Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Opus 2011-287, Discernment Watch: Bait and Switch

It is the middle of October and already we are hearing the pagan bells of Christmas ring in the marketplace.  I am aware of the pagan roots of the date selected for the celebration.  I know about Saturnalia and the Winter Solstice.  I observe the contemporary commercial nature of the holiday.

I still love Christmas.  The celebration of the incarnation transforms the world.  The event is Biblical, don’t get distracted by the date.  The Orthodox churches celebrate Christmas on January 6 which is the date the Catholics observe the coming of the Wise Men and most Protestants ignore.  The important fact is that God took the first step toward the cross and redemption.
(Galatians 4:4 KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
What does this have to do with discernment?  There are certain non-Christian groups that take this common error and try to make the gospel a lie. 

It works like this.  The Bible does not tell us that Jesus was born on December 25.  That means that the church has lied to us.  That means we should not celebrate Christmas.  Since the church has shown that it lies about things like this, the church probably lied about Easter also.  Notice the use of another pagan word.  Notice that they can’t even decide the date.  It keeps changing.  Therefore you should not cling to the fantasy of the resurrection and thus must discard the divinity of Christ, the atonement, salvation by grace, the trinity......  Do you see where this goes?

So lets look at truth, not attempts to use logic to deceive.  The church does not say that Jesus was born on December 25 in the year 0.  The early church in its attempt to teach doctrine, broke down the teachings of the Bible and focused on different truths at different times.  In order to leave nothing out they assigned certain days to cover each point.  Thus each year became a course in basic theology.  If you look at the name “Christmas” is clearly means “Christ’s mass.”  It was the day that the church chose to cover the Biblical teaching about the birth of Christ.  Since the Bible does not give a date, they picked what made sense to them.

To connect this with Easter is another deception of Satan.  Easter is a pagan term.  So is January, named after the pagan god, Janus.  The date changes because the resurrection occurred right after Jesus celebrated the Passover (The Last Supper) and was arrested.  The Passover is a Jewish holiday based on the Jewish calendar.  The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, not solar.  Dates are based on when the moon is full after a solstice.  I have never wanted to spend the energy to totally figure it out.  But it varies because of the uneven relationship between the time it takes the moon to go around the earth and the earth around the sun.  The date we celebrate Easter is rooted in history and the Bible. 

So when people build these sand castles and claim that the church has lied, understand that they are the ones who are stretching things.  You don’t need to celebrate Christmas.  You don’t need to celebrate Easter.  What you are commanded to do is celebrate the sacrifice represented at the Last Supper and it would seem to me it is just natural to follow that up with rejoicing at the resurrection.

Straw men do not armies make.

homo unius libri


  1. Thanks for this brief, but important clarification.

  2. Well, I'm not in total agreement on you with this, but that's okay. I WILL point out that Roman tax time was surprisingly close to our own, meaning that Christ may have been born about the same time of year as He was crucified. That sort of makes Passover even more sacred, in a sense, along with Resurrection Day.

  3. Thanks Ralph. Always glad to sound like I know what I am talking about.

    Georges, could be. I would not rule it out but it isn't as clear as the passover.

    Good to hear you disagree. I was beginning to wonder about both of us.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.