What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 5 / No. 13”
What The Bible Says
Vol. V - No. 13 / December 4, 2022
WHERE DID THE RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE OF CHRISTMAS ORIGINATE?
To answer this question it is necessary to go outside the New Testament:
- The Encyclopedia Americana says, "The Christmas celebration was not observed in the first centuries of the church.”
- The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "Christmas was not among the early festivals of the church.”
Therefore, if we cannot find the Christmas observance in the New Testament, and a secular encyclopedia says that it was not observed in the first centuries of the church, and a religious encyclopedia says that it was nonexistent in the early church, then we must conclude that it did not originate with the apostles.
So, where did this December observance originate? Colliers Encyclopedia tells us that Lyberius, the Bishop of Rome, whom the Catholics regard as one of the early Popes, ordered in 354 A.D. that "December 25th be observed as the birthday of Christ.” December 25th had formerly been used by the Romans as a feast day for their Sun-God, Mithra. The Roman Saturnalia (riotous festival of Saturn) also came at this time. "The indications are that the church in this way grasped an opportunity to turn the people away from a purely pagan observance of the winter solstice to a day of adoration of Christ the Lord. Both Saint Cyprian and Saint John Chrysostom allude to this thought in their writings." (Colliers Encyclopedia) "December 25th was already a festive day for the sun god, Mithra, and appealed to the Christians as an appropriate day to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the light of the world." (Lincoln Library of Essential Information)
From these statements by reliable sources it is easy to see that the date of Christmas had its origin in a pre-Christian age among the pagans. It was adopted into a so-called "Christian" holiday by the Roman Catholic Church. Furthermore, the word "Christmas" is of Catholic origin. The word is derived from the medieval "Christes Masse," the mass of Christ, which is a corruption of the Lord's Supper. On December 25th, even until this day, the Catholics hold a special Mass for Christ. In time, "Christes Masse" came to be shortened to "Christmas." Christmas, then, had its origin as a special religious observance in the Roman Catholic Church. —David Padfield
JESUS BORN OF DECEMBER 25?
Luke 2:7ff "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger … And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and … said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord..."
"The climate was mild, and, to keep their flocks from straying, they spent the night with them . . . The Jews sent out their flocks into the mountains and desert regions during the summer months, and took them up in the latter part of October or the first of November, when the cold weather commenced . . . It is probable from this that our Saviour was born before the 25th of December . . . At that time it is cold, especially in the high and mountainous regions about Bethlehem." —Albert Barnes
Many people think religion is like shopping. When we are interested in purchasing a vehicle, we go to different places looking for the vehicle with the most features and the best deal. When shopping for groceries, we look for a store with the largest selection and the cheapest prices. When shopping for clothes, we look for name brands at the lowest prices.
When people think in terms of religion, they continue to have this “shopping around” mentality. “After all”, they will say, “look at all the choices there are!” In making the choice, names are important only to the extent that the church must be “well-known”. Otherwise, the thinking that persist is, “There’s nothing in a name!” The Scriptures refutes this thinking: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). There is no salvation in any name other than Jesus Christ. He is the One that shed His blood for the remission/forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 26:28). With that same blood He purchased the church (Acts 20:28). Does any church have the right to wear any other name? Do those who have had their sins forgiven have a right to wear any name other than or another name in addition to Christian? Does the authority by which we do things religiously come from the Scriptures or are they the commandments of men? Jesus tells us worship which is done according to the commandments of men is vain (Matthew 15:9).
It is sad to say though it is true: Most people have no regard for what the Scriptures teach when it comes to deciding which church they want to be affiliated with. Many have let their parents decide for them which church and they will continue to follow that tradition down through the generations. To others their choice is simply a matter of which church is located the closet to them. Other are looking for a church with the friendliest people or maybe the most people. Some are shopping for a church based on what social and recreational programs they offer for themselves and their children. Some are drawn to a church because it has the prettiest building in the community. Some want to be a part of a church where the town mayor, members of the city council, or other local government officials attend.
Yes, a lot of people at one time or another are shopping for a church and maybe you are one of them. What is the criteria you are using to determine the choice you make — a church that follows the Scriptures or a church that has a fellowship hall or a beautiful steeple on the roof? —E.R. Hall, Jr.
Trouble is merely opportunity in work clothes.
When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.
The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
The most significant change in a person's life is a change of attitude. Right attitudes produce right actions.
"What The Bible Says” is e-mailed twice a month. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in the next mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and you will be removed promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page for further instructions as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. EastAlbertville.org