Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's wrong with Christmas? Part 4

So far in this series we've discussed the pagan roots of Christmas treesSanta Claus, and celebrating Jesus' birthday.
If I were to continue to enumerate the fallacies associated with this holiday, we'd be here til July 4th. so let's sum up a few other details.

The three wise men
The Bible does NOT say that three wise men came to see Jesus lying in a manger. Matthew 2:1 refers to 'magoi from the east.' It doesn't say how many of them there were. The Septuagint - a very early Greek version of the old testament - uses the word magoi in Daniel 1:20 to describe magic-practicing and astrology-practicing priests of pagan gods in Babylon. Since the Bible condemns practicing magic and astrology, the 'three wise men' did not come with God's blessing, 'following a star.'
The star
They didn't follow a star from the east to Jesus in a manger. The account says they saw his star when they were still in the east. "His star" means, again, practicing astrology. And the direction the 'star' led them was, not to Jesus, but to King Herod! When Herod heard about the birth of someone he viewed as a rival for his throne, he resorted to murdering all the infants in Bethlehem. Since a star would not normally move, this moving star they followed had to be miraculous. But both God and Satan can produce miracles. The appearance of the star resulted in infanticide. Who seems more likely to have sent the star, God or Satan?
The Manger
'The star' led the eastern magoi, not to a manger but to a house. Matthew 2:11 reads, "They entered the house and saw the child with his mother." That considerable time had passed between Jesus' birth and the arrival of the magoi is confirmed not only by this, but by two other details. Luke 2:22-24 relates that, following Jewish law, Mary and Joseph went to the temple 40 days after Jesus' birth and made an offering. A lamb was stipulated for the birth of a boy, but if the parents were poor, they were allowed to offer two birds. 
If they had already been given gold, frankincense and myrrh by these pagan visitors, surely they would have offered a lamb, not the two birds as they did. So we know the astrologers didn't arrive for more than 40 days after Jesus' birth. 
The gifts did come in handy later. Following a warning from God that Herod was going to try to murder Jesus, Joseph and Mary needed money to flee the country and live for some weeks or months in Egypt.
The other detail is in Matthew 2:16, where Herod "gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi." Clearly, the magoi arrived in Israel after Jesus' birth.

What does all this mean? Just as Satan convinced those magoi to follow practices that God condemns (Isaiah 47:13; Deuteronomy 18:10), so he convinces people today to:
  • turn these practicers of the pagan art of astrology into 'wise men';
  • put an (astrological) star atop their tree;
  • put a tree sacred to the false god Woden in their living room;
  • idolize a red-suited 'saint' Nicholas, whose most famous act was physically attacking a Christian who was trying to tell the truth about God and Jesus;
  • memorializing Jesus' birth on a date sacred to the worship of the sun, instead of following Jesus' own command to memorialize his death.
It's unlikely my words here are going to change anyone's thinking, especially right before Christmas. But maybe you can send this to someone open-minded enough to consider it, after the holiday is over.

Bill K. Underwood is a columnist and author of several books. You can help support this site by clicking on this link to Amazon.com.

1 comment:

  1. The majority would rather have their ears tickled with lies rather than the truth unfortunately.