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Old 12-18-2016, 07:42 AM   #1
countmeworthy
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Default Tis the season

When I first came to the LC back in 1975, we did not celebrate or commemorate the birth of Jesus or His FIRST coming. In fact we heard all the evil stories of Christmas being associated with pagan worship.

In a way, it liberated us from obligations but it turned us into religious pharisees. I personally threw in the towel when we no longer would call Sunday, SUNDAY. It was now called 'THE LORD'S DAY'.

So what about all the other days?? Were they not the Lord's days?? And wasn't Monday a pagan day too?? As were all the other days and names of the months. Even our Gregorian calendar came from Pope Gregory XIII and Lee did not make a stink about that.

So that brings me to the season we are in. I saw this commentary from CHRISTCONNECTION.NET

I thought it was worth posting here. CHEERS EVERYONE!! Our redemption truly draws nigh!!!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2016

'TIS THE SEASON

'Tis the season in which religious legalists come out in force grumbling about how wrong it is to celebrate Christmas.

I'm not referring to atheists or the ACLU griping about public Nativity displays, I'm talking about grumpy religious idiots who have nothing better to do than "find fault" and try to ruin the holiday for everyone else.

Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say, that includes certain Evangelicals, certain Messianic Jews, and even certain members of my own family.

They argue that Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th. Well, duh?

That it USED TO BE a pagan holiday. That Jesus was Jewish and that this holiday lacks any Hebraic roots. Really? We’ll see about that…

That wreaths are evil, ornaments are evil, Christmas trees are evil, Santa Claus is evil, and Nativity scenes are inaccurate.

Next thing you know, EGGNOG is sinful because it contains a little alcohol.

What's next, GINGERBREAD HOUSES?

They can't produce A SINGLE VERSE OF SCRIPTURE to back up their ridiculous objection.

And, frankly, I DON'T GIVE A DAMN about the carnal OPINION of religious idiots.

How's THAT for a little Christmas attitude?

EVERYONE in the civilized world knows that Jesus WASN'T BORN ON December 25th,

SO WHAT?

That's THE DAY we SET APART (sanctify) TO CELEBRATE HIS FIRST COMING into this corrupt, sin laden world.

The actual date is far less important than the fact He SO LOVED you and me that He took on human form in order to save us (John 3:16).

Unless, of course, you'd rather that Jesus had never been born. In which case, EVERYONE, including little old sanctimonious you, is going STRAIGHT to hell.

As far as December 25 being a FORMER pagan holiday, WHO CARES?

I know of NO CHRISTIAN who worships Helios, Apollo, or Sol Invictus (same pagan god, known by three different names). Most people don't even KNOW such false deity was EVER worshipped.

And, what are you saying anyway? That we can ONLY worship Jesus ON DAYS WHEN PAGANS HAVE NEVER CELEBRATED ANYTHING?

I'm sure if we dig deep enough EVERY DAY ON THE CALENDAR has, at some point, been desecrated by some form of pagan worship in some ancient civilization.

Therefore, by that STUPID rationale, there would be NO DAYS LEFT in which to worship Jesus!

By the way, I better NOT catch any of you self-righteous nitwits singing "THIS IS THE DAY that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it", because YOU'RE CONTRADICTING YOURSELVES.

That verse, Psalm 118:24, applies to ANY day of the year, to WHATEVER day it happens to be.

The whole POINT of that verse is that it's NEVER WRONG to worship the One true God, Jesus Christ.

He SHOULD be worshipped EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR.

With regards to “Hebraic” roots, I beg to differ.

This is WHAT THE VERY HEBREW Bible says about worshiping God:

“Happy are those that dwell in your house; THEY SHALL CONTINUALLY PRAISE YOU. Selah.” (Psalm 84:4)

And again:

“I will sing unto the LORD AS LONG AS I LIVE: I will sing PRAISE TO MY GOD WHILE I HAVE MY BEING.” (Psalm 104:33)

And again:

“Blessed be the name of the LORD FROM THIS TIME FORTH AND FOREVERMORE.

FROM THE RISING OF THE SUN UNTO THE GOING DOWN OF THE SAME THE LORD'S NAME IS TO BE PRAISED.” (Psalms 113:2-3)

And, again:

“The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

But we will bless the LORD FROM THIS TIME FORTH AND FOREVERMORE. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 115:17-18)

Again: “My mouth will praise the LORD. LET ALL WHO LIVE PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME FOREVER!” (Psalm 145:21)

Again: “EVERY DAY I WILL PRAISE YOU and praise your Name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:2)

I see NO EXCEPTIONS in the above verses for December 25.

So take this legalistic B.S. about it being "non-Hebraic" TO CELEBRATE AND WORSHIP GOD –ALL THE TIME, EVERY SINGLE DAY -- ELSEWHERE.

As far as Christmas trees, ornaments and wreaths, we will discuss them in another message.

EVERYONE who loves Jesus should rejoice and be glad that there's at least ONE day a year in which THE WORLD stops to remember and celebrate His Birthday.

Celebrating our Lord's birth is TOTALLY scriptural.

I encourage everyone to read the beautiful, timeless story in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel, and the second chapter of Luke's Gospel.

Mary and Joseph celebrated it.

Elizabeth celebrated it.

John the Baptist, even while in his mother's womb, celebrated it.

In the temple, Simeon and Anna celebrated it.

The wise men celebrated it.

The shepherds celebrated it…

EVEN THE ANGELS REJOICED and glorified God over it! (Luke 2:13-14)

THE ONLY ONES who DIDN'T celebrate Christmas were SATAN and wicked Herod.

THAT says a lot about Christmas haters, right there.
Let me leave you with this happy thought:

EVERY DAY you DENY to Jesus is a day which, by default, YOU'RE GIVING TO SATAN.
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tis the season

"They can't produce A SINGLE VERSE OF SCRIPTURE to back up their ridiculous objection."

- this is funny. There is no single verse of scripture to back up celebration of Christmas.

It is well known that Jews did not celebrate their birthdays. In Jesus's 30 years on Earth, there is no record that he or his parents celebrated his birthday.

"THE ONLY ONES who DIDN'T celebrate Christmas were SATAN and wicked Herod."

The 12 disciples did not celebrate Christmas nor did the Jews. They weren't there when Jesus was born (never gave baby Jesus gifts and all), and they never celebrated it with him during their time with him. Does that mean they were Satanic?
Show me from the bible where it says the disciples celebrated Christmas.


"As far as December 25 being a FORMER pagan holiday, WHO CARES?

I know of NO CHRISTIAN who worships Helios, Apollo, or Sol Invictus (same pagan god, known by three different names). Most people don't even KNOW such false deity was EVER worshipped."


I think God cares. When the Israelites entered a pagan land , God told them to destroy all of the symbols and artifacts (Deut 12:3) . They could not keep them and claim to be worshiping the true God at the same time. They could not say "it's such a lovely Asherah pole, I am going to decorate it and now call it a Christian pole". God did not approve of that.

With Christmas, instead of merging Christianity with paganism, they should have destroyed all the pagan trees (which today are the Christmas trees) and other such pagan symbols. Then they could have started a truly Christian celebration, which would not have led to the problem of Christmas commercialization today. Nowadays, it is the pagan symbols associated with Christmas that are displayed throughout our shopping malls and various places, not nativity and biblical scenes. This is because it is acceptable for most people even atheists and those of other religions to acknowledge the pagan Christmas, trees, santa claus etc but not acceptable for them to believe in Jesus. If a person wanted to replace the Christmas trees with a statue of Jesus for example I am sure that there will be many complaints. The world which hates Christ makes Christmas one of the most important holidays of the year. Coincidence? I think not.

According to God the artifacts of a religion are just as much part of that religion as the beliefs. Just like the artifacts of drug use as just as much a part of drug taking as the drug itself. For example, possessing a bong or other drug taking device can get you in trouble with the law, even if you are not a drug user yourself. Or don't you know that the God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament? God is just as jealous now as he was then. But people think, "oh no, now that Jesus died for us, God is nicer, God is friendly, he doesn't care if we decorate this old pagan tree here and call it a Christ- tree". Either we think God must be blind or stupid, or God is not real.
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tis the season

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Because you condemn the entire household of faith for what was done thousands of years ago.

Because Christians celebrate Christmas differently than the Gentiles. They worship the Lord and focus on their family.

Because the scripture gives us the liberty to celebrate that day to the Lord. You have definitely torn Romans 14 out of your Bible.

What if your great-great-grandmother's fourth cousin twice removed worshiped Mary, and then I went around condemning you and all your relatives for being pagan idolaters? That's kind of what you are doing to my Christian family.
Christmas, is like taking a copy of the Quran, decorating it with pretty adornments and saying it reminds us of the Bible. That's what Emperor Constantine did when he merged paganism with Christianity.

Romans 14 was about Jewish converts to Christianity who felt the need to continue their traditions (including the Sabbath) .They had biblical instructions to do so and these came from God in the first place.

Romans 14 does not, however, give a person a license to celebrate any old false religion day however they want. Take any idol, decorate it up and call it "worshiping God", without any instruction in the Old or New testament to do so.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tis the season

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Christmas, is like taking a copy of the Quran, decorating it with pretty adornments and saying it reminds us of the Bible. That's what Emperor Constantine did when he merged paganism with Christianity.

Romans 14 was about Jewish converts to Christianity who felt the need to continue their traditions (including the Sabbath) .They had biblical instructions to do so and these came from God in the first place.

Romans 14 does not, however, give a person a license to celebrate any old false religion day however they want. Take any idol, decorate it up and call it "worshiping God", without any instruction in the Old or New testament to do so.
Christmas does not remind people of the bible. It not only as a reflection, a reminder that JESUS WAS BORN and lived, died and resurrected if nothing more. More & more it's more like IT USED TO BE a reminder. Christmas has become soooooo commercialized..and has for decades and decades, just more so now. I remember seeing a whole lot of nativity scenes in front yards. Now it is about the best inflatable santas and best lighted up homes. There was even one I saw last year with a 'Christmas dragon' inflatable on top of a house roof.

For me, Christmas is a great tool to reach the lost, to give them hope. It might be the one time of the year, they are willing to listen to the Gospel of Hope and Love. It might be the one time of the year, people's hearts are softened.

And as for Christianity... well... I did not convert to Christianity. Did you? I converted my heart, my life to Christ, to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit. Christianity is a religion and don't forget God hates religion.

Constantine merged one religion with another religion. Btw, if you search deeply, you will find that Catholicism invented/created Islam.

And while I don't care for the commercialism of Christmas, I do like seeing homes decorated with Christmas lights at night.

As for evil Santa...consider Revelation 1:17
"I saw one like a Son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. "

You are probably a very straight and narrow guy so you might never have seen the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe. "Santa" appears in a sleigh and gives the kids weapons as presents to fight the evil witch and company.

It was the first time i recognized him as the Son of man described in Revelation 1:13-14

And you know, Elijah was translated/raptured on a chariot with horses ( a sleigh)
Quote:
As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. 12 Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more. 2 kings 2: 11-12
You will probably argue and scoff.

Just saying... the LSM has so many people tied up in knots about trivial matters. I knew many LCrs who took 'vacations' with their families during the Christmas season. They wanted to celebrate family time together alone without the LC pressure. They did not tell anyone of course.

The diehards don't do that anymore. .

Of course I also know a lot of true blue believers who never have been associated with the LC/LSM and never even heard of Nee or Lee who don't celebrate Christmas. I respect that.

I myself don't celebrate Christmas but I have taken the opportunity of the season to point people to Christ the SAVIOR.

And I think GOD has been pleased with me. See He's not religious.
In the late 60's and early 70s, there was true freedom in Christ in the LC. Or so I thought. But it became like the church in Ephesus who lost her first love while persevering in deeds and toils and have not grown weary and cannot tolerate evil men, ( OH WAIT.. there are a couple of exceptions in the Lee camp) and put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them to be false;

But remember and heed to the warning from the SON OF MAN:
I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

Shalom and Peace in Christ Jesus Who was and IS and IS TO COME AGAIN.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tis the season

My comment about the Bible was an analogy. Christmas is about taking something of another religion, making it pretty, and saying it reminds us of something genuine.

We see eye to eye on a few things - that God hates religion. Now Christmas came from religion not from the bible or Judaism. So why defend it? Religion is a substitute for the true God, so religion is an idol, right?

Remember that the Israelite's built a golden calf to remind them of God, because Moses took a long time coming down from the mountain. What was Aaron's problem? He merged the worship of God with the worship of the idol. Aaron let the people get out of control. Some might say "the golden calf was only a reminder of God", but God did not see it that way.

It is like that today with Christmas. Religion is an idol, people worship the idol of Christmas and say "it is only a reminder". God does not see it that way. We may not have been involved in paganism or even understand what pagan gods are. But God does and only His opinion truly counts here. We might say "Christmas reminds us of Jesus's birth". But what if Christmas reminds God of all the times when His people worshiped an idol

Probably when God sees a Christmas tree it reminds Him of this:

"Hosea 4:13 They sacrifice ..., under oaks and poplars and elms" .

Jeremiah 10:1-4

“Do not learn the ways of the nations... -clearly this rules out taking pagan things such as trees and decorating them

"For the practices of the peoples are worthless;... -Christmas is basically a worthless occasion, it has no spiritual value.

"they cut a tree out of the forest, ... - many people cut trees out of the forest to make Christmas trees

"They adorn it with silver and gold;... - referring to the pagan practice of decorating trees.


People only care about their own selfish feelings. They want to remember God in their own way and not consider His feelings about the matter. The only reminder Jesus asked us to keep was the weekly Lord's Table meeting and that was remembrance not just of his birth but his whole life including his life-purpose to die for the world on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:24). Not only has Christmas become commercialized as you rightly said, but Christmas is the only time of the year when many will go to church to remember God and they do not attend weekly or even monthly communion. In other words, they substitute the genuine remembrance in the Lord's Table with their own way of remembering the Lord. That is also religion. Religion is doing things man's way instead of God's way.

The Lord's table is the genuine remembrance of the Lord and it happens week by week. So there is really no need for a Christian to celebrate Christmas to supposedly "remind them" of Jesus's birth. First and foremost we are to remember Jesus's life and death in the weekly Lord's Table meeting. The real reason people celebrate Christmas is because it is a man-made tradition started in 336 AD.

A lot people have the wrong idea about what it means to be religious. To many, to be religious is to not observe Christmas, Easter etc. Actually, a person who does not observe the occasions that came from religion such as Christmas, are the truly non-religious ones. A truly non-religious person is one who does not observe Christmas but remembers Christ in regular Lord's Table meetings.

If we defend Christmas we are defending that which God hates and are being religious. We are making a mockery of the Lord's Table not only because the Catholic "mass" is wrong, but by substituting the true remembrance with a counterfeit remembrance day, we are being like Aaron who saw nothing wrong with merging genuine worship of God with pagan idols. To create our own occasions for worship such as Christmas, following the traditions of men and setting aside the commandments of God, is the true definition of self-righteousness and religion. The person who wrote the article you posted does not know what self-righteousness means.



"And you know, Elijah was translated/raptured on a chariot with horses ( a sleigh) "

Unfortunately the idea of Santa being pulled by reindeer (not horses) comes from paganism. Reindeer represent the horned god prevalent in pagan/Satan worship.

Ancient nomadic pagan Eurasian tribes featured reindeer in sacrificial religious rituals.

“Santa’s reindeer evolved from the Celtic
Horned God. Eight reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh,
representative of the eight solar sabbats.
From their late Autumn dramatic rutting displays,
stags represented strength, sexuality and
fertility.”

https://christmaspagandeception.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/whats-with-the-reindeer/

Pagans seem to know where Christmas is really from more than Christians themselves...

From: https://www.paganspath.com/magik/yule-history2.htm

As we pagans already know, many of today's Christmas celebrations are rooted in pagan practices. And Santa isn't an exception.
At Yule, Odin leads a great hunting party through the sky in celebration. This story gives rise to comparisons of Santa and his 8 reindeer flying through the sky.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:24 AM   #6
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http://calltoworship.org/spurgeon-on-christmas.html


THE PERSONAL MESSAGE OF CHRISTMAS
by Charles Spurgeon

"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in any mass at all, but abhor it whether it be sung in Latin or in English. Secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and consequently, it's observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, probably the fact is that the "holy" days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Saviour was born, it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.

How absurd to think we could do it in the spirit of the world, with a Jack Frost clown, a deceptive worldly Santa Claus, and a mixed program of sacred truth with fun, deception and fiction. If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver, and recipient are all in the spirit of the world. The Catholics and high Church Episcopalians may have their Christmas one day in 365, but we have a Christ gift the entire year." (Dec. 24, 1871)

"Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under pagan superstition. that Christmas is a pagan festival, is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is celebrated, prove its origin."

"Those who follow the custom of observing Christmas, follow not the Bible but pagan ceremonies."
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tis the season

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Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
You are probably a very straight and narrow guy ...

You will probably argue and scoff.

Just saying... the LSM has so many people tied up in knots about trivial matters.
Hi CMW, Praise the Lord! Good to see you again.

I'll let you take over the conversation with Evangelly about Christmas.

Along with Sodom and Gamorrah, it's his favorite topic. (Especially when confronted with corruption at LSM.)
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:00 AM   #8
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We see eye to eye on a few things - that God hates religion. Now Christmas came from religion not from the bible or Judaism. So why defend it? Religion is a substitute for the true God, so religion is an idol, right?
God does not hate religion, as you say, which is just another Leeism to deceive us.

Where are the verses for that?

He hates hypocrisy. Big difference.

Your LC religion of elevating Lee to the "acting God" is the real idolatry.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:23 PM   #9
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It's not a Leeism. "God hates religion" is a belief in a number of Christian circles. countmeworthy believes it too. God hates Christianity.
Was these website written by Lee:

http://www.godhatesreligion.org.au/

https://definingthenarrative.com/god-hates-religion/

http://www.christinyou.net/pages/godhatesrel.html

How is merging Christianity with paganism not hypocrisy? How is Christmas not pretending to be a Christian thing when its pagan (not Jewish) roots are well known?
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:31 PM   #10
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You are ignoring the Bible, James refers to pure religion, and it is certainly not something that God hates.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:35 PM   #11
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That's a different kind of religion. We are talking about religion by dictionary definition which is "a belief system".

Taking care of orphans and widows is not a "belief system" - James is talking about something else.

countmeworthy is correct that we do not convert to a belief system (aka a religion) but to a person Jesus Christ.

God hates religion because it substitutes the person Jesus Christ for a belief system.

A substitute for the true God is an idol, therefore the belief system of Christianity is an idol.

The festival occasions of that idol is also an idol - Christmas is an idol.

Consider how much the world and Christianity loves Christmas. There are denominations that rarely celebrate communion but would never dare to miss the Christmas celebration. It is a clear sign of degradation when the world and Christianity agree on something - that thing being Christmas. If the world which hates Jesus loves Christmas, that tells us something about the nature of the occasion.

As Spurgeon said "The Catholics and high Church Episcopalians may have their Christmas one day in 365, but we have a Christ gift the entire year.""

The world and Christianity reveres Christmas as one day of the year to remember Christ, because that is all the time they are willing to give Him. That is why churches of only 30 people swell to over 200 at Christmas, churches of 500 swell to over 2000. The only instruction the Bible gives us about remembering Christ is the regular Lord's Table meeting.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:24 PM   #12
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A substitute for the true God is an idol, therefore the belief system of Christianity is an idol.
You were okay up to this point. But, as is your tendency, you made a specious leap of logic.

Christianity is simply the set of teachings which correspond to the biblical truth of the true God. It is not a separate belief system. It is simply the faith put into words. Your leap is invalid. You almost seem to enjoy making this kind of ridiculous fork, either because you think it makes you look smart or because you are testing whether people can see how dumb it is. Anyway, it's terrible thinking.

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The festival occasions of that idol is also an idol - Christmas is an idol.
And, of course, since you made a gross error in logic, the rest of your post beginning with the above is rank blah blah. Which also is typical of your writings. You go well for a little while and then you run the car right through the fence and over the cliff. The resulting wreck is usually spectacular and often entertaining. Like one of those movies where a car flies off a mountain and explodes midair without even hitting anything.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:46 PM   #13
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That's a different kind of religion. We are talking about religion by dictionary definition which is "a belief system".

Taking care of orphans and widows is not a "belief system" - James is talking about something else.
Wow, you just don't know when to bridle your tongue. It is astounding.

27Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

James is referring to the Lord's rule to "do unto others as you would have them do to you" -- commonly referred to as the golden rule and the fundamental belief system of all religions.

The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures.[1][2] The maxim may appear as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:
• One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive or directive form).[1]
• One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form).[1]
• What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathic or responsive form).[1]
The Golden Rule differs from the maxim of reciprocity captured in do ut des—"I give so that you will give in return"—and is rather a unilateral moral commitment to the well-being of the other without the expectation of anything in return.[3]
The concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion[4][5] and ethical tradition.[6] It can also be explained from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and economics. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor also as "I" or "self".[7] Sociologically, 'love your neighbor as yourself' is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. In economics, Richard Swift, referring to ideas from David Graeber, suggests that "without some kind of reciprocity society would no longer be able to exist."[8 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule)

To keep oneself unspotted from the world is a holiness principle. You could not do this without keeping His instructions beginning with receiving the blood of Christ which will wash us white as snow and being reborn through baptism to be a new creature.

James is referring to an expression of faith in spirit and truth.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:38 PM   #14
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You were okay up to this point. But, as is your tendency, you made a specious leap of logic.

Christianity is simply the set of teachings which correspond to the biblical truth of the true God. It is not a separate belief system. It is simply the faith put into words. Your leap is invalid. You almost seem to enjoy making this kind of ridiculous fork, either because you think it makes you look smart or because you are testing whether people can see how dumb it is. Anyway, it's terrible thinking.

And, of course, since you made a gross error in logic, the rest of your post beginning with the above is rank blah blah. Which also is typical of your writings. You go well for a little while and then you run the car right through the fence and over the cliff. The resulting wreck is usually spectacular and often entertaining. Like one of those movies where a car flies off a mountain and explodes midair without even hitting anything.
God hates Christianity according to countmeworthy when they said:
"Christianity is a religion and don't forget God hates religion."

God hates religion because it is an idol. What's your definition of an idol then? Is not an idol anything that replaces God?

Religion is an idol whenever we feel that God approves of us for what we do or believe rather than for whom we trust in.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:39 PM   #15
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Wow, you just don't know when to bridle your tongue. It is astounding.

27Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

James is referring to the Lord's rule to "do unto others as you would have them do to you" -- commonly referred to as the golden rule and the fundamental belief system of all religions.

The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures.[1][2] The maxim may appear as either a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:
• One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive or directive form).[1]
• One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form).[1]
• What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathic or responsive form).[1]
The Golden Rule differs from the maxim of reciprocity captured in do ut des—"I give so that you will give in return"—and is rather a unilateral moral commitment to the well-being of the other without the expectation of anything in return.[3]
The concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion[4][5] and ethical tradition.[6] It can also be explained from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and economics. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor also as "I" or "self".[7] Sociologically, 'love your neighbor as yourself' is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. In economics, Richard Swift, referring to ideas from David Graeber, suggests that "without some kind of reciprocity society would no longer be able to exist."[8 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule)

To keep oneself unspotted from the world is a holiness principle. You could not do this without keeping His instructions beginning with receiving the blood of Christ which will wash us white as snow and being reborn through baptism to be a new creature.

James is referring to an expression of faith in spirit and truth.
countmeworthy and I know what we mean when we say "God hates religion". It's from the dictionary definition and not your convoluted bible interpretation.

God said this about religious festivals:

Amos 5:21 ""I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me."

"keep oneself unspotted from the world" applies to Christmas and other worldly things.

James as a Jew, would not have celebrated Christmas.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:55 PM   #16
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This song is for you ZNPaaneah , let's sing all together now 1...2..3..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhY2ey_uJbQ
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:30 AM   #17
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countmeworthy and I know what we mean when we say "God hates religion". It's from the dictionary definition and not your convoluted bible interpretation.
Convoluted Bible interpretation?

"Pure religion is..."

How is that convoluted? It is a Bible definition, pure and simple and yet you choose to base your faith on the worldly dictionary.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:44 AM   #18
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countmeworthy and I know what we mean when we say "God hates religion". It's from the dictionary definition and not your convoluted bible interpretation.

God said this about religious festivals:

Amos 5:21 ""I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me."

"keep oneself unspotted from the world" applies to Christmas and other worldly things.

James as a Jew, would not have celebrated Christmas.
What, do you specialize in taking the Bible out of context? Let's look at Amos 5 shall we?

Amos 5:6Seek Jehovah, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, and there be none to quench it in Beth-el. 7Ye who turn justice to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth

We are calling for justice from the administration of the Witness Lee Sect. Sister's rebellion was unjust. Apology to PL was unjust. Yet Drake makes a mockery of the sin, sarcastically referring to the "meanie Blendeds". Making it seem like seeking justice concerning Daystar, rape, slander, libel, deceit, and other abusive practices is a joke. That is "turning justice to wormwood".

10They hate him that reproveth in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. 11Forasmuch therefore as ye trample upon the poor, and take exactions from him of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink the wine thereof.

When I went to talk to Ed Marks and got kicked out of the church in NYC meeting hall that is what this is referring to as "they hate him that reproveth in the gate and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly". Amos 5 is talking about Witness Lee's sect.

12For I know how manifold are your transgressions, and how mighty are your sins—ye that afflict the just, that take a bribe, and that turn aside the needy in the gate from their right. 13Therefore he that is prudent shall keep silence in such a time; for it is an evil time.
14Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live; and so Jehovah, the God of hosts, will be with you, as ye say. 15Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish justice in the gate: it may be that Jehovah, the God of hosts, will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.


This is what James says when he talks about "pure religion" yet you call it a "convoluted Biblical definition" and prefer a worldly definition so that you can turn the focus onto sins committed 500 years ago by the Catholic church.

The context of Amos 5 is that God hates your religious festivals when you ignore justice.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:31 AM   #19
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God hates Christianity according to countmeworthy when they said:
"Christianity is a religion and don't forget God hates religion."

God hates religion because it is an idol. What's your definition of an idol then? Is not an idol anything that replaces God?

Religion is an idol whenever we feel that God approves of us for what we do or believe rather than for whom we trust in.
Yes, an idol is anything that replaces God. But as far as I know, no one worships Christianity.

Christianity is a broad term than includes the articles of the Christian faith and beliefs, the history of the Church, and the believers involved.

No one worships those things.

Yes, if you think something other than God saves you then that is idolatry. But revering the Christian faith, church and history is not worship.

Besides, that wasn't your point anyway. Your point was another cheap attempt to discredit "Christianity" which to you is anything other than the LCM.

BTW, by your logic LCM beliefs and Witness Lee's teachings can be viewed as religion as well. And judging by the way you fall all over yourself cheerleading and defending them, I'd say it's far more likely that you are guilty of religious idolatry.

Case in point: There is a whole crazy faction in China that basically worships Witness Lee. Haven't seen any that worship Billy Graham, Rick Warren or any other mainstream Christian. Just Lee. Why do you think that is?
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:10 AM   #20
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God said this about religious festivals:

Amos 5:21 ""I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me."
More specious logic and terrible Bible interpretation.

This verse is not talking about pagan festivals. The religious festivals that God hated were legitimate Jewish ones, as were the assemblies.

The reason he hated them was because the Jews hearts were actually far from him and sinful. God hated their superficiality and hypocrisy. He didn't mean it was evil to attend a festival. He instituted them after all. He was talking about their hearts.

God looks on the heart. And I believe he has no problem with observance of Christmas that is truly seeking to honor him.

As usual you have everything upside down and backwards. You are looking on outward things, not the heart.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:40 AM   #21
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Yes, an idol is anything that replaces God. But as far as I know, no one worships Christianity.

Besides, that wasn't your point anyway. Your point was another cheap attempt to discredit "Christianity" which to you is anything other than the LCM.
Call me old school, but this whole thing about labeling anything that "occupies your heart" or "replaces God" as an idol is just a machine gun in the hands of exclusive teachers like Lee. Years ago, due to this extremist teaching, an LC brother close to me felt that holding and kissing his newborn son could become an idol. Sounds a little out of control, don't you think? For Javertical to call all of Christianity an idol sounds to me like the howls of a deranged man.

That's why I like to stick to the scriptures, and what they say about idols:
Psalm 115.4-8: Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like to them; so is every one that trusts in them.

Revel 9.20: The rest of the people who survived these plagues did not repent from their evil actions or stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk.
I think it's wise to use the scripture to interpret the scripture. The use of "idols" in this thread goes way beyond what is written. For Javertical to apply it to all Christianity is kind of like strapping on a vest bomb, you are just blowing yourself up along with others.
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:17 AM   #22
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Hi CMW, Praise the Lord! Good to see you again.

I'll let you take over the conversation with Evangelly about Christmas.

Along with Sodom and Gamorrah, it's his favorite topic. (Especially when confronted with corruption at LSM.)
Hi Ohio !
I'm still around... learning, growing in Christ (hopefully), searching, studying, hearing people's views, shedding the old wine skin and putting on the new wine skin which is not always easy to do.. and most importantly learning continuously to walk in the spirit and to love the Lord with all my heart, my mind and soul...

AND praying without ceasing praying as the days grow darker but we His beloved shine brighter !
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:12 AM   #23
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My comment about the Bible was an analogy. Christmas is about taking something of another religion, making it pretty, and saying it reminds us of something genuine.

We see eye to eye on a few things - that God hates religion. Now Christmas came from religion not from the bible or Judaism. So why defend it? Religion is a substitute for the true God, so religion is an idol, right?
Religion is believing in something, even God, but not having a true relationship with Him and more importantly on HIS terms. We come as we are, dirty as filthy rags, yet with a humbled heart realizing we NEED GOD in our lives, to change our stinking thinking, to rescue us from the mess we are in, to feel His Love for us when we feel no one cares, no one loves us.

When we surrender to HIM, He fills our spirit with His Love, with His Spirit, with His Peace. And thus our relationship with HIM begins. The scriptures are our guide but without the Spirit opening the eyes of our understanding, we know very well, the letter will kill us! And THAT is when we become religious. We quote the scriptures as the pharisees and sadduccees did but have no relationship with our Creator. We trust the man or woman preaching/teaching God's Word more than the Spirit Himself. (That's not to say God does not use man to preach and teach His Word.)

What happened in the LC back in the day is the LCrs came under the spell and delusion that especially LEE was the 'oracle' on the earth and there was no one else God was using to preach and teach His Word.

I could go on and on here...but we have all heard it and no need to rehash. Only the Holy Spirit of Almighty God can open the eyes of our understanding.

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Remember that the Israelite's built a golden calf to remind them of God, because Moses took a long time coming down from the mountain.
Here lies the spirit of confusion. Exodus 32:1 doesn't say they were reminded of the GOD of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Remember. They were in Egypt for a very, very long time. They were used to seeing the Egyptians worship all kinds of gods. And in the scripture (NASB) the people are saying let us make a god, little g.

when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”



Quote:
What was Aaron's problem? He merged the worship of God with the worship of the idol[/B]. Aaron let the people get out of control. Some might say "the golden calf was only a reminder of God", but God did not see it that way[/B].
WHO SAYS THAT ?? I have never heard anyone think or say that a golden calf was only a reminder of God.

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It is like that today with Christmas. Religion is an idol, people worship the idol of Christmas and say "it is only a reminder". God does not see it that way. We may not have been involved in paganism or even understand what pagan gods are. But God does and only His opinion truly counts here. We might say "Christmas reminds us of Jesus's birth". But what if Christmas reminds God of all the times when His people worshiped an idol
What if it does not remind God of all the times when His people worshiped an idol?

Quote:
Probably when God sees a Christmas tree it reminds Him of this:
Spoken like a true blue Leeite. I still recognize the LC lingo.

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People only care about their own selfish feelings. They want to remember God in their own way and not consider His feelings about the matter.
Thankfully it's not ALL people but yes.. the world including many true believers have an attitude of 'bless MEEEEE. GIVE MEEEEE' mee. mee. mee'

And so we pray for God's Glory Light and Love shine on them and create in them (and in all of us daily) a clean and pure heart, sanctified by His Precious Blood.

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Not only has Christmas become commercialized as you rightly said, but Christmas is the only time of the year when many will go to church to remember God and they do not attend weekly or even monthly communion.
But see ??!! This is the perfect opportunity for us to reach out to them. It might be the time they will be open to the full gospel, the entire Word of HOPE, of LOVE, of FAITH. God uses EVERY situation!

Remember what Paul did at Mars hill. He was sooo wise when he looked at all the idols and then found one that had the inscription 'the unknown god'. BINGO!! He hit the jackpot on how to talk about this 'unknown God', JESUS CHRIST. Even though it did not bode well with him, he at least went out on a limb !!! GOOD for him!!

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A lot people have the wrong idea about what it means to be religious. To many, to be religious is to not observe Christmas, Easter etc. Actually, a person who does not observe the occasions that came from religion such as Christmas, are the truly non-religious ones. A truly non-religious person is one who does not observe Christmas but remembers Christ in regular Lord's Table meetings.
There you go again.. quoting something you learned in the LSM. A truly non-religious is not someone who remembers Christ in regular Lord's table meetings !! What happens to their lives the rest of the week???
Don't you go telling me they live 'holy lives' just because they observe the Lord's table!!!!

A truly non-religious person walking with the Lord is one who has a daily 24/7 intimate relationship with our Creator through His Spirit living in us, His Living Word operating in us (Hebrews 4:12) and being washed daily in the Blood of the Lamb.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:17 AM   #24
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God does not hate religion, as you say, which is just another Leeism to deceive us.

Where are the verses for that?

He hates hypocrisy. Big difference.

Your LC religion of elevating Lee to the "acting God" is the real idolatry.
I explained that religion is not having a relationship with GOD in my responses. I hope I made sense.. and yes what Lee taught 'Christ vs Religion', he ended up introducing religion to the LC. Something happens to people when 'power' and 'glory' is bestowed upon them. Lee may have been blessed (don't really know) to teach but it went to his head.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:33 AM   #25
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God hates Christianity according to countmeworthy when they said:
"Christianity is a religion and don't forget God hates religion."

God hates religion because it is an idol. What's your definition of an idol then? Is not an idol anything that replaces God?

Religion is an idol whenever we feel that God approves of us for what we do or believe rather than for whom we trust in.
I confess I cringe when I hear people say 'he or she or I converted to Christianity. NONE OF US converted our hearts to the religion of Christianity. We converted our hearts to Christ Jesus.

The problem we ex LCrs have Evangelical is that the LC/LSM has become a religion. And if you say and agree God hates religion then you have to arrive to the conclusion that while the LC / LSM does believe in the God of the bible, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in JESUS CHRIST as Lord, Savior and King and His Cleansing Blood of all our sins, in the Life Giving, the Spirit of Truth and LOVE, Who is equal to the Father and the Word (the Son), the LC/LSM has become another denomination..

You might argue with me and all of us here. Just remember we were all there. Our experiences are different and yet the same. That doesn't mean we were not taught TRUTH under Lee, Nee and whoever shoulders they stood on. We are not arguing that.

What I notice and it's no different from many other denominations I have frequented is this attitude: The pastor said so. It must be true. Lee said so. It must be true.

Hmmm... tick-tock
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:58 PM   #26
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I explained that religion is not having a relationship with GOD in my responses. I hope I made sense.. and yes what Lee taught 'Christ vs Religion', he ended up introducing religion to the LC. Something happens to people when 'power' and 'glory' is bestowed upon them. Lee may have been blessed (don't really know) to teach but it went to his head.
Here's the problem I have with that phrase.

Lee looked at the stories in the Bible, and pointed out the hypocrisy, unbelief, and mean-spirited evil of the Pharisees and Judaizers, and said "Christ Versus Religion." He wrote a book about it. I read it. Jesus, however, called them fools, a brood of vipers, hypocrites, blind guides, sons of murderers, sons of Gehenna, and white-washed graves. (Matt 23) Paul called them the "concision," evil workers, and dogs. (Phil 3.2) These were specific condemnations on specific people for specific acts they had committed. These were the ones who invested their lives into discrediting, condemning, and looking for ways to murder Jesus, our God and Savior.

The Bible never condemned those awaiting the Savior's birth, whether in the Temple or the fields, as being "religious." Nicodemus was not condemned, nor were those in the Temple when Jesus was 12 years old. The Lord never condemned any of the disciples, His mother Mary, or the thousands who followed Him as being religious or "poor, poor Judaism."

Lee, however, was different. He uses the generalized "religion" and broad-brushes the whole of Christianity. First, he identifies all the evil in the New Testament, and labels it "religion." Secondly, he uses his religion epithet to label all Christians outside of his recovery. Thirdly, by association, the hearers and the readers then identify all these Christians with the evil-doers of the Bible. Se how Lee subtly twisted our thinking?

The Bible never uses religion in this way, but he used it to his full advantage. He condemned any any all Christians as religious, whether they met in homes, in groups, in community churches, non-denominational churches, big churches, small churches, dormant churches, vibrant churches, tongue-speaking churches, non-tongue-speaking churches, newly saved or aged pastors, fruitful or unfruitful, you get the message, all were pathetic, hopeless, helpless, poor, poor, Christianity, and religious, assuring us that God hates religion, and Christ is versus religion.

That's why I disagree that "God hates religion." I threw my book away.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:06 PM   #27
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That's why I disagree that "God hates religion." I threw my book away.
Right. "God hates religion" is just a hop away from "God hates religious people."

God doesn't hate religion so much as he hates it that people settle for less than the best. Sin, the flesh, the self, the world, and mistaken spiritual ideas can all hinder us from his best.

I remember once shopping with brother at Christmas time. We saw a small sculpture of Santa Claus kneeling before a manger with baby Jesus in it. The brother said ruefully, "Now I've seen everything." We laughed out loud at the stupidity of it. Now I wonder, what's really wrong with that? Not much I think. Nothing wrong with Jesus in a manger, and Santa Claus was a saint. A saint worshiping the newborn Jesus. What's wrong with that? The red suit? Come on.

It seems to me that the "God hates religion" crowd thinks they can discern what is true spirituality and what is not. Thus they employ a scorched earth policy, condemning everything in their path as "religion," from Christmas cards to Veggie Tales.

Nothing wrong with wanting the best for God's children. But let's not make the good the enemy of the best. Let's focus on things that actually keep people from God, and "religion" is usually not the culprit.

Besides, hatred of religion can be a religion itself. So it goes.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:59 PM   #28
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Countmeworthy) "Religion is believing in something, even God, but not having a true relationship with Him and more importantly on HIS terms. "

This is a very succinct defintion. It was true during our Lord's sojourn on earth and still true today.

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Old 12-20-2016, 04:12 PM   #29
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Countmeworthy) "Religion is believing in something, even God, but not having a true relationship with Him and more importantly on HIS terms. "
Can I ask the source of your semantics on the word "religion?" Is this from your own knowledge, or taken from a book? How can this be an accurate definition of religion, in the context of our LC discussions, when everything about the word "religion" is portrayed negatively?

Lee obtained his definition of "religion" from the Gospels, citing the Pharisees who opposed Jesus at every step, refused to believe in Him in the face of numerous miracles, and then even plotting His death. Lee then projected this same term, along with every rotten implication it carried, upon the entire body of Christ.

How can you say that "Religion is believing in something, even God, but not having a true relationship with Him and more importantly on HIS terms." That definition could apply to all idolaters, and Lee never did that. That definition has a neutral connotation, whereas Lee always used it derogatorily.

How can you know what someone in Christianity believes in his or her heart? Are you God, the Knower of hearts? Can you walk into some random church service and know who has a "true relationship with Him on His terms?" Lee and his forum minions have condemned all of Christianity for being religious, in other words, not one believer there has a "true relationship with God on His terms."

As Igzy rightly noted, "God hates religion" is just a hop away from "God hates religious people." And that's the impression members have long received from Lee.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:23 PM   #30
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Convoluted Bible interpretation? "Pure religion is..." How is that convoluted? It is a Bible definition, pure and simple and yet you choose to base your faith on the worldly dictionary.
No, I've simply chosen to use the vernacular. My faith is not based on the worldly dictionary. By the way, aren't all dictionaries worldly?
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:27 PM   #31
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I confess I cringe when I hear people say 'he or she or I converted to Christianity. NONE OF US converted our hearts to the religion of Christianity. We converted our hearts to Christ Jesus...
You left the LC but it is good that you still believe that God hates religion. This is obviously something God has revealed to you personally as He has with me. Others who have left the LC and rejected this truth probably saw it as just another Leeism and did not have the personal revelation. As you can see, a number of people have rejected that belief.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:30 PM   #32
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"Religion" is not a simple word with a single definition.

". . . believing in something, even God, but not having a true relationship with Him and more importantly on HIS terms . . . " is not the definition of religion. And is not the basis for declaring anything to be false or panned as "religion."

When the only use of the word in the Bible is not anything like what Lee swept into the definition, then you really have a problem. In the NIV, the word religion is used 6 times. And one of those is an inserted header for a chapter (not in the scriptural text).
  • Jeremiah 7 is labeled as "False Religion Worthless."
  • In Acts 25, Festus, consulting with King Agrippa made reference to the problem that the Jews had with Paul saying "Instead, they had some points of dispute with him about their own religion . . . ."
  • In Acts 26 Paul is giving his defense and states that he ". . . conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee." He did not in any way disparage that religion in the comments he made.
  • In 1 Tim 5:4, Pau says "But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God." I don't see anything wrong with religion here.
  • Then there are the two references in James that need no further discussion.
Switch to the KJV and you drop Jeremiah and 1 Timothy, but add two in Galatians. Both of those are referring to the Jew's religion. Neither is disparaging about religion in general, and not even really about the Jew's religion in specific.

Switch to the NASB and you drop Galatians but add Colossians 2:23. "These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence." No one will dispute that a self-made religion is truly useless. But that says nothing about the "religion" that has arisen surrounding the grand narratives of the OT, the teachings of Christ, and the further elaboration by Paul and others under the inspiration of the Spirit.

As Ohio so clearly put it, Lee pointed to everything that he could declare to be evil and called it religion, insisted that religion was simply bad, and therefore everything that was not the LRC was religion and therefore bad.

The fact is that Christianity is not a man-made religion. It is the careful observance of what we are able to understand from the source material provided to us (the Bible) with the help of the Holy Spirit. And despite our fitful failures to be absolutely perfect about all of that is there, it is not of our own making. We did not make it. No, He is making us.

And if we need to consider how well it identifies with the underlying scripture, then the best you can say is that Lee claimed it didn't really say what it said in a number of places. And it didn't really mean what it said in a number of places. Not a very good track record for handling the Word of God as it is found. Rather a record of panning the actual scriptures and substituting his own words. We had a couple of guys come to this forum several years ago that claimed that if they wrote it, it was scripture. Lee would never say that, but it would appear that he essentially believed it.

And it didn't even matter that it was inconsistent with the scripture we already have.

But if we ignore those things, the LRC is no less the assembling of an understanding of the scripture for the purpose of faith and practice than any other Christian group. And if we don't ignore those things, it is evident that relying an centuries of faith and practice as handed down (including through the RCC) is much more likely to be reliable than a loner with no history except for a penchant for declaring that X really means Y. And you can believe him because no one else ever taught it that way. If it had been taught that way before, it would be suspect.

Yeah right. I'll take the history of scholarly study and consideration of what the scripture says over the whimsy of someone who says things like "it can't really mean that because of God's economy."
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:35 PM   #33
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No, I've simply chosen to use the vernacular. My faith is not based on the worldly dictionary. By the way, aren't all dictionaries worldly?
The Bible defines terms, you can use Biblical definitions. You have a free will, you choose to not be governed by the Bible and then think that is a joke? Your claim is that, hold it, altogether now 1..2..3..God hates religion, and you are going to base that on a worldly definition and not the Bible? This may be farcical, or comical, but certainly not evangelical.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:52 PM   #34
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The Bible defines terms, you can use Biblical definitions. You have a free will, you choose to not be governed by the Bible and then think that is a joke? Your claim is that, hold it, altogether now 1..2..3..God hates religion, and you are going to base that on a worldly definition and not the Bible? This may be farcical, or comical, but certainly not evangelical.
The bible is not a dictionary particularly not our English bibles. Even the word Jesus is not his proper name. The way we say Jesus is not even the correct pronunciation. So if you follow the Bible as a dictionary you will get it wrong.

To say a "worldly dictionary", doesn't make sense. It's like saying a "worldly car", or a "worldly house".

Then you claimed my faith is based upon the dictionary because I used the term as found in the dictionary. I'm sorry but that is comical to me and you make me laugh even if that was not your intention.

So for arguments sake, let us use the bible's definition of religion as caring for orphans and widows.

Now, what do you suppose we call Hinduism, Christianity, Islam.. do you have another word for these? You must believe they are not religions, according to the definition of religion given in James.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:00 PM   #35
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A truly non-religious person walking with the Lord is one who has a daily 24/7 intimate relationship with our Creator through His Spirit living in us, His Living Word operating in us (Hebrews 4:12) and being washed daily in the Blood of the Lamb.
It's very simple countmeworthy. Christmas came from religion not from God. We got it from Catholicism and Catholicism got it from Paganism. A person who follows Christmas is therefore a religious person or practicing religion. I leave it to your conscience whether it is right to say "God hates religion" and on the other hand support religious festivals. I agree with everything you say about a daily 24/7 intimate relationship. We teach and practice this in the Recovery by frequent exercising of the spirit, and calling on the name of the Lord. We are encouraged to do that as often as we can, to practice praying continually. I think you know that.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:02 PM   #36
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How can you say that "Religion is believing in something, even God, but not having a true relationship with Him and more importantly on HIS terms".
No, I am not gifted in that way. I just agreed that countmeworthy's definirtion of religion was succinct, true then, and true now.

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Old 12-20-2016, 05:07 PM   #37
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More specious logic and terrible Bible interpretation.
The separation between outward acts and the heart is not warranted where it concerns sin. For example, suppose a person bowed down to Baal and yet their heart was for God. God told his people to destroy everything, not keep souvenirs and not to appropriate pagan things to Himself. You think God is okay with that? You are misapplying this verse about God looking at the heart and not the outward things. It does not apply to sinful acts such as idolatry or adultery etc. It applies to the way in which God chooses people for His service. The bible says the acts come from the heart. If a person's heart was right they would not bow before an idol. The Bible talks about fruit - we can know a person by their fruit. So if I see a person bow to an idol that tells me something about their heart.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:13 PM   #38
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Yes, an idol is anything that replaces God. But as far as I know, no one worships Christianity.
You obviously are not familiar with the cult of TV evangelists. Don't think cult-worship only happens in China. There are primitive forms of idol worship there are also more sophisticated forms in the USA (tv evangelists enticing people through the idol of television).
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:31 PM   #39
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Remember that the Israelite's built a golden calf to remind them of God, because Moses took a long time coming down from the mountain. Here lies the spirit of confusion. Exodus 32:1 doesn't say they were reminded of the GOD of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Remember. They were in Egypt for a very, very long time. They were used to seeing the Egyptians worship all kinds of gods. And in the scripture (NASB) the people are saying let us make a god, little g.
You may not be aware but Witness Lee believed this about the golden calf - that it was an attempted representation of the true God, and not of some pagan idol. The people made the golden idol because they were bored - it represented entertainment and amusement.

I thought the matter of the golden calf deserved a separate response. Some scholars say the golden calf represented the true God, not a god. Yes I know the Bible uses the word little g for god but what I'm saying represents what Jews believe about this, not some faulty English Bible translations.

Aaron was a weak leader and his request for people to bring their gold was a delaying tactic - he hoped to delay the disgruntled people until Moses arrived.

The golden calf coming out was not expected by Aaron - he did not tell them to make a golden calf. Jews believe it was the magic (or deliberate sabotage) of the Egyptian conspirators which made a golden calf to come out.

Because this golden calf came out and the people trusted Aaron, the people were deceived into think that the golden calf which Aaron gave them was to represent the true God. How were they to know?

I'm actually paraphrasing from this Jewish website:

http://www.chabad.org/library/articl...olden-Calf.htm


Christianity has portrayed this event as the whole mass of Israelite's suddenly turning against God in an instant to worship a false idol.

But according to Judaism it is more a case of deception and unintended consequences as a result of Aaron's weakness and Israel's enemies the Egyptians.

Reading further here:

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/arti...e-golden-calf/

It says

It is unlikely that Aaron intended the calf to represent another deity, since he proclaimed a festival in honor of YHVH [God] when he finished making it (Exodus 32:5). At first glance the people’s declaration, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4), seems to imply that they took it as a depiction of YHVH.

But in their request to Aaron to make them a god, they explained that they wanted a god to lead them because they did not know what had become of Moses, who led them out of Egypt (Exodus 32:1). This seems to imply that they wanted the calf to replace Moses, apparently in his role as mediator of YHVH’s presence to the people.

In other words, they did not intend the calf to depict YHVH but to function as the conduit of His presence among them, as Moses had functioned previously. Many scholars believe that the calf did so by serving as the pedestal or mount on which YHVH was invisibly present, as did the cherubs in the Holy of Holies. This conception of the calf is illustrated by ancient images of a god standing on the back of a bull or another animal.


I believe this interpretation of the Golden Calf shows more strongly why we should not accept the Catholic idols of Mary and Saints. They say "it only represents God, we don't believe it is God, we don't pray to it or worship it". But according to the golden calf example, even a misrepresentation of God is actually against Him.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:32 PM   #40
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The bible is not a dictionary particularly not our English bibles. Even the word Jesus is not his proper name. The way we say Jesus is not even the correct pronunciation. So if you follow the Bible as a dictionary you will get it wrong.
When you say God hates religion, to my mind that must be defined or stated in the Bible, otherwise what God are you referring to?

When James says that "Pure religion is..." he is providing a NT definition from the fellowship of the apostles. That is a definition of the term religion that is appropriate for the New Testament.

You use a reference from Amos, but to take that quote out of context is absurd. The Jewish religion was given by God. It is absurd to say that God hates Moses, or the books of Moses, or the law of Moses.

Therefore an acceptable reading of Amos would realize that I need to look more carefully at the context to understand this. But instead from the Witness Lee sycophants who have bought into his narrative they are all too happy to just say "see, God hates religion". Only a fool could not see that it must be more complicated than that.

So then, why haven't you responded to my post about Amos and the context of the verse you quoted in Amos 5?
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:33 PM   #41
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The separation between outward acts and the heart is not warranted where it concerns sin. For example, suppose a person bowed down to Baal and yet their heart was for God.
More specious logic. Nowhere does the Bible suggest that celebrating the Lord's birth is sin. Most of the symbols of Christmas are common festival symbols of wintertime -- Evergreen trees, holly, snow, snowmen, etc. These are so far removed from any possible pagan origins as to make that legacy insignificant. Santa Claus was originally considered a benevolent saint. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of giving, which directly honors "For God so loved he GAVE...." But you wouldn't know anything about that because you are unacquainted with that aspect of God. Your lack of generosity of spirit is downright creepy.

Sorry, Javertical. Comfort yourself with your fantasy that you are more holy than most, because it's nothing but a fantasy. And you are most definitely a nut, which I suppose is fitting at Christmas time. Happy Holidays!
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:32 PM   #42
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When you say God hates religion, to my mind that must be defined or stated in the Bible, otherwise what God are you referring to?
You mentioned Judaism, what about Buddhism and Islam? Does God hate these or not? You see, you have backed yourself into the proverbial corner by stating that God does not hate religion. Therefore, you must believe that God loves Islam, Buddhism etc.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:37 PM   #43
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More specious logic. Nowhere does the Bible suggest that celebrating the Lord's birth is sin. Most of the symbols of Christmas are common festival symbols of wintertime -- Evergreen trees, holly, snow, snowmen, etc. These are so far removed from any possible pagan origins as to make that legacy insignificant. Santa Claus was originally considered a benevolent saint. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of giving, which directly honors "For God so loved he GAVE...." But you wouldn't know anything about that because you are unacquainted with that aspect of God. Your lack of generosity of spirit is downright creepy.

Sorry, Javertical. Comfort yourself with your fantasy that you are more holy than most, because it's nothing but a fantasy. And you are most definitely a nut, which I suppose is fitting at Christmas time. Happy Holidays!
CH Spurgeon (if you know who that is) would disagree with you. Wintertime where? Wintertime in medieval pagan Europe not Jerusalem. Christmas is about giving you say, I thought it was about the birth of Christ? I'm sure it is about many things. Being about the birth of Christ is not one of them.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:28 PM   #44
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Oh come now brothers. Don't you think this is quite enough arguing about Christmas, and even name calling?

Quite a while back, someone cited Romans 14. I think we would all do well to re-read Romans 14 and 15, take it to heart and practice what it says.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/nasb/rom/14/1/s_1060001

Really, can't we find something uplifting to share in this "To God Be The Glory" section?

Thanks, your brother JJ
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:58 AM   #45
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No, I've simply chosen to use the vernacular. My faith is not based on the worldly dictionary.
By the way, aren't all dictionaries worldly?
Same as all publishing houses are worldly.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:03 AM   #46
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No, I am not gifted in that way. I just agreed that countmeworthy's definirtion of religion was succinct, true then, and true now.
Drake
Her definition presumes to know the hearts of all Christians.

That's what you signed up for, and now you also claim it is some timeless truth?
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:19 AM   #47
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You obviously are not familiar with the cult of TV evangelists. Don't think cult-worship only happens in China. There are primitive forms of idol worship there are also more sophisticated forms in the USA (tv evangelists enticing people through the idol of television).
So if a minister preaches the Gospel on TV, he is now part of a cult?

I just love the way you sling accusations around cyber space.

If TV is an idol, how much more computers. Perhaps you might want to consider your cyber ways.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:35 AM   #48
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You mentioned Judaism, what about Buddhism and Islam? Does God hate these or not? You see, you have backed yourself into the proverbial corner by stating that God does not hate religion. Therefore, you must believe that God loves Islam, Buddhism etc.
Pure religion is to stand with the orphans and widows and to keep yourself unspotted from the world.

God does not hate that.

If you had a Buddhist, or Muslim, or Jewish person doing that, then of course not, God does not hate that.

God hates sin.

Even Witness Lee taught that the sheep and the goats refer to those in the world, not the saved, and redeemed. God doesn't hate the sheep.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:38 AM   #49
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Sorry, Javertical. Comfort yourself with your fantasy that you are more holy than most, because it's nothing but a fantasy. And you are most definitely a nut, which I suppose is fitting at Christmas time. Happy Holidays!
So then if Javertical is a nut, then that would make you the nutcracker, and this forum the Nutcracker suite!
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:14 AM   #50
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CH Spurgeon (if you know who that is) would disagree with you. Wintertime where? Wintertime in medieval pagan Europe not Jerusalem.
I have no idea what you are talking about and am pretty sure you don't either.

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Christmas is about giving you say, I thought it was about the birth of Christ? I'm sure it is about many things. Being about the birth of Christ is not one of them.
The birth of Jesus is about God giving his Son. Please try to keep up.

And millions and millions of Christians who do celebrate the Lord's birth at Christmas would disagree with you.

The fact is, if Christmas was not about Christ it would have long since ceased being celebrated in Western culture. Yes, many of its outward trappings have pagan origins. So what? The essence of it now is the birth of Christ, whether you realize it or not. After all, how many other ancient holidays do we celebrate? Easter? Same thing.

What bothers me about you LCMers is you are all about the outward. You gripe about Christmas having artifacts from a long gone pagan past and you don't worry about the very real and much more immediate and damaging corruptions that presently exist in the movement you've given your lives to. You don't even want to know about the corruptions! You're too busy bashing Christmas of all things! As if you are going to change the world if you rant about Christmas. What a waste of time!

That to me is straining at gnats and swallowing camels. It's much easier to throw bombs over the fence than to deal with problems in your own backyard.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:25 AM   #51
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That to me is straining at gnats and swallowing camels. It's much easier to throw bombs over the fence than to deal with problems in your own backyard.
Yes, but even the Lord said that straining a gnat out of the ointment is not a bad work.

I have almost no issue with setting Dec 25th aside to remember Jesus birth. The slight problem I have is that this day is clearly and undeniably tied to the winter solstice and hence worship of the Sun.

But, OK.

I also have don't have a big issue with the lights that go up this time of year, it makes sense since it gets dark around 5.

I don't care that the world has movies and songs about Santa Claus and flying reindeer.

But then, when these things get mixed in with the church service, and they must. You have little children who will watch these specials, learn these songs, if not at church then at school or the tv, or the mall, or wherever.

So I don't disagree with Evangelical that these things are a mixture, that they have their roots in paganism, and that it is corrupting.

But I agree with you that this is the gnat and swallowing all the sins of Witness Lee's sect is the camel.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:40 AM   #52
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So I don't disagree with Evangelical that these things are a mixture, that they have their roots in paganism, and that it is corrupting.
I don't agree they are necessarily corrupting. Look at it this way, who made and owns the pine trees, the holly, the mistletoe, the logs in the fire, the fire itself? God! If he wants to reclaim those things for himself, to take them from the false gods and like a train of vanquished foes show them forth in celebration for himself what is wrong with that?

Who worships the sun god anymore? Is a yule log a nod to him, or is it to God reclaiming what should have been his all along? What is really wrong with building a fire, decorating a tree and circling around them and singing hymns of praise to Christ? Because pagans built fires and decorated trees that means we can't do it?

I just disagree with that thinking. Ultimately it will get to the point we can't do anything because some pagan did it first. The pagans can go jump in a lake. What God has made clean let no one call unclean. An idol is nothing. Don't you get it? Christ redeemed everything, except the inward evil things he condemns below. But all this outward stuff, I don't think he cares. He looks on the heart. That's the reality. That's the NT freedom.
What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them..... “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” Matthew 15:11, 16-20
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But I agree with you that this is the gnat and swallowing all the sins of Witness Lee's sect is the camel.
That's a major point.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:33 AM   #53
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Her definition presumes to know the hearts of all Christians.
That's what you signed up for, and now you also claim it is some timeless truth?
Countmeworthy can speak to her presumptions.

Those aren't mine.

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Old 12-21-2016, 09:55 AM   #54
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Even Witness Lee taught that the sheep and the goats refer to those in the world, not the saved, and redeemed. God doesn't hate the sheep.
That specifically is referring to those Gentiles who help God's people's during the tribulation. Assuming they survive till the end and are alive at His coming then He will reward them (the sheep) with a place as a citizen in the millennium. The goats, well they don't do so well.

That's not an endorsement of the religion the sheep may belong to, whatever that is or maybe none.

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Old 12-21-2016, 09:55 AM   #55
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Countmeworthy can speak to her presumptions. Those aren't mine.
The Bible says to be wise as serpents, not as slippery as one.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:07 AM   #56
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The Bible says to be wise as serpents, not as slippery as one.
It also says you should not falsely accuse.

If you have a question for me based on something I said then ask it straightforwardly.

However, if you ask me to answer what another poster said then I prefer you ask them.

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Old 12-21-2016, 10:17 AM   #57
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I don't agree they are necessarily corrupting. Look at it this way, who made and owns the pine trees, the holly, the mistletoe, the logs in the fire, the fire itself? God! If he wants to reclaim those things for himself, to take them from the false gods and like a train of vanquished foes show them forth in celebration for himself what is wrong with that?
Igzy,

I don't think that works because of the example Evangelical provided earlier about the golden calf at the base of the mountain. Using your argument the gold in that golden calf was being reclaimed by God so why did Moses get all upset?

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Old 12-21-2016, 10:36 AM   #58
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I don't think that works because of the example Evangelical provided earlier about the golden calf at the base of the mountain. Using your argument the gold in that golden calf was being reclaimed by God so why did Moses get all upset?
Because they weren't worshiping God, Drake. They were worshiping a golden calf who represented another "god" because they felt God had let them down.

The people who are celebrating Christmas are worshiping Christ.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:50 AM   #59
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When Constantine made Christianty the state religion the pagan gods of the previous state religion got new names, names of Christian personalities. The Madonna and Child being the most relevant example in this thread -- Mary and baby Jesus. It allowed Constantine to unite factions of the empire but in so doing a flood of unbelievers came into the church as nominal Christians. Pagan practices where given new Christian definitions. This was a great deception through the subtly of the enemy to marry the church to the world but was very effective.

I personally do not celebrate Christmas, not because it has become commercialized, but because I do not accept that its icons, practices, etc, were ever of Christian origins to begin with. Just renamed as Constantine allowed. And I like a pretty decorated tree as much as the next guy so it's not a matter of personal taste. Though holding those beliefs I also do not feel the need to torch my neighbors Santa and Rudolf's brightly lit red nose display nor their plastic Nativity scene. However, I don't think we should make excuses either like trying to justify celebrating Christmas. Research into the history of the Christmas will reveal their non-Christian roots and whether we celebrate the event or not we should not do as Constatine did and spin it.

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Last edited by Drake; 12-21-2016 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:21 AM   #60
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Drake,

Your rendition of history is straight out of a Witness Lee message. I recognized it immediately. Have you learned nothing but what Lee told you? Are you satisfied with that level of knowledge?

I seriously doubt that the situation was as cut-and-dried as you say, as if Constantine did it all. I'm sure there are all kinds of variances of worship and nominal believers in the Church long before Constantine came along. From the very beginning the Church had variations in practices. It always has and always will. The attitude that you can identify some "pure" version of the Church and expect everyone else to live up to that is arrogant.

I understand having a problem with pagan influences that change the nature of the faith, such as worship of Mary, prayer to the dead, working for salvation, penance, etc.

But Christmas embodies none of those things. How do trees and nativity scenes and snowmen hurt or corrupt the Christian message? I don't see how you can make the case they do.

Christmas helps get the gospel out. Has anyone NOT seen Charlie Brown pleading "Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?!" and Linus responding "Lights please" and reciting the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke? "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!" Just about everyone in the western world who has a TV has seen that.

I don't need to make "an excuse" to celebrate Christmas because I honestly believe there isn't anything wrong with doing it. I believe at this point in history A LOT more good comes from have Christ in Christmas than would come by taking him out. I think that is what most Christians believe now.

You can practice as you like, but I haven't seen much if any good coming from having a Scroogish attitude toward Christmas. We are supposed to be different from the world. We are not supposed to be so strange that we make ourselves disappear, as the LCM has.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:53 AM   #61
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When I was in the LCM, like a good little trained monkey I didn't celebrate Christmas. As far as I can tell it had zero positive effect. In fact I would say the effect was negative. Family just looked at me as if I was a weird snob. Which I was.

I told my parents not to give me gifts, as if that would make me more "pure." All it did was make them sad. I remember one year my parents didn't wrap any gifts for me, but they wanted me give me something so they bought me some gifts and gave them to me in a bag. There were some sports equipment and other things. It was a gift of love and maybe a message to get out and do something other than be church boy.

Since at the time Witness Lee preached against "playing the spoooorts," a brother and I decided the best thing would be to take all the stuff back to the store and get the money for it. So we did. I remember the woman who worked at the store looking at me with disgust and saying, "Next time ask for cash." I felt like a jerk. But the feeling was short-lived, and we probably took the money and went out to eat and talked about how much better we were than all the idiots that celebrated Christmas.

Thinking about that now just makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed. It actually makes me mad how the LCM turned us into freaks. That's one reason I post here.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:06 PM   #62
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Default Re: Tis the season

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I don't need to make "an excuse" to celebrate Christmas because I honestly believe there isn't anything wrong with doing it. I believe at this point in history A LOT more good comes from have Christ in Christmas than would come by taking him out. I think that is what most Christians believe now.
I honestly believe that Christmas is a "shell" or a container, much like all of the feasts, celebrations, and holidays of the Jews. Much of them, like Purim, were traditions that developed over time, and not at all purely "God-ordained." There were Jews, like David, filled with faith and love to God, who celebrated all these occasions with a remembering and worshiping heart. There were also many unbelievers in Israel who celebrated all these occasions only for what they were.

Today much of the hoopla surrounding Christmas in the world is just commercialized vanity. It doesn't even pretend to be worship to God, or remember the birth of Jesus. Yet, in an age of unbelief, children are at least presented with a shell, some of whom one day may receive the reality within. For some, this may be the only opportunity they have to be presented with something of God. The chosen ones may one day question, "what's Christmas all about? or What does the Bible say about it?" What you make of Christmas is up to you.

God knows the value of these memorials in a world blinded by the god of this age. His heart is big, looking for any and all opportunity to call His people home. Who knows how many predestinated ones got saved thru Christmas in atheistic countries under communism.

LC folks, however, condemn all things less than their manufactured standard. For them believing in the cross of Christ is woefully inadequate and called the "low gospel." Their "lofty" standards contain so many frivolous extras to the faith, that all the Brazilian and GLA LC's had to be cut off as "damaged goods." For a system willing to use the pagan Chinese New Year celebration to preach the gospel (one of their official "feasts" btw) to immigrant Chinese, it would be nice if they extended the same liberty to others.
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:59 PM   #63
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When I was in the LCM, like a good little trained monkey I didn't celebrate Christmas. As far as I can tell it had zero positive effect. In fact I would say the effect was negative. Family just looked at me as if I was a weird snob. Which I was.
Since I grew up in the LC, I had no choice about not being able to celebrate Christmas, however, I quickly picked up on the notion that if we just told others the 'truth' about Christmas, then they would see that they shouldn't celebrate it either. What always baffled me was despite what we had been taught regarding Christmas, and the seemingly simple quest to avoid anything 'pagan', whenever the issue was brought up with outsiders - with friends and family alike, the conversation always erupted and backfired. I suppose that most viewed our family and other LCers as complete snobs. At any rate, it accomplished the exact opposite of what we thought we were accomplishing.

It has since become clear to me that the scorched earth type approach that the LC takes to Christmas (and other issues) generally causes more destruction than accomplishing anything meaningful. I’m not out to say that everything associated with Christmas is positive. I don’t care for the materialism, but I don’t think the fact that some people have got it all wrong means that we can’t participate in Christmas. Even the supposed pagan orgins I don’t see as a big deal. We wouldn’t even know about that expect there are people out there making a fuss about it. It would be incredibly difficult for anyone to make a reasonable argument that the celebration of Christmas is done with the specific intention of participating in something pagan.

If someone really feels to eradicate anything 'pagan' from their lives, then they might as well stop calling days of the week or calendar months by name, and also refuse to associate with anyone who does. And while they are at it, they should refuse to work at a job where people make appointments using day/month names. Maybe it sounds like I’m being ridiculous, but isn't it reasonable to expect someone who claims to hate ‘pagan’ things to take the same stance on non-Christmas related ‘pagan’ things?

Ultimately, that is why when people or certain groups take certain stands on issues like Christmas, the stand is never taken seriously. It's just too easy for a double standard to arise, and the glaring contradiction is what everyone sees, not any presumed testimony that has come about from eradicating things that aren’t ‘pure’.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:33 PM   #64
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For a system willing to use the pagan Chinese New Year celebration to preach the gospel (one of their official "feasts" btw) to immigrant Chinese, it would be nice if they extended the same liberty to others.
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Ultimately, that is why when people or certain groups take certain stands on issues like Christmas, the stand is never taken seriously. It's just too easy for a double standard to arise, and the glaring contradiction is what everyone sees, not any presumed testimony that has come about from eradicating things that aren’t ‘pure’.
This nails it. The LCM folks hold to the standard it has settled upon as if it makes "total sense" to them, even though anyone could come along and point out the compromises and contradictions in it.

So why does their standard make so much "sense" to them?

Because that's the standard their leadership endorses. And regardless of how much they argue as if they really believe it, the real reason is that doing so is the path of least resistance in the controlling culture in which they exist and have their identities validated. When someone holds a gun to your head and says "believe this or you'll have trouble here" it's very natural to tell yourself you believe it, until you finally decide you don't want to be there anymore and are willing to risk escape.

That's how cultures of control and fear operate. Just ask anyone in Iraq who "loved" Saddam Hussein.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:38 PM   #65
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It has since become clear to me that the scorched earth type approach that the LC takes to Christmas (and other issues) generally causes more destruction than accomplishing anything meaningful.

If someone really feels to eradicate anything 'pagan' from their lives, then they might as well stop calling days of the week or calendar months by name, and also refuse to associate with anyone who does. And while they are at it, they should refuse to work at a job where people make appointments using day/month names. Maybe it sounds like I’m being ridiculous, but isn't it reasonable to expect someone who claims to hate ‘pagan’ things to take the same stance on non-Christmas related ‘pagan’ things?
It was John Darby who sounded the alarm that Christmas and Easter were "pagan." The Exclusives were all forced to "take a stand" on these holidays. Nee and Lee later followed probably because they were hated "western" holidays. Somewhere I have an old Brethren tract titled, "The Unpopular Truth about Christmas and Easter."

Hating Christmas, like the LC teaching about man becoming god, places the LCM in line, not with the Evangelical community of genuine believers, but with cults like the Jehovah Witnesses. So why do you think some Christians think Lee was cultic? They are also lawsuit happy like some other cults. Only Scientology has filed more lawsuits than LSM.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:54 PM   #66
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I understand having a problem with pagan influences that change the nature of the faith, such as worship of Mary, prayer to the dead, working for salvation, penance, etc.
But Christmas embodies none of those things. How do trees and nativity scenes and snowmen hurt or corrupt the Christian message? I don't see how you can make the case they do.
Hmm, well, ok Igzy. I was content with being a merry gentleman on this matter but I see such a compromise on my part was unwise. Perhaps live and let live is not possible on this much celebrated festival. Lesson learned.

The basic messages of this celebration are pagan in origin. The timing of the winter solstice, the Madonna and Child, the veneration and celebration of the sun god (Natalie Solis Invincti),festivities in worship of Saturn, the Christmas tree, the yuletide log, and Santa Claus (Odin) to name some of the main principles. If more examples are demanded we might also throw Rudolph under the bus, err, rather, under the magical flying sleigh.

Slapping a Christian wrapper on this stuff doesn't really change the content. Does it?

I always liked the way Linus delivered that speech but we know what's really going on.

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Old 12-21-2016, 04:03 PM   #67
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Pure religion is to stand with the orphans and widows and to keep yourself unspotted from the world. God does not hate that. If you had a Buddhist, or Muslim, or Jewish person doing that, then of course not, God does not hate that. God hates sin. Even Witness Lee taught that the sheep and the goats refer to those in the world, not the saved, and redeemed. God doesn't hate the sheep.
You have been adamant about the Bible's definition of religion being the true one, about considering others, taking care of orphans and widows etc.

Given that you reject my definition of religion as taken from the dictionary and you do not like me saying Christianity is a religion, I only ask you what then is the word you use to describe Buddhism and Islam and Judaism and other belief systems I would refer to as religions?
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:07 PM   #68
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It was John Darby who sounded the alarm that Christmas and Easter were "pagan." The Exclusives were all forced to "take a stand" on these holidays. Nee and Lee later followed probably because they were hated "western" holidays. Somewhere I have an old Brethren tract titled, "The Unpopular Truth about Christmas and Easter."

Hating Christmas, like the LC teaching about man becoming god, places the LCM in line, not with the Evangelical community of genuine believers, but with cults like the Jehovah Witnesses. So why do you think some Christians think Lee was cultic? They are also lawsuit happy like some other cults. Only Scientology has filed more lawsuits than LSM.
Calling a group a cult just because they don't celebrate Christmas is itself a cult-like activity. The cult of Christmas is one in which both Jesus-haters and Jesus lovers can come together and celebrate. Ask yourself why society has rejected the 10 commandments and public prayer for example, yet keeps Christmas? The Bible says a lot about friendships with the world and the majority of Christianity does not follow that at all.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:09 PM   #69
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So if a minister preaches the Gospel on TV, he is now part of a cult? I just love the way you sling accusations around cyber space. If TV is an idol, how much more computers. Perhaps you might want to consider your cyber ways.
TV evangelists have a cult following and people all too willing to give give give by being tricked into believing that God will bless them if they do.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:11 PM   #70
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Hmm, well, ok Igzy. I was content with being a merry gentleman on this matter but I see such a compromise on my part was unwise. Perhaps live and let live is not possible on this much celebrated festival. Lesson learned.
Not sure how you were being a merry gentleman. Please enlighten me. Do you mean because you didn't turn a blowtorch on your neighbor's plastic Rudolph that makes you a big-hearted person?

(Just between me and you I think you are a nice guy. I'm just not sure how you were a merry gentleman. )

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Slapping a Christian wrapper on this stuff doesn't really change the content. Does it?
Drake
Yes, because Christ is the content now. The wrapper is just some leftover stuff from long ago which is attractive in a non-evil way because it goes with the winter season. Or are you really going to argue that decorated trees, holly, mistletoe, reindeer or even a wee bit o' the ol' Christmas cheer are evil in themselves? Seems like the same argument that would say pork is evil.

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I always liked the way Linus delivered that speech but we know what's really going on.
And what's *really* going on? Sounds intriguing! Is it a conspiracy? Is the government involved? UFOs? Some secret society? (I mean other than the LCM...)
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:22 PM   #71
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TV evangelists have a cult following and people all too willing to give give give by being tricked into believing that God will bless them if they do.
Is that anything like buy buy buy the ministry books?
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:26 PM   #72
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Because they weren't worshiping God, Drake. They were worshiping a golden calf who represented another "god" because they felt God had let them down. The people who are celebrating Christmas are worshiping Christ.
Not quite. The people were worshipping the gold calf which to them represented the true God. Remember it was not only forbidden for the people to make images of false gods, but also of the true God. Just like the Israelites thought they were OK worshipping the golden calf that to them was an image of the true God, Christians today think they are worshipping the true God by celebrating Christmas. But God sees it now as he saw it then - a substitute for His presence and person.

The Bible says genuine worship is in spirit and truth. Does Christmas represent worship in spirit and truth? No. On the matter of true worship - attending a Christmas day service and giving gifts to each other is not worship. How can giving gifts to each other be considered worshipping Christ? It cannot.

There are two reasons not to celebrate Christmas. On the negative side, it is the fact that it has pagan origins. On the positive side, it is the fact that it replaces the person and presence of God. You may argue that the symbols have no relevance to us today because it has been a long time since anyone worshipped the sun God, but it is harder for you to argue that Christmas does not replace the person and presence of Christ. Christmas is therefore a vain substitute for the reality in Christ and does not give lasting peace and joy, despite the season supposedly being about peace and joy.

The evidence says that Christmas is one of the loneliest times of the year, there are many arguments, fights and divisions which happen over Christmas. The crime rate at Christmas soars. It is not about peace and joy at all. Many individuals and families hate getting together over Christmas.

The only Biblical-sanctioned way to remember God is the Lord's table. And with that we celebrate His death primarily, not His birth. Jesus asked us to remember His death. The world and Christianity makes a thing about remembering His birth. That is the nature of religion - take something genuine and put a slight twist on it to make it false.

I am sure that few worldly people who celebrates Christmas today would like to celebrate Christ's death and resurrection. This is because while His birth may have some meaning for them, His death and resurrection has no meaning to them.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:42 PM   #73
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I have no idea what you are talking about and am pretty sure you don't either.



The birth of Jesus is about God giving his Son. Please try to keep up.

And millions and millions of Christians who do celebrate the Lord's birth at Christmas would disagree with you.

The fact is, if Christmas was not about Christ it would have long since ceased being celebrated in Western culture. Yes, many of its outward trappings have pagan origins. So what? The essence of it now is the birth of Christ, whether you realize it or not. After all, how many other ancient holidays do we celebrate? Easter? Same thing.

What bothers me about you LCMers is you are all about the outward. You gripe about Christmas having artifacts from a long gone pagan past and you don't worry about the very real and much more immediate and damaging corruptions that presently exist in the movement you've given your lives to. You don't even want to know about the corruptions! You're too busy bashing Christmas of all things! As if you are going to change the world if you rant about Christmas. What a waste of time!

That to me is straining at gnats and swallowing camels. It's much easier to throw bombs over the fence than to deal with problems in your own backyard.
Jesus asked us to remember His death, not His birth (please try to keep up ). So those millions of Christians are doing something Jesus never asked them to do. What a waste of time! (and money).
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:44 PM   #74
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Is that anything like buy buy buy the ministry books?
I suppose it is. But at least you get a book. When you give to TV preachers you get nothing expect a "promise" via the television of expected 1000-fold blessing. If you rub your hands on the television you can also feel the "Holy Spirit", it feels like electricity the preacher says. Actually it is static electricity.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:17 PM   #75
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Jesus asked us to remember His death, not His birth (please try to keep up ). So those millions of Christians are doing something Jesus never asked them to do. What a waste of time! (and money).
Pretty weak stuff, Javert.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:17 PM   #76
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Pretty weak stuff, Javert.
aww I thought I'd try my hand at humor. Now I'm sad that yourself as the forum's court jester did not like it . I will try to stay serious from now on.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:21 PM   #77
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Who worships the sun god anymore? Is a yule log a nod to him, or is it to God reclaiming what should have been his all along? What is really wrong with building a fire, decorating a tree and circling around them and singing hymns of praise to Christ? Because pagans built fires and decorated trees that means we can't do it?
For an agrarian society to worship the Sun as the source of their life and wealth, that is not unlike "black friday" and the real purpose of Christmas to boost end of year sales to help retailers and manufacturers be profitable.

I liken this to the principle that if eating meat causes my brother to stumble then I won't eat meat.

I think Witness Lee's sect proves that there are quite a few brothers who are stumbled by this holiday and it is undeniable that to partake of this holiday is to "eat things sacrificed to idols".
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:24 PM   #78
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That specifically is referring to those Gentiles who help God's people's during the tribulation. Assuming they survive till the end and are alive at His coming then He will reward them (the sheep) with a place as a citizen in the millennium. The goats, well they don't do so well.

That's not an endorsement of the religion the sheep may belong to, whatever that is or maybe none.

Drake
The question is "Does God hate these [Buddhism and Judaism] or not?"

I am saying that God does not hate "pure religion".

If you disagree say so and make your case.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:28 PM   #79
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The Bible says to be wise as serpents, not as slippery as one.
What's the difference?

A snake doesn't have legs and yet is able to sneak up on very quick animals and also to escape very quick animals. That is pretty darn wise. That forked tongue is a marvelous tool for following a scent trail, those eyes with night vision are also a high tech marvel.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:32 PM   #80
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Because they weren't worshiping God, Drake. They were worshiping a golden calf who represented another "god" because they felt God had let them down.

The people who are celebrating Christmas are worshiping Christ.
Some people can celebrate Christmas as something unto Christ. Others will see it as a form of idol worship and will be stumbled. You are not wrong to say you can worship Christ in this, but if your brother is stumbled by your eating things sacrificed to idols then you are no longer walking in love.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:38 PM   #81
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You have been adamant about the Bible's definition of religion being the true one, about considering others, taking care of orphans and widows etc.

Given that you reject my definition of religion as taken from the dictionary and you do not like me saying Christianity is a religion, I only ask you what then is the word you use to describe Buddhism and Islam and Judaism and other belief systems I would refer to as religions?
Christianity is a religion. I have no issue with you saying that it is. Buddhism, Islam and Judaism are also religions.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:40 PM   #82
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Calling a group a cult just because they don't celebrate Christmas is itself a cult-like activity. The cult of Christmas is one in which both Jesus-haters and Jesus lovers can come together and celebrate. Ask yourself why society has rejected the 10 commandments and public prayer for example, yet keeps Christmas? The Bible says a lot about friendships with the world and the majority of Christianity does not follow that at all.
You make some good points here.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:46 PM   #83
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Jesus asked us to remember His death, not His birth (please try to keep up ). So those millions of Christians are doing something Jesus never asked them to do. What a waste of time! (and money).
Honestly? Do you really think that a Bible that conveys a Mary who pondered these things in her heart, that gives us a very detailed account of His birth, that gives us many prophecies concerning His birth, that celebrates this birth with an angelic chorus singing Hosanna in the Highest. Are you honestly telling us that we have not been told, in the word of God, to remember these things?
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:47 PM   #84
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Default Romans 14 Rightly Interpreted

I came across this article:

FIGURING OUT CHRISTIAN FREEDOM:WHAT ROMANS 14 DOES AND DOES NOT SAY

http://www.ccwtoday.org/article/figu...-does-not-say/

Romans 14 is not about ending disagreements (e.g. play nicely children) but about how to treat one another as the disagreement continues.

Two rules:

1) Refrain from judging or condemning believers whose opinions differ from your own (14:1-12).

- I don't think anyone in the Recovery believes a person who celebrates Christmas is a pagan or is going to hell.

2) Refrain from exercising your freedom in ways that would pressure, embolden, or encourage another believer to sin by going against his own conscience (14:13-23).

- I don't think anyone is forcing the other to do things their way. No one is forcing us to celebrate Christmas and we don't force anyone to stop.

What Romans 14 does NOT say:

1) Romans 14 does not say that all opinions regarding matters of conscience are equally valid.

i.e. There is a right and a wrong about everything. Just because you can quote Romans 14 does not mean what you do is right. Just because you celebrate Christmas and can do so based upon Romans 14 does not make it right. For example, even though Paul said not to judge others for celebrating certain days, Paul made known that observing special days is wrong (see Galatians 4:10).

2) Romans 14 does not say that Christians should go against their own conscience in order to accommodate believers who disagree.

i.e. Don't get upset if I don't say Merry Christmas, and I won't get upset if you do

3) Romans 14 does not say that moral strictness classifies a believer as “weak,” or that an unburdened conscience proves that a believer is “strong.”

Is a weak person one who celebrates Christmas or one who does not?

Based upon Romans 14, we could say the ones that feel the need to keep special days, such as Christmas, are the weak ones. Or you might say we are weak for not celebrating Christmas, we are too "holy". But remember that while Christians are to enjoy freedom, we are also to pursue holiness


4) Romans 14 does not say that Christians should refrain from judging a believer who is engaging in obvious sin.

i.e. Romans 14 cannot be used to excuse obvious sin.

5) Romans 14 does not say that the convictions of the weakest brother or sister should determine the acceptable exercise of liberty in a local church.

i.e. I don't have to change the way I do things to accommodate your weakness in accepting pagan things. I don't have to have a Christmas tree in my church just because you don't feel festive without one. Likewise, you don't have to remove your Christmas tree from your church (if you have one)

6) Romans 14 does not say that strong Christians should hide the exercise of their liberty from the weak.

i.e. The strong ones don't have to hide the fact that they don't celebrate Christmas.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:49 PM   #85
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aww I thought I'd try my hand at humor. Now I'm sad that yourself as the forum's court jester did not like it . I will try to stay serious from now on.
Sorry I missed it. Better insert a smiley when you're trying to be funny. I'm a little on the fringe of the Asperger Spectrum.

BTW, Can I ask you a personal question?
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:52 PM   #86
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[B]Is a weak person one who celebrates Christmas or one who does not?
Let me rephrase Paul. When you are aware of how deceitfully wicked the world is, how subtle they are at hiding the leaven in the meal, at how they employ hundreds of experts, psychologists, writers, performers, etc to create the TV shows that will be influencing your children.

When you are fully aware of the evil, corrupting influences of the world on your children who may be naive and trusting, then if you are going to go ahead and celebrate Christmas, well then, you better be very strong in the faith.

How about that, does that help?
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:53 PM   #87
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You are not wrong to say you can worship Christ in this, but if your brother is stumbled by your eating things sacrificed to idols then you are no longer walking in love.
You make a good point. But I have a hard time believing anyone would be stumbled by the fact that I or anyone celebrates Christmas. Unless you consider celebrating Christmas as being stumbled, which I don't.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:54 PM   #88
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You make a good point. But I have a hard time believing anyone would be stumbled by the fact that I or anyone celebrates Christmas. Unless you consider celebrating Christmas as being stumbled, which I don't.
When you say "anyone" are you including children, babes in Christ, new converts, those who are barely being rescued from hell?

One thing I know for sure, celebrating Christmas is not about me. My concern is what is best for my family, what is best for the kids I teach at school, what is best for the new believers in the church.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:57 PM   #89
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Honestly? Do you really think that a Bible that conveys a Mary who pondered these things in her heart, that gives us a very detailed account of His birth, that gives us many prophecies concerning His birth, that celebrates this birth with an angelic chorus singing Hosanna in the Highest. Are you honestly telling us that we have not been told, in the word of God, to remember these things?
We are to remember His whole life, of which death was His life's purpose.
So yes, birth is included in that. But not to the exclusion of His death and resurrection. I notice that most Christmas occasions recognize the birth of Christ, but few recognize His death and resurrection.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #90
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We are to remember His whole life, of which death was His life's purpose.
So yes, birth is included in that. But not to the exclusion of His death and resurrection. I notice that most Christmas occasions recognize the birth of Christ, but few recognize His death and resurrection.
When you take issue with Christmas I can follow your concerns right up to the point where you are bothered with them focusing on Luke 2. That is where you lost me.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #91
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Sorry I missed it. Better insert a smiley when you're trying to be funny. I'm a little on the fringe of the Asperger Spectrum.

BTW, Can I ask you a personal question?
What's the question
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #92
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When you say "anyone" are you including children, babes in Christ, new converts, those who are barely being rescued from hell?
Yes. I don't see how celebrating Christmas blocks or confuses the gospel message at all.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:02 PM   #93
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When you take issue with Christmas I can follow your concerns right up to the point where you are bothered with them focusing on Luke 2. That is where you lost me.
Understood. I meant "the bible does not say to celebrate Christ's birth to the exclusion of celebrating His death". My point was focus on Luke 2 to the exclusion of the rest of the gospel.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:09 PM   #94
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What's the question
How old are you?
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:10 PM   #95
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Yes. I don't see how celebrating Christmas blocks or confuses the gospel message at all.
Well here is where i have an issue.

The church has a Christmas play, which focuses on Jesus birth, so far so good. In that play they have the Christmas celebration as a backdrop and context, OK, no big issue. They emphasize that the "reason for the season" is Christ. Sounds good.

But you can't do that without including some of the Christmas songs (not hymns, not spiritual songs) to help with the setting, maybe even the contrast.

But once you have done all this you have legitimized the entire holiday. How do you now draw the line? How do you tell your kid it is OK to listen to the church's spin on the holiday, but not to the world's? How can a kid make an informed decision on their own. As a result you opened the door for the kid to now watch every Christmas TV show and movie. Honestly, what is the difference, they are all morality plays, some with a Christian moral, some with a human moral. This in turn opens the door to all of those insidious commercials designed to brain wash you into the worship of materialism.

The point is simple, you could have the most pure and inspired Christmas play around, but by doing that you have opened the door for the children in the church to watch every Christmas play. You could have a wonderful "Christmas tree" virtually devoid of idols (though the tree itself is referred to as an idol) but now you have opened the door to every single Christmas tree out there, with all of the idols. That includes Santa, and Reindeer, etc.

You present Jesus as the reason for the season, but now it comes across as just one view, not that different from a man in a red suit who watches you, decided if you are good or bad, and then gives you presents.

Now you have adults who tell you they went to church as a kid, but don't believe. To them, once they realized Santa wasn't real it was akin to deciding Jesus wasn't real. That is the confusion. It is certainly real. It may not be justified, but it is certainly used as an explanation (you can say excuse) for why the gospel message is confused. To be fair to those who have come to this conclusion, they were in Church where they were expecting to hear the gospel and the truth, and they were the ones that were introducing them to Christmas, the whole story of Christmas. Maybe they emphasized Jesus birth, but they sure didn't dissuade them from any other aspect of the holiday.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:13 PM   #96
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How old are you?
I am not far off middle age.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:16 PM   #97
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I am not far off middle age.
I am younger than middle age, but only because I am hoping to live to 120. I am also probably 2 years younger than Igzy, but that is a guess based on when he was in Austin.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:19 PM   #98
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I am younger than middle age, but only because I am hoping to live to 120.
With scientific advances that may be possible soon.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:21 PM   #99
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With scientific advances that may be possible soon.
It was possible with Moses, so I suppose that is one example of modern science being drawn from the Bible.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:22 PM   #100
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Well here is where i have an issue.

Now you have adults who tell you they went to church as a kid, but don't believe. To them, once they realized Santa wasn't real it was akin to deciding Jesus wasn't real. That is the confusion. It is certainly real. It may not be justified, but it is certainly used as an explanation (you can say excuse) for why the gospel message is confused. To be fair to those who have come to this conclusion, they were in Church where they were expecting to hear the gospel and the truth, and they were the ones that were introducing them to Christmas, the whole story of Christmas. Maybe they emphasized Jesus birth, but they sure didn't dissuade them from any other aspect of the holiday.
Let me start out by asking, ZNP, and let me say I have a lot of respect for your intelligence and for your seeking for answers.

But let me ask. Have you ever known anyone who did not come to salvation because they were confused by Christmas?
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:23 PM   #101
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I am not far off middle age.
Which way?
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:31 PM   #102
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Which way?
The trains coming into the station and there's no reverse...
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:39 PM   #103
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The trains coming into the station and there's no reverse...
I understand. Hey. Some of your best years are ahead of you.
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:58 PM   #104
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Calling a group a cult just because they don't celebrate Christmas is itself a cult-like activity. The cult of Christmas is one in which both Jesus-haters and Jesus lovers can come together and celebrate. Ask yourself why society has rejected the 10 commandments and public prayer for example, yet keeps Christmas? The Bible says a lot about friendships with the world and the majority of Christianity does not follow that at all.
You must not be from the US. Schools, businesses, and public places are not even allowed to say "Merry Christmas" anymore, or have any public celebration.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:02 PM   #105
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TV evangelists have a cult following and people all too willing to give give give by being tricked into believing that God will bless them if they do.
So it is cultic to point out your similarity to the JW, but it's not cultic to call all those who watch TV evangelists a cult.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:05 PM   #106
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Yes, because Christ is the content now. The wrapper is just some leftover stuff from long ago which is attractive in a non-evil way because it goes with the winter season. Or are you really going to argue that decorated trees, holly, mistletoe, reindeer or even a wee bit o' the ol' Christmas cheer are evil in themselves? Seems like the same argument that would say pork is evil.
The other white meat.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:41 PM   #107
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Igzy) "Not sure how you were being a merry gentleman. Please enlighten me. Do you mean because you didn't turn a blowtorch on your neighbor's plastic Rudolph that makes you a big-hearted person? "

Well, if you saw it I'm convinced you would help me carry the butane tank.
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:07 AM   #108
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Let me start out by asking, ZNP, and let me say I have a lot of respect for your intelligence and for your seeking for answers.

But let me ask. Have you ever known anyone who did not come to salvation because they were confused by Christmas?
I have no idea, but I have known very many people who compare believing in Jesus to believing in Santa Claus. In my own experience preaching the gospel it was the one thing I hated the most. It would be like trying to defend Witness Lee and having people continually bring up the lawsuits.

You can't embrace Christmas without embracing all that it includes. If an unbeliever walks down the street and sees a big "Merry Christmas" posted outside of a church they are justified in assuming that the church embraces Christmas.

So let's look at this very strange doctrine of Santa Claus, what is the point? A young child is led to believe, by the people they trust the most (parents, adult relatives, older siblings, and church) to believe in Santa Claus. At some point in their life they will realize that there is no such person, it is a bogus story designed to make the holiday seem magical and mysterious. But does this young child come to that conclusion, or do they conclude that the purpose is to teach you that people lie and you should not be naive. They get this shot of "don't trust anyone who you thought you were supposed to trust" right before they start hearing the gospel, from the very same people.

It is as though the whole world is laughing at the child, "ha, ha, you moron, are you that naive" (though it might only be a few 5th graders at school) followed by "let me tell you about the gospel".
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:15 AM   #109
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You must not be from the US. Schools, businesses, and public places are not even allowed to say Chritmas anymore, or have any public celebration.
Maybe I can clarify this. I do not put up any decorations neither do I refer to Christmas myself.

However, this week I am having two parties for a total of over 60 students. These are not Christmas parties, just parties. That is just for my classes. Our school took a collection (secretly) for the 4 students who recently became homeless, each one will be "winning" $200. We have a special pot luck for about 70 students, which include all of our students in shelters and who are homeless, but not exclusively so they do not appear singled out.

You have to understand the holiday season can be the most distressing for some. There are students who won't eat regular meals for a week because of the holiday, and listening to what other families are doing can be very painful. So we downplay that.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:25 AM   #110
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So let's look at this very strange doctrine of Santa Claus, what is the point? A young child is led to believe, by the people they trust the most (parents, adult relatives, older siblings, and church) to believe in Santa Claus. At some point in their life they will realize that there is no such person, it is a bogus story designed to make the holiday seem magical and mysterious. But does this young child come to that conclusion, or do they conclude that the purpose is to teach you that people lie and you should not be naive. They get this shot of "don't trust anyone who you thought you were supposed to trust" right before they start hearing the gospel, from the very same people.
Totally agree with you about Santa Claus -- parents do all the work, including making cookies and leaving out a glass of milk, and then like some mystical character gets all the credit.

Part of training up a child included writing thank you notes to those who give them gifts. How are kids supposed to thank Santa?
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:21 AM   #111
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You can't embrace Christmas without embracing all that it includes.
Not true at all. That's like saying you can't embrace America without embracing all it includes: crime, injustice, etc. Or you can't embrace Christians without embracing all they include: sin, hypocrisy, weak faith, etc.

I can celebrate Christmas without celebrating the Playboy Christmas issue.

Let's try not to act smarter than we really are.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:33 AM   #112
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So let's look at this very strange doctrine of Santa Claus, what is the point?
While I understand your point, try to not overstate it.

Santa Claus is not a "doctrine." He's a mythical figure like Superman or Harry Potter. I do think parents can oversell him. My oldest boy believed in Santa well past ten years-old. That made me uncomfortable. His younger brother talked him out of it. I understand the parallels between Santa and God. We teach kids about this invisible, benevolent, powerful person. Then we go "just kidding!"

At the same time, I believed in Santa...then I didn't. I realized it was just a fun story and my gifts came from my mom (especially since the gift tags were in her handwriting). Santa was just some make-believe magic and that didn't bother me. And it certainly did not cause me to think "maybe God doesn't exist either." I understood the difference between Santa and God.

So to cite Santa as an indication that Christmas is evil? That's overdoing it I think. If Santa is the worst thing about Christmas we are doing fine.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #113
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C.S. Lewis believed that stories of magic naturally helped tell the story of God. Kids want to believe in magic. Why? Because there is magic in God. God can work miracles. God can override the boring physical laws of the universe and make something wonderful happen. God can do whatever he wants.

Moses worked magic. So did Elijah and Elisha. God worked magic with Daniel. And Jesus did all kinds of magic. Then, so did the apostles.

Where is the magic now? We teach kids about the mundane laws of the universe and about dry Christian doctrines with no sparkle behind them. Everything is cut-and-dried and in order. No wonder kids long for Santa, Superman and Harry Potter.

One thing about the LC in the early days was it was magical. Where is the magic now? God is still magical. It's us who have grown jaded, like kids who no longer believe in Santa Claus or much else for that matter.

Kids can afford to play make-believe magic with Santa because there is true magic in God.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:27 AM   #114
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Santa Claus is not a "doctrine." He's a mythical figure like Superman or Harry Potter. I do think parents can oversell him. My oldest boy believed in Santa well past ten years-old. That made me uncomfortable. His younger brother talked him out of it. I understand the parallels between Santa and God. We teach kids about this invisible, benevolent, powerful person. Then we go "just kidding!"
All societies use all-knowing mystical beings to manipulate children's behavior. "He knows if you've been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake."

When I studied Brethren history, Neatby (excellent history btw and available online) pointed out the Exclusives use of BugBears in order to manipulate their members. A BugBear, like our Bogeyman and in some ways our Santa Claus, was an imaginary being invoked to frighten children in order to manipulate their behavior.

The LCM may have discarded Santa, but they have long perpetuated their own repertoire of BugBears. The resulting fears which so grip her members are much harder to shake than any Santa Claus myth. Talk to any ex-member.

Hate to keep harping on this, but it was the evils wrought by the LSM "Office" and Witness Lee himself on dear brother John Ingalls which helped to release me from all of their entrenched BugBears. Doing what they did, there is no way any sane man would still believe they are God's best, and His only "true" church testimony.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:04 AM   #115
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Not true at all. That's like saying you can't embrace America without embracing all it includes: crime, injustice, etc. Or you can't embrace Christians without embracing all they include: sin, hypocrisy, weak faith, etc.

I can celebrate Christmas without celebrating the Playboy Christmas issue.

Let's try not to act smarter than we really are.
The context of my comment was your question about it confusing the gospel. A person in the world walks down the street, they see "Merry Christmas" outside a church with a Christmas tree all decorated and a manger scene.

To the unbeliever the church is embracing all that Christmas includes. You can argue they aren't doing that, to the unbeliever they are. You have therefore confused the gospel.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:07 AM   #116
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So to cite Santa as an indication that Christmas is evil? That's overdoing it I think. If Santa is the worst thing about Christmas we are doing fine.
I didn't cite Santa to show that Christmas is evil, though I think that is valid. I quoted it to point out how it confuses the gospel, particularly to young people in the 13 to 18 age range. You have taught them not to trust you. Then you want them to receive the gospel from you.

It is irrelevant if you or I did not use this as a reason not to receive the gospel. If it confuses some, if it hinders some then that is proof that it confuses the gospel.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:10 AM   #117
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To the unbeliever the church is embracing all that Christmas includes. You can argue they aren't doing that, to the unbeliever they are. You have therefore confused the gospel.
How do you know what unbelievers are thinking?

I don't agree in general with your thesis that the gospel is confused. As I've said A LOT more good comes from having Christ in Christmas than would be done by taking him out. Christmas is part of our culture. By the time you explain to some unbeliever why you don't celebrate Christmas they are liable to be more confused than they would be otherwise.

I just think you are overthinking things. The LCM has eradicated Christmas, and it hasn't exactly caused their gospel campaigns to take off.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:11 AM   #118
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The story of Jesus birth is magical, great story, and I am very happy that many churches use Christmas as an excuse to tell this story, have children do a children's play, etc. Some of the best hymns we have are concerning Jesus birth.

The resurrection is magical.

Baptism -- Noah's ark, the Red Sea, etc. are magical.

Israel leaving Egypt is magical.

Santa Claus is a very poor and ugly sham for a magical story. Even the author of the Harry Potter series who tried to refer to many if not all of man's mythology wouldn't stoop so low as to refer to Santa.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:12 AM   #119
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How do you know what unbelievers are thinking?
When you preach the gospel one on one, they respond. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:17 AM   #120
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I didn't cite Santa to show that Christmas is evil, though I think that is valid. I quoted it to point out how it confuses the gospel, particularly to young people in the 13 to 18 age range. You have taught them not to trust you. Then you want them to receive the gospel from you.
Theoretically that makes sense, as I said. But I've heard no evidence that it actually happens. I gave my own experience. I think kids understand the difference between Santa Claus and God. Santa is a fun myth. God is the real creator.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:19 AM   #121
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Santa Claus is a very poor and ugly sham for a magical story. Even the author of the Harry Potter series who tried to refer to many if not all of man's mythology wouldn't stoop so low as to refer to Santa.
Ugly? Whatever. Anyway, that's your opinion. It might even be mine someday. But he's not going anywhere so we might as well make the best of things.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:27 AM   #122
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Santa Claus is a very poor and ugly sham for a magical story. Even the author of the Harry Potter series who tried to refer to many if not all of man's mythology wouldn't stoop so low as to refer to Santa.
I'm not here to defend Santa in any way, but for you to use the Harry Potter series, which introduced an entire generation to witchcraft and its many spells, is more than I can endure.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:40 AM   #123
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I'm not here to defend Santa in any way, but for you to use the Harry Potter series, which introduced an entire generation to witchcraft and its many spells, is more than I can endure.
I actually first brought up Harry Potter.

I certainly don't condone the kind of witchcraft the Bible condemns. But again Harry Potter is more of a magical myth than about evil witchcraft. But I understand why some might think otherwise.
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Old 12-22-2016, 04:58 PM   #124
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In regards to the gospel I believe it is important to state the gospel message in simplicity, purity and truth. However God may choose to draw someone through the Christmas message and even through the message of Santa so we should exercise freedom in this respect, taking opportunity at Christmas time to spread the true gospel, and if necessary, defer to the example of Santa and Christmas in order to attract unbelievers. This is a similar approach to the one Paul took where he related the true God to the people's beliefs in an "unknown god". This was the same approach the Catholics took when they converted pagan Europe - they related the true Christian message to the pagan beliefs at the time. The first stage of gospel preaching is to draw people according to the opportunity available, the second stage is to declare the true gospel without confusing it with the first stage. The issue is when people confuse the two stages. The issue is when the "unknown god" or "Santa Claus" becomes part of the true gospel story. A situation like this is common in places like India where Hindus accept Jesus as merely another one of their many gods to be worshiped. In Hindu or Buddhist countries it is possible to find people worshiping Mary or Jesus as just other people to be worshiped.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:51 PM   #125
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In regards to the gospel I believe it is important to state the gospel message in simplicity, purity and truth. However God may choose to draw someone through the Christmas message and even through the message of Santa so we should exercise freedom in this respect, taking opportunity at Christmas time to spread the true gospel, and if necessary, defer to the example of Santa and Christmas in order to attract unbelievers. This is a similar approach to the one Paul took where he related the true God to the people's beliefs in an "unknown god". This was the same approach the Catholics took when they converted pagan Europe - they related the true Christian message to the pagan beliefs at the time. The first stage of gospel preaching is to draw people according to the opportunity available, the second stage is to declare the true gospel without confusing it with the first stage. The issue is when people confuse the two stages. The issue is when the "unknown god" or "Santa Claus" becomes part of the true gospel story. A situation like this is common in places like India where Hindus accept Jesus as merely another one of their many gods to be worshiped. In Hindu or Buddhist countries it is possible to find people worshiping Mary or Jesus as just other people to be worshiped.
I agree. We are in the world the way it is. Although we should strive to be pure in our hearts, the process isn't always so neat. Besides, what would be the fun of that?

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"

And Paul wrote in 1 Cor 9:
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
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Old 12-23-2016, 04:29 AM   #126
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I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Hence we do what would be best for our children, our testimony at work and the church. We have to walk by faith and if we make a mistake the Lord will reveal that to us.
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:06 AM   #127
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I actually first brought up Harry Potter.

I certainly don't condone the kind of witchcraft the Bible condemns. But again Harry Potter is more of a magical myth than about evil witchcraft. But I understand why some might think otherwise.
Is Santa Claus the kind of witchcraft the Bible condemns?
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:12 AM   #128
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Is Santa Claus the kind of witchcraft the Bible condemns?
You'd have to be quite the cynic to think that, in my opinion.

Remember, God looks on the heart. What do people in the Bible use witchcraft for? Selfish scheming, treachery, circumventing God.

Santa Claus represents selfless giving. If there is one central characteristic of God, it's that. "For God so loved he gave..."

Fantastic powers don't constitute "witchcraft." Otherwise you have to indict Superman, Captain Marvel, Paul Bunyan and Tinkerbell. Every fictional superhuman hero ever becomes a "witch" under that view. Do you really want to go there?

Don't we have better things to do?
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:17 PM   #129
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You'd have to be quite the cynic to think that, in my opinion.

Remember, God looks on the heart. What do people in the Bible use witchcraft for? Selfish scheming, treachery, circumventing God.

Santa Claus represents selfless giving. If there is one central characteristic of God, it's that. "For God so loved he gave..."

Fantastic powers don't constitute "witchcraft." Otherwise you have to indict Superman, Captain Marvel, Paul Bunyan and Tinkerbell. Every fictional superhuman hero ever becomes a "witch" under that view. Do you really want to go there?

Don't we have better things to do?
Every since I studied marketing I guess I have become quite a cynic.

Urgency and Scarcity are two key psychological motivators. Christmas actually gives you a bonus third motivator. Have you noticed that every year there is a toy "hot item" that is sold out and hard to get? That is not accidental, that is planned. They know that kids ask Santa for certain toys. So what happens if the toy the kid wants is sold out? No toys on Christmas?! God forbid, that would be equivalent to saying your child was naughty. Nope, you will buy them two toys to make up for your failure to get the kid the toy they asked for. But then, in two months you'll be back to buy that toy as well, because you promised it to the kid. This is why the advertising for Christmas begins so early, way before it is necessary. It is designed to make you feel irresponsible and guilty when you show up and they say "oh, that was sold out two weeks ago". What could be better, a customer that has to buy, has a deadline to buy, and now feels guilty.

Santa Claus is a brilliant marketing strategy worthy of Woolworth, Macy's, Jezebel, etc. Seducing the servants of the Lord to eat things sacrificed to idols.

What is the difference between a Catholic idolatrous parade where they carry the virgin Mary or some other idol through the streets and the Macy's day parade?
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:15 PM   #130
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I thought this is a long gone topic but im really scratching my head. Chinese New Year was and has always been a celebration of various pagan Chinese gods and ancestors, and I personally don't really enjoy it, but Lee and the saints in LC today who are Chinese consistently emphasise the need to use this festival to make a "feast" or a "love feast" to attract people to Christ. Now there's nothing ever been Bible-relating at all in Chinese New Year, can I even stretch a bit like you do, that the Chinese New Year calendar attempts to "change God's law and time" like the little horn in Daniel does, because it keeps making the first day of each year different according to Chinese tradition? So I can say CNY is a type of antichrist and that Lee and the saints have mixed themselves with such evil, using their "man-made concepts" to promote Christ and LC?

I was not going to say anything and I personally am not particularly into Christmas and I don't enjoy Chinese New Year at all. But I love Valentine's Day and birthdays my Lc friends celebrate them all the time. My lc friend even wrote once on Valentine's Day saying Jesus is her true valentine. now Valentine's Day was a pagan festival used for worshipping goddess of love, now are you going to carry a double standard to judge this sister? those who celebrate Christmas and find no condemnation from their conscience are allowed to do so, there is no such law against or for it. I could have cared less but any consistent Pharisee-type of attitude really turns me off and makes me want to say something. God have mercy on me and if I offended anyone may His grace renew me.

May all brothers and sisters go in peace whether we celebrate the birth of Christ or not. Jesus is King and he Head, period. We are not condemned in Him, period.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:24 PM   #131
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What is the difference between a Catholic idolatrous parade where they carry the virgin Mary or some other idol through the streets and the Macy's day parade?
The main difference is the people are not worshiping or praying to that great big floating Snoopy, Filex the cat or Buillwinkle the moose. The other difference is that the Macy's day parade is a secular celebration. But of course you knew this already...and you don't have to study marketing to know this.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:42 AM   #132
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I thought this is a long gone topic but im really scratching my head. Chinese New Year was and has always been a celebration of various pagan Chinese gods and ancestors, and I personally don't really enjoy it, but Lee and the saints in LC today who are Chinese consistently emphasise the need to use this festival to make a "feast" or a "love feast" to attract people to Christ. Now there's nothing ever been Bible-relating at all in Chinese New Year, can I even stretch a bit like you do, that the Chinese New Year calendar attempts to "change God's law and time" like the little horn in Daniel does, because it keeps making the first day of each year different according to Chinese tradition? So I can say CNY is a type of antichrist and that Lee and the saints have mixed themselves with such evil, using their "man-made concepts" to promote Christ and LC?
It was this kind of hypocrisy which helped me to see thru many of Lee's condemnations on Western society.

Thanks for posting.

For many years I was a crusader against all celebration of Christmas. I used to think that this "ministry of condemnation" was somehow pleasing to God. Today I still have very little celebration of Christmas, but now know that loving my neighbor is a far weightier matter of God's law, and more pleasing to Him.
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:35 PM   #133
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCt1s44cfMM
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:06 PM   #134
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HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING! GLORY TO THE KING OF KINGS!

One of my all time favorites! Brings tears to my eyes. Definitely a SPIRIT anointed song. And thanks for posting all the lyrics!

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14) - NASB

“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” -NLT

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." -KJV

interesting translations.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:14 PM   #135
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It was this kind of hypocrisy which helped me to see thru many of Lee's condemnations on Western society.

Thanks for posting.

For many years I was a crusader against all celebration of Christmas. I used to think that this "ministry of condemnation" was somehow pleasing to God. Today I still have very little celebration of Christmas, but now know that loving my neighbor is a far weightier matter of God's law, and more pleasing to Him.
Excellent comment Mr O! My experience exactly! I dared not say Merry Christmas. (the religious and controlled side of me by LC)

Funny how in the secular world, the atheists rallied to condemn 'Christmas'. LOL... now it's back in full vogue ! LOL

But sadly few people stop to think about THEIR SAVIOR, our Savior was born (regardless of the actual date) and that through His life, death and resurrection, we would be set free from the power of darkness and be filled with HiS Glorious Light and LOVE for all eternity.

As a child, I used to see a lot of nativity scenes in front lawns or wherever. Now they are filled with (super) expensive blow up plastic mannequins of all kinds! (Not that people who had nativity scenes were 'holier than thou'. They weren't! ) Just an observation.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:32 PM   #136
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The main difference is the people are not worshiping or praying to that great big floating Snoopy, Filex the cat or Buillwinkle the moose. The other difference is that the Macy's day parade is a secular celebration. But of course you knew this already...and you don't have to study marketing to know this.
-
I am not so sure, I find this current situation very similar to the depiction of the image of the beast in Rev 13.

Right now our phones give off frequent signals or pings. As a result the computer gathers information on every cell phone time and location. There is now a bill board company that will use this data to provide pop up ads on bill boards depending on which car is driving by. They will record if you drive by a bill board ad for dunkin donuts and then a few minutes later pull into the dunking donuts. Of course that is not all, sensors are now being built into all of our appliances, and these speak to the computer. The size and scope of these applications are astounding. Especially now that these 3d printers can print the tiny sensors on anything.

There is nothing new to considering the image of the beast as some kind of interactive computer, if we haven't arrived there yet the stage is certainly set.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:41 PM   #137
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Here's the problem I have with that phrase.

Lee looked at the stories in the Bible, and pointed out the hypocrisy, unbelief, and mean-spirited evil of the Pharisees and Judaizers, and said "Christ Versus Religion." He wrote a book about it. I read it.
I had the book Christ vs Religion too but I never could get through it! Shoots. I could never get through any of the books by Lee & Nee! (I did glean a little here and there though)

Looking back, the church life in my day (mid 70s) was very different from what was written in the Nee/Lee books. We tried to live the church life but were stifled as Lee's 'word' became 'gospel'. That said, many true believers are leaving the man made church in droves. And they never have been or heard of the LC / Lee or Nee.

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The Bible never condemned those awaiting the Savior's birth, whether in the Temple or the fields, as being "religious." Nicodemus was not condemned, nor were those in the Temple when Jesus was 12 years old. The Lord never condemned any of the disciples, His mother Mary, or the thousands who followed Him as being religious or "poor, poor Judaism."
Right ON!! He Himself went into the temple many, many a time! He went everywhere! He taught in the streets, by the seashore, at the hillsides, in people's homes. He is a MAN after my own heart that JESUS!

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Lee, however, was different. He uses the generalized "religion" and broad-brushes the whole of Christianity.
AND THAT was his downfall! He & his followers became the pharisees and saducees.

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First, he identifies all the evil in the New Testament, and labels it "religion." Secondly, he uses his religion epithet to label all Christians outside of his recovery. Thirdly, by association, the hearers and the readers then identify all these Christians with the evil-doers of the Bible. Se how Lee subtly twisted our thinking?

The Bible never uses religion in this way, but he used it to his full advantage. He condemned any any all Christians as religious, whether they met in homes, in groups, in community churches, non-denominational churches, big churches, small churches, dormant churches, vibrant churches, tongue-speaking churches, non-tongue-speaking churches, newly saved or aged pastors, fruitful or unfruitful, you get the message, all were pathetic, hopeless, helpless, poor, poor, Christianity, and religious, assuring us that God hates religion, and Christ is versus religion.

That's why I disagree that "God hates religion." I threw my book away.
As did I but I still believe and maintain God hates religion. Not religious people.. He hates sin and false worship. There are going to be lots of Catholics going to heaven but when they get there, they won't be Catholics... nor will anyone have a denominational label attached to them, including those who were from the LC/LSM... the no name 'church'.

While Christ vs Religion was 'touched on' and maybe hammered there in the LC, I honestly can say I did not get the true revelation from Lee.

I went to several 'churches'..and tried to involve myself in their activities but at the end of the day, I concluded they were all businesses with a tax deduction, using God's Word for their agenda. That's been my experience. If it has not been 'yours' meaning any former LCr who is attending 'church' now, you are blessed indeed! Also re reading and studying the 7 churches in Revelation ... not from Lee or Nee's teachings has also opened my eyes to understand. God HIMSELF has given me the understanding and revelation.
Praise HIM - the God of ALL TRUTH.
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:56 PM   #138
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God hates religion because it substitutes the person Jesus Christ for a belief system.

A substitute for the true God is an idol, therefore the belief system of Christianity is an idol.

Consider how much the world and Christianity loves Christmas. There are denominations that rarely celebrate communion but would never dare to miss the Christmas celebration.
Hey! I have been to several Christmas eve services where the BIRTH OF JESUS was not mentioned much less the 'sermon' of the evening !!! These were very 'liberal' denominations! And this was not recently either.. these services I went to at the invitation of family and neighbors was in the 90s.


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The world and Christianity reveres Christmas as one day of the year to remember Christ, because that is all the time they are willing to give Him.
ok.. got to make a distinction here... and I'm going to tell you why. While 'christianity and the world' are as you guys or Lee would say 'mingled', the schism has grown between the two.

As I mentioned in another comment, growing up, I'd see tons of nativity scenes everywhere. Not anymore. Christmas movies are all about finding romance or stupid comedies based on 'Xmas'.

I don't go to 'church' anymore so I don't know what the clergy-laity are doing these days regarding Christmas. I am sure many of the liberal 'churches' are not commemorating the birth of the Lord Jesus. And YES.. there ARE a lot of liberal churches. What do I mean by that? Well, many have accepted and embraced immoral behavior.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:10 PM   #139
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Her definition presumes to know the hearts of all Christians.

That's what you signed up for, and now you also claim it is some timeless truth?
HUH???

Did I give you that impression???? Hmm. Sorry! Because that's not true at all. What I do KNOW is most believers are not on the same page. We are all at different stages. Some of us mature quicker than others. Some of us have to go around the mountain over & over because we simply are stubborn and don't want to OBEY the Lord's guidance and Word.

I consider our spiritual journey similar to grade school, high school and college. We are taught, tested and if we don't pass the test, we don't move upwards. Don't I know that all too well !!
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:16 PM   #140
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A LOT more good comes from having Christ in Christmas than would be done by taking him out. Christmas is part of our culture. By the time you explain to some unbeliever why you don't celebrate Christmas they are liable to be more confused than they would be otherwise.

I just think you are overthinking things. The LCM has eradicated Christmas, and it hasn't exactly caused their gospel campaigns to take off.
I totally AGREE!!! I think it's a great opportunity for true believers to talk about Christ from His Birth to His Resurrection to His Promise of coming again.

I sometimes plant a little nugget in people telling them, Jesus came the first time and guess what? He's coming again.... sooner than later.

And btw... while I didn't do it this year, for several years, I would write scriptures on index cards during the month of October. Then on Halloween evening, I would sit outside with a bowl of candy and cards. I wrote scriptures for the youngsters under 10 and for the older ones. And would pray quietly for each kid and their parents.
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:39 PM   #141
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C.S. Lewis believed that stories of magic naturally helped tell the story of God. Kids want to believe in magic. Why? Because there is magic in God. God can work miracles. God can override the boring physical laws of the universe and make something wonderful happen. God can do whatever he wants.

Moses worked magic. So did Elijah and Elisha. God worked magic with Daniel. And Jesus did all kinds of magic. Then, so did the apostles.

Where is the magic now? We teach kids about the mundane laws of the universe and about dry Christian doctrines with no sparkle behind them. Everything is cut-and-dried and in order. No wonder kids long for Santa, Superman and Harry Potter.

One thing about the LC in the early days was it was magical. Where is the magic now? God is still magical. It's us who have grown jaded, like kids who no longer believe in Santa Claus or much else for that matter.

Kids can afford to play make-believe magic with Santa because there is true magic in God.
YES!! YES!! I am even going to go out on a limb here! The reason (I believe) kids and people are intrigued with 'magic'... and the likes of Superman, superheroes, Harry Potter especially, is because when God created man, He created him (man & woman) perfect, in His Image and Likeness. We are all on the same page on this one.

Satan in his sleezy, crafty way, introduced witchcraft to the pagans. And since he is the ruler of the darkness of this world and has powers himself, he has done a number on many, many people. I always love how God told Moses to throw the staff on the floor in front of Pharaoh which turned into a snake. Then Pharaoh's magicians did the same thing and their stick turned into a snake but Moses snake ate up their snake !

Had man not sinned, I truly believe we having our Father & Creator's DNA in our blood, would be doing many 'magical' things we cannot do now. For instance, FLYING. Think about it. Due to sin, in order to get around, man invented the wheel. ships, the car, planes, trains. These vehicles while very useful also are pollutants. So what was once beautiful pristeen oceans, lakes and rivers, now adays we have to worry about flesh eating bacteria!!

I remember pondering on the question why would God give us dominion over the fish of the sea when Adam and Eve were not hunters of animals before the fall.

I often think "I bet they could swim deep in the ocean without breathing apparatus and talk to the fish, play with them and magnify the Glory of God to them."

To us God has supernatural powers. But His Power(s) are natural to HIM. And as His children, we inherited His powers but due to sin, He took those powers away from us until we are totally transformed and Glorified in Him.

Just think, one day and soon I expect, the dead in Christ are going to rise up from their graves in Glorified bodies. And we who are alive will follow suit. We will defy gravity in our Glorified bodies to meet Jesus in the air!!!
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:41 PM   #142
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The main difference is the people are not worshiping or praying to that great big floating Snoopy, Filex the cat or Buillwinkle the moose. The other difference is that the Macy's day parade is a secular celebration. But of course you knew this already...and you don't have to study marketing to know this.
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NOPE! They're too busy worshipping NFL FOOTBALL !!
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Old 12-24-2016, 05:42 PM   #143
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What a great discussion this has been with everyone making good points on "both sides". At the end of the day, we are all on the same team: GOD'S TEAM.

I don't know if there will be anymore added comments but I'd like to close with a couple of you tube songs GLORIFYING THE KING OF KINGS!! I would have included Hark the Herald Angels sing but Igzy beat me to it !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goUXdizCakA - away in a manger

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn56_Fz6pKE - For unto us a Child is born

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyjm6VpNaNA O Holy Night

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoqxYqTNKmU Hallelujah Chorus

FYI... In the wee hours of July 27/28 2013, as I was in a very deep sleep, I saw the words AWAY IN A MANGER. Don't know why. Well.. I think I do.. not sure..


"Father God, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit of Love and Truth. You are OUR KING and our knees bow down to YOU and only TO YOU in adoration. Father You sent Your Beloved Son, Your Word that we would have Life and have it more abundantly. We thank You Lord Jesus for shedding Your Blood so that we might be cleansed and purified and be able to enter the Throne Room boldly that we may obtain mercy, and be granted Favor and Grace grace to help us in our time of need.

We thank You Father for Your Holy Spirit, so that YOU and Your Word, Your Son Jesus would live in us and thus we now abide in YOU and You in us for all eternity.

We Worship, Praise and Glorify Your Holy Name.
HOW GREAT THOU ART O LORD GOD OF THE UNIVERSE. We long to see you Face to face. Bless and supply all my brethren s needs according to the RICHES OF YOUR GLORY. Shine Your Glory Light in us all that we would be a true light to this dark world while we wait to hear the shout, the Voice of the Archangel and the TRUMP of God and meet our beloved Bridegroom and King Jesus in the air. Come Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit and the Bride say Come. Amen."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhvaDJTUmrU - How Great Thou Art.

Merry Christmas all... To GOD BE ALL THE GLORY. FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.

Carol
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
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