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A Christmas Scene

An annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity?

  • Dec 12, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+1
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.
Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity? Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity? Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity? Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity? Whatever happened to simple Biblical Christianity?

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December 15, 2009
Really interesting perspective! Thanks for sharing it, I think you make some totally valid and relevant points.
December 18, 2009
Thank you :)
 
December 14, 2009
There's an even more disturbing aspect to Christmas that you didn't mention and that's the recent outrage many Christians display over being wished "Happy Holiays" or "Seasons Greetings" instead of a "Merry Christmas" when they go into a store! They get all worked up and shreik that (just because the store recognizes that other religions have observances occuring at the same time of year and so altered their wording a bit) that this PROVES that there is a WAR on Christmas and on Christianity within our own country! Lighten up people. You sound ridiculous. Oh. I've heard of a documentary about Christmas consumerism that might be of interest. It's called WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY. It's on my list of films to see. Actually, it may be about rampant consumerism in general. I'm not to certain about that.
December 14, 2009
Thanks for commenting Karen! I personally don't understand the outrage on either side, for both Christians and secular people. If Christians shouldn't be offended by 'Happy Holidays', neither should everyone else be offended at 'Merry Christmas'. I don't understand what the big deal is, anyway you put it the celebrations are just a creation of man, frankly it has nothing to do with one set of religious beliefs or another. I agree, wish everyone would just lighten up and not get offended by anything (myself included) :) I'll have to take a look at that documentary, thanks!
December 14, 2009
I just watched the trailer of What Would Jesus Buy. My opinion is that the movie has very little to do with Jesus, it seems like a great performance and the stirring up of controversy though. The idea is right, but it doesn't seem to get at the root of the problem. I think preaching 'no shopping' will not get the masses to stop, their mind is set. Haven't seen the whole movie, but it seems like it has a political and social arena more so than religious. Thanks for bringing it up :)
December 14, 2009
I haven't even seen the trailer, but it sounds interesting. As for me I'm a socialist. I LIKE to spend money but we get carried away about it. I can't see spending any more than $20 bucks on a pair of shoes and it just kills me to have to do so. That's why I only have one pair (and now that I live where there's snow I also have a pair of boots so I don't break my neck) and I wear those until they can be worn no more.
 
December 12, 2009
Your thoughts are truly beautiful. It is so silly trying to buy gifts for people who don't really need anything. So many in need could use some food, some clothing or some of your time. May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas!
December 12, 2009
Thank you Paul for reading and commenting. Have a wonderful Christmas as well!
 
December 12, 2009
Nice one, Anastasia! I agree in some ways and no, you don't sound like a scrooge. It is nice to hear another opinion about Christmas and you sound very sincere in this write up. I am trying to stay away from spending too much anymore, but we just use the holidays as a time for family and friends. Yes, it is sad that someone out there is alone and may be having problems, but we can all make the best of what we have. You bring up an interesting point, I get bothered when animals seem to have more shelter than people, but you know what, I may be about to undertake a review on behavior and society and why some things are such. I try to help as much folks as I can in the Philippines during the holidays but there is just only so much I can do. I guess for me the holidays is about reaching out and understanding.
December 12, 2009
Thanks William! Yes, I know there is only so much we can do. But imagine if it wasn't just you and me that did a little, but everyone did something. The world would be a different place wouldn't it? I guess I am just dreaming, but it is a good dream to have. Thanks for the comment!
December 12, 2009
It is a great dream! and maybe someday it can come true...
December 12, 2009
Nice of you to say that, but I think we both know that's impossible :P
 
1
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About the reviewer
Anastasia B ()
Ranked #11
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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Wiki

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 ...
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Religion, Christmas, Holidays, Religious Holiday

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Type: Holiday
Date(s): December 25

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