. Only the very devout remember and continue to teach what is theirs and theirs alone.
    +
    In the Bible God warns his people numerous times throughout the Bible to remain separate from the people of the lands they would inhabit. God warns all of his people not to adopt the traditions of pagan people and not to honor him the way that pagans honor their gods.In other religions people worship and honor their gods and holy times of the year according to their beliefs and practices. Pagans do not worship God or include Christ in their celebrations however their celebrations are nearly identical to ours.
    In fact pagan religions as celebrated by pagans today have remained pretty much the same since they started thousands of years ago. Some pagans do put their own twist on it or start their own new family traditions just as Christians do but the foundation of their beliefs remain intact. So why do so many non- Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter?
  • About Christmas (myrarsenriquez.wordpress.com)
    Christmastime, as it is often called, is in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere, at a time when there were already ancient festivals. Some of the traditions that are used for Christmas are older than Christmas, or come from other non-Christian traditions such as Yule. Modern traditions of Christmas often focus on the giving of gifts. The season for retail stores to sell gifts, food, greeting cards, Christmas trees, and decorations begins the day about a month before Christmas Day.
  • Christmas is a Pagan Holiday (bblessedtoday.net)
    Don’t get upset and defensive with your excuses and arguments on how Christmas is about Jesus and the reason for the season and saying that I am just a party pooper that is putting a dent in your family traditions. Do some research on your own and see for yourself where Christmas came from and what are its real origins. Sometimes the only way we really change ourselves is to see things from our own eyes, to read things on our own, to observe with new information to see if it is truly wrong to celebrate Christmas.
  • Christians and Halloween (fredfies.wordpress.com)
    Consider What Halloween Celebrates (can we celebrate that?)  I am amazed that earlier and earlier superstores are geared up for October 31.  As soon as the last school supply is sold, the Halloween decorations appear.  In August? Really?  But here they come…skeletons, tombs, witches, death and gore fill the aisles of the store.  Of course, you can dress as something as harmless as an M&M, but it is clear that the celebration is of the “dark elements” of this world.  Consider what the Bible says,
  • How Holy are the Holidays? (mypentecostalreformation.wordpress.com)
    Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years day, are all days we consider as part of “the holidays”. As a kid I would count the days ’till thanksgiving. Waking up early and smelling the turkey and all the seasonings along with it.
    +
    Christmas was the next holiday to be enjoyed. This day had a major count down, to when Santa came to bring me gifts. I had gotten honor roll all school year-long, and I wanted my rewards. As the days drew near to the big day, presents appeared under our Faux Christmas tree.
    +
    The purpose of these gatherings were to be around family while we wait for the new year. New Year’s Eve represents survival, new starts, clean slates, perseverance, and gym memberships.
  • Why Christmas? (mymindyourplan.wordpress.com)
    Every year we set up our Christmas trees, decorate them and our houses, get a day or two off work, spend half our year’s wages on presents and spend the days we have free with our families. Kids are excited for Santa Claus, adults are excited….for their time off work. Why is it we do this?
    +
    Sol Invictus was a Roman sun god that was worshiped during the festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” which was celebrated on the 25th December.
    +
    The truth about Christmas is that there is no real Biblical reason for us to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. I say this, the Bible gives us no command to do so but, rather, to celebrate His death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation. So why is it we celebrate it, and in some ways more so than His death at Easter?
  • Traditions (polandec.wordpress.com)
    Some of Polish traditions are firmly rooted in Catholicism, a predominant religion in Poland, while others spring from various pagan rites. Nowadays, any pagan elements still present in the culture take the form of fun festivals and shows.
    +
    Christmas Eve (Wigilia), an evening preceding Christmas Day, is traditionally celebrated with a festive Christmas supper. It’s a very special occasion, when families prepare 12 types of meatless dishes – one for each of the 12 apostles. On this day Christmas tree is also decorated so that Santa Claus can bring Christmas gifts.
  • Stolen Holidays and Entitled Pagans (mapletreedruidry.wordpress.com)
    ontrary to popular Neo-Pagan believe (yes, I have been guilty of holding onto this in the past), the Celtic conversion was rather peaceful, despite the objection of the priestly Druid class.  This was a culture tired of the centuries of Blood Wars, and were quite happy to accept peace and love at first.  The Norse accepted Jesus as another war god.  New Holidays were adopted.  Old holidays were blended.  I’m not saying it was seamless, or without any conflict.  But it was much more of a sharing of culture than a stealing of holidays.  Yesterday was the first day of Hannukah.  I made latkes for dinner.  Does this mean that I “stole” it from the Jews?  Of course not!  I was celebrating in solidarity.
    +
    No one owns the copyright on having a god with a birthday on December 25th.  As fun as it is to “keep Saturn in Saturnalia” and “keep Han in Hannukah”, there are dozens of gods with birthdays this time of year. Mithra, Dionysus, Saturn, and possibly even Aengus, Lugh and Taliesin
  • Pagans, Sinterklass, and Jesus (parttimeyp.wordpress.com)
    Mid-winter celebrations had a long history even before Jesus walked on the Earth. People celebrated around the solstice because the days were starting to grow longer. Scandinavians burnt a Yule log believing that each sparks represented a new pig or calf that would be born. Many Europeans would slaughter most of their cattle so they wouldn’t have to feed them, which lead to large feasts. The Germans had a celebration honoring Odin, many people choose to stay inside during this time because it was believed that Odin made nighttime flights observing people and deciding who would prosper and who would die in the coming year. (That sounds strangely familiar doesn’t it?)
  • Halloween is Satanist Christmas (govtslaves.info)
    The Satanic Bible ranks Halloween as one of the two most important festivals on its calendar, which may explain why it’s now being promoted as a ‘fun’ festival
    Behind the playful facade, Halloween celebrates perversion, which is the real meaning of the occult. It is a ”religious indoctrination into Druid paganism, witchcraft, and Satanism.”
  • Halloween, should Christians stay away or is it ok to celebrate?
    When we consider the history of Halloween (a Christian perspective), it may seem as if the modern holiday has gotten out of hand. After all, doesn’t Halloween glorify evil? Is it right to send our children out as devils and vampires? Should we emphasize the saints, whose nearly forgotten feast day is the reason for Halloween? Hallow is the same word for “holy” that we find in the Lord’s Prayer, and e’en is a contraction of “evening.” The word Halloween itself is a shortened form of “All Hallows Eve,” the day before All Saints Day. This holiday, properly understood and celebrated with all of its fun trappings, can be a way for us to deepen our understanding of faith.