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Offline Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 1:08:04 PM(UTC)
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Christmas isn't celebrating Jesus Christ's birthday, but rather celebrating his birth, period.

That makes me ask ... when was Jesus Christ (or YAHWEH) born?
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Offline Wade  
#2 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 3:23:09 PM(UTC)
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Well, Christ the God, is and always has been. Christ the human incarnation of God came into being on ... well, no one knows, really.

I do believe, however, that the celebration should *start*, not finish, on whatever day we designate as the anniversary of that human birth. Since for most of us that is now December 25th, I believe the Christmas celebration/holiday-season starts on December 25th (or maybe on the evening of the 24th).

Otherwise, we're effectively celebrating the taking of censuses and collecting of taxes.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
Offline DakotaT  
#3 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 3:38:42 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post
Well, Christ the God, is and always has been. Christ the human incarnation of God came into being on ... well, no one knows, really.

I do believe, however, that the celebration should *start*, not finish, on whatever day we designate as the anniversary of that human birth. Since for most of us that is now December 25th, I believe the Christmas celebration/holiday-season starts on December 25th (or maybe on the evening of the 24th).

Otherwise, we're effectively celebrating the taking of censuses and collecting of taxes.


And you lecture me on religion. Rolling Eyes

Christ was born in the fall. His recognized birthdate is December 25th because of the Council of Nicea - where all the other BS about Christ comes from.

http://www.google.com/ur...0V64L1iZDSBSxuG6NZWclisg

Basically, what we are taught to believe was a merging of different religions. What one chooses as "facts" can be debated at length by people a lot smarter than any of us are, and has been thoroughly. What I know is that I attend the Catholic Church, but my heart is not in it because of what I know about the corruption of the Church throughout the centuries. Now if the vast fortune hoarded by the Vatican was to start being used for world hunger, my heart and mind might change. I feel about the Catholic Church about the same as I do the US Government.
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Offline GermanGilbert  
#4 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 4:04:49 PM(UTC)
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Born: December 2nd 1983 in a manger in Chico, CA
Cruzified: November 4th 2013 on a pitch in Green Bay, WI
Resurrection: November 24th 2013 at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Praise the green and gold Jesus. Pray



OK, back on topic ;)
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Offline Cheesey  
#5 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 4:34:19 PM(UTC)
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I don't think the exact date is important.
And to me, we should be celebrating the
fact that He came here to take our sins
on Himself for our salvation.
Unfortunately the world has lost site
of this, and what gifts they will be getting
are all that are on their minds.
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Offline DakotaT  
#6 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 4:58:36 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Cheesey Go to Quoted Post
I don't think the exact date is important.
And to me, we should be celebrating the
fact that He came here to take our sins
on Himself for our salvation.
Unfortunately the world has lost site
of this, and what gifts they will be getting
are all that are on their minds.


What if he was just a teacher and philosopher and not the miracle man and water walker - would that destroy your entire existence and belief system? Would you be able to face the day without someone else taking your sins? To me, I see people use Jesus as this huge crutch and not be accountable for themselves.

I see lots of people claim to be Christians, so why have let Christmas become a disgusting display of materialism instead of actually loving one another?
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Offline Wade  
#7 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 6:28:10 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
And you lecture me on religion. Rolling Eyes

Christ was born in the fall. His recognized birthdate is December 25th because of the Council of Nicea - where all the other BS about Christ comes from.

http://www.google.com/ur...0V64L1iZDSBSxuG6NZWclisg

Basically, what we are taught to believe was a merging of different religions. What one chooses as "facts" can be debated at length by people a lot smarter than any of us are, and has been thoroughly. What I know is that I attend the Catholic Church, but my heart is not in it because of what I know about the corruption of the Church throughout the centuries. Now if the vast fortune hoarded by the Vatican was to start being used for world hunger, my heart and mind might change. I feel about the Catholic Church about the same as I do the US Government.


I lecture you on faith, not on religion. Religion is just another human institution we use to try to make sense of the divine. (IMO)

Frankly, I could care less about what specific day Jesus was or was not born on. I could care less about how my belief in the stories of the Bible matches or doesn't match other religions.

For me, Christmas is all about one thing. I believe it was important that Jesus was born (because if he were not born man, he could not die as a man for man on the cross). That is what I believe, and that is what -- and why -- I celebrate.

The actual day is just a bit of human record-keeping. ("History", too, is a human institution.) As a historian, I'm interested in the chronology of the ancient world; but, in this, my faith has to trump my vocation. Because I still believe that history and other tale-telling is limited by the abilities of the tale-tellers. But this is about God, and God is not limited by human political, religious, or scholarly shortcomings. To think we can reduce Him into "what we know" is nothing less than idolatry of ourselves.

That is why I resist the "religion" tag. Religions are in the business of trying to reduce God into something consistent with them. That was true at Nicea, and it was true at Worms, it is true at the Vatican, and it is true in every other denomination that has ever claimed the authority of God for their own rules and practices and limitations and restrictions.

I don't believe Peter was infallible -- for Pete's sake, he denied Christ three times -- and I sure as heck don't believe there's ever been an infallible Pope. Despite my personal admiration for Paul, I don't believe Paul the man was capable of infallibility. (I do believe that Paul-as-inspired-amanuensis was striving to put God's Truth into human words. Despite calling myself a Luther-an, I don't even believe Luther got God 100% correct. (In fact he explicitly denied that he could over and over again. It wasn't "by Scripture alone as I have interpreted it," it was "by Scripture alone." Period.

If it helps you make sense of God and strengthens you in your faith to believe that the exact date (or even a more accurate one) matters, then by all means try to get the history right. But don't let the historical scholarship lead you to rejection of the faith.

That is the problem of the "higher learning." We who study for a living are always risking ourselves under the foot of pride; for we being critical toward the arguments of human beings we start insisting that everything -- including the irreducible Savior -- must be reduced that way. We start glorifying our own capacities as a species for reason, and we forget that what we have managed to reason in the brevity of our existence on one single planet is a trivial fraction of the universe (or universes) out there. We pride ourselves on our deductive ability when we cannot get anywhere interesting regarding the cosmic questions of life, the universe, and everything, without use our fallible powers of induction to choose our assumptions and what we will not contest today even when we dig down to "first principles". We forget that a first principle is never provable by deduction. A first principle is merely what we admit that we can't contest as truth/non-truth.

In short, man cannot reason without a stance of faith. You want to call your stances of faith better as you interpret the Old Testament and New Testament's relative importance in determining our salvation, fine. You want to emphasize Peter more than Paul, or John more than Jeremiah, I'm not going to contest that because I know my understanding of His meaning is going to be incomplete and you may well have better insight into the incomplete bits than I do.

But if you (or anyone) tell me that God isn't real, or if you tell me that Jesus was just a carpenter with a high moral code, then I'm going to dispute it to my dying day. Because that, my friend, is reducing God and Jesus to a religion, to something that is only real if the human mind can be encompassed by it. There may be or have been a million people in the world, ten million, a hundred billion, of people who are better at the history of the Biblical world than I am. Heck, maybe people like Ayn Rand, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, and all the other great atheists and believers in "reason" are all among them.

And that wouldn't change a thing. Because you could line up all of the greatest practitioners of reason in human history, from Galileo to Ricardo to Huxley to Popper to Einstein to Hawking, and all the results of their reason together, and you still can't debunk God without taking some stance of faith in those giant's sampling ability and in the uncertainties of sampling.

That's why I will celebrate Christ's birth as I've tried to do every year since I became more serious about my faith. Not because I know when the right day is. But because it's important that I celebrate that birth as having happened as the third most important anniversary in human history.

(There I go lecturing again. Argh. But whatever else the above lecture is, I believe it not a lecture on religion. I believe it a lecture on faith.)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
Offline gbguy20  
#8 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 6:37:44 PM(UTC)
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thanks Post received 1 applause.
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Offline DakotaT  
#9 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 6:50:12 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Wade Go to Quoted Post


If it helps you make sense of God and strengthens you in your faith to believe that the exact date (or even a more accurate one) matters, then by all means try to get the history right. But don't let the historical scholarship lead you to rejection of the faith.



Do you actually believe I struggle with faith in God with the life I've had? If that were true - I would have left this world a long fricken time ago. I question if all you thumpers measure up to the faith I've proven day in and day out. I'm an admitted vulgar man, but I know right from wrong and good from evil cause I've walked on both roads and I know each side when I see it.
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Offline PackFanWithTwins  
#10 Posted : Monday, November 18, 2013 7:29:33 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool Go to Quoted Post
Christmas isn't celebrating Jesus Christ's birthday, but rather celebrating his birth, period.

That makes me ask ... when was Jesus Christ (or YAHWEH) born?


Wouldn't that be a 1 Christmas statement, and 1 Christmas question?

Think
The world needs ditch diggers to Danny!!!
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Offline texaspackerbacker  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:42:32 AM(UTC)
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This should be a simply glorious and non-controversial topic - and would be, except for the pathetic sad sack loser in here who constantly disrespects anything American and/or anything Christian.

There are a lot of grains of truth here - celebrating Christ's birth in general rather than the details of His birthday - the Bible seems to take a dim view of birthdays anyway, as Herod's daughter's illustrates. Dakota, as blind squirrels are reputed to do with acorns, did actually get one thing right: Jesus's earthly birth was in the Fall of the year. The shepherds in that part of the world bring there sheep in around Oct. 1, as it is too cold. Jesus's 3 1/2 year ministry began on His 30th birthday and ended with His crucifixion and resurrection in the Spring of the year. So He had to have been born in the Fall. The December thing apparently came from the early Christian Church trying to gain favor with sun-worshiping pagans, whose big time is the Winter Solstice - when their sun god begins to regain strength.

And of course, it is NOT about the Christian Church organizations, most of which get more details wrong than right about a lot of things other than Christmas. It IS, however, about the reality of Christ, the Son of God, who was sacrificed by God for our sins, and rose from the dead - a fact noted by objective and recognized Roman and ironically, Jewish historians.
Expressing the Good Normal Views of Good Normal Americans.
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Offline Rockmolder  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, November 19, 2013 4:52:39 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: texaspackerbacker Go to Quoted Post
This should be a simply glorious and non-controversial topic - and would be, except for the pathetic sad sack loser in here who constantly disrespects anything American and/or anything Christian.


Worded differently, for a topic to be glorious, people have to agree with your point of view on Christianity and 'Murica.

It's not like Dakota came into this topic to troll everyone, he's just making some points.

On topic, this is far from my point of expertise. I do know, however, that Christmas over here has, in essence, little to do with Christianity anymore. Of course, churches do organize a lot of activities, have a big mass, some more television exposure, but it's really more about food, drinking and having a good time.

I assume it's pretty much the same over there.
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Offline texaspackerbacker  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, November 19, 2013 8:51:25 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rockmolder Go to Quoted Post
Worded differently, for a topic to be glorious, people have to agree with your point of view on Christianity and 'Murica.

It's not like Dakota came into this topic to troll everyone, he's just making some points.

On topic, this is far from my point of expertise. I do know, however, that Christmas over here has, in essence, little to do with Christianity anymore. Of course, churches do organize a lot of activities, have a big mass, some more television exposure, but it's really more about food, drinking and having a good time.

I assume it's pretty much the same over there.


You - based on your words - are looking at Christianity and Christians, as well as obviously the way you are looking at America, AS AN OUTSIDER. So your evenhandedness - which amounts to negativity when set up beside the facts of history - is understandable.

I assume, however, that you have a pretty good grasp of history over the last century or so in your part of the world anyway, and I further assume you know at least from current affairs about comparative religions - the teachings and practices. So based on those assumptions, I ask you, what do you think the world would be like - or just Europe if you prefer - if any other nation than America had the power we have and if any other religion was the basis for policies and actions of those in position to either do great good or great evil? Sure, there are and have been bad Christians - meaning members of the organized group, not so much Christians by belief, but compare to what other religions are out there - the good versus harm taught and advocated, and the good versus harm actually done.

Can you still defend your negativity?

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Offline Wade  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:15:33 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DakotaT Go to Quoted Post
Do you actually believe I struggle with faith in God with the life I've had? If that were true - I would have left this world a long fricken time ago. I question if all you thumpers measure up to the faith I've proven day in and day out. I'm an admitted vulgar man, but I know right from wrong and good from evil cause I've walked on both roads and I know each side when I see it.


If you are secure in your faith, even better. But may people do struggle with it. And, IMO, we do more damage to that faith when we insist on particular "religious" doctrines, on particular human beliefs as a precondition to faith.

To me, God knows when the faith is "real enough", when it is sufficient to His desire. But I can't. I can only try my best to do my best. And as far as others are concerned, I believe it is important to tell them what I believe. Not because I am correct, but because I believe God wants me to bear witness to Him and His mercy. Because I believe that all we can do is put our faith in Him.

I don't believe that is an excuse for being accountable for one's actions in this world. I believe that because even if I live the best life I could, even if I am some combination of the good parts of Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Martin Luther, and my late father, my own sinfulness damns me in the next. Or would, without Him having done what He did.

That's what I believe. It isn't what I *know* like I know the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 or like I know that the average standard of living in America today far exceeds the average standard of living 100 years ago. It's merely what I believe.

I now try never to get into the business of "what faith requires". That's not my job. That's God's. I merely try to suggest to people that faith of some kind is essential. For me the question is one of existence (if you don't have Faith, you only have the Law and you fail with respect to the Law) not quality (if you don't have *this* faith, God will judge you the way you don't wish to be judged).

My resolution doesn't always work. I don't claim to be able to resist the tendency I have to preach and lecture. But I do try not to use that tendency as an opportunity to judge and opine on the quality of other's faith.

If Jesus was no more than a great teacher and philosopher, then I am mistaken in my faith. And, come the Day, I may pay for my mistake. But while I don't understand the whole Trinity thing, I do believe Jesus was more than just a good man. And barring some unforeseen loss of that belief (which won't come through reason), I don't expect to change my mind on this.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
Offline Wade  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:27:03 PM(UTC)
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One last distinction which may or may help. Religion means worrying about what Christians do, don't do, should do. Faith means believing what Christ did or didn't do.

Judging the worthiness of God (matter of faith) is not equivalent of judging the worthiness of God's believers (matter of religion).
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
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