As I knew it was likely to do, the Christmas issue has stirred a hornet’s nest of sorts, and although I chose not to post the comments informing me of my one way ticket to the depths of hell for uttering the word “Christmas”, I did post the comments I felt were honest, from the heart, and well-articulated.
Since it is evidently an issue with many, I will clarify my position on Christmas once and for all, just so there is no misunderstanding.
For me Christmas is neither about pomp, glut, or excess. For me Christmas is, and always has been a day of remembrance and gratitude and thankfulness. As I said in my previous post I know full well it is unlikely Jesus was born on December 25th, and my contemplation, reverence, and adoration of Christ is not reserved to one day a year either. It is a day like any other, but one in which I am more likely to consider the grandeur of God’s plan for mankind via the birth of Jesus, and do so for a protracted period of time.
I made rotisserie chicken, fingerling potatoes with garlic and rosemary, and some polenta for my wife and daughter. That’s as far as my Christmas celebration went, and I only did this because I had the day off work and I enjoy cooking.
That said, I’ve been having the “root of this and root of that” debate for far too long, and I’m getting a bit exasperated. Christianity is only 2000 years old. Jesus was born only 2000 years ago. There are a lot of things that have roots going back past 2000 years. It is oftentimes the selfsame individuals who point out the roots of Christmas that insist speaking in tongues is pagan because some African tribe practiced some strange form of mysticism, or laying hands on people is evil because some vicar instated it among some brown robed monks on Athos ages ago.
Everything can be used for either evil or good in this world of ours. There are people, people I’ve come in contact with and have had dealings with that even use the Word of God as a meat tenderizer rather than the healing and restorative balm it is.
Even something as innocuous as choosing to dress simply, and live simply can become the antithesis of simplicity, when one’s pride takes hold for having chosen simplicity when others have not.
Christmas was a day like any other. It has come and gone. It is what you and I chose to do on that day that is of import. Did you remember with fondness the birth of the Savior, did you spend time with your family and friends and consider all the wonderful things God has done in your life, or did you throw a hissy fit for not getting the thing you wanted, eat until you started to sweat, then pass out in front of seizure inducing blinking lights? Your choices are on you, your actions are your own, and some long dead tradition is not to blame for either your choices or your actions.
I understand some of you have strong opinions regarding this issue. I respect that. If it is something God stirred in you, then live your conviction. I know individuals who get convicted if they drink caffeine, others who get convicted if they eat pork, others still who get convicted if they wear shorts. These are all signs of individual covenant like Samson and his long hair. These are things that God speaks to us as individuals, and I have my own covenant with God to which I adhere, and it is a means by which I show my obedience and subservience.
My sign of covenant with God is not burdensome to me, but if I insisted that you adhere to it, it may be burdensome to you. Likewise, your sign of covenant might not be burdensome to you, but it may be burdensome to me if you insisted I adhere to.
There are the general rules to which we must all adhere. There are things that are clearly called sin within the Word; there are things that are clearly forbidden. Other things become issues of personal conviction, signs of covenant, and must remain individual issues, not made to be broad based law for all within the household of faith.
If I came off as short or ill-tempered in my previous post it was not my intent. However, please understand that I am daily bombarded with correspondence damning me to hell for going to church on Sunday because it has the word sun in it and that has its roots in Egyptian mythology having to do with the sun god and such, I get damned to hell for saying Jesus because it sounds like Zeus, and Zeus is the Greek god of thunder, and on, and on, and on, and it just gets tiresome getting damned to hell every other day.
There are YouTube zealots out there who have realized that the only way to have a platform, get an audience, and amass a following is to pick a niche, and beat that dead horse until there’s nothing left of it but bone. There are actually “internet prophets” insisting that the Bible is not the word of God, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Oddly enough, once these ‘movements’ get a little traction, you come to discover that the visionary, the man who saw the truth behind the veil of lies and exposed the insidiousness of saying ‘Jesus’ was nothing more than a huckster getting rich of the backs of the innocent and milking them for all they were worth, leaving behind a trail of people trying to pick up the broken pieces of their lives.
I have always been honest with you. I have always told you the truth even when the truth was hard, and preached Jesus to you unabashedly because He is the only way, they only truth, and the only life.
I have done my best to protect you from the wolves, and to the best of my ability have done so with love and patience. The only thing I’ve ever asked for in return were your prayers, and for those of you who pray for me, I thank you.
As I wrap up this protracted article the words of Jesus echo in my ears louder than ever, “for many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray.” He was referring to the last days, the selfsame days we are living in, and the only antidote to this onslaught is to stand firm on the foundation of truth that is the Word of God.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.