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Teaching On Christmas by Theresa Pavone

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Teaching On Christmas by Theresa Pavone Empty Teaching On Christmas by Theresa Pavone

Post  Admin on Thu 24 Dec 2009, 11:46 pm

This is well worth the read and you will learn a few things.
I have thoroughly researched the subject of Christmas and Santa
Claus and even written a book about it. Below is some of the
material from that book. Please remember that all this material is
copyrighted.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Jesus is the Reason for the Season

I just want to remind everyone that JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE
SEASON. Let us take time during this wonderful time of
the year that we all love so much, to stop and
reflect what it is really all about. Not about Christmas
presents and lovely decorated trees and houses, but about
the Birth of our Savior who came into this world for
the sole purpose of dying for our sins that we might
have eternal life. Even though no one actually knows
when He was born, and though the sheep were out and
the weather was warmer, this is the time of year we
celebrate it, so people of God, remember to thank Him and
praise Him for salvation so wonderful and so
free.

II. SANTA CLAUS

The Americana Encyclopedia says "The beloved image of
Santa Claus as a fat, jolly, bearded old man derives
from St Nicholas, an austere-looking 4th century
Christian [Catholic] bishop of Asia Minor, who was
noted for his good works. The idea of gift giving
associated with this saint spread from Asia Minor to
Europe and was brought to the United States by early
Dutch settlers.

There actually was a Bishop who long ago, born of wealthy parents went into the priesthood, and since in the priesthood, had no use for money, during the season now celebrated as Christmas, late at night went into the streets of his town, and tossed small bags of money into the homes of the poor. Did he fly around the world in a sleigh full of reindeer, of course not. But there really was a man who out of pity for the poor, did good at Christmas. Since then, the story got thicker and thicker until it revolved in to what we know today as "Santa Claus".

A. WASHINGTON IRVING

The American writer Washington Irving contributed to the concept of St Nicholas as a laughing holiday figure.

B. CLEMENT MOORE

In 1822, Clement Moore composed his 'Visit from St. Nicholas' ("Twas
the night before Christmas") with its noted description.

C. THOMAS NAST

But the image of Santa in fur-trimmed dress that
ultimately captured the imagination was drawn in the
United States by the cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1863.

III. SANTA IS PRESENTED AS A GOD-LIKE FIGURE

A. ETERNAL

Santa (if you add the "n" spells satan) is a Christ-copycat.

1. Santa is an Old Man, he has always been, and he
will always be. He is Eternal. Sound familiar?

He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.

Really now. Copycat.

2. Jesus is eternal

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the
ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

B. WHERE HOME IS (is Santa a copycat?)

1. Santa lives in the North Pole.
2. Jesus lives in the Sides of the North.

Psalms 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth,
is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

C. CLOTHING

1. Santa wears red clothes.
2. Jesus will appear in red clothes.

Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:
and
his name is called The Word of God.

D. HAIR

1. Santa has white hair.
2. Jesus will appear with white hair.

Revelation 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as
white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.."

E. FLYING & GIFTS

1. Santa supposedly flies around in a sleigh in the air and
gives gifts.
2. Jesus ascends on high and gives gifts, especially the Gift
of Eternal life.

Ephesians 4:7-8 But unto every one of us is given grace according
to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith,
When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive,
and gave gifts unto men.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

F. COMING SOON

1. Santa is coming to Your Town.
Santa claus is coming to town (the song says).
2. Jesus is coming to Your Town.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

G. ALL SEEING

1. Santa sees you when you are sleeping, and knows
when you're awake.
2. Jesus sees you when you are sleeping, and knows
when you're awake.

Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD,
and he pondereth all his goings.

H. REWARDING WORKS

1. Santa gives his gifts according to whether you are
good or bad.
2. Jesus gives his gifts according to whether you are
good or bad.

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all
the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

I. OMNISCIENT (All Knowing)

1. Santa knows if you have been bad or good.
2. Jesus Knows if you have been bad or good.

Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding
the evil and the good.

J. HO! HO! HO!

1. Santa says Ho, ho, ho.
2. Jesus says Ho, ho.

Zechariah 2:6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the
north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.

K. OMNIPRESENCE (Everywhere at one time)

1. Santa can come in though the doors are shut.
2. Jesus can come in though the doors are shut.

John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the
week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled
for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith
unto them, Peace be unto you. John 20:26 And after eight days again
his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus,
the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be
unto you.

3. Santa can be in one billion homes in a 24 hour
period; that is eleven hundred and fifty-seven homes
per second, virtually omnipresent.
4. Jesus is Omnipresent.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my
name, there am I
in the midst of them.

L. OMNIPOTENT - (All Powerful)

1. Santa is powerful enough to carry presents for a
billion children. That is Omnipotence.
2. Jesus is Omnipotent. Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came
and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth.

IV. SANTA HAS BEEN GIVEN THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD!!

If santa can be everywhere; knows everything, aren't those the
Attributes of God???

Should a Christian Lie to his Children?

Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that
speaketh lies shall not escape.

Isaiah 44:24-25 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that
formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things;
that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the
earth by myself; That fustrateth the token of the liars, and maketh
diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their
knowledge foolish;

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the
abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

V. HISTORY & CUSTOMS OF CHRISTMAS

The reason for choosing the day of December 25th as Christ's
birthday is usually held that the day was chosen to correspond to pagan festivals that took place around the time of the winter solstice, when the days begin to lengthen, to celebrate the "rebirth of the sun". Northern European tribes celebrated their chief festival of Yule at the winter solstice to commemorate the rebirth of the sun as the giver of light, warmth, and life. The Roman Saturnalia (a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture,
and to the renewed power of the sun), also took place at this time,
and some Christmas customs are rooted in this ancient pagan
celebration. The early church did not celebrate the anniversary of
the birth of Christ. The Gospels indicate neither the month nor the
day on which Christ was born. Although Luke places the birth in a
historical perspective, even the year cannot be determined with
exactitude. If the date of Christ's birth were of real religious
significance, then the day and the month would have been given; as
was given in the first Passover. Some of the early church fathers,
including Origin, stated for the record that it was blasphemous to
celebrate this festival. Most Christian churches except the
Armenian Church observe the birth of Christ on December 25. This
date was not set in the West until about the middle of the fourth
century, and in the East until about a century later. The Armenians
follow the old Eastern custom of honoring Christ's birth on January
6, the day of the Epiphany, commemorating in the West chiefly the
visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus, and in the East, Christ's
Baptism. Some churches hold their most elaborate festivals on
January 6, and in parts of the United States this date has been celebrated as "Old Christmas" or "Little Christmas". This time, over a century after the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church would
account for much. The Catholic practice of assimilating the rituals,
images, festivals and even gods of pagan religions, into their brand
of Christianity by giving these all "Christian" names or purposes,
would explain these dates and their significance. Christmas even in more modern times has not always been remembered with gaiety and good cheer.

Excessive frivolity has always been frowned upon by some, and
Christmas was not celebrated by the Puritans or Calvinists. When the
Puritans came to power in England under Oliver Cromwell in 1642,
Christmas celebrations were banned as evidences of anti-religious sentiment. Penalties were exacted for celebrating Christmas, and for staying home from work on Christmas day. The Puritan tradition was brought to New England, where Christmas did not become a legal
holiday until 1856.

A. THE YULE LOG

The burning of the Yule Log was adapted to an English
custom from the ancient Scandinavian practice of
kindling huge bond fires in honor of the winter
solstice. This helped the dying earth to regain
strength and allow the rebirth of the sun. The log was
cut from a red oak, and burned all of Christmas Eve
and some would burn it all day on Christmas Day also.
All of this is taken from sun worship rituals.

B. NATIVITY SCENES

Shortly before Christmas 1223, St. Francis of Assisi
wrote to his friend, John Velita, the Lord of Greccio,
"I would fain make a memorial of that child who was
born in Bethlehem, and in some sort behold with bodily
eyes His infant hardships; how He lay in a manger on
the hay, with ox and ass standing by." St. Francis
organized a group of people to go on Christmas Eve and
created the first live nativity scene that year. It
has become a greatly practiced custom. Also from this
re-creation came the celebrating or honoring of the
cr`eche, the wooden model of the feeding trough
holding the Christ Child. In some Catholic countries,
this elaborately carved cr'eche, often taking years to
complete and much wealth to buy, is placed as the
center of the Christmas festival, replacing the
customary Christmas Tree.

C. MISTLETOE

In ancient Britain it was the sacred plant of the
druids. The arch druid and his priests performing
elaborate ceremonies around it at the winter solstice.
Because of the pagan associations, the mistletoe has
seldom been sanctioned in church decorations.
Traditionally, a girl would stand under it, when a
male would approach and pick a berry and kiss the
girl. When the berries were all gone then there were
no more kisses.

D. CHRISTMAS CARDS

Sir Henry Cole, the first director of the Victoria and
Albert Museum, and royal academician John Calcott
Horsely, thought of and designed a card in 1843. By
1846 they were selling 1000 of them for one shilling
each. In 1844, painter, W. Dobson sent out hand
painted Christ-mas cards to friends instead of writing
his usual letters. Also, in 1844, Mr. Braadley, a
Newcastle vicar had his cards litho-graphed and
circulated to his friends. In neither of these cases
were any of them sold. Another English artist, William
Egley, designed and printed a card either in 1842 or
1849. He was 16 in 1842. German emigrant, printer
Louis Prang, designed and sold colored Christmas cards
in Roxbury, Mass. in 1874. In less than ten years his
shop was putting out more than five million cards per
year.

E. THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Christmastide extends from the anniversary of the
birth of Christ, officially established as December 25
by the Western church, to the Feast of the Epiphany
twelve days later, which celebrates the manifestation
of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi.
This joyous period was popularly called the "Twelve
Days". It included New Year's Day, traditionally a
time when midwinter fertility rites were performed as
the season moved from barren winter toward burgeoning
spring. The Twelve days also embraced more somber
religious occasions such as the anniversary of the
martyrdom of St. Stephen and the Massacre of the
Innocents. But even these are overlaid with festivity,
and generally speaking the time is one of revelry,
mumming, the exchange of gifts, and feasting, with
vestiges of pre-Christian fertility magic such as
decoration with evergreens, kisses under the
mistletoe, and lighting new fires. In short, the
events and customs usually associated with Christmas
are spread across the Twelve Days.

F. THE CHRISTMAS TREE

The Christmas Tree which is decorated with lights to
celebrate the nativity of Christ and on which
offerings are made to Him; is a survival of pagan tree
worship and of early Christian rites which celebrated
the winter solstice with tree and lights. This tree in
Germany was an oak, which fostered the custom of the
Yule Log which is oak.

The Druids in England worshiped the evergreen because it had eternal
life, it did not brown and die in the winter.

Our modern Christmas Tree is a cross between the two ancient forms
of pagan worship. This is the equivalent of the May tree (May
pole), a fertility symbol. The tree even dates back to
Baal worship in the old Testament.

Jeremiah 10:1-6 "Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto
you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the
way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs
of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For
the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a
tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the
workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and
with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers,
that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree,
but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they
cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do
evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch
as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art
great, and thy name is great in might."

We all have a thirst that can be quenched temporarily.
We have no true satisfaction in temporary relief.
We all have a thirst that cannot be quenched, with or without money.
People try to satisfy that thirst, with all their wealth and time. *
Education * Drugs * Sex * Work
Nothing satisfies this thrist.

Only Jesus CAN Satisfy that thirst.

John 4:13 "Jesus answered and said unto her,
Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:..."

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give
unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be
afraid".

Matthew 11:28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest".

How can Jesus satisfy that thirst?

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of
the glory of God;.."

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the
gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord".

Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved. For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made
unto salvation".

Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved".

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace are ye saved through
faith".

VI. THE WISEMEN

THE WISE MEN - (READ account in Matthew 2:1,2)
Only 2 of the 4 gospels mention the Birth of Christ,
the books of Matthew and Luke.

Mark and John leave it out. Matthew, in his book, calls them "wise
men".

When the "wise men" came, it was of an interval
between 1 and 2 years. The holy family were still in
residence in the town of Bethlehem. They probably had a
home by this time, and were not still in the "place
with the animals".

One interesting note: Mary was there. The "wise men" only worshiped "Jesus", not Mary and Joseph.

A. LEGEND CHANGED THEM FROM WISE MEN TO KINGS

It was "legend" later on that changed these "wise men" to "kings". The Bible doesn't call them "kings".

B. "MAGI"

It was around the 6th century when the "wise men" were called "Magi" and the term "Kings" were used interchangeably as they are today. At
the same time they became "kings" their number was fixed interchangeable between 3 and 12. It was later settled by the papacy in Rome to number 3 to match the 3 gifts that were brought. The Bible doesn't tell us
there were 3. The Bible only tells us there were 3 variety of gifts they brought to the babe in the manger.

Christians should not use or substitute the term "Magi" at all for the "wise men" simply because these "wise men" weren't "MAGI". "Magi" were ancient Persian
cultists. The term "Magi" comes from the word "Magic". The "Magi" were men heavy into astrology. They were supposedly priests during the Seleucid period. Magis were soothsayers, magicians, performed magic, and were chiefly from
Babylon. They were mostly oriental in origin, heavy astrologers who followed heavily the signs of the stars. The "Wise Men" that Matthew speaks of came from the East and followed the star to Bethlehem and looking for
the Messiah. These men were not "Magi" or "Magicians".

I won't tell you NOT to call them "Magi". That is up to you.
I won't tell you NOT to count their number as 3.
That is also up to you.
I won't tell you NOT to call them "Kings". Again, that is up to
you.

I will, however, tell you what the Bible says.
Let's read MATTHEW 2:1 again.

Let me ask you some questions:
Does the Bible call them "Kings"?
Does the Bible call them "Magi"?
Does the Bible tell us there were 3 of them?
Does the Bible call them by names?
The answer to all of these questions is: "NO!". Guide yourselves accordingly.

Man, by his legends and traditions, have given them names, titles, and
numbers.

Let's look at that:
The "Wise Men". (they brought 3 different kinds of gifts; the Bible doesn't say
how many wise men there were).
By 6th century, legend and tradition gave names, titles and a number to
these "wise men".

a. Legend numbered them at 3.
b. Legend named them: Caspar, Melchoir and Balthasar
(not Biblical)
c. Legend made them "Kings".
d. Legend made them "Magi". (not Biblical)

Please notice: There is NO PROOF ANYWHERE that holds true to any
of these claims.

That does it for me. If the bible is all truth....then let's follow the bible and not legend.
Copyright©1993 Theresa Quinto Pavone,A.TH, B.TH
All rights reserved.
Do not use without permission.
Copyright policy in effect.
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