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Is Christmas Pagan? No! It's time to learn some real history....
CatholicKnight.blogspot.com ^ | December 2012 | CatholicKnight

Posted on 12/23/2012 1:28:36 PM PST by Salvation

Is Christmas Pagan?

A Jewish Star of David Tops This Christmas Tree
 
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT:
 
About this time every year we hear the usual misnomer that Christmas is a Pagan celebration whitewashed by the medieval Catholic Church. We hear this from all corners. Secularists just accept it as fact. Catholics, rather embarrassingly, often try to gloss over it. While Protestant Fundamentalists frequently rail against it, usually calling for either a boycott of the holiday, or else a return to the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. (For some ridiculous reason, some Fundamentalists subscribe to the notion that if a certain date happened to be used by Pagans, that automatically makes anything Christians celebrate on that same date a bow to Paganism.) It is so widely accepted that people fail to address the possibility that the scholarship behind this common assumption might be flawed -- seriously flawed.

I submit to you that everything you've heard about the supposed "Pagan origin" of Christmas is false.  It is much hyperventilation over nothing really. Not only is it false, but it is based on such poor scholarship that it ought to be embarrassing to anyone who embraces it.  Sadly, it would seem the whole modern world has embraced this error, a serious error, which ought to give us some pause.

It's time to learn some real history....

The idea that the celebration of Christmas originated from Pagan origin comes from two 18th century scholars. The first was a German Protestant named Paul Ernst Jablonski. He was the one who first put forward the notion that the celebration of December 25th was one of the many Pagan influences of the Church of Rome (Catholicism) on Christianity. The second was a Catholic Benedictine monk named Dom Jean Hardouin who, in response to Jablonski, tried to show that while the Church may have adopted a pagan celebration of December 25th, it did so without compromising the integrity of the gospel. Both men were wrong. Jablonski erred in his theory that the Pagan December 25 pre-dated Christian celebrations, and Hardouin erred in assuming Jablonski's date assumption was correct in the first place. From these two catastrophic errors, the whole modern world has come to believe that Christmas was originally a Pagan celebration co-opted by the medieval Church.

The controversy surrounds an event that happened in the late 3rd century (AD 274) when the Pagan Roman Caesar Aurelian decreed that December 25th would mark the celebration of the 'Feast of the Unconquered Sun' god (or 'Sol Invictus'), noting the rise of the sun's ecliptic after the winter solstice (December 21 - 23).  Now, the sun worshiping cult can be traced in Rome back to about AD 158.  However, the marking of the summer and winter solstices had no significant relevance to this Roman cult at that time. Instead, the dates of August 9th and August 28th held more relevance, depending on what clan of the cult one followed. The marking of equinoxes and solstices had little relevance to early Roman sun worship. That was a job for astrologers who operated from a completely different religious perspective that had nothing to do with sun worship. So according to the ancient records anyway, Roman sun worshipers had no particular interest in December 25th, or the winter solstice for that matter, before AD 274.

In contrast however, the date of December 25th did hold some religious significance to Jewish converts to Christianity during antiquity. While it is true that we are currently unable to find evidence of Roman Christians celebrating December 25th as the date of the Lord's nativity until AD 336, there is some evidence that Jewish Christians in Rome held that date in high significance as far back as the early 2nd century (AD 100's), and there were some minor celebrations going on for a different reason.

Let's begin with the ancient Christian community in Rome, which had a fairly sizable Jewish convert population for some time. These Jewish converts to the Christian faith were accustomed to celebrating the Jewish Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah), which early Gentile Christians certainly would not have had any problem celebrating with them, since the Scriptures record that Jesus himself kept this feast (John 10:22-23). However, in the years following the forced separation of Christianity from Judaism and the fall of the Second Temple (AD 70), Jewish Christians would have found themselves increasingly isolated and alienated from the larger Jewish community, and many of these Jewish Christians were "put out of the synagogues" anyway. Jews used a complicated lunar calendar in which the months never coincided with the civil calendar commonly used in the Roman Empire during that time. So Jewish Christians living outside of the Holy Land, would have found themselves alienated from all Jewish times and seasons once they were "put out of the synagogues" (Jewish excommunication). Thus early Jewish Christians found themselves completely immersed in a civil culture that had no connection to the Jewish calendar whatsoever, and any attempt to calculate the times and seasons among themselves would have resulted in endless debates and disputes between them. So they did what any Jew would do in a similar situation. They assimilated into the prevailing culture, but kept their distinctively Jewish identity and customs. Because they were believers in Jesus Christ however, they did so in a Christian context.

Jews always marked the 25th day of the winter month of Kislev as the start of the eight-day Feast of Hanukkah. Because they no longer had access to the Jewish lunar calendar, having been "put out of the synagogue," they simply observed the 25th day of the month that most closely aligned with the winter month of Kislev. That month on the Roman (Julian) calendar is December.  So for Christians of Jewish ancestry in ancient Rome, December 25th became of significant importance as the beginning of the Festival of Dedication, in which Jews remember the light that came into the Second Temple after the Maccabean Revolution in BC 167 - 160.  From a Jewish Christian perspective, this would have taken on even more significance, marking the coming of The Light of God (Jesus Christ) into the Temple as well (John 10:22-23).  However, the Jewish Christians were about to get a surprise from the Gentile Christians that would make their celebration even more significant.

The early Church was preoccupied with debates and disputes over the proper time to celebrate not the birth, but the death and resurrection, of Jesus Christ.  Again, the problem goes back to the Jewish calendar.  Christianity had been forcibly ejected from Judaism.  This is not because Christians rejected Jews.  Quite the opposite really.  It was the Jewish leaders who rejected Christians, telling them that by following Jesus of Nazareth they had apostatized themselves from Judaism.  The acceptance of uncircumcised Gentiles into the Christian communities just exacerbated the situation.  Essentially, the early Christians were rejected by the larger Jewish population and told they no longer had any connection to the Jewish faith and religion whatsoever.  They were all "put out of the synagogue" so to speak, many of which having never been granted admission in the first place, in what amounted to a full scale mass excommunication from Judaism and all things Jewish.  It was this ejection from Judaism that led to the Roman persecution of Christians in the first place.  So long as Christianity was considered a Jewish sect, Christians were under an accommodation made between the Jewish leaders and the Roman Empire, that exempted them from having to participate in emperor worship.  (Jewish leaders had for centuries agreed to make sacrifices to the Jewish God Yahweh on behalf of Caesar, and pray for Yahweh to bless his rule, rather than actually worship Caesar as everyone else was required to.  Because such action guaranteed Jewish allegiance to Rome, there was no need to force the emperor worship cult on the Jews.)  However, as Christians were ejected from all things Jewish, the Pharisees made arguments before Roman authorities that Christians could no longer enjoy the exemptions afforded to Jews.  Thus, when Rome finally agreed that Christians were no longer Jewish (AD 67), the Christians were then required to worship Caesar.   When they refused, they were tortured and put to death in the circuses of Rome.  This Roman persecution of Christians continued from the late 1st century, until the Edict of Milan in AD 312. 

In addition to this ongoing Roman persecution, ancient Christians were confronted with a problem created by no longer having access to the Jewish calendar.  The date of the Passover could no longer be accurately projected, thus the dates marking the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ could not longer be accurately projected either.   No longer having reliable access to the Jewish calendar, ancient Christians set out to create their own method of calculating the time of the Passover, and thus projecting the dates of Good Friday and Easter (Pasch) Sunday.  Naturally there was a significant amount of dispute over this, especially between the Eastern and Western Christians, but in the 2nd to 3rd centuries (AD 100 through 300), there was a consensus among Roman Christians that March 25th marked the actual date of Christ's crucifixion according to the Roman (Julian) calendar.  Later research would reveal this to be impossible, but for those early days of the Church, that was the consensus among Christians living in and around Rome. 

There is another dimension we must add to this here.  It is called the 'integral age.'  Here we have yet another example of ancient Jewish influence on early Christianity.  While such a belief is found nowhere in the Scriptures, it was widely held by ancient Jews that great prophets died on the same date as either their birth or conception.  So according to this extra-biblical JEWISH TRADITION, which was accepted by early Christians (though it was never required as an article of faith), Jesus being the greatest of all Jewish prophets, must have died on the same date on which he was originally conceived in the womb of his mother -- Mary.  So March 25th came to be assigned not only as Good Friday (which rarely fell on a Friday actually) but also the date of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced the coming of Christ to the Virgin Mary, wherein she accepted her destiny and conceived Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.  March 25th is to this day marked as the Feast of the Annunciation in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church.  Even though this date was determined by flawed calendar calculations coupled with extra-biblical Jewish traditions, it should be taken as the historical reason for the selection of this date as the Feast of the Annunciation.   It should not be taken as the literal date in which it actually happened.   There is no way we can know the actual literal date of Christ's conception.  Every theory out there is just speculation.  Still, the early Christians in and around Rome were satisfied with this date, and there is evidence that many Christians accepted it as both the Annunciation and Good Friday throughout various regions of the Roman Empire.

Okay, so now we have the date of Christ's conception and death, which was accepted by many early Christians from the 2nd to 3rd centuries.  The actual date of Christ's death would be recalculated in later centuries much more accurately, but March 25th would remain as the accepted date of Christ's conception in later centuries, as by that time the Jewish tradition of the "integral age" had fallen into obscurity.  To this day, March 25th remains the commonly accepted date of Christ's conception, if for no other reason than tradition's sake, and that is why we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th.  Just count exactly nine months from the traditional date observed as Christ's conception (March 25th) and you land on the 25th day of December, which from the fourth century (AD 300s) onward was marked as the traditional date observed as Christ's birth -- the Feast of the Nativity.  Of course, this worked out quite well for the Jewish Christians, particularly those living in Rome, because that date happened to coincide exactly (coincidence or providence?) with the beginning of the Jewish Christian observance of Hanukkah they had been celebrating on December 25th for a couple hundred years already.  Now the Jewish Christians living in Rome were not only celebrating the coming of the Light of God (Jesus Christ) into the Second Temple (John 10:22-23) along with remembrance of the light that entered during the Maccabean Revolution, but December 25th now marked the coming of the Light of God into the whole world at his birth!  Naturally, this added significance for this date to Gentile Christians as well, who were keen on celebrating birthdays, and in all likelihood the growing observance of December 25th among Christians in Rome was enough for the Pagan Caesar Aurelian to take notice of it in AD 274.  Thus, seeing how closely this celebration was in proximity to the winter solstice, he tried to trump it with his Pagan Feast of Sol Invictus.  The observance of December 25th was not a Pagan celebration hijacked by Christians as theorised by Jablonski and Hardouin in the 18th century, but rather the other way around.  It was a growing Christian celebration that the Pagan Emperor attempted to hijack instead, in his vain attempt to reunify the crumbling Pagan religions of Rome.  His attempted Feast of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), which marked the close of a winter solstice that Roman sun worshippers never cared about prior to his decree, was a miserable failure.  Basically, it was a flop!  The cult (and the empire) went extinct sometime in the 5th century.  By that time Christianity had spread throughout all the known world, and would soon come to power as Christendom, the prevailing governance of all Europe during the Middle Ages.

So that is how the date for Christmas (December 25th) came about.  The Octave of Christmas, on the Roman Catholic calendar, which spans from December 25th to January 1st, ends with the beginning of the civil new year, and is a tribute to the contribution made by the eight-day festival by early Jewish Christians.   In time the Jewish population of the early Church faded away, and with them the Jewish origins of Christmas fell into obscurity.  Hints and clues of this have remained with us to this day, but they are veiled by a general lack of historical knowledge.  Later, the Christmas festival was expanded to encompass a full twelve days, which came to be called Christmastide or the 'Season of Christmas,' marking the time between the Feast of the Nativity (December 25th) and the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th), commemorating the visit of the wise men (magi) from the East.  In the West, the emphasis for Christmastide has always been on the first day of the twelve-day festival -- the Feast of the Nativity (December 25th).  While in the East, the emphasis has always been on the last day of the twelve-day festival -- the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th).

In the Western world, other traditions and customs developed over the centuries.  Most of them are actually Protestant in origin, but equally enjoyed by Catholics.  The Christmas tree comes from Germany, particularly from the Protestant founder Martin Luther.  Yule logs and mistletoe likely come from northern European folk customs.  Some may perhaps be Pagan in origin, but have since lost their Pagan meaning.  These things have little significance in the modern celebration of Christmas anyway.  Of course the legends of Santa Claus originated with the Catholic Saint Nicholas, who is the patron saint of sailors and children.  The story of his life has been embellished with legends and myths from all over the world, resulting in the Santa Claus traditions we are familiar with today.  Much of that was commercialised in the United States in the early 20th century.

So in answer to the above question.  No, Christmas is not Pagan.  Far from it really, but it seems that some people are hell bent on finding something Pagan about it, regardless if it is true or historically accurate.  So have a Happy Advent and a Merry Christmas everyone!


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; christmas; churchhistory; tradition
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Have a blessed Christmas, everyone.
1 posted on 12/23/2012 1:28:44 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Preparing for Christmas Ping!


2 posted on 12/23/2012 1:31:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Preparing for Christmas Ping!


3 posted on 12/23/2012 1:31:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Even the Christians deified rabbi from 2,000 years would celebrate it, right???

Think I’ll throw another Yule Log on the fire. No paganism associated with that, eh?


4 posted on 12/23/2012 1:37:28 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Are you saying that Judaism is pagan? I hope not.


5 posted on 12/23/2012 1:49:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I’m asking a rhetorical question.

Would Jesus celebrate Christmas? Let’s take it back to his time during the height of ancient Rome’s power.

The holiday equivalent would have been the Feast of Saturnalia for the Romans. During Jesus’ time would he have celebrated it? Absolutely not. He was an observant Jew - not a Roman or Christian or a Hellenized Jew. He celebrated Chanukah. Why? Because the Feast of Saturnalia was a pagan celebration. I’m sure some Romans back then would have denied that Saturnalia was pagan.


6 posted on 12/23/2012 1:59:48 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I think Jesus would be very disappointed at the way we scurry around, buying, exchanging, and then returning gifts for something else.

He is the gift. I found something about this last night. I’ll see if I can find it again.


7 posted on 12/23/2012 2:02:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Jack Hydrazine; Salvation
The solstice is never of great importance in any ancient tradition or belief; rather, it's the return of the Sun to it's normal path that is very important ~ and for good reason ~ if it didn't, it'd just get colder and darker.

The earliest the ancients could have readily discerned a return to normal would have been about half a week later, or December 25.

That makes December 25 (modern calendar) a most propitious date! Folks can impute any other meaning to it they want, but after thousands of years of observation, I am sure no one disputes that it's good that it happens. The early church fathers must certainly have recognized that ~ whatever else they recognized.

Now, about that Yule Log ~ there are a number of stories ~ probably all of them true and reflecting nothing more than a roaring large log on a cold night ~ once we know the Sun is coming back ~ is just more good stuff.

Then, there's the Christmas tree. Ancient European pagans dressed up their human sacrifices like Christmas trees. The jump to using a tree is positively Abramic!

The thing to remember in all these customs is that God did not fail to impart revelations to the ancients ~ this is the 'amnesty from oblivion' doctrine at work ~ which means, basically, that if the ancient pagans did it ~ or the cavemen did it ~ or the wild savages out in Borneo or darkest Africa did it ~ if it was obviously a good thing, or instructive of a major moral precept, God said, if only in their hearts, do this instead.

We don't need to know if they were pagans since it was clearly the case that God was trying to communicate with them much as He communicates with us. Maybe we are just the latest link in the chain for the delivery of the Message.

More recently human sacrifice has returned to our planet. We need more Christmas trees; more Yule Logs more devices to detect the solstice so we can see if the Sun will not return to warm the land, 'cause, let me tell you, there's a darned good chance this may have been the last Solstice!

8 posted on 12/23/2012 2:08:12 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Jack Hydrazine
Christmas, Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Mary's dream

Christmas, Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Mary's dream

I had a dream, Joseph. I don't understand it, not really, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. I think that was what it was all about. The people had been preparing for it for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought elaborate gifts. It was peculiar, though because the presents weren't for our Son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes, a tree Joseph, right in their house. They'd decorated the tree also. The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. There was a figure on top of the tree. It looked like an Angel might look. Oh it was beautiful. Everyone was laughing and happy. They were all excited about the gifts. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don't think they even knew Him. They never mentioned His name. Doesn't it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate someone's birthday if they don't know Him. I had the strangest feeling that if our Son had gone to this celebration, He would have been intruding. Everything was so beautiful, Joseph, and everyone so full of cheer, but it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus not to be wanted at His own birthday celebration. I'm glad it was only a dream. How terrible, Joseph, if it had been real!

Christmas - Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ - Holy Nativity  Author unknown (Say a prayer for him or her)


9 posted on 12/23/2012 2:09:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Unfortunately, there is not a shred of truth in this rewrite of history to accommodate an unbiblical tradition grafted into the Christian faith.

I, myself learned where Christmas had it’s origins from the parochial school I belonged, from Catholic encyclopedias no less.

This author tries to cite the feast of Sol Invictus as the prime error in associating Christmas with paganism. The fact is - the traditions that became Christmas were borrowed from the Roman pagan festival of The Saturnalia, which was kept as far back as 497 B.C. when the temple to the god Saturn was dedicated in December.

The Saturnalia and the later festival of Sol Invictus (158 A.D.) were state holidays and both feasts combined in practice near the 300s A.D. Constantine in 321 simply changed the festivals from worship of the sun god, to the worship of the Son OF God when he converted to Christianity and became the first Holy Roman Emperor. That is plain historical fact.

The idea that Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December because this was the date of the Saturnalia and Sol Invictus, was expressed in by 12th-century Syrian bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi. He wrote: “It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.”

Jesus did not give us any instructions to celebrate His birthday - nor is there any record of the 1st Century Church ever keeping such a day. Rather - Jesus was very specific that we should commemorate His DEATH, something the Apostle Paul also reiterated that Christians should proclaim ‘until He come again’.

It is not Jesus’ birth that redeems us from the penalty of sin, which the bible says is eternal death. It is the DEATH of our Savior, wherein He sprinkled His own blood on the mercy seat as an atoning sacrifice for all mankind - that saves us from oblivion, and breaches the divide between man and the Adonai with the promise of life everlasting.


10 posted on 12/23/2012 2:11:17 PM PST by INVAR ("Fart for liberty, fart for freedom and fart proudly!" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: INVAR

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2971709/posts?page=9#9


11 posted on 12/23/2012 2:12:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

What does it matter the history of Christmas? It no longer is a Christian day. It is a certainty that our current culture has transformed Christmas into a pagan holiday that celebrates such things as family, shopping for bargains, decorations, annual songs and just about everything but Christ.


12 posted on 12/23/2012 2:28:41 PM PST by Raycpa
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To: Salvation
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders." "And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6

WORTH CELEBRATING!

13 posted on 12/23/2012 2:34:01 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international. Gone.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Evergreens-pagan
yule-pagan
lights and fires-pagan
date of solstice-pagan
Christmas tree and wreath-pagan

Jesus was born when the animals where calving.


14 posted on 12/23/2012 2:37:40 PM PST by omega4179 (Obama retro ad Kenia)
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To: INVAR
"Unfortunately, there is not a shred of truth in this rewrite of history to accommodate an unbiblical tradition grafted into the Christian faith."

I concur and would add that Jesus was not born in December, but during The Feast of Booths in the spring.

I frankly don't care if people want to celebrate Christmas, but they should know what and why they celebrate.

15 posted on 12/23/2012 2:46:51 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: omega4179; All

So what??


16 posted on 12/23/2012 2:50:57 PM PST by KevinDavis (And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.)
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To: Salvation

Today’s first reading from the OT includes these words:

“one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.”

People have been searching for salvation from the beginning of time. Societies have always used blood sacrifice. It was always in anticipation of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross once for all and never again is it required.

Further on, second reading Hebrews: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.”

God operates outside of time. All salvation is under His direction.


17 posted on 12/23/2012 2:57:23 PM PST by Mercat (Adventures make you late for dinner. Bilbo Baggins)
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To: omega4179

“Evergreens-pagan
yule-pagan
lights and fires-pagan
date of solstice-pagan
Christmas tree and wreath-pagan

Jesus was born when the animals where calving.”

Evergreens - God made and fun
Yule Log - God created it all and beautiful
Lights and fires - beautiful
Date - God made it all!
Christmas Tree and Wreath - beautiful and we do it celebrate the season

Jesus was born when Shepherds were keeping watch over their flock at night.
The Jewish Temple kept sheep just outside Jerusalem for sacrifice year round.

If you personally are celebrating a pagan holiday, well... I guess it’s your right. I can assure you we are celebrating the most amazing gift ever!


18 posted on 12/23/2012 3:02:38 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international. Gone.)
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To: Salvation
[...] for no other reason than tradition's sake [...]

There is the whole article in seven words.

And when Paganism becomes tradition? When the church has accepted a syncretism (which she boasts of in her supposed authority) as tradition, what then?

19 posted on 12/23/2012 3:05:01 PM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Salvation

A good and blessed Merry Christmas.

I go with this, no Easter, no Christmas, no Christmas, no Easter.

NO Christ, NO Peace of Mind and Heart. KNOW Christ, KNOW Peace of Mind and Heart.


20 posted on 12/23/2012 3:06:36 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: uncommonsense

I’m not sure when the Festival of Booths is on the Jewish calendar but I have come to believe that there is good evidence that Jesus was born on the 1st of Nisan,
(usually in March or April)the real Jewish new year, and the meaning of that date makes perfect sense.


21 posted on 12/23/2012 3:07:27 PM PST by Albertafriend
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To: Salvation

The holy days are teaching tools.


22 posted on 12/23/2012 3:07:38 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; PJBankard; ...

The haters claim Christmas is pagan, they claim Easter is pagan some claim Sunday worship is pagan and some claim venerating the Cross is idol worship and pagan too. Sad that so many are deluded.


23 posted on 12/23/2012 3:08:09 PM PST by narses
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To: Salvation; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; PJBankard; ...

The haters claim Christmas is pagan, they claim Easter is pagan some claim Sunday worship is pagan and some claim venerating the Cross is idol worship and pagan too. Sad that so many are deluded.


24 posted on 12/23/2012 3:08:37 PM PST by narses
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To: Salvation; mgist; raptor22; victim soul; Isabel2010; Smokin' Joe; Michigander222; PJBankard; ...

The haters claim Christmas is pagan, they claim Easter is pagan some claim Sunday worship is pagan and some claim venerating the Cross is idol worship and pagan too. Sad that so many are deluded.


25 posted on 12/23/2012 3:09:30 PM PST by narses
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To: Salvation

The Christmas we have now is certainly fraught with paganism. It is a far far cry from the John 10:22,23 you slipped in. That was the Cleansing of the Tabernacle feast and nothing dealing with the commercial onslaught we are faced with now. Totally unrecognizable. The pagan date and glossed over frivolities makes this more of an abomination than celebration. More to do with the birthday of Nimrod than Christ.


26 posted on 12/23/2012 3:14:57 PM PST by BipolarBob (Bitter, clinging to my Bible and AR-15.)
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To: narses

The haters claim Christmas is pagan- Certainly parts of it are
They claim Easter is pagan - From the name to the fertility symbols yep
some claim Sunday worship is pagan - Jesus kept the Sabbath and He is our Example (Or supposed to be)
Some claim venerating the Cross is idol worship - Did Jesus or the Disciples wear one?
Sad that so many are deluded - We can agree on that but which side?


27 posted on 12/23/2012 3:20:08 PM PST by BipolarBob (Bitter, clinging to my Bible and AR-15.)
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To: Salvation

Pagans didn’t have shopping centers and post-Xmas sales! End of discussion.


28 posted on 12/23/2012 3:21:02 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Raycpa
In our house we celebrate Christ's birth as Immanuel the savior of the world so who cares what the rest of the world celebrates?

Merry Christmas

29 posted on 12/23/2012 3:34:12 PM PST by bray (Welcome to Obamaville)
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To: Salvation
While Protestant Fundamentalists frequently rail against it, usually calling for either a boycott of the holiday, or else a return to the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

Huh?

Honestly, I have never seen this, outside wack-a-doodle borderline sects.

30 posted on 12/23/2012 3:37:02 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means." --I. Montoya)
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To: Lee N. Field

We always say Mary Christmas just to make sure Mary comes first.”s”


31 posted on 12/23/2012 3:50:30 PM PST by Craftmore
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To: INVAR

You forgot Easter.


32 posted on 12/23/2012 4:04:54 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Come back in April.


33 posted on 12/23/2012 4:13:18 PM PST by BipolarBob (Bitter, clinging to my Bible and AR-15.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Embrace the Bunny.


34 posted on 12/23/2012 4:14:03 PM PST by Craftmore
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To: Salvation

So if it is not Christian— it follows it must be Pagan?
is Pagan more or less the same as Barbarian? Yule the same as Jul in Norse, old norse hjul meaning full circle or wheel meaning the sun has completed it’s circle and is starting anew, winter solstice as it were, lots of reasons to celebrate the winter solstice and lighter warmer days to come, for those thar celebrate Christmas it is a Christian hollyday, for others is is whatever they want it to be, even just a few days off work, live and let live I say, do the English have FOURTH OF JULY, sure, only it is not a holliday


35 posted on 12/23/2012 4:20:59 PM PST by munin
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To: BipolarBob

Some claim venerating the Cross is idol worship - Did Jesus or the Disciples wear one?

The earliesr Christian symbos were a fish and were used by the apostles and early christians for identification, the cross came later


36 posted on 12/23/2012 4:27:20 PM PST by munin
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To: munin

The fish was a symbol for identification. The early Christians were persecuted and had to know who to trust. The cross on the other hand is a cruel deadly instrument to inflict as much shame, pain and humiliation on a poor victim as possible. The Apostles knew about the cross but never wore it. They would have condemned anybody for this heinous jewelry.


37 posted on 12/23/2012 4:32:28 PM PST by BipolarBob (Bitter, clinging to my Bible and AR-15.)
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To: Salvation
Let's begin with the ancient Christian community in Rome, which had a fairly sizable Jewish convert population for some time. These Jewish converts to the Christian faith were accustomed to celebrating the Jewish Feast of Dedication (or Hanukkah), which early Gentile Christians certainly would not have had any problem celebrating with them, since the Scriptures record that Jesus himself kept this feast (John 10:22-23). However, in the years following the forced separation of Christianity from Judaism and the fall of the Second Temple (AD 70), Jewish Christians would have found themselves increasingly isolated and alienated from the larger Jewish community, and many of these Jewish Christians were "put out of the synagogues" anyway.

Quite the spin here. In actuality Judea had a series of revolts against the Roman empire which eventually led to the fall of 2nd temple. This made anyone Jewish or anything that resembled Judaism a target. Some early (post biblical) Christians, not wanting to appear too "Jewish" started to abandon scriptural holy days and other biblical practices. This sentiment from Rome still is around today in the form of antisemitism.

38 posted on 12/23/2012 4:41:30 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: Salvation
When was Jesus born?,p> Let's see if we can place Jesus' birth there at a particular time of the year. Remember, as always....be a “Berean.”

To begin our search lets go to Luke Chapter 1 and find Mary's cousin Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah. We begin at Jerusalem in the temple. We'll find some verses and highlight the parts that will help us in our search. Luke 1:5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

We find in 1 Chronicles 24:10 The division of Abijah was eighth in line to perform their tasks of serving God in the sanctuary - The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz. The eighth lot fell to Abijah.....

Luke 1:8-9 When Zechariah was serving with his division of priests in God's presence, … he was chosen by lot to go into the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense, according to the custom of the priests. Let's dissect this – Israel was divided into districts in NT times. Priests from the various districts would go into Jerusalem and serve the needs of the temple during appointed times. The Jewish month of “Nissan” starts the counting of the months, the feast seasons and the priestly duty periods in the temple in Jerusalem. Each priestly division had to serve for one week (all served during the week of Passover) so this would place Zecharias in the temple at the 9th week.

Luke 1:11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar. Luke 1:13 ...the angel told him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to name him John. Luke 1:20 But because you did not believe my announcement, which will be fulfilled at its proper time, you will become silent and unable to speak until the day this happens." Luk 1:23-26 When the days of his service were over, he went home.

The following (#10) week, was the required celebration of Shavuot and the next week Zechariah would have gone home to Elizabeth. 11 weeks after the start of the year – mid April.

After this, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and remained in seclusion for five months. She said, "This is what the Lord did for me when he looked favorably on me and took away my public disgrace." Now in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, Luke 1:27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 1:30 ... the angel told her, "fear not, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 1:31 Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 1:32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 1:33 He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end." 1:34 Mary asked the angel, "How can this happen, since I have not had relations with a man?" 1:35 The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Most High will surround you. Therefore, the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. 1:36 And listen! Elizabeth, your relative, has herself conceived a son in her old age, this woman who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.

Guess when the “sixth” month would find them?.....around the “feast of dedication” Hannukah! aka. the “feast of lights”...... remember the announcement that He was the light come into the world? Around the middle of …...December

Now do the math. If Mary conceived the Savior in December during Hannukah we count nine months,,,Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sept. What happens in late September? The Feast of Tabernacles! The very time when God said He would “dwell with his people.”

Exo_25:8 Let them make a sanctuary ( a tabernacle) for me so I may dwell among them.

39 posted on 12/23/2012 4:55:55 PM PST by wesagain (The God (Elohim) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the One True GOD.)
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To: uncommonsense
I concur and would add that Jesus was not born in December, but during The Feast of Booths in the spring.

The Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles) is celebrated in the Fall, around September/October. In Jerusalem at the time of Christ - the Fall Holy Days - which consist of the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement and Festival of Booths, many would make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for these Fall Feasts and spend the entire month there since they are very close together over about a 3-1/2 week period of time.

I think that Jesus was probably born around this time - either on the Day of Trumpets or Tabernacles.

Part of the reason is that in 4BC, Roman records indicate that a Census tax applied to Judea was decreed by Augustus Caesar at that time. A wise decision considering almost all of Judea would be traveling to Jerusalem to keep the Feasts. That would also explain why there was no room at any inn for Joseph and Mary. It would be doubtful that all of Judea would travel to their ancestral homelands just to pay a tax to the conquering Romans. Rome decided to conduct their census and tax when all of their subjects would be in the same area anyway.

Since it is still warm at that time of year, the shepherds stayed out all night in the fields with their flocks, rather than barn them up in the stable/caves that they winter them still to this day (it snows and rains in Jerusalem in November-December). That is why the stables were unoccupied by animals at the time and Jesus was born in one of those.

I frankly don't care if people want to celebrate Christmas, but they should know what and why they celebrate.

Sadly, most people have absolutely no clue why they believe and follow the traditions they do. When one considers that so many continue to vote for Democrats because their parents and families have done so for generations - without any comprehension or understanding of the Constitution or our heritage - one understands how blind belief is an unshakable trait of human nature.

And... when the truth confronts tradition - usually insane anger and rage accompany those who dare cause a slave to tradition - to look into why they believe what they do.

This is true of religion, and politics, yet Scripture tells us we are to be like Bereans, and "prove all things, holding fast to that which is right".

40 posted on 12/23/2012 5:00:08 PM PST by INVAR ("Fart for liberty, fart for freedom and fart proudly!" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Salvation
Why post yet another thread that really has at its premise a snarky denigration of "Protestants"? Funny that this post actually DOES show that the early Christians did NOT celebrate the birth of Christ and that all the trappings that slowly glommed onto the "holiday" - wreaths, decorated trees, lights, candles, presents, etc. - really DID have pagan origins.

I honestly do not have any problem with what has now been turned into an occasion to bring together families, delight children with fantasies, feasts and gift giving and to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world. But, there is no reason whatsoever to try to weasel out of the "true" origins of what this time has become. To try to blame those horrid "Protestants" for being such Grinches is worth a belly laugh only Santa can perfect!

41 posted on 12/23/2012 5:28:09 PM PST by boatbums (God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.)
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To: uncommonsense

Sukkot is in Autumn


42 posted on 12/23/2012 5:29:35 PM PST by hecht (america 9/11, Israel 24/7)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

Amen! As foretold in the Old Testament!


43 posted on 12/23/2012 5:33:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: BipolarBob; narses
When I check around and see that those who run their mouths about “pagan” holidays or “the Sabbath” and see that they're not constantly beating the drum against daily pagan infanticide by contraceptive, I know they're hypocrites who can barely even move due to the weight of the huge beam in their own eye.
44 posted on 12/23/2012 5:39:08 PM PST by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I believe Jesus does celebrate Christmas. With His Church and His body, the Communion of Saints.

Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation. Advent is latin for “coming.” Christ coming in the Incarnation; His coming into our lives and His second coming in the future. It is a time for quiet reflection, prayer and conversion.

If we mark the time in this manner, I believe Christ is with us.


45 posted on 12/23/2012 6:05:58 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Salvation

Amazingly, 700 years before the Savior’s birth!


46 posted on 12/23/2012 6:16:25 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international. Gone.)
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To: boatbums; Salvation

The Church has been here for give or take 1,979 years and will continue to celebrate the greatest gift of all time, namely the gift from the Father of His Son, that who so ever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Now, I could care less if those outside the Church celebrate this gift on 12/25 or not, but i do find it interesting that this “pagan” charge resonates with those who continually attack the Body of Christ.
The reason it does i guess is that it plays into their narrative that the Church went apostate in the 2nd century and had to be restored in the 16th, 17th, 18th or 19th century ( depending upon what “group” you belong to )
The Church will continue to proclaim the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus until He comes again, just as she has been doing for 1,979 years, whether BB or anyone has a “problem with it” or not. deal with it.


47 posted on 12/23/2012 6:18:52 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: aMorePerfectUnion; Salvation; boatbums

it doesn’t happen often, so i couldn’t pass up the chance to agree 1000% with AMPU,

WORTH CELEBRATING!!!!!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.” “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6


48 posted on 12/23/2012 6:22:09 PM PST by one Lord one faith one baptism
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To: roamer_1
Really doesn't matter ~ if you want a feast day you set one. The day we first observe that the Solstice is over is a propitious day ~ it means we are going to eventually have longer days, warmer weather, and a new year of peace and plenty.

Imagining that you can't use a date also used by pagans because they were, in fact, pagans is a violation of the principle Peter set in his discussion of what foods were acceptable, which were prohibited, and what about food sacrificed to idols.

I don't think Peter showed any concern at all for which day the food was sacrificed, and neither should we!

Last thing we want as Christians is for the pagans or their successors to get the idea they can whipsaw us around and make us do things. We do what we want, when we want, for our own reasons.

49 posted on 12/23/2012 7:18:59 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Albertafriend

That gets Jesus to the Temple on time when he becomes a man.


50 posted on 12/23/2012 7:20:03 PM PST by muawiyah
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