15377Re: Christmas a pagan festival? Maybe not
- Dec 28, 2006--- In email@example.com, "gmw"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "timmopussycat"
> <timmopussycat@> wrote:
> > I was cautioning against citing Calvin as authority for the
> > the original poster wished to make, which relied on Calvinopposing
> > Christmas to the same degree as the Scots.make.
> Actually, that is not at all what the original poster wished to
> I asked you who told you to celebrate Jesus' birthday, and who toldTim-Actually Gerry, given that all of what you said was...
> you how to celebrate it?
> Or, "Who told you it was Christmas, you poor beasts?"
But who told us to celebrate Jesus' birthday? And who told us how to
celebrate Jesus' birthday?
How do you know that God is pleased with your celebrating Jesus'
These questions, to me, are more significant than simply "how was it
decided that December 25th was a likely date for Christ's birth?"
Why is December 25th, the date of Christ's birth or not, to be
called ChristMass, celebrated as a Holy Day, with lighting candles
and putting up trees, and decorating with red and green, celebrated
by giving gifts to each other, with tales of elves and fat trolls
sneaking down your chimney?
Or, to paraphrase Calvin... "Who told you it was Christmas, you poor
...it is fair to read you as believing that Calvin supported you, a
supprorter of the Scots view, in your questions. The problem is that
he did not entirely do so.
Calvin would answer your questions like this: "The early church told
us that we may celebrate Jesus' nativity, and there is no second
commandment reason not to. We may celebrate Jesus birthday in any way
that honours God, but nobody in Geneva had ever heard of any of the
19th and 20th century Anglo-American accretions that turned the
celebration into a commercial racket, so don't attribute those abuses
to us. Granted we have some of our own, which is one reason I don't
entely approve of celebrating Christmas."
And you should know that the festival was instituted about 100 years
before the name Mass was first applied to the Eucharist in 397. And
the content of that "Mass" included no heresies, the churches would
not descend to the unbliblical doctrine of transubstantiation for
another 700 years. So please drop the "guilt by association" fallacy
of using "ChristMass" here, as such connotations were not present
when the festival began, and need not be present today.
And please note that you are confusing two questions which should not
be confused. One is should we celebrate the Lord's nativity at all,
the other (which I was not initially addressing) is how should it be
celebrated? On the latter question, I agree with you that we should
not celebrate with the santa myth. But once again that is not what is
But I would like to see an answer to a question I asked which has not
been answered. I would like to see someone address Englsma's
challenge to provide a Scriptural justification of the Westminster
view that we may set special services of public worship in observance
of "notable judgments," "some special blessing," and "days of public
thanksgiving," as allowed by the Westminster Assembly's "Directory
for the Public Worship of God" and as actually held by Presbyterian
churches in the Scottish tradition. But keep in mind, however, if you
establish that the Directory is Scriptural at this point, you have
also established that the church may set special services to mark the
Lord's coming to earth.
> Where did I even imply that Calvin's view was the same as theScots?
> Where did I even mention the Scots?Tim-Nowhere. That clause was simply the conclusion of the sentence,
but I included it to highlight the differing views among the Reformed.
> I've seen many a discussion on Calvin's view of Christmas, none of
> which consider the following quote taken from his December 25th
> on the Book of Micah, wherein he clearly blasts the idea ofChristmas,
> and yet concedes to reading the Nativity story on the followingLord's
> Day -- I believe this shows what his view is, and what hisconcessions
> were (Christmas keeping is nigh unto devil worship, but because it'saside one day out of the year in which we are reminded of all the
> 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
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
Tim-This one sentence is why I say it is not wise to deploy Calvin in
favour of the WCF nonobservance of Christmas. Although Calvin here
says that the Genevans will hear the story of Christ's birth retold
and consider all the good that has occured because of his coming on
the following Sunday, he does agree that it is good to set aside one
day out of the year in which to be reminded of these things. In doing
so he allows what the Scots do not.
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>