Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity?
Dec 12, 2009
Alright, I'll warn you. I might sound like an odd variety of Scrooge in this review of Christmas. Please don't judge me too harshly. But here it goes...
First, as you might already know and as @Scotman and @woopak_the_thrill have pointed out, Christmas was never the time of Christ's birth. Growing up around Christians unfortunately I feel like I was cheated into believing that Christmas is really a celebration of the birth of the Messiah. I was well into my 20s when I realized things are not as they seem. Yes, the Bible does tell us about the birth of Christ and gives us an idea of how it happened. Nobody, not even Jesus Himself tells us to celebrate it or make anything of it. During the time of early Christians there was no such thing as Christmas. History does tell us that it was created by man, specifically by the Roman Catholic Church (presumably during the rule of Constantine) so that Christians would have something to celebrate at the time of pagan festivals and the winter solstice. Whatever the exact history is perhaps we will never know 100%, but that's not the point.
What is beyond me is why Christians who claim to be Bible abiding and Christ-centered celebrate this holiday as if it is a celebration of the birth of Christ? Are they oblivious? Just following the crowd? Never read the Bible? Why do they participate in all the consumerism that is excessive even by secular standards? I admit, I was one of those Christians about five years ago. I made the mistake of trusting people who know the history of Christmas, yet still encourage everyone around them to continue in these celebrations. It is alarming that Christians use Christ as an excuse to indulge and to give and receive gifts based on desire, coveting, and modern consumerism culture (I also feel the same about birthdays). Please, stop 'putting Christ back into Christmas'. He was never there in the first place. Many of the ways Christmas is celebrated goes against all Christian principles of self-control (Gal 5:23), contentment (1 Tim 6:6), and meekness (1 Tim 6:6).
Moreover I don't understand how we can take the concept of the wise men bringing symbolic gifts for the newborn Christ, a King of the Jews, the Messiah, the long awaited one - and twist it in such a way as to justify our gift giving to each other. All the while millions around the world don't have the basics like food, clothing, and shelter. I hope this Christmas finds you instead giving to those who are actually in need. Whether it is sharing your time with a widow, your love and attention with an orphan, or shelter and a meal with the homeless. There are also many who are in need emotionally and are battling depression, abuse, or just plain loneliness.
Many churches and religious organizations do a lot of charity work, especially around Christmas time. Again, with the presumption that this is a time of celebrating Christ's birth and extending that kindness into the community. We need to stop pacifying ourselves though that doing a little bit of good justifies our consumption, greed, and spending when nobody is looking, or rather to satisfy all those that are looking. It is hard for me to explain my thoughts on this to my friends and family. It is hard to watch well dressed kids who have parents opening their presents and getting more stuff to fill their own rooms when I know a family of thirteen who lives in one room. It pains me to see people stuffing themselves to capacity with holiday foods when I know a single dad with eleven children who does not know whether he will have food on the table tomorrow in a country where there are no food stamps or WIC. It's hard for me to kick back and enjoy the company of my many friends and relatives when I know that someone in that moment is all alone and has nobody to share a modest meal with. Am I the only one that feels this way?
For me this Christmas is not about the holiday made up by man. It is not about shopping or decorating. For me this season is for turning over a new calendar page and having a fresh start in my relationship with Christ. It is about taking a break from non-stop work and the routine of daily life. It is about spending some time with my husband and my daughter (at least they are on board with my understanding of Christmas) and hopefully extending our love and resources to those who are actually in need. Forget the tinsel and the tree. Let's get back to humanity 101.
CHRISTMAS is such a significant word in History. It is a traditional religious holiday, although many who celebrate Christmas are non-Christians. One thing is for certain, the fact that this season for whatever reason this time of the year just inspires people to be nice and forgiving. There is just an amount of joy and cheer when we walk on Christmas eve. Many have defined Christmas as the birth of Christ and a fulfillment of a promise. Some think that the holiday … more
...There is a day set aside by Christians to celebrate the birth of their Savior, Jesus Christ. While the great majority of scholars agree that it is highly unlikely that Jesus was actually born on December 25, I think that Christmas is one of those days that falls under the It's the thought that counts banner. Jesus might not have been born on this day, but what's the problem with celebrating His birthday on this date anyway? I'm not writing this … more
William (Woopak) wrote that the meaning of Christmas is entirely up to you. What does Christmas mean to anyone or everyone for that matter? To a Christian, the entire world. To a Chinese and non-believer, just another festive day related to some other 'aliens' in the world. To me? Well, Christmases come and go. Almost 2 decades ago, I had myself baptised on this very day; I was given a new leash of life. Today, all I want for Christmas is not world peace … more
Even though Christmas is over as of writing this, I feel like talking about it now. Despite abandoning my Christian faith in 2001 (I'm an agnostic with really strong leanings toward atheism), I still practice Christmas because I think it's a wonderful time to spend with friends and family, and that I see it more as a cultural tradition in the Western world than an exclusively-Christian holiday. I guess it helps that since 2006, I've been spending … more
A time of giving and sharing. If you haven't done so and want to share your blessings and love with the world, Wikipedia is a good place to both contribute your time and money!!! Yes, it's that time of the year again! Donate here... I have done it, have you?!
Something happened to me a few weeks ago that really turned on the lightbulb to make a difference this holiday season. Let me share a story with you…I was listening to the radio and was touched and empowered to take action. This lady on the radio won a contest and received the new DJ Hero game (similar to Guitar Hero). When the radio personality asked her what she was going to do with it, she said she was going to give it to her kids and they were going to be so excited because she … more
I don't like the christmas and I am not the new Grweench. But nobody knows the actual date of birth of Jesus. Protestant sects believe that christmas was created by Coca Cola Company and all this celebration is meaningless advertising. They believe that Christmas tree has a satanic meaning. When Jesus was born all children his age were decapitated and their heads were hung on trees. This action reminds them the Christmas tree to the prostetan sects. Usually the christmas day I'm with … more
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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Christmas, also referred to as Christmas Day, is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The day marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days. The nativity of Jesus, which is the basis for the anno Domini system of dating, is thought to have occurred between 7 and 2 BC. December 25 is not known to be Jesus' actual date of birth, and the date may have been chosen to correspond with either a Roman festival or the winter solstice.
Modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, Church celebrations, and the display of various decorations—including the Christmas tree, lights, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. Santa Claus (also referred to as Father Christmas, although the two figures have different origins) is a popular mythological figure often associated with bringing gifts at Christmas for children. Santa is generally believed to be the result of a syncretization between Saint Nicholas and elements from pagan Nordic and Christian mythology, and his modern appearance is believed to have originated in 19th century media.
Christmas is celebrated throughout the Christian population, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. Because gift-giving and several other aspects of the holiday involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, Christmas has become a major event for many ...