Our Readers' Opinions
December 16, 2016
Love, Christmas and religious hypocrisy

Editor: The love of the Saviour to humanity is very great. So wondrous is this love that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have ever lasting life” ( John 3:16). Clearly, God’s love is manifested in giving of Himself that we may benefit upon accepting this greatest gift. Receiving the Saviour is living the purpose for which He was born – “to save his people from their sin” (Matthew 1:21).{{more}}

While many continue to slight and reject Jesus Christ, they claim to celebrate ‘his birth on Christmas day’. Extrava­gance, overeating, alcohol consumption, excessive shopping to enrich business men and general pleasure seeking are all ‘part of the mix’ of Christmas celebration – a festival rooted in paganism, adorned and given to the world by the Roman Church. Whether you care or not about the historical origins, or you have dressed up an ancient celebration of debauchery, history cannot be erased. It was a pope (not Jesus Christ nor his disciples) who decreed that Chris­tians should keep Decem­ber 25 as the birthday of Jesus. Recorded history informs us that “within the Christian Church, no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century…The choice of December 25 was made by Pope Julius 1 in the fourth century AD because this coincided with the pagan rituals of winter solstice or Return of the sun” Good Old Time Religion pp.3.

Sadly, during the Christmas season, there is very little or no distinction between the behaviour of the majority of professed Christians and the world-loving, unconverted man. They choose to partake of the same unclean food (swine flesh), same drink (alcoholic wine), same activities…all in the name of celebrating the birth of Jesus. But, can the professed Christian support his position from the Bible – the rule of the Christian life-style? Is he “teaching all things whatsoever” Jesus has “commanded”? Is he teaching his children the truth about Jesus’ birth and the reality of Christmas? Or does he only care about Bible teachings sometimes? Does the professed pastor care about teaching the truth about Christmas, or does he turn to the scriptures mainly to seek support for his prosperity-promoting, ‘get rich gospel’ ? Well, the message from Christ addresses all lovers of Christmas and other Babylonian and human traditions. Christ proclaims ” Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition…But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:9; Matthew 15:9).

The Saviour of the world came to this earth, lived, died and was resurrected to provide a way that we may be redeemed from sin and its wages. He wants to change our hearts and make us obedient to all His commandments that we may do “righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:3). Christ wants to fill us with His enduring love that we may be able to love our fellowmen throughout the year. With His love in our heart, we can love in ministering truth one to another and in deeds of kindness and compassion every day. Would you repent and let Him dwell in your mind today?

Ann-Marie Ballantyne

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