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May Christians Observe Holidays? (Wayne Jackson)

December 16 2014 at 6:01 AM
Justice  (no login)
from IP address 108.230.196.85



Justice says [linked image]

********************

May Christians Observe Holidays?

by Wayne Jackson


Is it wrong for Christians to celebrate some of the holidays popular in our society—like giving gifts at Christmas time, allowing children to go trick-or-treating at Halloween, or hunting eggs at Easter?

In considering this issue, several things should be kept in view.

A practice may have originated under certain circumstances but, eventually, have lost that significance—either in whole or at least significantly. There is Bible precedent for dealing with this principle.

Consider the practice of eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols previously—a very lively issue in the first century. Here is the background: A meat sacrifice would be made to an idol. After a certain portion was consumed in sacrificial flames (or by the priests), the balance would be sold as common food in the market. The controversy, therefore, arose: is this meat contaminated simply because it had some connection with an idol?

Paul’s answer is no (see 1 Corinthians 8:1-13). If one has “knowledge”—i.e., that an idol is “nothing”—and his conscience is not offended, he may eat of that meat. It is not contaminated merely by its former association.

Yet, there is this caution: if one is in an environment wherein some “weak” (i.e., without mature knowledge) brother is liable to be damaged, then it would be best to refrain in that instance, lest the weak brother’s conscience be wounded.

It would be wrong to partake religiously of a practice that compromises one’s fidelity to the truth. The apostle deals with such a matter in 1 Corinthians 10. If in a service where sacrifices were being offered to “demons” the Christian were to partake, i.e., have “communion” (koinonia—participation, fellowship), with those involved in the illicit worship, such clearly would be sinful (10:20-21).

To practice Christmas, Halloween, or Easter religiously would be unwarranted. To do so merely as a cultural custom would be a matter of personal judgment.

In Romans 14, Paul argues the general proposition that there will be different levels of knowledge among brethren and that, to a certain extent, these must be accommodated for the sake of Christian unity. For example, some, out of conviction, choose not to eat meats; others see nothing wrong with such a practice.

The apostle instructs that neither individual is to “set at naught” the other. No man is to create a law in areas of expediency and then demand that all others submit. If an overt act of transgression is not the issue, peace must prevail.

Most folks who are rather sensitive about these cultural practices are not consistent entirely in their own conduct. Consider, for example, the celebration of birthdays. In ancient Egypt, the birthdays of the Pharaohs were considered as “holy” days, with no work being done (McClintock and Strong 1969, 817). Moreover, as John Lightfoot noted: “The Jewish schools esteem the keeping of birthdays a part of idolatrous worship” (1979, 217).

Does this mean that if a man in this era gives his wife a birthday present or if we have a birthday party for a child we have compromised our faith? Surely no one will so allege.

What about the man who takes his wife out for dinner and gives her flowers on Valentine’s Day? Has he yielded to the Romish dogma regarding “Saint Valentine”? When we place flowers on the graves of our loved ones, is this the same as the Hindu practice of putting food on the graves of one’s ancestors? Does having a wedding ceremony in a church building imply that we endorse the Catholic notion that marriage is a “church sacrament”? Surely these queries must be answered negatively.

Practices can change with time and mean different things to different people. We must not compromise the truth, but neither are we permitted to make spiritual laws for others.

 
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Justice
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108.230.196.85

Praise God!

December 17 2014, 8:22 AM 



Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,



14
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[b]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[c]

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:



29
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.

30
For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

32
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[e] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[f] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Re: Praise God!

December 17 2014, 11:33 PM 

Justice,

Do you know of any individual Christian or a group of Christians (such as a religious body) that has an issue with the birth of Christ or the reality of the birth of Christ? (I'm just wondering since you made no comment after quoting the narrative from the Scripture.)

 
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Justice
(no login)
108.230.196.85

Re: Praise God!

December 18 2014, 6:56 PM 



Donnie said, "I'm just wondering since you made no comment after quoting the narrative from the Scripture."

****************

Donnie, as I recall there was a certain dentist here that posted John Waddey articles, many times with no comment. You may have been involved as well.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Re: Praise God!

December 19 2014, 2:19 AM 

John Waddey authored many books and articles regarding change agents and their efforts and intent to restructure the church of Christ. And ConcernedMembers, as you know it well, has a lot to say about change agents!!! The premise is well stated in each of John's articles posted.

 
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Justice
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108.230.196.85

Why is the Virgin Birth so important?

December 17 2014, 10:08 AM 



"Why is the Virgin Birth so important?"

The doctrine of the virgin birth is crucially important (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27, 34). First, let’s look at how Scripture describes the event. In response to Mary’s question, “How will this be?” (Luke 1:34), Gabriel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). The angel encourages Joseph to not fear marrying Mary with these words: “What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Matthew states that the virgin “was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Galatians 4:4 also teaches the Virgin Birth: “God sent His Son, born of a woman.”

From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus’ birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary’s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary’s womb) were both involved. Mary, of course, could not impregnate herself, and in that sense she was simply a “vessel.” Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation.

However, denying a physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus was not truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17.)

Jesus was not born in sin; that is, He had no sin nature (Hebrews 7:26). It would seem that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father (Romans 5:12, 17, 19). The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man.


Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/virgin-birth.html#ixzz3MAS718Sq

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Re: Why is the Virgin Birth so important?

December 18 2014, 12:23 AM 

Justice,

I was almost convinced that you authored the article or that you were presenting a new argument. happy.gif But I noticed the link to "read more."

OK, we do not question the "virgin birth" and the "physical connection between Mary and Jesus." I'm also glad that there is the implication that there is a distinction between "sin" itself and "sin nature" -- hopefully, this negates the Roman Catholic doctrine of the "original sin" being "inherited."

Meanwhile, I'd like to pose a few questions regarding the conclusion that "Jesus was fully God." Here are the references above:

(1) John 1:14 -- "And the Word was made flesh...." Where was God when "the Word was made flesh"? There are numerous references to God being "God the Father." There are countless references to Jesus Christ being "the Son of God." How do we reconcile both expressions: "God the Father" and "the Son of God" as being the same "God"?

(2) I Tim. 3:16 -- "... God was manifest in the flesh...." Does being "manifest in the flesh" prove that Jesus "in the flesh" was God (or God the Father)?

(3) Heb. 2:17 -- "... that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God...." How can the "high priest" be God himself?

 
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Justice
(no login)
108.230.196.85

Non Eternal Jesus

December 18 2014, 10:28 AM 

[linked image]

CM presents

Donnie and Ken

MOST CREATIVE AWARD

2014


 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 19 2014, 2:22 AM 

Thanks, Justice.

But let's get credit to the Holy Scripture, the supporting cast -- just can't do it without the truth.

 
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Justice
(no login)
108.230.196.85

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 19 2014, 8:21 AM 


Thanks Donnie, BTW that was a Justice exclusive. No links. happy.gif We will reveal the runner up in this category very soon. (Spoiler Alert) it's all Greek to me. happy.gifhappy.gif

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 20 2014, 7:35 PM 

Justice, thanks.

Reveal it very soon. I am anxiously waiting.

As long as the Scripture is on my side, instead of some ACQUIRED teaching from another human being or organization, there's nothing to worry about.

 
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Just
(no login)
108.230.196.85

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 22 2014, 1:22 PM 



CM presents

Horus and Ken

Runner-up

MOST CREATIVE AWARD

2014

happy.gifhappy.gif


Enjoy the Shirt!

Images too large to post: no sense is better than nonesense.



    
This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 99.197.222.189 on Dec 22, 2014 6:46 PM


 
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Just
(no login)
108.230.196.85

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 22 2014, 7:02 PM 

[linked image]


Thanks Ken!

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 24 2014, 12:46 PM 

One more of the gods and goddesses of the ancient world that Ken has been educating us about.

Just, the post-modern trend is the concept of the "Worship Leader" as someone who leads the congregants to God's "HOLY" presence. S(he) [the "Worship Leader"] often gets the attention of the deluded instead, and the focus is on her/him and musical idolatry.

Can you find an image (or create one) that depicts a god/goddess with musical instruments and DANCING?

 
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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)
ConcernedMembersMadison
184.20.116.93

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 24 2014, 2:02 PM 

David joined the girls and went NUDO. Jay Guin recommends this as WORSHIP

http://www.piney.com/Jay.Guin.Dancing.in.Worship.html

[linked image]


    
This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address 184.20.116.93 on Dec 24, 2014 2:07 PM


 
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Bill
(no login)
74.179.211.51

Re: Non Eternal Jesus

December 19 2014, 11:53 AM 

Justice, it is incomprehensible to Donnie and Ken that anyone would believe that Jesus was the Word Who was with God and was God in the beginning (i.e., Jesus = the Word = God), just as it is incomprehensible to us that Donnie and Ken would believe that Jesus is not eternal.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Fallacious Equation

December 20 2014, 11:03 PM 

False. Bill's equation (Jesus = the Word = God), that is. Let's briefly examine John 1:1,14:
  1. Bill's equation is fallacious in that "the Word" (LOGOS) is mentioned -- but not Jesus.
  2. Bill's equation is fallacious in that "God" (THEOS) is mentioned -- but not Jesus.
  3. Bill's equation is fallacious in that Jesus of Nazareth (ref. 21 times in NT) was not in the beginning.
  4. Bill's equation is fallacious in that it was the "LOGOS" and not "THEOS" that became flesh.
  5. Bill's equation is fallacious: that Jesus became Jesus.


 
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Bill
(no login)
74.179.211.51

The Equation is True for Those Who Have Faith

December 20 2014, 11:56 PM 

Some people are unable to comprehend the fact that God has the supreme ability to manifest Himself in more than one way. Back to John 1: The Word was with God and the Word was God in the beginning, meaning that the Word not only was present with God, but the Word was also God at the same time. If the Word was God, then God and the Word are obviously identical. Then God/the Word manifested Himself as a human man, who took on the name "Jesus," or God/the Word in the flesh. So if the Word and God are identical, and if God as the Word became Jesus, then God, the Word, and Jesus are also identical, one and the same. Thus, the Word and Jesus are simply different manifestations of God. After all, Jesus said that he who had seen Him had seen the Father, and that He and the Father are ONE.

God/the Word/Jesus in heaven became Jesus the man on earth. So for the benefit of Donnie and everyone else in doubt, yes, "Jesus became Jesus," just in a different manifestation.

God = Jesus = the Word is a perfectly believable equation, IF you can refrain from placing physical limitations upon God and IF you can believe that with God, all things are possible. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough faith to do that.

 
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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)
ConcernedMembersMadison
23.127.32.146

Faith is not the issue -- the wrong equation is

December 21 2014, 12:28 AM 

What don't you understand about "LOGOS" (the Word) and "THEOS" (God)?

What don't you understand that Jesus is not referenced in John 1:1?

What don't you understand about "the Word" [LOGOS] -- and not "God" [THEOS] -- becoming flesh 2000 years ago?

You, Bill, cannot change the truth to say: "And THEOS became flesh."

"Physical limitations" is not the issue here. Neither is faith."

 
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Bill
(no login)
74.179.211.51

The Equation Is Right IF You Have the Faith

December 21 2014, 12:49 AM 

Oh, but FAITH IS the issue. If you don't have faith that all things are possible with God (and apparently you don't), then it's rather impossible to believe that God can be Jesus and the Word all at the same time. That's putting restraints on God, physical or otherwise. You're saying that God can only manifest Himself in one way and no more. That's finite and FALLIBLE human thinking. The New Testament says otherwise. You just can't see that.

Hey, it's obvious that we have different views about all this and we're not going to resolve anything further. We think we're both right, and that's fine. Frankly, I don't see this as a "salvation issue," meaning I really doubt that our salvation rests with whether or not we believe God = Jesus = the Word. Whereas you reject the equation, I gladly endorse it. We do know that God IS, Jesus IS, and the Word IS. That's enough.

So, since this thread is about whether Christians can observe holidays, and since Christmas is almost here, I'll just wish Donnie, Ken, and all the readers at CM a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. happy.gif

 
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