Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Birthday JESUS


Tis the season to argue
about the word ‘Christmas’
 
Every year at this time, I get asked questions like:
 
“Ruben do you believe the birth of Jesus is December 25th?”
 
“Do you do know that date has pagan roots?”
 
“Do you do celebrate Christmas?”
 
So, this is my response to those questions as I do celebrate that date to honor the birth of Jesus and for the record I do not know anyone who believes that Jesus was really born on December 25.
 
I do understand the Catholic/pagan roots of the date. HOWEVER I think it is good as an individual, a family, a nation and or as a people on planet earth to put one day aside and honor the BIRTH OF JESUS.
 
Be it, May 22nd, July 18th or the date in question. December 25th. I believe it is good to honor JESUS born in a manger, born of a virgin as per Luke chapter 2 on any date, so YES I do celebrate that date. I love to turn something wicked, vile and pagan into something that will glorify God.
 
Does that not symbolize what God has done with us, with being BORN AGAIN?
 
No one will argue the roots of that day, but I rejoice that we can Christianize it into something that will acknowledge the birth of Jesus. I say utilize it rather than remove it. He is in the business of Christianizing people, things and in December that particular date.
 
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.
Who would want to deny that?
 
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 Friday, nor take the day off with pay. That is IF you have any character or conscience 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 for 8 hours. Or just return that day’s pay back to your employer, because you have integrity.
 
Talk is cheap. 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”
 
So I repeat, 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.
 
Our calendar is not accurate and considered pagan, yet you will need to write the year 2015 (AD) when you sign your name, unless of course you have a double standard?
 
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 with a clear conscience 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)”
Matthew 7 (RSV) Ruben Says Version
 
If someone wishes 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 not work on that day, use that paper money and name the days of the week and month by their pagan names.
 
Just because the Catholics have a ‘midnight mass’ to celebrate Christmas, DO NOT THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH-WATER.
 
That would be like saying ‘because the catholics honor Mary’ we MUST dishonor Mary or ‘because the catholics believe in a crucifix’ we must never reflect on that bloody cross.
 
What a great season to promote God’s gift to mankind;
 
“For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”
 Romans 6:23
 
I am not ashamed to know we highjacked that date for the GLORY OF GOD.
 
Side Note:
 Me thinketh, IF you still believe you cannot celebrate the BIRTH of Jesus on December 25th, there may be more to it. Maybe God wants you in that mindset because you may abuse that liberty and promote santa, reindeer, trees, inflatable ornaments and max out your credit cards.
 
You may be safer to have blinders on, just don’t misjudge me as I enjoy confiscating and capturing this date for JESUS, born in a manger, born of a virgin to die for mankind.
 
Well, seeing that I will officially be called a heretic, pagan and Jesuit priest for my posting this about Christmas.
 
Let me continue with this person the world calls santa
 
Allow me to tell the TRUTH about this man Saint Nicholas, whom the world has ruined his name and turned him into a cartoon icon name santa.
 
So today, I wish to remove the dust and set the record straight regarding the man who walked this earth, not fables.
 
He is not the big jolly man with red cheeks we have been taught. 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, Bible 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 this man 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 (picture used for story), 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?
 
If Nicholas were alive today most of the world would have NOTHING to do with him, as he would have been said to be a hater and radical.
 
Most people on facebook would have slander him and removed him as 'friend' and the video clips on youtube would have been removed.
 
Now let me address and uproot the misrepresentations of the ‘Christmas Tree’
 
Before you continue and IF you disagree, I suggest you take a few Zoloft’s and Prozac’s before reading about the tree. 
 
 Many believers have taught that Jeremiah chapter 10 speaks against Christmas trees?
 
“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”
 Jeremiah 10:3-5
 
I question the above verses I doubt Jeremiah 10 is speaking of Christmas trees for several reasons, but before I began let me start off by saying I do NOT display a Christmas tree so I am not trying to justify anything. I just believe that text 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.
 
Here are my reasons I believe this text is NOT speaking of what we call a ‘Christmas tree’ today.
 
1- A Christmas tree does NOT resemble a ‘palm tree’ 2- I do not know anyone who is ‘afraid’ of a Christmas trees, most people get happy when they see a Christmas tree.
3- I have never heard of one talking or someone thinking it will give them a type of good luck.
 4- Christmas was not even a subject matter, because there was not ’Christmas’ when Jeremiah spoke this and the context is not a prophecy of dates to come.
 
However there is a tree that has ALL the above and no one ever brings up. That would be what we would call a ‘totem pole’ today.
 
However back in the days of Jeremiah, they were called ‘asherah poles’
 
These were tress cut by workmen, decked with silver and gold, fasten by nails, with legs but not moving, upright like a palm tree, gives the impression they could speak and can appear scary if you walked up to one. They are weird looking idols
 
 
 
Could it be that Jeremiah 10 is speaking of these ‘totem poles’ and NOT ‘Christmas trees’ and that is ‘the way of the heathen’ that loved idols?
 
Face it, Christmas trees are not idols, I’ve never seen anyone bow and pray to them. I do not recall a Christmas tree answering prayers…..however…..a ‘totem pole’ are a form of idols with legs, eyes, mouths and colors.
 
They are made to be worshipped and those heathen think if you bow to them, you might get a stroke of good luck. This is just my opinion, as you may have another but I personally question using that Jeremiah 10 when coupled with a Christmas tree. And IF you subscribe that Jeremiah 10 is speaking of a Christmas tree, my question would be. IF someone puts up an artificial Christmas tree an idol or does it need to be a spruce, pine, or fir tree?
 
Conclusion:
December 25th I will honor the birth of Jesus, putting one day aside to honor the birth of our savior is NOT salvation pending
 
“Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
Romans 14:4-9
 
 
One last note, regarding this date.
Was Mary a Virgin her whole life?
 
 
I do celebrate the birth of Jesus, born in a manger AND 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.
 
Catholics claim it was their Church that gave us the Bible, however when you share these verses with them, they will question that very Bible or demand another translation.
 
You wish to upset a Catholic in December, tis the season. Mention to them that Mary was not a ‘Virgin; her whole life and give them Bible verses.
 
Why not, during this time we piss-off the legalists and atheists for celebrating that date. Pagans are mad because that date was stolen from them and Christianized. JWers will call you a heretic because they do not celebrate any birthdays and children will get upset with you because they now know santa is a lie. So why not anger the Catholics too during the holiday season?
 
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.
 
The MILLION DOLLAR question is, was Mary always a VIRGIN?
 
That is a subject that many Catholics consider to be abominable and that would be SEX coupled with Mary. 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 married.
 
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.’ T
 
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 John chapter 2 we read that Jesus entered into a city and who was with Him.
“After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days”
(John 2:12)
 
Of course He later went Jesus went up to Jerusalem and into the Temple but the verse used reads ‘his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples’ were all with Him. The disciples are NOT His brothers, hence Mary had other children as per the gospel of Mark.
 
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, as with ANY normal marriage. 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.
 
May you use this time of the year to promote Jesus born in a manger, of a virgin as He is the
REASON FOR THE SEASON!!