Monday, December 22, 2008

Celebrating Christmas - an abomination?


Through a friend of my wife - it has been brought to my notice that there are Christians who think that celebrating Christmas is an abomination in God's eyes. There are those who hold to Arthur Pink's views on Christmas

Pink's main arguments as far as I understand them are:

(1) There is not a word in Scripture which tells us to celebrate Jesus' birth

(2) That the date of Christmas is a pagan festival and most people who celebrate Christmas - do so without any thought for Jesus

(3) That Christmas (Christ Mass) is a Roman Catholic celebration and therefore an abomination

(4) That Christmas cards are an abomination to God (even if they have a verse of God's word inside) because God's word forbids unholy mixtures

I am not sure if the argument belongs to Pink, but there are people also arguing that Christmas trees are an abomination to God - because "when we are kneeling down to put presents under the tree - what do we think we are kneeling down to?"

Discuss!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mutilated Christian girl, 10, forgives attackers 'They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus'

This is a photo of a 10 year old little girl called Nayak from Orissa in India. Her home was bombed by Hindu extremists because she was from a Christian family. But this ordeal has not shaken her faith, indeed she is thankful to God for saving her life.

"Christmas" she says, " is a time to thank the baby Jesus who saved me from the fire and saved my face which was disfigured and wounded."

This is a traumatic time for Christians in this part of India.

"Hindus have offered money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes – especially pastors. Thousands of homes and churches have been destroyed, and Christians have been forced to flee the violence. Many have been doused with kerosene and torched after refusing to renounce their Christian faith." (World Net Daily).

Nayak said: "[W]e forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes," she told Asia News. "They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus. For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us. This is my future."

What an amazing witness and beautiful faith this little girl has. Praise God for her faith and determination and pray that her witness will have impact opn those who persecute her.

(Thanks for Wayne Dawg for bringing this news item to my attention).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Posada













































On Monday evening The United Church and St John's Kirkheaton had a fantastic night as we had a life size 'Posada', taking the message of Christmas to the people of Kirkheaton. Starting with craft and games and dressing up as Mary and Joseph and wise men, shepherds and angels we set off through the village of Kirkheaton led by a real live donkey.

Posada is Spanish for 'Inn' and is a Mexican custom of remembering the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The Church Army have adopted this idea by encouraging churches to pass round a figures of Mary, Joseph and the donkey around the homes of the parishes. We decided to go one further and make it life size and hopefully took out a strong message of what Christmas was all about.

On the way we called at people's homes and a local 'inn' to sing carols. Through drama at the journey end we discovered that Angels had declared Jesus to be: 'The Christ', 'the Lord', 'the Son of God' and 'Jesus (the Lord is salvation), because he will save his people from their sins'. Whilst connecting with people's sentimental feelings of the baby in the manger it pointed away from this to the cross. By the end of the procession we had well over a hundred people amongst us, a good number of whom I am sure, were non Christians.

I hope to strengthen this next year by handing out tracts and inviting people to another evangelistic event.