Thursday, 20 December 2012

25th December: A Case for Celebrating 25th Dec. as Jesus' Birth Day


Christmas is soon here with us. Santa Claus, Decorations, gifts, lights, Cards, Joyful Carols, Special liturgies, drinks, festive foods and etc have over the years become linked to Christmas.The question is: "has Christmas lost its significance?@ Or another question will be "has Christmas had any significance at all?"Christmas as it has been accepted worldwide is the celebration of the birth of Jesus on 25th December. Now this assertion that Jesus was born on 25th December comes into open confrontation with an argument that  rejects  25th December as the birth date of Christ. 

Truly, there is no calender record that Jesus was born on 25th December but there is enough Theological and Biblical evidences that He was born and actually walked on earth.

  • That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete (John 1:1-4).
  • And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
Almost majority of people will not reject the fact that Jesus was born and he walked on earth. Even those who reject Him as God, openly accept that he was a good moral teacher. That means at least,  "Once upon a time there lived a man called Jesus" cannot be denied. He actually lived: He was born. Read what some said about Jesus that was not necessarily Christian. These "testimonies" indicate and prove that Jesus once lived on earth.

  • The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger... Surat Al-Ma'idah [5:75] (i) 
  • Confucianism respects Jesus as a holy man of Christianity, but does not have a view on Christian beliefs.(ii)
  • I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ- Mahatma Ghandi
The above, there could be more, but for lack of time and space, let me limit myself to just these three as what others said about Jesus which indicates He once lived on earth. 

Now if there is no doubt about the fact that Jesus actually was born, the question I am trying to answer with this article can now be asked at his point. Was Jesus born on 25th December? 

No, Jesus was not born on 25th December. There is no evidence that He was born on 25th December. The evidence for the celebration of 25th December as Jesus' birthday is deeply rooted in Pagan worship and Pagan festivities.
  • So... after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in midwinter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25...There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient)The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. (iii)
"...in 274 CE, the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals" 

If you are a Christian, who takes what you believe seriously, this statement should send "chills down your spine".  The "Chills down your spine" should however not paralysed your faith... I believe information, especially information against what you believe should make you ask questions, make you more enligthened and if possible agree that you have believed a lie. Hard Talk, but truly, if you don't subject your faith to new information, it simply means that your faith is a blind faith that has no basis.  Certainly, the Christian's faith should not be a blind faith. It should be faith grounded in truth and thank God the Christian faith is grounded in truth." ..thy word is truth" (John 17:17).
So if 25th December is a pagan worship, should Christian celebrate it to commemorate the birth of Jesus? Yes, I believe we should celebrate it. Why? Let me share with you my reason.

  • For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. (Acts 17:23-28)
See the scripture above, it has a lot to teach us. Paul used "Paganism" to preach the word of God.
  1. Paul stood on the grounds of the superstitious nature of the People of Athens and on that grounds on "the unknown God", he declared to them "the known God"...I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you." So if a people are celebrating a sun god and that same celebration is used in reaching out to them and introducing them eventually to the true living God, I believe there is nothing wrong especially when the  pagan focus of that celebration is eventually turned to Christ.
  2. Paul quoted Pagan Poets to make a point for God. I am very sure It will be a surprise to many Christians that Acts 17:28 "For in him we live and move and have our being" originally did not refer to God. See the text that followed "As some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring". The poets being referred to hear by Paul to make a case for God were not Christian Poets. They were pagan poets and the poems from which Paul quoted were from two pagan (heathen) poets.

  •  Paul's quotation here is generally ascribed to Aratus (c. 315-240 B.C.) from a poem entitled "Phaenomena." The same line appears in a poem by Cleanthes (c. 331-231 B.C.) in his "Hymn to Zeus." Although Paul does not cite the Cretan poet Epimenides (c. 600 B.C.), the phrase "in him we live, and move, and have our being" is also found in his poem "Cretica." Since Paul didn't give anyone credit, it is unclear whether Paul was quoting "Cretica" or whether this phrase was his own.(iv)

If the Apostle Paul stood on the logic of pagan beliefs and used those beliefs to explain the true God to pagan people, there certainly is nothing wrong with adapting a pagan festivity in an attempt to switch focus from paganism and allegiance to the true and living God. 25th Dec; is worth celebrating.... at least the reason for the celebration will always be Jesus


Notes

(ii) wiki.answers.com/.../Does_Confucianism_believe_Jesus_was_God_in_the_flesh

(iv) www.awmi.net/bible/act_17_28

Monday, 19 November 2012

Some excerpts from my book (Chapter One)












I believe as Christians, we have to start re-examining closely our beliefs, whether we have not diluted it with human wisdom. Knowledge is good— but when the world's way of doing things is wholly imported into the church without any system of filtration, then we are in trouble!


Spirituality is a must for every Christian; “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Being spiritual does not mean...does not...mean becoming eerie, boring and irrelevant to earth. Being spiritual simply means living by the truth of God's word—the Bible and allowing His Holy Spirit to direct us.


If the eyes of the natural man cannot see; the eyes of the spiritual man can see. If the ears of the natural man cannot hear, the ears of the spiritual man can hear and if the heart of the natural man cannot believe or perceive, the heart of the spiritual man can believe and perceive—“…blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Matthew 13:16).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU HAVE


1 Samuel 10:26-27.
  • 26:And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.
  • 27:But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace
Interesting piece of scripture. Samuel has just anointed Saul King and immediately he got his followers. These followers accepted Saul as King and followed him.

But in the next verse, vs27, another interesting incident happened. Some people did not accept Saul as King though God has anointed him to be King. The Bible describes them as “Children of Belial.” In the Bible anytime you see the expression children of Belial, it simply means "worthless fellows".

Now, don’t be naive to expect everybody to accept what you have. You can be very gifted and anointed, still there will be people who will look down on you. You can't influence everyone, you can't touch everyone. Note vs the last phrase of vs 27, "But he held his peace"--- “hold your peace,” there is no point to try to prove a point --- The most assuring fact is that they might just be “Children of Belial” If you believe in what you carry, just move on --- its only a matter of time

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Biblical Truths: Excerpts from the Introduction













...it is the right of every Christian to hear from God—Our father. Hearing from God should not be the preserve of a few. Spend time with God and you will hear from Him. Be challenged and desire to know God and hear from Him. God still speaks.

You might have heard a lot about Him. But I believe it is time to hear from Him yourself. The Samaritan woman who Jesus encountered at Jacobs well in John 4, preached Jesus to the Samaritans. But later on, hear what they said in John 4:42.

Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
 

I believe God with you that as you read, you will come to an understanding of what God has for you. It is very crucial for us as Christians to have an understanding into God's plan for our lives. The world is not going to reward our belief in God. It will rather fight us from becoming all God has for us. It is therefore imperative that we get to know God's plans for our lives through our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray to God that the prayer of Paul for the Church of the Ephesians will become true in your life.“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Biblical Truths: Table of Contents















Introduction

Chapter One
1 Corinthians 2

Chapter Two
The Art of Seeing

Chapter Three
The Art of Hearing

Chapter Four
The Art of Faith

Chapter Five
The Act of Faith

Chapter Six
Heaven - Our Glorification

Chapter Seven
The Reason For Our Faith

About Biblical Truths















Biblical Truths: Knowing What God Has prepared for You for you is an exposition on a very popular piece of scripture in the bible: 1 Corinthians 2:9.

  • But as  it  is written, Eye hath not seen, nor Ear Heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which   God hath  prepared   for   them   that   love  him.
This is a wonderful piece of scripture that lets us into the secrets of God but unfortunately I think many believers have managed to make this scripture sound too mysterious.
In the minds of many of us, this scripture seem to mean that we don’t know yet what God has prepared for us. But if we move 1 verse down i.e. verse 10, you will understand that as a Spirit-filled Christian, you have no business dwelling on 1 Corinthians 2:9. If you do, you are only denying yourself of knowing what God has prepared for you. Read 1 Corinthians 2:10 below. 
  • But God hath revealed  them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Do you see the contrast in verse 9 and 10?

May I add that this book is a solid exposition on scriptures and if you don’t love the word of God, I am sorry it will be boring to you. But if you are a lover of the word, then you have to read this book.
 In this book, by the help of the Holy Spirit, I will take you through 1 Corinthians 2:9 to let you understand that you can know what God has prepared for you. Obviously, there are still things that are secrets with God, but “the things that are revealed belong to us and our Children… ” Deuteronomy 29:29.

Watch out for more excerpts

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Biblical Truths: Knowing What God Has Prepared for You













The second edition of my first book. Expanded with new material. Will be available soon in a bookshop near you.