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    Hamza Asadullah's Avatar
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    Exclamation The Truth about Christmas

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    The Truth about Christmas


    The Christmas season has been aggressively promoted in every aspect of business, in schools, in every public place. High pressure sales tactics have invaded the home through television, radio, magazine and newspaper, captivating the imagination with every kind of attraction day and night for a month or more every year. Little wonder that many of those thus targeted so persistently succumb to temptation. Among earlier generations, Christmas was an occasion which was still basically religious in orientation. Gifts, trees, decorations and feasting assumed lesser roles. But now all of this has changed.

    As noted in an American publication, Christmas has gone the way of many other aspects of society, becoming one more element in the mass culture which every season enables manufacturers and merchants to make millions of dollars through an elaborate system of gift exchange which comes more often from mutual expectations that "must" be fulfilled than from the heart.

    The commonly accepted notion that happiness is derived largely from possessions and entertainment is the driving force behind the month-long preparations and festivities which continue on through the end of the year. This fact, although blameworthy in itself, has led many Muslims into the delusion that Christmas is no longer a religious occasion and therefore does not conflict with Islamic belief.

    The materialistic atmosphere surrounding the celebration of Christmas is, in reality, a manifestation of pagan culture at its worst. It can only be seen by the conscious Muslim believer as a rat-race designed and implemented by Shaytaan to accomplish a great waste of time, effort, money and resources while countless families barely subsist in a state of poverty throughout many areas of the world. In addition to the commercial side of Christmas, although less obvious to the casual observer, are certain religious aspects to be noted.

    The celebration was and still is intended by practising Christians as a remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) who is considered by many of them as God incarnate or the second person in a trinity, and thus they celebrate the birth of "divinity." The word itself is an abbreviated form of "Christ Mass," i.e., sacrament in commemoration of Christ. Although taken by Christians to be the birthday of Jesus, the actual date of celebration, December 25th, cannot be traced back any further than the fourth century after Christ.

    Ironically, this day is also considered to be the birthday of the Hindu god, Krishna, as well as Mithra, the Greek god of light. It also coincides with the annual Tree Festival which had long been celebrated in Northern Europe before the Christian era and which has been recently revived in some Arab countries in an attempt to encourage celebration by disguising the religious significance of the day.

    The Christmas tree is the most obvious aspect of that pagan celebration which was incorporated along with its date of observance, December 25th, into church rites. The evergreen tree, because it keeps its green needles throughout the winter months, was believed by pre-Christian pagans to have special powers of protection against the forces of nature and evil spirits. The end of December marked the onset of a visible lengthening of daylight hours - the return of warmth and light and defeat of those evil forces of cold and darkness. At a particular stage of its development, the church is known to have adopted certain of the popular pagan practices into Christianity for political or social reasons.

    Thus, in more aspects than one, the holiday is deeply rooted in the worship of different forms of creation rather than the Creator Himself.

    The true origins of Christmas and everything related to it

    Christmas as well as everything related to it has all come from roman pagan beliefs mainly from the roman pagan festival of Saturnalia. The Christmas tree came from Pagans who had long worshipped trees in the forest, or brought them into their homes and decorated them, and this observance was adopted and painted with a Christian veneer by the Church.

    The Origin of Mistletoe came from Norse mythology which recounts how the god Balder was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna. Druid rituals use mistletoe to poison their human sacrificial victim. The Christian custom of “kissing under” the mistletoe is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.

    The giving of Christmas Presents originated in pre-Christian Rome where the emperors compelled their most despised citizens to bring offerings and gifts during the Saturnalia (in December) and Kalends (in January). Later, this ritual expanded to include gift-giving among the general populace. The Catholic Church gave this custom a Christian flavor by re-rooting it in the supposed gift-giving of Saint Nicholas

    'Santa' was derived from a man named Nicholas was born in Parara, Turkey in 270 CE and later became Bishop of Myra. He was among the most senior bishops who convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and created the New Testament.

    In 1087, a group of sailors who idolized Nicholas moved his bones from Turkey to a sanctuary in Bari, Italy. There Nicholas supplanted a female boon-giving deity called The Grandmother, or Pasqua Epiphania, who used to fill the children's stockings with her gifts. The Grandmother was ousted from her shrine at Bari, which became the center of the Nicholas cult. Members of this group gave each other gifts during a pageant they conducted annually on the anniversary of Nicholas’ death, December 6.

    The Nicholas cult spread north until it was adopted by German and Celtic pagans. These groups worshipped a pantheon led by Woden –their chief god and the father of Thor, Balder, and Tiw. Woden had a long, white beard and rode a horse through the heavens one evening each Autumn. When Nicholas merged with Woden, he shed his Mediterranean appearance, grew a beard, mounted a flying horse, rescheduled his flight for December, and donned heavy winter clothing.

    In a bid for pagan adherents in Northern Europe, the Catholic Church adopted the Nicholas cult and taught that he did (and they should) distribute gifts on December 25th instead of December 6th.

    In 1809, the novelist Washington Irving (most famous his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle) wrote a satire of Dutch culture entitled Knickerbocker History. The satire refers several times to the white bearded, flying-horse riding Saint Nicholas using his Dutch name, Santa Claus.

    Dr. Clement Moore, a professor at Union Seminary, read Knickerbocker History, and in 1822 he published a poem based on the character Santa Claus: “Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in the hope that Saint Nicholas soon would be there…” Moore innovated by portraying a Santa with eight reindeer who descended through chimneys.

    The Bavarian illustrator Thomas Nast almost completed the modern picture of Santa Claus. From 1862 through 1886, based on Moore’s poem, Nast drew more than 2,200 cartoon images of Santa for Harper’s Weekly. Before Nast, Saint Nicholas had been pictured as everything from a stern looking bishop to a gnome-like figure in a frock. Nast also gave Santa a home at the North Pole, his workshop filled with elves, and his list of the good and bad children of the world. All Santa was missing was his red outfit.

    In 1931, the Coca Cola Corporation contracted the Swedish commercial artist Haddon Sundblom to create a coke-drinking Santa. Sundblom modeled his Santa on his friend Lou Prentice, chosen for his cheerful, chubby face. The corporation insisted that Santa’s fur-trimmed suit be bright, Coca Cola red. And Santa was born – a blend of Christian crusader, pagan god, and commercial idol.

    It is also believed that Christmas' date was chosen to take advantage of the imperial holiday of the birth of the Sun God Mithras and the pagan festival of Saturnalia which was thought to have been taken over by Christians leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

    The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

    One should always look properly into the origins of any festival or celebration because knowledge is the key to clarification on any matter and without it we will remain lost and confused.

    Sources:

    http://www.dawanet.com/nonmuslim/intro/xmas/xmas1.html

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm


    The following statements in the Bible are attributed to Jesus Christ proving that God is one:


    "My Father is greater than I." [The Bible, John 14:28]

    "My Father is greater than all." [The Bible, John 10:29]

    "…I cast out devils by the Spirit of God…." [The Bible, Mathew 12:28]

    "…I with the finger of God cast out devils…." [The Bible, Luke 11:20]

    "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." [The Bible, John 5:30]


    Have a look at a few of these links for your own knowledge:


    How The Bible Led Me To Islam Recommended

    http://www.islamicboard.com/discover...-me-islam.html


    Very Useful Threads For Those Looking Into Islam, Some Amazing threads for those looking into Islam!!!

    http://www.islamicboard.com/discover...nto-islam.html


    Brilliant "proof Of Islam" Lectures By Abdul Rahman Green

    http://www.islamicboard.com/discover...man-green.html


    ISLAM IS THE TRUTH - Older Manuscripts found in Palestine says that Jesus Christ (A) is NOT a God!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flafC8VDhms


    See why they converted to Islam:

    http://forum.mpacuk.org/showthread.php?t=44218
    Last edited by Hamza Asadullah; 12-23-2010 at 11:32 PM.
    The Truth about Christmas

    Everything you need to make this the best Ramadan EVER!

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    Zafran's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    salaam

    regardless of what people think - its quite clear that christmas has become less about christ and more about - Trees, presents, business, consumerism and parties. The religious aspect is nowhere to be seen.

    peace.
    The Truth about Christmas

    Do you think the pious don't sin?

    They merely:
    Veiled themselves and didn't flaunt it
    Sought forgiveness and didn't persist
    Took ownership of it and don't justify it
    And acted with excellence after they had erred - Ibn al-Qayyim

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    You didn't cite any sources about your historical information. I would like to find out how it is that the Norse legend of mistletoe being used like kryptonite to kill Baldur in a scheme by Loki somehow ended up spawning a tradition of kissing beneath the plant on certain holidays. (Interestingly, the mistletoe was not used in the legend as poison but as a throwing object: go figure.) It is true that December 25th is the day because of Mithraism's sol invictus day (meaning invincible or unconquered sun, a title Mithras went by) but this is simply because Emperor Constantine merged the two holidays into the same day so as to help reduce tension between Christians and Mithraists in the Roman Empire. Also, when you say that evergreen trees were supposed to ward off evil, are you sure you don't mean holly? Because that's the only Christmas-related tree of that sort that I know of. (Holly was often said to do that by many ancient people, though there were also medieval legends of witches living in holly forests. The word has the same root as "holy".)
    The Truth about Christmas

    Peace be to any prophets I may have mentioned above. Praised and exalted be my Maker, if I have mentioned Him. (Come to think of it praise Him anyway.)

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    Hamza Asadullah's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Yahya Sulaiman View Post
    You didn't cite any sources about your historical information. I would like to find out how it is that the Norse legend of mistletoe being used like kryptonite to kill Baldur in a scheme by Loki somehow ended up spawning a tradition of kissing beneath the plant on certain holidays. (Interestingly, the mistletoe was not used in the legend as poison but as a throwing object: go figure.) It is true that December 25th is the day because of Mithraism's sol invictus day (meaning invincible or unconquered sun, a title Mithras went by) but this is simply because Emperor Constantine merged the two holidays into the same day so as to help reduce tension between Christians and Mithraists in the Roman Empire. Also, when you say that evergreen trees were supposed to ward off evil, are you sure you don't mean holly? Because that's the only Christmas-related tree of that sort that I know of. (Holly was often said to do that by many ancient people, though there were also medieval legends of witches living in holly forests. The word has the same root as "holy".)
    Asalaamu Alaikum, i apologise i have now updated the article with the two sources that i used to compile the article together.
    The Truth about Christmas

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    Grace Seeker's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    There is a lot of material presented as fact in your post. Some things can be substantiated, the contributions by Moore and Nash to the present Santa cult for instance. Other things I think are at best hypothesis -- for instance I have never heard before that the Catholic church actually taught gifts should be given on December 25 rather than December 6. And a whole lot of other things that have become part of modern practices associated with the holiday are also lost in the annuals of time.

    But on one point you and I strongly agree:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamza81 View Post
    The materialistic atmosphere surrounding the celebration of Christmas is, in reality, a manifestation of pagan culture at its worst.
    This materialistic atmosphere has indeed become the very worst aspect of the modern celebration of Christmas. It has nothing to do with the genuine meaning behind Christmas either. Christmas isn't about buying and selling. It isn't about getting at all. It is about a single gift, God's gift to humanity. That get lost in all of the other stuff that clutters up Christmas these days. And those who miss it are really just celebrating a secular holiday. Devoid of the message of God's love and his incarnation among us, this secular Christmas truly is exactly what Webster's dictionary lists as it's #2 definition for the word pagan: "one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person."
    Last edited by Grace Seeker; 12-23-2010 at 11:56 PM.

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    Hamza Asadullah's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    I have never heard before that the Catholic church actually taught gifts should be given on December 25 rather than December 6.
    Wikipedia also confirms this with many referances:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas
    The Truth about Christmas

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamza81 View Post
    Wikipedia also confirms this with many referances:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas

    Where?

    The article talks about the various origins of the modern Santa cult. And I know that Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra is a key figure in it. (The only one worth emulating in my consideration.) And I know that December 6 is recognized as his feast day in the Catholic Church and that in many places of the world it is celebrated as a day to give gifts to children. All these things I know beforereading the article.

    But, even after reading it, I don't see where the Catholic Church is ever to have taught to transfer this practice from one day of the calendar year to another.

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    Watcher888's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Is there any instruction to celebrate Christmas at all?

    I don't think the bible says to do so!

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher888 View Post
    Is there any instruction to celebrate Christmas at all?

    I don't think the bible says to do so!

    No. The Bible doesn't speak of celebrating any particular date, other than the Jew's annual celebration of their escape from slavery in Egypt.


    Christmas means "Christ's mass." It is common for the Catholic Church to hold a mass in honor of many people. Even today, in the Catholic Church, when a person dies, Catholic families will ask their local priest to hold a mass in honor of their loved one. This is usually the funeral service, but may be held at other times as well. In the case of notable figures from the history of the church, there are annual feast days of celebration. So, certainly it is no surprise then that the central figure of the Church, Jesus Christ, should have a mass celebrated in honor of him. Indeed, all masses are centered on him, for they are at their core a sacrament celebrating his death and resurrection.

    When did the celebration of the specific mass for Christ start? We don't know exactly. The first recorded celebration of Christmas (with a December 25 date) appears in 336 AD. But there is actually history that goes back even before that:

    The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. About A.D. 200,Clement of AlexandriaStromata I.21) says that certain theologians"over curiously" assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ's birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). With Clement's evidence may be mentioned the "De paschæ computus", written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P.L., IV, 963 sqq.), which places Christ's birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created. But Lupi has shown (Zaccaria, Dissertazioni ecc. del p. A.M. Lupi, Faenza, 1785, p. 219) that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ's] birth.

    (source: New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia

    Actually, much of the information provided by Hamza81 is substantially correct. It is mostly in the connotations that are implied by his wording that I've alluded to already that I take umbrage. But then again, his sources are non-Christian sources that seem to me to be desiring to put down and ridicule Christmas. So, the tone is not unanticipated. Allow me to provide the same information from a Christian source:

    Today is Christmas day (Christ's mass). But for the first 300 years of Christianity, it wasn't so. When was Christmas first celebrated? In an old list of Roman bishops, compiled in A. D. 354 these words appear for A.D. 336: "25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae." December 25th, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea. This day, December 25, 336, is the first recorded celebration of Christmas.

    For the first three hundred years of the church's existence, birthdays were not given much emphasis--not even the birth of Christ. The day on which a saint died was considered more significant than his or her birth, as it ushered him or her into the kingdom of heaven. Christ's baptism received more attention than his birthday in the January 6th feast of Epiphany.

    No one knows for sure on what day Christ was born. Dionysus Exiguus, a sixth century monk, who was the first to date all of history from December 25th, the year of our Lord 1. Other traditions gave dates as early as mid-November or as late as March. How did Christmas come to be celebrated on December 25th? Cultures around the Mediterranean and across Europe observed feasts on or around December 25th, marking the winter solstice. The Jews had a festival of lights. Germans had a yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow. At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts. At some point, a Christian bishop may have adopted the day to keep his people from indulging in the old pagan festival.

    Historian William J. Tighe offers a different view, however. When a consensus arose in the church to celebrate Christ's conception on March 25th, it was reasonable to celebrate his birth nine months later.

    Many of the pagan customs became associated with Christmas. Christian stories replaced the heathen tales, but the practices hung on. Candles continued to be lit. Kissing under the mistletoe remained common in Scandinavian countries. But over the years, gift exchanges became connected with the name of St. Nicholas, a real but legendary figure of 4th century Lycia (a province of Asia). A charitable man, he threw gifts into homes.

    Around the thirteenth century, Christians added one of the most pleasant touches of all to Christmas celebration when they began to sing Christmas carols.

    No one is sure just when the Christmas tree came into the picture. It originated in Germany. The 8th century English missionary, St. Boniface, Apostle to Germany, is supposed to have held up the evergreen as a symbol of the everlasting Christ. By the end of the sixteenth century, Christmas trees were common in Germany. Some say Luther cut the first, took it home, and decked it with candles to represent the stars. When the German court came to England, the Christmas tree came with them.

    Puritans forbade Christmas, considering it too pagan. Governor Bradford actually threatened New Englanders with work, jail or fines if they were caught observing Christmas.

    In 1843, in Victorian England, Charles Dickens published his novelette "A Christmas Carol." It became one of the most popular short works of fiction ever penned. Although the book is more a work of sentiment than of Christianity, it captures something of the Christmas spirit. The tightfisted grump, Ebenezer Scrooge, who exclaimed "humbug!" at the mention of Christmas, is contrasted with generous merry-makers such as his nephew, Fred and with the struggling poor, symbolized by Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. The book's appeal to good works and charitable contributions virtually defines Christmas in English-speaking lands.
    Whatever the ins and outs of Christmas, we are still unwrapping the gift of God's Son--and what an incentive to generosity and joy that gift is!

    (source: "The 1st Recorded Celebration of Christmas" by Dan Graves in Church History Timeline

    For some, reading this will confirm what Hamza81 has said, Christmas is nothing more than something of pagan origin. You won't be surprised that my way of looking at it is the reverse. Under the influence of the church, Christian traditions replaced pagan solstice festivals throughout Europe. Often the more innocent pagan practices (such as bringing in a Yule log, decorating with holly and the like) were carried over into the Christmas observance, but transfigured with new meaning. In my opinion, every religion has some elements of this in them in which that it takes items that were practiced by the culture of the people who have adopted this new religion and then (using a Christian term to describe the process) baptizes them with new meaning or intent and thus adopts them into their new religious celebrations.


    With regard to the origin of the date of the celebration being set for December 25 I share a rather long and involved article for those who care to bother with it:
    ORIGIN OF DATE


    The gospels
    Concerning the date of Christ's birth the Gospels give no help; upon their data contradictory arguments are based. The census would have been impossible in winter: a whole population could not then be put in motion. Again, in winter it must have been; then only field labour was suspended. But Rome was not thus considerate. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season.


    Zachary's temple service
    Arguments based on Zachary's temple ministry are unreliable, though the calculations of antiquity (see above) have been revived in yet more complicated form, e.g. by Friedlieb (Leben J. Christi des Erlösers, Münster, 1887, p. 312). The twenty-four classes of Jewish priests, it is urged, served each a week in the Temple; Zachary was in the eighth class, Abia. The Temple was destroyed 9 Ab, A.D. 70; late rabbinical tradition says that class 1, Jojarib, was then serving. From these untrustworthy data, assuming that Christwas born A.U.C. 749, and that never in seventy turbulent years the weekly succession failed, it is calculated that the eighth class was serving 2-9 October, A.U.C. 748, whence Christ's conceptionfalls in March, and birth presumably in December. Kellner (op. cit., pp. 106, 107) shows how hopeless is the calculation of Zachary's week from any point before or after it.


    Analogy to Old Testament festivals
    It seems impossible, on analogy of the relation of Passover and Pentecost to Easter and , to connect the Nativity with the feast of Tabernacles, as did, e.g., Lightfoot (Horæ Hebr, et Talm., II, 32), arguing from Old Testament prophecy, e.g. Zacharias 14:16 sqq.; combining, too, the fact of Christ's death in Nisan with Daniel's prophecy of a three and one-half years' ministry (9:27), he puts the birth in Tisri, i.e. September. As undesirable is it to connect 25 December with the Eastern (December) feast of Dedication (Jos. Ant. Jud., XII, vii, 6).


    Natalis Invicti
    The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism, see Cumont's epoch-making "Textes et Monuments" etc., I, ii, 4, 6, p. 355. Mommsen (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 12, p. 338) has collected the evidence for the feast, which reached its climax of popularity under Aurelian in 274. Filippo del Torre in 1700 first saw its importance; it is marked, as has been said, without addition in Philocalus' Calendar. It would be impossible here even to outline the history of solar symbolism and language as applied to God the Messiah, and Christ in Jewish or Christian canonical, patristic, or devotional works. Hymns and Christmas offices abound in instances; the texts are well arranged by Cumont (op. cit., addit. Note C, p. 355).

    The earliest rapprochement of the births of Christ and the sun is in Cyprian, "De pasch. Comp.", xix, "O quam præclare providentia ut illo die quo natus est Sol . . . nasceretur Christus." — "O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born . . . Christ should be born."

    In the fourth century, Chrysostom, "del Solst. Et Æquin." (II, p. 118, ed. 1588), says: "Sed et dominus noster nascitur mense decembris . . . VIII Kal. Ian. . . . Sed et Invicti Natalem appelant. Quis utique tam invictus nisi dominus noster? . . . Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est Sol iustitiæ." — "But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December . . . the eight before the calends of January [25 December] . . ., But they call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord] . . .? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice."

    Already Tertullian (Apol., 16; cf. Ad. Nat., I, 13; Orig. c. Cels., VIII, 67, etc) had to assert that Sol was not the Christians' God; Augustine (Tract xxxiv, in Joan. In P.L., XXXV, 1652) denounces the heretical identification of Christ with Sol.

    Pope Leo I(Serm. xxxvii in nat. dom., VII, 4; xxii, II, 6 in P.L., LIV, 218 and 198) bitterly reproves solar survivals —Christians, on the very doorstep of the Apostles' basilica, turn to adore the rising sun. Sun-worship has bequeathed features to modern popular worship in Armenia, where Christians had once temporarily and externally conformed to the cult of the material sun (Cumont, op. cit., p. 356).

    But even should a deliberate and legitimate "baptism" of a pagan feast be seen here no more than the transference of the date need be supposed. The "mountain-birth" of Mithra and Christ's in the "grotto" have nothing in common:Mithra'sadoring shepherds (Cumont, op. cit., I, ii, 4, p. 304 sqq.) are rather borrowed from Christian sources than vice versa.


    Other theories of pagan origin
    The origin of Christmas should not be sought in the Saturnalia (1-23 December) nor even in the midnight holy birth at Eleusis (see J.E. Harrison, Prolegom., p. 549) with its probable connection through Phrygia with the Naasene heretics, or even with the Alexandrian [ceremonyquoted above; nor yet in rites analogous to the midwinter cult at Delphi of the cradled Dionysus, with his revocation from the sea to a new birth (Harrison, op. cit., 402 sqq.).


    The astronomical theory
    Duchesne (Les origines du culte chrétien, Paris, 1902, 262 sqq.) advances the "astronomical" theory that, given 25 March as Christ's death-day [historically impossible, but a tradition old as Tertullian (Adv. Jud., 8)], the popular instinct, demanding an exact number of years in a Divine life, would place His conception on the same date, His birth 25 December. This theory is best supported by the fact that certain Montanists SozomenChurch History VII.18 kept Easteron 6 April; both 25 December and 6 January are thus simultaneously explained. The reckoning, moreover, is wholly in keeping with the arguments based on number and astronomy and "convenience", then so popular. Unfortunately, there is no contemporary evidence for the celebration in the fourth century of Christ's conceptionon 25 March.


    Conclusion
    The present writer in inclined to think that, be the origin of the feast in East or West, and though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too.

    (source: New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    ^
    Thank you for sharing, Grace Seeker. Very interesting!
    The Truth about Christmas

    Peace
    glo

    Here I stand.
    I can do no other.
    May God help me.
    Amen.

    Come, let us worship and bow down •
    and kneel before the Lord our Maker

    [Psalm 95]


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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    This materialistic atmosphere has indeed become the very worst aspect of the modern celebration of Christmas. It has nothing to do with the genuine meaning behind Christmas either

    what is the genuine meaning behind Christmas? that a middle eastern God was born to a 12 year old?
    The Truth about Christmas

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    Exclamation Almost all aspects of Christmas coming from Paganism

    The following is from a Christian source confirming that almost every aspect of Christmas comes from Paganism including the date of the 25th of December to Santa claus himself:

    In ancient times many cultures worshiped their deities around the time of the winter solstice. From their celebrations comes not only the date when we celebrate Christmas, but also many of our holiday traditions. First recorded before the times of Christ were the Babylonians, who worshiped the sun god Isis, annually on December 25. Later Romans designated December 25 as the day of their celebration. On this day, they honored, not only Saturn, the deity of agriculture, but also the birthday of Mithras the sun god. Meanwhile on that same day, the people of northern Europe celebrated Yule, also in honor of their sun god Mithras.

    During Jesus’ time, worship of Mithras continued to be popular in Rome. After Jesus’ death, Christianity began to replace pagan religions. However, many pagan converts to Christianity refused to discontinue their pagan practices. Many of these Christians worshipped Mithras on Sunday (named after the sun god), and attended the annual feast. Sighting this as a problem, church leaders decided to Christianize pagan customs, in order to attract pagans and allow converts to observe their old traditions in a godly fashion.

    In 321, the Roman Emperor Constantine gave Christianity freedom in Rome. Later in 336AD, Christians unofficially replaced the pagan Roman holiday with a celebration honoring Christ’s birth. Pope Julius, who designated December 25 as the official celebration of Christ’s birth, followed this up in 350AD. This holiday became known as Christmas, or the Mass of Christ.

    Christmas soon spread to other countries beyond Rome. In 432AD it had reached Egypt; during the 6th century, England was observing Christmas and by the 8th century, Scandinavia practiced it. However, the Greek Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox Church, refused to recognize Christmas as a Christian holiday because of its pagan origin. Instead they chose to celebrate the Epiphany also known as Three Kings Day, which honored the visitation of the magi to Jesus.

    Although Christianity has its basic origin in pagan holidays and early church history, the American celebration, as we know it today, has transformed over the years. Santa Claus, who is such a huge part of our Christmas celebration, originated long ago. In ancient Egypt they believed in Bes, a deity who supposedly gave presents to children who were good. Later the Romans had a similar belief in which Saturn brought everyone gifts in December. During the 4th century a bishop in Turkey by the name of Nicholas was known for his generosity specifically toward three poor, dowriless girls. After the bishop’s death his story changed over the years and eventually developed into the modern day Santa Claus.

    The rather amusing practice of kissing under mistletoe came from the Norse and Romans. During their annual festivals both hung mistletoe in honor of their sun gods. Kissing under it was considered worship and the tradition has carried over into modern day.

    Our most common tradition, the Christmas tree comes from the Romans. In honor of their god Mithras, they cut down trees and decorated them as Jeremiah mentions in Jeremiah 10: 3-4, “For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.” The decorated trees symbolized life and fertility but as Christmas replaced the Roman celebration the meaning changed to eternal life through Christ.

    The practice of putting lights on the tree came from Martin Luther. One night as Luther was walking home he was inspired by the moonlight shining through the boughs of a fir tree. Once he arrived home he put candles in his Christmas tree. This came to symbolize Jesus being the Light of the World.

    Wreaths are also associated with the Romans. Shaped like a circle, they represented the sun. Through wreaths, Romans thanked the sun for their ability to survive due to its warmth, but much like the Christmas tree the church changed the meaning to signify eternal life and God’s infinite love.

    Source: http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/ess...2christmas.htm


    As a so called religious celebration Christmas has been banned several times in history because of the fact that it had no religious significance and began from paganism.

    The fact is that every almost every aspect of Christmas is adapted from Paganism and it is no justification to say that it took over Pagan festivals when in fact almost all aspects of Christmas still represent paganism.

    The biggest adaptation from Paganism in Christianity is worshipping a man calling him God when Jesus nor the Biblical scriptures prove otherwise. Jesus called for monothiesm and for the worship of one God but through Paganism he was eventually worshipped as God himself.

    Both the Noble Quran and the Bible confirm that GOD Almighty is an Absolute One and only One:

    "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. (The Noble Quran, 112:1-4)"

    "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4)"

    "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (From the NIV Bible, Mark 12:29)"

    ""Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good–except God alone." Mark 10:18
    The Truth about Christmas

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamza81 View Post
    The Truth about Christmas

    In 1809, the novelist Washington Irving (most famous his The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle) wrote a satire of Dutch culture entitled Knickerbocker History. The satire refers several times to the white bearded, flying-horse riding Saint Nicholas using his Dutch name, Santa Claus.
    Claus is Deutsche (German) name, not Dutch (Holland) name. But if Mr.Claus move to Holland his name turn into Mr.Klaas. That's why Dutch people named their Santa Claus as "Sinterklass".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas

    Different than modern Santa Claus in American version, Sinterklass dressed like Bishop and has an assistant named "Zwarte Piet" (Black Pete). Zwarte Piet duty is punish naughty children.

    When I was kid, Sinterklaas always came with Zwarte Piet. But started since few years ago Sinterklaas always comes to Indonesia alone. I heard that's because some people regard Zwarte Piet figure as symbol of racism.

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    All of the arguments for the pagan origins of Christmas essentially boil down to the following formula: during ancient times pagans did XYZ, today Christians do XYZ at Christmas, therefore Christmas is of pagan origins.

    One could substitute almost anything in for XYZ of course (that's the purpose of such a variable); XYZ could stand for holding a celebration on December 25, or erecting a tree, exchanging gifts or the arrival of a Santa-type character.

    And it looks so good that we might be ready to buy the argument. But what if we really substituted anything for XYZ, what would this wonderful logic produce if extended to other things? During ancient times nearly all pagans were known to breathe air and eat food. Therefore anyone who does these things today must be a pagan. Ridiculous isn't it?

    Why it would be like observing that once in ancient times the Arabs used to engage in an annual pilgrimage to Mecca where they would walk around the Kabah in which idols had been placed and thereby somehow arrive at the conclusion that because of the similarity of some of these practices that anything that today resembled that practice must be of pagan origin. That conclusion would also, IMO, be ridiculous. But for those who think that logic of a pagan origin to Christmas is so impeccable, I'll not dispute you; rather I just invite you to look in a mirror.

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Nice try as always Seeker but ouch you fall short with gross under education in theology.. or perhaps have it but prefer those old missionary ways of hiding the truth in hopes others are plain ignorant as the crowd you undoubtedly head in your church?!..

    Ancient Arabs when circumambulating around the Ka'aba were in fact emulating Abraham (p) for he is the one who built the house, the fact that they put idols doesn't detract from the roots of the act.. so when Muslims perform Hajj they're not keeping with a Pagan tradition rather an Abrahamic one...


    the analogy is a sad one, and doesn't detract from the paganistic roots of Christianity.. which aren't simply contingent on the stolen ankh and the winter solstice, but idol worship which I think is worst of all!

    all the best
    The Truth about Christmas

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    All of the arguments for the pagan origins of Christmas essentially boil down to the following formula: during ancient times pagans did XYZ, today Christians do XYZ at Christmas, therefore Christmas is of pagan origins.

    One could substitute almost anything in for XYZ of course (that's the purpose of such a variable); XYZ could stand for holding a celebration on December 25, or erecting a tree, exchanging gifts or the arrival of a Santa-type character.

    And it looks so good that we might be ready to buy the argument. But what if we really substituted anything for XYZ, what would this wonderful logic produce if extended to other things? During ancient times nearly all pagans were known to breathe air and eat food. Therefore anyone who does these things today must be a pagan. Ridiculous isn't it?

    Really?

    Are you that desperate to defend christmas, which Jesus NEVER taught, NEVER asked to do, and in fact in many bible verses the pagan festive celebrations like christmas are CONDEMNED by God and by jesus pbuh?

    And while facts have been presented, even by christian scholars, that christmas did indeed take from many various pagan elements and celebrations, not only you refuse them, but you went so far to make an analogy with breathing air and eating food. Did it never occur to you how silly that would make you (and your argument)?

    when a modern day pastor even defend pagan celebration sacrificing Jesus message and bible verses, you only wonder what else have previous priests and rabbis done to change the true message of Jesus.

    What do you like so much about pagan celebrations?
    Because it gives you warm fuzzy feelings?
    Last edited by Ramadhan; 12-28-2010 at 12:29 AM.

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    What do you like so much about pagan celebrations?
    Because it gives you warm fuzzy feelings?
    They give me warm fuzzy feelings. I love them. My son is still reveling in the fun he had on Christmas, and I have extremely fond memories of Christmas from my childhood.

    I don't care what their origins were. The only thing I care about is what we currently make of them.

    Think of, oh say..... potatoes. Potatoes are grown in the ground and their growth is often aided with manure. Despite where they come from, though, I know that once I get hold of it it turns into something tasty.

    Ancient Arabs when circumambulating around the Ka'aba were in fact emulating Abraham (p) for he is the one who built the house, the fact that they put idols doesn't detract from the roots of the act.. so when Muslims perform Hajj they're not keeping with a Pagan tradition rather an Abrahamic on
    Only Muslims believe that, though. Non-Muslims believe quite different, that Muslims simply took a pagan ritual and turned it into one of their own, then rationalized it.

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by titus View Post
    Only Muslims believe that, though. Non-Muslims believe quite different, that Muslims simply took a pagan ritual and turned it into one of their own, then rationalized it.

    What non-Muslims believe is utterly inconsequential to the historical evidence.. a belief is just that and it applies to any belief a god can self immolate and be his own grandfather or a god can wrestle with David and lose as per Christianity and Judaism respectively, a historical account is a different story all together!

    all the best
    The Truth about Christmas

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    I agree. I find the Muslim beliefs about the Kaaba being sent to Adam and Eve about as historically accurate as someone wrestling with God.

    Both are beliefs with no historical evidence to back them up. There is no historical evidence that the Kaaba was anything other than a focal point for pagan worship before Mohammad.

    By the way, according to the Bible it was Jacob, not David that wrestled with God.

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    Re: The Truth about Christmas

    Quote Originally Posted by titus View Post
    I agree. I find the Muslim beliefs about the Kaaba being sent to Adam and Eve about as historically accurate as someone wrestling with God. Both are beliefs with no historical evidence to back them up. There is no historical evidence that the Kaaba was anything other than a focal point for pagan worship before Mohammad. By the way, according to the Bible it was Jacob, not David that wrestled with God.

    Perhaps the problem is that you are simply ignorant of the facts? How do Adam and Eve play into this at all? It is bewildering to me what little effort the lot of you put into any argument? You just drop your opinion completely unsupported by facts!
    To think I was actually going to go through all the names and custodians of Kaaba since it was built by Abraham (p) until it fell into pagan Arab hands to its recovery by Muslims..
    if you are more interested in the drivel you spew then so be it, don't expect the rest to be as laughably ignorant as you or take your silly opinion as anything of value!

    ''Adam and Eve'' lol.. monumental effort there fellow!

    all the best
    The Truth about Christmas

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