Merry Christmas! Once again I have had the opportunity to write several Christmas articles for Answers in Genesis. So in case you missed some of those, I decided to write a brief post to share them with you.
Drawn to the Savior
My first Christmas article this year used the magi as an example of people that God drew to worship His Son. He used a “star” to direct the wise men, and He can use numerous means to direct people to the Savior, but the message of the gospel does not change. During this Christmas season, I would ask you to consider the following paragraph from my article:
Of course, Jesus didn’t come to earth just to inspire heartwarming stories about Joseph, Mary, and the baby in the manger. Among other things, He came to live a sinless life, reveal to man who God is, die a sacrificial death on the Cross for our sins, and conquer death by rising from the dead. The question you must ask yourself is this: what have I done with Jesus Christ?
Is Jesus your Lord and Savior, or have you just treated Him as the baby in the manger? He is God Incarnate, the Creator of the universe, who will one day return to judge this world.
A Pagan Celebration?
If you’ve followed this blog for a couple of years, you may recall that I’ve written several posts dealing with misconceptions people have about Christmas. There are some Christians who are convinced that Christmas is a pagan holiday so they adamantly insist that no believer should have anything to do with this celebration. While there are certainly pagan elements that have been worked into Christmas traditions, it does not follow that Christians must refuse to celebrate the birth of Christ at this time of year. My recent article hit some of these objections, but focused on the fact that we have the liberty to celebrate Christmas or not to celebrate it, but whichever we choose, we must seek to honor God. What we don’t have the liberty to do is tell a fellow Christian what he or she must do regarding Christmas (see Romans 14 where Paul explicitly states that we have liberty to celebrate or not celebrate any day.)
My Christmas Eve article focused on the first two chapters of Matthew. Throughout his Gospel, Matthew uses a statement indicating that something was done to fulfill the words of the prophet ______. I wanted to zero in on his use of this phrase in the first two chapters to highlight some of the many prophecies fulfilled in the life of Christ. Christians can not only celebrate the entrance of the Son of God into this world at this time of year, but we can also rejoice in the fact that our God–and only our God–has perfect knowledge of the future, and He has repeatedly demonstrated His infinite knowledge.
Christmas Town at the Creation Museum
This particular article wasn’t so much about Christmas as it was about Christmas Town–the annual Christmas celebration at the Creation Museum. My colleagues at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum do a fantastic job every year of putting together this outreach event. With dramas, a special planetarium show, the Garden of Lights, and so much more, you won’t want to miss out on this wonderful free event. There are still two days left this year (12/28 and 12/29), so if you’re anywhere near northern Kentucky/Cincinnati, OH, come on out and experience Christmas Town at the Creation Museum.
Birthday at the End of the World
One of the articles I wrote this month was not about Christmas, but about the alleged Doomsday of December 21, 2012, which just happens to be my birthday (yep, one of the tallest guys around was born on the shortest day of the year). The point of this article was to emphasize that God alone knows the future. Christians should never get caught up in setting dates for Christ’s return since He told us that no man knows the day or the hour of that event (Matthew 24:36), and that doesn’t mean that you can figure out the month or year, either. But He did give us signs by which we could recognize that His return is near. Would you be ready if He decided to return today?
I mentioned that I had previously written numerous posts dealing with misconceptions people have about Christmas. If you are interested in those, here are some links:
Christmas Misconceptions: Legalism or Liberty?
Common Misconceptions about Christmas
More Christmas Misconceptions—Part 1
More Christmas Misconceptions—Part 2
Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed Christmas!
Please don’t remove this series of studies off your Blog. I’ve kept returning to your article about Christmas over the years to refresh my memory and would like to post a link to them on my Christian blog (not yet published). Many thanks Tim for providing a voice of common sense. God bless. Marisa 🙂
Here’s a Christmas-defense article I wrote that may prove insightful and useful to you. Feel free to use any of the 75 arguments presented here in any of your own future writings or speeches.
I haven’t made it all the way through your 75 questions yet, but I really like what I’ve seen so far. I think I’ll add it to some of my other Christmas posts. Thanks for sharing it.
Thanks for the positive feedback, Tim.
Now, FYI, if you should spot any particular questions/arguments in your continued reading that you don’t think are particularly effective, then by all means please feel free to tell me. I am very open to any and all suggestions for improvement, and am also open to receiving suggested alternate questions/arguments to add or replace old ones with. I want this article to be as powerful and effective as possible, and being accepting of constructive criticism is the best way to achieve this.
The one thing I noticed that you could probably enhance would be the arguments you made against figuring out the date by using the time that Zachariah served in the temple. The points you made were right on, but I think you could add to them some of the details I mentioned in this article: http://midwestapologetics.org/blog/?p=267. Of particular interest is the fact that the order of Abijah appears in different positions in the various lists given in Scripture. The anti-Christmas folks always use 1 Chronicles 24:10 to show that Abijah was the eighth division to serve, but they fail to recognize that this was prior to the Babylonian exile. Following the exile, Abijah is listed 11th, 12th, and 17th in the various lists. Which one are we supposed to use to determine when Elizabeth conceived? And of course, as I think you pointed out, there is no way to know that she conceived immediately after he returned from his temple duties. If you already included this in one of your points that I haven’t read yet, then go ahead and ignore my comments.
I’ll let you know if I notice anything else. Keep up the good work.