06 December, 2005

Tis the Season II: Evangelicals Trump God

Christmass falls on a Sunday this year. Christians have always seen Sunday as a holy day, a holiday. It is called the Lord's Day or the Christian Sabbath. This day (Sunday) has historically been used by Christians to worship God- meeting twice to worship, praying with family, having bible studies, fellowshipping with the people of God, and "sanctifying the day as unto the Lord".

Christians have historically seen the Sabbath as a day that is a creational ordinance. In creation a day of rest was established, this is not rooted in the Mosaic law, it has been part of the true religion since the onset of time. All men are to set aside this day to glorify and to enjoy God.

With that in mind, read the second article in my "Tis the Season" series: AP-Lexington, KY, December 5, 2005, 3:41 p.m. Central Kentucky's largest church will be shuttered and dark on Christmas Sunday, a move drawing some criticism among the faithful.
Southland Christian Church near Lexington is joining several evangelical megachurches across the country in canceling services for the holiday. Officials at the church, where about 7,000 people worship each week, said the move is designed to allow staff and volunteers to spend the holy holiday with their families.
The megachurches, which rank among the largest congregations in America, will hold multiple Christmas Eve services instead.
Among the churches closed on Christmas Sunday are Willow Creek Community Church, the Chicago area's largest congregation; Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan; North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia; and Fellowship Church near Dallas.
Megachurch officials around the country consulted with each other before deciding to take the day off.
"It's more than being family friendly. It's being lifestyle-friendly for people who are just very, very busy," said Willow Creek spokeswoman Cally Parkinson.
The move is drawing mixed reviews. Critics say it's the day of the week -- not the day of the year -- that's sacred. To them, closing the doors of the church on the Lord's Day is unthinkable.
Others are troubled by the holiday's increasingly secular tone and lament the change.
Robert K. Johnston, a professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, worries that another Christian tradition is fading.
"What's going on here is a redefinition of Christmas as a time of family celebration rather than as a time of the community faithful celebrating the birth of the savior," Johnston said.
"There is a risk that we will lose one more of our Christian rituals, one that's at the heart of our faith."
The decision hasn't generated much controversy at Southland, said church spokeswoman Cindy Willison.
"We've probably had maybe half a dozen (complaints), which is understandable," Willison said.
Some churches are scaling down their Sunday schedule on Christmas.
Louisville's Southeast Christian Church, where 18,000 people worship each weekend, is scheduled to hold one service on Christmas in the fellowship hall.
Tom Shaughnessy, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington, said churches will be open because it is a holy day of obligation for Catholics, meaning attendance at Mass is required.
At least one other major Lexington congregation, Crossroads Christian Church, will close for Christmas.
Crossroads Pastor Glenn Schneiders says December 25 is no longer considered sacred by many Americans -- especially those who are not regular churchgoers.
"It's viewed more as a holiday than a holy day," he said.
Lexington Theological Seminary professor Bill Turner said some congregations find it tough to hold several Christmas Eve services, then turn around for Christmas Day services.
"You're talking about a lot of volunteers and a lot of logistics to make Sunday happen in a lot of those megachurches," he said.
At First United Methodist Church in Lexington, the pastor will perform a "blessing of the toys," and the congregation will sing Christmas carols, church spokeswoman Marsha Berry said.
"Even if there's a small group, we'll be there to worship," she said. "What better day than Christmas to experience God?"
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

31 comments:

Penumbra said...

You are the phunny photo MASTER!

Joe Schelling said...

A bit off topic, but RBC will be "represented" at the College Goal Sunday thing as was discussed on a previous post. See attached link
http://www.reformed.edu/pr/College_Goal_Sunday_Information.php

May the Lord bless me with patience as I finish up at RBC/KC

Notliberal said...

Bah Humbug!

Johannes Weslianus said...

I'm not surprised at all. I've had several pastors in the area ask if we were going to have service on Christmas. Some are not going to. Others are cancelling their evening services.

I believe the only holy day is the Sabbath and so we must have worship services on it.

Ironically, many of the Christians of those Churches believe that Christmas is a holy day, yet they don't feel the need to spend it at Church.

Joe Schelling said...

How of the churches that are meeting both morning and evening are going to have special Christmas services. Nothing but carols and a reading from Luke. I'm sure candles will be lit and a good time will be had by all.

When I first began to go to church, this is what greeted me when it was Christmas time. For some reason it just did not "feel right". Now I look forward to hearing the Gospel message on Christmas Sunday, and every Sunday for that matter.

shawn said...

"I don't know what the big deal is!" said the Rev. T.D. Jakes in an interview Sunday. "I means we been preachin' that the Church is a business for almost a decade now. What business you know gonna be open on Giftmas, I mean Christmas day? Such books as 'Jesus: the Greatest CEO ever lived' and 'Telemarketing: The Next Big Wave in Church Growth.' have grossed already 3.7 million dollars."

"Why it would be UN-Christian to be open on Sunday, it being the birth day of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ," Joel Osteen grinned. "Families have the right to be together. Why we'd be compared to Scrooge to make people work on Christmas. We are as equal opportunity as any other business in town. Besides that's one less electricity bill for the Stadium, I mean church."

One Church will definately be open on Christmass, "Well of course we will be having 4 services this year," yelped Evangelist Benny Hinn. "After all profits are down... I mean profits for Christmas giving. We give to many needy organizations during this holiday season."

Give me a break! So backwards. *sigh

Anonymous said...

I think totally cancelling service is ridiculous. They can not have Sunday School classes to give the volunteers a break and allow children to sit with their families. I attend a megachurch and thank God they are not cancelling their services.
Sean Unfortunately, church has become a business. Osteen and the like are more concerned with packing the stadium than preaching a solid message. I've watched his program and he sounds more like Dr. Phil than Billy Graham.
Beth

The Mother of All Jurries said...

Shawn - how was God's Name glorified in your (rather bigoted) post?

Notliberal said...

The Detroit News had an article about closed churches in metro Detroit. I posted on my blog and went on my annual Christmas tirade. I'm normally indifferent to the whole thing but when people refuse to ask why they're celebrating the day in church I just can't take it anymore and have to post a tirade.

Anonymous said...

Shawn-in other words,you are a jerk!

Anonymous said...

I think you need to stop critizing Evangelcals and reach out to them in love. We are your brothers and sisters in Christ. Christ's birth changed the course of history as we know it. It this event never occured, we'd all be damned to hell. There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting aside a day of the year and remembering God's most precious gift to the entire world. Yes, it has become way too commercialized. NL, you said this is taken from the Roman church? Isn't the Sabbath Jewish so maybe you should be celebrating it from sun down Friday until sun down Saturday?

Anonymous said...

ANON:

Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do my Father's will which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother.

Notliberal said...

Hey anon, why don't you look to scripture to find out the answer. Also, would it kill you to give us a name?

Mrs.Claus said...

"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen . . . for the CUSTOMS of the people are vain." (Jer. 10:1-3)

A good read--->

http://www.apuritansmind.com/Christmas/AWPinkOnChristmas.htm

Droll Flood said...

"Ironically, many of the Christians of those Churches believe that Christmas is a holy day, yet they don't feel the need to spend it at Church."

-'holy' in this case meaning "reserved to their own purposes and ends," right?

-Scrap the liturgical calender thing and stick to what God has commanded, for the sake of edification. We have an hard enough time keeping control of ourselves in what God has revealed, let alone keeping man-made holidays.

-What's gravely funny about the matter is that men have nixed the Lord's day which God commanded to replace it with some sort of holiday that was never commanded, then the same point the finger at us as being weird for not celebrating "Christmass"

-I maintain that term "Christmass" is blasphemy

-Rejoice this year in Christ's death and resurrection by not partaking in the essentially 'necessary-for-orthodoxy'holiday. Yes, people ...you'd be considered wierd if not sacreligious for not partaking of it.

shawn said...

Shawn - how was God's Name glorified in your (rather bigoted) post?

Hello mother. Sometimes there is mockery needed because there is really nothing else to say but sharp rebuke. These are not ignorant prophets, but many grew up in Reformed Churches and have left, because it didn't move them.

All I was saying was that these Ministers and leaders treat the Church like it is a business, and despise God, using His name in vain.

My intention was not to offend but rather encourage through the use of mockery. If you don't believe mockery can encourage the faithful read 1 Kings 18, or the prophet Macaiah in 1 Ki 22, Or Isaiah making fun of the idolator, who has no problem making an idol out of left over wood from kindling in Isa 44:15-17 [by the way Christmass is an abominable idolatry], or Christ mixing mock and sharp rebuke directed towards the pretended Church leaders of His Day in Matt 23.

Thanks for the question, and I hoped this was helpful in understanding my intentions.

1Ki 18:25-29 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress [it] first; for ye [are] many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire [under]. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed [it], and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But [there was] no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he [is] a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, [or] peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the [time] of the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that [there was] neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

Isa 44:15-17 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth [it], and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth [it]; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth [himself], and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, [even] his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth [it], and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou [art] my god.

Anonymous said...

NL I don't see Jesus in the NT saying that we need to set aside the Sabbath. He did away with the OT law. God deals with the church differently than Israel. We find Sabbath rest in Christ daily as Christians. We will ultimately rest in Christ when he comes to rapture the church at his second coming. You want my name? My name is Santa's Helper.

Notliberal said...

Well Satan's, I mean Santa's Helper, how do you get past Christ's statement that he would not remove "one jot or tiddle from the law?" Christ didn't do away with any law and therefore the Sabbath day is still a requirement.

The Mother of All Jurries said...

Shawn - Your intentions were indeed explained away, however, my original question went unanswered.
"Shawn - how was God's Name glorified in your (rather bigoted) post?"

shawn said...

By use of rhetorical methods, namely exaggerating the error, attention is brought to the error, and reflection upon God’s Word, namely the Truth, would be more seriously considered.

Consideration of the Truth brings glory to God’s name.
Exposing error brings glory to God’s name – especially in an environment as this blog offers – where the Truth of Christ is continually vindicated.

Mother, do you have a blog, I’d love to frequent it. I’m curious of its content and environment.

Thanks.

Notliberal said...

Shawn, Mrs. J is right no matter how you explain away your statement. I don't mind a little bit of sarcasim and such but the racial stuff was totally unnecessary and uncalled for. Such things are never glorifying unto our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Shawn,Shawn,can you plny spawn words of spite and hate? Notliberal and Mother of all Jurries,I love you both! Shawn you are a nasty man,because someones differnt you dis them,instead of praying like you ought. And what makes you think you are in the right? Just THINK for once,idiot!

Anonymous said...

Anon, you contridict your point by calling Shawn an idiot. Aren't you the same person who called me a jerk and a "first class idiot" last week? Now you love me? Come on now, be serious.

Notliberal said...

Whoops, directly above is me.

Nate said...

In defense of Shawn:

-NL, what racial stuff? I know Shawn quite well and I know that he is not a racist!
The Bishop TD Jakes talk comes from the Woman Thou Art Loosed video....its how he talks....not how he looks!

-Mother of all Jurries,
The use of rhetoric is a great tool when in the hands of a skilled oratician. I remember the good times that we had sitting in your living room laughing at the absurd things that Credenda Agenda would do "to prove a point."

I see no difference.

That is all and I LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU!

CUPID said...

Notliberal--

"Mrs. J is right..."

You know that you think Shawn is hilarious, but you find that you must agree with you future mother-in-law.....

Nate said...

Cupid:

There will be NO PREDICITIVE PROPHECY ON MY WEBLOG!!!

Cupids Arrow said...

It is fact man.

Notliberal said...

Sweet fancy Moses where do you people come up with such stuff?

Ellie said...

That we are too busy to celebrate Christs birth with God the Father and the Holy Spirit at his house on the sabbath??? I can't believe it!This cannot honor or glorify God!!! The angels in heaven will be devestated!!!! I'll be looking for God to slap our faces in response to this via the environment.Are their any believers remaining in church????

shawn said...

Ellie said...
That we are too busy to celebrate Christs birth with God the Father and the Holy Spirit at his house on the sabbath??? I can't believe it!This cannot honor or glorify God!!! The angels in heaven will be devestated!!!! I'll be looking for God to slap our faces in response to this via the environment.Are their any believers remaining in church????


HAHA. Looks like Ellie beat me with her rhetorical method. Yeah like God or the angels really care about the birth of Christ.

Good one Ellie. You're so mean.