As we navigate the hoopla inherent to the season when we celebrate Jesus’ incarnation as God-in-Sandals, the Pew Research Center took a poll of Americans concerning Christmas. One of the questions asked was, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, or don’t you believe this?” 73% of those responding responded affirmatively, 19% responded negatively, and I guess the rest were undecided.
This is a remarkable statistic considering the current headlong race to secularize America and marginalize Christianity in the marketplace of ideas. Almost 3/4 of the American population accept one of the cornerstones — indeed an essential doctrine — of the Christian faith. This is a fairly exciting statistic until you take into account that for most of the respondents, this is merely an intellectual assent to Truth rather than a commitment allowing that Savior-born-of-a-virgin to actually “mess with their business” and effect life change.
Why is the doctrine of the virgin birth so crucial, so important that it is an essential cornerstone doctrine of the Christian faith, appearing in all three Christian creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian)? Why does it matter? Why should we care?
It has everything to do with Who Jesus and His Father are and — more importantly — are not. The answer to that question has a bearing on the eternal destiny of every human being that has ever lived, now lives, and ever will live.
Continue reading “Virgin Birth?”
There are a lot of commentaries which tend to come out around this time of year dealing with the significance of Christmas.
This is mine.
The Burning Question
Is Christmas actually never mentioned in the Bible and is that something we should be concerned about?
In mid-to-late December of 2008, I was seeking the Lord as to what church He wanted me to commit to. One Sunday, I dropped in on a congregation near my house with whom I had had a brief contact a couple of years prior. To my dismay, the pastorate had changed hands since my initial interaction with them.
Because the new pastor majored in the minors. He spent his entire sermon describing:
- How unscriptural Christmas is (such a celebration is indeed neither mentioned in the NT nor did the early church celebrate Jesus’ birth, only His resurrection)
- Its pagan roots (Roman Catholicism hijacked Germanic and Norse pagan winter solstice festivals to accommodate new converts)
- The pagan history and symbology of Christmas trees, wreaths, etc.
- The prevalent opinion of historians that Jesus was most likely born during the summer rather than winter (like, who really cares?)
- And how, because of all these things, we believers should not celebrate Christmas at all.
Talk about raining on my Christmas parade! 🙁
Here’s my take-away from that morning: his sermon was just as much an expression of man’s religion and its dead works as the Catholic reasons for legitimizing a pagan holiday in the first place.
Why do I say this?
Just because a corrupt and doctrinally challenged Roman Catholic church erroneously tried to accommodate pagans’ prior belief systems doesn’t mean God cannot redeem such stupidity and turn it to our good and His glory!
And the Body of Christ is supposed to be known for a short list of what it is supposed to do (love God and one another, as well as the lost), rather than what it doesn’t do (extensive lists of sins and other things to avoid, both biblical and man-made).
The True Significance of Christmas
Regardless — and in spite — of such historic factors, we now have an international holiday celebrating the incarnation of God in His Son Jesus Christ. Once a year, despite atheists’ pathological efforts to secularize Christmas to our detriment and businesses dedication to commercializing it to their profit, there is one day a year which rubs the nose of a lost and dying world in the fact God reached out to mankind by becoming a man Himself so that He could:
- Exemplify a sinless life for us, overcoming all temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Demonstrate His character and power by healing the sick and delivering the demonically oppressed.
- Suffer horrendous torture and die a excruciating, gruesome death to redeem us from our bondage to sin, sickness, and poverty.
- Rise again from the dead to deliver us from the power of death, Hell, and the grave.
So even though the pedigree of the holiday is indeed flawed, the ultimate premise is not: a celebration of God-in-sandals:
Houston, the Savior has landed! One small step for God, one giant leap for mankind!
I encourage you to celebrate your Christmas in such a way that the Reason for this celebration is glorified regardless of what religious stuffed-shirts may say about it! 🙂
And, again, Merry Christmas to you all!
Thanks for reading!