Charles H. Spurgeon on Christmas

Taken from Christmas: A Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It. Kevin Reed is showing the historical nature of Christmas, rooted in pagan worship, and the opposition of Christmas in the Reformation. Here Reed quotes Spurgeon:

We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.

The prince of preachers doesn’t hold back. He calls Christmas a superstition. Why am I publishing these bits and pieces showing that the celebration is rooted in paganism, and not Christianity? Because most people are more concerned about celebrating a pagan day, with its pagan rituals, etc., than they are in keeping the Lord’s Day holy. Reed writes:

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Calvin on Worship

Taken from Christmas: An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It. Kevin Reed is showing the historical nature of Christmas, rooted in pagan worship, and the opposition of Christmas in the Reformation. Here Reed quotes Calvin on worship:

The mockery which worships God with nought but external gestures and absurd human fictions, how could we, without sin, allow to pass unrebuked? We know how much he hates hypocrisy, and yet in that fictitious worship, which was everywhere in use, hypocrisy reigned. We hear how bitter the terms in which the prophets inveigh against all worship fabricated by human rashness. But a good intention, i.e., an insane license of daring whatever man pleased, was deemed the perfection of worship. For it is certain that in the whole body of worship which had been established, there was scarcely a single observance which had an authoritative sanction from the Word of God.

Reed goes on to write:

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5 Things That Bother Me About Christmas

christmas

It is that time of year again, and once again, it has me thinking about all the traditions we celebrate. I know for some, this time of year is quite sacred, and to speak of it in less that Christmas-bulb glowing terms is tantamount to blasphemy. This is not a post saying you should not celebrate, but more thoughts on things that bother me about Christmas. After all, a lot of people get really wacky about this time of year, and given that we are never told in Scripture to celebrate the birth of Christ on a yearly basis, maybe we should hold the entire season loosely.

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Top 2015 Posts For the Year: Posts 25-21

It is that time again, when we look back over the past year to see our accomplishments. For me personally, this is truly a wonderful exercise given how the LORD has worked in my life in the past year. A year ago, I was single, barely employed, and living with family. Now, I’m married to a wonderful woman, teaching urchins in the public schools, and currently looking for a house to buy. God’s hand has really been evident.

I have also seen some major accomplishments with my blog. Two major milestones were reached, the first was that this year has been the most popular since moving to WordPress back in 2010. The site crested more that 70,000 hits for the year and is currently approaching  77,000 hits.

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My View on Holy Days

Just so I’m clear concerning holy days. I don’t believe the church should be celebrating any holy day that is not given to us in Scripture. The Scripture gives us 52 holy days a year, namely the LORD’s day, known as Sunday in these parts. This is our day to worship the Triune God and cease from our labors.

If you want to celebrate Christmas and Easter, go ahead. But the two holidays are not given to us in Scripture to do so. So two thoughts on these days. First, the reason we do not celebrate Easter, or should not, is because we already are celebrating Easter. By Easter I mean the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not pastels, bunny rabbits, egg hunts, candy and big hats for church. We celebrate the resurrection when we gather for worship on the LORD’s day, Sunday. The resurrection is also the reason why our holy day was shifted from the seventh day, Saturday, to the first day, Sunday. Jesus was raised up on the first day of the week, pointing toward the coming new heavens, new earth and new creation we become when we trust in Him for salvation. All of these reasons are solid enough to shift the day from the seventh to the first day of the week.

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From the Archives

Going through some photos and found this one, which was taken in December 24, 2011. Roswell received one of their largest snowfalls in decades and the boys made the best of it. It is also a reminder that December is coming. It will not always be August.

Christmas Eve 2011

Hello Old Friends

I was perusing through some of my older post and kept coming across the names of people who use to respond and I realized that I had been missing some of my readers. In view of that, if you read this, leave a “hello” in the comments section. I would love to hear from you. Nothing like hearing from old friends even if they are only friends via the blogosphere.

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The Boys & Santa!

Yes, I let the boys see Santa this Christmas. Don’t worry, they didn’t sit in his lap.

This Santa was actually outside the Corner Liquor Store in downtown Brenham, TX. The boys didn’t seem to mind at all.

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Operation Christmas Tree

I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off, but I really wanted to get a Christmas tree for the boys since they will be with me for Christmas. I knew I had a tight budget to work with and was hoping that I could use my bonus from the country club to pay for the tree. I was truly grateful I got a bonus. My other two part-time jobs offer nothing in the way of bonuses. Having anything at all in such a situation is a plus.

Last night I told the boys getting a tree was our plan for today, so they were ready to go this morning when we headed out. I had a bunch of ideas running through my head: a real tree? Maybe. I fake tree? Preferable. Cut something down on my father’s ranch for no initial cost, but definitely a trip to the ER? Better not.

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Half Day of School/Christmas Post

We only have a half day of school and the classes are only 20 minutes long, so there is not much getting done. In view of that, I had my first period class write down what they thought was important to know about Christmas.

Samantha wrote:

I love giving presents to kids who have nothing and can’t have Christmas.

From Bailee:

I want people to know that Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa.

Deisy added:

Christmas is when Jesus was born. That is more important than presents.

Joe wrote:

This Christmas holiday, remember it’s all about giving, not receiving. Be thankful for what you get.

And finally, Chloe wrote:

Christmas is not just about ‘opening presents’ or ‘eating a lot of food.’ It’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus, celebrating with your family. Don’t forget that.

Not a bad sampling at all. Seems that they have a pretty good understanding of the holiday.

A Treasure Hunt Christmas

It was just a simple map of the ranch, although the names of every thing on the ranch were a bit odd. There was the Blue Creek Fortress instead of Pop’s house, the cottage was called the guard shack, the road out front didn’t head to Brenham or Navasota, but to Rivendale or the Shire. The barn was Baby Sister’s Keep, the ponds were Lake Pleasant for the front one, and Poison Lake for the back one. Mount Doom rested on the back part of the property just about the same location as my father’s burn pile. And every grouping of trees had some mystical, elven sounding name. There was Myrkwood Forrest, Elven Woods, Samwise Garden and one area of trees with the warning: Trolls Hideout.

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Merry Christmas and My Christmas Wish List

I want to wish all my readers a wonderful Christmas with their friends and family. I have been blessed by getting to spend time with relatives and friends as well, and hope you share in the same blessings.

The beauty of this Christmas is that since I have so little money, I’m not buying a lot and I am able to experience the season guilt free. There is a certain freedom in not having money to spend on gifts. No false sense of obligation to the holiday.

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In the Interest of Bah-Humbug, I Give You the Following

Apparently my last two posts are bringing out the Grinch in those of us who are by nature, Grinches. Stan shared with me his thoughts on Christmas via the comments section, and I just could not let these comments pass without sharing them with my wonderful readers. Yes, I know that many of you are busy hanging Mistletoe and wrapping gifts, etc., and you are all in the spirit (notice the little “s”). of Christmas. So here is something from the side of us who don’t really enjoy it.

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Top 10 Reasons Not to Attend Christmas Parties

Yes, you could say that I’ve been burned by the spirit of the Christmas party spirit. Please note the non-capitalization of the word “spirit.” That is intentional because as I review my recent Christmas party adventures, and ones even farther back than this, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas parties, and more broadly the celebration of Christmas itself, is not good for my spiritual well being and rarely involves the Holy Spirit.

I’m not saying it is bad for your spiritual well being. Just that I don’t think it’s good for mine. So given that stipulation and the fact that this is my blog, I’m completely and totally right on this subject… for the moment. I could change my mind with new evidence, but given the case before us, this is my position right now. (Nothing like taking a strong stand in the shifting sands of such a deep and important subject).

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A Bicycle For Christmas?

This morning our goal is to find Joey a bicycle for Christmas. I have real mixed feelings about the bicycle experience for my boys. Not that I don’t want them to have a bicycle, or learn to ride a bicycle. I just don’t want them to go anywhere on a bicycle. In other words, once the glow of the fact that they have a bicycle wears off, I’m hoping to put both Joey’s new one, and Andy’s in the shed to be forgotten and covered with a thick coat of New Mexico dust from the next wind storm.

Why do I feel this way? It’s not that I had some bad experience as a child on a bicycle. In fact, the bicycle was our freedom. We went everywhere on our bicycles. I can remember living on the cul-de-sac of Kimberly in Houston, hopping on our bicycles and heading all the way to Town & Country Village to the hobby shop to look at the model trains. We rode without helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, water bottles, GPS’s, etc. Off on the Schwinn Sting Ray and no stopping until we got there.

SchwinnStingRayMy parents didn’t worry that some child molester would kidnap us and activate the Amber Alert. They knew we would be gone for a while and then back again for lots of water and the cool of our living room. They knew we were fairly safe, even in Houston.

If it wasn’t off to Town & Country Village, we were off to Rummel Creek Elementary school, where we could find suicide hill next to the creek. This was where we became Evil Knieval wannabes. We would get going full speed and head down suicide hill. We might even become air born off the top of suicide hill. No one ever really got hurt other than the occasional scrape or bruise. Remember that this was long before the lunacy of the X-games. We were not thinking about doing flips in midair. We were just thinking about… midair. If a tire left the ground or pavement, it was cool enough for us. Wheelies were the big craze and the height of bicycle talent in those days. There were those guys who even changed out the gears on their bicycles to facilitate the wheelie. They could do wheelies for blocks at a time. They were the height of cool and legends of our bicycle worlds.

The truth be known, I’m not sure I want my boys to have those experiences. Especially the experience of heading off on their bicycles for hours at a time. Not in this world. Not in these days of lunacy. In fact, I’m certain I will have to buy a bike for myself so that when they do head off to the park, I can go with them. They will not head off to the park alone, or the multiple trails that divide up the city of Roswell. I will be right there with them, watching, warning and praying.

Am I being overprotective? You bet. But that is the world in which we live. I don’t like it. I wish we lived in safer societies, but given the tragedy that happened just last week, we know it to be a different world.

So I will buy Joey a bicycle. And I might even teach him to ride his, and eventually teach Andy to ride his. But will I ever let them head out to the park or some where alone and without me? I hope not. Things have changed too much in our world. Instead of having the experiences of brothers being boys on places like suicide hill, they will have to grow up with the experience of Dad going everywhere with them. Come to think of it, not a bad thing at all.

I better get looking for that bicycle.

Merry White Christmas

Merry White Christmas! It’s been snowing here for two days and I do believe that qualifies as a White Christmas. My only reservation in all this is whether or not we will be able to have our Christmas Eve service up at the church. This isn’t one of those dustings that places in the south get and close everything. More like what a typical snow is like up north, only Roswell doesn’t have the equipment to remove it from the streets. Not sure why.

Either way, I’m going to enjoy the day and whatever the LORD gives us, I’m going to be grateful for this day! Merry White Christmas!!!

UPDATE: There was an article going around about some big mega churches cancelling worship services because they were on Christmas day. To this, I say they are misguided. However, we are cancelling services as well, but it’s because of the foot of snow in the church parking lot. It took me 45 minutes shoveling snow to get out of our driveway, I’m not sure how long it would take us to shovel the snow out of the parking lot. Given that no one is volunteering to do so, we cancelled both our Candlelight Service tonight and worship services tomorrow. I wish that were not the case. I was really looking forward to both services, but I guess the LORD had other plans.