Friday, December 19, 2014
Was Jesus born on December 25? I believe any person who has studied the Bible at all can attest to the fact that the Bible nowhere states that Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. Through a careful study and assimilation of the scriptures though, as well as a knowledge of Jewish history, customs and traditions we can put together a clearer picture of when Christ was truly born.
For our purposes the story of the birth of Christ begins with Zacharias (also spelled Zechariah), the father of John the Baptist. According to the gospel of Luke, Zacharias was a priest from the division of Abijah (Luke 1:5). During the Second Temple period each of the priestly divisions (there were 24) served in the temple at Jerusalem on a rotation basis. The division of Abijah would have been in service roughly between the middle to end of Sivan or our June and ended sometime between the 19th to the 25th of Sivan (June). At some point before the end of his service in the temple the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, telling him his wife Elizabeth would have a child (Luke 1:11-20).
When Zacharias finished his service in the temple he returned home to his wife and she became pregnant (Luke 1:23-24). So from this we can deduce that John the Baptist was conceived around the end of June.
Now let's change scenes to the tiny town of Nazareth and look at the virgin Mary, cousin to Elizabeth and fiance of Joseph. Once again Luke tells us that the angel Gabriel re-appears, this time to Mary (Luke 1:26) and tells her she will have a son, and He will be called, “Son of the Most High.” Mary is wondering how this can be, since she is a virgin. The angel tells her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month..." (Luke 1:35-37). Now if John was conceived in late June and Jesus was conceived 6 months later, this means Jesus would have been conceived around the Feast of Dedication or Hanukah, (our Christmas) or the end of December. John also tells us this Feast of Dedication is in the winter (John 10:22) and Jesus himself tells us winter is not a suitable time for travel, (Matthew 24:20). So from this we can assume that shepherds would not be in the open fields tending their flocks, especially at night, because the temperature would likely be too cold for them to be in the open fields during winter and Luke tells us there were shepherds abiding in the field keeping watch over their flock at night (Luke 2:8).
Now if Jesus was conceived around the Feast of Dedication he would have been born around nine months later which puts his birth at mid to late September. This timing is important because it corresponds to Succoth, or the Feast of Booths. What exactly is the Feast of Booths? Lets look at Deuteronomy 16:16:
"Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover, this is when Jesus died) and at the Feast of Weeks (which is also known as Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out) and at the Feast of Tabernacles (this is also known as the "Feast of Booths) and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.” The book of Genesis further explains 'Succoth' or 'Booths' when it says "Jacob journeyed to Succoth and built for himself a house and made booths for his livestock; therefore the place is named Succoth" (Genesis 33:17). Succoth is another name for booths and one purpose of a booth is to serve as a shelter for livestock. Of course another name for a shelter for livestock is the more familiar term "manger." If, as this theory proposes, Jesus was born in September during the Feast of the Booths there would have been a multitude of booths, most housing livestock, available for Mary and Joseph to take shelter in just as Luke describes saying "...you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." (Luke 2:12).
So, from the information presented it can be safely assumed that Christ was born in late September or there-abouts. If you believe this, and I personally do, it begs the question "Is it important?" The answer is "no." You see there are two reasons why the date of Christ's birth is not a binding event for Christians to celebrate.
First, nowhere in the Bible is a command given, either explicit or implied, to celebrate the birth of Christ. Secondly, he importance of birthdays is greatly diminished and put into proper perspective when the Old Testament tells us "A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth" (Ecclesiastes 7:1). This doesn't mean we should not celebrate birthdays, only that it is not significant in perspective of our entire lives.
I myself have never celebrated the birth of Christ at Christmas time, instead December 25th has always been a date my family has chosen to use as a day of celebrating family, love and friendships. Celebrating Christs birthday on December 25th as a religious holiday is erroneous however celebrating Christs birthday on December 25th as a means of teaching Christ is quite acceptable. There is a difference.
Celebrating Christ's birthday is not a binding matter - we won't go to hell for celebrating it or not celebrating it. But we ARE commanded to celebrate his sacrifice on the cross on the first day of each week (Sunday) by partaking of the "Lord's Supper" or communion.
One thing we can all agree on though - no matter what your standing on celebrating Christmas it is a season of joy, love and family.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
For the life of me I cannot fathom why todays liberals and youths are so desperate to become slaves. Yes, slaves. That is the agenda the liberal left endorses. They feed the liberal minions with promises of free food, free shelter, free medical care, free phones, free this and free that. In exchange the liberal leaders achieve power and authority, and the minions are left without resource and must be told what to do. Liberals, which is a majority of the Democratic party and those who vote for Democrats are pissing on the graves of our forefathers, our patriots, our military, all who suffered for independence and equality. They want to trample on the Constitution… the very document that gives them freedom despite the fact they do not deserve it. Is this the nightmare that America has become?
With every day I discover some new story, new incident, new activity that shreds and destroys the fabric of freedom so many men and women have fought and died for over the past 250 years. Mr. or Ms. Liberal, are you really so inept that you need to have yourself enslaved in order to survive? Are you really that lazy? So lazy that you refuse to get up off your ass and pursue the American dream the way generations before you have - by hard work, saving money, striving to achieve something for yourself and to make the world a better place for your children? Your actions and words scream of laziness, they scream of an inability to think for yourself, the inability to make decisions for yourself, the desire to be a slave, to make sure you always have a master. They will continue to beat you into submission, to whip you with the chains of bureaucracy, to shackle you with poverty, and in the end to hang you with unfulfilled promises.
Now you may say this a very racist article but it is not, the degradation the liberals continue to strive to enslave us with does not recognize a skin color, it does not recognize age. The ONLY thing the liberal agenda fears is loosing your vote. It is their fear that drives them to continue to make promises they cannot keep in order to enact their plans to shred the Constitution - the very document that gives us freedom! Do you realize they want to take away your rights of free speech, freedom to demonstrate, freedom of the press, freedom to defend yourself? For those of you who are on the liberal bandwagon you are blind. The very freedoms they are attempting to take away from the conservatives and moderates will also be taken away from you the liberals. No longer will you be able to decry the injustices of government, no longer will you be able to assemble and voice your opposition to the government, to other groups or persons. No longer will the media (press) be permitted to freely criticize or advocate for anything. We decry inequality, and rightly so, but the liberal agenda will not permit you to do so as theirs will be the voice in control and that control will mean you are equal in slavery. Is this the America you really want? That is what you are pushing for.
As bleak a future as the liberals have created for us there is still hope. A hope that we the minions will not stand for the liberal oppression any longer, a hope that we the minions will justly rise up and with our voice and our votes will remove the slave masters from office and install men and women, Democrat and Republican, who will stand straight and tall against the forces of evil liberals who would destroy the very fabric that our unique and great country stand on - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Still there is hope.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
|Criddle in my arms about an hour before she passed.|
Never a sweeter dog walked the earth.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
As I reflect upon that weekend I realize how infantile it actually sounds these days. As a youth and among those of my age it was rare I heard those words, and when they were said it was generally by those who were trying to sound tough, by those I often associated with being bullies. Among adults the “F” words were mainly spoken by the enlisted military on the bases where we were stationed and among civilians by those on the lower rungs of society. As an adult myself I’m not naive enough to think that was the norm, rather the result of my parents trying to shield us from that part of life.
Now though I live in a world where any level of society and any form of entertainment is subject to be a source of foul-mouthed language. It is a society and nation filled with people who on one hand fill up their Facebook pages with words of condolences and prayers for their friends in need, but on the other hand will spew of a slew of profanities in public and sometimes on Facebook and other social media. The hypocrisy of this isn’t lost on me. How can a person offer a prayer to God in one breath and the next be boisterous with vulgar language? It lends me to believe these people are either uneducated and don’t understand what they are doing or they are simply hypocrites. I chose to believe the former for I truly believe most people are inherently good. The Bible tells us specifically in the book of James that we should not have both foul language and good language come from our mouths: “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10). But the writer also speaks specifically about those who cuss and at the same time profess to be religious: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).
Make no mistake about it - cussing is a sin. One sin is as destructive as another (James 2:10) so using foul language is just as sinful as adultery or murder or stealing. We try to justify our sins by the consequences of them. Saying “fuck” is not going to have the same consequence as murdering your neighbor, but God will not look upon sin in any form so in the spiritual sense cussing is just as evil as murder.
“Well,” you say, “no one can go to heaven then if that is the case.” This is where repentance and grace come into play and those are big subjects to tackle in one blog entry so for now let it suffice to say that a person who is truly repentant of a sin will actually turn away from the practice of that sin in their life. Is it easy? Absolutely not. You may repent for cussing on one moment and say a bad word an hour later but the difference will be in the heart. You will realize immediately you cussed and be sorrowful for it and again ask God for forgiveness and start again trying to live a cussing-free life. A sincere heart will continue this process until one day you realize you haven’t cussed in a while. God knows our heart and while we are going through this process his grace will cover us… but only if our heart is sincere throughout the process.
Obviously there is a lot more to salvation than just having a pure heart and not cussing but everyone has to have somewhere to start and it might as well be with our words.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
There are several issues I would like to be clear on but I’m going to start with this one, and because I don’t want to make my writings laborious to read I’m also going to separate them into different entries.
That said let’s begin.
I don’t believe homosexuality is ok.
I believe in the Bible. I believe the Bible is truth. Truth does not change, ever. The Bible decries homosexuality as a sin. Period.
But what so many people fail to see is what else the Bible says. The Bible says no sin is greater than any other sin in God’s eyes. That means if I steal something it is just as sinful as someone engaged in a homosexual act as far as God is concerned. But let’s not stop there. The New Testament is all about Love. Love of God, love of family, love for our neighbors, love for our enemies and love for sinners.
So how does that all tie together? Like this. You see I have friends who are gay, but that doesn’t stop me from being friends with them. Instead I try to let them know what I believe God says in the Bible about homosexuality and yet God loves them still even though he doesn’t love the sin. What can I do but follow God’s example and love them as well. And since I believe the Bible is God’s word and it is truth then I believe it is also true today because a truth does not change. Ever. Hate has no place in my life. So I do not hate homosexuals and believing homosexuality is wrong does not mean I am homophobic, it simply means I have a belief that God has said it is wrong - then, now and forever. Just as stealing something was wrong in Bible times so then it is wrong now and forever because it is a truth that stealing is wrong and a truth never changes.