Be Careful Where We Draw The Line.
My comments about Christmas. (12-03-06)
(updated 12- 20 -09)
Note: I post this article every year about this time. I am fully cognizant about all the trappings and baggage regarding Christmas – Yes, I know it’s pagan.! But this article MUST be read!! .
After receiving a number of emails about the so-called evils of Christmas; I have decided to post it every year. I will continue to update it as the LORD leads. I submit it to you in love as a fellow servant of Yeshua (Jesus).
If I had to put myself in a box I would describe myself as one who is a believer and follower of Yeshua, one who believes we should keep all the Biblical Feasts, and study and obey the Torah. In other words I am in the Messianic Jew camp. But not altogether - if I have to have a label it would simply be a man who is saved by the grace of Yeshua.
Let me give a behavioral definition to whom and exactly what I am addressing. I am writing mainly, but not exclusively, to my Messianic brethren. In addition I am writing to the millions who are not necessarily under the Messianic umbrella but who have traced the origin of Christmas out and are on a campaign to ban it altogether because of its pagan origin. I am also addressing those who hold to the traditional belief that December is the birthday of Christ and observe it in the strict traditional manner, i.e., Christmas hymns, communion, etc. In addition I am also addressing those throngs of jaded people crowding the malls, overspending on their credit cards, caught in traffic, adhering to blaring advertisements, trapped in the hullabaloo of buying gifts, sending cards, over- eating, and participating in the frantic frenzy. Although I am focusing on the aforementioned more I certainly include these; I feel sorry for these individuals for they have really missed it.
I am fully cognizant of the fact that December has absolutely nothing to do with the birth of Yeshua (Jesus). Most will agree that shepherds were not in the fields in December; it was usually around the middle of October when they stopped keeping watch over the sheep. Yeshua was most likely born sometime in September. All scholars and perhaps most of you reading this article will agree that December 25th was not the birthday of our Messiah, Yeshua. The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ). The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the roman god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god. It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, and because of this they assumed that the sun god died. These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun. Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight. The enthusiasm of this group grew and led to celebration. Gift giving was common and joy filled the temples. So called sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession. In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god. The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship. Witches and other pagans regarded the red holly as a symbol of the menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, also known as Diana. The holly wood was used by witches to make wands. I could go and on about Christmas trees for example and quote Jeremiah . "Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen; and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven. For the heathen are dismayed at them. 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." Jeremiah 10:2-4
I believe any intelligent person will acknowledge that the roots of Christmas are certainly pagan. While the word "pagan" has several definitions: ie. one of a people or community professing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans, Greeks, etc. or an irreligious or hedonistic person, etc., I am basically using it with the following meaning in the context of this article. Although the common meaning of Paganism seems to imply atheism, a Pagan can worship any other god not common to the God of the Torah, the Bible, the new Testament.
Christmas is certainly Pagan in its roots and there is certainly no command to celebrate it as there are commands to observe the Biblical feasts and holidays. I understand where many of you are coming from and I either completely agree or agree in part with what you are saying about the "paganness" of Christmas. There is also much that we have attached to this holiday that is wrong; everything from Christmas trees to mistletoe can have their own handle of perversion and even "occultist" origins. There have been some very good teachings on how we have perverted this whole handling of the birth of the Messiah.
I would encourage anyone to trace out the origin of Christmas - it’s an eye-opener!
Yet if we want to eliminate anything to do with pagan practices we may have little to hold what is dear to us. I wont belabor this too much but take the days of the week for example:
Pagan Names for the Days of the Week
1. Sunday (day of the sun). Sunday is the first day of the week. Its English name and its German name (Sonntag) are derived from the Latin dies solis, "sun's day," the name of a pagan Roman holiday. Sunday is called the Lord's Day (Dominica in the Latin version) and in Romance languages (French Dimanche; Italian Domenica; Spanish Domingo; Roman Duminica). Sunday was instituted as a day of rest for the Roman Empire, NOT Christians, by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. (Most have made this the Sabbath day and in my opinion this has no Biblical mandate whatsoever, but actually seems to be quite to the contrary.
2. Monday (day of the moon). Monday is the second day of the week, derived from the Anglo-Saxon monandaeg, which means "the moon's day." Its Latin equivalent is dies lunae, or "day of the moon." For the Anglo-Saxons the second day was sacred to the goddess of the moon. In German the second day is Montag, in French lundi, and in Italian lunedě.
3. Tuesday (Tyr's day). Tuesday is the third day of the week. It was named for the Norse god of war, Tiu, or Tyr, the son of Odin, or Woden. It is called tisdag in Sweden, Tirsdag in Denmark. The Romans honored their god of war, Mars, by naming the third day for him (dies Martis), and in France the day is mardi, in Italy martedě, and in Spain martes. In Germany it is Dienstag, originally meaning "assembly day." It is called yom shlishi in Hebrew, meaning "third day." I remember in my childhood studying astronomy and being taught that Mars was the War planet.
4. Wednesday (Woden's day). Wednesday is the fourth day of the week. It is named to honor Odin, or Woden, chief god in Norse mythology. In Sweden and Denmark, the day is Onsdag, from its Norse original. The Romans honored their god Mercury by naming the fourth day for him. The Germans call the day Mittwoch, meaning "mid-week."
5. Thursday (Thor's day). Thursday is the fifth day of the week and is named for Thor who in Norse mythology is the god of thunder. He was the eldest son of Odin, who ruled over the gods, and Jord, the earth goddess. Thor was the strongest of the Aesir, the chief gods, whom he helped protect from their enemies, the giants. He had a magic hammer, which he threw with the aid of iron gloves and which always returned to him. Thunder was supposed to be the sound of the rolling of his chariot. This is like taking a type of Greek Mythology all over again isn't it.
6. Friday (Frigg's day). Friday is the sixth day of the week and was named for Frigg or Frigga. This false god who in Norse mythology is the goddess of the sky. She was the wife of Odin, who was the chief of the of the false gods. In German mythology, Frigg was sometimes identified with Freya, the goddess of love.
7. Saturday (Saturn's day) Saturday is the seventh day of the week. It is named in honor of the Roman god Saturn. In Latin, Saturday was called dies Saturni; it was called Sater-daeg by the Anglo-Saxons. It is the rest day of the Yisra'eliy and in Ibriy is called Shabbath. The word shabbath derives from the Ibriy word meaning "to rest or cease, intermission"; the Yisra'eliy were enjoined from working on the seventh day. It begins at sunset the sixth day and lasts until sunset the seventh day. In Sweden Saturday is Lördag, or Lord's Day; and in Denmark and Norway it is Lřrdag. In Spanish it is el sábado and in Italian sabato, both derived from sabbath.
(The aforementioned was obtained from an article entitled "Can a Pagan Holiday be made Christian?")
There are examples of Pagan influence in the U.S. Capital Building itself. Prominently displayed to the right of the main entrance, you will find a statue of Mars, Roman god of agriculture and war. The Great Hall of the Justice Department Building is home to a statue of the Spirit of Justice, based on the goddess of Justice herself, Justitia. (Here we also find another word in our language with pagan origins: justice.) Even in the military we can see the presence of the ancient divine. The Army's Medal Of Honor features the Roman goddess of wisdom and martial prowess, Minerva. However, the largest and most obvious example of Pagan influence in our capital has to be the Washington Monument, which is, without a doubt, an Egyptian Obelisk. …
I could go on and write about Church steeples, neckties, etc., to the point of ad nauseum, if I haven't reach that already. But the point is this: there is much of what we take for granted has pagan roots.
Yet we need to be very careful where we draw the line. While we are trying to point out all the evils of this time we call Christmas, we very well may be giving ammunition to the enemy.
On March 2, 1707, William Pitt, speaker to the House of the Lords said: "There is something behind the throne greater than the King himself." What's really behind the throne? It's partially correct theology. While we are correct in tracing the Pagan roots of Christmas, our theology may be more spurious than correct. We must open our eyes and see there's a myriad of things behind the throne. There's the diabolical schemes of satan to blast Yeshua not only out of Christmas but out of our schools, the public square, and out of society in general. As I write this article there is a well calculated attack by the likes of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and other liberal anti-God organizations to take Christ not only out of Christmas but everything else. If you do not feel like you should commemorate this holiday because you realize many of its problems, then don't celebrate it; but at the same time be aware of what is happening in our schools, our work sites, and in other places as the result of this well planned attack. This evil movement is affecting the milieu of the country in a most devastating way. This demented lunacy is sweeping its flood of poison not only to Christians celebrating Christmas, but Christians in general. Schools in New York are allowed to put up Muslim symbol (the crescent) and the Jewish Menorah, but no Christian symbol. This is done in the name of political correctness. By the way Hanukah or Chanukah is a wonderful celebration, and I hope you will observe it. Hanukah commemorates not just the physical, but spiritual victory of the Jews over the Greeks more than 2000 years ago. Although it's not a Biblical feast or holiday I believe Yeshua observed it and I hope you will as well.
Oh, don't you see what I am trying to communicate? There are those trying to destroy anything decent in our country and replace it with the very antithesis of decencies. These miscreant leftists with uncircumcised hearts are using Christmas as the means to destroy you and me. If it's not Christmas, it's the Ten Commandments, or it's prayer in school, the homosexual agenda, rewriting history, or a myriad of other issues that revoke the name of Yeshua (Jesus ) that they want to destroy. The draconian lawyers from the ACLU and their evil relatives are hell-bent on taking the name of God and especially Jesus out of the public arena, and when we yell out certain historical theological information, we may be the precipitating factor that breaks the back of all that is decent! We had better know where we draw the line - If we point our theologically correct finger at someone who wants to praise the LORD, by singing "O Come Let Us Adore Him" and having prayer and Communion, then its not only possible, but quite feasible, that we are in greater error.
I remember school led prayers and I remember when school led prayers were banned. Close to this time murder became legal by the way of abortion. That was the beginning of a total moral collapse. Today, we murder adults who are said to be of no vital use by the draconian courts, we have homosexuals doing all kinds of vial acts on the back of a float on "gay pride day" we have an organization advocating gay men and young boys having sex with one another and the slippery slide down dung's hill continues. But also today, our very existence is on the line. We are going to reap the an evil harvest. We need to spend our efforts fighting evil and NOT belittling those who simply want to celebrate the birth of Yeshua, i.e. Jesus. When we fight against those who are celebrating Christmas in the historical Christian tradition; we have joined the evil agenda of satan. We should be ashamed!!
I call not only on Messianic Jewish believers, and well informed Gentile brethren, but also on religious Jews in general to join with me and thousands of others to raise a firm and strong hand to this injustice. Two Jewish voices heard over hundreds of radio stations and whom I respect greatly, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved have seen this evil and have voiced their concern over it on the airways with great articulation.
Sometimes having a little truth can make one not only "holier than thou" but mean-spirited and even dangerous. I will never forget a meeting Barb and I attended several years ago in Dallas, Texas. It will be imbedded in my mind until the grave, but it's something I'd rather forget. There was some God called men who spoke that night, but not all. Near the close of the meeting a bashing session occurred. They bashed all those who observed Sunday instead of the Sabbath with their mordant satire. Now I believe we should observe the Sabbath. Many of you reading know this and have known this truth for years. Some have more light in one area than do others. If you and I have a little more light in this area, then we must give glory to the One who gave us the light, for it did not come from our own intellect. There are millions who have no idea the Sabbath should be observed, but many of them are closer to God than me and many of you will ever be. Being a strict theological martinet without love will always do more damage than good. I see this same attitude with those belittling those who want to observe a Holy Christmas. Many sincere believers sing, pray, and have Communion. Is this so wrong? Is this an evil thing? I strongly warn you in the Name of Yeshua, be careful where you draw the line. Be very careful in your rebuke of these, for your rebuke may be a hand of encouragement to the evil that is trying to bring all that is decent into the mire.
I remember a man telling me a few years ago how he was making a strong stand of faith. He said some family members had invited him to a Sunday night Christmas praise service. He said that he told them he would not participate in such a pagan ritual. I asked him basically what they were going to do. He said they were going to have Communion, sing Christmas songs like "Joy To The World", "Silent Night", and so on and so forth. I sarcastically said, "Oh, you can't participate in such sin". He thought I was serious until I explained my sarcasm. Today that man has no contact with family members and has now declared himself to be a prophet of God.
Brothers and sisters, this unholy move in our country to take anything to do with Yahweh God and Jesus out of our vocabulary is accelerating at an alarming speed. While many of you want to abolish this holiday in the name of correct theology you need to make sure you are not helping the cause of those who want to destroy what you actually believe. This evil agenda wants to murder not just anything to do with the birth of our Messiah, but the Messiah Himself. This is King Herod's mindset revisited! We need to make sure we are not loading the shotgun to help blast Yeshua (Jesus) out of our society. Yes, Christmas does have a pagan origin, and we are heading back in that direction at alarming speed. If my Jewish friends and my Messianic and Gentile brethren jump on this wagon to destroy Christmas, then they better look at who is driving the wagon. The teamster is no other than satan himself, and whether we be Jew, Messianic believer, or Gentile believer, we had better abandon the wagon, for it's headed for hell. If you wish to ignore Christmas altogether, then do it - but I would ask you to consider an equitable approach. Don't bash those who celebrate it. (I mean those who observe this time as the birth of the Messiah - Yeshua - the Son of God and true Savior of all mankind.) Beware of the chicanery of satan and pray = as correct as you may be on the origin of Christmas - that you are not deceived yourself by helping blast Yeshua out of the country!
This move has mutated to destroy anything Christian, but Jewish as well. Islam would kike to take over the government "ruined" schools as well as the entire world.
We better pray for discernment. It's time to be wise and prudent for only sagacious heads will prevail. Unless we see what egregious schemes the enemy is devising, we are not only going to be defeated, but help bring that defeat about. If we continue to travel this road of political correctness, we will be left with the offal of our fruitless labors, and our companions will be the very ones who are trying to destroy us.
No, I will not put up a Christmas tree, I will not teach my grandchildren about Santa Claus, and I will not get caught up in the frantic guilt ridden gift buying, but I will have Communion, I will sing praises to my Lord and my God for the birth of Yeshua. I will thank the Father for the birth of His Son. If that is a sin, then so be it for I have sinned.
I urge all of you to be careful where you draw the line, for in drawing the line at the wrong location, you may find that you are on the wrong side of that line, and realize you are fighting against the very things you so deeply cherish. The more we take Christ out of something the more anti-messiah we become. Be careful where we draw the line! Our very existence may depend on it!!!
To those of you who have been caught up with the jaded over-indulgence of getting, spending, and partying during this time of year, I have something to say to you. Also, to those of you who have done your research and see the history of Christmas I have something to say to you as well. And to those of you who celebrate this day as the birth of our Savior I have the same to in part to you. Go out and do what Yeshua preached.
There was a song made popular by several artists and I believe it would do you well to read the words of this song carefully.
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Wrap your presents to your darling from you
Pretty pencils to write I love you
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Crowded street, busy feet, hustle by him
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh
There he sits all alone on the sidewalk
Hoping that you won't pass him by
Should you stop? Better not, much too busy
You are in a hurry, my how time does fly
In the distance the ringing of laughter
And in the midst of the laughter he cries
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Wrap your presents to your darling from you
Pretty pencils to write I love you
Pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue
Yeshua said that if you have done it to the least
of these you have done it unto Me. I would suggest we stop the infighting and go
out and help someone who is in need.
Note: This writer does not capitalize the name "satan". Although I know it's grammatically incorrect not to do so, I refuse to give him any more recognition than I have to.