January 21st, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
The actual date of the birth of Jesus has been lost to history. However, this does not matter. Christmas is merely the time of year that was chosen to celebrate his birth.
The reasons for that decision are rather irrelevant, as is the way in which it is celebrated insofar as it is not inconsistent with the bible; faith is more about intention than result.
Granted, past practices contribute to the way in which people interpret, and indeed celebrate, such special events. This again is irrelevant insofar as it is not inconsistent with the bible. Every day should be celebrated; it is merely human nature that has led to the celebration of a particular day, as we do similarly for each person we know i.e. family and friends.
There is reams I could write correcting or at least debating many of the comments made, however, I do not have the time at present.
I will correct the comment regarding putting the meaning back into Christmas and speak more generally about the site. I think that there are too many people who attempt to destroy Christianity thinking it is funny or that they are clever. I do not oppose free speech insofar as it is legal and considerate and actively encourage debate, particularly around sensitive issues where there is normally misunderstandings and widespread prejudice. However, many comments seem particularly short sighted and narrow in there interpretation. Some of the conclusions reached are correct based on the assumptions which one has to imply, however, these assumptions are flawed leading to an irrelevant conclusion. I think that worthwhile debates/discussions can be had but not between the people who do not listen (that includes Christians and non-Christians). For example, putting the sentiment of Christ back into Christmas is a perfectly sensible slogan for a church. The comment about ‘if they only knew’ and that line of thought between the similarities of Pagan and Christian festivals is just such a view (there are probably better examples but will not go back to check and comment etc). If you look up Christmas in the dictionary (I used the OED) you’ll find “The festival of Christ's birth celebrated by most Christian Churches on 25 December”. The celebration of Christ’s birth has no Pagan worship involved unless you think that any unintentional acts could count as worship i.e. does any celebration on the 25th Dec count towards Pagan worship etc. The answer to that will probably have to be ‘no’ as again, faith-based worship requires intention rather than mere mindless action….
I’m afraid I have to run but will hopefully be back just to finish this article.
On a slightly lighter note, I enjoyed parts of the website which linked to this discussion board.
Take care all :)