The two views of Christmas

THE early Christians attached no greater significance to December 25 than to most other dates.
They already had January 6. Around the second century AD, Christians started celebrating Jesus’s appearance at the Jordan River and His baptism on that date.
It was not until two centuries later that they cautiously expanded the festival to include His birth and chose December 25 — the day on which Romans already celebrated the birth of the sun god.
The Christmas celebration gradually took off — then exploded in an orgy of overindulgence.
Napoleon thought Christmas celebrations were “excellent for keeping common people quiet”.
A few years ago, a British religious leader, only half-jokingly, advised Christians to concede December 25.
“Just hand it over to the secular world,” he said. “We are drowning in commercialism anyway.”
The idea was supported by other religious leaders. They were not suggesting giving up on Christmas, but urging followers to stop thinking of Christmas as only what happens on December 25.
Half a century ago, C.S. Lewis wrote a fantasy about Christmas titled Exmas and Crismas. It was an essay about a winter festival called Exmas that was observed with great patience and endurance.
One of the customs was the great labour of sending cards and gifts. Every citizen had to guess the value of the gift a friend would send him and send back one of equal value, regardless of whether he could afford it.
On the big day of the festival, the citizens would eat too much and become intoxicated. Then they would feel very ill and worry about the money they had spent.
There was also a non-commercial festival called Crismas, on the same day as Exmas. A few kept Crismas sacred, but they were greatly distracted by Exmas.
Years later, Lewis wrote that Christmas cards and the commercial drive of Xmas were his “pet abominations”.
C.S. Lewis summed up the real Christmas: “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God”.

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35 thoughts on “The two views of Christmas

  1. Christmas or better the day we celebrate it is known to human kind for millennium. The Egyptians has celebrated on that day, and older cultures has as well. They called the son of god different names, but the spirit of it was the same. They all knew there will be a day when the manifestation of god in human body will arrive. We are the one who has the benefit of it. ALl we have to do is to take it.
    Also the date of 25th of 12 has numerological value. There are number of interpretations, but for simplicity, the number 25 reduces to 7 (2+5), which is the perfect number of unity, remember the rainbow, with 7 colours, All seven colour present make pure light (white as we call it). The seven days of the week make a week. You will find many sevens around. The twelve signifies the fulfillment of all labours, 12 months in a year, and twelve disciples of Christ. Many more.
    My opinion with which you may disagree and could differ from yours.

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  2. Flippin heck guys it’s xmas it’s a nice time of year, catch up with family, good food, good company, bit o time off work and the boxing day test.

    Relax and enjoy it. Surely there’s no need for this annual angsty Christian hand wringing.

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  3. At this time of year I always pause for reflection. And I do remember a time not so long ago, when Cancer was rare … and everyone had a job, and the rich were happy and content with their millions, instead of their billions.

    I applaud TIME magazine’s choice for person of the year … POPE FRANCIS

    But Bryan… for a ‘religious’ blog … I get the distinct impression that he’s not liked.

    I hope I’m wrong.

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    • The good old times heh? Seems to be sooo long ago. I remember farming been only organic, nothing else did exist. Dung and poo was the best fertilizer, field was tilled by horse power. Wheat was harvested with hands power. Food was healthy. All my uncles (farmers) lived past 90 and were active to the day they passed away. Greed was not as rampant and let live was the motto of the day. The communism arrived in our country and all changed. Here in the capitalist system things are actually very similar, except the facade is different. Democracy is just a empty word. Our elected governments are not serving the public, but expect to be served by the public. And so we heading into the year 2014 with some expectations of peace and acceptance of each other. When I look at it, I see a great parallel from the time of Christ, when the country of Israel was in disarray, under oppression and the people lived in very little hope. Their hope, who dared to believe it, was pinned to the coming of the redeemer, the living god in human flesh. Those who had the hope were at peace and unperturbed by the chaos in the country.
      So I wish all of you to adopt the same peace in your souls knowing that all is well with the world. Knowing that all has a good purpose and just because we might not understand sometimes and call it bad, it is under control of the mighty being we call god. For it is said god is all present, all powerful and all knowing. As such this being does not require anything from us, no need to perform acts of self sacrifice, or dragging ourselves on knees until bloody. The love of the being god is unconditional. It is said so many times and we still don’t believe it. We rather go to religions of this world, which all distorted the story of god to some degree and bag for forgiveness. We project this god as we experienced parent – child relationship, which is everything but unconditional. God is relatively speaking our parent, but has no need to punish and reward.
      Many so called atheists want a proof of god, I say here again, god can not be seen, no proof will ever be offered. How do you manifest an infinitive being without limiting it to that particular manifestation? Did even Moses not preached not to make an engraved image? God can only be felt and experienced by each of us. Once this happen, proof is no longer needed ever. The soul knows this and if you still your mind for just a little moment, chances are you will experience god yourself. I repeat once more, like Moses was not permitted to enter the Promised Land, so the intellectual mind is not permitted to know god. I am sending good vibrations to all of you, especially to dabbles and buppa, who are here because they are searching for truth in their own life. They wish to know who they are without the religions additives. They are thirsty for real truth. My deep admiration to them both. It takes courage to voice opinions in such opposition.

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    • Pope Francis not liked here? I actually think the opposite. Christians of many denominations and atheists alike seem to have made positive comments about him. I love him! I think he is a breath of fresh air and a wonderful change.

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    • Which is why some of us have organised ourselves into small groups that visit the sick and/or nursing homes / retirement villages on Christmas day and attempt to offer some comfort and hope to the inmates.

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  4. It must be Christmas … my prayers are being answered and the American democrats have come out of their amnesia….

    “They act as if the financial crisis fell out of the sky…. where the hell do they think it came from? George W Bush gave it to us with his wars on credit, and disgusting inequality policies, greed, corruption and lies… THEY gave it to us ” Vice president Joe Biden

    I suppose it’s better late than never , Mr. Biden.

    “FOX NEWS is a media colostomy bag” Jim Carey (Try coming down under, Jim)

    The new John Pilger film “UTOPIA” has just been released, which highlights Australia’s love affair with xenophobia, especially with indigenous people. (Andrew Bolt is straining at the leash like a rabid dog as we speak)

    When I say “I can remember a time when …. ” I didn’t say they were the “Good Old Days”

    The ‘good old days’ was when I would drive into an outback town, and the local cop would say to me … “Ya didn’t hit any boongs on the way into town did ya? Only they wander all over the road like bloody sheep… I’m sick of the bloody paper work… if ya do hit a few… just chuck ’em over the side of the road will ya? Thanks mate”

    Oh yes… THEY were the good old days….

    Which is probably why I don’t relish going back there…. but we’re getting close.

    This Christmas, one of our better journalists has developed cancer, Phillip Adams.

    “I wish to apologise for all the derogatory remarks I’ve made about astrology. My star sign is Cancer, and after 74 years I now have it” Phillip Adams

    That’s what I call a Christmas spirit.

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  5. “I wish to apologise for all the derogatory remarks I’ve made about astrology. My star sign is Cancer, and after 74 years I now have it” Phillip Adams

    That’s what I call a Christmas spirit.
    Funny you should mention cancer. I am Aquarius as a star sign, but gave my self one as well. Diagnosed as “there is no cure” by the medical profession. So I was contemplating on why, what happened, why me? All these questions flu past my mind, fear as well. Then I realized it doesn’t matter. We are immortal eternal beings having human experience. The illness gave me time to think, really to think. A new depth of thought I never had before. When the future is removed and I face possibility of leaving the physical realm, this planet for little while, I developed different views of life. I discovered god i never knew before. I discovered the soul, the life within. the reason we all here for. If i stay here for another two months i will be in this body 70 years. Body which served me well until recently. Always dependable and very strong. And all the sudden it became weak. A brand new experience for me. I who could pull trees out of the ground by bare hands need to ask others to help me with anything heavier than few kg. A very humbling experience. Receiving female hormones that suppose to prolong my existence here has unexpected site effects (benefits?). i am becoming a balanced between the male and female aspect. No longer willing to go to war (for any reason), getting hot flushes as female do in menopause, growing nicely shaped boobs. But the most valuable on this experience is the inner balance, the no need to fight, no need to defend. So i see the cancer as a gift i gave myself for this Christmas. it brought me closer to the spirit we call god. the occasional pain is a small price to pay. I am in life, i am life, but i do not take myself seriously anymore. i appreciate the differences how we all view the world individually through individual experience. And if i don’t last much longer, well i will see you again in a new body with a new experience. life never ends, life is a string of events as we rediscover who we really are and manifest it to the universe. only experienced concept can give us the knowing and beingness we require as a spirit. As a spirit we already know all there is to know, but here, in the realm of self we have the grand opportunity to show it. And so we show what and who we are at the present time. Some still needing to experience that which is opposite to who they really are, but how else would we know the value of love without experiencing the opposite? Therefore judge not others, you don’t know their journey through the physical universe. Only the soul really knows and since we so reluctant to let go of the mind and thinking, we just don’t know.
    i like to wish all a Happy and content time in the festive season. Remember who you are, why you here and stretch hand to help someone in need. Charity is personal, make it yours.

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    • Into His arms, Paul. Into His arms.

      “Blessed Lord, please be with Paul in this time and with his family; to comfort, strengthen, and encourage them during the coming difficult days and times ahead.”

      Love you,

      Mon xxoo

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    • Wise, wise words, Fossall.
      Blessings.
      I can’t find the quote about it was not enough for Jesus to be born into this world, he has to be born in our hearts.
      Surely this has happened to you, Fossall.

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    • There are a group of us who celebrate Christmas by visiting the sick in hospitals throughout the country on Christmas day. So which hospital and which city are you fossal?

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      • Oh, I am not in hospital, just not as agile as I used to be. Don’t bury me yet. I am resilient bastard. I survived the communists and I inte to survive my self inflicted cancer as well. Just because the medical profession have no cure doesn’t mean that it the end.
        Imagine if sports people thought the same, there would be no broken records, science would say impossible and we would still chase mammoths with stones and sticks. I am weak physically, but not mentally and spiritually.
        Thank you for your concern davinci though. Nice to knew people care.

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      • But how can cancer be self-inflicted fossall?

        How can you be so sure—unless, I guess, you were a smoker all your life?

        I’ve read time and time again by medical experts that we all have cancer in our bodies but that a healthy immune system is able to keep it in check.

        Two members of my family have never smoked a day in their lives and both have lung cancer! 😯

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      • Quote: But how can cancer be self-inflicted fossall?

        How can you be so sure—unless, I guess, you were a smoker all your life?

        I’ve read time and time again by medical experts that we all have cancer in our bodies but that a healthy immune system is able to keep it in check.

        Two members of my family have never smoked a day in their lives and both have lung cancer! 😯
        This is a question which is not simple to answer. Many people asked this question before, blaming god, environment, other people. I start with the smoking. I did smoke when I was young, but gave it away long time ago. I have prostate cancer which spread to the rest of my body before it was discovered. And yes, I had checkups, but nobody saw it until it was too late to do anything about it. Now to the self inflicting of it. Do you believe Monica that we are victims of circumstance? I don’t. Every thought, every fear every action creates. Conscious or not. Do you know your own thoughts? What you thinking every moment? Do you realize you think almost constantly as every one of us does. And if you think you don’t, then your mind is clever in masking its thinking.
        Let me remind you that we are created in the image of God, not as humans but as spirits. God is creating every moment and so are we. It is our first nature. Just because we unaware of it doesn’t mean we don’t. Most of our lives was created unconsciously and we often wonder “what happened?”
        We get confronted with “negative” outcome and we immediately in arms, why me?
        Well if we honest and go back and follow the tracks, we discover how we were obsessed with some idea, some fear, worries etc. I am sure you can see something in your own life. Admitting once own creation is deflating for the ego, but the flip site is we can do something about it. Remember, we are creators, so all we need to do to recreate ourselves anew, differently. If we focus of “they done it” we surrendered all tools to them to do something about. We then powerless to change our situation.
        The way religions picture and describe god is false. But this is with all religions. The more defensive they are, the less sure of themselves they are also. We have not sinned, We are on track. Each “bad” thing is giving us an opportunity to change, to recreate ourselves in more glorious way. Closer and closer to the ideal shown to us by Christ Jesus. Look for instance this British woman on trial about her drug problem. She is defending vigorously, trying to tell everyone she has no drug problem. I did get this morning that her soul is giving her an opportunity to save herself from addiction. A calamity for her ego for sure, but look the reason behind it. Soul is saying stop now while it still time. If she deny her soul and “win” in court and carry on with drugs, she will be beyond help. Her choice if she can see one. We are spirit beings Monica, not humans. We have absolute free choice how we choose to create our reality. Most forgets that in the physical, there are laws governing it and will create consequences.
        I speak with got daily Monica, god does not speak exclusively to prophets and only in the past. She/he speaks constantly to everyone. His promise stands: I will never leave you or forsake you.” He is all present, which means he is present in all things, even rocks and dirt. Nothing exist where is no god.
        30 Years ago I entered a church with friend and I had Paul’s experience he had on his way to Damascus. I was struck by light so great that I lost all interest in wordily matters. That was not quite good for me either, but at the time I could not run my business, feed my family well. We became quite poor. But god did provide all we needed anyway. Never was hungry and kids were having all their needs covered. I was not long in the church. I was discomfort to them by beaming like a sun at noon, saying the truth always. And telling what god revealed to me. Heresies they said. I left the church and started on a journey that was quite lonely, since I had no one to share my revelations with. But I have never faltered in my conviction. I had number of NDE (near death experiences) and so I know we live after death of the physical body. Nobody can tell me otherwise. Been there, came back few times. I met my present partner and wife 13 years ago and finally found someone on similar frequency. We can talk and share our views without offense. My knowing of god grew ever since the light struck me.
        If I leave here because the body succumbs to cancer, I will create a new body and have an other go at it. We eventually overcome the death. Remember death is the last enemy. Still I feel this is my opportunity to overcome death in my present body. I could write a book with thousands of pages about god. A fantastic being who is and who is not. A mystery to most until experienced in your own body. If you like I send you a short essay of my thoughts and conversations with god. But no offense if you don’t want to.
        I hope to explain a little why my cancer is all mine.
        Love Paul

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      • I so understand about the lonely road you’ve been on Paul,

        as I too have been on that one due to my spiritual giftings. Like you, I too could not share my revelations with anyone, not even my husband at the time, and could not take being rejected by the Church anymore. I just could not understand why God would bless me so much with revelation knowledge, only to be put in my place—-expected to be a bottom on a pew, without a voice or given a chance. Someone once told me that I was before my time (because of my giftings). That didn’t help me; it only made me madder at God! It took a heavy toll on me….and my relationship with God.

        Anyway, that’s all old history.

        I would love to hear more about your thoughts and conversations with God, Paul and thank you for offering.

        Not sure if you are prepared to post here, but if not just ask Bryan to forward your email to me and then I will get back to you.

        God bless

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  6. Quote: He is all present, which means he is present in all things, even rocks and dirt.
    Sorry fell for the male god again, god is neither male or female, god is. This is why I say she/he or he /she. God is perfect gender.

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  7. I would love to hear more about your thoughts and conversations with God, Paul and thank you for offering.

    Not sure if you are prepared to post here, but if not just ask Bryan to forward your email to me and then I will get back to you.
    Not sure if it’s appropriate to spill my personal views and experiences here. They are quite radical in the religious sense and will challenge all religious believes. Would you give me permission Bryan to post it here? I have no derogatory views or offensive views, just challenging to the church version. traveled the road less traveled for a long time now and found god to be different from what the church is preaching (with few exceptions). Please let me know.

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