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Merry Christmas to all Today! Today is indeed a special time of the year, but not for the same reasons that Society would say. I know what your thinking, the presents, the family and togetherness, the food, and hopefully so good memories to reflect on. However, it would be foolish if we to celebrate this day and forget the level of significance it has on our world. Christmas as most people know originates from the Christian religion, as we celebrate the birth of Christ. This day in recent memories has often been attacked by The New Atheists and even people in the Conspiracy Camp. From the New Atheists they either deny His existence all together or at the very least deny His divinity and from the Conspiracy Theorist Camp, they simply equate Him with other Mythological Gods of the Pagan World. I want to talk about these things to day and in the Spirit of Christ Himself reconcile this day with those who are biased in denying anything about the Living God. In the Spirit of this Day I seek to keep this post short and to the point.

First of all let us tackle the New Atheist argument that seeks to Deny The Divinity of Christ and The Significance to His Mission on Earth. They often say that, “Christ is not the Son of God, but if He was real, He would be merely some social or political revolutionary, some sage with humanitarian aims.” One problem I have right off the bat with this statement, is simply this: IF Christ was just another person on earth, and worst killed for His subversive beliefs, then no one would have celebrated His Birth in the first place. Considered some subversive threat to our society today, take Osama Bin Laden, do we celebrate his birthday whether in the West or in the Middle East? No but some of us celebrated the day of his death. Consider a relatively recent historical figure that posed a threat to our society, say Hitler, do we celebrate his birthday? Not at all, but we celebrate the day of his death as well. So whats the point? The point unlike Osama or Hitler, is that this particular subversive being does have celebrated His Day of Coming onto the Earth as well as His Death, but unlike other subversives He is the only one proclaimed to have a Resurrection and Ascension as well. More to the point, we have continued to celebrate His Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection not for 100 years and then move on, but for the past 1978 years (33 years of age is when He is purported to have died, so subtract the age of His Death from the Year of this post)! I know I use Fr. Barron’s videos quite frequently in my posts, but he offers some pretty good insights into other reasons why, if we believe Christ is Good, then we must admit to His Divinity as well:

Second of all let us tackle the particularly persuasive argument from the Conspiracy Theory camp that Christ is merely to be equated with other Mythological Gods and Demigods before Him because of all these similarities that Christ has with these pagan Gods. The biggest theological distinction that I alone can make between the pagan Mythological Gods and the One True Living God of the Ancient Christian tradition stems from the fact that, the Pagan Gods demand our worship in a way that suggests that they need our worship, they need our sacrifice and come armed with threats that if we do not worship these mythological gods then they will strike us down and force us to worship them. However in the true Christianity, not that which is watered-down by fundamentalism, God does not need our worship, God does not need our sacrifice and surrender rather it is something arising spontaneously within us that encourages us to Love God, to Worship God, to Surrender and Sacrifice over to Him. Now I know many will point to the Problem of Evil, that even innocent people who are righteous in the eyes of God still suffer for following God yet those who do not follow Him are given much worldly success.

To which I reply, unlike the Pagan Gods who are incomplete without us and who were believed to use their power to coerce us to follow them, the Christian God is complete without us and the only difficulty the righteous and innocent experience in life is either resistance from those who refuse to follow this Spontaneously Unfolding Way of God or those righteous and innocent who were placed where they were for God’s Purposes. The Righteous and Innocent, upon pursuing God and His Love know the risks and therefore in knowing the risks know that they may need to suffer in a fallen world for God’s Loving Redemption of it. Again Fr. Barron comments on other aspects of the Christ-Pagan God Equivalence in the Zeitgeist Film (others will agree with this idea as well) and I believe it would be beneficial of both the supporters and opposer’s to view this video:

I also think that it is also good to view this interview regarding how it is Good that God is Complete Unto Himself and therefore, does not need us in order to grow in power as well:

Now what I will acknowledge from the Zietgiest Film is a bit of a compromise, but it is a truth, that Christmas has potentially some origins to a Roman Pagan Holiday intended to celebrate the Birth of the Roman Pagan God Mithras under the title Sol Inviticus [The Unconquered Son] and from which people think that Christmas is supposed to spin-off to an otherwise pagan festival, however BAR Magazine wrote an article about this last year from which it critiques this argument by saying that,

“Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing. Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c. 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order. But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods… There are problems with this popular theory, however, as many scholars recognize. Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character.

I’ll mind the reader that BAR is an acronym for the Biblical Archaeological Review. I will also point out that some do not even believe that Christmas is a Pagan Holiday AT ALL! Whichever point of view we take however [(1) That Christmas is not recycled Paganism (2) That Christmas is an original Christian Holiday] we will see that the argument that Christmas is “left-over” Paganism fails horribly! In the end I cannot come to believe that Christianity is just recycled paganism, as the propaganda machines wants “the unsuspecting masses” to believe, as one blogger wrote. True Christianity is both the end and fulfillment of all religion, not a monopoly on religion but the fulfillment of all religion, philosophy, and spirituality. Through other religious-spiritual traditions and philosophies, man has used his modes of perception and evaluation to find God but only get half way, but in Christianity, God comes from the other half way and reveals Himself to us, separating the wheat from the chaff, the truth of our own search from the misunderstandings. The beauty to this day, is that this is the Day it all begins!

Finally we have this time of the year in which the Militant Unbelievers seek to advertise their beliefs of Philosophical Materialism and so-called “Rationalism” the irrational irony is that because Christmas is traditionally a Christian Holiday, they attack the one time of the year in which vain materialism is often contemporaneously celebrated and it is not like these groups do not make money off their advertisements as well. It is my personal opinion and nothing more that, those who would attack Christianity should not celebrate Christmas, they should not exchange gifts nor spend time with their families and friends, because this day is just another day without Christianity making it significant: So if its just another day, why are you going to exchange gifts, why are you going to share your time with others, why not do that the week beforehand or afterwards, why this day? There is indeed a loneliness filled with anger and despair that is present and I see it to be a larger metaphor for their hostile position. With that I will conclude with Fr. Barron commenting on Christmas and the deeper significance and lesson it ought to hold today:

With That I Bid You A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I will be posting an article about New Years Resolutions that I will post during the day on January 2nd, so that any festivities for the New Year have ended and you will have time to focus on Resolutions.

^ Ironic Band Name For A Song Made For Christmas Time ^



Posted December 25, 2011 by jimbo9889 in Current Events

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