My friend Alan has just had an article published today over on theOoze.  In it he says;

It’s certainly much easier to conform and be accepted by the world than it is to transform ourselves and the world around us, but Jesus calls us to walk the harder road toward transformation. Our job as Christians should be to put Christ back in Christmas, and frankly to put Christ back in Christianity. We’re called to be different from the world around us—to shine like stars in a dark place—Philippians 2:15. It can be a challenge to shine out when there is so much subtle (and at times not so subtle) pressure to conform to the world.

Read the rest of his piece here:

  1. #1 by logiopath on December 26, 2007 - 4:04 pm

    Let me be frank (in addition to being Ambrosia, Logiopath, and Bruce). Christmas was not added to the church calendar until around 800, if I am correct. The holiday didn’t even become commonly celebrated until the 1700s, if I am also correct (one of the few worthwhile titbits from Focus on the Family).

    The past century saw Christmas come into its glory, so to speak. American evangelicals and merchants brought the holiday to its iconic status, especially as a gift giving time.

    I believe in the Incarnation as the center of the holiday, and the giftgiving incongrous to the Incarnation. I also am not deeply offended for the “Happy Holidays” moniker the season has taken on. I am equally non-offended by X-Mas.

    One of the English teachers at my high school, in a Bible as Literature class, told us X stands for Christ, as in IXOYE. Therefore, if someone wants to say X-Mas, it is Okay. X keeps the Christ in Christmas, so relax and have another Egg Nog, and open another plain tie.

    B. L. A.

  2. #2 by Christian on December 26, 2007 - 8:32 pm

    Eggnog?! We serve hard liquor to men who want to get drunk fast and we don’t need no characters lendin’ the place atmosphere!

    Hey, look at me! I’m givin’ out wings!

  3. #3 by logiopath on December 27, 2007 - 12:48 am

    1. Sorry you have to live inside a bottle.

    2. I meant a plaid tie.

    3. Tell your ahem, buddies, not to be so hung up on a pagan holiday co-opted by Christians.

    4. The date of Jesus’ birth is not important in light of the Incarnation–in fact, to whom do people ascribe worship? God Incarnate, or December 25?

    I like Christmas, and revel in the belief of the Incarnation. I also like giving nice gifts to the family, etc. However, I will not play the Focus on the Family game of using holidays for my own attention and ends (many of them political).


  4. #4 by Christian on December 27, 2007 - 10:20 am

    I don’t want to live inside this ‘ere bottle, but bein’ as ‘ow I’m the captain of this ‘ere frigate I ain’ts got no choice, now do I?

    ’tis a right good Pagan ‘oliday, ain’t it?

  5. #5 by BuddyO on December 27, 2007 - 12:09 pm

    Christmas was not added to the church calendar until around 800

    Geez, Christ’s birth has only been recognized for a scant 1200 years?!?! What a joke… it’s like Kwanza…

    You really despise Focus on the Family don’t you..?

    Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me “a warped, frustrated, old man!” What are you but a warped, frustrated young man?

  6. #6 by logiopath on December 27, 2007 - 2:18 pm

    I used to be a fan of Ol’ Jim D., but have come to several conclusions about F. O. T. F., some of which I shall share here.

    1. People are enamored, and therefore stamp their approval on anything that comes out of Colorado Springs.

    2. I was an avid fan and daily listener to “Adventures in Odyssey” for many years.

    3. I wrote a scathing letter on the topic of Six Day creation–when I myself was a servant of that view–Dr. Dobson. In the same letter I also wrote vicriol filled criticisms of Christian Psychology. I received back a slathery letter from one of Dr. D’s assistants (which I am certain was dictated by Jim himself). The letters, in effect, said that Dobson does not reject six day creation, but does not accept it either. On Psychology, Jim D. would not cave on the means of his own personal wealth (which by his own admission was vast). I also received tapes to the implication that I needed salvation and the pastoral staff at FOTF was waiting to hear from me.

    I felt so guilty that I wrote an apology–which is a different story in itself.

    4. Dobson’s tumble from my ship of respect began when he was interviewing a person about schools. He and this person drew a conclusion that American public schools were akin to Nazi training mechanisms–and that Christians (and Jews) should not support public schools.

    5. After my many years of listening to children’s programs, and other epiphanies, it became obvious that the theology in the children’s programs was that of Dobson. Never mind independence in the vast arms of the Colorado Springs’ complex.

    6. Calling their system “The Five Pillars” was also troubling, with the obvious analogy to Islam.

    7. Too much support for candidates who lack Christian compassion on the poor of this world;
    too much support for America’s moral failures toward our perceived enemies.

    I could go on! So I must say that my disagreements with Dobson come from many years of reading the Magazines, seeing the publishing and political empire evolve, and seeing too many chinks in the armor (not to mention the Freudian obsession with sex–along with the same from Dennis Rainee in Arkansas).

    Besides, why do we make gods out American/Western Eurpean conditions.

    BTW, I learned what I said about Christmas from FOTF programming.

  7. #7 by logiopath on December 27, 2007 - 2:23 pm

    One more thing–and this from no less a church history authority than Wikipedia–“The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned on Christmas Day in 800. Around the 12th century, the remnants of the former Saturnalian traditions of the Romans were transferred to the Twelve Days of Christmas (25 December – 5 January). Christmas during the Middle Ages was a public festival, incorporating ivy, holly, and other evergreens, as well as gift-giving.”

    Ha! See–I was partly right!

  8. #8 by logiopath on December 27, 2007 - 2:31 pm

    Another source, the “Wycliffe Bible Dictionary” says December 25 was recognized as Christ’s birth around A. D. 300.

    If I were a betting man, on something besides the lottery, I would bet that the Eastern Church reconings to January 6, or the Armenian’s January 19 are more likely as authentic. The reason? Historically, according to a nice youn Orthodox Reader I became acquainted with, the Eastern Church has stronger authenticity claims than the Roman to Apostolic origins.

    The early church, as I understand things, was too busy condeming one-another than to worry about such trivialities as which day was the birth of Christ. It wasn’t until after the Crusades that mundane items such as the “True-Cross” or the “True Skull of John the Baptist” became the rage of the day.

    Anyway, the schoolmen of the middle ages managed to bring these arguments to a hey-day–toiling away for untold hours in cloisters and academic towers, while the nobility consumed the life of the poor.


  9. #9 by logiopath on December 27, 2007 - 2:32 pm

    A Right Good Pagan Holiday, Captain Morgan!
    btw pass the ‘gnog, guv’nuh, wood ye?

  10. #10 by Christian on December 27, 2007 - 4:19 pm

    Sheesh! Blimey!

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