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Pastor defends decision to close church on Christmas
AP ^ | 12/11/05 | AP

Posted on 12/11/2005 8:58:32 PM PST by Pikamax

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The senior minister at central Kentucky's largest church defended a decision to not offer services there on Christmas Sunday and responded to mounting criticism.

The Rev. Jon Weese praised the decision of elders at Southland Christian Church during a service Saturday and said they "chose to value families. People over policy."

Weese has heard from hundreds of Christians across the nation protesting the closure, Southland officials said. Preaching before a crowd of about 1,150, Weece said the full story hasn't been heard.

"I was deeply saddened by the knee-jerk response of the Christian community as a whole to give the benefit of the doubt to the media and not a church or a Christian brother. I'm still troubled that more Christians did not stand up for us," said Weece. "Can you see or begin to see that the devil is stirring the pot on this?"

The backlash came after the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Southland and other megachurches in Illinois, Michigan, Georgia and Texas would not hold worship services on Dec. 25.

Standing on a stage decorated with 15 artificial Christmas trees, Weece downplayed the significance of the day.

"Christmas began as a pagan holiday to the Roman gods, and if we were to really celebrate the historical birth of Jesus, it would either be in early January or mid-April," Weece said. "I'm only pointing out the historical technicalities not out of intellectual arrogance, but again because of the illogical, ill-informed and even hypocritical arguments that were aimed at me this past week."

Weece also said that the church technically would be worshipping every Sunday in December.

Referring to Christianity's Jewish roots, he said that Sunday begins at sundown on Saturday according to biblical tradition.

Weece noted that Jesus also was criticized for breaking tradition. "There were some whose zeal even in the days of Jesus was misguided," he said. "They emphasized religion over relationship."

Worshippers applauded Weece several times during the service and gave him a standing ovation at one point.

"It's absolutely appalling that he and this church have been treated this way," church receptionist Olivia Byrne said after the service.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Kentucky
KEYWORDS: christmas; christmasday; christmasservice; holyday; megachurch; megachurches; pastor; pharisees; sunday; thelordsday; timeandahalf; waronchristmas; waronthelordsday
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1 posted on 12/11/2005 8:58:32 PM PST by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

"Can you see or begin to see that the devil is stirring the pot on this?"

Oh brother...


2 posted on 12/11/2005 9:02:13 PM PST by The Worthless Miracle
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To: Pikamax

Alot of people have a lot of time, to complain about a lot things that don't directly impact them personally.


3 posted on 12/11/2005 9:02:30 PM PST by justche (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Damn straight, I'll cast the first stone!" - MeanWestTexan)
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To: Pikamax

Translation: I'm a lazy, money-grubbing fraud who doesn't hesitate to spout heresy when threatened.


4 posted on 12/11/2005 9:02:35 PM PST by dsc
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To: Pikamax

I have no opinion as to this decision. If that's what the congregation wants to do, so be it.

There is nothing magical or righteous by celebrating the birth of our Savior with one's buttocks warming a pew.


5 posted on 12/11/2005 9:02:38 PM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: dsc

LOL


6 posted on 12/11/2005 9:03:26 PM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: Pikamax

Can you imagine.... Having Jesus having a birthday party and the "church" is not coming!


7 posted on 12/11/2005 9:03:35 PM PST by RepublicanJoe (Australia's governor general resigned yesterday, just days after a court dismissed allegations)
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To: Pikamax
"Christmas began as a pagan holiday to the Roman gods, and if we were to really celebrate the historical birth of Jesus, it would either be in early January or mid-April," Weece said.

Koinonia House Online


Seasonal Favorites:

The Origins of our Christmas Traditions

by Chuck Missler

Each year at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. After the New Year, we struggle to remember to add a year as we date our checks, which should remind us that the entire Western World reckons its calendar from the birth of the One who changed the world more than any other before or since.

Yet, it is disturbing to discover that much of what we have been taught about the Christmas season seems to be more tradition than truth.

When Was Jesus Born?

Most serious Bible students realize that Jesus was probably not born on December 25th. The shepherds had their flocks in open fields,1 which implies a date prior to October. Furthermore, no competent Roman administrator would require registration involving travel during the season when Judea was generally impassable.2

If Jesus wasn't born on December 25, just when was he born? Although the Bible doesn't explicitly identify the birthday of our Lord, many scholars have developed diverse opinions as to the likely birthday of Jesus. (It reminds one of the rabbinical observation: with two Jews, you have three opinions!) See our briefing, The Christmas Story: What Really Happened for more information.

Then Why December 25th?

The early Christian church did not celebrate Jesus' birth, and therefore the exact date was not preserved in festivals. The first recorded mention of December 25th is in the Calendar of Philocalus (A.D. 354), which assumed Jesus' birth to be Friday, December 25th, A.D. 1. This was subsequent to Constantine's Edict of Toleration in A.D. 313, which enabled the persecuted Christians to exchange the rags of hiding for the silks of the court. But the predictable expediency to adopt the inevitable cultural changes caused many of the former pagan rituals to be adapted to their new "Christian" trappings.

The date of December 25th, which was officially proclaimed by the church fathers in A.D. 440, was actually a vestige of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, observed near the winter solstice, which itself was among the many pagan traditions inherited from the earlier Babylonian priesthood.3

Babylonian Traditions

All forms of occultic practices have their origins in the original city of Babylon. Isaiah Chapter 47 clearly brings this out. Most of what we associate with pagan Rome had its origins in ancient Babylon. Babylon is mentioned in over 300 references in the Bible; it is even alluded to three times in Christ's own genealogy.

The Tammuz Legend

Tammuz, the son of Nimrod and his queen, Semiramis, was identified with the Babylonian Sun God and worshipped following the winter solstice. As the days became shorter and shorter through the winter, they become the shortest at the winter solstice, about December 22-23. Tammuz was thought to have died during the winter solstice, and was memorialized by burning a log in the fireplace. (The Chaldean word for infant is yule. This is the origin of the "yule log.") His "rebirth" was celebrated by replacing the log with a trimmed tree the next morning. Sound familiar? (Jeremiah 10 contains an interesting verse which talks about trimming trees, etc.)

There are numerous other examples. The wassail bowl, the mistletoe (a fertility rite), and others are documented in such works as Alexander Hislop's, The Two Babylons. When Babylon was conquered by subsequent empires, this entire religious system was transplanted, first to Pergamos under the Persians, and then to Rome. As the pagan Roman (Babylonian) religious system was integrated with Christian ceremonial observances, many of our current traditions surrounding Christmas emerged. And it appears that an "ecumenical" integration of all the world's religions, including the ancient Babylonian occult forms that presently masquerade as the "New Age," is destined to be the final religious climax.

The Throne of David

There is another aspect to keep in mind this Christmas season. As we recall the prophecy in Micah that prescribes that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, notice the entire verse:

But thou, Bethlehem ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah 5:2

Also, as we recall that other familiar prophecy in Isaiah, note again the whole verse:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the Throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.

Isaiah 9:6-7

The "Throne of David" is not just an Old Testament concept. Remember the Angel Gabriel's promise to Mary:

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 1:31-33

But did Jesus ever actually sit on David's throne? He couldn't have. It didn't exist at that time. Jeconaiah was the last of David's line to sit on the throne. (Remember, the blood curse on his line.4) Herod, appointed by the Romans, was an Edomite ("Idumean"). He wasn't even Jewish.

At the moment, Jesus is sitting on His Father's Throne. The question is, will He ever sit on David's throne? Will the promise that Gabriel announced to Mary also be fulfilled? Of course. (And it may be sooner than we think.)

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Christians today tend to fight the ongoing secularization of their holidays. Some have rejected anything to do with them, saying they are not Biblically ordained. Others have tried to go back to keeping the Jewish feasts instead. It should be pointed out that the New Testament doesn't really ordain anything other than the Lord's Supper. But it does not prohibit it either, and under grace Christians are free to honor different days if they wish.

Those families who want to keep Christ as the center of Christmas may find it easier to do by understanding the various symbols that have been used to celebrate Christ's birth through the ages and using them to retain the uniqueness inherent in the mystery of the incarnation: the birth of the Son of God. For instance, at Christmas we remember the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh presented by the Magi.5 These prophetic gifts celebrated his deity, priesthood, and death. When He returns to establish His kingdom, He will be presented only with gold and frankincense.6 There will be no myrrh: His death is now behind Him.

Let's make this season a real celebration. What are you giving Him this Christmas? Is there something in your life He would like to see you part with?

* * *

Link


8 posted on 12/11/2005 9:07:01 PM PST by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: Pikamax

The statements the pastor makes in this article posted don't make sense.

If they are cancelling church on December 25th, how can they be having church every sunday?

If he believes his argument about December 25th not even being a "real" christian holiday, why would he cancel the bible-mandated "coming together" on a sunday in order for his families to celebrate the pagan holiday?

And if he really is against the secularization of christianity, why would have have 15 artificial christmas trees at a place of honor in his sanctuary?

There are people who feel compelled to worship God at HIS time and place of choosing. The Christian church should provide a place for the flock to do so each Sunday.

When my church did weekend retreats, they always sent an elder back for Sunday service at the church, so those who didn't go on the retreat could have a worship service.

I don't know of a single conservative church in my area which is cancelling worship service because of christmas. My church will be meeting, my parent's church will be meeting.

I wouldn't expect my church to cancel because some people won't be there.

I guess that is what I really don't understand -- are they afraid that if they have a service, their flock will be "compelled" to attend, and will somehow neglect their family gatherings? Can't people just work their plans around the service, and invite their extended family?

This sound much like the decision of a "modern" church trying more to appeal to today's culture, and be "relevant" for its members, than a church trying to be true to scripture.


9 posted on 12/11/2005 9:08:03 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Pikamax

Yea, attending church is now "policy"


10 posted on 12/11/2005 9:13:33 PM PST by The Cuban
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To: Pikamax

Christmas is a nice little tradition, and I love it, but it's not biblical. Jesus asked that he be remembered by the Lord's supper, not a pagan holiday.


11 posted on 12/11/2005 9:19:53 PM PST by stinkerpot65
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To: CharlesWayneCT

The very best Christmas sermon I ever heard, was on one of those Christmas days, that happen to fall on Sunday...

I got to church early, to practice, as I was the organ player...the church janitor always was there before me, getting the heat turned up, and comfy for Sunday School and Church...but I noticed on this particular Sunday Christmas morn, it was amazingly cold in the church, and the janitor lamented to me, that the furnace had gone KAPUT....now this was in Chicago, so you know it was just really cold in the church....

Yet Sunday School went on, with everyone remaining in their hats and coats and mittens and boots...

And when time for church came, our Pastor, apologize to the congregation for the cold, and explained that the church would be needing a new furnace..everyone, clad in their outerwear for warmth, smiled...

I, ,myself was frozen, at least my feet were...because I always played the foot pedals of the organ with my shoes off, always needing to feel those pedals...

When it was time for the sermon, our Pastor, decided not to preach the sermon he had prepared, but rather decided to give a completely different sermon, related to the cold we were all feeling...He asked us to just imagine that cold,(we did not have to imagine) and being a mom, about to deliver a baby in the out of doors, and imagine the moms concerns over her new baby in the cold...being that we were all so cold, his sermon just had so much more meaning...

It may have been freezing in that church according to the thermometer, but the warm fellowship, that we all felt that day, and the warmth of Gods love for us, in sending His Son, made all of us forget the cold...


12 posted on 12/11/2005 9:20:31 PM PST by andysandmikesmom
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To: Pikamax
"I was deeply saddened by the knee-jerk response of the Christian community as a whole to give the benefit of the doubt to the media and not a church or a Christian brother. I'm still troubled that more Christians did not stand up for us," said Weece. "Can you see or begin to see that the devil is stirring the pot on this?"

This is a pastor saying this? Wow, to paint all these Christians who disagree with his actions to close church on Christmas, because it is on a Sunday, as being a part of the devil's work? That is so wrong! You have genuine Christians out there who believe that closing the church is wrong. I, for one, am with those who oppose this pastor's decision to close his church, because Christmas happens to fall on a Sunday.

"Christmas began as a pagan holiday to the Roman gods, and if we were to really celebrate the historical birth of Jesus, it would either be in early January or mid-April," Weece said.

Giving the opponents of Christmas more fuel to oppose the Christmas season.

Sorry, I am not buying into this statement, as a valid reason for canceling church, just because it happens to be Sunday, and the Christmas holiday falls on the same day.

13 posted on 12/11/2005 9:20:54 PM PST by rawhide
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Our church is not planning to have its usual three services on Christmas morning, and some of us protested. This morning the pastor addressed the subject. He said that holding a service requires the assistance of about a hundred volunteers--people to run the child-care ministry and Sunday School, people to serve as ushers and musicians, folks to handle the horrendous parking and traffic-flow issues, to control the lights and sound and electronics, to drive the buses to and from distant pickup places, to clean up after the services, to provide security in the face of recent threats. In addition, they have to pay a lot of overtime to the local cops who try to manage the traffic nightmare the thousands of churchgoers create on local roads each weekend. He said it just wasn't possible to round up this volunteer staff on Christmas morning when people wanted to be with their children and could not be constrained to appear as paid employees could be.

Do I buy his argument? Well, in fifteen years I've never found this man to engage in untruths or half-truths. If he says there are serious logistical problems with managing a Christmas Sunday service, he knows more about running a big church than I do.


14 posted on 12/11/2005 9:21:35 PM PST by Capriole (I don't have any problems that can't be solved by more chocolate or more ammunition.)
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To: clee1

It's not the celebration of Christmas that's at issue. It's the celebration of the Lord's day which happens to fall on Christmas. They let the holiday mean more than the Lord's day, and THAT is what has caused the fuss.


15 posted on 12/11/2005 9:23:28 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: dsc
Translation: I'm a lazy, money-grubbing fraud who doesn't hesitate to spout heresy when threatened.

Can you back that up with facts?

16 posted on 12/11/2005 9:23:48 PM PST by stinkerpot65
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To: Pikamax

A pastor here in Colorado Springs has cancelled church services on Christmas Day because he has tickets for the Broncos' game. BTW - he hasn't told his congregation the real reason.


17 posted on 12/11/2005 9:26:43 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America)
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To: Capriole

Interesting point.

My church is maybe 120 people on a good sunday. We need the guy who leads our songs, one of the two sound people (me or my replacement), and the pastor. I guess we need a parent to volunteer to sit in the nursery as well. Then we would need sunday school teachers if we didn't cancel sunday school.

If they were consolidating services and cancelling sunday school and other ancillary activities, I wouldn't comment.

Of course, since I don't go to a megachurch, I guess I don't appreciate the effort that goes into having a worship service. We've come a long way from the time everybody just showed up at the house and Paul led them in a multi-hour sermon.


18 posted on 12/11/2005 9:28:45 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: stinkerpot65

"Can you back that up with facts?"

His words are out there for everybody to see. If you don't like my opinion, form your own.


19 posted on 12/11/2005 9:30:37 PM PST by dsc
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

I disagree FRiend, even though technically you are correct.

It IS about Christmas; traditionally a day of family as well as religious celebration.

If 50% of your congregation is at Grandma's house out of town, and 90% of a Megachurch's staff is likewise engaged, and the congregation doesn't mind; what is the harm?

Worship does not require a "church" service. Scripture is about equally split on the issue.


20 posted on 12/11/2005 9:46:59 PM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: Pikamax

It's indefensible.


21 posted on 12/11/2005 9:48:24 PM PST by bigsigh
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Another sign that even for most Christians, Christmas is more about the presents and the secular holiday than about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.


22 posted on 12/11/2005 9:48:42 PM PST by SmoothTalker
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To: Pikamax
"Christmas began as a pagan holiday to the Roman gods, and if we were to really celebrate the historical birth of Jesus, it would either be in early January or mid-April," Weece said."

This pastor is no more a Christian than the man in the moon. How could Christmas have begun as a pagan holliday, pagans didn't worship Christ?

What this phoney "Christian" is trying to sell us with his word-smithing is that Dec. 25th was once a pagan holiday, hence if the Church later decided to choose this date to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, then "Christmas began as a pagan holiday". It's a satanic play on words. Christmas began as the celebration of Christ's birth.....and nothing else. Now, it doesn't matter if Dec. 25th was once celebrated as a Martian holiday, all that matters today is that Dec. 25th is accepted date in Chrisitianity that we celebrate our Lord's birth. If this clown knows the actual day that Jesus was born, then please let us all know, otherwise just go away. May his phoney "church" remain closed on Christmas Day, and forever.

23 posted on 12/11/2005 9:50:19 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: Pikamax

Our church is holding a very limited service on Christmas Day for those who absolutely feel that they can't miss it. There are families who told me that they weren't planning on coming who I thought wouldn't have missed church unless they were dying in the hospital.

What with Christmas Eve service AND church on Sunday, when is there time to celebrate the holiday, open gifts, and spend time with the family? I'm a Christain but for as often as Christmas lands on a Sunday, I vote to cancel church. I doubt anyone's going to hell over it and missing one week of church isn't going to be that detrimental to one's spirituality.


24 posted on 12/11/2005 9:50:50 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: clee1

I think my problem with this "church" would have began with the 15 Christmas trees on the podium... And how many of 'em are on the "the leftist are taking Christ out of Christmas" bandwagon???


25 posted on 12/11/2005 9:54:55 PM PST by chadwimc
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To: Pikamax
This response reminds me of when I call my 10 year old on something and she says, "You're so mean." There is no good arguement or excuse in this statement. Since when does a yearly celebration take precedence over keeping the Sabbath holy. "I'm sorry, I can't be bothered to be in church because in the spirit of consumerism, I have to be home ripping open presents and gorging myself." This is aposty. When I was growing up, church was family time.
26 posted on 12/11/2005 9:57:40 PM PST by pops88
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To: metmom
I doubt anyone's going to hell over it and missing one week of church isn't going to be that detrimental to one's spirituality.

..... there is always a reason to miss church. The thing that is most important is that you DO miss church. Any and all reasons will be good to do just that. In fact you or anybody that you can influence will be assured of not going to hell if they miss church.

Because the most important thing is not going to church..... it's about what you feel. The most important thing in the world isn't found in church or what is said in church or even what is learned in church.... right? It's about spending time with your family, opening presents, eating a good meal, watching a football game, playing with the kids, laughing with long lost relatives... not the hour you will spend thanking the Lord for all the things that were made in his name, and that in the very end is his to begin with.

I don't have to go to church, I need to go.... if only to pray for my pathetic attempts to be a Christian and to thank the big guy upstairs for his grace in allowing me the opportunity to honor him.

One hour over a whole weekend.... that's all. I waste more time surfing the 'net or waiting between meals or looking at the pregame or sleeping in late.

It's all about what "going to church" is to you. In fact it's not even about how it appears to your friends or family..... it's our time to "drink the water" and refresh ourselve.

Merry Christmas.

27 posted on 12/11/2005 10:13:12 PM PST by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: Pikamax
The senior minister at central Kentucky's largest church defended a decision to not offer services there on Christmas Sunday...

Me thinks the parrishoners will quit attending and go elsewhere. We would. And we were on the Board of Session in our Church for 10 years.

28 posted on 12/11/2005 10:13:13 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: Pikamax

Guess what, Willow Creek in Barrington (Chicagoland) is also canceling church for Christmas. Couldn't they at least have a super-simple service instead of the production that would put many small theatre companies to shame?


29 posted on 12/11/2005 10:15:32 PM PST by drlevy88
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To: Pikamax
Merry Christmas!
30 posted on 12/11/2005 10:16:35 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Give my blankets to my buddies and the fleas to Diamond Joe.)
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To: drlevy88
Guess what, Willow Creek in Barrington (Chicagoland) is also canceling church for Christmas. Couldn't they at least have a super-simple service instead of the production that would put many small theatre companies to shame?

I agree, why not have at least something, for those who desire to attend church? And who knows, you may find some unbelievers that would come to your church, because it is Christmas Day and Sunday, and they might just find the 'truth' in the real meaining of Christmas.

31 posted on 12/11/2005 10:27:27 PM PST by rawhide
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To: stinkerpot65
"Christmas is a nice little tradition, and I love it,"

Yeah, a "nice little tradition" that has been celebrated ever since Jesus was born, and has been celebrated on Dec. 25th for nearly 1,700 years.

"but it's not biblical."

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth, and you're claiming the celebration of His birth isn't biblical? This is a simply amazing statement, please read below and find out just how wrong you are.

The Angel Gabriel rejoices when he announces to Mary that she will give birth to the Saviour.

"---the angel Gabriel was sent from God---to a virgin--and the virgin's name was Mary. He said to her, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" ---behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High--- and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;---therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God". (Luke 1: 26-35)

Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary's cousin, and the child in her own womb, (John the Baptist), both celebrated the advent of Jesus Christ when Mary entered their home with the Child Jesus in her womb.

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to (visit) the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, (Jesus)!--- For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy". (Luke 1: 39 - 44).

The Angelic Host come to earth to celebrate with great joy the birth of Jesus Christ.

And the angel said to them---I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ---And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2: 8 - 14).

Three Kings from foreign lands travel far to come celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

"When they (three Kings) had heard Herod they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child Jesus was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. (Mathew 2: 9 - 11)

32 posted on 12/11/2005 10:42:49 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: Capriole
"If he says there are serious logistical problems with managing a Christmas Sunday service, he knows more about running a big church than I do."

"Serious logistical problems"? Time to find a new church, I'd say. Imagine if the Apostles put their mission on hold due to 'serious logistical problems'? How many times was Paul shipwrecked, stoned, arrested, beaten and thrown out of town to spread the gospel?

33 posted on 12/11/2005 10:47:24 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: Pikamax
There's nothing new about Evangelical Christian Churches being closed on Christmas. Since Evangelical Christian Churches believe that the people are the CHURCH and NOT the Building. AND that the BIRTH, DEATH, and RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ is celebrated every day in a believer's heart and in the coming together for communion and other occasions. The emphasis of these Churches has always been on the FAMILY...and that time on Christmas Morning by our Traditions not religious beliefs holds a magical place. The Believers are present any time the doors are open. I've attended this particular Church and the ministry is awesome. They have small groups and family meetings, they have lessons, Bible Studies, Prayers...they are in no way forsaking the assembling of themselves together. This silliness is being pushed by people who never have understood the very personal family relationship of Evangelical Christians with Jesus. Jesus is always the honored Guest at the head of the table at all meals whether fancy Holiday ones that the world notices or the daily soup & sandwich head out the door to class ones that the world ignores. To a Christian, Jesus is right there in the Center of the Home and the Center of their Lives. The Church Building is a convenience NOT a necessity. The Church is the family of believers and you can count on the fact that they will be gathered at huge dining tables praising the Lord, watching the children open presents, and Praying for the Soldiers and for Our Country. Shame on people, who until two days ago, were just annoyed that they might not be able to keep Merry Christmas out of the School Play this year...so they decided to find fault with something they obviously know very little about.AND if you are going to discuss their being closed on Christmas Day...at least provide information on the additiona special programs added these fews weeks before Christmas, including the Saturday Services that many Churches will also be holding... I'm not sure what Southland's schedule is...but if a non-believer needs to speak with someone on Sunday...I'm sure the Pastor and Elders & many, many others, have open seating in their dining rooms...and good cooking too.
34 posted on 12/11/2005 11:05:53 PM PST by SergeantsLady (I support my soldier by supporting the mission he believes in...Iraqi Freedom.)
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To: TheCrusader

The date is apocryphal, at best.


35 posted on 12/11/2005 11:09:01 PM PST by drlevy88
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To: Pikamax
Not to offend but: The Rev. Jon Weese praised the decision of elders at Southland Christian Church during a service Saturday and said they "chose to value families. People over policy."
is a heaping crock of horsesh*t.

36 posted on 12/11/2005 11:15:07 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: rawhide

How hard is it for a Pastor to just ask how many are going to come on Christmas Day?? If no-one plans to come then its solved, if some come, then make sure its open.


38 posted on 12/11/2005 11:20:33 PM PST by GeronL (Leftism is the INSANE Cult of the Artificial)
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To: TheCrusader

Feeding crowds with one fish and a loaf of bread was a "logistical problem" too.


39 posted on 12/11/2005 11:22:30 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: Capriole
He said it just wasn't possible to round up this volunteer staff on Christmas morning when people wanted to be with their children and could not be constrained to appear as paid employees could be.
Do I buy his argument? Well, in fifteen years I've never found this man to engage in untruths or half-truths.

You have now. In the past week, I've been to functions at 3 megachurches of 2 denominations. The first, 20,000+ members SBC - the pastor made sure to work in an invitation that they would be operating Christmas day. The second, a smaller SBC with I would guess about 4000 members - also let it be known they would be operating Christmas day. And my own church - definitely not Baptist - will have two morning services with child care for up to 2 year olds, with older children attending with their families instead of children's church or Sunday School.

As far as I know, all the smaller churches are having services that day. The only ones around here that are cancelling are those which are market driven rather than Bible driven.

There are bound to be many churches in your area holding Sunday morning services that week. Try one out. The worst thing that could happen is that you would like it so much that you would want to stay.

40 posted on 12/11/2005 11:23:21 PM PST by PAR35
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To: TheCrusader

There was never a Christmas until the early Christians realized it would be a wise idea to incorporate pagan "holy" days into their own "traditions". So the December celebrations were Christianized in order to keep people from sneaking out and having secret pagan celebrations.


41 posted on 12/11/2005 11:27:13 PM PST by jess35
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To: Scottyboy568

Talk about jumping through hoops to manufacture a conclusion....


42 posted on 12/11/2005 11:28:50 PM PST by jess35
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To: drlevy88

"Couldn't they at least have a super-simple service instead of the production that would put many small theatre companies to shame?"

That's a great idea! In fact, that's what most of them are doing and everyone's complaining about it. They decided that the way to do a super-simple service was to have hundreds of them across the church. Each family would meet in their living room, read the Christmas story and pray together. But no, everyone looking in from the outside decides that having the entire megachurch together is the only valid definition of a church service.


43 posted on 12/11/2005 11:32:00 PM PST by mongrel
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To: metmom
What with Christmas Eve service AND church on Sunday, when is there time to celebrate the holiday, open gifts, and spend time with the family?

Looking at your answer, I think you are being sacastic (when can you celebrate Christmas if you have to take time to go to church.) Some folks are going to miss your point without a sarcasm tag, however. I did at first until I looked at what you actually said.

44 posted on 12/11/2005 11:34:17 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Pikamax
One benefit of belonging to a small, mainline Protestant denomination, is that my pastor doesn't have to twist himself into a rhetorical pretzel to justify cancelling a Sunday service.

We are managing to have Advent services on Wednesdays throughout December, two Christmas Eve services, and a Christmas Day service, for a congregation of 300. I guess Pastor Seeker Mega-Church is worried about "compromising the quality of his product", or whatever the MBA lingo is.
45 posted on 12/12/2005 2:49:30 AM PST by horse_doc
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To: Pikamax

"they emphasized religion over relationships"

Ah, like a personal relationship with Christ? Yep, I say, stay home and tear off that wrapping paper as fast as you can. That will give you relationships .


46 posted on 12/12/2005 2:53:04 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: Pikamax

Sounds like this winner is determined to get the day off and was looking for loopholes after the bad publicity. His fifteen Christmas trees will be dark on the celebration of the Lord's birth. That's the bottom line.


47 posted on 12/12/2005 2:58:59 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Pikamax

Cripes, for most churchs Christmas is the number one cash day. Most church's budget's won't balance without Christmas. Easter helps, too.


48 posted on 12/12/2005 3:09:53 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NY Times headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS, Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: bondserv

I choose to believe Christ's birth was in December because the decree from Caeser Ausgustus went out that the "world" be taxed and that persons return to their cities of birth for the census count. Therefore, Joseph - being a man, the head of household - waited until the last minute to file - the last week in December to return to Bethlehem.


49 posted on 12/12/2005 3:13:00 AM PST by azhenfud (He who always is looking up seldom finds others' lost change.)
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To: bondserv

Oops - that's "Augustus". Sorry..!


50 posted on 12/12/2005 3:16:35 AM PST by azhenfud (He who always is looking up seldom finds others' lost change.)
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