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When sharing your faith with the light of day soon. It helps to know what their church is taught in several basic topics. For this reason, is a research ministry has provided its crash course Mormonism crash course, Mormonism includes concise articles highlighting what LDS leaders and church manuals are taught on issues that will probably come up in a typical conversation. You can find these informative articles and crash course Mormonism.com that's crash course Mormonism.com .1 Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism so glad to agree with us for this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism by your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is my colleague Eric Johnson.
We thought that we would take today and look at some quotations from a very well-known Christian leader of the 19th century.
Charles Spurgeon and some of the things that he had to say about Christmas day in the incarnation of Jesus. We certainly do recognize Eric that even within Christian circles. Christmas has its controversy.
There are some Christians who choose not to celebrated at all, and there are others that tend to celebrate in a way that might make some professing Christians uncomfortable but nonetheless it is a part of the Christian heritage it's a part of our nation's heritage is as is actually in a national holiday. But I think Spurgeon had a lot of good sober things to think about when it comes to this holiday, and so we thought we would go through some of those interest, maybe comment on some of things that he had to say to put things in its proper perspective. So one of the statements that he made.
It is starting off by saying how Christ's birth is not despicable. It's An interesting way of putting it.
Yeah, he says, even if we consider the visitors who came around his credo. Shepherds came first and as it has been quaintly remarked by an all divine. The shepherds did not lose their way. But the wise men did. That's an interesting phrase to put in there because sometimes we look at the wisdom of this world. It's the people who think that there was really smart and educated. It seemed to miss the simplicity of Christianity, and of course the simplicity and the Carnation of Christ as well and shepherds came first and guided unfed to Bethlehem the wisemen directed by the star came next. The representative men of the two bodies of mankind, the rich and the poor knelt around the manger in gold and frankincense and myrrh and all manner of precious gifts were offered to the child who was the prince of the kings of the earth who in ancient times was ordained to sit upon the throne of his father David, and in the wondrous future to rule all nations with his rod of iron course one of the reasons why the incarnation means so much to us as Bible believing Christians is because of the incredible predictions of the Messiah being born of a humble origin and it's easy for us to look back in hindsight and asked the question will how did Israel miss this. How did they miss something that we think is so simple and II guess I have to struggle with that myself wondering if I lived during that time would I have seen the signs and the things that were to take place. As I see them now and I I don't know because I'm not in that particular situation. So I kind of holdback of judgment in that area.
You might say but anyway any kind of prophecy is going to be easier to look back on that horse.
He forward and so you know, like the second coming of Jesus.
It's kind of a mystery.
In many ways, and after it all takes place.
I'm sure will be up in heaven looking out all this and gone. How could we have missed all of the signs.
Spurgeon also in another sermon said that this is the season of the year when whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ.
I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven. To think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas day. There are no probabilities what ever that our Savior Jesus Christ was born on that day and that's one thing if you'll notice that Spurgeon often does, he does cut a harp on that. He just wants to make it very clear to his listeners don't think that this was the actual day and I don't think many Christians have done any study at all on the celebration of Christmas really think that it took place on December 25. Certainly that's not the case.
He goes on to say, though, however I wish there were 10 or it doesn't Christmas days in the year for there is work enough in the world a little more rest would not hurt laboring people.
Christmas day is really a boon to us, particularly as it enables us to assemble around the family hearth to meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people.
I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus Wyman essay based on your earlier comment about as far as the day I been in Israel. Three of the last four Easter's and every time we make it a point to go to Bethlehem. Of course Micah 52 predicted that Bethlehem would be the place and so we go to a shepherds cave and every single time you would not believe the enthusiasm people want to sing Christmas hymns in the middle of April and it's like it's December. I mean, it's one of those things. Maybe it's a cliché, but Christmas is not just for one day.
It should be in our hearts. The idea of Jesus coming and God giving us the very best and here we have the opportunity to have a relationship with him. So in a sense, you can celebrate Christmas on December 25 if you want, probably in April is closer to when it actually did take place. But we were celebrating the Easter time and that's one of those, as well as holidays that I think needs to be three 6501 things that I've noticed about this season at the end of the year is you would have to admit that people despite all the hectic this of this time tend to be much more friendly with each other and or at least I think open to the discussion. It gives us an opportunity as Christians to actually talk about the incarnation. It certainly is a good excuse if you're talking to someone who may not fully understand why Christians look at this is a special day. It does open the door to be able to share the gospel with people like that and is a time for remembering the birth of our Savior, but also to be with family and I you're right. I think people do have this extra step in their you know it when you're in the store that's busy. People don't seem to mind as much, as if it were in February and is snowing outside is: people are more irritable, but it seems like in December.
It's a good time to be with other people.
He goes on to say we venture to assert was a sailor.
He says that if they there be any day of the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which a Savior was born. It is 1/25 of December. Nevertheless, since the current of men's thoughts is led this way just now and I see no evil in the current itself I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream and make use of the fact which I shall neither justify nor condemn by endeavoring to lead your thoughts in the same direction since it is lawful and even laudable to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day of the year.
He cannot be in the power of an of other men superstitions to render such a meditation improper for today regarding not the day let us nevertheless give God thanks for the gift of his dear son. And that's really the point of it. Spurgeon's is making it very clear look, if it's not wrong to think about the incarnation of Christ, any other day of the year.
Why would it be especially wrong to celebrate on this particular day, and he's not finding any fault in that whatsoever. But again, the focus needs to be on what the day is all about him and I would tend to agree with Spurgeon about everyone I would tend to agree with a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with this that there are a lot of distractions that take us away from the focus of what that they is really all about.
And so II would say that they would have a good criticism well you and I both have signs in our yard that says Jesus is the reason for the season again. Another cliché perhaps, but it really is and when you make Jesus the focus.
I think it can be done celebrated in a biblical improper manner despite the fact that Spurgeon no doubt had some struggles with this day and wanted to make sure that people who did celebrate it focused on its proper meaning. He did wish people to have as they said in England at that time a happy Christmas. There's a quote that talks about that in Luke and with that quotation now.
Happy Christmas to you all. He says yeah now Chris happy Christmas to you all and it will be a happy Christmas if you had God with you.
I shall say nothing today against festivities on this great birthday of Christ. I hold that perhaps it is not right to have the birthday celebrated but we will never be among those who think it is much of a duty to celebrate it the wrong way as others that the right but we will tomorrow think of Christ birthday, we shall be obliged to do it. I am sure, however, sturdily we may hold to our rough Puritanism. Now that's a reference. Of course, to the Puritans who did not celebrate Christmas at all. They were very firm and that conviction that they would not do that even though there were other Christians during those that same time. It didn't seem to have a problem with all even those in Boston, for instance, I was reading that they did not.
They shunned Christmas in that sense and it wasn't until the middle of the 19th century that they actually started to celebrate. So it it was something that they felt like maybe too much carnal thought was going into the celebration, perhaps, and not wanting to participate. It could be that could also happen with just about everything to do so again we have to keep keep the focus on what it's all about and I think if we can keep our focus on really what it's all about them, there wouldn't be any harm in that whatsoever.
Spurgeon went on in that same message, she said. And so, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Do not feast, as if you wish to keep the festival of Bacchus do not live tomorrow is if you would board some heathen divinity feast Christians feast you have a right to feast go to the house of feasting tomorrow. Celebrate your Savior's birth.
Do not be ashamed to be glad you have a right to be happy.
Solomon says, go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart for God now accepts your works. Let your garments be always white and let your head lack no ointment certainly is you gather with your family tomorrow. We would hope that you would keep your eyes on the reason for the season as you said Eric. That is a day that is very special in the hearts of many Christians were God became manifest in the flesh. I like what Spurgeon says there toward the end.
Do not be ashamed to be glad. I think sometimes we as Christians and has hard as we try sometimes can get a little bit legalistic and we tend not to have joy and if you read the New Testament, especially it's up in a God wants us to have joy Jesus said in John chapter 10 verse 10 that he came to give us a joy completeness and satisfaction, and I think it a holiday like this if we can't find satisfaction being with our loved ones and enjoying the day itself, then that's a very sad event and certainly we see the whole picture. As Christians we we need to look at the whole picture. I don't know who said it, but I've always remembered it at this time of year. Someone actually said this phrase he said without the cross, the crib is meaningless.
So certainly God was manifest in the flesh, born of the Virgin Mary lived, but he died for our sins, he rose again for justification. And certainly we can find something to rejoice in that in the incarnation God with us. So all of us here at MRM we hope that you do enjoy tomorrow and that you will keep your eyes focused on why we set the stay apart to celebrate the birth of Christ, and we hope that you do have a good Christmas day. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint, Mormonism research ministry want to wish you and yours and Julia's Christmas season. As we remember the miraculous birth of our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to save his people from their sins viewpoint and Mormonism has been a blessing to you which you considering generous viewing gift to help further the efforts of Mormonism research ministry know that your tax-deductible gift. MRM is very much appreciated and we humbly think your kind support