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Stirring The Deep

Christmas – A Revival Celebration

18 Comments

Christmas – A Revival Celebration

 

Recently I read in Plain Truth Magazine an interesting article, Jesus Christ – God Incarnate. It mentioned how originally December 25 was a pagan festival commemorating the birthday of a false sun god. It is believed, the church intentionally selected this day to celebrate Jesus’ birth to counteract the pagan feast of the sun god and turn people to the Son of God. Instead of Christianizing a pagan festival the church established the celebration of Jesus’ birth as a revival celebration.

And who do people remember today, Jesus or this sun-god? Seemed their plan worked.

Yet, interestingly after all this time we still have dual celebrations. One is a secular celebration with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, decorations, giving gifts, etc. The other is the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

I knew about the sun-god, that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, and the pagan origin of many of the secular festivities and for awhile these facts put a hiccup in my enjoyment of the season. If there was one thing that God didn’t like, it was His people taking on pagan practices as their own because it could lead them to sin. To top it off the description in Jeremiah 10:2-5 sounded like a Christmas tree to me. Whatever happened to being in the world but not of it?

What struck me in this article was the intention of the church – to have a revival celebration not to “Christianize” the pagan festival. What mindset do we hold today as Christians? For years, like most people I saw it as Christianizing something pagan. Therefore, it seemed silly, compromising, not what we should do as a people set apart, and it felt disloyal somehow. So I disengaged to a certain extent from the secular fanfare. (more on this later)

But with this deeper understanding that the intention was a revival celebration . . . my view has started to change. This new awareness infused a new profound joy into everything about the season – it wasn’t about compromise, it was about revival. Compromise dishonors. Revival honors.

Revival is why we celebrate Christ. The word revival suggests new life, new birth, renewal, bring to life someone who once dead. We celebrate His birth and what His birth was the forerunner of, our spiritual birth. Jesus’ birth paints a picture of ours – as He was born of flesh and spirit, we are born of flesh and spirit. Once we are born of the spirit, His life of peace, power, strength, love, mercy, truth, and joy lives in us and gives new life to our mortal bodies. Romans 8:11 We are no longer one of the walking dead, but have become eternal beings experiencing true life. We no longer are who we were; we are free from our past destructive lives and all the pain, sorrow and trouble they manifested. We are no longer mere men but spirit beings having a human experience. 1 Corinthians 3:3

This true life that lives within us is the revival that we bring to each day and what we celebrate this time of year.

As for the pagan festivities. . . as I was praying over this situation I “accidently” read 1 Corinthians 8 when my next reading was 2 Corinthians 8 and it spoke right to my heart. Everything in itself is pure. Romans 14:20 . . . we live with an incredible liberty that the Old Testament folks didn’t have because we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. They needed all sorts of rules because they didn’t have the spirit of truth and discernment guiding them like we do. Without this spirit it was easy for them to take on pagan beliefs, so they had to stay away completely.

Pagan artifacts become harmful when people attribute power to them however small. Otherwise they are just a tree or a piece of wood – God’s creation. The pagans put up greenery in their homes this time of year, winter solstice, to protect them from death. They attributed a false saving power to it and that is what is harmful. If I put up greenery in my house – I do it because I think it is something beautiful of God’s creation, nothing more. Nothing is harmful in itself it is what we attribute to it – and from His Word, I believe that is what God doesn’t like.

Most of us don’t attribute power to decorations – that is silly, but what about the gifts we give. If we give gifts to show our “goodness” or to prove our goodness, then we are attributing something more to that act than we should. Or what if we give certain gifts out of pride. All we do should be in love, not for self-glory. Or what if we get caught up in envy and want? Then we are not trusting in God’s perfect provision and we are intermingling with pagan thought practices (thoughts against His will). There are plenty of things during this season to lead us astray in our hearts . . . as with every day. If in our hearts attribute more than we should to things or activities then we are setting them up as idols, otherwise we are free to enjoy. This is one of His many gifts of freedom and joy to us in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:12

This is a wonderful and joyous time of year where we take time to celebrate Christ and the new life He came to give. I encourage you to infuse a spirit of revival with each gift you give, each family encounter, each party you attend and each decoration you hang. Live in the freedom and newness of life and share that life with others by loving them with His love.

Author: Rachel

My passion is cultivating a deep relationship with God and helping others to do the same. I LOVE sharing with others insights that God has taught me and hearing what God has taught them... thus my blog, Stirring the Deep. My focus is on a relationship, not a religion. Life is in the relationship. I believe in a balance and unity of body, mind and spirit. I feel it's important to nurture all three for they all affect each other. I try to live in the present, where the Holy Spirit is. And I try to do all with the motive of love. I've come to believe life is a journey and not a destination. It isn't about perfection, is it about growth.

18 thoughts on “Christmas – A Revival Celebration

  1. Rachel,
    I saw your site via Marianne Lordi’s site. Love what you are doing! Keep it up. I have added your link to our sites http://www.time2standladies.wordpress.com and http://www.time2stand.wordpress.com Would you like to help us in our Ten Indictments Offensive? Check out my recent blog for more info. God bless and keep set upon Christ and grow in holiness, Your brother in Christ Jesus, Jeremy Strang

  2. Thanks Jeremy! I will check it out.

    Rachel

  3. Hey Rachel, this is very powerful &right in the Lord. As God nailed to the cross the leagalistic bonds on His word, we must reframe from man commandments that lead us into a path that God is different today than He was on the first day of creation or that He will be different when Jesus opens the 7seal than He is today.

  4. What about how God is totally always warning about mixing clean and unclean, holy with unholy, how about Nadab and Abiram with the unholy incense? Some verses that maybe don’t specifically address christmas but convicted me are of course Jer10:3-5, Ex 23:33, 34:12-16, Num 16:26, Dt 7:26,2 Cor 6:16, Is 41:7, Judges 2:19, 1 Tim 4:7.
    Just saying. I’ve been trying to find a definate answer to this dilemna for 6 yrs. and feel like I’ve been sitting on the fence trying to go along with husband and family all the while not seeing anything but lies and pagan revelry in it.
    I was really appreciating your teachings until I came to this.
    I spend 11 months dreading 1 and keep searching for some definative answers. I think we are all making excuses not to feel outcast and fearing what others think rather than what the Father has said.
    Searching for answers, Bonnie

    • Hi Bonnie — What EW said is very true .. in all things we must seek to be taught by the Father spirit to spirit within us .. it is in this intimate communion and fellowship with Him that the truth is written on our hearts. If we aren’t taught by Him, we get fragments of truth .. and those are very destructive to the spirit .. this is why Jesus had the disciples gather the fragments of bread up after He fed the 5000. Others can confirm, reveal a different perspective, give us a more complete view of a concept .. but the fundamental truth is taught and made manifest in our lives spirit to spirit.

      The Father has brought me away from the Christmas fanfare of our culture … it isn’t a desire to engage in it. There is a balance in this matter as in all matters of being in the world but not of it – that if you seek God’s truth He will show you; He will show you how to love others, He will give counsel on how to handle your situations which will bring peace to your angst, He will give you wisdom on how to handle particular situations. It is an individual walk; for though the concepts and truths of God are the same .. how they translate in our lives varies … as we each are different and have different situations. He will show you how to truly love without hypocrisy or compromise. How to truly honor Him, yourself, and everyone.

      We like clear rules .. it’s easier. But the Father desires to abide in us which governs us from within by His characteristics in each situation as it comes along. This the the liberty … a liberty that comes through and it supported by our intimacy with Him.

      • * This Makes Sooo Much SENSE, Simple, Basic, Done. I am a “Babe In Christ” on milk, And still learning. I see so many, argueing, Discourageing, fighting “THEIR” Interpretations of the Bible. Scenarios, doctrines, blah blah blah ! Sickening. I stand In Agreement With you Rachel, Let’s ALL let GOD Be GOD. Amen.

      • James,
        i dont know how long your on the ‘spiritual milk’…but if you need it take it,all you can get

        but

        there comes a time you’ll need to move on to grow,..and eat stronger things,..like meat,and strong meat.

        if your not understanding things of people learning to eat and digest stronger meat,…do what your told to do in Scripture,..go and drink the milk,by yourself,..till you,mature,then come seeking stronger spiritual food,…then you’ll understand alot better,…

        or maybe you should discern the site,..its stirring the deep,..if your learning to swim and only putting your toe in,..theres no point telling those diving in the deep end they might get wet!

        Hebrews 5:11-13

        11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

        12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

        13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

  5. To Bonnie, from EW. Maybe I can give some help. First you must not look to Rachel’s post as teaching, but as perceptions of study. “when you are taught by God you need no other teacher” We are to continue to gather together in Jesus’ name, but we are not to allow anyone or thing to controll our mind. As Jesus told Daniel, “from the day you set your mind to know God your words have been heard” This is the point where the Holy Spirit will open scripture study to a new bright light of understanding. Jesus gave to Paul an extensiveness in these matters that I also am struggling with. —Ask Jesus for understanding that you may have peace with the Lord. Then begin at the book of Luke; read & meditate thru the book of Jude, each time will bring more understanding.

      • Corporate models, setgteairs, logic and application will not bring heaven on earth, nor will they bring people to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. my mind has been going over this thought over the past weeks as we spend so much time trying to put work of God and His Holy Spirit into some kind of logical order however, my experience tells me that when God chooses to work He does so in response to our prayers and in ways that often confound us and in spite of us. It is often messy and brings into our world people whose lives are chaotic. thank you for your series. Glenda

    • Satyam, … yes, God’s ways are not our ways .. we have to let Him lead us and direct each step .. as He has the perfect wisdom in all things.

      Rachel

  6. Bonnie,

    i guess the definitive answer, you already know.

    its just totally breaking away from a tradition of man,..not trying to mix it,..or water it down….its easier said than done i know,..but the path is narrow,..no one said it would be easy.

    anyone thats seriously walking the path of Truth will understand to turn away from the likes of Xmass/saturnalia/ Christs MASS/ SUN GOD WORSHIP….christos helius/ie’sus christos is the one written about,that will be excepted

    without even opening Scripture,..its not hard to see Xmass is a horrible pagan festival,..celebrated long before The Messiah was born.

    Anyone studying Scripture will know Immanuel the Messiah was born 6 months after John the Baptist,..and John was born in the spring so the Messiah was born Autumn time.

    Scripture and study and common sense, would tell the most dullest of students shepherds in that country would NOT be out on the hills minding sheep in December .

    what pathetic excuses people make for the quite obvious Jer 10 reference to trees being brought into your house and being decorated, ..like… HELLO …..and even little worse the pagan fertility symbolism of decorating your house with greenery,..COME ON!

    christ helius and a sleigh flying through the air…satan and santa…old father time….father of lies,…ohhh lets tell our children a lie about some fictional ole guy…THAT JUST HAPPENS to resemble in a satanic false way as describes the Messiah Son of God Almighty,..White Hairs and Blood Red Robe, Rev 1 and Rev 19.

    We CANNOT serve GOD and mammon….Choose this day what God you serve…….’they turned their faces to the sun and backs to The temple’

    as for being in the world and part of it,..and make silly excuses not to keep Satansmass,..look and study the downfall of Solomon,..went he was talked into doing what he knew not to but done it anyway

    as for spirit of revival, spirit of christs mass…spirit of stupor…spirit of delusion …the jezebel spirit and the spirit of anti christ…all are of the latter or sent to those who dont love truth.

    The Father God Almighty made it very very clear in Deut 4 and i Exodus when HE sent HIS Son to meet with Moses and TOLD Him Face to face,..what to do and what not to do,..and what would happen if we didnt,…and what part of God HATING your festivals,feasts and keeping of the moons,..can anyone that dares deem themselves christian NOT understand?

    as for fertility/new birth symbolism ?… COME ON…its so satanic and pure queen of heaven and tammuz worship,.

    thankfully i am free of pagan man made festivals especially christ helius, the beast from the pits mass,

    i would urge everyone that professes to Worship God Almighty , Father of Our Dear Saviour or trys to walk the one way path of truth out of this sodom and gomorrah world we are living in,not to have anything to do with sun/moon worship festivals such as Xmass and easter …Walk in NO OTHER SPIRIT than The Holy One, the Spirit of Truth,..and The Wonderful Councillor will set you well and truly free.

  7. Amen Rachel ! Thankyou for this common sense post I almost got caught up in the pagen anti- christamas scenario. THIS MAKES SENSE and Is Truth ! Blessings Sister

  8. Rachel,
    just wondering could you clarify your stance on saturnalia/christs mass in this present day,as this double speak post you posted is 5 years old,..and what if any part you played in the fan fare.

    there is nothing in Scripture, absolutely NOTHING in Scripture to acknowledge the Saviours birth never mind have it on a satanic sun worship festival,…and actually in Scripture we are told many times how to recognize these festivals of mans traditions that Our Father HATES.

    id actually go as far to say anyone that claims to have the spirit of messiah in them,..would NOT have anything in the slightest to do with any festival that involves the keeping of the moons and sun.

    • Brian – there isn’t much wisdom, the truth of God, in these cultural celebrations as most things dominate in the world. But one must seek the wisdom of God and His counsel on what He desires us to do. Everyone has different situations that requires intimate counsel with the Father to navigate through in wisdom and true love. True obedience comes from understanding the truth then walking it in love and loving kindness.

      • Rachel,

        The Scriptures is very clear,..i though you knew all about man traditions,..im surprised you havent read in all your studys about how we need to turn away from them,..individually if need be,that is The Fathers will,..that we turn away from the world and return and worship Him,..we cannot do both

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