Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Savior Is Born

A question I get during this time of year is
“Ruben do you celebrate Christmas and do you believe it is a pagan holiday”
 
I will answer this, as I do not know anyone who believes that Jesus was born on December 25 and I do understand the Catholic/pagan roots of such.
 
HOWEVER I think it is good as a family, nation and or as a people to put one day aside and honor the BIRTH OF JESUS. Be it, May 22nd, July 18th or December 25th, it is good to honor JESUS born in a manger, born of a virgin as per Luke chapter 2.
 
In fact I turn that ‘pagan date’ question into an argument for GOD, as my God is known to take something wicked, vile and pagan, then Christianize it into something that will bring glory to Him.
 
Does that not symbolize what God has done with us?
He can even change you into someone who will glorify Him.
 
I say utilize it rather than remove it. He is in the business of Christianizing people and things. No one knows the exact date and even the month is pure speculation but what a great time to remind the world of the birth of Jesus.
 
I say if you still consider the date to be perverted and yoking with the enemy, than I trust you will not work on that date, nor take the paid day off. That is IF you have any character and if you say your place of employment is closed. I say sweep the sidewalk, shovel snow, pick up trash, pull weeds outside, I’m sure there is something you can do. Or just return that day’s pay back to your employer, because you have a integrity.
 
For me, I think it is a great time to publicly promote Isaiah 6:9;
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”
 
Now let me remind you of Matthew 7:1-5 which we street preachers hear often regarding ‘Judge Not.’ Well the text reads; “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”
 
If you really believe that date is ‘pagan’ and we should avoid it, let me judge you with the same judgment. Let’s see just how you judge and measure other matters that pertain to pagan symbols. For example let me see just how consistent you are with calling the days of the week.
Friday (named after the goddess Frigga)
Saturday (named after the god Saturn)
Sunday (named after the Sun god)
Monday (named after the moon goddess)
…you do understand these also have pagan roots, so I trust you use always the Biblical terminology as day 1, day 2, day 3 and so on.
 
Months of the year are also pagan so I trust you do not use them by name:
FEBRUARY: This name is derived from Februa
APRIL: This name comes from the Latin APRILIS, indicating a time of Fertility
JULY: Named for the Roman emperor Julius Caesar AUGUST: Named for Octavius Augustus Caesar, emperor of Rome
 
 
What about that money in your wallet, you do see pagan icons that does not glorify God? I trust you have a conscience and would use gold or silver rather than that pagan money. Bartering is better than using that heathen I.O.U. that is IF you judge righteously as per Matthew 7.
 
Hey, what about a wedding ring, wedding veils, the wedding kiss, bridesmaids that also has pagan roots. Did you participate or is there a double standard?
 
Wind chimes around the house was used to protect from evil spirits. Pagan!
 
“For with what judgment ye judge (CHRISTMAS), ye shall be judged (SEE ABOVE): and with what measure ye mete (CHRISTMAS), it shall be measured to you again (SEE ABOVE)
 
 
 
If someone wishes to not to celebrate Christmas AS THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, I have no issue as that is not salvation pending.
 
But IF you wish to play the ‘pagan card’ I only trust you do work on that day, use that paper pagan money and name the days of the week and month by their pagan names.
 
“For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
Romans 6:23
 
 
 
Does Jeremiah chapter 10 really speak against Christmas trees?
 
The verses commonly used is:
“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good”
Jer.10:3-5
 
I question this for several reasons, but let me start off with I do not have a Christmas tree and using this verse is a weak argument. The text is talking about trees being cut, with the work of workmen and the axe. Then these trees are decked with silver and gold, fasten by nails and will not move. 
 
 Upright like a palm tree but do not speak and we should not be afraid of them. Now all that could appear to be a Christmas tree but herein is my question.
 
A Christmas tree does NOT resemble a ‘palm tree’ nor do I know anyone who is ‘afraid’ of a Christmas trees. I have never heard of one talking or someone thinking it will do good.
 
However there is a tree that has ALL the above and no one ever brings up. That would be a
 ‘totem pole’ 
 
 
 
 
These were tress cut by workmen, decked with silver and gold, fasten by nails, with legs but not moving, upright like a palm tree, cannot speak and we should not be afraid of them.
 
They are weird looking idols. Could it be that Jeremiah 10 is speaking of ‘totem poles’ and not Christmas trees and that was ‘the way of the heathen’ Christmas trees are not idols, I’ve never seen anyone bow and pray to them, however a ‘totem pole’ are idols with legs, eyes, mouths and colors. They are made to be worshipped. 
 
 
 
 
This is just my opinion, as you may have another but I personally question using that Jeremiah 10 when coupled with a Christmas tree.
 
 
 
 
Now I am often asked since I celebrate December 25th as the BIRTH OF JESUS, what about Santa, do you honor him?
 
No, however children gather around Uncle Ruben and let me tell you about this person named Saint Nick and you may have more in common with him than you know.
 
We know almost everyone has heard about Saint Nicholas but today I will tell you the true story of the very man and he is not the big jolly man with red cheeks. Nothing is further from the truth.
 
I would also like to point out some facts about this man that is both loved and hated and everything I write regarding him, did not come from any religious books, commentaries or Christian history books. But regular Encyclopedias (The World Book Encyclopedia, New Encyclopedia Britannica, Academic American Encyclopedia and such.)
 
So without further ado let us look at the man Saint Nicholas. According to all the Encyclopedias, the parents of Nicholas died when he was a young child, leaving him well off and to be raised by the catholic church. He devoted his inheritance to charity as he was ordained into the priesthood at age 19.
 
Later he became a bishop of Myra (Turkey) at a young age in the 4th century, which is why modern ‘Santa’ is dressed in red suit trimmed with white, with red hooded hat as this originated from the Bishops miter and cope worn.
 
 
 
He spent time in prison during the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians and later released by Constantine. While jailed he was known to spend his days fasting and nights doing devotions. When released he traveled to Palestine and Egypt for ministry, as he did evangelize.
 
Once before a hearing with Constantine, he did not like what his opponent was saying in court so he got off his chair and slapped him in the face. He was chained up and jailed for that outburst.
 
He also rebuked magistrates publicly as he defended the poor and needy.
 
He is known to the Catholics as the ‘Fighting Saint’ with reason. So much for the jolly old man we have today with little elf’s around him.
 
There was a story of a poor man with three daughters and he was ready to sell one as slave or turn one over to prostitution and he could not marry them because he had no dowry. The story is that St. Nick heard of this and went to their home at night, climbed up the wall and tossed a bag of gold into a window. The bag flew into one of the socks that was drying on the fireplace, hence the tradition of hanging stocking to be filled with gifts.
 
 Nicholas did this three times and was caught by the father who thanked him and Nicholas asked the father not to tell anyone.
 
Another story written about Nicholas was his hatred for idols and false gods. He was at war with the pagan traditions of Greece and Rome around Myra as he was known to remove those pagan temples and break idols. It is recorded that Nicholas ripped apart the temple of Diana with his hands at Artemis in Myra, here is actual wording; “he destroyed it, angrily, down to it’s very foundation, which he tore out of the ground.”
 
 
 
Wonder what he would do to a local Catholic church today or what he would do at the local mall if he knew that much of the world adores him today?
 
Of course the Catholic church has made an idol out of him as they have with Mary the mother of Jesus and for that reasons many non-Catholics do not even speak/teach/preach on these individuals.
 
I think most active Christians today would have much in common with this man dressed in red named Nicholas and IF he were alive today the very church that sets him up as an icon would have removed him. Not to mention, he would preach against this ‘Santa’ guy and would be sitting in a jail cell for ripping apart those jolly faced pictures or slapping ‘Santa’ face at a mall.
 
FACTS:
There is no other saint represented by artists more than Saint Nicholas except for the virgin Mary.
 
The transformation of Nicholas to a Christmas icon started in Germany where the reformed churches who are always reforming something were in the majority.
 
Until the 1800’s most people pictured St. Nick as a tall, thin man that even smoked on a horse
 
In the Netherlands and Belgium St. Nick visits December 5th, where he leaves gifts in shoes next to the fireplace and has been known to have a side kick named ‘Black Pete’ who carries a birchwood rod to whip naughity children.
 
In 1809 “Knicker bocker’s History of New York” published a new version of the saint as author Washington Irving described Nicholas as a stout, jolly man with a board brim hat and this birth the person that is promoted today.
 
On December 23 1823 a poem entitled ‘An Account of a visit from St. Nicholas’ appears in the Troy Sentinel. The poem begins with the familiar line ‘Twas the night before Christmas.’ Nicholas appears a fat jolly man with a twinkling eyes and a red nose, wearing a red suit trimmed with white fur, riding a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer.
 
In 1863-1886 adds in ‘Harpers weekly magazine’ put the white beard on him, walking with a skip and reindeer pulling a sleigh and in 1931, magazine ads for Coca-Cola also pictured Saint Nicholas into what we commonly picture as Santa Claus today and who say advertisements don’t work?
 
There is a city in southern Indiana named ‘Santa Claus’
 
For the record santa does not know IF you have been good or bad, however the eyes of the Lord are everywhere and He watches so Repent and believe in Jesus as the Son of God who dies, was beaten and died for mankind and did rise from the grave.
 
No other Name but Jesus. Hope this clarifies what he is today vs what history says about him.
 
 
 
Here is a topic during Christmas that will anger a number of Catholics. I do celebrate the birth of Jesus, born in a manger, born of a virgin….however was Mary always a virgin?
 
Oh, those are fighting words to a Catholic and if they are drunk when you make that statement, expect a slap in the face.
 
But I would like to give you some verses where Mary did have other children besides Jesus. And with these verses do something productive, like ticking off the Catholics during Christmas.
 
Why not, we piss-off the legalists and atheists for celebrating that date. Pagans are mad because it was stolen from them and Christized it. JWers will call you a heretic and children get upset because we say Santa is a lie. So why not anger the Catholics? I now submit the subject that many Catholics might consider to be abominable and that would be SEX.
 
 Matthew 1:23 reads; “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”
No need for commentary as the verse clearly reads Mary was a virgin who birth our God in the flesh.
 
….PREPARE FOR INCOMING….
Now let’s talk about sex with one particular person, Mary. Mary was not always a VIRGIN. After she gave birth to Jesus, she had intercourse with her husband Joseph, because that’s what husbands and wives do and the reason they marry. Matthew 1:18 says; “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost”
Note: The words “before they came together” that is King James talk for before they had sex.
 
And in verse 25 of the same chapter we read: “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS”
NOTE: The words “And knew her not TILL” that would be King James for ‘No Sex, until they married.’ Then we read these three words “her firstborn son” which means Mary did have other sons and or children. If Jesus was the FIRSTBORN, verily there is a second-born and a third-born…..
I remember sharing this verse with a Catholic and he did finally conceded that if the verse was true, he said “even with Mary giving birth to other children, she remained a virgin all her life. It was a miracle that’s why we call her Virgin Mary.”
 
Matthew 12:46-50 we read; “While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother”
NOTE: Matthew again mentions that Mary had children as His Mother and brothers wanted to speak with Him, this was not His disciples as they were already with him in the house.
 
In Mark 6:3 we find Jesus being rejected at Nazareth; “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him”
NOTE: Mark gives names to Mary’s other sons and did mention she had at least two daughters. Conclusion, Mary was not always a virgin, she did have relations with her husband.
 
This does not make her any less godly, she was highly favored and blessed among women but did live a life outside the birth of Jesus. There are many times the Lord has used someone for a particular reason and after service is rendered, they live their lives. Mary included.