|Two rants of truth
||[Dec. 25th, 2006|06:51 pm]
My Rant: Christmas is full of LIES!
You know what? I'm tired of this. I need to get something off my chest. There is too much corruption within the minds of society.
The "spirit of Christmas": It may have been to give unto others for the sake of love and giving, but now its boiled down to the majority believing that this is the time to give so that others can shut up, and the bigger the gift you give, the recipiant should give something of great equality.
Santa: Screw Santa. He's just an overglorified figure head of the iconography of giving. You want to give? DO IT! It doesn't need to be December 25 to give a gift! He's just a false icon of lies and misinterpritation to give children a "God Head" to believe in so that they can have some sense of "Morals" to follow for this time, if at ALL! And then they put him on a stage of honor which belongs to Christ, IF...
Jesus's Birthday: Jesus WAS NOT born on December 25th. He wasn't born in December. NOT EVEN WINTER! Think about it... WHY did Joseph bring Mary with him to Bethlehem? Because Cesar ordered a General Tax Census of the entire Roman Nation. America's economic and governmental structure is tightly based on old Roman policy. When is our tax date? April 15th. The bible says that shepards where out watching their heards graze. Seeing as Israel experiences the same temperatures as us, there would not be enough pasture-lands for such animals to eat, and Shepards around October, would have already placed their sheep in the barns and storehouses to prepare for winter. Seeing as grass is already in full growth for the sheep to eat, and a Roman Tax Census was issued, what month/season would this be? Around April, or the season of Spring.
The REAL spirit of Christmas: Sol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was a religious title applied to at least three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire; El Gabal, Mithras, and Sol. Unlike the earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges ("the native sun" or "the invoked sun" - the etymology and meaning of the word "indiges" is disputed), the title Deus Sol Invictus was formed by analogy with the imperial titulature pius felix invictus ("dutiful, fortunate, unconquered"). A festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) was celebrated when the duration of daylight first begins to increase after the winter solstice, — the "rebirth" of the sun. The Sol Invictus festival ran from December 22 through December 25. Eradicating the remnants of this much-celebrated pagan holiday is likely the reason why Christmas was picked by the early Catholic leaders as the birthday of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church, that ran Europe and its neighboring countries, tried to eliminate the old Pagan and Roman methodologies and holidays and convert them into Christianity. Why? Did the Catholics want to save souls? HELL NO! They wanted the money. Hence why the tradition of giving gifts was created. "During the celebration of 'Jesus's Birth' everyone must participate in the exchange of gifts. Priority to the Church, then to those that you feel are deserving. If not, you are not like Christ and will burn in Hell." This was the message preached by those running everything during the Dark Ages... the Catholic Church. It then became too embedded into the minds of Europeans and early English Christians, that the Holiday was then thinned down into just remembering Christ, and forgetting the fact that it was all a ploy.
So remember, whenever you see Christmas roll around, its not of Christ, its of Man. Practice if you will, and be happy. But please, don't wish me a "Merry Christmas", for I take that as VERY INSULTIVE. There is nothing of "Christ" in "CHRISTmas"!
My friend Todd's Rant: Veritas Noel
Every year we celebrate holidays for various reasons. Throughout history people have defined who they are by the traditions and customs they keep. Festivals, holidays, traditions and the like have always been a part of how one culture sets itself apart from another. This is true of every culture on the face of a planet. Some are festivals of joy and celebration while others are festivals of remembrance and mourning. For just about every occasion human beings have found cause to transform it into some kind of holiday or another.
The traditions and holidays of America are as many and as varied as the different groups of people that celebrate them. To put it bluntly, Christians have the monopoly on all the best holidays. While its true that most holidays have become commercialized and made into sensational secular holidays, including Christmas and Easter, there still remains that part of the holidays that's untouchable; the Reason for the Season. Many look past the commercialization and other petty things that have been attached to Christmas and Easter (I'm looking at you, Santa and Easter Bunny!) and look into the heart of what they truly are: celebrations of Christ.
More often than not, however, the truth of things gets lost in translation. Every holiday has it's own little quirks that are kept quietly out of the public eye. Thanksgiving, the celebration of the friendship shared between English settlers and Native Americans and the many blessings we have to this day, is presented in a family friendly light that portrays relations with settlers and Native Americans as close knit friendships. In truth, the Native Americans were slaughtered, raped, and driven from their lands in the name of progress. They ommit that part from the history books.
Very nearly every holiday gets lost in translation. Christmas is no different. Half of writing history is changing and hiding truth. People believe so many things in this world without ever stopping to take the time to find out what it is they're really believing in or asking why they believe in the first place. We believe simply because we were always taught to believe from a young age. When people are happy and think they're doing something right they tend not to look too closely at what it is they're really doing.
I remember, with a certain sense of nostalgia, the simplistic bliss of my childhood. Those years were a time when Saturday morning cartoons were actually worth watching, CD players were the new wave of the future, and everyone knew that the Green Ranger and the Pink Ranger were meant to be together. It was a time where Christmas was the single greatest day of the year, a day when all my little dreams came true. The joy of opening up my gifts, of sharing the morning with my family, and of decorating the Christmas tree were the most wonderful things I could ever ask for. The tradition of Christmas is one of the most highly regarded and kept in the Christian faith. I've grown since then. I now realize the importance of finding truth for oneself. People do not generally take time to think about why we believe what we believe or why we keep these traditions aside from what is told to us and accept the answers at face value. This is now and always has been a dangerous way to operate in faith and life. With that in mind I decided to try and look at Christmas through the lens of the Bible and history. I learned that not even Christmas is safe from being lost in translation.
Why do we celebrate Christmas? On the surface it's the celebration of Christ's birth. Tradition holds that he was born on Christmas in a manger because there was no room in the local inns. Well, part of that is correct. He was born in a manger. The inns were full. That part is plain as day in the Bible. What it doesn't say, however, is that he was born any specific time. While we cannot be sure exactly when He was born we can use clever logical deduction due to various context clues scattered all over the Bible to rule out when he wasn't born. The records of His birth also state that there were shepherds watching over some sheep in the fields nearby (Luke 2: 8-20). Let's look at the geography of the region, shall we? Winters in that area are far too cold for shepherds to be keeping anything out there for long. They and their flocks would have frozen to death. This is alluded to in Ezra 10:9-13, which states that the rainy season is freezing cold, and Song of Solomon 2:11, which states that winter is the rainy season. This rainy season was important in Jewish tradition, as shepherds would send out their sheep after Passover, which was in springtime, and bring them home before the first rains, which came in fall and carried on throughout winter. Summer was the time that shepherds abided their flocks in the fields. In this passage the sheep are being attended to. Were this taking place in winter there would be no sheep in the fields.
Okay, so Christ was likely born in summer or spring, but we don't know exactly when. I can roll with that. Why December 25th then? Anyone can see that He couldn't have been born then. What makes that date so significant? A little more research and the truth begins to emerge.
December 25th, and a whole mess of days around that time, were extremely important parts of the cultures and traditions of the people around that area. The Roman holiday Saturnalia, a pagan festival, was generally held somewhere in around the 17th of December and carried on for a week or so. This was the time when the sun took longer to cross the sky, resulting in longer days. Saturnalia was a time of festivities and celebration where gifts were exchanged in honor of Saturn, the Roman god of fire and good crops. Just about every civilization had a fire/agriculture god it seems. Fire was a popular thing to be a god of. I should note now that one such god was a Babylonian god called Nimrod, another god of fire (and, according to myth, father of all Babylonian gods) who represented the fires of purification. People made a habbit of sacrificing children to him way back when. I'll get into more on him later. During the closing days of Saturnalia it was traditional to decorate houses with greeneries and to give charitable gifts to the poor and homeless. Sound familiar at all? Also, unrelated point of interest. In Iranian culture of that time December 25th marked the birth of Mithra, god of mystery, who was titled the Sun of Righteousness. Another point of interest: December 25th on the Julian calendar is Janruary 7th. Just felt like pointing that one out in case there's some significance I missed that might be relevant somehow.
Saturnalia is but one of the many pagan festivals celebrated in that general time frame. The Druids had one, for example, that ran along a similar vein (plus the addition of human sacrifice and the like). Winter was a popular time to have some kind of festival and holiday. Enter the Christians. When they were first starting off they were a sect of Judaism that was basically outlawed. Being as Saturnalia was a fairly chaotic time choc-full of many things the scriptures flat out condemn (think Christmas + orgy) the leaders of the early church outright condemned it. Despite this, there was still the pressure to draw as little attention to themselves as possible, so they moved their celebration of Jesus's birth to effectively the same time as Saturnalia in an attempt to seem like just another group no different than the other people. From there it was an easy step for them to adopt some of the symbols and traditions of the pagan festival itself and twist their meanings and significance. They exchanged worship of the Sun for worship of the Son. Yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths, and a big attic box of other things now identified with Christmas has their roots in Saturnalia and other pagan winter festivals.
Ah, but who can forget the lovable symbol synonymous with Christmas and the single most regocnizable holiday icon of all time: Santa! Who doesn't love Santa? He's jolly, he's got a thing for red, and he selflessly gives out toys to all the good little gentile boys and girls. If there's one thing people can't resist it's a fat man with presents. There are two points to cover here, one humorous and the other serious. I'm not even going to touch on the fact that parents are lying to their children by encouraging belief in something that doesn't exist. First, those elves should have unionized a long time ago. They're the ones making the toys all day of every year. Santa works one day a year and gets all the credit. Sounds a bit like exploitation and slave labor to me. Secondly, the Santa myth has it's own interesting roots. Remember Nimrod from earlier on? The fire god guy who people sacrificed children to? The myth goes that if one seriously ticked off Nimrod he would come into your house through the chimeny and smite your children out of spite. Sounds like a nice guy. Anyway, the common name for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor was - have you guessed it? It was Santa. Now a lot of you are saying, "What about St. Nick?" Well, the real St. Nicholas was a bishop who was nothing like the lovable Santa. He was a mean old fart, to put it bluntly. Credit for reworking his story into an immortal who defies physics for the joy of children goes to a man named Washington Irving, circa 1809.
Ah, the plot thickens.
We've covered the fact that Christmas as we know it has a lot of pagan influence on it. So what? We don't believe in that pagan stuff, do we? We've put Christ into the whole deal and purified it into worship of Him. Go us! There's nothing wrong with that, is there?
Let's ask Mr. Bible.
God outright condemns assimilating traditions and beliefs of other cultures, nations, and religions into worship of Him several times throughout the Bible. Notably, Jeremiah 10:2, Jeremiah 25:6, Deuteronomy 6:14, Deuteronomy 12:30-32, and Acts 14:15-16. There is even a verse in there that describes a long-held pagan tradition and condemns it. Jeremiah 10:2-5 describes a tree cut from the forest and decorated with gold and silver and other fun ornaments and warns against this, calling it an abomination. Does that sound like anything we put up and make a tradition of decorating, usually with an angel or star of Bethlehem on top? We often say that the giving of gifts is symbolic of the magi presenting gifts to Jesus. In reality, this is another Saturnalia tradition discussed earlier in which gifts of charity were passed along to children and homeless people in the name of Saturn. As far as the Magi are concerned, Jewish law dictated that you never appear before royalty without a gift in hand to show for it. This was an act of paying respects to royalty. What the magi did was present Jesus with the expensive gifts as a sign of acknowledgment that He was the Christ and King of the Jews prophesied about.
The point is, my friends, that God outright condemns taking pagan festivals and making them our own. Christmas is one prime example of doing that very thing. We justify it by saying that we celebrate Christ when in truth we are doing what the Bible outright says NOT to do. Christ wasn't born December 25th (or anytime near that). Deuteronomy 12:32 even says not to add anything to worship of Him, such as all the things we've thrown into Christmas. In actuality, Christ never commanded us to celebrate His birthday. Jews never celebrated birthdays anyway. They marked them down, sure, and the age of 13 is when a barmitzvah is held, but the birthday celebration or anything like it is found nowhere in Hebrew texts and records alongside other traditions they held. This is suspicious due to the fact that the Jewish people regarded their customs and traditions as the most important part of how they identified themselves. They celebrated the day of death instead because it was easier to measure the importance of one's life that way. The Bible outright condemns Christmas because it is not only a pagan holiday but because it has been warped into worship of Him. How can we give glory to Him by doing something He abhors and condemns in His Word? The answer is simple: We can't. If it is condemned in the Bible it is a sin.
This Christmas season you'll hear a lot about putting Christ back in Christmas. In truth, He was never there.