- No Room for Jesus?
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.
Mary Did You Know...
Video: Do You Hear What I Hear
How did the most popular Christmas carols originate?
"Charles Wesley wrote 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.'
He was the 18th child of Rev. Samuel and Susanna Wesley, born Dec. 18, 1707, in Epworth, England. Susanna Wesley homeschooled all her 19 children, giving them a classical education which included them learning Latin and Greek...
"Peter Boehler shared with the Wesleys regarding
the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which resulted in a prayer meeting
at 28 Aldersgate Street and Wesley’s “Aldersgate experience” in May of 1738.
John Wesley wrote: 'I felt my heart strangely warmed' and began to preach that God’s grace was
'free for all.'
"The Wesleys influenced George Whitefield, whose preaching spread the Great Awakening Revival throughout the American colonies.
... Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns."
"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
I heard the Bells on Christmas
their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat, of peace on earth, good will to
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
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead, nor doth
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will
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."
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
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?
'wise men' had apparently learned about God through the
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,
Nehemiah and others, and historical records had preserved their memory.
So the Biblical God was not unknown to Persian scholars at this momentous
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
Wish You A Merry Multicultural, Inoffensive, Inclusive, Secular Seasonal
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.'
[Oregon] cancelled its 29th annual Christmas parade. Chelmsford [Massachussets]
has prohibited donations of candy canes, stockings and Santas to its annual
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."
- Reap Tyranny
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.
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....
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."
"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
Conforming to the culture, not to
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?"
The birth of our King
"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
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....
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
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."'
The Ministry of Jesus
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
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."
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."
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
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."
Christmas 2006: Peace
and unity through Jesus Christ:
"The Christian theologian, pastor and eventually martyr
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.'
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.'"
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.
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
Searching for the
"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.'"
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....
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."
Establishing a Global Spirituality
Tragedy at Christmas
show as actress plunges 25ft to her death in front of horrified
"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
"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."
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
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:
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."
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
You can read older excerpts here:
Armor of God
| Persecution |
His Word |