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Christmas Pagan Influences

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http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
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Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: Christmas Pagan Influences  (Read 1311 times)
Mark
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« on: December 05, 2011, 06:37:22 am »

"THE CHRISTMAS TREE"

 Have you ever just sat down and wondered why a tree set up in our house would have anything to do with Jesus, His birth, or His life? Why would we decorate a "TREE" with all its fancy balls and lights and ornaments and put it in our house for the sake of Jesus?? Why would we bow before it to lay down gifts? Let us now take a closer look and see just where this "tradition" came from.
Since the earliest of times, trees, especially green evergreens, were worshipped by the pagans. To them it represented life and freshness. Since it was EVER green, it always had life. The trees were worshipped as symbols of life, fertility, sexual potency and reproduction.

These pagan rituals of worship were then brought into the homes and set up as idols, with the belief that it would give men a heightened potency of sexual virility to procreate new life for their harvest god in the new year. The evergreen tree represented a "PHALLIC" symbol (the mans sexual organ of reproduction) set in an upright position.. Any wonder why people hang round balls on a tree? Please do not be offended. This pagan ritual was to say the least, very profane in the sight of God!

There are many scriptures that the Lord has warned us about in dealing with idols and those things the HEATHEN do, of which we are commanded to NEVER do or imitate. We are told by God to never bring into our homes those things that are practiced by the wickedness of the world. It is truly amazing at how much "Christianity" has embraced from the trenches of the world system. This is why it is time to again preach the Kingdom of God with all holiness and obedience. Please read the following scripture and know that God knew even in the days of Jeremiah the practices and ways of the heathen. For even then, Satan was the god of this world. Listen to what the scriptures say as we have been warned in Jeremiah 10:1-5 about this:

"Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, o house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord, learn not the ways of the heathen and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold: they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are "upright" as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
Please meditate upon what you just read. Learn NOT the ways of the HEATHEN which go into a forest and cut down a tree and then nail it so it stands upright. Just what do men do today with Christmas Trees? Would you not say this is more than coincidence? Then when the trees are brought to the lots, they are NAILED and HAMMERED to stand UPRIGHT!! And the blasphemy of it all is that they—The Christmas Trees—are nailed to a wooden cross on the lots where they are sold!! A wooden cross!! My Lord people, open your eyes and see!! They were then brought into homes and decked out with silver and gold. Sound like tinsel and ornaments? So much for Christmas trees being for Jesus. This was hundreds of years BEFORE Jesus was even born. LEARN NOT the ways of the heathen.

Everything, and I mean everything about Christmas has come to us by learning the ways of the Heathen. Sounds to me like millions and millions of so called Christians have done just that!! Some men and preachers today say this has absolutely NOTHING to do with Christmas trees in Jeremiah 10. I would say, they need healing for being so BLIND! That is spiritually blind. Then again, did not Jesus say the blind would lead the blind and they would go into the ditch?

What an abomination to the Lord. Even in the days of Jeremiah the pagans were doing this. Satan knows exactly what he is doing and sad to say, so many Christians have no idea. After these trees were brought into the houses, worshipped and set upright, then gifts are now brought before them and what must YOU do when setting a gift under the tree? You must bow down before it to lay your gift. How sad and how ignorant we have been. Thank God for opening our eyes to truth. This is no laughing matter. Paul said to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. I would pray this brings the fear of God into your lives and in repentance we ask God to forgive us for our ignorance and then Praise HIM for showing us truth.

Some would say, "But Brother, you do not understand. You are being legalistic. We do not worship the tree, for we know better as Born-Again Christians.

"The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire; thou SHALL Not desire the silver or the gold that is on them, NOR TAKE IT UNTO THEE, lest thou be snared therein, for it is an ABOMINATION to the Lord thy God. Neither shall thou bring an abomination INTO THINE HOUSE, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shall UTTERLY DETEST, and thou shall UTTERLY ABHOR it, for it is a cursed thing"—Deut.7:25-26
We are told in Deuteronomy 12:30-31, that we better TAKE HEED that we be not snared by following after the heathen and that we should not inquire after their gods and how they serve them. Nor should we do likewise unto our God by giving unto HIM, what they give unto their god!!

"TAKE HEED to thyself that thou inquire NOT after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. THOU SHALL NOT do so unto the Lord thy God!! For every abomination to the Lord which HE hateth, have they done unto their gods. Verse 32, "What thing soever I COMMAND you, observe to do it!! Thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it. Deuteronomy 12:30-31
As we finish, I would ask you again. Can we even think what a Christmas Tree with all its decorations and symbolism has to do with our Holy Lord Jesus coming to save humanity from sin? We now know where this thing has come from, and prayerfully for some of you, where it is going!!

THE YULE LOG: Ever read a card or hear "YULETIDE GREETINGS" at this time of season? Let us check this out also since it also has to do with Christmas. The Yule log tradition dates back to Scandinavian countries where their pagan sex and fertility god was called Jul, or Yule. He was honored in a twelve day celebration in the month of December. Interesting—12 days—when Israel had 12 tribes and Jesus had 12 Apostles.

Friends, do not be deceived or ignorant concerning spirituals—I Cor.12:1. Satan despises everything about our Heavenly Father, HIS son and the Kingdom. Satan will do anything to pervert and blaspheme the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why all these things happen in the world, for Satan is the god of this world. Jesus said HIS Kingdom was NOT of this world—John 18:36 and for this cause, WE should NOT be of Christmas for it is come out of the world. I Jn.2:15, "Love not the world NOR the things of the world".

When this season began, a Yule Log was lit and put into the "fire place" (hell?) where the same log was used for all 12 days to keep the fire lit or to re-light it. Since Jul was the pagan god of sex and fertility, it does not take much to see what this also represented. You got it! The lit Yule Log represents again a "phallic" symbol, and being a log and lit, it represented a good omen for heightened sexuality for the coming year. It was the shadow and type of a burning lust of a man to fuel the fires of sexual potency to reproduce fertility. When one sends "YULETIDE GREETINGS", they are basically saying, "I greet you with this flaming log to fulfill a year of sexual virility.

How sick, blasphemous and perverted. So much for your Christmas season being holy and of Jesus!! There is NO WAY your Father in Heaven is glorified by your observance of this perversion. Explain it away. Do what you desire. Jesus is Lord and truth.

"There is a way that seemeth right unto man and the end thereof is death"—Prov.16:25
MISTLETOE: Just catch a girl under the sprig of mistletoe, and she must kiss you. Where in the name of Jesus Christ does this have to do with HIS holiness? And again, mistletoe, yule logs, Christmas trees are all a part of this season. Mistletoe was sacred to the druid priests and was worshipped by them to cast spells. If held over the head of a woman, she was powerless to resist, and any and all could have their way with her sexually. This is where our tradition of hanging it over a doorway to catch the unsuspecting girl comes in.

If the mistletoe had berries on it, then it was to make the sprig more potent and worth more, for the berries would represent the virginity of the woman that could be taken away and broken. Mistletoe, is also a living parasite and it eats into a tree to survive. Lust is also a living parasite which eats into us as trees of righteousness if we do not crucify our flesh daily. Mistletoe oil was used to anoint the foreheads of Druid Priests for service.

So far, we have shown you how every aspect of what it observed at Christmas time comes from the bowels of the earth. It is all sexually oriented, perverted, pagan and lascivious and we want to say "Jesus is the reason for the season"? How terribly sad!

HOLLY & IVY: Again, what in Jesus name does this have to do with HIM? The custom of hanging Holly and Ivy was to pay homage to the spirits that would bring life and fertility into the home. The red berries on the holly was for mans sexuality, the ivy for a woman around him. The green leaves represented the mans potency and the berries the life. In combination with the female ivy, it promised new life and fertility to the entire household for the year to come.

Now we are going to get into an area that must be seen as NOT being coincidental. If you can not have your eyes opened yet to see, I would pray that this will show you the incredible depth of the true "SPIRIT" that is behind Christmas.

SANTA CLAUS: This is probably the most innocent, jolly, little old man of the season. There he is all dressed up in his red clad suit, white collars, white beard and full of HO, HO, HO. I believe the Holy Spirit would be saying, WOE, WOE, WOE.

He is depicted as being truly supernatural, can cover the whole earth in one night, is attended by little elves, comes into your homes to bring gifts to the good and lives in the North Pole. He is depicted as omniscient and omnipresent. He is to know all and watches all. Innocent enough for you?

Let us now expose the most blasphemous creature of them all, for behind this mask lies SATAN himself. The depth of this one character alone is beyond belief, yet we will now see the real SPIRIT behind CHRISTMAS. Two figures were combined to create this being called Santa Claus.

First, we have Saint Nicholas, a fourth century Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church who was a patron saint to sailors, pawnbrokers and children. Secondly, we have a Christmas spirit of a mischievous, medieval figure who encouraged merrymaking, dancing and drunkenness. But let us look even deeper. What you are about to see and hear is NOT COINCIDENCE OR CHANCE. It is too perfect for that. It is well conceived, planned and disguised and unknowing to the natural eye. Let us first look at the name of SANTA CLAUS:

SANTA—with just the changing and moving of one letter, you will have SATAN! That is right—Satan, the devil. Just move the "N" to the end and S A N T A becomes S A T A N…Is that unbelievable or what? Is this by chance or coincidence? Not after seeing everything you have read so far on "Christmas". And what does Santa travel in? A sleigh (slay) and where does he come into the house? DOWN a very dark and sooty place called a chimney, right into the FIRE!!!

CLAUS---in this name, by using the same letters, you have LUCAS concealed. Now Lucas is the root word for LUCIFER!! Now, in just this creatures name, and that is exactly what he is, you have SANTA CLAUS---SATAN—LUCIFER. Do you honestly want to try to explain this away?

Satan is the adversary of the Kingdom of God, and Lucifer's name meant "Lightbringer". Paul warned us to be NOT deceived, for Satan himself is transformed into an ANGEL of LIGHT. In Isaiah 14:12-17, we have the written account of the fall of Lucifer from Heaven. In his rebellion against the authority of God, he rebelled to the WORD OF GOD. Do you not think that this is his aim today? For he knows that rebellion to the Word of God is the act of eternal damnation, and this is why my beloved brethren, Christmas is SO DISGUISED.

You cannot drink the cup of devils and the cup of the Lord—I Cor.10:21. The cup of devils is SATURNALIA---CHRISTMAS, the cup of the Lord is HIS WORD!! In Isaiah 14, Lucifer said he would exalt HIS THRONE above that of God, and upon what does Santa Claus sit on in the malls and department stores? You got it, A THRONE!! Lucifer said, I will ascend and sit upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the NORTH. Where does Santa Claus come from? The NORTH Pole.

In Moses' Tabernacle, the shadow and type of the church in the wilderness—Acts 7:38, it was the TABLE OF SHEWBREAD, our place of holiest communion with the Lord, and this table was set in the far NORTH position of the Tabernacle. This position belongs to Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Holy Lamb of God and SATAN wants that position of authority!!

In the Scandinavian countries, Santa Claus is called "KRIS KRINGLE" which by interpretation means—"SON OF GOD". Come on saints!! How blasphemous can this get? How many of you are still going to put up with this onslaught of defamation to the Holy Character of our Lord Jesus Christ by explaining away why you still want to observe this filth.

Every year, SATAN has his place of being glorified as the Son of God in the spirit world, and by the way, the Scandinavian countries are the farthest NORTH in the World!! And you want your children's pictures taken with this spirit? We should detest this with all our heart and condemn the very nature of this holiday.

God help us for our ignorance and even more so now if people should still choose to honor this. To the carnal mind, this all means nothing. To the spiritual mind, this is an abomination. Let us awake unto righteousness.

As we finish on this very deceptive "spirit", we can see just how cunning and subtle Satan is. Genesis 3:1 says, "The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, and in II Cor.11:3, Paul said, "But this one thing I fear, that as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, he will also corrupt your minds from the simplicity that is in Christ".

Everything that Satan does is against the very authority of God and everything he does is blasphemous to the Holy Word of God. Satan's whole purpose is to trodden under foot the Holy blood of the Lamb. One last thing about Santa Claus, is his colors!! And please, do not say we do not believe in Santa Claus, so it is okay to observe this. You are missing the whole point if that is your mentality.

The colors: Red and White. Isaiah 1:18-19 "Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord: though your sins be SCARLET, they shall be as WHITE as snow; though they be RED like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: verse 20, but if you refuse and rebel ye shall be devoured by the sword"

What is it going to take to get people to understand the incredible deception and blasphemy that lies behind all this? What is it going to take for men of God to take a stand and teach the people truth? Remember what we are talking about here—THE "SPIRIT" behind Christmas! This is the true spirit behind Christmas and there is no way that any of us can take the roots of this demonic, ungodly, perverted, filthy order and change it to something clean, pure and holy.

There is no way we can explain away this wickedness and what a shame to put the name of Jesus Christ on it. We are called to EXPOSE the unfruitful works of darkness, not partake of them—Eph.5:1-10 and only when true Born-Again believers start to take a stand on obedience will we be able to get the world to take notice. Stop trying to cover this up and explain it away. Stop saying people like me and others are Pharisaic or legalistic. Since when is obedience to Holiness, legalistic? Please explain, I am open to hear.

Those who read this must now make a decision. Are you built spiritually upon that which men say?--Mt.16:1-13 Or are you going to build your spiritual life off of the TRUTH?

How sad that this December, churches will have Christmas trees on what is suppose to be a Holy Altar unto a Holy God. How sad there will be manger scenes and pageantry plays all depicting lies and false teachings. If fifteen men of God with the largest ministries in America said, "It is okay and all right people to keep honoring this holiday. There is no harm in it and do not let men like Kim C.Gossett rob you of your loving traditions, for we know who WE worship". Then I would have to say—

"Then the Lord said unto me, the prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart."—Jeremiah 14:14
Brethren, Christmas is a false vision and it is full of divination. Can you imagine all of this? Santa Claus—SATAN / LUCIFER. His rebellion to the sides of the north—Isaiah.14 and he comes from the North Pole. His colors of red and white blaspheme the Word of God and the redemptive role of Jesus.

Remember I Cor.2:14, "For the natural (carnal) man will not understand the things that be of God, for to him is will be foolishness, nor he can not discern them, for they are SPIRITUALLY discerned". You will NEVER find one truth in ALL of Christmas except one—It has absolutely nothing to do with the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. No matter what you say or do, you will NEVER be able to change that. It is strange fire unto God!!

Do NOT let men intimidate you if you change. Many say what they say only in ignorance. That is why the truth is being spoken, and my prayer is that men of God who say they are called to ministry would truly represent Jesus Christ and share with the congregations this truth. I would be more than blessed to come to any church and minister this truth. I pray that men of God would be the ones who are to represent Jesus Christ and stand before the saints and say,

"My beloved, I have heard a truth today and as for me and my house and my family, we will never again partake of this heathen, pagan, deceptive holiday again."

http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/tree.htm
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 09:15:36 am by Mark » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 12:55:06 pm »

Isn't one of the trumpet judgements where 1/3 of the trees will be burned up?(Or is it all of the trees?)

Pt being that this xmas deception is probably just that...to CONDITION the world masses to idolize these green trees...how are they going to react when this trumpet judgement hits in the tribulation? All this time they thought it was some blessing from "Jesus's birth"(or whatever you want to call it)...
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 03:09:10 am »



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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 07:41:52 am »

Just how Christian is Christmas? Not as much as you think. In fact, not much at all.
(Author unknown)

CHRISTMAS: A Christian festival, named after Christ's mass, celebrating the birth of Jesus. Any fool knows that. Slightly more savvy people are aware that Christ wasn't born in 1 AD and know Christmas is actually a cleaned up version of old rituals. But that's not the half of it. In fact, Christmas is utterly Pagan.
For a start, there is no evidence that Christ was born at Christmas. Shepherds would not have had their flocks out in the fields in midwinter, even in Palestine. Nor would the Romans have ordered a census in the winter, the most difficult time of the year for travel.

As for the 12 days of Christmas, that's traditionally the time it took for the three wise men to arrive at the stable in Bethlehem. The fact is that the Roman celebrations around the winter solstice (December 21st), starting with the feast of Saturnalia and ending with the Sol Invictus festival, also lasted 12 days. All over the world, the solstice is connected with rebirth, so it made sense for the early Christians to tag on their own ersatz birth-celebration to one that was already around. In just about every corner of the world in nearly every group of people have a baby "saviour" in their history with the exact same situation, born near the winter solstice, born of a virgin, etc. I have a list somewhere. I'll add it when I find it. It's actually very amusing.

Since we're on this topic, I have more to add. The Bible depicts the account of three wise men from the east who followed a star to Bethlehem bearing gift for the baby Jesus. The truth is that the Bible contains none of these details. They have all been added over the years from sources outside the Bible. Matthew 2:1 tells us, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there were wise men from the east to Jerusalem..." That's it. It doesn't say how many wise men, does not mention their names or provide any details of how they got there.(camels?)These men may have made their journey from the east on foot for all we know.

It's generally assumed that the wise men(magi)were three in number because Matthew 2:11 mentions three gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. The number of the wise men is not specified in the Bible. There is no Biblical source to depict these men as kings. They were most likely learned men, perhaps astrologers. That's why they were headed toward that star when they ran into the baby Jesus who had just been born in Bethlehem.

The wise men were invited "into the house", not a stable. Why? Because in those days people kept their animals in the house to stay warm. There simply were no stables in those days. As for the manger, they didn't have those either for many centuries. Poor baby Jesus was probably just laying on a pile of hay.

Let's talk Santa Claus. "Santa Claus" is "Saint Nicholas" mispronounced. Saint Nick is the patron saint of children-as well as merchants and pawnbrokers, which seem rather apt. So how did Saint Nick, who lived in Turkey, end up at the North Pole, driving a sleigh full of reindeer?
It's claimed that part of the story goes back to the Norse god Odin, who also gave cash to the poor, and who used to ride across the sky. And there's Cernunnos, the Horned God who led the Wild Hunt, chasing souls through the night sky. Or Freya, another Norse deity, who was supposed to spend the twelve days after the winter solstice driving a chariot pulled by stags, giving presents to the good and punishing the ...well, the naughty. Whichever of the ancient legends you choose, one thing's for sure: Father Christmas is as Pagan as they come!

He first appeared as a fat bearded guy in a fur coat in a poem written in 1822 by Clement Moore and a picture drawn by Thomas Nast in 1860- up to then he'd been anything from a skinny elf to a thinly disguised version of Cernunnos dressed in green. When in 1931 the Coca Cola company wanted a figure to represent their drink around the world, they commissioned artist Haddon Sunblum to paint a fat, jolly, human Santa in their corporate colors of red and white, and the rest is history (and marketing).
But red and white is also the colour of the fly agaric mushroom, a powerful hallucinogen from northern Europe, where it's a favourite food of reindeer. It used to be a big part of pre-Christian shamanic rituals, and is said to have formed from the specks of blood and spittle that fell from the mouth of Odin's horse as he galloped on (ta daaaa!) the winter solstice! And Christmas poet Clement Moore was an expert on European folklore. That's no coincidence.

Christmas was never a celebration of Christ's birth - there's nothing in the Bible to say that Christ's birth should be celebrated at all, and it wasn't until 375 AD that the Church fixed it's date. Instead, it was a way of twisting old beliefs to Christianity's advantage, making more converts for what was then the new faith on the block. Roman historians realised this: in 230 AD Tertullian wondered why the Christians were so willing to dilute their beliefs with Pagan "superstitions".

Don't take my word for all this. Get out there and investigate.

Christmas Traditions: the shocking truth!

MISTLETOE: Has no Christian significance. It's an ancient Druid fertility symbol, and people used it to do a lot more than kiss under it. *wink*

HOLLY: Supposedly something to do with Christ's crown of thorns, but in fact a lot more to do with the god Saturn and the old Pagan Holly King.

CHRISTMAS TREES: Evergreen trees were a potent symbol of life in the dark winter days. Decorating them was a way of making offerings to the tree's spirit. Thank the Norse tradition for this.

PRESENTS: From the Roman feast of Saturnalia, integrated into Xmas in 375 AD when the church first set Christ's birthday as December 25th. (incorrectly, I might add)

YULE LOGS: A Scandanavian tradition, where an oak log was kept burning for 12 days, and a piece of it saved to light the next year's log. "Yule" is named after Ullr, the Norse god of winter.

BOOZE: the old Greeks celebrated the death and rebirth of Dionysus, the god of wine and wild revelry, for 12 days at the winter solstice. Dionysus's parents were Zeus and Hera. When he was killed by the Titans, he was brought back to life and ascended to Mount Olympus.

Remind you of anyone?


One last thing, for those of you who feel bad about using the X in Xmas instead of saying Christmas, listen up. Xmas has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing, where the X represents a Greek chi, the first letter of “Christ.” In this use it is parallel to other forms like Xtian, “Christian.” But people unaware of the Greek origin of this X often mistakenly interpret Xmas as an informal shortening pronounced (eks mas). Many therefore frown upon the term Xmas because it seems to them a commercial convenience that omits Christ from Christmas. Now you know the truth.

Happy Yule!!!

http://www.brenna.co.uk/xmas.html
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 09:15:24 am »

Christmas Pagan Influences: Saturnalia
 
Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festival in honor of Saturn the god of Agriculture, is perhaps the most important pagan influence on Christmas, in large measure determining the selection of the date (December 25) and the nature of the celebration until Victorian times. The actual dates of Saturnalia varied during the course of Roman history. It began during early Roman history as the feast days for God Saturn (December 17) and Ops (December 19). Woth the adoption of the Julian calendar, Saturnalia became December 17 & 18; Opalia on December 19 & 20. During the Empire, it was extended to a week (December 17-23); longer with other holidays. There were a number of associated Roman holiday festivals. This in large measure explains why December was selected by the early Church to celebrate Christmas.


Saturn

Saturnalia as the name suggests was the festival honoring the ancient Roman god Saturn. Saturn was the Roman god of Agriculture. To a degree difficult to understand today, the God of Agriculture was an extremely important deity in a society based on agriculture. Saturn as Roman society was Hellenized was merged with the Greek Cronos and many of the old agricultural features of Saturnalia were lost.


Other Deities

While Saturn was the inspiration for Saturnalia, other deities were honored around the Winter Solstice (December 22). Some of these deities included Saturns wide Ops. She was the goddess of plenty, the mother earth or in modern parlance--mother nature. Ops was the wife or partner of Saturn or his Greek counterpart Consus. . Another especially important god was Sol Invicta--the Sun God. He was associated with the Persian god Mithra around whom an important Roman cult existed. Sol Invicta was honored by Roman soldiers. Consus - God of Storebin of Harvested Grain. Juventas - Goddess of Young Manhood; related to Greek Hebe of Youthful Beauty. Janus - God of Beginnings and Gates; Solar God of Daybreak; Creator God.


Dates

The origins of Saturnalia, or celebrations around the Solstice, probably predate Roman society--if not recorded history. Most cultures in the Mediterranean had religious festivals around the Winter solstice. For millennia, ancient Egyptians celebrated the birth and rebirth of the sun at this time. The origins of the Roman Saturnalia seem to have been a harvest festival associated with late sowing and the Winter Solstice. The actual dates of Roman Saturnalia varied during the course of Roman history. Saturnalia during early Roman history as the feast days for God Saturn. During the Republic, celebrations for Saturn (December 17) and Ops (December 19) and were limited to 1 day of largely religious events. With the adoption of the Julian calendar, Saturnalia became December 17 & 18; Opalia on December 19 & 20. The Hellenizing of Saturn and religious observances associated with Saturn affected the largely agricultural associations. During the later Republican era and the Empire, Saturnalia was extended to a week (December 17-23); longer with other holidays. The actual winter solstice occurs on December 22. There were a number of associated Roman holiday festivals. This in large measure explains why December was selected by the early Church to celebrate Christmas. We are not sure how soecificallt Devember 25 was selected, but it seems to have been the end of Saturnalia.


Associated Roman Holiday Festivals

There were a number of associated Roman holiday festivals. Consualia, end of sowing season festival (December 15). Dies Juvenalis, Coming of Age for Young Men (mid-December). Feast of Sol Invicta, the Unconquered Sun, set in 274 A. D. (December 25). Brumalia, Winter Solstice on pre-Julian calendar (December 25). Christmas (December 25), Christians move Christ's birthday to this date in 336 A.D. Janus Day and Beginning of Calendar Year (January 1), set in 153 B.C.; again in 45 B.C. Compitalia, blessing of the fields rural festival (January 3-5).


Nature of Celebrations

Saturnalia until Victorian time largely influenced the nature of the celebration of Christmas. Perhaps the central feature of saturnalia was merry-making. This is of course a feature of modern Christmas, but Saturnalia merry making was much more exuberant, more like Madi Gras--and so was Christmas merry making until the Victorian era. In fact it was downright licentious that would be seen as extremely inappropriate if not sacrilegious in modern terms. The Romans gave themselves up to wild joy. They feasted, they indulged, they gave gifts, and they decorated their homes with greenery. One important feature of Roman Saturnalia was that The usual order of the year was suspended: grudges and quarrels forgotten; wars interrupted or delayed. Commercial activities, the law courts, the Senate, and more importantly for the children--schools closed. People of all classes, the rich and poor were considered equal. Slaves were actually served by masters (especially household slaves). Note that there was nothing like those in the plantation culture of the American South. Young children might head the family--important in patrician Rome. Cross-dressing and masquerades were extremely popular. In fact, merriment of all kinds occurred during the festival. Another popular feature was that a mock king--the Lord of Misrule--would be crowned. Candles and lamps chased away the spirits of evil and darkness--the origins of the candles so important in modern Christmas celebrations. As Roman culture became increasingly licentious, so did Saturnalia. Here we will not go into further detail, but one can well imagine what win on. This is one reason the New England Puritans actually wanted to prohibit the celebration of Christmas. Even so, Saturnalia featured mast aspects of our modern Christmas and New Year: rest and relaxation, event’s with family and friends, the beginning of the new Solar year, prayers for Winter crops, and the honoring of the pertinent deities. Notably, Saturnalia had none of the focus on childhood that our modern Christmas has. The association with childhood and a holiday where the central focus is on childhood is a Victorian innovation. Here there is little connection with either Saturnalia or the early Christian Church.


Impact of Saturnalia on Christmas and New Year

There are a large number of similarities with Saturnalia and the modern Christmas. The manifold similarities are so numerous that even the most religious cannot deny a relationship between Saturnalia and Christmas.

Boy Bishops: A popular custom in Medieval Europe was the selection of a Boy Bishop. This seems very similar to the Mock King or other topsy-turvy customs of Saturnalia.
Charity: Helping the less fortunate and other acts of charity were an element in Saturnalia. Class distinctions were suspended for the holidays--to a degree. All shared in the bountiful food--to some extent. The masters might wait on servants. We suspect that this was a custom for household servants and not those toiling in the great agricultural estates or mines.

Family: The family was very important for Saturnalia. The Romans might relax, or often party, with family and close friends. They would renew bonds, reminisce about old experiences, and share the celebration.

Feasting: Feasting was a very important part of Saturnalia as it is with modern Christmas. Sharing the bountiful harvest with family and friends was a central feature. Banquets abounded. In this respect there were similarities with Thanksgiving, but this is the case with modern Christmas as well. There was continual eating and drinking--and here alcoholic beverages especially wine was very important.

Figures: Today Americans honor Santa and Father Time. Europeans a host of other characters from Kris Kringle to Father Christmas. The Sovies had Father Frost. The more religious would think of the baby Jesus and the Holy Mother. The Roman figures were Saturn and Ops.

Flames: Flames, sacred and other wise, were an important feature of both Christmas and Saturnalia. Candles, Yule’s logs, and fire place hearths were kindled to drive off evil spirits and rekindle the new Solar year.

Gifts: Gifts and presents of all sorts were exchanged in Rome during Saturnalia. Dolls or more properly little images of clay bor pastery known as sigillaria were popular gifts to children. These were given to boys and girls. Candles or tapers and fruit were a popular gift to friends.

Greens: Greens were brought into the home as decorations. Here the mats available in winter had to be used. Holly was a favorite because of the colorful red berries. Evergreen boughs were also used. Both wreaths and garlands were widely used in Rome to decorate homes.

Holiday: Saturnalia was a public and commercial holiday. Time off was given from from work. The government, schools, businesses all closed. It was not just 1 day, but multiple dais holiday.

Merry making: Saturnalia was a period of good will and jollity. There was all kinds of merry making during Saturnalia. This continued as a central feature of Christmas until Victorian times. The words "jolly" and "merry" is a word that today is used almost exclusively in connection with Christmas--an indication of the degree to which the Victorians redid Christmas. There was exuberant if not licentious play. People participated in masquerades, gaming, gambling, jokes, partying, letting loose. The mock king custom was very popular and is the origin of the modern English word "mocking". There were paper or at least soft hats (pilei) worn at Saturnalia banquets to signify informality. Paper hats are in England an important feature of the family Christmas dinner and in America of New Year’s celebration’s. Note that while our Victorian sensibilities have removed the more ribald features from Christmas celebration, they continue even tis day with New Years. This is especially the case of a key feature of Saturnalia merry making--dancing. This os much more a feature of News Year. Another important aspect of Saturnalia merry making was music and this continues to be a key feature of Christmas.

Peace: The government to honor the holiday would commonly suspend punishments. Law courts would close. Wars r more likely battles might be suspended.

Religious celebration: Christmas is perceived at essence as a religious celebration, the spiritual community coming together to honor the reigning deities or deity. This has perhaps never been the case, It certainly was not for Saturnalia and it certainly is not for past or modern Christmases’.

http://histclo.com/act/holiday/xmas/holxp-sat.html
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 11:14:38 am »

Mistletoe
 
Mistletoe is especially interesting botanically because it is a partial parasite (a "hemiparasite"). As a parasitic plant, it grows on the branches or trunk of a tree and actually sends out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients. But mistletoe is also capable for growing on its own; like other plants it can produce its own food by photosynthesis. Mistletoe, however, is more commonly found growing as a parasitic plant. There are two types of mistletoe. The mistletoe that is commonly used as a Christmas decoration (Phoradendron flavescens) is native to North America and grows as a parasite on trees in the west as also in those growing in a line down the east from New Jersey to Florida. The other type of mistletoe, Viscum album, is of European origin. The European mistletoe is a green shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky berries which are considered poisonous. It commonly seen on apple but only rarely on oak trees. The rarer oak mistletoe was greatly venerated by the ancient Celts and Germans and used as a ceremonial plant by early Europeans. The Greeks and earlier peoples thought that it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs.
 
The Plant :
 
Mistletoe is especially interesting botanically because it is a partial parasite (a "hemiparasite"). As a parasitic plant, it grows on the branches or trunk of a tree and actually sends out roots that penetrate into the tree and take up nutrients. But mistletoe is also capable for growing on its own; like other plants it can produce its own food by photosynthesis. Mistletoe, however, is more commonly found growing as a parasitic plant. There are two types of mistletoe. The mistletoe that is commonly used as a Christmas decoration (Phoradendron flavescens) is native to North America and grows as a parasite on trees from New Jersey to Florida. The other type of mistletoe, Viscum album, is of European origin. The European mistletoe is a green shrub with small, yellow flowers and white, sticky berries which are considered poisonous. It commonly seen on apple but only rarely on oak trees. The rarer oak mistletoe was greatly venerated by the ancient Celts and Germans and used as a ceremonial plant by early Europeans. The Greeks and earlier peoples thought that it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs.
 
The Mistletoe Magic :
 
From the earliest times mistletoe has been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. It was considered to bestow life and fertility; a protection against poison; and an aphrodisiac. The mistletoe of the sacred oak was especially sacred to the ancient Celtic Druids. On the sixth night of the moon white-robed Druid priests would cut the oak mistletoe with a golden sickle. Two white bulls would be sacrificed amid prayers that the recipients of the mistletoe would prosper. Later, the ritual of cutting the mistletoe from the oak came to symbolize the emasculation of the old King by his successor. Mistletoe was long regarded as both a sexual symbol and the "soul" of the oak. It was gathered at both mid-summer and winter solstices, and the custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at Christmas is a survival of the Druid and other pre-Christian traditions. The Greeks also thought that it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs. In the Middle Ages and later, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits. In Europe they were placed over house and stable doors to prevent the entrance of witches. It was also believed that the oak mistletoe could extinguish fire. This was associated with an earlier belief that the mistletoe itself could come to the tree during a flash of lightning. The traditions which began with the European mistletoe were transferred to the similar American plant with the process of immigration and settlement.
 
Kissing under the mistletoe :
 
Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One belief was that it has power to bestow fertility. It was also believed that the dung from which the mistletoe would also possess "life-giving" power. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up. Later, the eighteenth-century English credited with a certain magical appeal called a kissing ball. At Christmas time a young lady standing under a ball of mistletoe, brightly trimmed with evergreens, ribbons, and ornaments, cannot refuse to be kissed. Such a kiss could mean deep romance or lasting friendship and goodwill. If the girl remained unkissed, she cannot expect not to marry the following year. In some parts of England the Christmas mistletoe is burned on the twelfth night lest all the boys and girls who have kissed under it never marry. Whether we believe it or not, it always makes for fun and frolic at Christmas celebrations. Even if the pagan significance has been long forgotten, the custom of exchanging a kiss under the mistletoe can still be found in many European countries as well as in Canada. Thus if a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, it is interpreted as a promise to marry, as well as a prediction of happiness and long life. In France, the custom linked to mistletoe was reserved for New Year's Day: "Au gui l'An neuf" (Mistletoe for the New Year). Today, kisses can be exchanged under the mistletoe any time during the holiday season.
 
The Legend :
 
For its supposedly mystical power mistletoe has long been at the center of many folklore. One is associated with the Goddess Frigga. The story goes that Mistletoe was the sacred plant of Frigga, goddess of love and the mother of Balder, the god of the summer sun. Balder had a dream of death which greatly alarmed his mother, for should he die, all life on earth would end. In an attempt to keep this from happening, Frigga went at once to air, fire, water, earth, and every animal and plant seeking a promise that no harm would come to her son. Balder now could not be hurt by anything on earth or under the earth. But Balder had one enemy, Loki, god of evil and he knew of one plant that Frigga had overlooked in her quest to keep her son safe. It grew neither on the earth nor under the earth, but on apple and oak trees. It was lowly mistletoe. So Loki made an arrow tip of the mistletoe, gave to the blind god of winter, Hoder, who shot it , striking Balder dead. The sky paled and all things in earth and heaven wept for the sun god. For three days each element tried to bring Balder back to life. He was finally restored by Frigga, the goddess and his mother. It is said the tears she shed for her son turned into the pearly white berries on the mistletoe plant and in her joy Frigga kissed everyone who passed beneath the tree on which it grew. The story ends with a decree that who should ever stand under the humble mistletoe, no harm should befall them, only a kiss, a token of love. What could be more natural than to translate the spirit of this old myth into a Christian way of thinking and accept the mistletoe as the emblem of that Love which conquers Death? Its medicinal properties, whether real or imaginary, make it a just emblematic of that Tree of Life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations thus paralleling it to the Virgin Birth of Christ.

Read more at http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/history/mistletoe.htm#aWHPGGvs1xy2lAyV.99
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 11:37:01 am »

The Ancient and Pagan Origin of Christmas

Most of the traditions we practice on December 25th have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus, which probably actually occurred in late summer or early fall. In fact, most of the customs and traditions of Christmas actually pre-date the birth of Jesus. Here are a few examples:

The date of December 25th probably originated with the ancient birthday of the son-god, Mithra, a pagan deity whose religious influence became widespread in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D. Mithra was related to the Semitic sun-god, Shamash, and his worship spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome was well-known for absorbing the pagan religions and rituals of its widespread empire. As such, Rome converted this pagan legacy to a celebration of the god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice period. The winter holiday became known as Saturnalia, and began the week prior to December 25th. The festival was characterized by gift-giving, feasting, singing and downright debauchery, as the priests of Saturn carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the Roman temples.

But after the conversion of emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. to Christianity, this new religion was spread throughout the empire and Mithraism, as St. Jerome reports, was forcefully subdued, especially in Rome and in Alexandria. In 376 A.D. Pope Leo destroyed the temple of Mithra. Despite that, the Mithraic festival of the birth of the Sun continued, as it was fun to be merry in the middle of the winter. It was not till the year 530 AD that the church commissioned the Monk Dionysius Exiguus to proclaim this popular time of the year as the birth of Christ. Constantine converted to Christianity, but he kept celebrating this pagan festival, and transformed it into the Christian holiday of Christmas.

Many of the symbols associated with the modern holiday of Christmas such as the burning of the Yule log, the eating of ham, the hanging of boughs, holly, mistletoe, etc. are apparently derived from traditional northern European Yule celebrations. When the first missionaries began converting the Germanic peoples to Christianity, they found it easier to simply provide a Christian reinterpretation for popular feasts such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, rather than trying to suppress them.

The use of evergreen trees during Christmas comes from Germany, where it was used in the Yule Time worship and celebration, as well as in observance of the resurrected sun god, and of the Winter Solstice. The evergreen represented life, and also was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship.

It was believed that the red berries of the holly was a symbol of the menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, Diana. The white berries of mistletoe were considered to be the droplets of the semen of the sun god. Branches of holly and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes, and it was believed that kissing beneath them will make the spirits of the god and goddess to enter one’s body and make them fertile.

The Scandinavian tradition of slaughtering a pig at Christmas, and not in the autumn, is evidence of this conversion. The tradition derives from the sacrifice to the god Freyr
at the Yule celebrations. Halloween and Easter are theorized to have been likewise assimilated from northern European pagan festivals.

English historian Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum ("Ecclesiastic History of the English People") contains a letter from Pope Gregory I to Saint Mellitus, who was then on his way to England to conduct missionary work among the heathen Anglo-Saxons. The Pope suggests that converting heathens is easier if they are allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditional pagan practices and traditions, while recasting those traditions spiritually towards the one true God, instead of to their pagan gods (whom the Pope refers to as "devils"), "to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God". The Pope sanctions such conversion tactics as Biblically acceptable, pointing out that God did much the same thing with the ancient Israelites and their pagan sacrifices.

Although the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ was superimposed upon ancient Pagan traditions, it does not, or should not, diminish the arrival of the "Prince of Peace", and his original message of tolerance, compassion, giving and peace. Who ever you worship, it is a time of joy, of giving, compassion, of praying for peace and of gift giving and celebration!


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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 11:50:20 am »

Yule-tide and its traditions, for the non-traditional

The wonderful thing about the winter solstice is the supremacy of light over darkness.

I do not mean this spiritually; I mean this literally. Midwinter descends into its nadir in the days prior to the celebration of Yule. It is a universal human desire to feel the sun on our faces; nothing creates a stronger desire for warmth than the chill of winter, which we feel most strongly around the darkest, longest days of the year.

In response to this need, numerous mid-winter celebrations sprang up across the darkest parts of the world, including places as far-flung from the expected Celtic and Norse countries as Japan and Viet Nam.
 
Like rivers flowing to the sea, many traditions have converged together to celebrate one day of the year, which those in the West typically (but reductively) think of as Christmas. Christmas, however, is only one of many mid-winter celebrations anticipating the resurgence of the sun.

The common thread that connects these traditions is the desire to banish the cold winter nights, hoping for spring to reemerge. To this end, most cultures evolved a worship of light, which meant candles, burning the ‘jul,’ or yule log, and large bonfires.

Most of these traditions, which, at one time, meant animal and/or human sacrifice, were incorporated and made less bloody by Christianity as it spread its influence. We have therefore inherited an amalgam of beliefs and behaviors, which is why we often have no idea why we do what we do (go to church and notice the pagan yule tree standing next to the altar, for example).
 
The traditions that most of us celebrate in the Northern climes involve some form of Germanic paganism, for example. We usually sit down to a groaning table of food while burning a yule log in the fireplace (or, we used to; now that fireplaces are  increasingly out of fashion, this happens less and less often, sadly).
 
Yule or Yule-tide (“Yule-time”) is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic people as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. The festival was placed on December 25 when the Christian calendar (Julian calendar) was adopted.
 
Terms with an etymological equivalent to “Yule” are still used in the Nordic Countries for the Christian Christmas, but also for other religious holidays of the season. In modern times this has gradually led to a more secular tradition under the same name as Christmas. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. In modern times, Yule is observed as a cultural festival and also with religious rites by some Christians and by some Neopagans.
 
Although nowadays many people like to reach back to the Greeks and Romans for the inception of what have become celebrations at Christmas-time, in fact, those of us in the West  celebrate more like Pagan Germanic tribes than the Greeks or the Romans. Roman Saturnalia, held in the weeks prior to December 23rd, deriving from Greek Kronia, the festival of Kronos, which became Roman Saturnus, or Saturn (Satan, once Christians got their hands on him) holds less sway over our imaginations now than the yule log or the ‘Christmas’ tree, brought in from the cold forest and bedecked with candles.
 
I don’t think you want to engage in this practice on Christmas day, for example:
 
In the Aegean civilizations, the exclusively female midwinter ritual, Lenaea or Lenaia, was the Festival of the Wild Women. In the forest, a man or bull representing the god Dionysus was torn to pieces and eaten by Maenads. Later in the ritual a baby, representing Dionysus reborn, was presented. Lenaion, the first month of the Delian calendar, derived its name from the festival’s name. By classical times, the human sacrifice had been replaced by that of a goat, and the women’s role had changed to that of funeral mourners and observers of the birth.

Wine miracles were performed by the priests, in which priests would seal water or juice in a room overnight and the next day they would have turned into wine. The miracle was said to have been performed by Dionysus and the Lenaians. By the 5th century BC the ritual had become a Gamelion festival for theatrical competitions, often held in Athens in the Lenaion theater. The festival influenced the ancient Roman Brumalia.
 
And I doubt this has much influence in your household:
 
Originally celebrated by the ancient Greeks as Kronia, the festival of Cronus, Saturnalia was the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of Saturn, which originally took place on 17 December, but expanded to a whole week, up to 23 December. A large and important public festival in Rome, it involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch set in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately.

The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves during this period. The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e., colorful, informal “dinner clothes” and the pileus (freedman’s hat) was worn by everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect.

The slaves celebrated a banquet before, with, or served by the masters. Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals which led to more tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and slaves ostensibly switch places, temporarily reversing the social order. In Greek and Cypriot folklore it was believed that children born during the festival were in danger of turning into Kallikantzaroi which come out of the Earth after the solstice to cause trouble for mortals. Some would leave colanders on their doorsteps to distract them until the sun returned.
 
This seems like a nice ritual, although, as with most traditions at mid-winter, there is a dark overtone, a fear of ghosts and spirits who must be banished along with the night:
 
Early Germans (c.500–1000) considered the Norse goddess, Hertha or Bertha to be the goddess of light, domesticity and the home. They baked yeast cakes shaped like shoes, which were called Hertha’s slippers, and filled with gifts. “During the Winter Solstice houses were decked with fir and evergreens to welcome her coming. When the family and serfs were gathered to dine, a great altar of flat stones was erected and here a fire of fir boughs was laid.

Hertha descended through the smoke, guiding those who were wise in saga lore to foretell the fortunes of those persons at the feast”.There are also darker versions of Perchta which terrorize children along with Krampus. Many cities had practices of dramatizing the gods as characters roaming the streets. These traditions have continued in the rural regions of the Alps, and various similar traditions, such as Wren day, survived in the Celtic nations until recently. This is commonly used in Holland.
 
Wren day looks like this, by the way:
 
For an unknown period, Lá an Dreoilín or Wren day has been celebrated in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Wales on December 26. Crowds of people, called wrenboys, take to the roads in various parts of Ireland, dressed in motley clothing, wearing masks or straw suits and accompanied by musicians supposedly in remembrance of the festival that was celebrated by the Druids. Previously the practice involved the killing of a wren, and singing songs while carrying the bird from house to house, stopping in for food and merriment.
 
Speaking of animals at mid-winter, one of the more interesting conflations of Santa Claus with animals involves the Swedish tradition of Jultomte (Father Christmas) being borne by a goat.

Its origins might go as far back as pre-Christian days, when the Norse god Thor rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats. During the 19th century the goats’ role shifted towards becoming the giver of Christmas gifts, in Finland as well as the rest of Scandinavia, with one of the men in the family dressing up as the Yule Goat. The goat was replaced by jultomte or julenisse (Father Christmas/Santa Claus) at the end of the century. Nowadays, all that remains of this tradition is the construction of the Yule Goat, made of straw.

The Yule goat, seen in the larger picture below in its city of creation, Gävle, Sweden, is usually burned down long before Christmas. This year, however, the citizens of Gävle are coming together to prevent the destruction of their Christmas symbol.

http://beyondthestarsastrology.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/yule-tide-and-its-traditions-for-those-who-question-tradition/
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 11:58:19 am »


Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen,


Yule Celebrations: Light the Fire!


I love the changing of the seasons, from spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter. We have just celebrated Samhain, the third of the Celtic autumn events, and can feel the first hints of winter drawing near: the shortening of the days, the graying of the skies and – for some of us – those first flakes of winter snow.
 
Earlier cultures described this time – the approach of The Longest Night, also known as the Winter Solstice or Yule – as the dying of the sun. However, on that night, something wonderful happens: the fading of the Sun appears to slow down and the light returns. Each day onward is just a little bit longer, a little bit brighter. Something to celebrate!
 
In many cultures, we see traditions of light and colour around the Winter Solstice: Christmas trees and candles, the lighting of the Menorah at Hanukkah, and the kinara candles at Kwanzaa, the Hindu celebration of Ganesh (the Pancha Ganapati). We also see the use of items celebrating the eternal concept of nature, those that thrive and survive through the bleak winters: roots and berries, fir boughs, mistletoe and holly. December 25th is also an important date in many ancient cultures: the Roman celebration of Mithras, the Egyptian celebration of Horus and the date Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
 
Our European ancestors – the Celts, the Nordics – lit fires at the Solstice to celebrate the returning of the light, bringing new growth and abundance. Many threw a giant log – the Yule Log in Nordic traditions – onto the hearth. Many of the earth-based spiritual traditions (Wiccan, Pagan, Celtic and more) were incorporated into the Christian Christmas traditions. For instance, the Christmas Tree was introduced back into England from Germany during Victorian times by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. The colours of Yule – red, gold, white, silver – are used as Christmas colours.
 
The Yule Log was also reintroduced into the western European culture: as a decorated log which would later be thrown on the fire, or as a decorated candle holder…or even the decorated chocolate cake treat presented at many a Christmas feast!

http://wildmoonevents.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/yule-celebrations-light-the-fire/
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 12:40:15 pm »

All of those celebrations are in opposition to what scripture says...

"Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep." Luke 6:25 (KJB)

"Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." James 4:9 (KJB)

29  But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
30  And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31  And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (KJB)
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 04:11:19 am »

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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 09:42:03 am »

Yeah - don't forget how this "Santa Claus" loves to be around kids - seriously, ANY adult that loves to be around little kids raises a BIG red flag right there!
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2013, 11:11:37 am »

More PROOF of the Lies that Xmas is founded upon

Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.


The evergreen tree was an ancient symbol of life in the midst of winter. Romans decorated their houses with evergreen branches during the New Year, and ancient inhabitants of northern Europe cut evergreen trees and planted them in boxes inside their houses in wintertime. Many early Christians were hostile to such practices. The second-century theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals, or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honor of the emperor:

"Let them over whom the fires of hell are imminent, affix to their posts, laurels doomed presently to burn: to them the testimonies of darkness and the omens of their penalties are suitable. You are a light of the world, and a tree ever green. If you have renounced temples, make not your own gate a temple."

But by the early Middle Ages, the legend had grown that when Christ was born in the dead of winter, every tree throughout the world miraculously shook off its ice and snow and produced new shoots of green. At the same time, Christian missionaries preaching to Germanic and Slavic peoples were taking a more lenient approach to cultural practices—such as evergreen trees. These missionaries believed that the Incarnation proclaimed Christ's lordship over those natural symbols that had previously been used for the worship of pagan gods. Not only individual human beings, but cultures, symbols, and traditions could be converted.

Of course, this did not mean that the worship of pagan gods themselves was tolerated. According to one legend, the eighth-century missionary Boniface, after cutting down an oak tree sacred to the pagan god Thor (and used for human sacrifice), pointed to a nearby fir tree instead as a symbol of the love and mercy of God.

Paradise trees
Not until the Renaissance are there clear records of trees being used as a symbol of Christmas—beginning in Latvia in 1510 and Strasbourg in 1521. Legend credits the Protestant reformer Martin Luther with inventing the Christmas tree, but the story has little historical basis.

The most likely theory is that Christmas trees started with medieval plays. Dramas depicting biblical themes began as part of the church's worship, but by the late Middle Ages, they had become rowdy, imaginative performances dominated by laypeople and taking place in the open air. The plays celebrating the Nativity were linked to the story of creation—in part because Christmas Eve was also considered the feast day of Adam and Eve. Thus, as part of the play for that day, the Garden of Eden was symbolized by a "paradise tree" hung with fruit.

These plays were banned in many places in the 16th century, and people perhaps began to set up "paradise trees" in their homes to compensate for the public celebration they could no longer enjoy. The earliest Christmas trees (or evergreen branches) used in homes were referred to as "paradises." They were often hung with round pastry wafers symbolizing the Eucharist, which developed into the cookie ornaments decorating German Christmas trees today.

The custom gained popularity throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, against the protests of some clergy. Lutheran minister Johann von Dannhauer, for instance, complained (like Tertullian) that the symbol distracted people from the true evergreen tree, Jesus Christ. But this did not stop many churches from setting up Christmas trees inside the sanctuary. Alongside the tree often stood wooden "pyramids"—stacks of shelves bearing candles, sometimes one for each family member. Eventually these pyramids of candles were placed on the tree, the ancestors of our modern Christmas tree lights and ornaments.

Nicholas and Wenceslas
It also took a long time for trees to become associated with presents. Though legend connects the idea of Christmas gifts with the gifts the Magi brought Jesus, the real story is more complicated. Like trees, gifts were first a Roman practice—traded during the winter solstice. As Epiphany, and later Christmas, replaced the winter solstice as a time of celebration for Christians, the gift-giving tradition continued for a while. By late antiquity it had died out, although gifts were still exchanged at New Year's.

Gifts were also associated with St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra (in modern-day Turkey), who became famous for giving gifts to poor children. His feast day (December 6) thus became another occasion for gift exchanges. During the early Middle Ages, Christmas gifts most often took the form of tributes paid to monarchs—although a few rulers used the holiday season as an opportunity to give to the poor or to the church instead (most notably Duke Wenceslas of Bohemia, whose story inspired the popular carol, and William the Conqueror, who chose Christmas 1067 to make a large donation to the pope).

Like trees, gifts came "inside" the family around the time of Luther, as the custom of giving gifts to friends and family members developed in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. Often these were given anonymously, or hidden. One Danish custom was to rewrap a gift many times with different names on each wrapper, so that the intended recipient was only discovered when all the layers were opened.

Victorian Christmas
In the English-speaking world, the union of gifts, trees, and Christmas was due to the influence of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, a native of Saxony (now part of Germany). German immigrants had brought the custom of Christmas trees with them in the early 1800s, but it spread widely after Victoria and Albert set up an elaborate tree for their children at Windsor Castle in 1841. At this point, Christmas presents were usually hung on the tree itself.

German and Dutch immigrants also brought their traditions of trees and presents to the New World in the early 1800s. The image of happy middle-class families exchanging gifts around a tree became a powerful one for American authors and civic leaders who wished to replace older, rowdier, and more alcohol-fueled Christmas traditions—such as wassailing—with a more family-friendly holiday. This family-centered image was widely popularized by Clement Moore's 1822 poem, known today as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" (which also helped give us our modern picture of Santa Claus).

As many of us make trees and gifts the center of our own Christmas practice, we would do well to remember that they are ultimately symbols of the One who gave himself to unite heaven and earth, and who brings all barren things to flower.


http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/thepastinthepresent/storybehind/whychristmastrees.html
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2013, 02:55:42 pm »

Proof? Don't know about that, but this particular article only hits on the latter evolution of the pagan practices of xmas celebrations. The Old Testament talks about pagan's decorating trees, and that was WAY before any pagans in Europe were doing because of some stupid songs in the 1800's.

1  Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3  For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5  They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
Jeremiah 10:1-5 (KJB)
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2013, 03:03:42 pm »

Proof? Don't know about that, but this particular article only hits on the latter evolution of the pagan practices of xmas celebrations. The Old Testament talks about pagan's decorating trees, and that was WAY before any pagans in Europe were doing because of some stupid songs in the 1800's.

1  Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2  Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3  For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5  They [are] upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also [is it] in them to do good.
Jeremiah 10:1-5 (KJB)


I used the word "proof" because they fully admit in the article that xmas was NOT celebrated by the early Church.

Quote
Many early Christians were hostile to such practices. The second-century theologian Tertullian condemned those Christians who celebrated the winter festivals, or decorated their houses with laurel boughs in honor of the emperor:

The article is very subtle but it does state how xmas is a lie.
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2013, 11:17:50 am »

Christmas Trees Are Not Pagan!
By Cris Putnam

Christmas is certainly not pagan. Sure, Jesus’ birth was probably in the Fall rather than December but the exact day is uncertain. Even so, Christmas is the celebration of the savior’s birth because that is when most all Christian churches celebrate.so if everyone jumped off a bridge?? of right, catholic... While some customs have a distant pagan origin, the idea that Christmas trees are pagan is almost certainly false. Jeremiah 10 describes fashioning Canaanite idols from fresh cut wood and precious metals. It has nothing to do with Christmas trees.

This so gets me so mad, as all these pagan xmas lovers ignore the verse right before this. Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, hello?? Dont do it, one example is dressing up a tree and bringing it in your house!!! DONT DO IT. that simple. Also those trees in Jer 10 are IDOLS, graven images, so are XMas trees. They are IDOLS. Do you get it now? Probably not, as catholics seem to have lost the second commandment some how...

There have been a myriad of customs in different cultures using holly and evergreen but there is not a discernable evolution from paganism to today’s Christmas tree from the ancient world. Christianity relegated pagan belief to the cultural dustbin and tree customs were sporadic and divergent until after the reformation. The modern tree began in sixteenth century Germany. The best evidence points to Martin Luther for popularizing the candle lit evergreen tree.[i ] As the reformation spread, so did Luther’s legacy. A popular artist, Carl Schwerdgeburth, painted a scene of Luther’s family around a candle-lit tree:

http://www.logosapologia.org/?p=5376

Thats all im posting of Chris's article, as all the articles above totally disprove this little piece. They were doing this LONG before Luther... als Chris is catholic
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2013, 12:36:11 pm »

Was at my church's annual xmas show yesterday morning(they do this once a year during their services) - suffice to say, the lyrics they put in are VERY subtle - on the whole, you would think it's Christian, but when you look at some of the lyrics closely, it is obvious they craftily throw in unbiblical stuff in there.

And yes, those xmas trees are idols, there's no other way to put it.
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 07:36:34 pm »

Christians promote “Coca Cola santa” for Christmas
http://ivarfjeld.com/2013/12/23/christians-promote-coca-cola-santa-for-christmas/
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2014, 12:57:13 pm »

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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2014, 04:27:31 pm »

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2014, 09:15:44 am »

How Did Christmas Become A Festival Of Greed?


For most people, Christmas is all about the presents. But how did such a supposedly sacred holiday become a festival of greed? Not many people know the history behind Christmas gift giving, and it will probably shock you. This year, Americans will spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 billion dollars on Christmas, but most people have no coherent explanation for why they are buying all of these gifts. Those that are Christian will tell you that they are doing it to celebrate the birth of Christ, but as you will see below, gift giving on this holiday originated long before Christ was born. Others will tell you that they are just following tradition, but most of them have absolutely no idea where the tradition of Christmas gift giving originally came from. And the truth is that most people simply don’t care about the history. They are just excited about all of the stuff that they are going to get on December 25th. But if you are curious to learn how Christmas became a festival of greed, just keep reading…

In early America, there was no Christmas gift giving. In fact, the Puritans greatly disapproved of celebrating the holiday, and in some areas the celebration of Christmas was actually banned by law.

For example, if you were caught celebrating Christmas in the state of Massachusetts from 1659 to 1681 you could be fined five shillings…

    On May 11, 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony legislature even went so far as to officially ban Christmas and gave anyone found celebrating it a fine of five shillings. The legislature stated the ban was needed “For preventing disorders arising in severall places within this jurisdiceon, by reason of some still observing such festivalls as were superstitiously kept in other countrys, to the great dishonnor of God & offence of others, it is therefore ordered … that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by for-bearing of labour, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

    The ban remained in place for 22 years until it was repealed in 1681 after a new surge of European immigrants brought a demand for the holiday. Even though the ban was lifted, Christmas was not warmly embraced by the puritans and it remained a dull and muted holiday over two centuries later.

But weren’t the Puritans Christians?

Didn’t they want to honor the Lord Jesus?

Of course they were Christians. They took their faith incredibly seriously. But they also knew their history a lot better than we do.

Most Christians do not realize this, but Christians did not celebrate anything in late December for the first 300 years after the time of Jesus. The only people that celebrated anything at that time were the pagans.

By now, most of you are probably aware of the great Roman celebration known as Saturnalia. But most people don’t know that our tradition of gift giving can be traced back to that holiday. The following is how Wikipedia describes this ancient pagan festival…

    Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, held on the 17th of December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to the 23rd of December. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it “the best of days.”

Most people do not realize this, but the priests of Saturn would even carry wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the pagan Roman temples.  These processions probably looked at least a little bit similar to our Christmas parades today.

So precisely who was Saturn? Here is more from Wikipedia…

    Saturn (Latin: Saturnus) is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth. Saturn is a complex figure because of his multiple associations and long history. He was the first god of the Capitol, known since the most ancient times as Saturnius Mons, and was seen as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. In later developments he came to be also a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury. In December, he was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. Saturn the planet and Saturday are both named after the god.

Eventually, the Romans began holding a festival at the end of Saturnalia on December 25th called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which means “the birthday of the unconquered sun”.  Throughout the empire, the “rebirth of the sun” was celebrated with great revelry.  The winter solstice was past and now the days were starting to get longer again.  It was a seemingly logical time to honor “the rebirth of the sun god”.

When the Roman Empire legalized Christianity in the early 4th century, the Roman government began to put a lot of pressure on church leaders to fit into the broader society. So eventually the birthday of the Son of God was moved to the time when the rest of society was celebrating “the rebirth of the sun god”.  December 25th was first celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in about 336 AD, and in the year 350 AD Pope Julius I officially decreed that Christians would celebrate that day from then on. At first, the new holiday was slow to be adopted by Christians and it was not widely observed until about the year 400.

And of course Jesus was not actually born in late December.  The evidence that we have indicates that he was most probably born in the fall during the Feast of Tabernacles.  The only reason people celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th today is because the Catholics of the 4th century wanted to appease the pagan Roman government and the pagan culture at large.

Over time, the practice of gift giving during late December faded, and by the early 19th century the big tradition was actually to open presents on New Year’s Day. But then merchants saw an opportunity. According to historians, advertisements for “Christmas presents” began appearing in newspapers in the United States in the 1820s…

    Buying gifts to celebrate Christmas is steeped in tradition, dating to the 1820s when newspapers began to advertise items for Christmas presents, according to the Connecticut Historical Society.

    “This holiday market place is part of the larger birth of the consumer culture that extends itself to all aspects of our social life,” said Leigh Eric Schmidt, author of “Consumer Rites” (Princeton University Press, 1995).

    Schmidt, a professor of religion at Princeton University in New Jersey, said if the nation had continued the practice of giving gifts only as mementos for New Year’s, Christmas would not have evolved into the huge retail venture it is today. There would have been more focus on the religious aspects of the holiday. But all that changed when gift-giving became a way to honor family relationships.

And at first, Christmas in America was nothing like the festival of greed that it is today.  Gifts were usually small, modest and personal. The following is one description of the tradition of Christmas gift giving during that era…

    In the 1820s, ’30s and ’40s merchants had noticed the growing role of gifts in the celebration of Christmas and New Year. Starting in the mid- to late- 1850s, imaginative importers, craftspersons and storekeepers consciously reshaped the holidays to their own ends even as shoppers elevated the place of Christmas gifts in their home holiday. However, for all the efforts of businessmen to exploit the season Americans persistently attempted to separate the influence of commerce from the gifts they gave.

    What emerged was a kind of dialogue between consumers and merchants. Many gift-givers, for instance, ranked handmade gifts over purchased or totally manufactured ones. Retailers responded by marketing partially assembled goods to which givers applied the finishing touches. Americans also moderated the relationship between commerce and giving by wrapping the gifts they gave. The custom had once been merely to give a gift unadorned and uncovered, but a present hidden in paper heightened the effect of the gesture, fixing the act of giving to a moment of revelation. Wrapping also helped designate an item as a gift. As gifts came increasingly from stores, factories and homes of cottage labourers, paper and string helped redefine an object to meet its social use. The commercial work comprehended the importance of this symbolic transformation of goods. Grander stores began to wrap gifts purchased from their stock in distinctive, coloured papers, tinsel cords and bright ribbons, as part of their delivery services. Thus, while paper might have blurred a present’s association with commerce in some cases, in others it advertised a material status associated with patronizing the ‘right’ store.

Over time, Christmas gifts came to be associated with a mythical gift giver in cultures all over the globe.

Of course in the United States this mythical gift giver is known as “Santa Claus”, but in other areas of the planet the traditions are very different…

    Current tradition in several Latin American countries (such as Venezuela and Colombia) holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children’s homes, a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States.

    In South Tyrol (Italy), Austria, Czech Republic, Southern Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, and Switzerland, the Christkind (Ježíšek in Czech, Jézuska in Hungarian and Ježiško in Slovak) brings the presents. Greek children get their presents from Saint Basil on New Year’s Eve, the eve of that saint’s liturgical feast. The German St. Nikolaus is not identical with the Weihnachtsmann (who is the German version of Santa Claus / Father Christmas). St. Nikolaus wears a bishop’s dress and still brings small gifts (usually candies, nuts, and fruits) on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht. Although many parents around the world routinely teach their children about Santa Claus and other gift bringers, some have come to reject this practice, considering it deceptive.

This article may upset some people because their Christmas traditions are so deeply cherished.

But there is no reason to be upset.

If you are going to do something, you should know why you are doing it.

Knowing our history empowers us to take control of our lives and to make better decisions.

As a Christian, I never knew any of the history behind Christmas when I was growing up.  So I could never explain the reasons for why I was doing the things that I was doing to others.

And no holiday should ever be a festival of greed.

So whatever you are celebrating this time of the year, make sure it is for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.


http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/christmas-become-festival-greed


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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2014, 08:59:45 pm »

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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2014, 06:38:01 am »

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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2014, 11:06:11 pm »

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« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2014, 03:03:31 am »



i get it but most folks cannot understand this message
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2014, 07:54:20 pm »

Yeah - don't forget how this "Santa Claus" loves to be around kids - seriously, ANY adult that loves to be around little kids raises a BIG red flag right there!

I get what you're saying with this, but Jesus let the little children come to Him:

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2015, 01:29:52 pm »

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« Reply #27 on: October 19, 2015, 02:56:32 pm »

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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2015, 01:18:55 am »

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=126151850207
Audio Inside Link: The Biblical Case Against Christmas: Evidence Weighed & Proper Approach Examined
Series:  STBC Radio  · 41 of 41
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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2015, 08:34:16 am »

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