Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People
There's a man on youtube - last name Barnett, - Dr. Barnett I believe, who teaches that the earth is the center of the universe and when the elements burn with fervent heat God is going to destroy the universe. It amazes me that so many people believe him.
It's your assessment that I don't believe in the Word of the Bible. I'm not one who lets others interpret it for me. I do my own homework and I'm not to subject to any one church or any one set of beliefs. I determine my beliefs. It's clear to me that if you feel it's wrong to celebrate Christmas or Easter, then don't do it.
I was going to attend a UCG but was told I wouldn't fit in. The pastor thought I was going there to push my eschatological beliefs which wasn't true. I'm non-trinitarian and that's why I wanted to go as I was soon to get into a debate on the trinity with someone and wanted to get some insight on it. God has already called me. I have in sorts a ministry of my own. Though I disagree with the UCG in several areas, I appreciate the UCG very much and would never discourage anyone from going there. I would discourage people going to a trinitarian, fundamentalist church. This is a free forum and there's a great bunch of people here. They know that I'm a horse of a different color. God bless all of you. I bet I cause them to think and wonder about some things I say about the last days, though I doubt I'll change any of their minds.
It's not a doctrine and it's not a commandment. Christmas is one of the most blessed times of the year for me and millions of others. I'll be playing two beautiful Christmas songs at our SUNDAY service, and one at a concert Sunday afternoon where I sing one, "Come, Jesus, Holy Son of God" by Handel....and two more times at two Monday services. It's the most beautiful season of the year. We celebrate the birth of our Lord. If you don't that's OK. I respect your decision. I celebrate Christmas and you need to respect my decision to do so.
Kathy you said,
"Jim, It is clear your intention is to use our forum to advance your incorrect interpretation of one scripture."
That's not true. I'm not here to advance the 'incorrect interpretation' of anything. I pose quite a challenge to people, especially with contentious issues like Trinity, Pre-trib, and ROME which is NOT found in one verse of end-time prophecy. I'm showing you and others the other side of the issue. You say I'm misinterpreting but look,
You quote Mathew 15:9
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
Then you say,
"You can worship Jesus and do it in vain? Jesus said you could!"
You're taking a verse that comes from Isaiah that Jesus directed to the Pharisees because they give the appearance of drawing near to God with lip service but their heart is far from Him, to say we shouldn't celebrate Christmas!
I'm playing "Mary did you Know and Oh Holy Night" at two Christmas services and one Christmas concert. In doing so I will NOT be worshipping heathen gods but will be worshipping God the Father for giving us His son Jesus Christ our Savior and will bring tears to peoples eyes as I play it.
We have to agree to disagree. The law was an observance between God and Israel. An Israelite could not leave their home, build a fire, or cause anyone to work. If you did any of those things you were to be put to death. You are mistaking if you think that applies to NT Christians. There's no obligation for New Testament believers to observe a Saturday or Sunday Sabbath. “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord” Paul said, "For if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." He also said, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." Paul again, "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. KJV Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: People who go to church on Sunday or celebrate Christmas are doing the right thing. "Reverend" is a nick I picked up while working in the NH state prison.
Jay, It amazes me that nearly all Christians attribute apostasy to themselves when there's not one reason to believe so. Apostasy is an end-time rebellious EVENT that takes place just before the man of sin appears because it's what brings him on. Notice how other religions define apostasy and how they are similar. It's only the Christian definition that's different. This is the web definition of apostasy.
Apostasy - (noun) 1The act of abandoning a party or cause.
2. The state of having rejected your religious beliefs, political party, cause or sports team in favor of opposing beliefs, causes or teams.
3 A defection, renunciation, disaffiliation, abandonment or revolt from a previous association.
4 (Islamic definition) Rejection in word or deed of one's former religion.
5 (Christian definition) To fall away from the truth.
The only one that's incorrect is the Christian one! Look at my reply above about the words "BUT WE" in verse 13. That proves the apostasy is all about the followers of the man of sin. Why would go send strong delusion upon Christians? Apostasy is a rebellion and abandonment of a previous affiliation. It's not heresy or a lack of devotion.
Paul required Christian Jews to stop rituals that violated the 'new covenant. They were allowed to continue with the other un-Christian 'pagan' traditions of Judaism.
The Sabbath has been a controversy forever. It's more of a Judaic custom than a NT teaching. New Testament believers are not under the Old Testament Law (Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:24-25; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 11, 13; Hebrews 7:12). Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week, and Pentecost likely occurred on Sunday. It has no bearing on a person's salvation. As long as we all honor a day of rest we are doing the right thing. Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them... 1 Cor. 16:1-2 Now about the collection for God's people...On the FIRST day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income... Saturday doesn't need to be the Sabbath any more than we need to adhere to any other part of Judaic law like food restrictions etc. The same with Christmas. Celebrating it is not a return to paganism. What I dislike about Christianity is that everyone complains about how and what everyone else is doing.
You posted the article and I'm just allowing readers to see the other side of the story. My issue with attributing Christmas and Easter to paganism is the divisiveness and 'bad publicity' it portrays to unbelievers. That's one of the main problems with Christianity today. Everybody likes to believe they have have the truth and then attribute the beliefs of others they disagree with to the evil one. When unbelievers see one group of Christians celebrate the resurrection or the birth of Christ, and then they see others demonize them for it does absolutely nothing for the cause of Christ. There's no hard evidence that Eastre was ever a pagan goddess. There's no documented evidence of shrines, altars, or the worship of Eastre, and celebrating Christ birth in no way implies a return to paganism. The sinful traditions associated with Saturnalia were discarded. Some of the un-sinful ones were carried over in 4C AD and that doesn't turn Christmas into paganism. We simply celebrate the birth of Christ that's a matter of 'conscience.'
"One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind."
All we read and know about end-time prophecy must be in accord, and there must be scriptural evidence and support that harmonizes with them. If Rome, Europe, or the USA are found in prophecy there must be supporting scriptures to validate it, but there isn't. Not one verse of prophecy supports such a connection. The descendents of Japeth likely populated Europe and I don't see an end-time connection, progenitive or not, to support any Western country anywhere. I haven't read "The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy," but it likely refers to Abraham and Joseph's descendants or maybe about how "Israel" refers to the United States or Britain. Sorry, but I don't accept that teaching. The southern kingdom of "Judah" may at time refer to Israel today, and Israel typically implies the nations and descendents of Israel or even Christians, and that in no way implies the EU or USA. Some people teach that "Gomer" is Germany and Meshech is Moscow and Tubal is Tobolsk. Every nation mentioned in Ez. 38-39 is found in Turkey today and maybe some of the 'stan' countries to the north and east. Psalm 83's nations are all Islamic. You'd be hard pressed to show me otherwise.
There are so many things we do associated with paganism that if we avoided them all we may just as well not live. In Acts 21 Paul told Jewish converts not to participate in certain Jewish traditions. Those converts accused Paul of calling for an apostasy/abandonment of them. Paul wasn't telling them to abandon ALL the Jewish traditions and festivities but only the ones of blood sacrifice etc. that would be against the new covenant. Would not some of those Jewish/Judaic customs be pagan in origin or against Christianity?
Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends. Some celebrate it without associating it with Christ birth. NOBODY I know connects it with Satan, and nobody I know celebrates it with pagan gods. The definition of pagan has a multitude of meanings. That's why I say you can attribute just about anything to paganism.
If you feel it's a sin to celebrate Christmas, then don't. I feel it's not a sin as we in my church honor Jesus Christ and no one else.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Another example is if you feel convicted eating lobster or pork then it is a sin for you, but may not be for me.