17 December 2010 (Sheshi/Kippur)|
Day #276, 5934 AM
Father Christmas on Tryal
Some Help in Making Tough Choices
Today, while searching for other things, I quite accidentally came across a longish tract written in England in 1686 by Josiah King entitled, The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas. It was written after the monarchy had been restored following the overthrow of Oliver Cromwell's Puritan Republic in England. During the latter period Christmas had been made illegal for all the grounds that we are well familiar with, namely, its association with paganism and idolatry. It was this same anti-Christmas Puritan spirituality which was the founding of American culture, remaining the predominant sentiment of the people until 1870 when it was made an official holiday by the Federal Government ostensibly to forge reconcilliation between North and South following the bloody Civil War.
As I read though this tract I was struck by a number of things. Firstly, that the mind and heart of man will use all its ingenuity and talents to justify instituting or remaining in sin if it has at first made up its mind to do so. The tract is brilliantly written (from an intellectual point-of-view), masterfully plays on the sentiments, and in effect reinstates 'Father Christmas' (Santa Claus) on 25 December using English legal proceedings. We are left at the conclusion of the tract with a hearty endorsement of the old gentleman as a philanthropist who brings much cheer and does much good at the time of the year. In contrast, the Puritan Interregnum is viewed as a time of darkness and misery. A better tract could not have been written for a humanist or pagan.
We, as believers, have basically only one decision to make, and it is this: Do we want to follow the ways of Yahweh or of man? Thereafter, we can use our talents and skills to defend one or the other, and as far as intellectualism is concerned, it is possible to make a good case of either, whether it be the condemnation or defence of Christmas, of drunkeness, of immorality, or anything else that we may choose to defend or attack. There will always be justificatiion for sin and the enemy, ever willing to oblige the lawless and disobedient, will supply ample inspiration for self-justification.
Man is simply not wise or clever enough to invent his own lifestyle. He has been trying for thousands of years. Apart from the New World Order (NWO) and One World Religion (OWR), and possibly a 'Galactic Federation' even, he has pretty much invented or tried everything there is to invent as far as creating Utopia is concerned, and in every single case - religious and secular - he has monumentally failed. And in truth, today's political innovations such as the EU and the Obama Experiment are merely old failed systems being repackaged on a larger scale. And the religionists aren't doing much better either - Christianity has become secularised and emasculated leaving as the rising dominant religion a feudalistic barbaric relic of the 5th century that delights in bloodshed, violence, oppression and cruelty.
Christmas, invented by the Roman Catholics and continued by most of the Protestant denominations, with the exception of the Puritans and one or two others, is as the Puritans claimed it was: pagan and idolatrous. It is, admittedly, hard to recognise that as we view the sanitised version promoted by 19th century orthodox Christianity - only the other day I received a beautifully produced Christian colour magazine from Norway, whose articles are ordinarily exemplary, but whose December edition is packed full of the usual Yule images and sentiments. I know the two authors well and when our paths originally crossed and we got into discussions on the subject, they acknowledged the paganism but made a fateful choice not to endanger their ministry and influence amongst Norwegian Protestants - they decided to stick with the tradition using the excuse that it was, after all, 'serving Christ', whatever its origins. Their readership has grown and grown whilst our own Norwegian periodical has long been discontinued. And you will draw your own conclusion about that based on a number of different criteria which is beyond the scope of this short devotional.
It is not easy to stand against the tide and say 'No'. It is not easy to be a follower of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) at a time of almost universal apostacy. There is undeniably a desire to follow the crowd and to be a part of something 'big'. As one German Social Democrat once said in an interview about the pre-war Nazi period in which he grew up as a young man, there was a part of him that so much wanted to be a part of this great, dynamic political fellowship with all its razzmataz but there was another part of him that simply could not because he knew it was a lie. I can relate to that. Christmas is a very colourful, glittery and 'merry' time, but you know what I discovered? None of it is actually spiritual, it is psychic - that is its power and lure. It is powerful too, simply because so many people do it. But none of these things make it right. And none of these things can possibly be pleasing to Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, because what most of them represent are things unquestionably antichrist and wicked.
If you can't make a decision about this coming holiday which so many millions observe, Christian as well as atheist and from other religions too, then why not make a careful study of our Christmas website over the next few days and find out the truth for yourself? I did so, nearly 30 years ago, with no support from anyone except my wife, and with considerable hostility from family, friends and the church I then belonged to. I did not abandon it because the church I was a member of did not celebrate Christmas but because I knew for myself that it was wrong. So I was under no pressure from anyone to abandon this tradition (quite the opposite) and I had nothing to gain from abandoning it from a worldly point-of-view. I did what I knew was right because of what the Bible taught and what history revealed.
So be bold and brave, do what is right no matter what anyone else says or thinks, and know this truth with all your being:
If you'd like help or support in making this decision and seeing it through, just get in contact.
"Oh, love Yahweh, all you His set-apart (separated) ones (saints)! For Yahweh preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in Yahweh" (Ps.31:23-24, NKJV),