By Sam Eyoboka
David Terrel, writing in his website, www.angelfire.com stated:
â€œAll authorities agree that the customs surrounding Christmas, the Christmas tree, mistletoe, holy wreaths, Yule logs, stockings on the hearth, exchanging gifts and so on were practiced in connection with pagan religious celebrations centuries before the birth of Jesus.
None are of Christian origin. Anciently, December 25, was the date of the pagan Roman Brumalia, the final day of the popular week-long Saturnalia celebrations, celebrated in honour of the god Saturn. It was the day of the â€˜â€˜invincible sunâ€™â€™â€“â€“ a winter solstice festival.
It is general knowledge that Christmas has great significance mostly for businessmen and bacchanalians. Richard Hole in the article, â€œIs Christmas paganâ€ published on the Internet, stated: â€œChristmas and Easter have to a great extent lost their true meanings and are largely about buying unnecessary products from multinationals.
This is giving multinationals more profit and power and causing financial misery for poor people. The commercialization of Christmas and Easter and the buying of Easter eggs and gifts which people donâ€™t needÂ are a way for the world system to focus people away from what they should be using their money and time for.â€
The level of licentiousness, debauchery or depravity to which some descend in the name of Christmas do not give honour to God and Christ and this is no doubt due to its pagan origins.
A national daily of Sunday December 23, 2001, page 7 carried a shocking headline: â€œSex gift for Australian Business men This Christmasâ€ The story stated that â€œsex romps are being given out as Christmas bonuses by some of Australiaâ€™s biggest retailers.
Sales staff are increasingly being offered sex parties at brothels instead of cash. One brothel madam told BBC News Online she was struggling to keep up with demand from customers â€œDecember is our busiest monthâ€ said Mary â€“â€“Anne Kenworth, who runs a business in Perth, Western Australia.
â€œWe increase our turnover by at least 25% during the festive seasonâ€ It added that one salesman told the BBC â€œthese sleazy incentives were made available to staff and customers on a regular basis, especially at Christmas.â€ But is that what Xmas really means? Saturday Vanguard asks men of God.
Christmas delivers us from eternal condemnation â€”Bishop Mike Okonkwo,
Presiding Bishop of TREM
Christmas signifies the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. The birth of Jesus is so significant because if not for his coming, man would have continued to slaughter goats and rams to cover sin and we would have never had the privilege of being called the sons of God.
Put on your imagination, can you imagine how many goats we will be slaughtering today for atonement? Can you imagine the cost of going all the way to Israel where the High Priest resides?
We would have been eternally damned. Can you imagine the agony of eternal separation from God? That is what the coming of Jesus delivered us from. I have heard many people arguing about the date: whether it is 25th of December or January or February. Beloved, it is not about the particular date that He was born.
It is sufficient to know that He was born. He came to earth to pay the price and gave us access into the very presence of God. That is what Christmas is all about. If there was no Christmas, there would have been no Easter.
Jesus was born to carry our burden â€”Apostle Hayford Alile Spiritual leader of St Joseph Chosen Church of God
THE significance is that we had the Garden of Eden in the first earth that God created for man. And God wanted Adam and Eve to be in kingdom on earthâ€. And God sent Jesus, the Christ, to be the chief gardener on this earth. Jesus had to come as a stainless person. Christ, through a virgin came with a direct objective and mission.
Not only did he carry our burden,Â he also made us good citizens of that kingdom; this new kingdom called the earth. You will be shocked that heaven should not be our first priority.
Our first priority to accept is the kingdom of God and his righteousness because every other thing that you and I want God has already created them. So, this Christmas a kind of reminder of this new covenant and new agreement by God with you and I.
Jesus died to save Human kindâ€”Bishop Leonard Umunna
General Overseer, Bible Life Church
LET me give some clarification before answering that question, when I was a little younger I realized that Christmas was not in December, but in October. But why then does it have to take place in December?. The religious leaders of old lookedÂ for a way to pull the crowd.
The yuletide season makes it also very vital and these two things have overtaken the real significance of the coming of Jesus Christ to this world. Christ came and died a painful, shameful dis-humanizing death, I donâ€™t knowÂ how else toÂ describe a man who is fully blooded.
Thirty-three and half years yet he suffered for twenty four hours inÂ agonizing ways after he had prayed throughout the years.
The Roman leaders ofÂ then said he should be released but the religious leaders said no, that he must be crucifiedÂ whetherÂ he was right or wrong. But because it was a divine will of God, he laid down his life.
Am trying to draw our minds to what happened then to now and the reason why we have to go for the spiritual or true religious Christmas and not the way we are celebrating it now.
If we can all remember his crucifixion, then we will understand the fact of what we are celebratingÂ because without understanding the purpose of his coming, then celebrating his birth is profitless. But instead of sharing out the word of God, showing out the salvation that hasÂ been brought to us, we are busy drinking, eating, womanizing and from there, abortion will follow.
And nine months from now, you will see many children born into the world. All these and many are happening because they have failed to take into cognisance the full significance of Christmas.
So, anybody that did not accept Christ as his Lord and Savior should certainly forget about it.
The significance of Christmas is supposedÂ to be :I am celebrating Christmas because Jesus Christ came ,died for me and savedÂ my life.
The secret of Christmasâ€”Very Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Osu
Director of Social Communications, Lagos Catholic Archdiocese
THE greatest event in human history is Christmas; itâ€™s the greatest festival which all people – Christians, Muslims, Pagans (atheists) and non-conformists enjoy and observe, also the holidays that go with it.
To know and enjoy the secrets of Christmas, let me share with you the thoughts of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India, (as it was shared in the Messenger of Saint Anthony) – who was canonized at a record speed of just six years in 2003. She gave us the most beautiful thoughts on Christmas – this most important feast, we should do well to study it in great depths.
â€œThe Virgin Mary was the first Daughter of Charity, However, before assuming that role, she emptied her soul completely of herself, and offered herself as a servant of the Lord.
â€œA t Christmas, Christ appears as a small child – helpless, and in great need of all that love can give. Are we ready to receive Him? If Mary and Joseph were looking for a place in which to deliver Him, would they choose your home with all its material comforts?
â€œOur desire is not to receive Jesus in a heart which is, at times, like a cold manger but in a heart which is overflowing with love and humility, in a pure, immaculate heart filled with love for oneâ€™s neighbour.
â€œThink about it! It is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and sister and offer them your hand, every time you listen to them in silence, every time you share your hopes withÂ those in bondage1 (those who are oppressed by physical, moral and spiritual poverty), every time you own up to your defects and weaknesses. It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.
Mother Teresa was essentially a very simple person; someone who at Christmas sang â€œHappy Birthdayâ€ to Jesus. Her secret therefore lies elsewhere. She was simply in love with Christ.
She was a woman whose heart had been pierced by Jesus, in whose face she saw the face ofÂ love. She felt the thirst for God as the thirst for love. And she said â€œyesâ€ to that call of love!
She went our in search of the poor in order to love them with the love of God, and to console them with the only truly comforting words we can hear – â€œGod loves youâ€. Her untiring words to everyone were always â€œGod is Love.â€
Mother Teresaâ€™s whole secret lies in these words, but these words are the essential secrets of Christianity. To celebrate Christmas worthily means to transform our hearts into warm and cosy mangers so as to receive the poor and the destitute.
Let us therefore make our own Mother Teresaâ€™s prayer: â€œMary, Mother of Jesus. Please give us your exalted, immaculate heart filled with love and meekness. Please help us to receive Jesus as the Bread of Life, to love Him with the same love with which you love Him, and to serve Him when He appears ,disguised in the sorrow-laden poor.â€
May the Christmas season remind you always of Jesus Christ, and bring you a happy and healthy New Year.
Christmas has nothing to do with Christ,Â it has significance mainly for businessmen
â€”Oseghale Emmanuel Aighalua,Â President, GKS
SPEAKING spiritually, December 25 has no significance for true Christians in that it is not the date of Christâ€™s birth. Rather, it is the date of a notorious pagan festival which the orthodox Churches took on and baptized. Scholars very well know that it was in order to win gentile converts to the Christian faith that the Roman Catholic Church, more than three centuries after the apostolic era, adopted this ancient pagan festival in honour of the sun god and renamed it Christmas with the mind of winning them to Christianity.
The Bible, ecclesiastical and profane history and the geographical features of Palestine show that Christ could not have been born in December.
According to the book, The True Bible Code published in Britain in 2000: â€œThere is nothing â€˜Christianâ€™ about Christmas. Christmas is basically and essentially Pagan Christmas as well as Easter, Halloween, and Mardi Gras.
Each of them has come to us from ancient Babylon, through Rome. It was for this very reason that in Calvinâ€™s Geneva, you could have been imprisoned for observing Christmas.â€
It is on record that at the request of the Westminster Assembly, the English Parliament in 1644 passed an act forbidding the observance of Christmas, calling it a heathen holiday.
The General Court of Massachusetts decreed punishment for those who kept the season stating that, â€œanyone who is found observing, by abstinence from labour, feasting or in any other way, any such days as Christmas Day will pay for every such offence five shillings.â€
The Holy Bible shows clearly that Jesus Christ was born in the month of October.
The fact that the churches of Christendom observe the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in April, confirms that his birth could not have taken place in December.
Of a truth, he was killed in April, which is Nisan or Abib, the first month of the Jewish year, when the Feast of Passover or Unleavened Bread was celebrated. We all agree that Jesus Christ lived for 33 1/2 years.
Now let us admit that he was born in December as the churches teach, it will mean, therefore, that his 33rd birthday anniversary fell on December, and six months later, which was June, he died.
If it was so, why then are the churches celebrating his death in April and not in June? The plain truth is that he was born in October. His 33rd birthday then fell on October, and six months later, that is, in June, he was slain.
Also, Zecharias the Priest officiated in the eight course which falls in the fourth monthy of the Jews known as Tammuz which answers to be latter June and early July.
He finished his officiation in early July after which his wife conceived. In the sixth month of her conception, the Angel announced to Mary that she will conceive and bear Jesus Christ and her cousin Elizabeth acknowledged in her inspired declaration when she visited her in early January that she was pregnant, calling her â€œthe mother of my lordâ€.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months, from January to March, meaning that Elizabethâ€™s pregnancy was then nine months, and went back to her house. Since the span of foetal life is nine months with delivery taking place in the tenth month, it follows that by the tenth month, April, Elizabeth was due to deliver and she brought forth John.