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My Friend Says That Christmas Is a Pagan Holiday. Is He Right?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2021 1:30 pm

My Friend Says That Christmas Is a Pagan Holiday. Is He Right?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 21, 2021 1:30 pm

Episode 862 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. I have heard it said that because Eve was deceived in Eden and not Adam, men should be pastors and not women. Is that right?

2. Someone brought to my attention that Christmas is a pagan holiday. Are we as Christians adhering to pagan practices when we celebrate Christmas?

3. What is the relationship between repentance and confession?

4. Does Isaiah 30:21 confirm that we should hearing from God audibly?

5. I am really struggling with understanding how to deal with a particular situation, would love some help. A bunch of friends and I are planning on going on a trip this next summer and we are renting a house for a week. Most of us are Christians but there is one girl and her boyfriend who aren’t. They are most likely wanting a room for themselves and as a Christian I am struggling with whether or not we should let that happen. On one note, yes I can’t force them to do what I believe as a Christian is wrong since they aren’t a married couple, but on the other hand I do wanna minister to them well. How can we as Christians walk biblically and wisely in this situation?

6. What does it mean that Jesus is the "only begotten Son of God"?

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5 Reasons Christmas Is Not a Pagan Holiday

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This new episode of court. Christianity was pretty record my friend says that Christmas is a pagan holiday is the right that's just one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity why this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post a question on one of our social media sites and you can always email us a question at questions at core, Christianity.com first up today let's go to Scott in Fort Smith, Oklahoma got what your question for Pastor Israel right next to Fort Smith. I'm sorry Oklahoma border to Arkansas. My question is your thoughts on how in the church over the years I have heard it said, and preached vent in the garden of Eden. It was the woman who was deceived and not the man. And that's why men should be pastors and not women to in the second part is what would've happened if Adam had not sinned in the garden after Eve did. Thank you Alyssa LaPierre hello busted a Scott, thank you for that question, let me answer the second part of your question first. So Adam and Eve are in the garden of Eden. During this we might call probationary. It's not yet this this state of confirmed righteousness where where they're experiencing the fullness of God's blessing in their lives that that they're undergoing a test there in the garden. This, as I said probationary period and had they obeyed the Lord they would have. I think entered into this this state of confirmed righteousness, that the new creation if you will, but they didn't sin entered into the world, and ever since sin entered into the world. We've been suffering under it's it's it's you know what it brings to us and nine, and one of the things a bit brings is you know all sorts of issues with with regard to society with regard to family and the only hope we have is that redemption it's given to us in Jesus Christ.

Now, with regard to the first party or question and and women pastors are women teaching elders in the church. It sounds to me like your your referencing what Paul said in first Timothy chapter 2 verse 14 for Adam was not deceived with the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

Now we know that both Adam and Eve sinned and Adam is in one sense, the representative head of humanity in Eden, the garden there which is why in Adam all of us fell into sin if you will. Paul talks about this in Romans chapter 5 verse 12, so it's not I think that Paul is laying all the blame on Eve here there. There's this shared responsibility that they both have they both sinned grievously before the Lord and and so your question is is this the reason why, in other places like first Timothy three and Titus one. It seems like the role of the teaching elder preaching pastor is reserved for men. I'm not sure that that's that's entirely the case.

And I didn't think it could be something to that, but I think even even within the original creation you have this sort of order in relationship and so I don't know that I would appeal to that specifically in order to make to make that case of the one of the things it Paulist is highlighting here is just again that brokenness that we see in in society and in the world.

As a result of sin and and so yes and then again that that Texas first Timothy chapter 2 if you want to read that a little bit more closely. God bless your listing to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez. By the way, you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day. We try to go through our voicemails at least once a day and if you got a question here's the number to call its 833-843-2673 or 833 the core there's a voicemail from a listener named Debbie and Matt Holliday and where it derived and Larry D thinking that that thing that now we as Christian are believing error whenever adhering to a Al a fault deal and we should not be celebrating and identifying know what your thank you for the question I received every time. Around this time of the year. Those those kinds of objections are raised, whether by by Christians or non-Christians.

Well, you non-Christian singlet you Christians you know I celebrating this this pagan holiday. Don't you know the roots of all your religious ceremonies are founded in paganism. That kind of thing. So a couple of ways to respond. First let me say this though, the only truly holy day, if you will that Christians are called to celebrate is the Lord's day. That is when we gather together on Sunday for Christian worship, remembering the fact that Jesus Christ conquered death when he rose again from the dead, you don't have a list of of Christian festivals feasts if you will that are given in the New Testament sort like you did in the Old Testament places like the book of Leviticus, where you had, you know, the feast of Tabernacles, and so on and so forth. These holidays that were prescribed by God for them to remember what God had had done in the history of his people. We don't have that list in in the New Testament were called to gather together to assemble as believers on the Lord's day to draw near to God, to receive his gifts to worship him, so you don't have anywhere in the Bible it says you are obligated to celebrate Christmas.

That kind of thing from very early on in the history of the church, Christians did did celebrate if the feast of the Nativity, if you will, remembering the fact that God broke into our world through the incarnation that the father sent his son into the world to assume humanity from the womb of the Virgin Mary and they commemorated that they celebrated that at a particular time of of the year and there was debate, even in the early church about when. Specifically, we should celebrate that but but but that was not something that they they embraced or inherited from the pagan world around them. That was just a desire to remember what God had done in redemptive history and to celebrate it to rejoice in it now. A couple of things to add on. There is the way Christmas is celebrated by many Christians today pagan. I would say yes insofar as it's it's been transformed by consumerism. You know it's all about buying things and just greed and and you know so often has nothing to do with worshiping God with remembering what God has done in the history of redemption and it's about drunkenness and feasting and gifts. And that's that's pagan right that that's not honoring to the Lord.

Nothing. The city run with no buying gifts for your family.

That kind of thing but I just would that's what's all-consuming.

Around this time a year.

People are just weighed down by stress and frustration for a lot of people the holidays just something that they can't stand because they're exhausted and there's just all of the tinsel and all these other things is is is overwhelming as opposed to being a time where we can take a step back and say wow look at what God has done, breaking into our world to redeem us friends as we need to focus on this time of the year what God is done in redemptive history and setting his son and we rejoice in that and and and we praise God for that week we get each other gifts and and we celebrate that but but were not obligated to celebrate that, according to structure something that we do it at that and I think there's there's prudence to talking about. Frankly, a lot of a lot of Christians even have no understanding of the incarnation Christology today so I made as a pastor, I like to take this opportunity every year to talk about the incarnation talk about the theology of incarnation talk about the significance of the incarnation because we need to be hearing about these great redemptive historical truths we need to be what you are immersed in them throughout the year. Frankly, and so if churches use this time of year is an opportunity that wonderful and if people are willing to visit churches around this time of the year may be more willing than they ordinarily would be because in the go to church on Christmas and Easter break look that that that's great going hear the gospel and then go every other week as well so I would say because we need that gospel every single week every single day. Thank you that question meant know it's interesting.

It really seems like every year around this time we start getting phone calls and questions about his Christmas, a pagan holiday and because of that we put together an excellent resource for our listeners which really help them when they're discussing this with other people who may make that claim. That's right yeah I mean talk about a really great resource for just digging deeper into this question. The early church in an attempt to appease the pagan culture is is near the idea that that's why Christians celebrated Christmas it was. It was a way of mixing pagan festivals with Christian themes. That's how we got Christmas, but that that's not the case at all. The true story of Christmas is something you really want to understand is that we made this resource. Five reasons why Christmas isn't a pagan holiday helps unravel some of the most common objections and misconceptions about the origins of Christmas and will give you an appreciation for the resilience of the church through the ages and also explain why Christians can receive and celebrate Christmas with joy and it's yours for free over core, Christianity.com know there is so much misinformation out there on this topic so we encourage you to get this may be sent to friend or relative who tends to be more of a Scrooge this time. Again, it's called five reasons why Christmas isn't a pagan holiday and to get a copy of the just go over the core, Christianity.com/offers again core Christianity.com/offers or you can call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-843-2673 let's go to a Facebook question that came in from one of our listeners. This is from Matt in California and he says what is the relationship between repentance and confession a great question, how I love this question.

So repentance Matt is a change of mind. The minutes of the Greek word men maternally means it is only think of me and all the things that a change in mind of of mine would entail limiting that there is turning away from right.

I used to believe this.

Now I no longer believe this. I believe the opposite. It is turning away from us and it's turning away from self even trusting ourselves, trusting on abilities on righteousness and turning to God laying hold of his grace and we are called as Christians, to repent, to turn from our sins to turn for ourselves even and to lay hold of the grace of God. It's offered to us in Jesus Christ and that something that were going to do throughout the Christian life every single day we sin and thought, word, and indeed, and so were called to repent and turn from the sins to confess them to God and to receive the grace that he gives to us now what is the relationship between repentance and confession sort of interesting that we are called to confess our sins, and in if you're Christian you know you you can confess your sins directly to God.

You have Jesus you advocate your mediator, your great high priest, you know. Through him you can go to the father directly and say God be merciful to me a sinner and we come when we come to God in that way he does indeed forgive us. He does indeed cleanse us. I love I love we see in in first John chapter 1 verse five John says the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin that was if we don't confess our sins, I don't have anything.

I'm not a sinner. He says, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not innocent confession is central to the Christian life.

We can confess directly to God. But there's also a benefit to confessing to you know brother in Christ of the elders of your church pastor if if you have someone who you trust a godly brother or sister in the Lord that you can go to and be honest with them. There there something to that effect.

James talks about that and in James chapter 5 confessing your sins to one another. Praying for one another, that you might experience healing on there's a sense in which we when we confess our sins right when we bring them into the light, we confess them before another person that we can't minimize them anymore.

It's it's when we hide them when we conceal them in the darkness in it. You know, under that the good the cupboard if you will it and we say all you know IIII confess it to you God. But I'm just to hold onto this. I don't want to let this I don't want to let this go symptoms that we can deceive ourselves into into thinking we really repented of us and really confess it when reality we have and I think I can bring it into the light confessing to another person. I hearing them, encourage us with the gospel is so healing is so wonderful it's one of the ways that we by the spirit put to death the sins that we struggle with that we mortify them by bringing them into the light. And that's precisely what John says there in first John chapter 1 would bring the sins into the light.

We walk in the light and we have fellowship with God with one another because there's transparency there's openness there's honesty there's there's peace and so there is there is a close relationship, but between the two but but you can repent without necessarily ever having to confess to another person writing often times, like I said there's there's a great benefit to confessing to another person as well and so thank you for that question, Matt and may the Lord bless you great explanation. Thanks for that girl you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez, just a reminder that some of the radio stations that air our program appeared on a tape delayed basis. So if you want to call into the studio live when were taking calls.

Here's the time to do it.

11:30 AM Pacific time, which translates into 1230 Mountain 130 Central or 230 Eastern time.

And that's the time will take your calls right here in our studio, so bear that in mind Those times down. Let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners named Paul Mike on I 21 Mike that I would hear an audible hey thank you for that question. Paul just opened up to Isaiah chapter 30 verse 21, it seems, in the context to be talking about this great restoration that God is and bring about for his people adversely. One says, and your ears shall hear a word behind you saying this is the way walk in it. When you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things you will say to them be gone. That was repentance. God is speaking his people there to be that this great and massive repentance where you're gonna let go of your idols, to cast them aside and worship me know that there are couple of ways of looking at this tax in particular.

But one thing I will say just just as we open up his know this is not saying that you as a Christian today should hear an audible voice from the Lord. Now, Jesus did say my sheep you're my voice, and they follow me John chapter 10 I think. Even there, he's not referring to an audible voice, and with the guidance of his Spirit in the spirit of God speaks to us through the word of God, illuminating holy Scripture. So in that sense I would say we do hear from the Lord. Every time we go to church on Sunday when we go to church on Sunday to hear God speak to us from the Scriptures when we open up God's word because God is speaking by his spirit through his word to us and so would we take up and read and receive what God has to say to us, but nowhere in the Bible I think are we given a promise that if your faithful Christian walking with the Lord you should be hearing from God audibly now in in extraordinary ways. Miraculous ways can God audibly speak to people today. Yeah, sure. But the fact the matters I think a lot of times and people claim that God is speaking to them.

It's not got it all in it, and many have been laid led astray by this idea and others.

We gotta stick to the Scriptures we huddle back to the word, and so if the way which we take this is that the great restoration that was coming by or through Jesus that the promise of the new covenant with the spirit of God was going to teach us. We can hear the voice of Christ. If you will do the spirit and through the Scriptures that we could say that and that's a sense in which God speaks to us today. Ultimately, I think this is also looking forward to that. The great and final restoration that the new creation if you will, where we will hear the audible voice of the Lord because were to be in his presence in the new heavens and the new earth. And so there is something even greater that we look forward to but but no Paul. There is no promise in the Bible that if your faithful to Jesus, you're going to be having in audible conversations with God and that doesn't mean that God doesn't speak to us today. He speaking all over the place through the created world around us night testifying of his greatness of his glory of his power and through his word, his special revelation to us. God has so much to say. Oftentimes were just not listening. And so we need to attune our years. If you will, to the places were God's promise to speak to us were he said I'm talking to you and listen to him. There thanks no Israel. I almost God led astray by an audible voice the other day with Siri and she was told me to drive into a lake and I had to ignore those instructions because you know Bill, I'm glad that God is giving you such discernment. I mean, it really is amazing to be yeah I don't even listen us there anymore to get me lost and so I know not your trust in Siri as the Scripture says, go toward a red let's go to an email that came in from one of our listeners. This is from Zachary. He says I'm really struggling with understanding how to deal with a particular situation and I would love some help me in a bunch of friends are planning to go on a trip this summer and were renting a house for a week. Most of us are Christians. But there's one girl and her boyfriend, who art they are most likely wanting a room for themselves and as a Christian.

I'm struggling with whether or not we should let this happen on one note, yes I can't force them to do what I believe is a Christian is wrong since they aren't a married couple, but on the other hand, I want to minister to them as well. How can we as Christians walk walk biblically and wisely. In this particular situation.

Yeah a great a great question so okay so you guys are going on a trip to stay in a cabinet.

Sounds like something like that and most of your believers. But one couple. They are not Christians. And they're probably gonna stay in the same room. So what is your obligation. In this situation a part of me thinks of what the apostle Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 5 work where he talks about the judgments that we make as believers is in verse nine the first 20 chapter 5 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not at all. Meaning, the sexually immoral of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters since then you would need to go out of the world. In other words. So Paul is saying here is right I told you not to associate with the sexually immoral, but just the people outside of the church.

Those who don't confess Christ note note continue associate with them to to share the love of Christ with them the gospel of God's grace with them is, I'm writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed.

Now if if this couple if they confessed faith in Jesus Christ. Will that I would say yeah this this would raise also to red flags and and and you ought to say something to them specifically as as people confessed faith in Jesus really hate this. This is probably you know you're not married. This is not appropriate. Not right and you should probably stay in separate rooms.

I don't know that you're obligated to to have that conversation with them in.

In this situation, but that doesn't mean that you don't want to also have a positive influence in in terms of your relationship with them as Christians to share the gospel with them. And maybe this trip is to be an opportunity for that. Maybe as you guys spend time with each other, their eating meals and and going on hikes or whatever to see to be doing. I don't get to have gospel centered conversations about faith, about repentance, about walking with the Lord about the Christian sexual ethic, those kinds of things because I was so use this as an opportunity to spend time with these these individuals and to and to be the light of Christ to them and and part of that is calling people to faith and repentance. But I don't of the best approaches is saying hey I know you guys are Christians. But we are and so you guys need to basically do what we would do and we wouldn't stay in the same room. So you guys have to do that two-edged of the good that would be the most the most helpful approach and I think that on the basis of what Paul said there in first Corinthians chapter 5 do not obligated to to do that you are obligated to share the love of Christ with them to to be charitable and to speak the truth in love to them, and maybe this is an opportunity for that as you guys will spend time together and save so may the Lord bless you in that in May the Lord give you wisdom. May the Lord give you boldness and make he open the hearts of these these two individuals. I miss you guys spend time together, second the score Christianity, we have time for one quick email question before we go today. This comes from Justin and he says, what does it mean that Jesus is the only begotten son of God. Yeah we we been answering questions about Jesus being the only begotten again.

Around this time of year, perfect perfect question was we think about the incarnation of Jesus.

And so what Jesus did not become the son of God at the incarnation, he is the eternal son of God, eternally begotten. We talk about his his begotten us. If you will of the father.

What were talking about his his personal property as a second person of the holy Trinity. If you will, that the son is eternally begotten of the father, begotten, not made as the Nicene Creed states, which means that Jesus is in a creature he is in a created being. He didn't begin to exist.

There wasn't. There were heretics in the ancient world. If there was a time when Jesus was not will know he's he is the eternal God, the second person of the holy Trinity yeah and so that's that's the wonder of the incarnation that God himself humanity for our redemption for our salvation. Thanks for list Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@christianity.com and click on offers in the menu or call us at 1-833-843-2673.

That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time. As we explore the truth of God's word together


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