Christ In Christmas

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Memphis Slim, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Memphis Slim Registered

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    As we celebrate this season, let all who will, reflect on what this season is all about. :yay: Merry Christmas to all. This is a great article just for that reason.


    Christmas
    Come, Celebrate Christ



    by Hank Hanegraaff
    [SIZE=+1]E[/SIZE]ach year as the Christmas season approaches, people from all over North America call the Bible Answer Man broadcast asking the same question: Should Christians participate in celebrating Christmas?
    Many fear that because Christmas is celebrated on December 25 they might inadvertently be commemorating the birthday of a pagan Roman god.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. While we do not know the exact date that Christ was born, we do know why the early Christian church chose to celebrate Christmas on December 25. The church was not Christianizing a pagan festival, but was establishing the celebration of the birth of Christ as a rival celebration.
    Today the world has all but forgotten about the pagan gods of Rome. But at least a billion people today consider themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ and celebrate that reality every Christmas. Tragically, in a post-Christian America, multitudes are once again using Christmas to worship a pagan god-a god called commercialism. To focus our attention on the real reason for the season I've developed the acronym
    C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.

    C stands for the person who alone gives Christmas eternal significance -- Christ our Lord. The name Christ means "Anointed" and the title Christ points to his role as Lord, and Son of God. If Jesus is not the Christ of your life, celebrating the birth of an obscure Jewish carpenter's son is ultimately meaningless.

    H stands for history. The birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are not myths or fantasies -- they are historical realities. That God cloaked himself in human flesh is a verifiable historical fact. While many still debate the meaning of Christ's life, few question its historicity. As the apostle Peter put it, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Peter 1:16).

    R stands for rejoice. Christmas songs demonstrate that rejoicing has always been the focal point of Christmas. We rejoice not for earthly vanities, but for eternal verities. A gift of gold may last until we die. The gift of God will last for all eternity. Jesus said, "rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). Likewise, the psalmist David says, "rejoice in your salvation" (Psalm 9:14).

    I stands for incarnation, a word which describes that glorious event in which God became man. In the incarnation Christ cloaked himself in human flesh. Although he took on the limitations of humanity, Christ did not divest himself of a single attribute of deity. As man, he was our representative -- the second Adam. As God, his death was sufficient to provide redemption for all humanity. Paul writes, "God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20).

    S stands for Saint Nicholas, the fourth-century Bishop of Myra whose life exemplifies faithfulness and charity. Santa Claus is an anglicized form of the Dutch Sinter Klaas, which in turn means "Saint Nicholas." Saint Nicholas attended the Council of Nicea and supported the doctrine of the Trinity. He was kind toward children and often gave them gifts. While Santa Claus in its present form is a fairy tale, Christians can look to the real Saint Nicholas as a genuine hero of the Christian faith.

    T stands for tradition. Many Christmas traditions developed as reminders of Christ. The Christmas tree, for example, symbolizes that Christ brings us eternal life (evergreen) and is the light of the world (lights). This tradition originated in Germany from a Paradise tree symbolizing the tree of life and a pyramid holding Christmas figurines. In the 16th century, these traditions were combined into the Christmas tree.
    Some claim the Christmas tree is a pagan tradition forbidden in Jeremiah 10:2-4. At first blush this may sound plausible. However, a careful reading demonstrates that God is condemning idols that are carved from wood and used for worship. Rather than referring to Christmas trees he is ridiculing idols that can neither walk nor talk.

    M stands for the magi who serve as an enduring reminder that no one is too wealthy, wise or worldly to leave all to follow Christ. As they worshiped him with gifts of gold, incense and myrrh, we, too, are called to worship him by offering ourselves as living sacrifices. Some disparage the giving of gifts by claiming that the wise men gave gifts to Christ -- not to one another. That, however, misses the point. Christ himself tells us that when we give to others we are giving to him (Matthew 25:31-46).

    A stands for advent, a word referring to Christ's coming (from the Latin adventus, "coming"). Christmas is a celebration of Christ's coming in the town of Bethlehem.
    The advent season begins four weeks before Christmas and is designed to turn our hearts from the commercialism of the culture to a celebration of Christ's coming.
    This time of joyful anticipation not only serves as a celebration of the Christmas season but serves as a celebration of Jesus Christ's second coming. While once Christ came as a babe in Bethlehem, he will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    S stands for salvation. The gospel story is simple yet profound. It is not found in religion but in a relationship with God. Christ became flesh to restore the relationship broken by sin.
    Sin separates us from God and separates us from others. Scripture says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
    God is the perfect Father who loves us with an everlasting love, but he is also the perfect Judge whose very nature is too pure to tolerate sin. His love and justice are reconciled through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus died to be our Savior and lives to be our Lord.
    As our Savior, he lived the perfect life that we could never live and offers his perfection as an absolutely free gift -- we cannot earn or deserve it, we can only live a life of gratitude for the gift he so freely offers us. As Lord, Christ gives our lives meaning, purpose and direction.
    This is particularly exciting when you stop to realize that the one who desires to be the Lord of your life is the very one who spoke and the universe leapt into existence.
    The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
    To make Jesus Christ the Savior and Lord of your life this Christmas season, you need to take two steps. The one is repent, the other is receive.
    Repentance means a U-turn on the road of life -- a change of heart and a change of mind. Jesus says, "The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15).
    To demonstrate true belief means a willingness to receive. To truly receive means to trust in Jesus Christ alone to be the Lord of our lives here and now and our Savior for all eternity.
    As the angel announced to the shepherds, "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:10-12).
     
  2. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    How many Christmas threads do we need?



    And don't take this as being against what you're trying to say that I didn't read Slimmy. I'm a Christian too. Yay Jesus!
     
  3. Memphis Slim Registered

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    The others are not really "Christ" focused. They are fun and all. But the sacred and religious aspect is what I want to discuss here.
     
  4. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    And let us never forget how materialist and commercialized and historically inaccurate christmas has become with Coca-cola's image of Christmas (Santa Claus) and the fake emotions of happiness for one month and the busy stores and traffic jams and the fact that Jesus was actually born in the spring and that the new year is way off what has been determined as the day Christ was born which was actually decided to be put in the week of a pagan holiday to make the conversions easier etc etc. :)
     
  5. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    Alrighty then.



    Well for me, this year has been weird. I just can't get into it at all. The decorating, the music, none of the physical stuff. But maybe that's good, cause now all I have is "the reason for the season." :shrug:
     
  6. Concept Name Registered

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    christmas is a pagan holiday.

    kthnxbye


    and yeah merry christmas.....i guess.
     
  7. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    so are a lot of the Christian "rituals" ;)
     
  8. Memphis Slim Registered

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    If you knew what the symbols really meant, you could stil enjoy them. A lot of things that have been secularized were symbols of Christ that the church has used for years.

    CHRISTMAS YOU NEVER KNEW

    Many of us complain about the crass commercialization of Christmas and rightfully so. But many of the symbols of the season have a deeper meaning than you think. It is just a matter of doing the research of our church history that will lead you to the conclusion that most of what we see points to Christ.


    CANDY CANES

    The candy canes represents the “staff” of the Good Shepherd. Even though many are multi-colored these days, the originals are red and white. The red representing the blood of the Good Shepherd that was shed to save His sheep from certain death. The Shepherd always used his staff (cane) to hook the neck of a sheep that had gone astray. Thus pulling the sheep back to the fold.

    THE HOLLY WREATH & BERRIES



    The evergreen holly plant and the circular shape (the symbol of infinity) of the reef represent the everlasting life that Christ provides for us. The berries are significant, also. They start off white. This is Christ’s cleanness and purity. They then turn green representing everlasting life. Finally they are red representing Christ’s shed blood.

    SANTA CLAUS



    Nope. I haven’t lost my mind. There really was a man named Santa Claus. His name was translated from the Dutch “Sinter Klaas”. His true name was St. Nicholas! He was a Christian in the 4th century church and the Bishop of Myra. He was famous for his kindness towards children. He was also a member of the council of Nicea. This was the body of church leaders who saw the evidence for the Trinity, in scripture, and made it Christian doctrine. He was martyred for his faith. Today, myth and legend have distorted his true life’s story. Please tell your children the about the “true” Santa.


    KHRIS KRINGLE


    Not to be confused with Santa Claus! They are not the same persons. Surprise!! This is actually referring to Jesus Christ. When Bibles were just starting to be translated from one language to another, in Europe, an error occurred in the translation from German to English. The Germanic term for “Christ Child” was “Khrist” (rhymes with wrist) “Kinder” (the German name for child). Khrist Kinder was translated badly to the English Khris Kringle. The rest is history. Share this with your children.


    LIGHTS

    Lights represent who Christ is and what we are commanded to be. The light of the world. Let your light shine so that your Father is glorified. Nuff said.


    THE CHRISTMAS TREE


    There are some that believe that Christmas trees are idolatrous. But that is only out of not knowing better. They take Jeremiah 10:2-4 out of context. In the text, God condemns his people for going into the forest, cutting down the trees, and carving them up and over- laying them with gold or silver. They would then fasten them with nails so that they would not totter. Although his may sound like a Christmas tree, it is not. It is condemning the use of the wood for carved images that were worshipped. This was sort of a Wal-Mart idol for those that could not afford the “solid gold” idol. It was cheaper to just cover the wooded image with gold. Anyway, Jeremiah was written 500 years before Christ’s birth. So how could it be a “Christmas” tree?

    The fact of the matter is that they originated in Christian Germany about two thousand years after Jeremiah! It originated from two Christian symbols found in people’s homes at Christmas time. The first was a “Paradise Tree” an evergreen which was hung with apples which symbolized the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. The second was a “Christmas Pyramid”. This was a triangular shelf holding Christmas figurines and decorated with a star! By about the 16th century the two symbols were combined for the first Christmas tree!
    How ‘bout that? Tell your children about this Christian heritage!


    Even though this world has used these symbols to make money, Christians should use them to make disciples. This is our holiday! Don’t curse the darkness. Instead, shine a light in it. Don’t go into a shell. Instead share the good news about the symbols of the season! It may change someone’s life.





    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
     
  9. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    Yeah I know all that.
     
  10. Memphis Slim Registered

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    And that's good enough. :yay:
     
  11. Mee 2 E's are better than 1

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    That, and the Dallas Cowboys. :o:yay:
     
  12. ObakeTora vThe "real" Ghost-Tiger!v

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    :applaud
     
  13. Metamorpho1977 You jack wagon!

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    Another indicator of Christ being the son of God was in the gifts that the wisemen brought.

    Gold- A gift for a king. Jesus was the King of Kings.

    Frankincence-What the High Priest would burn in the temple when he prayed for people's sins.

    Myrr-Which is used as an embalming fluid which would foretell that Christ was going to die for the sins of the world.
     
  14. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    1. Candy Cane - that was the original purpose yeah... but explain the chocolate fatman in the suit :o

    2. the Story of "St Nick" has countless versions because it was never recorded too thoroughly. All that is certain is that some nights he would run on the rooftops of neighbours (roofs were flat) and drop a gold coin in each chimney.

    3. Looks like "commercial christmas" prevails here where it's been "lost in translation" Guess what else was lost in translation Cpt. Christian? The word "stone". I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. :)

    4. Lights - Was something made to make money off of the holiday. Originally with a pagan anticipation ritual of lighting candles was brought to christianity and was later developed into the collections of candles then lights.

    5. The idol thing is stupid. It's against the second of the ten commandments.
     
  15. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    The wisemen were Persian. Wanna know what those objects mean there?

    Gold-Easily attainable by higher classes. An idea gift for respected people, the wisemen being respected individuals had gold and being wealthy could let it go.

    Frankincence- an item of the more eastern countries, being wise this one probably had objects from around the known world. Seeing how insence was not native to Persia it was an idial gift because he saw it as unique and special

    Myrr- Persians wouldn't use Myrr. They had no need for it. They did know however that the people of the west did, so it was an easy gift to part with.
     
  16. Memphis Slim Registered

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    Excellent points! That's exactly what they stood for. Speculation is that these men introduced to the propecy from the Jews that did not return to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon. Micah 5:2 foretold where the Messiah would be born. They were know doubt heavy readers of the Old Testament.
     
  17. Abaddon Watching

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    I wish Jesus could die for me everyday:heart:
     
  18. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    Just as I don't want people to go into the Muslim threads and stir up trouble (I know your other name by the way)....you shouldprobably stay out of Christian themed ones if your sole purpose is to create anger.
    And how could people forget without beautiful minded people like you who only want to point out the bad side of things and constantly moan and complain about things.

    The thread starter wanted to talk about the nice things that are associated with Christmas.....there are other threads here for people to go moan and complain in.
     
  19. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    Jesus foretold of great hights in waves and moonfilled skies on his return... so does that mean crazy people who declared themselves during huricanes on full moon nights are all the return of christ? :cwink:
     
  20. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    Once was enough.
     
  21. Memphis Slim Registered

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    You've been trolling over here for a while now. I guess you're trying to get a rise out of us. Sorry. But Merry christmas to you anyway. I hope you find happiness through the year. :yay:
     
  22. Asteroid-Man Registered

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    Oh, I'm entitled to my opinion Lee, I just want to make sure this thread isn't completely biased and people get both sides. I think it's only fair and it's not trolling seeing how I have been insulting or aggressive :cwink:
     
  23. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    Yes....you are entitled to your opinion....and you are asllowed to express it....but you will go to one of the threads made for the complainers to do it.
     
  24. Protest the Hero k l x n t

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    :huh: Who are you trying to protect?
     
  25. Memphis Slim Registered

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    Romans 6
    10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.
     

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