Civil Debates on Christianity and Religions

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JehovahsWitness
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:03 pm  Christmas-less Christians? Reply with quote

Can one still be considered Christian if one chooses not to celebrate Christmas?

Opinions welcome.

JEHOVAHS WITNESS
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:31 pm
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The Tanager wrote:
"And you feel it was wrong for Christians to try to redeem or Christianize pagan festivals?


Yes absolutely; Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe the adoption of pagan rites and customs "purifies" the paganism but rather that it pollutes that which is pure worship and renders it unacceptable to God.


BIBLE PRINCIPLES

Quote:
ECCLESIATES 1:15
What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot possibly be counted.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:21-22
But I say that what the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with the demons.  You cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; you cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons. Or ‘are we inciting Jehovah to jealousy’? - NWT

HAGGAI 2:11-14 - NIV
If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?'" The priests answered, "No."

2 CORINTHANS 6:14-17
And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I will reside among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”  “‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’”

ISAIAH 52:11
Turn away, turn away, get out of there, touch nothing unclean! Get out from the midst of her, keep yourselves clean, You who are carrying the utensils of Jehovah.

EXODUS 32:
Then he took the gold from them, and he formed it with an engraving tool and made it into a statue of a calf. They began to say: “This is your God, O Israel, who led you up out of the land of Egypt.”



QUESTION: Does God accept His worshippers participate or adopt pagan religious practices as long as they don't BELIEVE in them?

Quote:

REVELATION 18:4
“Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.

2 CORINTHANS 6:17
"Quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’”



Are Christians free to use false religious symbols, rites and customs as long as they re-name them and/or are NOT using them for their original purpose?

Quote:
EXODUS 32:4
So all the people began taking off the gold earrings that were in their ears and bringing them to Aaron. Then he took the gold from them, and he formed it with an engraving tool and made it into a statue of a calf. They began to say: “This is your God, O Israel, who led you up out of the land of Egypt.”



Is dedicating a religious act/service or custom to Jesus enough to negate clear bible principles?

Quote:
MATTHEW 7: 22-23
Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’

1 SAMUEL 15:22-23
Look! To obey is better than a sacrifice, and to pay attention than the fat of rams; for rebelliousness is the same as the sin of divination, and pushing ahead presumptuously the same as using magical power and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Jehovah, he has rejected you from being king.”



JW


RELATED POSTS

Are there any links between pagan religious festivals and date 25th December?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=897426#897426

What are the origins of the Christmas customs?
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=897432#897432

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:51 pm
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JehovahsWitness wrote:
Yes absolutely; Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe the adoption of pagan rites and customs "purifies" the paganism but rather that it pollutes the the pure worship.


I agree that we should not adopt pagan rites and customs, but I see Christianizing them as a different thing. Why do you think they are the same thing or why Christian celebrations of Christmas actually are adoptions rather than redemptions?

I don't see how Eccl. 1:15 or Isaiah 52:11 speak to this issue.

In 1 Cor. 10:14-22, Paul is talking about not eating the meat offered by the pagans to demons. Christmas rites, even if they originated as pagan rites in some fashion, are not being offered by Christians to demons; they are being offered in worship of God. So, I don't see how this passage applies.

Regarding Haggai 2:10-14, are you saying verse 12 is important here (and if so, how) or are you saying verse 13 is (and if so, how)?

Regarding 2 Cor. 6:14-18, Christians aren't trying to harmonize Christ and another deity. These other things aren't (necessarily) idols, for they are adding to one's worship of God.

Exodus 32 isn't a good parallel either. They were turning back to a false god and saying this was the god who saved them. Christmas celebrations aren't about holding the yule log, the lights, the tree, the feasting, etc. as the real gods.

JehovahsWitness wrote:
QUESTION: Does God accept His worshippers participate or adopt pagan religious practices as long as they don't BELIEVE in them?


Christmas isn't about participating in pagan religious practices. Christians aren't participating in a ceremony where other gods are being invoked. Christians aren't joining in a pagan celebration without believing; these ceremonies are focused upon God.

How does Matt 7:22-23 connect with this issue? It's talking about people who paid lip service to Jesus. Christians celebrating Christmas aren't necessarily doing this. They are actually worshipping Jesus and meeting the needs of others.

Christmas celebrations aren't about sacrificing to God or divination or using magical power or worshipping another god, so I don't see how 1 Sam 15:22-23 applies.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:15 pm
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[Replying to post 22 by The Tanager]

Fair enough.

Well, thanks for the discussion, have an excellent day.


JW

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:15 pm
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[Replying to post 23 by JehovahsWitness]

And you as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:37 pm
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Re: Jesus, send from Heaven as Jehovah's Witnesses believe?

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JehovahsWitness wrote:

THE LIGHTS
Quote:

“It was apparently the fusion of two old customs—lights with evergreens—which gave us our modern Christmas-tree" - Michael Harrison, The Story of Christmas.




Just a quick note on history: Christmas lights actually come from a man named Edward Hibberd Johnson, an employee of Thomas Edison. Johnson saw the lights of telephone switchboard and thought they were pretty. He wrapped lights around a tree as a PR stunt for Edison’s company on Christmas. The stunt was so popular they repeated it for several years, and when electricity became more available throughout the country the tradition spread.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/untangling-history-christmas-lights-18096...

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