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Open Discussion / Pope Promotes Jesus Born On December 25th
« Last post by admin on November 24, 2016, 07:13:56 AM »
Contrary to RCC Official dogma, the Popes of the 21st century break with tradition.

"The claim used to be made that December 25 developed in opposition to the Mithras myth, or as a Christian response to the cult of the unconquered sun promoted by Roman emperors in the third century in their efforts to establish a new imperial religion. However, these old theories can no longer be sustained. The decisive factor was the connection of creation and Cross, of creation and Christ’s conception." (Joseph Ratzinger; The Spirit of the Liturgy (2000), p. 107)

That's right, Pope Benedict believes that Christ conception was in March and and was born on December 25th.

Adding to the confusion, Pope Francis in his 2015 Christmas message depicts a Cosmic Jesus, born anytime, anywhere.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/12/25/pope-franciss-christmas-message-full-text/


Don't let the Popes circumlocution confuse you. He's claim that Christ was born on Dec 25 is the silver bullet that killed the Mithras myth.
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Open Discussion / Why protest Christmas?
« Last post by admin on November 10, 2016, 05:27:48 AM »
The intention of this discussion is a support group for the few, not many, like minded Christians that abstain from Christmas because they believe there is no spiritual value based on Biblical teachings to celebrate (party) a secular (pagan) festival.
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Open Discussion / History of the Xmas Tree
« Last post by admin on November 08, 2016, 06:33:06 AM »
Fascinating info can be found at the National Christmas Tree Association website regarding the pagan origin of the 'holiday' tree.

1510 – The first written record of a decorated Christmas Tree comes from Riga, Latvia. Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then set fire to it.

http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/Education/History-of-Christmas-Trees

More on this pagan practice can be found here . . .

Ziemassvētki fir decorating custom was known in Livonia even before the 16th century. The Blackheads Guild provided the information in 1510 about winter traditions in Riga and referred to earlier such events in 1476, therefore, the former executive of Riga's House of the Blackheads and historian Ojārs Spārītis considers the historical information on the tradition of decorating a "Ziemassvētki tree" in Riga to originate in 1476.

The Blackheads Guild also indicates that the tree was a bouquet, but, taking into account the customs of the Middle Ages, it can be concluded that such bouquets could only be decorated with ribbons, dried flowers, straw weaved dolls and, possibly, fruits. Later this "tree", which could not be a spruce, but an "installation" made only out of wooden sticks, along with songs and dances were brought forth outside the celebrating house, where it had been located for the entire Ziemassvētki period and was burned on a spot in Town Hall Square around 6 January. The Brotherhood of Blackheads guild showed a similar tradition in Tallinn (known at that time as Revel) in 1514. It is possibly that, from here, the tradition spread all over the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziemassv%C4%93tki
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Open Discussion / Double Bind
« Last post by admin on October 23, 2016, 08:48:57 AM »
With respects to the argument, 'We don't do Christmas that way. We celebrate the birth of Christ.' This is a double bind argument.
By that I mean, to celebrate a specific date to honor Jesus implies that at some point throughout the year one does not.

Something Paul issued an admonishment against doing.

'Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.' 2 Tim 4:2
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3. Christmas is closely associated with paganism. / Re: Christmas and the Saturnalia
« Last post by admin on November 20, 2014, 05:49:34 AM »
Saturnalia

Article by William Ramsay, M.A., Professor of Humanity in the University of Glasgow
on p1009 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

SATURNA′LIA, the festival of Saturnus, to whom the inhabitants of Latium attributed the introduction of agriculture and the arts of civilized life. Falling towards the end of December, at the season when the agricultural labours of the year were fully completed, it was celebrated in ancient times by the rustic population as a sort of joyous harvest-home, and in every age was viewed by all classes of the community as a period of absolute relaxation and unrestrained merriment. During its continuance no public business could be transacted, the law courts were closed, the schools kept holiday, to commence a war was impious, to punish a malefactor involved pollution (Macrob. Sat. I.10.16; Martial, I.86; Suet. Aug. 32; Plin. Ep. VIII.7). Special indulgences were granted to the slaves of each domestic establishment; they were relieved from all ordinary toils, were permitted to wear the pileus the badge of freedom, were granted full freedom of speech, partook of a banquet attired in the clothes of their masters, and were waited upon by them at table (Macrob. Sat. I.7; Dion Cass. LX.19; Hor. Sat. II.7.5; Martial, XI.6, XIV.1; Athen. XIV.44).

All ranks devoted themselves to feasting and mirth, presents were exchanged among friends, cerei or wax tapers being the common offering of the more humble to their superiors, and crowds thronged the streets, shouting Io Saturnalia (this was termed clamare Saturnalia), while sacrifices were offered with uncovered head, from a conviction that no ill-omened sight would interrupt the rites of such a happy day (Catull. 14; Senec. Ep. 18; Suet. Aug. 75; Martial, V.18, 19, VII.53, XIV.1; Plin. Ep. IV.9; Macrob. Sat. 1.8, 10; Serv. ad Virg. Aen. III.407).

Many of the peculiar customs exhibited a remarkable resemblance to the sports of our own Christmas and of the Italian Carnival. Thus on the Saturnalia public gambling was allowed by the aediles (Martial, V.84, XIV.1, XI.6), just as in the days of our ancestors the most rigid were wont to countenance card-playing on Christmas-eve; the whole population threw off the toga, wore a loose gown, called synthesis, and walked about with the pileus on their heads (Martial, XIV.141, VI.24, XIV.1, XI.6; Senec. Ep. 18), which reminds us of the dominoes, the peaked caps, and other disguises worn by masques and mummers; the cerei were probably employed as the moccoli now are on the last night of the Carnival; and lastly, one of the amusements in private society was the election of a mock king (Tac. Ann. XIII.15; Arrian, Diss. Epictet. I.25; Lucian. Saturn. 4), which at once calls to recollection the characteristic ceremony of Twelfth-night.

Saturnus being an ancient national god of Latium, the institution of the Saturnalia is lost in the most remote antiquity. In one legend it was ascribed to Janus, who, after the sudden disappearance of his guest and benefactor from the abodes of men, reared an altar to him, as a deity, in the forum, and ordained annual sacrifices; in another, as related by Varro, it was attributed to the wandering Pelasgi, upon their first settlement in Italy, and Hercules, on his return from Spain, was said to have reformed the worship, and abolished the practice of immolating human victims; while a third tradition represented certain followers of the last named hero, whom he had left behind on his return to Greece, as the authors of the Saturnalia (Macrob. Sat. I.7). Records approaching more nearly to history referred the erection of temples and altars, and the first celebration of the festival, to epochs comparatively recent, to the reign of Tatius (Dionys. II.50), of Tullus Hostilius (Dionys. III.32; Macrob. Sat. I.8), of Tarquinius Superbus (Dionys. VI.1; Macrob. l.c.), to the consulship of A. Sempronius and M. Minucius, B.C. 497, or to that of T. Larcius in the preceding year (Dionys. VI.1; Liv. II.21). These conflicting statements may be easily reconciled, by supposing that the appointed ceremonies were in these rude ages neglected from time to time, or corrupted, and again at different periods revived, purified, extended, and performed with fresh splendour and greater regularity (cf. Liv. XXIII.1 sub fin.).

During the republic, although the whole month of December was considered as dedicated to Saturn (Macrob. I.7), only one day, the XIV. Kal. Jan. was set apart for the sacred rites of the divinity: when the month was lengthened by the addition of two days upon the adoption of the Julian Calendar, the Saturnalia fell on the XVI. Kal. Jan., which gave rise to confusion and mistakes among the more ignorant portion of the people. To obviate this inconvenience, and allay all religious scruples, Augustus enacted that three whole days, the 17th, 18th, and 19th of December, should in all time coming be hallowed, thus embracing both the old and new style (Macrob. I.10). A fourth day was added, we know not when or by whom, and a fifth, with the title Juvenalis, by Caligula (Dion Cass. LIX.6; Sueton. Cal. 17), an arrangement which, after it had fallen into disuse for some years, was restored and confirmed by Claudius (Dion Cass. LX.2).

But although, strictly speaking, one day only, during the republic, was consecrated to religious observances, the festivities were spread over a much longer space. Thus while Livy speaks of the first day of the Saturnalia (Saturnalibus primis, Liv. XXX.36), Cicero mentions the second and third (secundis Saturnalibus, ad Att. XV.32; Saturnalibus tertiis, ad Att. V.20); and it would seem that the merry-making lasted during seven days, for Novius, the writer of Atellanae, employed the expression septem Saturnalia, a phrase copied in later times by Memmius (Macrob. I.10), and even Martial speaks of Saturni septem dies (XIV.72), although in many other passages he alludes to the five days observed in accordance with the edicts of Caligula and Claudius (II.89, XIV.79, 141). In reality, under the empire, three different festivals were celebrated during the period of seven days. First came the Saturnalia proper, commencing on XVI. Kal. Dec., followed by the Opalia, anciently coincident with the Saturnalia (Macrob. I.10), on XIV. Kal. Jan.; these two together lasted for five days, and the sixth and seventh were occupied with the Sigillaria, so called from little earthenware figures (sigilla, oscilla) exposed for sale at this season, and given as toys to children.


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Saturnalia.html#festivities
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Open Discussion / Re: false equivalency argument
« Last post by admin on November 17, 2014, 06:56:06 AM »
Quote from: sculleywr;66640993
. . .

Christmas is only a sin for you if you make it a sin for you. Scripture says nothing about the specific celebration of Christmas, but it also doesn't say anything about talking to people on Christianforums.com, so that argument doesn't work.

This by far is the #1 most common argument I get regarding defending Christmas and its Pagan roots. It also is the easiest to refute.

You are making a [COLOR="Red"]false equivalency argument[/COLOR]. Unlike 'talking to people on Christianforums.com', ad nauseum, the Roman Catholic Church that institutionalized the Mass for Christ 350 years after the Birth of Christ didn't bring those pagan (secular) inventions into the Church and call them righteous.

In other words:

Here is what I claim to be a false equivalency argument:

A: Christmas origin is pagan
B: talking to people on Christianforums.com is secular (pagan).
C: Therefore, if we can't celebrate Christmas, we shouldn't talking to people on Christianforums.com.

I state that because A and B only have passing similarity, and that only A has a [COLOR="red"]Christian holiday dedicated to it[/COLOR], the two are false equivalent.

Quote from: sculleywr;66640993
. . .
Scripture doesn't say (Celebrating Christmas is) sinful.
Scripture doesn't say abortion is sinful either.

However, Scripture does teach . . .

2 Tim 3:15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Quote from: sculleywr;66640993
. . .
The only time such things make us sin is when we let them lead us to sin, of our own sinful volition, rejecting God's blessing on the whole world and all of time and saying "God doesn't control the days. Men can cause a day to become evil in itself, defeating the power of God in that day."

Quote from: sculleywr;66640993
. . .
So yes, Paul would celebrate Christmas with us, just as he celebrated Pentecost with the Jews.
Regretfully you are making another false equivalency argument.

In other words:

Here is what I claim to be a false equivalency argument:

A: Pentecost was a religious holiday in Paul's day.
B: Christmas is a religious holiday today.
C: Therefore, if Paul were alive today, he would celebrate Christmas.

I state that because A and B only have passing similarity, and that only A [COLOR="Red"]was ordained by God[/COLOR] (Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10) the two are false equivalent.
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Open Discussion / Re: Early Christians did not do Christmas
« Last post by admin on December 11, 2013, 04:04:18 PM »
I. Christianity began as a Jewish sect.
II. Jewish tradition did not celebrate birthdays.
III. Early Church Fathers did not recognize the Birth of Jesus as anything significant to 'celebrate'.
IV. Pagan practices, such as birthdays, evolved into the Church due to political and economic influences.
V. Many Protestant churches throughout the history of Christianity rejected Christmas on the grounds I just cited.
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Open Discussion / "The Battle for Christmas' by Stephen Nissenbaum
« Last post by admin on December 09, 2013, 07:09:22 AM »
The Battle for Christmas
By Sstephen Nissenbaum

Chapter 1
New England’s War on Christmas

The puritan War on Misrule

In New England, for the first two centuries of white settlement most people did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, the holiday was systematically suppressed by Puritans during the colonial period and largely ignored by their descendants. It was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681 (the fine was five shillings). Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Christmas gain legal recognition as an official public holiday in New England. Writing near the end of that century, one New Englander, born in 1822, recalled going to school as a boy on Christmas Day, adding that even as late as 1850, in Worcester, Massachusetts, “The courts were in session on that day, the markets were open, and I doubt if there had ever been a religious service on Christmas Day, unless it were Sunday, in that town.” As late as 1952, one writer recalled being told by his grandparents that New England mill workers risked losing their jobs if they arrived late at work on December 25, and that sometimes “factory owners would change the starting hours on Christmas Day to five o’clock or some equally early hour in order that workers who wanted to attend a church service would have to forego, or be dismissed for being late for work.”

“It was only in the fourth century that the Church officially decided to observe Christmas on December 25. And this date was chosen not for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity. The puritans were correct when they pointed out – and they pointed it out often – that Christmas was nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer. The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston, for example, accurately observed in 1687 that the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so “thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because Heathens Saturnalia was that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian [ones].”2

>>>>The following except demonstrates how Christmas required political influence to over rule ecclesiastical preference in order to amalgamate it into popular culture.

Once, for a few strange years, the curtain of Puritan suppression was lifted, and not by choice. By 1680 it was becoming clear that the Restoration government in London would not continue to tolerate the Puritan political culture that had been established in New England. Knowing that its official charter of incorporation might be abrogated, in 1681 the Massachusetts General Court reluctantly revoked several of the colony’s laws that were most obnoxious to the English authorities. (One of the laws was thus revoked was the act banning the celebration of Christmas.) But this was not enough to save the charter. It was abrogated in 1684,. And during the three years from 1687 through 1689, Massachusetts was governed directly from London, as part of a short-lived entity known as the “Dominion of New England.”
  What happened during these three years was deeply humiliating to the Puritans. The hated governor of the Dominion, Sir Edmund Andros,  ruled most of New England (along with New York). From his headquarters in Boston, Governor Andros attempted to impose English Law and custom in the very seat of Puritan power. On Christmas Day, 1686, for example, two religious services were performed at the Boston Townhouse, and Andros attended both of them, with ‘a Red-Coat [soldier] going on his right hand and Capt., George on the left.”
  But Governor Andros did not simply impose Anglican practices on a populace that was universally resistant to them. Once effect of his rule was to permit the public expression of a set of seasonal practices that were associated with the popular culture of seventeenth-century England. Those expressions of the popular culture could not have surfaced openly without the legal protection offered by the Andros regime. Under its protective mantle, during this brief period, it was possible for the first time in Massachusetts to act out heterodox rituals in public. A few Bostonians celebrated Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) by dancing in the streets,. And maypole ws erected in Charlsestown. Ppg. 18-19

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Open Discussion / Re: Virgin Birth
« Last post by admin on November 17, 2013, 05:10:16 AM »
Quote
Unless it can be demonstrated that almah cannot mean virgin, one is left with virgin as included in the range of meanings.

The Hebrew Language has a word that means sexual purity, almah is not that word.

In the Book of Isaiah, almah is used one time (7:14). Where as the word used for sexual purity (betulah) is used five times (23:4; 23:12; 37:22; 47:1; 62:5).

Almah is used seven times in the feminine and twice in the masculine in the Hebrew Bible.

Proverbs 30:18-20 almah is used describe an adulterous woman.

In addition, the masculine form of the word almah is elem. It appears twice (I Samuel 17:56, 20:22).

Why does the Christian Bible translate elem “young man” in I Samuel, but almah virgin in Isaiah 7:14?
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Open Discussion / Virgin Birth
« Last post by admin on November 17, 2013, 05:08:52 AM »
From the History Channel program that premiered on November 13, 2013, 'Secrets of the Bible Revealed'

With respects to Christmas, I wish to begin with the information presented in Episode 1 "Lost in Translation" regarding the Virgin Birth.

Isaiah 7:14

New International Version (NIV)

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]
Footnotes:

    Isaiah 7:14 The Hebrew is plural.
    Isaiah 7:14 Or young woman
    Isaiah 7:14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls son, and he or son, and they
    Isaiah 7:14 Immanuel means God with us.


The word almah has no exact equivalent in English: it probably meant a young girl or woman who had not yet borne a child.[12] So the sign is that a young girl will conceive - or possibly has conceived and is already pregnant, the Hebrew is ambiguous - and give birth to a son; she is to name the boy Immanuel, meaning "God is with us" - the grammar of the Hebrew is clear that the naming will be done by the baby's mother - and God will destroy Ahaz's enemies before the child is able to tell right from wrong.[1]

The book of Isaiah was the most popular of all the prophetic books among the earliest Christians - it accounts for more than half the allusions and quotations in the New Testament and over half the quotations attributed to Jesus himself, and the gospel of Matthew in particular presents Jesus's ministry as largely the fulfilment of prophecies from Isaiah.[14] In the time of Jesus, however, the Jews of Palestine no longer spoke Hebrew, and Isaiah had to be translated into Greek and Aramaic, the two commonly used languages.[14] In the original Hebrew of Isaiah 7:14 the word almah meant a young woman of childbearing age who had not yet given birth and who might or might not be a virgin, but the Greek translation rendered almah as parthenos, a word which means "virgin".[2] This gave the author of Matthew the opportunity to interpret Jesus as the fulfilment of the Immanuel prophecy: Jesus becomes "God is with us", the divine representative on earth, and Matthew further identifies Jesus with the Immanuel born to a parthenos by noting that Joseph did not have sexual intercourse with Mary until she gave birth.[2] (The "virgin birth" is found only in the gospels of Matthew and Luke - it is not mentioned in Mark's gospel, nor by John, who refers to Joseph as Jesus's father, nor by Paul, who says that Jesus was "born of a woman" without mentioning that the woman was a virgin).[15]


The King James bible translated Isaiah's almah as "virgin"; in 1952 the Revised Standard Version altered this to "young woman", and immediately became the centre of an intense controversy. The RSV quickly replaced the KJV in many churches across America, but fundamentalist American Christians were outraged: nowhere in the Old Testament, they argued, was an almah anything other than a young unmarried girl; moreover, the Greek translators of Isaiah had shown by the word parthenos that they believed Isaiah to predict a virgin birth for the coming Messiah, and the inspired Gospel of Matthew had endorsed their choice by quoting the Greek. Scholars agree that almah has nothing to do with virginity, but many conservative American Christians still judge the acceptability of new bible translations by the way they deal with Isaiah 7:14.[16][4]


Isaiah 7:14 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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