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A Case for Christmas

A Case for Christmas | 21

From: Daniel Dela Dunoo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

[* Daniel Dela Dunoo, author of “A case for Christmas” is a Theologian, Freelance writer, Professional marketer and the founder of Top-notch Writing Solutions, Ghana. He writes for several magazines including HR Focus Magazine, MM Focus Magazine, Optimum Magazine and Step Magazine. His articles, short stories and poems have also been featured in several newspapers in his home country - Ghana and on over twenty websites and blogs. He is available for hire. Contact: +233 0549795322 / +233 0204116091 *]

Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com / http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com

Table of contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..5

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p<>{color:#000;}. A Case for Christmas; an Expose………………………………………………………6

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p<>{color:#000;}. A Collection of Insightful Christmas Quotes…………………………………………..11

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p<>{color:#000;}. My Christmas Poems……………………………………………………………………14

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p<>{color:#000;}. Biblical Prophecies about the Birth of Christ and their fulfillment…………………….17

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p<>{color:#000;}. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

Christmas is arguably the most popular and most widely celebrated festival in the 21st century. Though celebrated by a large segment of Christendom, it has been bastardized by a minority within the Christian fold and outside Christian circles. Chief amongst the most vociferous critics of Christmas is the religious group called the Jehovah`s Witnesses. Their antagonistic views regarding the celebration of Christmas will be considered since to a very large extent, their views represent that of many other critics. I will attempt to present a concise, logical and coherent case for Christmas.

 

Also included in this e-book are a collection of insightful Christmas quotes, my Christmas poems and a compilation of Biblical prophecies about the birth of Christ (and their fulfillment).

 

I trust this e-book will proof to be thought-provoking, enlightening and informative. Merry Christmas!!!

Daniel Dela Dunoo

29th November, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

A CASE FOR CHRISTMAS; AN EXPOSE

Christmas is derived from the old English words Cristes maesse, “Christ`s Mass”. Christmas is a Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Present spelling of Christmas probably came into use around the 16th century.

 

Christmas was celebrated on the 25th of December each year by a vast majority of Christians around the 3rd century. It was only the Armenian Church that did not observe Christmas on the 25th of December but instead on the 6th of January, the day of epiphany. It is however not known exactly when the celebration of Christmas began. Reasons for establishing December 25th as Christmas is somewhat obscure (not well known) but it is held by some scholars that the birth of Christ as “Light of the world” was made analogous to the rebirth of the sun in order to make Christianity more meaningful to pagan converts (Sources: Encyclopaedia Americana & Britanica Macropaedia).

From Rome, Christmas spread to other churches of the West and East, the last to adopt it being the church of Jerusalem in the time of Bishop Juvenal (reigned 424-458AD). Through the centuries, customs of all lands have been added to the celebration of Christmas, making it today the greatest folk festival in the world (Sources: Encyclopaedia Americana & Britanica Macropaedia).

 

Notwithstanding the above historical facts established, there are some in Christendom (a minority) and others outside the Christian fold who are vociferous critics of the celebration of Christmas. They argue from a variety of angles and insist unapologetically that Christmas has nothing to do with the Christian faith. I will explore briefly some of these anti-Christmas arguments and will attempt to provide coherent and Biblically sounds answers to these.

 

The Voices of Critics

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society make the assertions below concerning the celebration of Christmas. “Since the date of Christmas is of pagan origin, it should not seem strange that the customs of Christmas are also of pagan origin: There is no escaping it: Christmas is of pagan origin: how much more important it is for true Christians today to shun a celebration that was never authorized by God, that stems from pagan Babylon, and that falsely bears the name of Christ” (“Truth that leads to eternal life”, p. 149).

At face value, the above argumentation sounds logical. No wonder it is paraded on the airwaves, via the print media and on street corners as the gospel truth. The question I pose is, are these assertions by critics consistent with the facts of history, with sound logic and Biblically accurate? Let`s take a look.

 

“Christmas celebration was not authorized by Christ and thus must not be celebrated by Christians” according to some critics. This assertion to say the least is weak in logic. A brief analysis will prove this. Nowhere in Scripture does Christ instruct his followers to publish magazines, act plays, organize conventions, use hymn books, appoint regular pioneers, auxiliary pioneers and many other activities some critics such as Jehovah`s Witnesses are involved in. Yet they are done with gusto. These activities are never considered to be wrong or of pagan origin even though Christ never expressly authorized their practice.

 

My contention is that, an act is not wrong merely because Christ never expressly authorized it. It is wrong when it contradicts the clear instruction of Scripture and when it militates against the spiritual wellness of the practitioner. The many benefits of Christmas celebration cannot be quantified. Many who have celebrated Christmas in the right way over the centuries have reaped benefits of significant proportions. No wonder many well meaning believers still celebrate Christmas.

 

“Christmas is of pagan origin. The date of Christmas is of pagan origin. It should therefore not seem strange that customs of Christmas are also of pagan origin” critics have said. Well, if the celebration of Christmas on the 25th of December annually implies its pagan origin, what will be said of the celebration of Christmas on the 6th of January annually by the Armenian Church? The wise apply their hearts to wisdom.

 

Consider this analogy: Five years ago, whiles residing in a village whose inhabitants were largely traditionalists, a few Christian friends of mine and I were expected to join in the celebration of their annual festival in honor of their gods for rains and a good harvest season. My friends and I decided that rather than participate in a supposedly pagan festival, we will spend the day in honor of our God for his provisions. We followed through with our decision and found it to be exceptionally rewarding. We therefore resolved to stick to this practice every year.

 

Interestingly, through our missionary efforts in the village, a significantly large segment of the inhabitants were converted to Christianity including their chief and his elders. Two years down the line a large segment of the community discarded the celebration of their annual pagan festival and adopted the practice my friend and I commenced some years back. Our practice became the norm and the officially acceptable festival of the community; a festival in honor of our God and not the gods of the land. What is ethically wrong with the festival my friends and I successfully introduced to the village folks? Does the fact that our festival dislodged the pagan festival of the community make our festival less Christian and of pagan origin? Does this suggest that our festival falsely bears the name of God? Absolutely not! In a similar vein, the fact that pagans of Rome already observed 25th of December annually as the feast of Saturn celebrating the birth of the sun does not make Christmas pagan and of pagan origin.

 

Also worth-noting is that, contrary to the claims of critics, the fact that customs of pagan origin are prevalent in Christmas celebration does not necessarily mean Christmas is of pagan origin. According to Encyclopaedia Americana, customs of all lands have been added through the centuries. Various customs were later additions, some of which were intended to make the celebration more acceptable and meaningful to people of divergent ethnic groups. No wonder some scholars believe that the birth of Christ as light of the world was made analogous to the rebirth of the sun in order to make Christianity more meaningful to pagan converts.

 

The abuse of a thing does not make the thing wrong. When the purpose of a thing is either unknown or neglected, abuse is inevitable. The fact that there have been some excesses in some quarters in the celebration of Christmas does not in any way indicate the pagan origins of Christmas nor does it suggest that the “baby be thrown away with the dirty bath water”.

 

“Christ was not born on the 25th of December. Why celebrate his birth on that day every year?” Well, Christendom does not claim that Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December. The Church knows well that it is not probable and feasible that Christ was born on this date bearing in mind the weather patterns in Israel around this season. The Church has no documentation of the exact date of Christ`s birth. However, the 25th of December was merely set aside over 1500 years ago by some Christians to remember and honor the birth of Christ.

 

 

 

The essence of Christmas

Jesus Christ is the reason for the season of Christmas. This is primarily because it is a celebration to remember and honor his legendary birth. Christ must remain central in our celebrations. Interestingly, we are also the reason for the season. This is because Christ was born for our sake. We are the reason he came. In the celebration of Christmas, amidst the joy and happiness the Christian may also consider some beautiful Christian concepts that ought to shine through the celebrations; they are concepts that emanate from the nativity story (stories surrounding Jesus` birth). These will prove to be a blessing indeed – Expressing heartfelt gratitude to God through our singing and through our prayers (Luke 1:2, 10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Nehemiah 8:10; Acts 8:31-32); re-examination of our lives and rededication of our lives to God (Psalm 13:3; Philippians 4:13); seeking and promoting peace and reconciliation (Luke 1;14; Romans 5:1; Isaiah 9:6); sharing God`s word and our goodies (material possessions) with others (Romans 12:28; John 3 :16; Mathew 2:11), taking time to reflect and meditate on God`s word (Joshua 1:8; Philippians 4:8) amongst many other healthy practices.

 

It is my conviction that critics have the right to choose not to participate in the celebration of Christmas since it is a matter of choice but they err at the side of caution and sound argumentation when they shout their condemnation of the celebration of Christmas “from the roof tops”.

The extraordinary birth of the saviour of the world (Jesus Christ) is worth celebrating (worth remembering and honoring). When celebrated appropriately, it brings untold blessings. I can attest to that and literally millions of Christians all over the world can attest to this fact. The wise apply their hearts to wisdom.

 

CHAPTER 2

A COLLECTION OF INSIGHTFUL CHRISTMAS QUOTES

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p<>{color:#000;}. “There is no connection between the worship of idols and the use of Christmas trees. We should not be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas decorations. Rather, we should be focused on the Christ of the Christmas and giving all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season” –Dr. John MacArthur (Theologian / Pastor).

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p<>{color:#000;}. “He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree” –Roy L. Smith.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “The angels visit to the shepherds became the first Christmas celebration. It`s as though heaven and earth were celebrating it together, as though a portal to glory had been opened up” –Pastor Greg Laurie (Pastor / Evangelist).

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p<>{color:#000;}. “This is Christmas, not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receive anew the wondrous gift, the Christ” –Frank Mckibben.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and generousity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world`s busy life and become more interested in people than in things” –Thomas S. Monson.

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p<>{color:#000;}. From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other” –Emily Matthews.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love” –Lucinda Franks.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the father`s face and tell him you have received his gift” –John R. Rice.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “We need to celebrate this Christmas. Jesus birth was – and is – good news of great joy” –Rev. Rick Warren.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “We can participate in very festivity of the Christmas season, but until we receive the gift of Jesus Christ, we will never truly experience Christmas” –Mary Southerland.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Finding the real joy in Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the savior the focus of the season” –Thomas S. Monson.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection” –Winston Churchill (A former British Prime Minister).

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Christ was born in the first century, yet he belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet he belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet he belongs to all countries” –George W. Truett.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Christmas was all about God`s gift to man, and His peace, as well as ours” –Carolyn Molica.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Christmas is more than just presents, it`s love and harmony” –Julie Hebert.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “After all, isn’t Christmas the beginning of our hope? It is the celebration of God becoming man and taking on the ‘form of a servant’ so that he could ultimately give his life for us” –Dr. David Jeremiah.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Christmas day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both” –Phillip Brooks.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts, the gift of God to man – His unspeakable gift of his son, and the gift of man to God – when we present our bodies a living sacrifice” –Vance Havner.

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p<>{color:#000;}. “The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation” –Professor J. I. Packer (Theologian / Pastor).

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p<>{color:#000;}. The very purpose of Christ`s coming into the world was that he might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas” –Dr. Billy Graham (World-renowned evangelist).

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p<>{color:#000;}. I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world” –Dr. Norman Vincent Pearl.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3

MY CHRISTMAS POEMS

CHRISTMAS PARADOX

The Christmas season is here with us again

A season of rejoicing and laughter

A season of merry making and sharing

A season of beautiful memories

But we dare not forget

We dare not lose sight of the essence of the season

We dare not lose sight of whose birthday we celebrate

Christ is the reason for the season

It is his birth we celebrate

A Christ-less Christmas is no Christmas

You are the reason for the season

Yes you are

For Christ was born because of you

Herein lies the beautiful paradox

The paradox of Christmas

May we ever remain mindful of this glorious paradox

May we celebrate the Christ

For it is his birthday we celebrate

May we make the most of this blessed season

STAR OF STARS

That pleasantly memorable day

Stars sparkling bright

A Star shown brightest

The star of stars was born

Baby Jesus was born

Divinity metamorphosed into humanity

Born to reach beyond the stars

Born to shine brighter than stars

Shinning brighter than the brightest star

May the star of stars be re-born

Re-born in your heart anew

Shinning brightest through your heart and life

 

AN ENIGMA

When his birth was foretold in remarkable detail

When prophecy unfolded in astonishing detail

When an angel herald his birth

When a virgin gave birth

When the eternal word of God became flesh

When God became human

When divinity was cloth in humanity

When eternity stepped into time

When angels where seen and heard rejoicing

When angels announced his birth to shepherds

When an enigmatic star led the wise men to the baby Jesus

When an enigma unfolded

The enigmatic birth of Jesus Christ

And the enigmatic circumstances that surrounded his birth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

PROPHECIES ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST AND THEIR FULFILLMENT

Firstly, it ought to be established that the birth of Jesus Christ was foretold in certain portions of the Old Testament and each found fulfillment in the New Testament. It is important to state that the Old Testament predates the New Testament by several centuries and the former`s compilation predates the Christian era. The Old Testament, referred to as the Talmud was and still is the Jewish Scriptures. Christians can therefore not be rightly accused of biases or tampering with the Jewish Scriptures to suit their own whims and caprices. Below are fifteen (15) specific prophecies about the birth of Christ and their fulfillment.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Seed of a woman (Genesis 3:15); Fulfilled (Galatians 4:4; Matthew 1:20)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14); Fulfilled (Matthew 1:18, 24, 25; Luke 1:26-35)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Son of God (Psalm 2:7; I Chronicles 17:11-14; 2 Samuel 7:12-16); Fulfilled (Matthew 3:17; Matthew 16:16; Mark 9:7)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Genesis 12:2,3); Fulfilled (Matthew 1:1; Galatians 3:16)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Son of Isaac (Genesis 21:12); Fulfilled (Luke 3:23, 34; Matthew 1:2)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Son of Jacob (Numbers 24:17; Genesis 35:10-12); Fulfilled (Luke 3:23, 34; Matthew 1:2; Luke 1:33)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10; Micah 5:2); Fulfilled (Luke 3:23, 33; Matthew 1:2; Hebrews 7:14)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Family line of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 11:10); Fulfilled (Luke 3:23, 32; Matthew 1:6)

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p<>{color:#000;}. House of David (Jeremiah 23:5; 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 132:11); Fulfilled (Luke 3:23, 31; Matthew 1:1; 9:27;15:22)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Born at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); Fulfilled (Matthew 2:1; John 7:42; Matthew 2:4-8)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Presented with gifts (Psalm 72:10; Isaiah 60:6); Fulfilled (Matthew 2:1, 11)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Shall be called Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14); Fulfilled (Matthew 1:23; Luke 7:16)

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p<>{color:#000;}. Herod kills children (Jeremiah 31:15); Fulfilled (Matthew 2:16)

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p<>{color:#000;}. His pre-existence (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6,7; Isaiah 41;4); Fulfilled (Colossians 1:17; John 1:1,2; John 8:58)

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p<>{color:#000;}. He shall be called Lord (Psalm 110:1; Jeremiah 23:6); Fulfilled (Luke 2:11; Matthew 22:43-45)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

CONCLUSION

In this concise, fast-paced and straight-forward piece, a number of grounds around the birth of Jesus Christ as it relates to Christmas have been covered. A concise expose on a case for Christmas was carried out, where I discussed the variety of criticisms leveled against the celebration of Christmas and moved a step further to refute them.

 

Indeed the celebration of Christmas, in so far as it is not an expressed commandment in Scripture is optional and not mandatory. Critics have the choice to participate or discard but let it not be said that Christmas is pagan and has nothing to do with Christianity when in actual fact the very definition of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ (and in the light of the facts of history, scripture and logic put forward in the early chapters of this e-book).

 

This work also comprised some remarkable quotes about Christmas from some notable personalities. Reflections on these great quotes will do a great deal of good. They may also be incorporated into sermons and talks this Christmas season, and even adapted as Christmas text messages to be sent to friends, family and loved ones this beautiful season.

Also included were two original poems about my reflections on Christmas. This written piece was eventually capped with fifteen specific prophecies about the birth of Christ as contained in the Old Testament (with their references) and their fulfillment as may be ascertained from the New Testament (with specific references).

 

I trust that the information contained herein has proven to be informative, enlightening and instructive, and that it will be used of the Lord to enrich your celebration of Christmas this year and many years to come, should our dear Lord tarry. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


A Case for Christmas

"A Case for Christmas" is an e-book in four major parts; the first part is an expose on a case for Christmas in a concise, logical and coherent fashion. The second part is a collection of twenty one (21) insightful quotes about Christmas from some notable personalities. Part three presents the poetic reflections of the author about Christmas. The fourth and final part of the e-book compiles fifteen (15) prophecies related to the birth of Christ in the Old Testament and their fulfillment in the New Testament (specific references are cited). "A Case for Christmas promises to be thought-provoking, insightful, educative and instructive. I recommend it highly. Happy read!!!

  • ISBN: 9781311226204
  • Author: Daniel Dela Dunoo
  • Published: 2015-12-07 16:50:10
  • Words: 3403
A Case for Christmas A Case for Christmas