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How Did Christmas Become A Festival Of Greed?

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Christmas Gifts - Christmas Greed - Public DomainFor most people, Christmas is all about the presents. But how did such a supposedly sacred holiday become a festival of greed? Not many people know the history behind Christmas gift giving, and it will probably shock you. This year, Americans will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 billion dollars on Christmas, but most people have no coherent explanation for why they are buying all of these gifts. Those that are Christian will tell you that they are doing it to celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you will see below, gift giving on this holiday originated long before Christ was born. Others will tell you that they are just following tradition, but most of them have absolutely no idea where the tradition of Christmas gift giving originally came from. And the truth is that most people simply don’t care about the history. They are just excited about all of the stuff that they are going to get on December 25th. But if you are curious to learn how Christmas became a festival of greed, just keep reading…

In early America, there was no Christmas gift giving. In fact, the Puritans greatly disapproved of celebrating the holiday, and in some areas the celebration of Christmas was actually banned by law.

For example, if you were caught celebrating Christmas in the state of Massachusetts from 1659 to 1681 you could be fined five shillings

On May 11, 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony legislature even went so far as to officially ban Christmas and gave anyone found celebrating it a fine of five shillings. The legislature stated the ban was needed For preventing disorders arising in severall places within this jurisdiceon, by reason of some still observing such festivalls as were superstitiously kept in other countrys, to the great dishonnor of God & offence of others, it is therefore ordered … that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by for-bearing of labour, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.

The ban remained in place for 22 years until it was repealed in 1681 after a new surge of European immigrants brought a demand for the holiday. Even though the ban was lifted, Christmas was not warmly embraced by the puritans and it remained a dull and muted holiday over two centuries later.

But weren’t the Puritans Christians?

Didn’t they want to honor the Lord Jesus?

Of course they were Christians. They took their faith incredibly seriously. But they also knew their history a lot better than we do.

Most Christians do not realize this, but Christians did not celebrate anything in late December for the first 300 years after the time of Jesus. The only people that celebrated anything at that time were the pagans.

By now, most of you are probably aware of the great Roman celebration known as Saturnalia. But most people don’t know that our tradition of gift giving can be traced back to that holiday. The following is how Wikipedia describes this ancient pagan festival…

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, held on the 17th of December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to the 23rd of December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days.”

Most people do not realize this, but the priests of Saturn would even carry wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the pagan Roman temples.  These processions probably looked at least a little bit similar to our Christmas parades today.

So precisely who was Saturn? Here is more from Wikipedia

Saturn (Latin: Saturnus) is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth. Saturn is a complex figure because of his multiple associations and long history. He was the first god of the Capitol, known since the most ancient times as Saturnius Mons, and was seen as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. In later developments he came to be also a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury. In December, he was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. Saturn the planet and Saturday are both named after the god.

Eventually, the Romans began holding a festival at the end of Saturnalia on December 25th called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which means “the birthday of the unconquered sun”.  Throughout the empire, the “rebirth of the sun” was celebrated with great revelry.  The winter solstice was past and now the days were starting to get longer again.  It was a seemingly logical time to honor “the rebirth of the sun god”.

When the Roman Empire legalized Christianity in the early 4th century, the Roman government began to put a lot of pressure on church leaders to fit into the broader society. So eventually the birthday of the Son of God was moved to the time when the rest of society was celebrating “the rebirth of the sun god”.  December 25th was first celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in about 336 AD, and in the year 350 AD Pope Julius I officially decreed that Christians would celebrate that day from then on. At first, the new holiday was slow to be adopted by Christians and it was not widely observed until about the year 400.

And of course Jesus was not actually born in late December.  The evidence that we have indicates that he was most probably born in the fall during the Feast of Tabernacles.  The only reason people celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th today is because the Catholics of the 4th century wanted to appease the pagan Roman government and the pagan culture at large.

Over time, the practice of gift giving during late December faded, and by the early 19th century the big tradition was actually to open presents on New Year’s Day. But then merchants saw an opportunity. According to historians, advertisements for “Christmas presents” began appearing in newspapers in the United States in the 1820s

Buying gifts to celebrate Christmas is steeped in tradition, dating to the 1820s when newspapers began to advertise items for Christmas presents, according to the Connecticut Historical Society.

“This holiday market place is part of the larger birth of the consumer culture that extends itself to all aspects of our social life,” said Leigh Eric Schmidt, author of “Consumer Rites” (Princeton University Press, 1995).

Schmidt, a professor of religion at Princeton University in New Jersey, said if the nation had continued the practice of giving gifts only as mementos for New Year’s, Christmas would not have evolved into the huge retail venture it is today. There would have been more focus on the religious aspects of the holiday. But all that changed when gift-giving became a way to honor family relationships.

And at first, Christmas in America was nothing like the festival of greed that it is today.  Gifts were usually small, modest and personal. The following is one description of the tradition of Christmas gift giving during that era

In the 1820s, ’30s and ’40s merchants had noticed the growing role of gifts in the celebration of Christmas and New Year. Starting in the mid- to late- 1850s, imaginative importers, craftspersons and storekeepers consciously reshaped the holidays to their own ends even as shoppers elevated the place of Christmas gifts in their home holiday. However, for all the efforts of businessmen to exploit the season Americans persistently attempted to separate the influence of commerce from the gifts they gave.

What emerged was a kind of dialogue between consumers and merchants. Many gift-givers, for instance, ranked handmade gifts over purchased or totally manufactured ones. Retailers responded by marketing partially assembled goods to which givers applied the finishing touches. Americans also moderated the relationship between commerce and giving by wrapping the gifts they gave. The custom had once been merely to give a gift unadorned and uncovered, but a present hidden in paper heightened the effect of the gesture, fixing the act of giving to a moment of revelation. Wrapping also helped designate an item as a gift. As gifts came increasingly from stores, factories and homes of cottage labourers, paper and string helped redefine an object to meet its social use. The commercial work comprehended the importance of this symbolic transformation of goods. Grander stores began to wrap gifts purchased from their stock in distinctive, coloured papers, tinsel cords and bright ribbons, as part of their delivery services. Thus, while paper might have blurred a present’s association with commerce in some cases, in others it advertised a material status associated with patronizing the ‘right’ store.

Over time, Christmas gifts came to be associated with a mythical gift giver in cultures all over the globe.

Of course in the United States this mythical gift giver is known as “Santa Claus”, but in other areas of the planet the traditions are very different

Current tradition in several Latin American countries (such as Venezuela and Colombia) holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children’s homes, a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States.

In South Tyrol (Italy), Austria, Czech Republic, Southern Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, and Switzerland, the Christkind (Ježíšek in Czech, Jézuska in Hungarian and Ježiško in Slovak) brings the presents. Greek children get their presents from Saint Basil on New Year’s Eve, the eve of that saint’s liturgical feast. The German St. Nikolaus is not identical with the Weihnachtsmann (who is the German version of Santa Claus / Father Christmas). St. Nikolaus wears a bishop’s dress and still brings small gifts (usually candies, nuts, and fruits) on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht. Although many parents around the world routinely teach their children about Santa Claus and other gift bringers, some have come to reject this practice, considering it deceptive.

This article may upset some people because their Christmas traditions are so deeply cherished.

But there is no reason to be upset.

If you are going to do something, you should know why you are doing it.

Knowing our history empowers us to take control of our lives and to make better decisions.

As a Christian, I never knew any of the history behind Christmas when I was growing up.  So I could never explain the reasons for why I was doing the things that I was doing to others.

And no holiday should ever be a festival of greed.

So whatever you are celebrating this time of the year, make sure it is for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.

  • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

    I also just published an article about depression during the Christmas season on End of the American Dream…

    The Most Depressing Time Of The Year In The Most Depressed Nation On The Planet

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-most-depressing-time-of-the-year-in-the-most-depressed-nation-on-the-planet

    Michael

    • Mike Smithy

      Michael,
      Thanks for going back to the Disqus format. It’s far superior to WordPress.

  • Kim

    its origins are anything but Christian. no wonder the fruits that this “holiday” bears is also anything but Christian

    • Thought

      100 or even just 50 years ago, it pretty much was a Christian celebration, since the people had Josuah in mind and some honestly still do today. Sometimes, content matters more than surface.

      Even if Satan himself was born on Dec 25, it won´t change that.

      • TruthIsAll

        A lot of Christianity has been changed since Jesus. Most of what we have today is derived from Saul romanizing it to make it appealing. Do you honestly think the average human could even adhere to Jesus’ teachings? Few can and do.

        Things like Satan, Angels, even the contemporary conceptualizations of Hell come mostly from Renaissance era art and interpretations. There probably wasn’t any concept of Hell before Saul because the Jews did not have a Hell. Likely this was added much later by various Christian figures.

  • K

    ` Greed has permeated so much of society, it seems nothing is exempt. Everything that once had meaning, has just been turned into another reason to spend too much.

  • Just because previous generations (or millennia) didn’t celebrate gift giving doesn’t make it WRONG now. And “greed” is a far cry from desiring to give gifts to loved one.

    God GAVE His only Son. GIVING is good. Celebration is good too. Jesus not only did his first miracle at religious celebration of a wedding – he made “good wine” for people to celebrate.

    David says to worship him with WILD and TRIUMPHANT praise. (David even danced naked in front of the ark he was so caught up in his zeal for God.)

    It is MOST likely that Jesus was born during the Festival of Lights – the MOST joyous and glorious of the Jewish celebrations.

    Can we stop with this whole “everyone has to celebrate the way the Puritans did” to be holy? I think it’s grievous to God to try and conform OUR celebration of Him in some kind of false solemnity much less chide others who express themselves so.

    Are there people that take it too far? OF COURSE. But you don’t quit having joyous wedding celebrations because some crazy uncle can’t hold his liquor.

    Mark 7:13 – making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down

  • T.

    Its been said that Christians began to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the December time of year to counter the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Certainly there is no precedent in the word of God for the masses to make a big celebration at Jesus birth, because only a relatively few were aware of His birth in order to even acknowledge it when He was born. For the Christian, the greatest time of celebration is His death and resurrection from the dead – which verified that everything He said was true. Thus, the greatest gift that can be given or received is – The gift of Jesus Christ himself. In modern America over the last 50 years, Christmas has taken on a life all of its own – Completely unrecognizable in its totality by the word of God. But this is the way Americans have come to celebrate all things in modern times. Just look at what we now pay pro baseball and football players and others in the entertainment field now a days. It is outrageous. So, in many ways Christmas celebrations have also become – Outrageous.

    • GSOB

      ….now that I am away you must be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease him.

      Philippians 2:12

  • alan

    In my house its a fun time for the children and good food.
    The decorating the tree is a being deal too. Its a special time time of the year for the family and reconnect with distant family members. Outside of that I don’t care. Most of my shopping is done by October so the holiday sales shenanigans are silly to me. People have to sell things to eat its the nature of the beast.

    • Steve

      Jeremiah 10:1:5 “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

      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.
      Forthe 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. They
      are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne,
      because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil,
      neither also is it in them to do good.”

  • Thnkthinkthink Tank

    Well, to me it’s about Joy and Peace. It is also the only Day that the world has Love for their fellow Man and Peace. Whatever the ancient history, Chistmas is what it is today and it is good.

    • GSOB

      It is what it is.

  • Priszilla

    Nice article. Need to read it later in full.

  • Sam

    Michael, as you were writing these words, could you not see the truth behind Christianity? There was no “Jesus the son of god” there was only the sun god. Christianity in it’s entirety was lifted from earlier religions and Christmas is merely another celebration of the winter solstice. Just like Easter is a celebration of the spring equinox, when the earth comes back to life and the crops and vegetation begin to grow again. Watch the film Zeitgeist on YouTube for an in depth description of this.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Sam:

      Zeitgeist is absolutely riddled with verifiable errors. The scholarship that the film is based on (Kersey Graves, etc.) is such a joke that even atheist websites posted disclaimers telling people not to fall for it. Zeitgeist has been so thoroughly discredited that I am surprised that anyone still brings it up.

      And there is a gigantic mountain of evidence for the Christian faith. I encourage you to start looking into it.

      Michael

      • Sam

        Michael, it is not a joke, the similarities between the Jesus story and the stories of Horus, Mithra, Krishna, Attis of Phrygia and Dionysus are historical fact.
        There is a gigantic amount of evidence proving that Christianity was and has been used purely for social control. The Council of Nicea being a perfect example of this, where it was decided what religion the Roman empire would follow, and what part of the stories (Which is all they are) would appear in the bible.
        I know that you wont, but I encourage you to let go of your attachment to this story. The joy that you claim to have from “Jesus” is inside you anyway. Once you do this, you’ll be one step closer to being free.

        • Martin Hayes

          Wait until they discover that the god of the Hebrews was frequently regarded in late antiquity as equivalent to Saturn, thereby making Christmas-as-Saturnalia more, not less, apposite.

    • GSOB

      “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it; for you were slain, and your blood has bought people from every nation as gifts for God. And you have gathered them into a kingdom and made them priests of our God; they shall reign upon the earth.”

  • Kaspar_Goering

    The fact is during the time of early America Christmas was illegal and Abortions were LEGAL. It was called “…bringing a woman’s period back.”

    The Conservative Republicans emulate “greed” more than any poor person could hope to do.

  • Andrew

    Micheal – what a bunch of crap! Jesus was born during harsh winter; Satan hates God’s incarnation the most – Jesus’s birth consitutued his deepest humilition, that’s why demons promote abortion, try to turn Christmas time into farse, and mock Mary’s virginity. Spare us Henry VIII’s legacy of errors and lies!

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    I believe Xmas, in the words of Andy Rooney, is the most wonderful invention ever. He came to this opinion when he was serving as a reporter in England during the depths of WWII. Mr. Rooney knew hard times. When on the road in his early career, he would heat up some water, pour some ketchup in it and make up a batch of “tomato soup”. He would go on to fame as the Curmudgeon-in-Residence on Sixty Minutes but he always waxed euphoric about Xmas.
    *
    Two nights ago, my wife and I prepared and served dinner for the homeless at a shelter here in San Diego. I recommend this to anyone afflicted with the Woe is Me’s that creeps over all of us from time to time. To see people who have lost it all, have nothing, no prospects and who thank you profoundly for providing them a hot meal is a very humbling experience. Frankly, it was as close to God as I have gotten lately. Problems? Friends, we do not have problems only concerns. Trust me, if you have a roof over your head, clean clothes, a warm bed, more money coming in than going out and someone you love to share life with you are blessed beyond measure.
    *
    I am at the stage in life another favorite author of mine called “The Dying Season”. Friends, relatives and acquaintances are starting to go. Cancer is the big killer. You look in the mirror and see wrinkles you never saw before. You realize that time is finite, that everyday is a blessing, that everyday is a beautiful day and a Gift from God.
    *
    Like anything, Xmas can be overdone. I take delight in my Xmas Tree, a few simple gifts back and forth and the magnificent Xmas Music that is our Western Heritage. Yes, a glass of fine wine is poured…
    *
    No question, times are hard for many and that is not to be glossed over. We are ruled by fools and knaves. There is much to be concerned about but let us focus on those things we can do something about.
    *
    Be kind. Be humble. Be generous. Be thankful for this day. Everyone, to the extent that you can, should have themselves a Merry Little Xmas. I leave you with a quote from Andy Rooney:

    “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”
    ~ (1919-), American writer, producer, humorist. ”
    ― Andy Rooney

  • MeMadMax

    Everybody is greedy in some form or another…
    Without greed, the human race would cease.
    Greed is a survival trait…

    It’s the same thing as trying to reach the “holy grail” of the socialist/communist world in which there is “equality” for all…

    Never happened, never will…

    Why?

    Because we have genes that tell us to reject abnormalities within our society, which is again another survival trait….

    Ironically, “equality” is another form of greed too…

    • GSOB

      Jesus was not greedy

  • jakartaman

    Michael, This is what you get in writing an article touching on religion. You get the atheist telling you jesus does not exist, Christians of all colors will tell you their version. Your history for the most part is good. What we are sorely missing is the true meaning of Christmas – The celebration of the worlds redeemer.

    • sacha

      People do not need a redeemer. What they need is the understanding that they themselves have the power to act in a godly and righteous fashion or devilish and self serving fashion. Your words, actions, thoughts and deeds are your own. People would rather believe that they are helpless and weak and cannot do anything without a supernatural intervention. That is the true scam of all religions.

      • Mike Smithy

        Michael Savage once posed a similar thought provoking question. His point as follows: Isn’t a non religious man who kind and generous in his act’s more noble than a religious man who is kind and generous because he is afraid of eternal damnation if he isn’t kind and generous?

        • jakartaman

          YES

        • LHM618

          Mikey Smith—–the answer to your preferred question (and Michael Savage) is fascinating. It presupposes that one must subscribe to “eternal damnation” as a motivator for “doing good” through noble acts.
          WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Misinterpretation glorified.
          A believing Christian does so on the premise that he/she has been saved and forgiven through Christ’s death. Unconditionally.
          By the Grace of God.
          A Christian does not “earn” God’s Grace through such acts—-it’s been given already.
          Mike——so sad that you and Michael Savage have misinterpreted one of the tenets of Christianity.
          Jewish guilt is alive and well. Christian guilt is too. And it is peddled by the notions you and Mr. Savage hold so dear.
          Be well…

          • Mike Smithy

            I am sorry to inform you that your cult like interpretation of Christianity does not pass the smell test. May I direct your attention to James 2:14-26, whereby, faith without works is dead and not to the glory of God, Have a nice day.

          • LHM618

            I did not say “works” were not involved.
            However, show me scripture where it specifically states that one is destined to “eternal damnation” if one does not perform such works?
            As you so clearly infer?
            As you so ignorantly profess?
            As you and Michael Savage “provocatively” posited?
            Yeah, you have a nice day too…

          • Mike Smithy

            School is in session so try to pay attention. Just because your cult may have told you that all you have to do to attain salvation is “Accept Jesus as your Lord and Personal Savior” does not make it biblically accurate. Conversely, works are not the cause of salvation; works are evidence of salvation. The person who claims to be a Christian but lives in willful disobedience to Christ with a life that shows no works has a false or dead faith and is not saved. The Apostle James is clearly making a contrast between two different types of faith: True faith that leads to salvation and false faith that is dead which does not lead to salvation.

          • LHM618

            As I said, “You can’t”.
            You were unable to back up what you erroneously and ignorantly declared.
            Nothing in scripture. So what, you lied.
            It’s fine—whatever it takes to denigrate something you do not believe in.
            Predictable, you’re all smoke, no fire.
            Move along, schoolgirl.

          • Mike Smithy

            OK Moron, for the last time try and focus. I previously referenced scripture citing James 2:14-26. What the hell do you think the apostle James is referring to? I eagerly await your incoherent response.

          • LHM618

            Despite the stomping of your feet and pounding of your fists, schoolgirl, you’ve not reconciled this comment of yours above:

            “a religious man who is kind and generous only because he is afraid of eternal damnation if he isn’t kind and generous?”
            I am not afraid of what you erroneously declare.
            Romans 11:5-6
            Ephesians 2: 5,7ff
            2 Timothy 1:9
            As I said——-NOTHING you’ve offered up threatens such eternal damnation.
            You’ve obviously not read enough. You do not know of God’s grace. Just because you were abused by some overzealous teacher does not preclude your ability to read and understand for yourself. Seek and ye shall find. You’re an angry little person. And your effort to spread your anger rings hollow.

      • jakartaman

        I am not helpless or weak but nor am I arrogant to believe naan has all the answers – they do not
        Man has not put his toe over the threshold of knowledge – but thanks for making my point

      • matt

        There is no other name under heaven whereby men must be saved. Yes people do have the power and choice to determine their actions but it is through the work of Jesus Christ, yahushua, whereby we are “saved”

  • grumpyhillbilly

    Thanks for the interesting read. Christmas has become a celebration of Santa and a weird competitive exercise.

  • Rick S

    Michael, thanks for an insightful and well-meaning article about our extravagant Christmas indulgences. It is a timely and sobering reminder of the shallowness of our thinking and of the importance of having a sincere understanding of our Christian faith. Your articles are overwhelmingly well-researched and honest and never seek to tell people how they should be thinking but rather they encourage the reader to think and read more carefully and broadly about important issues impacting our times. Keep up the good work.

  • underaged

    The VAST majority of gift purchasing at Christmas is on items that would have otherwise been purchased during the ‘off-season’. Most items purchased as gifts are clothing and household gadgets that are considered ‘basics’ by most standards. The notion that ‘all that money gone to waste’ for needless gifting is bogus. Roughly 80% of gifting is on essentials. Learn a little about retail before posting this BS.

    • Daddyotis

      Source?

  • Daddyotis

    “When you die you will transfer that knowledge and repeat the process
    again and again until you are finished and then you will guide others
    before their journey begins”

    Ummmm, yeah…

    I think you might be making some erroneous assumptions about the spiritual nature of most posters here, Chum.

    God Bless.

  • Kelli Couch

    We changed our view of Christmas a few years ago, and it’s centered around our faith. It’s hard to break away from the worldly view of “Santa” and all that, so we still let the little ones (4 and 6) think of Santa. The kids no longer get a ton of presents under the tree- rather they get three gifts, just like the baby Jesus. These gifts are personal and are geared toward each of the children. They still buy one gift for each other, but it’s not expensive and is supposed to be well planned in order to fit the interests of the receiver, with the point being that Christ comes to us individually, and our relationship with Him is unique. The Catholic Church begins its new year with Advent, and this has helped us to renew our faith and gain a better understanding.

  • Cynical_Guy42

    Christmas is great, but we should stop lying to our kids about Santa Claus. It shouldn’t be about deception.

  • ralph

    What if we all found out that we all go to the same place when we die and no one is special or “saved”? I wonder how much different people would act and behave.

    • Richard O. Mann

      Since you asked, I guess you are not. Saved that is. Hard to understand something you have not experienced. We Christians are special because we are born again, by faith through Christ Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the light. Trust me, I use to think like you, until I experienced Jesus up close and personal. Time is running out Ralph.

      • ralph

        Yes we all want to believe that we are special little snowflakes in this big, bad world. Salvation appeals to mans ego. Too bad you can’t see that. Time is running out for you too Richard.

        • John F

          Time is running out for all of us. But when we stand in front of God, and He asks why He should let us into His kingdom, there is only ONE answer that will open the doors. that is a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Ralph, as a christen, I am NOT a special snowflake, as you put it. I am just as sinful as you are. But, the debt that must be paid for a Holy God to allow us into heaven, has been paid by Jeuss for me. Abnd anyone who accepts His gift. It is freely given. It is something you can not earn or work for. Just available for your taking. But you have to accept that gift, or it does you no good. And UNFORTUNATELY, there WILL be a separation of people at the judgment day. Some SHALL be turned away, because that penalty for sin MUST be paid. If you can’t use the blood of Jesus to show as the payment for your sin, then you still have to pay that debt, and that is not having the doors opened for you. OH, and can you SEE salvation? Absolutely. I have seen it in drunks who cleaned up after accepting Christ. I’ve seen it in GOOD people who become BETTER people after accepting Christ. I’ve seen it in ME. I do things now I would never do before. Not because I am afraid of an angry God. Because I WANT to do things for my LOVING God, just like I do things for my wife because I want to please her. I’ve seen hundreds of people do good works only because they want to please their God, who they love dearly, and those people might have done some of those things even without a relationship with God, they would not do as much, would not be as nice, and the world is a better place because of 98% of the Christians that are here. (Okay, I exclude the wackos like Westboro Baptist church, which talks of god’s wrath but never His love, or His salvation, and really have perverted His words for their own use.)

          • ralph

            Just more mindless christian sayings and babble. Jesus paid the price but you have to accept him to collect, there are terms and strings on this wonderful gift (which is just the opposite of what a gift is). Just man screwing up the message of Jesus and the only ones paying for that screw-up are you and I. All religions are used to control. Including the beloved christian faith of the American people.

            “I am still just as sinful as you are” – just shows that there is no power in the conversion. If a christian really was saved they should also be saved in this life from further sin and dismay as they are supposed to be a new creature. Yet they are still the same creature with a caveat – they get to go to heaven when they die and the rest of us just burn forever and ever. Which again is the opposite of this loving god that christians speak of so often.

          • Steve

            too bad you have no idea what you’re talking about..We are Saved by GRACE through Faith,it is a GIFT…there is nothing added to it.Unfortunately a Christian still sins because we are still in this Flesh as John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” At least as a believer,God is GRACIOUS and Gives MERCY upon his Sheep an forgives!

          • GSOB

            GRACE

            Gods
            Redemption
            At
            Christ
            Expense

          • GSOB

            FAITH

            Forsake
            All
            I
            Take
            Him

          • GSOB

            BIBLE

            Basic
            Instructions
            Before
            Leaving
            Earth

          • GSOB

            What is being said is that one time before faith, you are just a sinner, but after regeneration, you are temporarily a Saint overlapping sinner, but now the expectation is His return so as to be glorified with Him.
            This is our hope…
            Christ in you, the hope of Glory!
            Everyone wants to live forever. Even you.

          • Gay Veteran

            religion exists for 2 reasons:
            (1) man fears death,
            (2) as a means of social control (obey the king or you’ll go to h ell)

          • ralph

            Yes man does fear death. If they only realized what was waiting on the other side they would embrace and reveal in leaving this earthly place and returning back home.

            It is social control. The irony is that our masters who control us on this planet are not bound by so called religious laws and ideals.

            They use religion to their advantage to manipulate the masses.

            If we played the game on the same field and with the same values that they have we would win just by our sheer numbers alone!

          • GSOB

            Jesus Christ reigns over all NOW.

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Prove it.

            While you’re at it; prove homosexuality isn’t a personality disorder linked to narcissism, and that serious sciences (mathematics, physics, lab experiments, etc.) can prove Darwinian evolution, and then prove the US Constitution backs your ideals.

          • Gay Veteran

            oh my, well junior maybe you should try to learn how to use the internet before making demands

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Well, there’s all the proof I needed. Thanks. :)

          • Gay Veteran

            isn’t sloth one of the 7 deadly sins?

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            How did you get sloth out of that?

            Mike didn’t print my response citing sources, but you probably wouldn’t read it anyway.

            Here’s it is; there is written evidence out there that removing homosexuality as an officially diagnosed personality disorder was strictly political; the APA has documented that. Type in “DSM-II_Homosexuality_Revision” and the report will come up. They didn’t completely drop it from the DSM II, however, they reclassified it a “Sexual Orientation Disturbance [homosexuality]” in it’s own subsection. The APA’s reasoning is “This revision in the nomenclature provides the possibility of finding a homosexual to be free of psychiatric disorder, and provides a means to diagnose a mental disorder whose central feature is conflict about homosexual behavior.” All they did was change the language.

            Does this mean a loss of personal liberty? In many respects, no. People with disabilities have equal protection; sometimes extra protections under the law. Does the law also take rights away? Well yes, they did that to the wife and I. Does that mean you have less rights under the law? No, the APA’s guidelines regarding homosexuality as a mental disorder does not include recommendations for involuntary incarceration, or restrictions in employment, and so on.

            Does this guarantee a right to gay marriage? No. The APA even stated in the memo, “No doubt, homosexual activist groups will claim that
            psychiatry has at last recognized that homosexuality is as “normal” as heterosexuality. They will be wrong. In removing homosexuality per se from the nomenclature we are only recognizing that by itself homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being considered a psychiatric disorder. We will in no way be aligning ourselves with any
            particular viewpoint regarding the etiology or desirability of homosexual behavior.”

            If you want me to go on and cover the evolution and constitution stuff, I can. But the late night snack went ding.

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Hey, it got printed! :)

            Well?

          • Gay Veteran

            I learned long ago that there is no arguing with a bigot.
            So sad you have a need to feel superior to other people.

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Bigoted? Superiority complex? Can say the same for you (always with the labeling). Providing evidence to create an argument that homosexuality is a psychological disorder is not bigotry. Defending my liberties, my wife, my children, my neighbor, my God and his Church as established is not bigotry as you’ve defined it as a slur. Bigotry is properly defined as “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.” You’re doing that right now.

            And I’m not superior – never have been, never will be. Bigoted; no more than you or anyone else. Everyone must make choices – that’s what creates bigotry; it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I was bigoted for my dinner choice tonight. I was bigoted in my choice of clothing for today. Choice will always exist and this life cannot be made ‘fair’ by the will of man. Do I think you’re less of a person? No, i think you are a human being with their own set of issues to work out – same as me. I’ve got a bad case of PTSD; does that mean I should get special treatment? No – it means I should seek help for it. You obviously think I’m less of a person; why should I care? It can’t harm me. I can’t even prove you exist past this computer monitor.

            But, you have helped me refine my arguments for defending traditional marriage – State needs to withdraw and leave marriage as a purely religious function. Thanks :)

          • Gay Veteran

            you can always find quacks to support your position, a simple Google search uncovers the likes of Paul Cameron spreading his lies.

            “…Defending my liberties, my wife, my children, my neighbor, my God and his Church as established is not bigotry….”

            pure BS, you want to use your “liberties” and our “faith” as weapons against those you hate in your self-righteousness.

            “…I was bigoted in my choice of clothing for today….”

            how pathetic, trying to use your choice of clothing as an excuse to discriminate against others.
            and the little smiley face at the end of your post was a nice psychotic touch

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            No idea who Paul Cameron is. I’m citing the American Psychiatric Association and National Institute of Health mostly, and any other sources (such as Dr. John R. Diggs Jr., Dr. David S. Holmes, etc.) are vetted for their use of practical testing and serious sciences.

            Read into it what you will. Can’t deal with actual evidence – that’s your problem. I’m keeping my position that homosexuality is a psychological disorder that’s costing both the patrons and society a high cost in lost unity and lives (bullying tactics won’t work on me). And acting upon such impulses as a disorder is bound to create is still a choice.

          • Gay Veteran

            your need to demonize us is pathetic.

            “…bullying tactics won’t work on me….”

            hypocrite, that was AFTER you stated homosexuality being a psychological disorder

          • Gay Veteran

            guess junior needs a history lesson (courtesy of UC Davis):

            “…within medicine and psychiatry, however, homosexuality was not universally viewed as a pathology. Richard von Krafft-Ebing described it as a degenerative sickness in his Psychopathia Sexualis, but Sigmund Freud and Havelock Ellis both adopted more accepting stances. Early in the twentieth century, Ellis (1901) argued that homosexuality was inborn and therefore not immoral, that it was not a disease…

            In a review of published studies comparing homosexual and heterosexual samples on psychological tests, Gonsiorek (1982) found that, although some differences have been observed in test results between homosexuals and heterosexuals, both groups consistently score within the normal range. Gonsiorek concluded that “Homosexuality in and of itself is unrelated to psychological disturbance or maladjustment. Homosexuals as a group are not more psychologically disturbed on account of their homosexuality” (Gonsiorek, 1982, p. 74; see also reviews by Gonsiorek, 1991; Hart, Roback, Tittler, Weitz, Walston & McKee, 1978; Riess, 1980).

            Confronted with overwhelming empirical evidence and changing cultural views of homosexuality, psychiatrists and psychologists radically altered their views, beginning in the 1970s.

            Removal from the DSM In 1973, the weight of empirical data, coupled with changing social norms and the development of a politically active gay community in the United States, led the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)…

            Some psychologists and psychiatrists still hold negative personal attitudes toward homosexuality. However, empirical evidence and professional norms do not support the idea that homosexuality is a form of mental illness or is inherently linked to psychopathology….”

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            I’m sending replies, but they’re not getting through.

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Really!! So you have a second account Gay! KNEW IT!

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            I deleted yesterday exactly what “Guest” published here.

          • VigilanteCaregiver

            Okay, I’m just going to reference you to “APA Document reference no. 730008″; and to “DSM II, page 10, section 302.0″

            As for evolution, reference Dr. David Berlinski’s works; and also the complete fossil record with observation of the Cambrian period

            As the the Constitution – already covered that in previous posts.

          • GSOB

            Man fears death.

            Death is our enemy and Christ Jesus has overcome it.

            We need life.

            God the creator became a God-Man

            His death released us for His glorious plan.

            Now in resurrection the Spirit released,

            producing the Church,

            this is God’s masterpiece!

            1 John 5:11 >12

          • Gay Veteran

            what about all those people who died before Jesus was born?

          • Gay Veteran

            “…God the creator became a God-Man
            His death released us for His glorious plan….”
            and yet god couldn’t spread the “good news” to all corners of the earth within the first 1500 years after the birth of Jesus

          • Gay Veteran

            and yet somehow the all powerful god couldn’t spread the “good news” to all corners of the globe within 1500 years of the birth of jesus

    • GSOB

      Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come

  • Born Again

    Christmas should be renamed to Sickmass
    It has nothing to do with Holiday it is business as usual.
    Money and more money for corporations and more debt for sick masses.

  • Richard O. Mann

    What is up with the pop ups and commercials at this site today? I cannot read because of them.

  • Sammy

    How about the perspective of giving. Giving to the people you care about things that make them happy. Or celebrating the accomplishments of the year. Then there are many who buy thing for themselves during the holidays. If you just want to attack the basis of our economy, which is consumerism, under the guise of purging “evil” capitalists, you are disingenuous.

    • GSOB

      Luke 16:13-17
      Living Bible (TLB)

      “For neither you nor anyone else can serve two masters. You will hate one and show loyalty to the other, or else the other way around—you will be enthusiastic about one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

      The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, naturally scoffed at all this.

      Then he (Jesus) said to them,
      “You wear a noble, pious expression in public, but God knows your evil hearts. Your pretense brings you honor from the people, but it is an abomination in the sight of God.

      Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But John introduced the Good News that the Kingdom of God would come soon. And now eager multitudes are pressing in. But that doesn’t mean that the Law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is as strong and unshakable as heaven and earth.

      • Sammy

        The whole God as man thing is a fairy tale.

        • GSOB

          But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them

          [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them]

          because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.

          1 CORINTHIANS 2:14
          New Testament

  • Richard O. Mann

    Paul wrote that when we celebrate a day, we celebrate it to God. If we don’t celebrate a day, to God we don’t celebrate. In other words, the celebration of a day does not have any effect on one’s salvation, if they are saved. As for the rest of the world, it really does not matter what they do. The lost are lost and can only act like the lost. As for the celebration of Christmas in it’s current form here in the US, I have some great memories of it when I was younger. Not doing much this year simply because the money is not available for much of a Christmas blow out. It’s all just rock and roll.

  • GSOB

    My family….

    let’s just say, we don’t believe in Santa and as a parent, I never deceived my children that way, ….all in the name of Christ.

    The Father gives gifts to the Son.

    Christ was manifested in the flesh to take away the sins, cleansing, noursihing and cherishing His purchased bride, those whom the Father has givin Him.

    Jesus laid down His life and took it back up again, for them.

    My 8 year old son ask me days before Thanksgiving,
    which has also turned into a gluttonus, thank by many to over induldge and watch football…..

    anyways,

    He ask

    Daddy, why do we not celebrate Christmas?
    I told him, for the same reason we don’t celebrate Halloween –

    Both from the same source – PAGANISM

    The Roman Catholic church has led Christendome down the road of idolatry, to attract professing converts,… using the ways of the pagan world.

    If it is hard for any of us who want to break from the idolatry and pictures of Jesus, the lust of the eyes, flesh and world….

    Pray to the Father and ask Him for wisdom and strength.

    Deuteronomy 4:23

    also

    Jeremiah 10 Living Bible (TLB)

    Hear the word of the Lord, O Israel:
    Don’t act like the people who make horoscopes and try to read their fate and future in the stars! Don’t be frightened by predictions such as theirs, for it is all a pack of lies. Their ways are futile and foolish. They cut down a tree and carve an idol; they decorate it with gold and silver and fasten it securely in place with hammer and nails so that it won’t fall over. And there stands their god like a helpless scarecrow in a garden! It cannot speak, and it must be carried, for it cannot walk. Don’t be afraid of such a god, for it can neither harm nor help nor do you any good.
    AMEN

    • TG

      Thank you most kindly for this posting. I like what you have written.

  • VigilanteCaregiver

    The LDS faith believes Christ was born on April 6th. We celebrate Christmas as a cultural courtesy rather than actual worship. This is why our Spring General Conference time is in April. Comes down to a question: how would Christ celebrate his birthday? Probably the same way He lived while on Earth; preaching the Gospel, administering and healing the sick and afflicted, comforting the poor of both temporal and spiritual poverty, and doing good to all men.

    If I was to give my view of Christmas, the birth of our Lord in the flesh; I would say it should be the biggest festival of the year for the reasons that our Lord performed the Atonement for us – a celebration that we can repent and be resurrected in the fullness of time; a festival of Christ’s conquest of death itself! A restoration of hope that our spirits are not lost and we have a chance of returning to our Father in Heaven and His Son, Our Lord again. What better reason to gather as family and community?

    We don’t need to give presents to match someone’s narcissistic ego, or as proof that we have affections for them. The ideal ‘better to give than receive’ is not actually practiced, or we’d see that in everyday life more often. People give gifts with the expectation of returns on the favor. We don’t need to use the birth of our Redeemer as an excuse to feed other’s greed and insanity.

    • GSOB

      “We celebrate Christmas as a cultural courtesy rather than actual worship.”

      Romans 12:2

      • VigilanteCaregiver

        “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

        Take it you didn’t read the rest of the post. Our celebration of Christ’s birth is by preaching his Gospel worldwide via General Conference. To clarify, we just do the ‘secular’ Christmas as a cultural courtesy rather than actual worship. It’s not a requirement of our faith.

        Read into it what you will. I know you have animosity towards Latter Day Saints, mate. Your reasons are your business.

  • whowrotewhat.net

    The future of Christmas will eliminate greed as follows. Today, Christmas is only one example of greed, to wit Black Friday. In the future, because of corporate greed in general, celebrators of Christmas will no longer see a reason to support corporate greed by participating in Black Friday, cyber Monday, Small business Saturday etc. Instead, they will give money so people can pay rent, buy food and gas, and save some in their mattress at .00% interest, instead of bank interest of .001 %.
    Thus when this tradition gets established, greed will be eliminated. This will have another consequence: deflation. It will then be known as de-greeding the corporate world.
    Merry Christmas, while it lasts. And start giving money instead of consumer products, most of which are tossed out, re-gifted or returned.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Like so many festivals and holidays, Christmas has lost much of its true meaning over the years.

    The baby Jesus received only 3 gifts – gold, frankinscence and myrrh – and those were from the three Wise Men, not from Santa Claus. Now, it’s true that those were pretty valuable gifts (especially the gold), but the wise men were giving them to a king. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    In addition to many of its pagan origins, Christmas has become an orgy of gift giving. Fine if you can afford it – and simple homemade gifts made by a friend or relative can become lifelong treasures. But does every kid really need an XBox 360? Or a Malibu Barbie? Call of Duty? There’s some kids out there who think Christmas (or life for that matter) isn’t complete without the latest video game system…

    • matt

      There were not three wise men, go read your bible. Three gifts but no mention of only three “wise men” there was an entire entourage.

  • john

    when I was kid, my gift was a social game like a monopoly, now children want playstation, iphone,… or even cars.!

  • N

    Thank you Michael. I have felt this way for many years, but my family likes the glitter. Keep up the good work.

  • Sean Swanepoel

    Excellent post. As a Christian I was becoming increasingly concerned with the rampant commercialism of Christmas and spent almost a year doing research on and off into the holiday. Even before Rome and the Saturnalia the pagans of Babylon were celebrating a feast at that time of year complete with gift giving and tree decorating. They also celebrated the feast of Ishtar (where Easter comes from) complete with all the fertility symbols (eggs, bunnies etc.)

    As my God said we must not enquire after the practices of the pagans to do them to Him, I have completely abandoned both so called Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas. My family now observes passover as directed by God and changed by Christ at His Last Supper and do not do Christmas at all. The kids get an “end of year” present around the 20th… mainly so they don’t feel too “left out” and because it is my perogative to “give your children good gifts”.

    Any-hoo, at the end of the day each man is responsible for his own soul and must decide if there is actually anything that honours God – who must be worshipped in SPIRIT and TRUTH – in celebrating festivals that have very little of Gods Truth attached to them.

    I agree that God examines the heart of man to see your intent, but that does not absolve us from seeking the truth and then doing it. If, at the end of the day, your heart is right but you are not acting in truth, are you honouring God or are you just honouring a tradition?

    While Christ has brought us freedom and grace, I beleive we must still do things that honour Him in SPIRIT and TRUTH.

    Yours in Christ!!!

  • ray

    we aren’t even having xmas this year, hardly had one last, I lost my job in my field of work in OCT after only 2 months being there, my gallbladder went , called in twice in one week then was admitted and promptly let go when I was in the hospital trying to tell my boss I was going into the OR soon, I think it’s because I signed up for a lot of life insurance. It took 8 years to get that job back. I don’t know anymore?? I am having a lot of outbursts of verbal frustration at home, the family is getting scared again, I’m sick of this crap.

    • LHM618

      ray, God Bless.
      May He grant you the strength to endure these challenges you face.
      I pray that God provides you the wisdom and the courage to overcome the obstacles you see.
      Be well…

  • El mico

    HOLY CRAP! That article was akin to someone who works for Phillip Morris admitting smoking is not god for your health.
    You have just admitted it’s all made up to suit political and economic purposes.
    I don’t think you actually know what you said was so truthful Michael.

  • Larx

    I know what I am about to say might anger a lot of people, but I mean no disrespect to anyone of any religion. I respect your views and beliefs and I value your right to do so. But as a scientist I work on facts. I am not saying I do not believe in God at all, I do not believe in a lot of science eitherl! Both science and religion have a lot of unanswered questions equally so.
    Now, since we don’t really know if Jesus ever existed, or whether this planet was created by another race from the solar system, the question I have is why do we celebrate something so intensely to the point that we make our masses poorer, turn people into criminals to get a better deal, and help a rich man get any richer of the back of the masses, because of a holiday that may or may not be factual or real, or if it is, has become a shadow of it’s original intent?
    We need to take a look at our lives as humans and think about what it means to be human? We have been around for a long time. Some say many millions of years in a lower evolutionary life form, some say God created the first man and woman. Regardless of the who, how or why, we have been given a gift of humanity and yet we continue to destroy ourselves.
    Regardless of how long we have been around, what have we done with it? We have more poverty, more debt, more crime, more corruption, more pollution, more wars, more disasters, more greed, and yet everywhere you look it says humans are more advanced than ever and have the ability to make amazing discoveries to better our lives and that of Earth! So why is it the opposite? Yes we are smarter than ever before in history, that we know of. Yet we are creating destruction and chaos on massive scales. With the level of intelligence we possess, why are not all our problems solved. We say we have more and better advances in medicine. Yet more and more people are sicker than ever before, and the healing rate gets lower by the year! How is that possible? We have the brainpower to create efficient, zero pollution industries, energy and transport, yet we are polluting more, destroying more, and are not even close to meeting our energy efficiency targets at all!
    We each have 100’s of billions of brain cells in our brain, but yet we use or have access to about 10 percent. Why? Is it because we are so enamored with electronics, that facebook post, that text message, or trying to make enough money to survive that we have blocked out the rest of our brain’s ability? I believe so. I think we as a people need to take a step back, realize what we have been given here on this planet, and start waking up and realizing that we all have the power to make change for the better. Instead of trying to get that half price tv on black friday, use the tv you have already. Studies show people are replacing their tv every 16 months now. What the heck for? Is it broken? No, it now comes with a new gadget that apparently we must have, so we need it! Well now that we have supported some rich individual geting richer, and sent our old tv or one of the other of the several tvs we now have in the house to the dump where it pollutes and becomes waste, have we as an individual made our life better? No. We are a little bit poorer, and now have something else to focus our minds on instead of self betterment or planet betterment!
    I think most of the people with an open mind would be shocked at some of the research studies we have access to. The numbers and results would be mind blowing. But alas, most people just have negative comments. ‘If you are poor, you are bitter, if you are rich you are a hypocrite’, so there is no way to be right.
    I feel sorry for humanity and our great planet we have, for the people here have taken a wonderful and amazing gift from space or God and have done nothing with it! It’s a shame really. As a scientist I am disappointed on how we have become as a people. If I was God I would look down at the masses and see that this is not what I had planned for humanity, and definately not what I had in mind in my teachings.

    Thanks for bearing with me all, have a nice day.

  • jyladvik

    The complaints about the “commercialization” of Christmas are old, tired and cliché. Its only once a year! If you don’t want to spend money around the holidays, then don’t; but don’t tell other people they shouldn’t buy nice gifts, put up elaborate decorations and lights, and go holiday shopping. Its their own business!!! I have fun at Christmas every year, spend money, see the Nutcracker ballet, and even buy gifts for myself. I get to do that and its my wallet, my choice and my business.

    • Botswana Jones

      Good Americans like you are helping keep the economy going. We need more good consumers to keep the house of cards going so I for one am glad your doing what you want to.

  • frank1569

    Alternate theory:

    Many people give Christmas gifts simply to feel better about themselves, even if it’s just for a moment. And just as many do it because of ‘the pressure,’ and they know this, but are too weak to just say no more.

    Personally, I give the same thing every year: love and happiness. Total cost: $0

  • Marcos

    Do you “christians” ever read your Bibles?
    Check Matthew 5:8 – “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honour Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 and in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments on men.”

  • June Hogan

    I have always been taught that we give gifts, because the wisemen brought gifts to Jesus … and that is our tradition of giving gifts … I did not know the history, but I never told my kids lies about the jolly old fat man bring gifts, they knew their toys came from Mom and Dad … I don’t even have decorations with the red suited LIE in my house. …

  • GSOB

    But what said the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

    • GSOB

      Ahab also made the Asherah.

      Thus Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

      1st Kings 16:33

      • GSOB

        “Now honor the LORD, the God of your ancestors and do his will.

  • Sandbagger

    How many people celebrate their birthday the same day as you? Some of them are evil, Godless pagans. Also, birthdays are a “festival of greed”, as every child can tell you.

    Should Christians abstain from birthday celebrations?

    God sees the heart, man sees the action.

  • JM

    RE: “And of course Jesus was not actually born in late December.”

    And some people even say that He could not possibly have been born in December because “supposedly” there could be no sheep grazing at that time of year.

    “….Biblical chronologer Jack Finegan writes: William Hendriksen quotes a letter dated Jan. 16, 1967, received from the New Testament scholar Harry Mulder, then teaching in Beirut, in which the latter tells of being in Shepherd Field at Bethlehem on the just-passed Christmas Eve, and says: “Right near us a few flocks of sheep were nestled. Even the lambs were not lacking. . . . It is therefore definitely not impossible that the Lord Jesus was born in December” [Jack Finnegan, Handbook of Biblical Chronology (2nd ed.), no. 569, quoting Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Matthew (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973), 1:182]. So the idea that Jesus couldn’t have been born on December 25th because of Luke’s reference to the pasturing of sheep on this night is false.”

    Perhaps the early Church celebrated Christmas (Jesus’ birth) in December because this was an oral tradition celebrated by the apostles and passed down by them. John, who took Mary into his own home at the request of Jesus on the cross, could have easily learned from Mary or even his own mother more details about Jesus’ early life.

    Perhaps the time of year for the celebration of Jesus’ birth had nothing to do with pagan gods or winter solstice at all. Perhaps it actually was the day His birth.

  • aliceinwonder

    So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1, NLT

    Indeed good words to heed. I recently lost a friend because I was telling her the truth about the origins of the Catholic cult religion. I was raised Catholic but left the ‘faith’ upon discovering the intense truth about its roots and behaviors over the centuries including current behaviors as well. The truth is such a beautiful thing. My friend decided to continue as a Catholic Zombie but that is her choice. I really enjoyed this article!

  • Gay Veteran

    “A person should not be said to have a mental illness unless the person’s actions substantially impair their ability to function in their work or personal life. Homosexuality does not impair one’s ability to function; it does not impair a person’s ability to fulfill their responsibilities at work, and does not prevent them from creating and maintaining meaningful and healthy personal relationships. Additionally, homosexuals are as psychologically healthy as heterosexuals. (Strickland, B.R. (1995). Research on sexual orientation and human development: A commentary. Developmental Psychology, 31, 137-140). Problems with homosexuality stem from the attitudes and actions of others toward homosexuals rather than from a homosexual’s sexual preference….”

    • VigilanteCaregiver

      Wow. Really hit a nerve…

      I didn’t say a specific individual has mental illness. Also, I didn’t make a diagnosis. That is slander – I know (it’s something you’ve done here many times). You assumed I did make a diagnosis. I cited authorities in this matter and accepted their conclusions.

      Who and what you’re citing as experts with the UC Davis stuff did not conduct research scientifically. Their criteria for determining mental illness is not defined or provided on the web page. These are commentaries and opinions – not actual research. I’m citing research with empirical data and outcomes. The UC Davis opinion is just more hearsay and runs contrary to NIH, CDC, APA and others that have done the research and made their determinations accordingly. These sources have obviously not accepted UC Davis’s assertions.

      And calling me junior, infantile, hypocrite. Doesn’t help your argument. It shows you have no real argument available and resorting to coercion and derision – that’s why I said you’re bullying.

      It’s over. You obviously have no real arguments. When you do, send them out.

      • Gay Veteran

        “I didn’t say a specific individual has mental illness. Also, I didn’t make a diagnosis….”

        hey Einstein, YOU are the one who implied that homosexuality is a personality disorder linked to narcissism. Enough with your BS.

        “…I cited authorities in this matter and accepted their conclusions….”

        oh, so then you also believe in evolution and climate change, after all “authorities” say so.

        “…Who and what you’re citing as experts with the UC Davis stuff did not conduct research scientifically….”

        No, they just cited publications of scientific research.

        “…Their criteria for determining mental illness is not defined or provided on the web page….”

        well junior, what are the criteria for determining mental illness?

        “…The UC Davis opinion is just more hearsay and runs contrary to NIH, CDC, APA and others that have done the research and made their determinations accordingly….”

        NIH? CDC? proof please

        “…And calling me junior, infantile, hypocrite. Doesn’t help your argument. It shows you have no real argument available and resorting to coercion and derision – that’s why I said you’re bullying…..”

        Bigots like deserve the contempt. Bullying? awwwww, maybe you need to change your diapers.

        Once again: there is NO arguing with bigots.

        And bigots rarely hate just one group. Who else do you hate? Jews? Blacks? Latinos? Catholics? Muslims?

        • VigilanteCaregiver

          I provided proof from CDC, NIH, APA (their link has their criteria for defining a mental illness) and all my sources already, in numerous posts on this forum. You need to read it objectively instead of looking for things to snipe about. I didn’t say homosexuality was linked to narcissism; Dr. Sam Vaknin did, and I cited him several posts ago. There’s a huge difference between me unethically diagnosing someone something and citing the works of an actual legitimate researcher.

          And this isn’t hate – you’re interpreting valid challenges to your worldview that way and you’re lashing out. It’s an insulating method I’ve noticed with leftists and militants.

          I deserve contempt? Sad, just sad.

          Seriously, if you have no real scientific evidence backed by serious scientific methodology and data to support your arguments then I can’t go on – this is ridiculous. And now, you’re going to reply with more derision and sniping. I won’t bother replying. My responses are well recorded here.

          • Gay Veteran

            wow, you are really obsessed with Gays.
            but then I guess most bigots are obsessed about the people they hate

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Homosexuality does not impair one’s ability to function;
      Unless they get hepatitis or AIDS, both of which are shockingly common amongst the h0m0s.

      LOL! I just wanted to throw that in there after reading your half-baked little opinions.

      • Gay Veteran

        yawn, another retard posts his drivel

        • Malcolm Reynolds

          yikes.

      • Gay Veteran

        man, you are stone cold stoopid.
        I had hepatitis and it did not impair my ability to function.
        I know people with AIDS and it has not impaired their ability to function. That applies to heterosexuals with hepatitis or AIDS also.

  • Gay Veteran

    face it, Vigilante, YOU are the sick one:

    “…one could certainly make a strong argument that homophobia is a mental illness. Homophobia, as an intense, irrational hostility toward or fear of homosexuals, has a high potential for impairing an individual’s ability to perform in their employment. The majority of careers will require interacting with homosexuals at some point. If a person has such a loathing or fear of these individuals that he cannot work well with them, his homophobia will prevent him from fulfilling his employment responsibilities….”

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