Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

R.C. Sproul on the History of Christmas Celebration

This past Thursday (on December 22) the Renewing Your Mind radio broadcast aired a presentation from R.C. Sproul on the history of Christmas. I found this presentation to be very informative.

A few notes from the presentation:

  • In the first few centuries A.D., the Church established the celebration of Christ's birth on January 6th, a date which is still honored as Christmas in some Eastern communions. January 6th was originally celebrated to commemorate the day of Jesus' baptism, but the Church began to honor His birth on this day as well, and over time the celebration of His birth took precedence.
  • December 25th was established as the day to celebrate Christmas by a decree of Emperor Constantine, and he set Christmas on this day for the specific purpose of replacing existing pagan celebrations on the same day.
  • Sproul seems to view Christmas celebration not as an example of syncretism (a blending of pagan and Christian practices), but as an appropriate repudiation of the original pagan celebrations, based on mythology, in favor of honoring Christ, based on the saving work of God in history.

The entire presentation may be heard HERE.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Tom said...

Amen.
The Pagan celebrations are not the original thing, but a corruption of the original thing. The Father through Jesus made the winter solstice, he made the trees, he made the stars for signs and seasons, and he made all these things to tell something about himself, to be used in his worship.

All Pagan peoples must at some point trace their ancestry back to the true worship of Yahweh at least in Noah and family. So it is they who have taken and corrupted the true religion. It is they who have borrowed their symbols from Yahweh to use them for their idolatrous purposes.

It seems highly appropriate therefore to take the symbols back in the name of Jesus, so long as we don't also take on the worship of the creation or false gods. I take great joy in cutting down a tree and hauling it into my house every year. I tell my boys that we use a tree because mankind fell at a tree, was redeemed at another tree by Jesus whom we celebrate, and are heading to a new heavens and a new earth to eat of the tree of life forever. And I don't think I am being historically inaccurate in telling them this because the symbols belong to Yahweh and we are restoring them to their original purpose.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Andrew Lindsey said...

Tom:

You make some good points; thank you for the comment!

-Merry Christmas!

6:53 AM  

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