15375Re: Christmas a pagan festival? Maybe not
- Dec 28, 2006--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "timmopussycat"
>Actually, that is not at all what the original poster wished to make.
> I was cautioning against citing Calvin as authority for the point
> the original poster wished to make, which relied on Calvin opposing
> Christmas to the same degree as the Scots.
I asked you who told you to celebrate Jesus' birthday, and who told
you how to celebrate it?
Or, "Who told you it was Christmas, you poor beasts?"
Where did I even imply that Calvin's view was the same as the Scots?
Where did I even mention the Scots?
I've seen many a discussion on Calvin's view of Christmas, none of
which consider the following quote taken from his December 25th Sermon
on the Book of Micah, wherein he clearly blasts the idea of Christmas,
and yet concedes to reading the Nativity story on the following Lord's
Day -- I believe this shows what his view is, and what his concessions
were (Christmas keeping is nigh unto devil worship, but because it's
good to set aside some time to think about the Lord's birth, they'll
read the nativity story on God's Holy Day):
"Now, I see here today more people than I am accustomed to having at
the sermon. Why is that? It is Christmas Day. And who told you
this? You poor beasts. That is a fitting euphemism for all of you
who have come here today to honor Noel. Did you think you would be
honoring God? Consider what sort of obedience to God your coming
displays. In your mind, you are celebrating a holiday for God, or
turning today into one. But so much for that. In truth, as you have
often been admonished, it is good to set aside one day out of the year
in which we are reminded of all the good that has occurred because of
Christ's birth in the world, and in which we hear the story of his
birth retold, which will be done on Sunday. But if you think that
Jesus Christ was born today, you are as crazed as wild beasts. For
when you elevate one day alone for the purpose of worshipping God, you
have just turned it into an idol. True, you insist that you have done
so for the honor of God, but it is more for the honor of the Devil.
Let us consider what our Lord has to say on the matter. Was it not
Saul's intention to worship God when he spared Agag, the king of the
Amalakites, along with the best spoils and cattle? He says as much:
"I want to worship God." Saul's tongue was full of devotion and good
intention. But what was the response he received? "You soothsayer!
You heretic! You apostate! You claim to be honoring God, but God
rejects and disowns all that you have done" [1 Samuel 15:8,9].
Consequently, the same is true of our actions. For no day is superior
to another. It matters not whether we recall our Lord's nativity on a
Wednesday, Thursday, or some other day. But when we insist on
establishing a service of worship based on our whim, we blaspheme God,
and create an idol, though we have done it all in the name of God.
And when you worship God in the idleness of a holiday spirit, that is
a heavey sin to bear, and one which attracts others about it, until we
reach the height of iniquity. Therefore, let us pay attention to what
Micah is saying here [Micah 5:7-14], that God must not only strip away
things that are bad themselves, but must also eliminate anything that
might foster superstition. Once we have understood that, we will no
longer find it strange that Noel is not being observed today, but that
on Sunday we will celebrate the Lord's Supper and recite the story of
the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. But to all those who barely
know Jesus Christ, or that we must be subject to him, and that God
removes all those impediments that prevent us from coming to him,
these folks, I say, will at best grit their teeth. They came here in
anticipation of celebrating a wrong intention, but will leave with it
-- Sermon (20) upon Micah 5:7-14, Preached Thursday, December 25th, 1551.
To sum up, my intentions are not to say that Calvin opposed Christmas
to the same degree as the Scots (though they both apparently held
Christmas-keeping to be satanical), as clearly Calvin in some way
acknowledged what people's minds were on that time of year (might as
well read the Nativity story this Lord's Day, since everyone is
prepared to hear that anyway), which is more than I understand the
Scots to have done. Rather, I'm simply asking you Christmas-keepers
the same question Calvin asked...
Who told you it was Christmas?
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