Author Topic: Twas The Month Before Christmas  (Read 4798 times)

Jay

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2009, 04:23:39 PM »
( Circulating the Internet )



As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.



Lowes is "Your Christmas Destination"

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=home

Kmart has a Christmas countdown -

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/dap_10151_10104_DAP_Countdown

Sears has "more values more Christmas" promotion

http://www.sears.com/

The front page of Target's website has the word "Christmas" in big bold letters:

http://www.target.com/

I didn't check the others, but you get my point.  


iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2009, 04:26:47 PM »
Well, let's see...

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."


When did this happen?  Which bishop?  Just curious though, sadly, I'm not surprised.

A couple weeks ago.  Oregon.  Text: Jeremiah 31

edoughty

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2009, 04:35:27 PM »
Well, let's see...

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."


When did this happen?  Which bishop?  Just curious though, sadly, I'm not surprised.

A couple weeks ago.  Oregon.  Text: Jeremiah 31

Then, as a "hook" to get congregants' attention, it makes sense.  Because, having tried written laws, God now writes on our hearts and gives us the Word enfleshed.

31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
       "when I will make a new covenant
       with the house of Israel
       and with the house of Judah.

 32 It will not be like the covenant
       I made with their forefathers
       when I took them by the hand
       to lead them out of Egypt,
       because they broke my covenant,
       though I was a husband to [d] them, [e] "
       declares the LORD.

 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
       after that time," declares the LORD.
       "I will put my law in their minds
       and write it on their hearts.
       I will be their God,
       and they will be my people.

 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
       or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
       because they will all know me,
       from the least of them to the greatest,"
       declares the LORD.
       "For I will forgive their wickedness
       and will remember their sins no more."

Mike Bennett

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2009, 04:36:10 PM »
Who told you to "shut up" about Jesus?  Let me know and I'll go beat 'em up.

Well, let's see...

Every time someone manages to preach a 10 minute sermon that doesn't once mention Jesus...(ok, maybe once...)

Every time I am in a small group that sets out to study local art and connect it with the Gospel, and as we are preparing our presentation, I say, "we should have something to say about the Gospel here," and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy.

Every time we read an article for class that belongs in a sociology or anthropology class, and my friend asks, "This is interesting, but what does it have to do with Jesus?" and the professor stares at her like she's from Mars.

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."

Every time "mission" is defined as polite interreligious dialogue whose point is not to bring the Good News but simply to learn how to get along with others.

The "implicit curriculum," in educational parlance, is "shut up about Jesus."  Just sayin'...

And yes, every one of these examples has actually happened...

jpetty, I've read somewhere that boxers soak their hands in brine to toughen them up.  You should probably do that before you go beat up all these people Iowa Katie told us about, whom you committed to go beat up.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2009, 04:45:27 PM »
Right, but it wasn't delivered in a "hook to get your attention" kind of way. 

His point was that God no longer has any specific standards to which He holds us.  "You are OK in the Lord."  Problem is, I don't want to be "ok."  I want to be forgiven, loved, redeemed, transformed, a new creation.  And anytime we take the transformative power of Jesus and turn it into "Jesus says you don't need to be transformed," not only have we diminished the Gospel, we have failed to serve those who know that, indeed, they DO need to be transformed.

Well, let's see...

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."


When did this happen?  Which bishop?  Just curious though, sadly, I'm not surprised.

A couple weeks ago.  Oregon.  Text: Jeremiah 31

Then, as a "hook" to get congregants' attention, it makes sense.  Because, having tried written laws, God now writes on our hearts and gives us the Word enfleshed.

31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
       "when I will make a new covenant
       with the house of Israel
       and with the house of Judah.

 32 It will not be like the covenant
       I made with their forefathers
       when I took them by the hand
       to lead them out of Egypt,
       because they broke my covenant,
       though I was a husband to [d] them, [e] "
       declares the LORD.

 33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
       after that time," declares the LORD.
       "I will put my law in their minds
       and write it on their hearts.
       I will be their God,
       and they will be my people.

 34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
       or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
       because they will all know me,
       from the least of them to the greatest,"
       declares the LORD.
       "For I will forgive their wickedness
       and will remember their sins no more."

iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2009, 05:58:17 PM »
Why "scrooge-ish"? Because I do not want to dilute the sacredness of the nativity by saying "Oh, no, it isn't 'religious,' it's just a symbol of this time of year."?

I'm all in favor of Nativity Scenes. We should put them on our church lawns, even in our own front yards; and hang around them to tell people what they really mean to us. They don't belong on the lawn of the town hall.

If we don't want them on the lawn of the town hall (or Capitol or whatever), why is Christmas a federal holiday?

James Gustafson

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2009, 06:01:47 PM »
Right, but it wasn't delivered in a "hook to get your attention" kind of way.  

His point was that God no longer has any specific standards to which He holds us.  "You are OK in the Lord."  Problem is, I don't want to be "ok."  I want to be forgiven, loved, redeemed, transformed, a new creation.  And anytime we take the transformative power of Jesus and turn it into "Jesus says you don't need to be transformed," not only have we diminished the Gospel, we have failed to serve those who know that, indeed, they DO need to be transformed.

Although it is clear that Jesus has established the new covenant, as he himself said (Lk 22:20), the required blood sacrifice for salvation through his blood has been completed, clearly Jesus is, "the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant" (Hebrews 9:15), but it is also clear that Jesus has not yet returned and completed all the acts that will make the earth his footstool, or in my mind, complete the prophesy given to us in Jeremiah.

When I've heard people proclaim that Jeremiah 31:33 is already accomplished and then they believe that 31:34 is completed as well, and they use this as some sort of justification for doing a "new thing", I wonder why it is that they didn't question why it is that they needed to teach us this new thing then, if they are correct?  Their interpretation disproves itself the moment someone has to teach it to another Christian.  At this time, in-between salvation on the cross and ascension, and Christ’s return, Jeremiah 31:34 is only half completed, the first part is yet to come.

dkeener

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2009, 06:14:42 PM »
I was thinking that this year I would truly honor the "month before Christmas" by sending out Advent cards instead of Christmas cards. I'm thinking a large picture of an angry prophet and the caption:

You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee the wrath to come.

Happy Advent - John the B



Any suggestions for who I should send them to?  ;D

Richard Johnson

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2009, 06:32:57 PM »
Your post Charles, seemed to suggest "amusement" at what is essentially syncretism, and to even suggest support of or acquiessence to the same. Proclaiming the incomprehensibility of the Incarnation is the joyuous task entrusted to us in the midst of an unbelieving or jaded world. That would seem to me to be more wothy of our best efforts, which is what I read in the two initial posts.
Christians were syncretic when they adopted the pagan holiday to the sun-god as the day to celebrate the nativity of our Lord. Biblical evidence indicates that birth was not likely in the winter.

 ::)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2009, 06:55:01 PM »
Brian,

You might to do a little more homework on how the church arrived at its choice regarding the dating of Christmas. It's far more involved than your simple assertion would suggest.

A.A. McArthur in A Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship and Edgar S. Brown, Jr. Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church are the primary sources I've used. Both claim that December 25 had been a date for the worship of a sun-god before it was a celebration of the Nativity of Christ.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

jpetty

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2009, 07:27:16 PM »
Who told you to "shut up" about Jesus?  Let me know and I'll go beat 'em up.

Well, let's see...

Every time someone manages to preach a 10 minute sermon that doesn't once mention Jesus...(ok, maybe once...)

Every time I am in a small group that sets out to study local art and connect it with the Gospel, and as we are preparing our presentation, I say, "we should have something to say about the Gospel here," and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy.

Every time we read an article for class that belongs in a sociology or anthropology class, and my friend asks, "This is interesting, but what does it have to do with Jesus?" and the professor stares at her like she's from Mars.

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."

Every time "mission" is defined as polite interreligious dialogue whose point is not to bring the Good News but simply to learn how to get along with others.

The "implicit curriculum," in educational parlance, is "shut up about Jesus."  Just sayin'...

And yes, every one of these examples has actually happened...

jpetty, I've read somewhere that boxers soak their hands in brine to toughen them up.  You should probably do that before you go beat up all these people Iowa Katie told us about, whom you committed to go beat up.

Mike Bennett

Well, actually, I'm a pacifist.  The "beat up" part was hyperbole.

But yes, I would absolutely defend Katie's right to advocate for and defend her religious beliefs.  It's coercing others to ratify those beliefs--like getting store clerks to say "Merry Christmas" (especially when they probably have all along anyway)--that I don't go along with. 

Charles_Austin

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2009, 08:29:21 PM »
iowakatie asks:
If we don't want them on the lawn of the town hall (or Capitol or whatever), why is Christmas a federal holiday?

I comment:
Different matter entirely. A federal holiday does not necessarily endorse the holiday, it only notes that - for the broader public good - federal business will not be done that day.
I always ask: Why insist that the nativity scene be on the town hall lawn? First, we have to demean its importance to have it be there. Then there is the fact that in many of our towns (mine, for instance), Christians are only a slight majority, and we do need to be concerned about our neighbors.
Proclaim Christ at Christmas, put a manger scene in front of every church in town, and the witness will be more authentic and grander than having cheesy plastic figures of the Holy Family flanked by snowmen and perhaps a menorah in front of town hall.
This dispute arises somewhere almost every year; and I just don't get it.

iowakatie1981

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2009, 08:39:20 PM »
Oh, I see how it is.  Tell me you've got my back, and then ditch me when the chips are down... ;D

Who told you to "shut up" about Jesus?  Let me know and I'll go beat 'em up.

Well, let's see...

Every time someone manages to preach a 10 minute sermon that doesn't once mention Jesus...(ok, maybe once...)

Every time I am in a small group that sets out to study local art and connect it with the Gospel, and as we are preparing our presentation, I say, "we should have something to say about the Gospel here," and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy.

Every time we read an article for class that belongs in a sociology or anthropology class, and my friend asks, "This is interesting, but what does it have to do with Jesus?" and the professor stares at her like she's from Mars.

Every time a bishop, from the pulpit, declares that "God is SO DONE with Bibles."

Every time "mission" is defined as polite interreligious dialogue whose point is not to bring the Good News but simply to learn how to get along with others.

The "implicit curriculum," in educational parlance, is "shut up about Jesus."  Just sayin'...

And yes, every one of these examples has actually happened...

jpetty, I've read somewhere that boxers soak their hands in brine to toughen them up.  You should probably do that before you go beat up all these people Iowa Katie told us about, whom you committed to go beat up.

Mike Bennett

Well, actually, I'm a pacifist.  The "beat up" part was hyperbole.

But yes, I would absolutely defend Katie's right to advocate for and defend her religious beliefs.  It's coercing others to ratify those beliefs--like getting store clerks to say "Merry Christmas" (especially when they probably have all along anyway)--that I don't go along with. 

pr dtp

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2009, 08:43:19 PM »
Brian,

You might to do a little more homework on how the church arrived at its choice regarding the dating of Christmas. It's far more involved than your simple assertion would suggest.

A.A. McArthur in A Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship and Edgar S. Brown, Jr. Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church are the primary sources I've used. Both claim that December 25 had been a date for the worship of a sun-god before it was a celebration of the Nativity of Christ.

They need to do their research then, because it was the Winter Solstice - the 22nd, not the 25th.  The reason for it should then be obvious.




Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Twas The Month Before Christmas
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2009, 09:17:35 PM »
Brian,

You might to do a little more homework on how the church arrived at its choice regarding the dating of Christmas. It's far more involved than your simple assertion would suggest.

A.A. McArthur in A Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship and Edgar S. Brown, Jr. Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church are the primary sources I've used. Both claim that December 25 had been a date for the worship of a sun-god before it was a celebration of the Nativity of Christ.

They need to do their research then, because it was the Winter Solstice - the 22nd, not the 25th.  The reason for it should then be obvious.
The articles indicate that they had the date wrong for the Winter Solstice. My hunch is that by the 25th they could tell that the days were beginning to get longer.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]