Christmas Links    

 

  Christmas - No Room for Jesus?  (2006-2009)

 

  Pagan myths, classroom censorship, and growing intolerance toward Jesus


Some of the links below are now obsolete, yet we left the quotes with useful information.

2012

Who Killed Christmas? "No War on Christmas? Then what’s up with Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee? Last year, the RINO turned independent rechristened (you should pardon the expression the tree in the state house rotunda a Holiday tree. Irate citizens showed up at the lighting ceremony to serenade Chafee with ’O Christmas Tree. To avoid such expressions of yuletide discontent, the public was given only a few minutes notice of this year’s lighting."

I heard the Bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat, of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head: "There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men."

 

 

Who Killed Christmas? "No War on Christmas? Then what’s up with Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee? Last year, the RINO turned independent rechristened (you should pardon the expression) the tree in the state house rotunda a Holiday tree. Irate citizens showed up at the lighting ceremony to serenade Chafee with ’O Christmas Tree. To avoid such expressions of yuletide discontent, the public was given only a few minutes notice of this year’s lighting."

2010

Detained Iranian Christians Preparing For Christmas Behind Bars: "Several Christians in Iran prepared Wednesday, December 22, to spend Christmas behind bars, including at least two Iranian pastors who face the death penalty on charges of 'apostasy', or abandoning Islam....

     "Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani... is currently being held in Lakan prison after he was detained October 13 last year and charged with apostasy in part because he expressed concerns that Christian children were forced to receive Muslim education. The education contravenes the Iranian constitution, which permits parents to raise children in their own faith....

    "In another case, Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khanjani...chairman of the Pastoral Council of the Church of Iran, has been detained in a high security prison in Shiraz since June this year....[He] was initially arrested in January 2010 after being summoned to Shiraz to offer an explanation for church activities....Pastor Khanjani has now been charged with apostasy, blasphemy, and contact with the enemy. The possible penalty is a death sentence.

     "...Christian prisoners are subjected to eight hours of interrogation a day and some are kept in cramped rooms where they are unable to sleep. 'We are deeply concerned for the welfare of Pastors Nadarkhani and Khanjani, who are detained in appalling conditions and cannot be contacted,' said CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston."

      Please pray with us that God give these faithful men His strength to endure the torturous suffering while being witnesses of God's love and victory to both guards and other prisoners.  

2009

The Magi's Search for Truth: "The familiar 'wise men' or 'magi' who followed the star from the East were probably astrologers from Persia. They may have been Zoroastrian magicians, and the gifts they brought the prophesied King suggest that they held positions of wealth and influence. But why would astrologers or magicians travel so far to worship Jesus? And why would God use pagan leaders to honor His Son? ...

     "These 'wise men' had apparently learned about God through the Scriptures brought to Babylon and Persia during the exile that had followed Israel's slide into paganism and idolatry centuries earlier. The goodness of God had been demonstrated among His exiled people through Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah and others, and historical records had preserved their memory. So the Biblical God was not unknown to Persian scholars at this momentous time." See Our God Reigns

Christmas in a German Labor Camp during WWII: "While many are concerned over the economy, the growing immorality in our culture, and an increasing amount of deception in the Christian church, Anita’s Christmas story helps put things in perspective. In spite of all the struggles and sufferings that happen in this world, the one who belongs to Jesus Christ through faith by His grace can indeed say: The Lord is always faithful, just, and good." See Victory in Christ

We Wish You A Merry Multicultural, Inoffensive, Inclusive, Secular Seasonal Holiday: "Howard County [Indiana] has decided to replace the traditional manger scene on the lawn of the county courthouse with a lighted display of the Loch Ness monster and other beasts.... County Commissioner Tyler Moore pleaded, 'If we put religious or Christmas decorations up, we’d be offending a whole other group of citizens and taxpayers.'  ...if someone – anyone – is outraged by a crèche, that’s reason enough to nix it.'

     "Amelia [Oregon] cancelled its 29th annual Christmas parade. Chelmsford [Massachussets] has prohibited donations of candy canes, stockings and Santas to its annual gift sale." See Why "Hate crime" laws would ban Biblical Christianity

Outcome Will Impact Students’ Speech Rights in Texas Schools: "The case began in 2003, when students were... banned from writing 'Merry Christmas' on cards to be sent to military members overseas, stopped from giving invitations to church events to classmates, and not allowed to wear red and green to a school-sponsored 'holiday' party. In 2005, the court issued an injunction declaring PISD’s 'Christmas bans' unconstitutional. 'In oral arguments today, the district concedes and is now changing their policy,' said Kelly Shackelford... chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute." See Ban Truth - Reap Tyranny

2007

Come to Bethlehem and See Who Persecutes the Christians: "Incidents of Muslims stealing land from Christians, defacing their property and physically harassing them are well documented and have driven many Christians from the city."

The Plight of Bethlehem: "A mere nine kilometers separates Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, from Jerusalem.... Pilgrims can easily visit both the Church of the Nativity and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in half a day -- as long as they are not Palestinian Christians. Israel's security wall, its restrictive exit permit system, roadblocks and military checkpoints now make it impossible for most Holy Land Christians to visit the shrines that, for all Christians, make the Holy Land holy.

    "Like East Jerusalem, Bethlehem is part of the West Bank, not the State of Israel. Temporary exit visas to go from one to the other to worship... are hard to come by.... The squeeze is economic as well as religious. Few producers in Bethlehem can get their goods to markets in Jerusalem. Fewer buyers can get to Bethlehem to sustain its markets....

      "...in 2000, an average of more than 91,000 tourists visited the city monthly. This year, the average is half that number. When buses do arrive, tourists are routinely whisked in and out without time to shop. As a consequence, nearly 100 hotels and restaurants have closed since my last visit. More than 250 workshops that made olive wood crèches, mother-of-pearl crosses and other religious souvenirs have disappeared too.... In sum, where Bethlehem once enjoyed one of the lowest urban unemployment rates in the Holy Land, it now has one of the highest....

    "Israel cannot afford to lose the Palestinian Christians: They have long represented a moderating force. A century ago, they accounted for 25% or more of the Holy Land population. Today, they represent less than 1.5%. ... Palestinian Christians regard their ancestors as the first Christians....They call themselves the 'living stones' of Biblical Christianity, preserving ancient communities and traditions in the midst of repeated armed conflicts."

A Brief History of Christmas: "The Christmas of the Nativity, the manger and Christ child, the wise men and the star of Bethlehem... and .Hark the Herald Angels Sing. is one holiday. The Christmas of parties, Santa Claus, evergreens, presents... and .Jingle Bells. is quite another.... But because both celebrations fall on Dec. 25, the two are constantly confused.

      "Religious Christians condemn taking 'the Christ out of Christmas,' while First Amendment absolutists see a threat to the separation of church and state in every poinsettia on public property....

      "A little history can clear things up. The Christmas of parties and presents is far older than the Nativity. Most ancient cultures celebrated the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its lowest point and begins to climb once more in the sky. In ancient Rome, this festival was called the Saturnalia and ran from Dec. 17 to Dec. 24. During that week, no work was done, and the time was spent in parties, games, gift giving and decorating the houses with evergreens. (Sound familiar?) It was, needless to say, a very popular holiday. In its earliest days, Christianity did not celebrate the Nativity at all.... Instead, the Church calendar was centered on Easter, still by far the most important day in the Christian year." See Mocking Truth

Free Christmas! "Before we were married, my wife and I discussed the old-fashioned Christmases we'd one day celebrate. We planned to carol, make cookies with our children and teach them the true spirit of the season by serving the poor. But somehow the holidays became, for us, a season when we have neither the time nor the inclination to celebrate. We turned, like many friends, into variants of Scrooge: Instead of ignoring the holiday, we were bah-humbugging our way through parties and meals and endless rounds of shopping. One can almost empathize with the Puritans, whose ban on Christmas had nothing to do with insipid greeting cards and everything to do with the holiday's pagan roots.... Will we succeed in making this season mean something to our children besides gifts and harried schedules?" See Conforming to the culture, not to truth

Is Jesus Christ God? "The story of Jesus is either the greatest event in history or the cruelest hoax. If it is a hoax, then the whole of the Christian message crumbles together with the hopes of those multitudes of lives built on his name. The apostle Paul said: 'And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ.... And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!'”... But if the story is true, then this world has been hit with extraordinary news of earth-shaking consequences. Have you taken the trouble to decide which it is?" See The birth of our King

Washington's Gift: "The story begins with Gen. Washington's arrival in Annapolis, Md., on Dec. 19, 1783. The country was finally at peace -- just a few weeks earlier the last British army on American soil had sailed out of New York harbor. But the previous eight months had been a time of terrible turmoil and anguish for Gen. Washington, outwardly always so composed. His army had been discharged and sent home, unpaid, by a bankrupt Congress -- without a victory parade or even a statement of thanks for their years of sacrifices and sufferings. ... Washington had done his utmost to persuade Congress to pay them, yet failed.... Congressman Alexander Hamilton, once Washington's most gifted aide, had told him in a morose letter that there was a "principle of hostility to an army" loose in the country and too many congressmen shared it....

      "The president of Congress, Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania.... had been one of the generals who attempted to humiliate Washington into resigning during the grim winter at Valley Forge. He had smeared Washington as a puffed-up egotist, denigrated his military ability, and used his wealth to persuade not a few congressmen to agree with him. A few months later, Mifflin was forced to quit the army after being accused of stealing millions as quartermaster general.

      "Addressing this scandal-tarred enemy, Washington drew a speech from his coat pocket and unfolded it with trembling hands. "Mr. President," he began in a low, strained voice. "The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place.'... He continued: 'I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them [Congress] to his holy keeping.' For a long moment, Washington could not say another word. Tears streamed down his cheeks. The words touched a vein of religious faith in his inmost soul, born of battlefield experiences that had convinced him of the existence of a caring God who had protected him and his country again and again during the war. Without this faith he might never have been able to endure the frustrations and rage he had experienced in the previous eight months.

     "Washington then drew from his coat a parchment copy of his appointment as commander in chief. "Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theater of action and bidding farewell to this august body under whom I have long acted, I here offer my commission and take leave of all the employments of public life."' (12-24-07)

The Ministry of Jesus Christ: "After seventy years of captivity, the Lord allowed His people to come back to the land of Israel. Only a small group chose to return, but they as well as Jews elsewhere, still lived under the rule of other nations....

     "Five hundred years later, when Rome ruled Israel, two young Jews named Joseph and Mary, both descendants of the royal line of David, planned to marry. But before they came together, Mary became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, Don't worry about taking Mary as your wife: for the child in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The child is the Son of God. And when she gives birth to this son, you must name Him 'Jesus', which means Savior, for He will save His people from their sins." See Come worship our King

Christmas could lead to more persecution for Christians: "In 2007, nearly 200,000 Christians were killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. Around the world, 200-million Christians face some kind of persecution. '... As Christians celebrate Christmas, it's a natural evangelistic opportunity in Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist areas of the world. Pray that God will protect His church and that He'll use this Christmas season to draw many to Himself." See Victory in Christ

The Star of Bethlehem: "Contrary to what is commonly believed, the magi did not arrive at the manger on the night of Christ’s birth; rather, they found the young Jesus and His parents living in a house (Matthew 2:11). This could have been nearly two years after Christ’s birth....

     "For a normal star, it would be impossible to determine which house is directly beneath it. The star over Christ may have been relatively near the surface of earth (an “atmospheric” manifestation of God’s power) so that the magi could discern the precise location of the Child. Whatever the exact mechanism, the fact that the star led the magi to Christ is evidence that the star was uniquely designed, made by God for a very special purpose. God can use extraordinary means for extraordinary purposes. Certainly the birth of our Lord was deserving of honor in the heavens. It is fitting that God used a celestial object to announce the birth of Christ since 'the heavens declare the glory of God…'” (Psalm 19:1). See Come worship our King

2006

Bethlehem Christians fear neighbors: "Thieves have targeted the homes of many Christian families and a 'land mafia' has succeeded in laying its hands on vast areas of land belonging to Christians...."A lawyer and an official with the Palestinian Authority just came and took our land,' said 69-year-old Georgette Lama. The couple was later approached by senior PA security officers who offered to help them kick out the intruders from the land. 'We paid them $1,000 so they could help us regain our land,' she said, almost in tears. 'Instead of giving us back our land, they simply decided to keep it for themselves.... When her 72-year-old husband, Fuad, went to the land to ask the intruders to leave, he was severely beaten and threatened with guns." See Persecution

Christmas 2006: Peace and unity through Jesus Christ: "The Christian theologian, pastor and eventually martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer spent the Christmas of 1943 in the military section of Tegel Prison in Berlin as a prisoner of the Nazis. On 22 December he wrote that fear could only be overcome, and pain and suffering could only be borne, through faith. 'I must be able to know for certain that I am in the hands of God, and not in men's.'

     "That Christmas morning Bonhoeffer, aware that Christmas could heighten prisoners' feelings of loneliness and despair, wrote a series of 'prayers for fellow prisoners' (prayers for prisoners to pray). They are prayers purposefully designed to help the fearful, lonely and despairing find faith, comfort and peace in the midst of terrible uncertainty and suffering.... 'O God, early in the morning do I cry unto thee. Help me to pray, and to think only of thee. I cannot pray alone. In me there is darkness, but with thee there is light. I am lonely, but thou leavest me not. I am feeble in heart, but thou leavest me not. I am restless, but with thee there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with thee there is patience; thy ways are past understanding, but thou knowest the way for me.'"

A Christmas Prayer 2006: "A strange Christmas Prayer 2006 from National Council of Churches If the birth of each new baby is a renewal of God's contract with humanity, we stand in awe to renew our covenant with the Christ child. God, it is so easy to be discouraged in a world of darkness, war, poverty, and death. Thank you for the hope of the Incarnation. We confess that our earthly wisdom makes it difficult to believe this season will bring forth love of God, love of neighbors, and love of peace. God, help thou our unbelief. See Re-Inventing the Church - Part 1

No Room for Jesus? Christmas' history more raucous than refined: "Once upon a time the holiday season was a quiet time spent with family and friends -- simpler, less commercial, more spiritual, nothing like today's frenzied orgy of consumption. ....Nissenbaum.... puts that myth to rest....The holiday has its origins in the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a weeklong winter solstice celebration that featured feasting, drinking, gambling and sex. Men dressed like women, women dressed like men, and masters waited on their slaves in a raucous reversal of the social hierarchy.... Such behavior was almost inevitable during the weeks surrounding the winter solstice in the preindustrial societies of northern Europe, thanks to what Nissenbaum refers to as a '`combustible mix' of leisure time, abundance and alcohol."[12-23-06]


Christmas Quotes: Christmas

Searching for the 'Perfect Gift': "It was the week before Christmas. Parking spaces were hard to come by. There were long lines, crowded stores, rude people, and grossly inflated prices. In one long checkout line, one man was heard to say, 'They should kill the guy who started Christmas.' One wise and godly woman in the line said, 'They did -- they hung Him on a cross.'" John 15:20-21

Secularists Assault on Christmas and Christianity: "One of the most effective ways to overturn a culture is not to take it on directly, but to undermine it gradually....For the past half century, there has been a slow but unrelenting attack on the Christian foundations of the United States. First, secularists took prayer out of the public schools, because it 'promoted religion and alienated non-believing children.' ...Then they wanted the study of the Bible taken out of schools, because that 'promoted Christianity....

     "...public monuments listing the 10 Commandments had to go, too, because displaying the moral foundation of Western law somehow endorsed Judeo-Christian religion.....Every year, there are fewer nativity scenes on display."

Scrapping School Religious Holidays Solves Nothing: "Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero argues that public schools should do away with giving students’ days off for religious holidays because honoring Christian holidays in this manner is unfair to other religions. 'As I read the First Amendment,' writes Prothero, 'using taxpayer dollars to prop up Christianity and Judaism at the expense of Hinduism is unconstitutional." See Establishing a Global Spirituality

Tragedy at Christmas show as actress plunges 25ft to her death in front of horrified audience: "An actress in a Christmas pageant who was suspended 25 feet in the air by an overhead rope fell headfirst onto a concrete church floor and died. Keri Shryock, 23, and two other performers were playing wise men on their way to Bethlehem before about 2,000 spectators during Wednesday night's opening performance at Crossroads Community Church, in Cincinnati. The three were approaching a star when Shryock fell....

    "The church characterized the program as a contemporary Nativity story, said church spokesman Matt Chandler. 'It was a figurative and artistic version of the Christmas story found in the book of Luke,' he said.

    That's so sad. May God comfort her family. But I wonder why these "wise men" were 25 feet up in the air "approaching a star" -- in stark contrast to the actual Biblical account. What kind of message were they teaching?

Obama's Christmas tree has Chairman Mao, transvestite: "The face of China's Mao Zedong, blamed for the deaths of 50 to 80 million of his countrymen, graces an ornament on the White House Christmas tree for President Obama's first holiday season in residence." See Mocking God

Islamic star and crescent join town's Christmas tree: "The decision by a New York village to place the Islamic star and crescent alongside the community's official Christmas tree has a Catholic leader wondering if there are any wise men among the town's leaders.... 'We've decided to go in the direction of being all-inclusive,' [said] Supervisor Reese Berman....'Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans are Americans and respect other religions,' said Laila Al-Qatami, spokeswoman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington."

      That may seem true right now, but in America  -- as in the UK and the rest of Europe -- there is increasing pressure to accommodate Islam and its restrictions on free speech and Biblical Christianity. See the next link:

 

Saudi Interfaith Parley a Front for Global Law against Blasphemy: "The proposed law would crush religious freedom.... 'The lofty-sounding principle is, in fact, a cleverly coded way of granting religious leaders the right to criminalize speech and activities that they deem to insult religion.... Saudi Arabia does not permit the public practice of any religion except for Islam."

Amsterdam's gay Christmas angers Christians: 'By portraying Joseph and Mary as homosexuals, a twisted human fantasy is being added to the history of the Bible.'.. .A few dozen visitors wandered through the Pink Market past stalls selling leather goods and Christmas cards with gay themes on a downtown street known for its gay nightlife.... Frank van Dalen, chairman of Pro Gay, which organized the event, said gays were not satisfied with being tolerated, but wanted to be 'socially accepted as an indivisible part of society.'"  Mocking God and His Guidelines

You can read older excerpts here: Christmas (2001-2005)


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