All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2011, 23:23 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 27 Jan 2008, 01:00
Posts: 10164
Location: Lexington, Zettler, Germania
Medals: 20
Most Valuable Mercer (1) Author (5) Best RPer (4) Absentee (1) Reviewer Extraordinaire (1)
Most Creative (1) Brainiac (1) 2008 Mercury Art Contest (1) Zombie Apocalypse (1) Best Digital Artist (2)
Best Scenario Creator (1) Roy Mustang Award (1)
Has thanked: 83 times
Been thanked: 70 times
[QUOTE=Zeth]I have to say I'm a little confused by the "Jesus is the reason for the season" claim. I mean, it's not his birthday; the christmas tree is neither Christian, Jewish nor even from the Middle East; Santa Claus is just some Greek guy the Dutch and German took out of context; and being cheerful and giving gifts, if meant to be sincere, would be more appropriately given spontaneously rather than reserved for a time of year, since Jesus kinda preached to make joy of giving rather than receiving part of your life course... What exactly does Christmas have to do with Jesus at all?[/QUOTE]
Dinowoman wrote:
Of course, the celebration of Christmas arose as a way of diverting early converts away from their pagan practices by turning their festivals into celebrations of Christian events, but I don't see any problem with choosing a date on which to celebrate the fact that Jesus was born, even if it isn't actually his birthday. The mere fact that he was born strikes me as something well worth celebrating and, to the best of my knowledge, no-one knows exactly when his birthday was, so the old pagan midwinter festival is as good a time to do it as any. I agree that the Christmas tree shouldn't really have a place in a Christian celebration. I have to admit we do have one each year, because it looks pretty, but I couldn't argue against removing it from the festivities. And yes, I agree that Jesus preached the joy of giving, and it should be spontaneous. I love giving gifts at any time, if I think they will make the recipient happy, but I was taught that gift-giving at Christmas reflects God's gift of Jesus to us. I love Christmas, both as a festival, and for the fact that, for the religiously inclined, it provides a focus for thinking about what God has given us. What I object to is the commercialisation, which has made Christmas a time when too many people feel obliged to spend ridiculous amounts of money, and overindulge in just about everything. It's pretty much turned full-circle, back into a festival that has nothing to do with Christianity at all. I would say they should rename to to something else, but I would also object to losing the Christian festival of 'Christ Mass'.
Zeth wrote:
Worth celebrating, yet Jesus nor any of the apostles nor any of the first century Christians did? In fact, all the birthdays in the Bible are portrayed in a negative light. To the contrary, Solomon tells us that "better the day of one's death than his being born," AND Christ specifically directed that his death—not his birth—be observed. Oh, and we DO know that he was born in mid-October, though it's a moot point.
Dinowoman wrote:
I'd happily celebrate it in October. (And has that been definitely confirmed? If it has, it must be relatively recent research. When I was young, scholars were also considering April.) I know Christ only specifically directed people to observe his death, but that doesn't preclude celebrating other things. He never directed anyone to have celebrations at weddings, but he attended them, so he clearly didn't see anything wrong in festivities, and Jesus' birth is a rather different thing from everyone else's. You might well argue that birth for an ordinary person has negative aspects, but Jesus' birth occurred for the good of the rest of us.

Continuing this here. Whatever scholars were considering April are morons. Listen, we know, from the Bible AND contemporary secular (mostly Roman, but feel free to call me out, since it's been a long time since I've looked) records, that John the Baptiser began his ministry in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when John was thirty years of age (THAT would have been in April, IIRC). We also know that Jesus was six months younger than John. Go along six months from John's birthday in April, we reach October. If you're looking for biblical references, I believe most of them are in the book of Luke.

As for the celebration of the event of his birth at all...was Jesus a more important person than the rest of us? Seems a fair statement. I'm still pretty wary of the entire thing though. I mean, my earlier point still stands. Don't you think that if it were worth celebrating, the apostles, other disciples and possibly (though not necessarily) Jesus himself would have celebrated it? Don't you think the Bible writers would have followed their OWN PATTERN and told us the exact date, as they made a very specific point to do in regards to his death and the passover (Nisan 14 on the Jewish calendar; falls in late March or early April in the Gregorian)? Jesus DID celebrate at a marriage feast, and yet, never at any birthday. None of the Jews or early Christians did. It just seems contrary to the notion of a Christian living a life that follows Jesus example.



Image


 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2011, 23:33 
User avatar
Root Administrator

Joined: 09 Jun 2008, 23:13
Posts: 6979
Medals: 20
Staffer of the Year (4) Master Debater (4) Best Poster (1) Reviewer Extraordinaire (1) Best Blogger (3)
Arcade Monarch (1) Too Sexy For This Site (1) Most Serious (1) Brainiac (2) 2008 Mercury Art Contest (1)
2009 Mercury Art Contest (1)
Has thanked: 79 times
Been thanked: 40 times
I am still doing finals so I haven't actually read the thread yet but I will point out the irony in Xmas being used as a title implying Christmas without Christ, considering X is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, and mas translates to Latin's mass. =P



Image
Image

Sig credit: (x)
Ava credit: (x)
Previous usernames: Belle, Medusa, Miriel


 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2011, 00:18 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 27 Jan 2008, 01:00
Posts: 10164
Location: Lexington, Zettler, Germania
Medals: 20
Most Valuable Mercer (1) Author (5) Best RPer (4) Absentee (1) Reviewer Extraordinaire (1)
Most Creative (1) Brainiac (1) 2008 Mercury Art Contest (1) Zombie Apocalypse (1) Best Digital Artist (2)
Best Scenario Creator (1) Roy Mustang Award (1)
Has thanked: 83 times
Been thanked: 70 times
Yeah, I realised that as I was making the title actually. It's still a clever play on the use of the letter X though.
I love irony.



Image


 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2011, 12:52 
User avatar
Dino

Joined: 10 Jun 2008, 15:55
Posts: 10841
Medals: 20
Staffer of the Year (5) Best RPer (2) Best Poster (2) Best Traditional Artist (1) Brainiac (1)
2009 Mercury Art Contest (1) The Merger Contest (1) 10th Anniversary Art Contest (1) Most Helpful (4) Loyalist (1)
Most Mature (1)
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 42 times
Yes, we do know from Luke's gospel that JOhn was 6 months older than Jesus, and began his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius' reign, but I wasn't aware that it was known which month he was born in. Mind you, the actual month of Jesus' birth isn't the issue in this discussion, but thanks for the info.


As for celebrating his birth, I'm not suggesting it should be a requirement for Christians to celebrate the birth of Christ (I seem to recall from my nominally Anglican childhood that the only day for which the Anglican church stipulated that attendance was a requirement was Easter Sunday), but I do think there's nothing at all inappropriate about it. Since birthday celebrations don't appear to have been the cultural norm for ordinary people in that society, it's hardly surprising that Jesus and his disciples didn't do it. But we can't realistically claim that nowadays a Christian should never do things that Jesus didn't do, or we'd have to return to the lifestyle of first century Israel. What is expected of us is to attempt to do what he instructed us to do, avoid doing what he instructed us not to do, and generally live in a way that follows the spirit of his teaching, which I think is pretty much summed by by the Great Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself". Celebrating a person's birthday - any person's birthday - doesn't contravene any of those requirements. I see it as an opportunity for people to express their appreciation of the person whose birthday it is, and in so doing express their appreciation of the fact that that person was born, and also for the person concerned to express their appreciation of the fact that they have survived so far. OUr lives may be far from perfect, but most people aren't keen to die too soon.


Yes, there are several incidents in the Bible where people committed atrocities during birthday celebrations, but claiming that birthday celebrations in general are bad due to the actions of three people is like claiming that all videogames are evil because a few deranged individuals have committed atrocities after playing them. You have grown up in an environment where birthday celebrations are considered inappropriate because the Bible only makes mention of ones where bad things happened. Consequently, the idea that a Christian festival could be based around such an event is probably anathema to you. But most Christian denominations have a completely different interpretation of those accounts. I believe that those three stories were featured, partly because the victims were people who played a role in the bigger picture, and partly because they illustrate the unfortunate consequences of overindulgence.


Which brings us back to my earlier comment about Christmas being hijacked so that it has almost ceased to be a respectable Christian celebration of God's goodness to us, and has for many become a secular festival of excess. I personally am very much in favour of people being reminded that "Jesus is the reason for the season", because that is what Christmas has been throughout its history. Non-religious people naturally aren't interested in celebrating Jesus, but at least let us not forgot what the festival is supposed to be about, if not for religious reasons, then at least for the understanding of our cultural history.



Image


 Profile  
 
PostPosted: 22 Dec 2011, 17:34 
Member

Joined: 19 Jul 2010, 23:26
Posts: 39
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
I would be happy with calling it "winter solstice festival" when I celebrate it (I'm not Christian) if anybody else would understand what the hell I'm talking about, but then Christians and non-Christians would technically be celebrating a different holiday. This is silly because all the nonchristians are not going to magically converge on a new holiday. They're still going to want a holiday so believers have to "share" Christmas. Besides, multiple things about Christmas were borrowed from other various nonchristian sources like the Romans and Germanic tribes. Christmas is the socially agreed to winter festival that arises from the Catholic Church replacing all the pre-Christianity winter festivals. Catholics can buy nativity scenes, and nonbelievers in Japan can do whatever they do. It doesn't really matter that different people celebrate similar holidays for different reasons under the same name. No one is hurt by the fact that their neighbor may celebrate Christmas differently and for a different reason than they do.

It seems silly to have some separate nonchristian holiday or to adamantly claim that Christ is the reason for Christmas just because Christianity managed to wipe out and overwrite other winter festivals. It's more like Christianity+Ruthlessly Crushing Other Religions+Conservation of Number of Festivals=Christmas (in terms of the reason for the name, we'd probably have a similar holiday even if Christianity hadn't done so well). Given the historical context, it makes more sense for everyone to share one religious or nonreligious (according to preference) holiday- especially given that most people will buy presents (unrelated to Christ) and probably Christmas trees (also unrelated to Christ except by name). Given that some families will be a mixture of believers and nonbelievers it's more convenient to say everyone is celebrating Christmas.

Varying Christian denominations haven't always even celebrated Christmas anyways. The Puritans in 16-whatever thought it was too secular so they tried to scrub away all the pagan parts... which is a lot (and sometimes even banned celebrating Christmas). This was a fruitless exercise in nothing buy annoyance for everyone involved back then, and similarly so for all the crap people argue about today.

tl;dr. It'd be a lot easier if everyone would just stop arguing about a festival and just celebrated it as they like. Want to put out a nativity seen so large it requires a zoning permit? Go crazy. Prefer to call Christmas Yule, buy a tree, and set up a Christmas light display that draws the same amount of power as Botswana? Great. And if some town puts out a Christmas tree or even a *gasp* nativity display? That's a local issue, not a separation of church and state issue like the ACLU would have you believe.


 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group