Boycott The Christian Boycott

Posted: November 30, 2010 in christian living, harlot church
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Boycott The Christian Boycott

 

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?  God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”  ~1 Corinthians 5:9-13 esv

With Christmas fast approaching, I felt this was an appropriate time to speak out against the increasingly popular and unbiblical “christian boycott” of secular retailers.  While I do receive an occasional email during the year urging me to boycott fast food chains that donate to liberal causes, the appeals will inevitably increase with the holiday season beginning.  So before boycotting Wal-Mart or protesting with a “keep Christ in Christmas” pin on your jacket this year, please take a moment to read what the word of God has to say on this subject.

…not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters…

“Let Target know that you won’t tolerate their ‘anti-Christmas’ stance”… not so cry the words of the dear apostle.    “Don’t eat at McDonalds until they commit to withdrawing support for gay and lesbian worker rights”… nonsense according to the living and powerful word of God.  We would need to physically go out of the world to avoid doing business with secular companies that are defiled with all forms of sin.  While we do have clear instruction to obey our own convictions in disputable matters, instructions on organizing the boycott of secular retailers are strangely missing from the pages of scripture.

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one

A recent poll* reveals that, statistically speaking, more then 50% of the people you share a pew with on Sunday morning regularly view pornography.  According to the same source, there is close to a 40% chance that your pastor does too!  How many more of the “clergy” and “laity” are involved in fornication, adulterous relationships, and countless other sexual sins?  A quick look around on Sunday morning will also reveal a great number of openly greedy church members, as evident by the treasures they accumulate and show off.  How many are idolaters also, worshipping a carved mental image of “jesus” that blesses them in their pursuit of the American dream, enjoyment of the pride of life, and love of unholy entertainment?  “Don’t even eat with such a one” the Holy Spirit cries out through the apostle.  Yet, we gather with them weekly to lift up hands of praise and take communion while turning a blind eye in order to protect our comfortable religious traditions.  Because our pulpits (even in evangelical, Bible believing churches) are largely full of cowards, hirelings, false teachers, and pornography addicts who serve mammon or reputation over God, church discipline is not practiced and the pews are left full of goats. It’s no wonder, then, that we are so quick to divert attention away to secular stores!

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?  God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 

While the word of God commands us to sell our possessions and give the money to the poor, love our enemies, carry our cross of self-denial daily, keep our hearts from being polluted by the world, be active in sharing our faith, fast, and pray without ceasing, these practices are mostly foreign, even to dedicated church goers.  Yet when Christmas roles around and we spot our first “Happy Holidays” sign in the strip mall, we are quick to rise up as a body and strike hands in protest against the poor heathen people who dare to “take Christ out of Christmas”.   Professing Christian friends, do not bother asking unbelievers to “keep Christ in Christmas” if you haven’t bothered to keep Christ’s commandments the rest of the year.  Would it really honor the Lord to make unbelievers act out the same empty form of godliness that the vast majority of church goers in America already do?  In all soberness, I suggest that the Lord Jesus would rather be left out of Christmas here in the west than to have His Holy name associated with it.

While a spiritually bankrupt “church” attempts to cover her nakedness with such ploys as boycotting secular retailers, I urge those who name the name of Christ to examine yourselves in light of the Lords call on His true disciples.  Please consider these more Biblical forms of boycotting this Christmas season, and abandon the vanity of modern American Christianity.  A solid place for all professing believers to start would be to boycott the rights to your life (Luke 14:27-33), your material possessions (Matthew 6:19-24), desires of your sinful flesh (Ephesians 5:1-10), and the American dream (1John 2:15-17).  From there, I suggest boycotting your local Christian bookstore which peddles the prosperity “gospel”, emergent “church” heresy, and countless other forms of Jesus merchandise for a quick dollar (2 Peter 2:1-3).  Other places that I suggest raising the banner of protest against include the majority of TV preachers, Christian movies, and Christian singers (Jude 1:3-4).  For those seriously committed to the boycott, you could then take aim at your church gatherings that don’t preach the whole council of God, nor practice Biblical discipline, that look like a six flags over Jesus, and are structured more like Roman Catholicism then the New Testament body of Christ (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Judgment must begin at the house of God, and more so in our own hearts if we are to reach unbelievers with the power of God.  To that end, I pray that the Lord blesses you with spiritual riches as you take the time to meditate on the scriptures referenced throughout this article.  Speaking of riches, remember that Jesus is starving and is having a hard time staying warm this Christmas season (Matthew 25:31-46).  Might I suggest buying Him a coat (1 John 3:17-18) rather then buying a “keep Christ in Christmas” pin for your own coat this year.

May the Holy Spirit lead you into all truth as you pick up your cross and follow after Christ.

PS:  If you are looking for a place where you can feed or clothe Jesus please check out Orphans Tears or Gospel For Asia.

*http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php

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Comments
  1. John A. says:

    I ditched Christmas years ago because I believe we can’t add to the Word of God.

    BUT….I was so pleased to read what you wrote here. You get it. I’ve met very few people who understand the implications of the 1 Cor. passage.

    Personally I’d rather see Christ out of Christmas, but otherwise you’ve got the right take. Every year on the so-called Christian radio station they start in on this and I’ve always believed them to be dead wrong.

    If it is a holy-day…then why in the world would I expect pagans to keep it? They can’t worship God.

    In fact if I really believed it to be a Holy-day…I would protest pagans trying to keep it…it would be blasphemous for them to do so.

    Well done.

    • ketch22 says:

      Actually the goal isn’t to get pagans to celebrate Christmas, but to keep Christ in as much as we can so that eventually all of our rights aren’t gone. Plus it makes it easier for pagans to have reminders of God if we don’t just run off to our little islands and ignore the world we live in.

      • John A. says:

        I oppose Christmas for Scriptural reasons.

        But as far as running off to little islands. Not at all. If we’re faithfully living our lives….there will be plenty of opportunities to witness. We’ll be different, our children will be different…and I can’t even begin to tell you how many good conversations have been generated because my family rejects Christmas.

        As far as reminders….the Word of God is sufficient. We don’t need to make up things, we don’t need to innovate in order to reach them. We can trust in the sufficiency of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit.

        Christmas to me is just such an innovation. I appreciate your point, but I want to let the Scriptures regulate our individual lives and the practice of the Church…and trust in God that if we’re faithful, He will grow His Church.

        As a secondary argument I would also point out that the Mayflower Pilgrims, the Puritans, Spurgeon, and many Protestants in the United States rejected Christmas up until recent times. Our modern Christmas is really a Victorian phenomena…not that old at all. Sure it dates back to the 4th century, but it was Holy Day a day to attend Church etc…, nothing like our modern Epicurean festival.

        Nevertheless, my argument is not rooted in history but against a Scriptural prohibition of innovation when it comes to how we approach (worship) God.

      • ian vincent says:

        Imagine if there were teams (even up to 100 or more) of believers going out DAILY into the public and proclaiming Jesus Christ? It would make Christmas and Easter irrelevant. The religious system is based on the LCD, lowest common denominator, and not NT Spirit-filled life and witness.

        That Christmas is thought of as “the time” to witness to the world, shows how dead Christianity has become.

      • ian vincent says:

        Imagine telling Paul the Apostle that Christmas is the time to witness to the world? That Christmas is a good thing bcos it gives us an “opportunity” to witness to the world? He would wonder which planet you were coming from.

      • ketch22 says:

        While I appreciate your right to worship our Lord the way you believe the Holy Spirit directs you, I am led to believe differently.

        “Imagine telling Paul the Apostle that Christmas is the time to witness to the world? That Christmas is a good thing bcos it gives us an “opportunity” to witness to the world? He would wonder which planet you were coming from.”

        I do imagine telling him… however, I wouldn’t quite put it as “the” time to witness to the world but rather “another opportunity” to witness to the world. He would think this a great idea. A celebration to honor the Lord… can never be too many of those. The Lord tells us in the Word that – Titus 1:15 “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”

        Christmas can be a great time of teaching to your family as well as throughout the year, but of also celebration of the birth of the only birth that ever really mattered… the day that God came to earth so we could get to God. That should be enough reason to want to keep the reason for the season alive. But to say you oppose Christmas for Scriptural reasons is ignorant of Scripture… can you show me where in Scripture God commands us to not honor Christ every chance and in every way we can? Take Santa out of Christmas… take ther commercialism out of Christmas… take materialism out of Christmas… but leave Jesus in it… He is what it should be all about.

      • John A. says:

        Unto the pure all things are pure….

        Paul is dealing with two things over and over again in the NT. The tendency to Judaize, that is to return to the types and shadows of the OT that have been fulfilled by Christ.

        And to Paganize, that is to introduce philosophical concepts and ideas from the culture.

        So when Paul is talking about unto the pure…he’s repudiating those who think they need to keep dietary laws, cleanliness commandments…and dare I say it? Holy days.

        He also deals with this in Colossians 2 and Romans 14.

        Christmas represents both tendencies. It’s Judaizing in that its returning to the shadow-type forms of worship, alien to the NT, but it’s also Paganizing, in that it is clearly extra-Scriptural innovation, syncretizing ideas from the pagan culture.

        Paul condemns innovations in piety in places like 1 Tim 4.

        If you do Christmas, do you keep the whole church calendar? If you’re accepting tradition as being on par with Scripture, which tradition? Why don’t you keep Epiphany, Ascension, Pentecost, Lent?

        Paul clearly condemns these things. So it’s not a matter of how the Spirit is leading me, it’s a matter of doctrine and understanding the relationship between the OT/NT and what the NT teaches concerning the church.

        So actually when you try to tell someone they have to keep something that God hasn’t commanded….you’re imposing a form of bondage on youself and on the person you’re trying to morally bind. The Titus passage doesn’t ‘allow’ me to celebrate xmas and the rest, it ‘liberates’ me from having to keep man-made traditions. I’m with Pink when he says, “I’m the Lord’s free man,” in his repudiation of xmas.

        Is the Word of God sufficient, or does it need help? Do we need to innovate? This has been a major theme throughout the history of the church.

  2. ketch22 says:

    Interesting article. I had a similar experience when I came to know the Lord. The Lord also saved me from a lukewarm life of greed, porn, worldly affections, and lead me to an evangelical church system that convicted me of my sin and got me involved in God’s Kingdom here on earth. I now serve others toward Jesus and continue to boycott those worldly companies that spit on His name. They aren’t a distraction from my spiritual walk, but rather a reminder for me to be more than just words.

  3. ian vincent says:

    I’ve never opposed anyone for celebrating or remembering Jesus’ birth on the 25th Dec.

    Some just have a neurotic reaction to what i share about it, revealing their own insecurities.

    To think that Paul would have instituted Christmas if he had only thought of it, shows that such a person has no clue to what type of man he was, and misunderstands his fundamental gospel message.

  4. ketch22 says:

    Actually Paul would have celebrated Jesus’ birthday every chance he got. I have no problem with brothers and sisters that choose not to celebrate His birthday, but some have a neurotic reaction to what I share about it, revealing their own insecurities, while trying to claim it is Scriptural.

  5. ian vincent says:

    RE:

    “Actually Paul would have celebrated Jesus’ birthday every chance he got.”

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    .
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    That’s hilarious! You’re a funny guy.

  6. fleebabylon says:

    I hadnt intended for this post to go this direction but since it did I am inserting a few loose thoughts on the subject.

    First I have a story to share from when my wife and I met, keep in mind I was not saved then. I had an ornament on my christmas tree of santa clause kneeling down and worshipping at the cradle of baby Jesus. I of course didnt see anything wrong with it at the time. My wife, even though she was a false convert at the time, was absolutely appalled by it. It is funny how much that ornament says about the weirdness that is called christmas though.

    I say all that because I dont really view the “should christians celebrate christmas” debate as a yes or no answer. The terms of what is celebrating christmas have to be clearly defined first. We dont put up a tree, but I (think I) could do so in liberty ,as an idol is nothing to me. In one sense I could care less what pagans do with trees, but I do care that me having one might offend my brother or cause a stumbeling block for him if he has a personal conviction (or just has more light then me on it and is grieved for me).

    So while I dont have a tree and definately dont mind distancing myself from the holidays, for honesty have to admit that I enjoy seeing the pretty lights around the neighborhood. It breaks up the usual drab appearance of the working class suburbia where I live. I dont really feel convicted about that.

    For a while now I have actually thought it would be better for us to recognize the season without mixing in some unbiblcal Jesus reason into it – almost in a secular way. I hate to use the word secular, but I mean like I take Sundays off work because my coworkers do. The reason my office is closed (as most in america) on Sunday is because of the Sunday sabbath. I am not celebrating a sabbath day by taking Sunday off work, I just do it out of habit,tradition,etc and that is what I mean by secular. I am sure there is a better word to use as but it is late. I dont think I sin even though I am taking Sunday off ultimately because some claim it as the sabbath day and I am joining in the action but not the reason. If I work I work onto the Lord, if I take a day off (even a false sabbath day or pagan holiday) I take a day off onto the Lord. The same thing with Christmas, it is definately possible for me to recognize (I stop short of saying celebrate) it without sinning. I can remove all extra biblical references to Jesus from it (outside of the normal daily devotion we give Him) and get my kids a gift, or eat a piece of red and green cake in liberty. That is where I am now though I know some brethren feel strongly otherwise.

    Of course I do not advocate spending tons of money and being materialistic either. Even if we remove all the constantine and roman catholic “christ” “mass” garbage from the season you are left with rank materialism. Something reasonable though I am talking about here.

    I just got a letter from Orphans Tears ministry and read that they were collecting from the saints to buy all of the kids a new pair of clothing for Christmas. I think of the Lord asking the pharisees if it is right to do good on the sabbath. He is Lord of the sabbath and He is still Lord on His fake birthday / constantine / catholic christ mass abomination day also. So I think it is ok to buy a present for orphans, and to some extent for family, etc, though I would hate for them to be handed to the kids in celebration of the “christ” mass” so I am torn.

    I have heard a couple brothers suggest they like buying their kids presents specifically at other times instead of christmas. I think brother Ian had said that and a few other things I had never though of in the article at his http://www.youareallbrothers.com/ site. It is the worthe the time to read though I may not have 100% the same personal conviction (or maybe just dont have light yet?) as him.

    I dont like the “Jesus is the reason for the season” line. Constantine is actually the reason for the season. In contrast, Jesus is the reason for all days and all seasons as all things were created through and for Him. Of course the majority of professing believers dont live everyday for Him so they use special constantine days where they can make it up to Him. Kind of like a unloving husband who is a jerk and cheats on his wife all the time but stops and gets her flowers once in a while.

    Those are my thoughts, and because of the weird mixture of pagen and roman catholic nonsense I am starting to question if there might not be real wisdom in withdrwaing from all things christmas (we are mostly there already so it would not be a big leap). At the same time I wont do it just because another brother has a conviction or light.

    I remember hearing an old brother say “We need not try to live up to the light another has, but we dare not live up to less then the light we already have”. I think that goes good here and appreciate what Ian and John have shared even if I differ slightly in some small ways then them. Those are my thoughts, its late, I am sleep deprived, fire away but please go easy on me.

    In Christ – Jim

  7. fleebabylon says:

    also, I think it is horrible for believers to do the santa thing… cant wait till your kids are older and you have the “really kids, santa is fake, but Jesus IS real”. Of course laodecias “jesus” is just like santa so it might be an easy transition for them.

    • ketch22 says:

      We don’t do Santa… we tell our children he is fake/make believe and that Jesus’ birthday is our celebration and that presents come from family and our children buy for the needy as well as the adults buy for the needy.

      Your statement that you don’t buy a tree because it might be a stumbling block… I find questionable… not because you don’t believe it, but because I think it is backward. Since most believers celebrate Christmas, to not buy a tree would be the stumbling block. As a believer, if I came in contact with a fellow believer that didn’t celebrate Christmas, this would cause me concern, not the other way around.

      Since trees are God’s creation, and Jesus had a birthday… the big deal about not celebrating in my opinion is bunk… it is all legalism and takes away the grace of God and our freedom in Christ. We are in the world… not of it. So don’t celebrate secular Christianity, but also don’t take yourself out of the picture completely… it is a great way to stay in the world and witness.

      • John A. says:

        Actually it’s legalism if you bind someone’s conscience when you don’t have the authority to do it.

        Your authority is nothing more than the doctrines and commandments of men.

        Vain worship, our Lord called it.

        I don’t care if you celebrate Christ-Mass, but I won’t be bound to it.

  8. fleebabylon says:

    ” Since most believers celebrate Christmas, to not buy a tree would be the stumbling block”

    Most true believers that I know do not celebrate christmas so I guess it is differnet for us. I know christendom as a whole does, but I am not concerned about that.

    • fleebabylon says:

      Also, I have no desire to have a tree up in my house, so it is easy not to have one. My point was that I dont feel under law I cant have one, I could if I wanted one. It is an offense to my brother so I would not not have one even if I wanted one.

  9. ketch22 says:

    Interesting, since most true believers I know would hesitate to not have a tree… since it is such a wonderful holiday… if you let it be. A couple from our anchor group were once chained by legalism and honoring the Sabbath, not buying a tree, not celebrating birthdays or Christmas, etc… they finally left the JW church and are free in Christ. I respect your decision to not celebrate Christ’s birthday, but don’t let things like this weigh you down… remember that you are now free at last, free at last, free at last 🙂

    • Sean Scott says:

      Most people I know buy presents on Christmas because the feel obligated to do so. I have a challenge for you Ketch. Try showing up at your family functions this holiday without any presents. Just tell them you want to spend time going through the commands of Christ so you all can honor Him with your lives. Tell them you want to dedicate the day to the one thing Christ emphesised over and over again…keeping His commandments.

      After all, who celebrates a birthday and buys presents for the other people instead of the person who’s birthday it is. Try that at your childs birthday. I’d love to see that. “Hey Johnny, it’s your birthday but we’re having a party and about gifts for everyone else”.

      Just remember, as Christians were not obligated to celebrate what Christ never commanded, even if our pagan world thinks we should. We’re free at last, free at last, free at last!

    • John A. says:

      Yikes. You think being bound by tradition is freedom?

  10. fleebabylon says:

    “were once chained by legalism and honoring the Sabbath, not buying a tree, not celebrating birthdays or Christmas”

    Thats the difference though, I COULD (as a matter of liberty) but I dont want to. That makes all the difference in the world. Amazingly my wife just came to me and said she thinks we should stop doing presents, and we will be completely “done” with constantines christmas and easter. It is not a matter of law though…

  11. ketch22 says:

    I do agree with your wife here… we stopped all presents a few years back and just buy for the foster system. We only send out our family picture cards each year… kind of fun to see the family change each year.

  12. ian vincent says:

    It would be wrong to assume that every disciple of Jesus who does not celebrate Christmas is “weighed down” with legalism.

    • ketch22 says:

      Yes it would be wrong to assume that… just as it would be wrong to assume that every believer that celebrates Christmas, only worships Jesus on this day instead of every minute of every day of their life.

  13. ian vincent says:

    The LORD’s supper IS our ‘christmas’. We’re not missing out on anything. It’s the Holy feast God has called for, which our LORD Jesus instituted. He didn’t call for any other feast by which to remember Him.

    And the LORD’s supper teaches us that God only permits those washed in the Blood of His Son to worship Him, those with clean hands and a pure heart, in Spirit and in Truth. He called us to celebrate/proclaim His death, every time we partake at His table; not His birth, as wonderful as that is.

    What would you do if a crowd of people came into your church and said they wanted to remember the LORD’s death with you by partaking of the bread and wine? You would ask them, Have you truly repented and been born-again, and are you living for Jesus? They say, No, but we would like to celebrate it anyway, just like we do Christmas. Would you partake with them? Certainly not. It would be an abomination for them to partake, and for you to partake with them : …Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:27).

    Would we warn them not to take it, but then add, it’s OK for them to celebrate His birth, that’s not an abomination? (cont.d)

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/why-didnt-the-apostles-celebrate-our-lords-birth/

    • ketch22 says:

      Secular christmas is an abomination of commercialism and materialism. Christians take this day and turn it back to the Lord in memory of the day He came to earth. We don’t focus on the secular aspects of christmas, but instead give a little extra to the needy, teach our children that giving is better than receiving (except from our Lord), and that this day is in rememberance of the day that He gave up heaven for us… His throne for us. Sure, the celebration of Christ’s birth is not mentioned in the Bible, as were not many things we do today… but to say God would not smile upon those of us truly worshipping His Son on that day, is ludicrous. Also, it is quite presumptuous to say that the apostles didn’t celebrate His birthday. There is so much the disciples did that is not mentioned, since most of it is letters to each other, that you could not know that Paul or Peter or John didn’t set aside a day each year to remember the birth of Jesus. Maybe they didn’t, but you can’t know.

      Come on.

      • ian vincent says:

        RE: “…but to say God would not smile upon those of us truly worshipping His Son on that day, is ludicrous..”
        .
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        Oh no, i’m not saying that. God sees the heart. Is there any day that you don’t worship God? No, there shouldn’t be. Then, having a special “holy” day is now irrelevant, in the New Covenant. We don’t persecute anyone for having a “holy” day, and we ignore anything they may say about us, for considering evry day to be holy and a day to worship God.

  14. ian vincent says:

    Here’s a dialogue that has often happened to us here in India at Christmas time.

    A Hindu friend wishes us a Happy Christmas.

    We: Thanks! But we don’t celebrate Christmas.

    Hindu: (looking surprised) But you’re a Christian, aren’t you?

    We: Yes!

    Hindu: But I thought that all Christians celebrated Christmas?

    We: Actually, most of the people who celebrate Christmas are not even Christians!

    Hindu: (still a little perplexed) But I thought that America etc. are Christian countries?

    We: No way!

    Hindu: I’ve never heard a Christian say what you’re saying!

    We: You are a Hindu bcos you were born into a Hindu family, right?

    Hindu: Yes.

    We: Well, in western countries there is a similar thing with Christianity, that a great number of people are culturally “Christian”, yet not Christian. You can be a Hindu or of any religion by simply being born into that culture and being initiated into it by your parents. But you can’t become a Christian that way. To be a Christian and be saved, Jesus said we must be born again, by personal faith in Him, repenting of our sin and turning away from it to follow Him as His disciple.

    Hindu: No one ever told me this. Christians wish me Happy Christmas but they never explain to me what it means to be a Christian.

    We: We aren’t against any Christians who celebrate Christmas, we just believe that if God wanted us to do it, He would have said so in His scriptures.

    Hindu: So, what IS your religion? Where is your temple?

    We: All religions have their temples, idols festivals etc.. right?

    Hindu: Right.

    We: But Jesus did away with all that. He becomes the center of our life, so that’s why we don’t have anything religious. He lives in us, so our bodies are His temple. And when we gather, anywhere, he is present. He is does not live in buildings, but in His people.

    etc…

  15. Sean Scott says:

    [quote]and I can’t even begin to tell you how many good conversations have been generated because my family rejects Christmas.[/quote]

    Very true Jim. I’ve expereienced the same thing. If you’re celebrating Christmas no one really cares. But if you tell them you don’t celebrate EVERYONE will say “why not”? What a perfect opportunity to share the truth of Jesus Christ and the hypocrisy of the so called holiday that is celebrated in Christ name.

    You can share with them how most people who celebrate Christmas fulfill the word of God:

    Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

    Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

    They create a day to shower each other with gifts in Christ name supposedly to celebrate His birth.

    Yet Jesus says:

    Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    And you know what? When you share why you don’t celebrate Christmas most people who don’t know Christ respect that because they are often wiser than the children of the light. They often times see through the hypocrisy that so many Christians are unable to see.

    But hey…people will still be giving presents to each other in the future. Many of the same people who give gifts to each other in Christ name will be the same people who give gifts to each other and rejoice in the days to come:

    Rev 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

    • ketch22 says:

      Here’s a dialogue that has often happened to us here in the U.S. at Christmas time.

      A make-believer or non-believer friend wishes us a HMerry Christmas.

      We: Thanks! But do you know why we celebrate Christmas?

      They: (looking surprised) Probably because of Jesus, right?

      We: Yes! Not only was His birth one of the most important days in history, it is the reason for everything! So we celebrate this amazing day, although we are sure that December 25th wasn’t actually the day He was born… we don’t know that actual day… so we celebrate on this day.

      They: We celebrate too, do you have Santa Claus and presents and Christmas parties?

      We: Actually we do not. We teach our children the truth because that is what Jesus was… the Truth. We teach them that they will hear about Santa at school and with their friends, however, he is make-believe. We do give our children a small present at Christmas in remembrance of the gift God gave us, and we represent it that way. Then we surf the internet for opportunities in our community to give a little extra during this time and we vote on what we will do… this year we bought gifts and donated them to my wife’s organization at Church called Orphan Care… to the foster system for young teens who have no families yet. We sing Christmas carols about Jesus only, and we gather with family… who by the way, have finally got used to not buying us presents or expecting them either.

      They: Do you have a Christmas tree?

      We: Yes we do… not necessarily because Jesus had one, but simply because we like to decorate with all the ornaments that remind us of Christmas past spent with family and God.

      They: Wow! That Christmas sounds better than the one we celebrate… thanks for sharing. Does your Church celebrate Christmas?

      We: Why yes! The whole year is dedicated to Jesus, but this month is focused on the preparation and birth of Jesus and what it means to us as believers. Would you like to come this Sunday for our Christmas service? You could also join us for breakfast before the service and I could tell you more about what we believe, if you are interested.

      They: Thanks, we would love that.

      By the way, this has happened the last 2 Christmas with couples who are now dear Christian friends of ours who attend our Church now. The conversation wasn’t exactly as dicated above, but similar and related to the Christmas experience and how we celebrate.

      Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

      Since my heart is not removed from Him, this doesn’t pertain.

      Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

      Same thing here.

      They create a day to shower each other with gifts in Christ name supposedly to celebrate His birth.

      Yet Jesus says:

      Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

      Don’t understand how this pertains to celebrating Christmas… as even those who don’t celebrate Christmas can be unrighteous, and those that do celebrate can be righteous… the celebration of such doesn’t make you one or the other.

      • ccsaxton says:

        And in all of that I never heard the gospel of Christ. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.

        I think the problem is that the way given by apostles was to preach the gospel of Christ – Death for our sins and resurrection to eternal life justifying those who believe in Him that they too have eternal life – in Him – and based on nothing that they do but on the finished work of Christ…

        Put faith in this and nothing else – I can’t see how anyone can say that a “Christmas tree” isn’t idolatry. If we get involved with taking the Lords name in vain then why not go the whole hog and commit all of they other sins as well!?

        I have heard many a time that the “doctrine of the nicolatians is” … and then something along the lines of sexual sin or some other thing but could it not also mean the “doctrine of nicholas” that makes more sense for today – Doesn’t the Lord hate that?

        I live with unbelievers and I am subjected day in and day out to the same idolatrous actions, TV, blasphemy and the rest…constant…say that you don’t want to celeberate christmas day because you just don’t agree with it and you become the scum of the earth…keep to it and no one will say a word against you. If people want to celebrate one day more than another then so be it – Romans 14 gives freedom for that….but take the Lords name and then flaunt it all over the tv to sell what you want to the world and use it with no fear at all over the so called “season” then how can we justify this…

        I for one hate the day and have to have it rammed down my throat every year…Tis the season to be jolly – more suicides happen, greater debt for people and the word “covetousness” just takes on a whole new meaning…why do we want to be associated with this?

      • Mark Ketchum says:

        “And in all of that I never heard the gospel of Christ. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.”

        And you should not have heard it as it was not the time that we spoke it. It was shared eventually… but at this time we simply explained that we do celebrate Christmas and “why”. Same thing would happen when somebody asks me if I believe in evolution. I would explain to them that I don’t and then set them up for a time and place to share the Gospel… if possible.

        “I can’t see how anyone can say that a “Christmas tree” isn’t idolatry.”

        No disrespect intended, but it appears that you don’t know the definition of idolatry. It would be anything that you put ahead of, before, in place of… the Lord. I don’t know any Christian who even comes close to doing that. Now I do realize that even the Bible can be your idol… theology can be your idol, and even prayer can be your idol… if you place these things before God, Himself.

        • ccsaxton says:

          Lust and lasciviousness are words that spring to mind with the original day of saturnalia that Christmas has roots in. The nation of Israel answered to God continually through out of the old testament for adapting pagan worship and saying it was all in the name of their God just because they were God’s chosen people.

          Jer 7:9-11 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen [it], saith the LORD.

          Don’t be so quick to brush off people who have taken a stand against something because they are reading from scripture that it just looks so wrong. Christmas looks wrong and it firmly has its roots in pagan worship. I can preach the gospel any day of the year and the power is within the gospel message to save. If brothers are choosing to not honour Christmas day then that is fine, Romans 14 allows it…if Christians want to honour the day then go for it…if your heart is right before the Lord and you feel that you are not sinning then who am I to judge you. But don’t judge others either. I live in a house where my wife has rejected the gospel out right but she loves the Christmas season and all its merry making along with the tree and all the rest of it. The world has no problem with Christmas day because they link it with all the things they love to do which is nothing to do with Christ yet His name is right there in shining lights for them to see…this is idolatry and they commit it with no thought whatsoever…To just brush me off to say I don’t know what idolatry represents then you are wrong

          Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

          All of the above is associated with Christmas day…that is what the world does on Christmas day…notice how Paul associates coveting with idolatry. This day, to the world, is the supreme day of coveting…the epitome of what today’s world is all about. I know full well what idolatry is because I read it in the word of God.

          • Mark Ketchum says:

            Dear “Saints”, Thanks for your admonishment, however off it were. I am not using your site for financial gain… and please always remove my hyperlinks. I use my wordpress site, twitter, and fb for financial gain, and that is the only way allowed to log on here. And I actually did not think of it as I posted.

            “Don’t be so quick to brush off people who have taken a stand against something because they are reading from scripture that it just looks so wrong.”

            Don’t be so quick to judge that others are quickly brushing off people who take a stand against Christmas. I actually admire those who do this, including you… I don’t however care for the judgement against those that sincerely worship Christ on Christmas and make this day about Him as opposed to the world.

            http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-Christmas.html

            “Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

            All of the above is associated with Christmas day…that is what the world does on Christmas day”

            I agree… this is what the world does.

            About 2000 years ago God sent an angel to Israel, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph, a carpenter. The angel told Mary that by God’s power, she would conceive and bear a son.

            When Joseph learned that she was pregnant, an angel instructed him to marry her. Joseph took her to Bethlehem to register for a census. While there, Mary gave birth to Jesus. She laid him in a manger because there was no room at the inn. Shepherds visited Jesus in Bethlehem.

            Later, wise men brought gifts to Jesus. They told Herod the Great, a wicked king, that Jesus would rule Israel. So Herod sent soldiers to kill the children in Bethlehem. Warned by an angel, Joseph took his family to Egypt. After Herod died, they returned to Israel and raised Jesus in a town called Nazareth.

            All of the above is associated with Christmas day… this is what a Christians contemplate and dwell on… on Christmas day.

  16. John A. says:

    The issue is authority. I believe the Scriptures are Canon, a Covenant Document that we don’t add to or subtract from.

    We celebrate the Incarnation every Sunday when we take the Lord’s Supper and proclaim His death till He come. Since God has already given us a Means to celebrate the Incarnation, why do we need to innovate and come up with something better?

    If tradition is the guide then I assume you celebrate Ascension, Pentecost, Lent? If not, then why? If tradition is the guide, then what gives you the right to cherry-pick which traditions you want to follow?

    I believe Sola Scriptura is the right authority.

    I disagree with but understand those who place tradition on equal footing with Scripture.

    What I don’t understand is those who pay lip service to Sola Scriptura, deny it in practice but then also deny the centuries old traditions of Christendom. I mean if you’re going to do it…then do it and embrace it all. Because at that point you have to believe the tradtions are sanctioned/inspired….you can’t as some kind of hyper-individualist just choose what you want.

    I’ve always found it very odd that so many Evangelicals raise their eyebrows at those who celebrate all the holidays, when in principle they’ve already abandoned Sola Scriptura and accepted Tradition as an equal authority source.

    • Sean says:

      John, that was very well said. Good points.

      IN Christ,

      Sean

    • ketch22 says:

      Good points… however, you are assuming that because I celebrate Christmas, I am bound to celebrate it… no so.

      My family celebrates Christmas for a few reasons. It is one of the holidays where people are more open to hearing about Christ, and it presents a great opportunity there. It brings family together that normally have difficulty getting together.

      In fact, my little brother (make believer) is coming to our house with his family for a week starting Saturday, and my wife and I are currently reading through the entire NT with our Church. We get up every morning at 6 AM and put on the Word of Promise and follow along in our Bibles. This will be a great way to witness when he comes out to see what is going on or at least sees his brother’s fruit throughout the week. Plus the whole family is going to Church, and we have Anchor Group at our house this week.

    • Mark Ketchum says:

      “If tradition is the guide, then what gives you the right to cherry-pick which traditions you want to follow?”

      I guess I am at a loss to understand what doesn’t give us the right to cherry-pick our traditions. Traditions are passed down… if lent hasn’t been passed down to me, I don’t celebrate it. Maybe if I wanted to start a new tradition, as long as the Lord did not speak out against it, I have no problem with picking my traditions…

      • So essentially there’s no authority. We all just do what is right in our own eyes?

        The tradition of Christmas dates back to the ‘church’ of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. If you accept that tradition stream as valid then why wouldn’t you do the rest?

        If your authority grants validity to traditions coming out of historic Christendom, what gives you the right to come along and pick what traditions you like and jettison the rest?

        What’s the standard?

        We don’t celebrate Lent because it’s contrary to Scripture. But that argument assumes Scripture as the sufficient authority for the believer.

        I have an idea for a new tradition. I think when we sin we should have to do something that shows that we’re sorry. Maybe we could do a bunch of prayers. And I know, we could use some beads. We could count off the beads as we pray.

        Why not? The problem is that for centuries Rome (at least in the West) can make a historical claim to being the True Church.

        If you don’t have an argument against that and in theory you embrace the principles which would validate Rome’s claims….how then can you exempt yourself from its communion? On what basis? By what standard?

        Think about it. This issue is huge.

        • Mark Ketchum says:

          “So essentially there’s no authority. We all just do what is right in our own eyes?”

          No… there is authority and we do not do what is right in our own eyes. That was never said nor alluded to.

          “The tradition of Christmas dates back to the ‘church’ of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. If you accept that tradition stream as valid then why wouldn’t you do the rest?”

          Because God gives us the ability to discern good and bad… and I among others do not discern that celebrating the birth of Christ as bad.

          “If your authority grants validity to traditions coming out of historic Christendom, what gives you the right to come along and pick what traditions you like and jettison the rest?”

          My “authority” which is given from above… allows me to do this.

          “What’s the standard? We don’t celebrate Lent because it’s contrary to Scripture. But that argument assumes Scripture as the sufficient authority for the believer.”

          Is it glorifying Christ? If it is… do it. Is it glorifying you (ash Wednesday) don’t do it.

          “I have an idea for a new tradition. I think when we sin we should have to do something that shows that we’re sorry. Maybe we could do a bunch of prayers. And I know, we could use some beads. We could count off the beads as we pray.”

          Does it glorify Christ?

          “Why not? The problem is that for centuries Rome (at least in the West) can make a historical claim to being the True Church.

          If you don’t have an argument against that and in theory you embrace the principles which would validate Rome’s claims….how then can you exempt yourself from its communion? On what basis? By what standard?

          Think about it. This issue is huge.”

          Rome doesn’t glorify Christ, but rather man. Sola Scriptura… not the pope/church.

          The problem, respectfully, that you and others like you have is that you don’t think that God gives us the ability to think and have freedom in Christ. We do. We can discern what traditions are bad and which are good. Christmas falls into the good for some as it is about Him and Him alone. For others, like you, who cannot see that, it would fall into the “bad” category.

          • So when I go to your church and I ‘discern’ from the objective standard of the Scriptures that Christmas isn’t there….what right do you have to bind my conscience and tell me I have to celebrate it.

            Or Lent, the rosary or whatever.

            Oh, I’m not binding you, you would say.

            But when it’s brought into the church, I’m forced to either participate or stay away.

            And for that matter practically speaking to most people (if they’re honest) they’ll admit they believe it to be a holy day and by not celebrating I am certainly acting in an impious manner if not just flat out sinning.

            What right do you have to bind my conscience? Who gave you the authority to do that? Your sense of discernment?

            You’ve established your own subjective intuition as the authority.

            Fine we disagree. But I feel a little safer simply saying….could you show me that from the Scripture? Not only is Christmas not there, there is abundant precedent in both OT/NT indicating man is never allowed to innovate when it comes to how we approach God. Our worship, our means of reconciliation, the conditions of our adoption are all established by Him.

            Matthew 15.9 says….And in vain they worship Me,
            Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

            Now even those committed to Scripture as the authority can and will disagree. But to even have a discussion we have to agree on the foundation, we have to agree on our presuppositions. Without that there’s really nowhere to go.

            While I reject the idea of a Ecclesiastical Magisterium it makes more sense than a kind of Lone Ranger individualism as the source of authority. Obviously I don’t advocate either of those, but maybe you (or someone here) will see my point. Scripture as the authority at least gives a common basis for discussion. The Magisterium (though wrong) at least grants validity to tradition and the idea of God working through the Church in history. They’re wrong but it makes more sense than me and my discernment.

            Thanks for the reply. Didn’t expect this thread to pick up again. It’s been awhile.

  17. ian vincent says:

    Some basic points we believe on this matter:

    a) God never instituted Christmas

    b) Apostate church leaders instituted it

    c) If a faithful Christian remembers Jesus birth on the 25th Dec, God is not angry with them for that, for He sees the heart.

    d) If unbelievers, unrepentant, and especially unrepentant professing Christians, celebrate or remember Jesus birth, then it is hypocrisy : adding sin upon sin.

    e) It is a doubtful thing for professing Christians to celebrate Jesus birth alongside hypocrites and those who hate Christ: that is, to wish such a “happy Christmas” and to join in with their parties etc.

    f) It is a tragedy that Jesus Holy name has been misused and applied for a cultural festival, that has nothing to do with Him. A product of cultural Christianity, and not a Holy people.

    • ketch22 says:

      Good points… but I will disagree on a couple of them.

      (d) this doesn’t matter… sin upon sin? The unbeliever is bound for hell anyway, do they get hell upon hell? What a great opportunity to tell them about why Jesus came to our world.

      (e) another opportunity to show Jesus.

      (f) take what is misused and give it to God.

  18. ian vincent says:

    If i went to Christmas dinner with my unsaved family members and shared Jesus they would get pretty angry. It would not be a happy time. They would only accept me there in the condition that i say nothing about Jesus.

    I think it’s great if you’re attending drunken Christmas parties and unashamedly talking to people about Jesus. More power to ya. But if you’re fellowshipping with them, nope.

    • ketch22 says:

      Except that nobody said anything about attending drunken parties… pretty childish thing to say for a grown man… more power to you.

  19. ian vincent says:

    Hey, i don’t take you seriously anyway, so say anything you like.

    I don’t mind going into a pub and talking to people about Jesus. Did that for years. Maybe we live in different realities and worlds.

    ——————————————-

    The earliest known reference to the date of the nativity as December 25 is found in the Chronography of 354, an illuminated manuscript compiled in Rome.[71] In the East, early Christians celebrated the birth of Christ as part of Epiphany (January 6), although this festival emphasized celebration of the baptism of Jesus.[72]

    Christmas was promoted in the Christian East as part of the revival of Catholicism following the death of the pro-Arian Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The feast was introduced to Constantinople in 379, and to Antioch in about 380. The feast disappeared after Gregory of Nazianzus resigned as bishop in 381, although it was reintroduced by John Chrysostom in about 400.[8]

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

  20. ketch22 says:

    Christmas was then celebrated by the modern Christian in reverence to the King of Kings, although there remained a small sect of believers who maintained that nothing should be done unless mentioned in the Bible.

    Also, nobody said anything about not going into pubs and talking to others about Jesus… sounds like you are upset about something… not everybody is going to express their faith like you do… its ok.

  21. ian vincent says:

    RE: “sounds like you are upset about something…”
    .
    .
    .
    Sounds to me that you are a dishonest person.

    No, not upset, just wondering why you were ridiculing what i was saying.

    Bcos i said “more power to ya” it means i have a problem? No.

    I sincerely meant “more power to ya”, if you are going to drunken parties to tell them about Jesus.

  22. ketch22 says:

    “Sounds to me that you are a dishonest person.”

    Perhaps you don’t have the gift of discernment? No dishonesty here… perhaps on your part there is? You seem to like inferring others say what they don’t say.

    No, not upset, just wondering why you were ridiculing what i was saying.

    Bcos i said “more power to ya” it means i have a problem? No.

    I sincerely meant “more power to ya”, if you are going to drunken parties to tell them about Jesus.

    I sincerely meant “more power to ya” if you are going to insinuate that I stated that I go to these types of parties or even that I do. Look up the word “dishonest”.

    More power to ya!

  23. ccsaxton says:

    You know…the more i read these kind of things about celebrating or not celebrating Christmas the only thing I really see is arguments over the birth of Christ!?

    There must be something deeper to all of this…maybe we are looking at the outside and not the inside…what difference does it make if you celebrate Christ on this day and any other day for that matter?

    I am not saying I whole heartedly agree with Christmas – I hate the way that the world uses His name at this time of year…it makes me feel quite sick actually…

    Lord, guide us on these things, hear our prayers.

    Amen

    • Mark Ketchum says:

      I agree.

      • ccsaxton says:

        I still have a gut feeling that Christians need to pull away from this day and guard themselves against not getting drawn in to all its trappings…it is stooped in superstition and paganism and no matter how much we wrap this up with our jargon I can’t see how this is pleasing to God.

        • fleebabylon says:

          Mark, I let your comments stand, but I removed the hyperlinks from your name as my site is not to be used for your financial gain. I know that in the sick and prosperous world of Christendom that you are wedded to, it is no big deal to use the saints for personal financial gain, but not here please. -Jim

      • ccsaxton says:

        I can see your point though Mark. Paul teaches that there is no power in these things unless we give them power over us. 1cor8 talks all about this and also the end of col 2 says why do we do this to ourselves since there is no power in eating or not eating.

        Let’s look at it this way. If we look at a Christmas tree as a pretty tree then how can that be then seen as idol worship? Now don’t get me wrong…God clearly hated something similar if not the same as this in the old testament. There are things in the letters to the churches that we should also draw upon. The apostles clearly taught to stay away from idols and coveting is a form if idolatry and Christ clearly hates many things found in the churches in revelation…an intelligent discussion without all of the name calling needs to be done…firmly based on scripture alone and not what we think is right and it needs to be prayed into for the Holy Spirit to give us understanding…He will lead us to the truth of all these matters.

  24. Bob says:

    It always befuddled me how Christians can celebrate a lie and think they are witnessing to the masses. We were never told when our Lord was “born”, probably for this very reason. If Christ were in Christ-mass, the world would have nothing to do with it.

    • Mark Ketchum says:

      Speak for yourself, but we don’t celebrate a lie. Christ was born… that is Truth… that is what we celebrate. We do this knowing that we don’t know the day of His birth and use the 25th so that we may mingle with unbelievers to convey the Truth of the Gospel. My theology is focused on being a fisher of men, a light on the hill… whereas many may be a little too legalistic and focus on condemnation and following the rules that they pull out of Scripture.

    • Mark Ketchum says:

      And you are right… if Christ were in Christmas, the world would have nothing to do with it… kind of proves my point. Christ is in Christmas for us and we are not of the world. Different holiday (holyday) for Christians than it is for the secular realm. Maybe if we simply called it Jesusmas and made it an entirely different entity you would be happier?

  25. Mark Finger says:

    Author’s Note: I read all of the article and comments that came prior to this.

    God foresaw this discussion and penned Romans 14, establishing some principles that guide our fellowships:

    Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

    –Romans 14:1-2

    Now, the question arises, “Which is the weak camp: the one that believes that participating in Christmas is permissible; or the one that believes participation is forbidden?”

    It really doesn’t matter: we are to receive them on the basis of their faith in Christ.

    This is not to suggest that their practice is correct [or that God does not desire to draw them more strongly into the light of His truths], but rather, that their fellowship among the saints is legitimate–and what they do by faith–God receives according to their faith.

    God does not punish us for our ignorance. [Consider our condition, if He did!]

    Paul continues:

    Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    –Romans 14:3

    Paul rebukes Peter publicly for following after cultural [Old Testament] tradition as opposed to Truth (Galatians 2:11-21), but here, he says not to judge another who wrongly believes that eating certain foods is prohibited. What’s the difference?

    1) There is a vast difference between violating our own conscience [because we fear other men] and following our conscience before God, even if we are wrong in our present convictions. God is constantly at work molding and transforming our hearts, and if He has chosen not to address an issue with a brother yet, why should we be concerned? Does He not stand and fall to God alone?

    2) Also, perhaps, as a teacher [apostle], Peter is judged more harshly.

    One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

    –Romans 14:5

    We are to focus upon Christ and not to be divided over these things: “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations [not using the circumstance as an excuse to pass judgment on one another],” (Romans 14:1). [Words in backets mine]

    He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

    –Romans 14:6-9

    The apostle makes a point: if the Lord is pleased with their service, who are we to disagree? Rather, we are to judge them according to their heart, as God does us. It is the Lord Who approves.

    Whatever we do, the critical test is, “Are we doing it by faith?”

    Of course, It is clear from the teachings of scripture that God has granted us a sabbath life–that our whole lives are to be consecrated to God–and that the observance of special days and months and seasons and years appeals to the old nature [and Old Testament practice] and is contrary to the New Testament way of life (Galatians 4:8-11).

    ‘Christmas as we know it’ is a cultural phenomenon.

    While it does have some pagan roots (Jeremiah 10:1-10) and a materialistic theme, we are not to force our own convictions upon others or to expect everyone to walk in the same amount of light.

    Let’s minister some grace to one another by admitting that we are all both ahead and behind one another [in different ways] in understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. [And if we are more learned in an area, it is to God’s credit and not our own.]

    Would I destroy a local assembly over some believers practicing Christmas? Of course not! [Not that anyone is suggesting this.]

    Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat [Christmas] destroy not the work of God.

    –Romans 14:19-20 [Words in brackets mine]

    There is a difference between our private practice and our public life:

    It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

    –Romans 14:22

    We should not do anything that causes our brother or sister to stumble [do nothing to encourage them to violate their conscience].

    Notice, this works both ways: while we shouldn’t encourage someone to participate in a cultural holiday, if it violates their conscience; neither should we encourage them to stop the practice on the basis of our own conscience [else we bind them to us, rather than to God].

    It’s legalism either way.

    On one hand, we are not to use our freedom as a weapon against the weaker brother; on the other hand, we are not to force our own convictions upon them.

    It seems to boil down to this: God is the Worker, not man.

    Personally, I want to throw out all of our Christmas stuff. My wife was of this mind for a time, but relented, probably until the last child leaves. Who knows?

    I still discuss the issue with her. However, I don’t force her to stop, but rather, am waiting for God to bring her into agreement with me. That’s greater wisdom and more loving in my mind.

    [Yes, there are most definitely things in my own home that I would stand up against, no matter what.]

    The greater point is this: I didn’t always understand what authentic, biblical fellowship meant; and yet, the Lord received me.

    Focus upon essential things.

    • Mark Ketchum says:

      Thanks for your comment. Although I can conclude that you stand on the side of not celebrating Christmas (I could be wrong about that conclusion)… I appreciate your candor and your approach and discernment with Scripture. I agree wholeheartedly. I am a proponent of not being a divider of the body, but rather a seeker of the lost… they are who we should concentrate on and let the elders and leaders of your Church be the one’s who lead you in the Christian way. No one can snatch us away from our Lord.

    • Colin Saxton says:

      You make good valid points (and said graciously).

      I was thinking this year (since I live with so many unbelievers) that instead of going out and buying like it is going out of fashion that we as family buy a single present for each other and use the money instead to go for a nice meal out of the home and also to save some money for January when all of the sales will then be on and we can buy something we really need for basically a quarter of the price!?

      This means that we don’t join in with the madness…we actually rest during this holiday instead of making the meal ourselves and we can save and use our money wisely instead of following the world…just by shifting the dates and using the worlds madness against itself…we save money.

      Now none of this is spiritual…but to my family (who do not know Christ) it shifts the focus away from the madness of this Holiday. A good first step to bringing them out of it gently.

      • Mark Ketchum says:

        that’s a great idea… I think we shall try that as well…

      • Colin Saxton says:

        Until the mark of the beast comes I am going to urge grace and forgiveness…but there will come a time that buying and selling will all be linked up with the antichrist…at that point…I may find myself divorced and thrown out…but Christ will be with me and I will, at that time, make my stand.

        There is nothing wrong with blessing our family with what we have…its when we over indulge that it is wrong. Once a year sitting down for a lovely meal and having time to open up the word of God with my family (no matter how little this is) I find nothing wrong with…I always feel an absolute weight drop on me when people start to dictate with this stuff…I too hate the day when the world takes the Lords name in vain but I can still remember the birth of Christ (which is awesome and caused a host of angels to sing when the angel of God visited the shepherds)…I am not commanded to remember any of these days but I have liberty as long as I don’t use it as a stick to crush brothers and sisters with (Romans 14 as mark said)…

        This stuff is really hard to deal with and I only ever feel that it causes more harm than good when discussed. How far do you go…Okay so you don’t ever celebrate christmas…you then ban easter eggs (basically just eating chocolate to most people)…then you won’t allow your kids to have blood transfusions if they are involved in a road traffic accident…while we are at it…don’t eat pork because it is an unclean animal…do you see where this is going…we are freed from this kind of thing…

        When we start to change our habits because of a dead object (a christmas tree or an easter egg) then we are allowing the dead object to dictate how we live…we are giving it some kind of power that it doesn’t really have because it is nothing – 1cor8:14…I think the trees look pretty but I don’t associate them with Christ (the world might and that is their problem)…I don’t care if my chocolate bar looks like an easter egg or a snickers bar…it tastes great and in moderation it is good for you and a blessing from God if we thank Him for it…

        Christ commanded us to love one another – are we doing that…you see we can start to strain a knat and swallow a camel if we are not careful…If it is all wrong then I ask the Lord to forgive me and show me a better way…it is Christ who makes me walk paths of righteousness for His names sake…He will teach me. Lord help us in all of this stuff.

      • Mark Finger says:

        Sounds like wisdom to me …

  26. Mark Finger says:

    In other words, practically speaking, we should speak our minds graciously, but follow this counsel: “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil,” (Matthew 5:37).

    That’s my greater point … if I have one [toothy grin].

  27. amongtheforgotten says:

    I tried to read all the comments but was getting worn out doing so. Is this subject matter really that difficult to understand? I don’t think so. I appreciated Mark’s comments through Romans 14 (they were excellent) and Colin’s additions. Frankly though, this post isn’t about Christmas, and the article itself and the issues it raises get the “A” from me. I often prefer the comments to articles due to the dynamic found between person to person. By Jim nailed this one right on, and the issues he addresses are far more important than whether an individual or family celebrates Christmas. Might want to read it again- I did.

    • Colin Saxton says:

      By Jim nailed this one right on, and the issues he addresses are far more important than whether…Might want to read it again – I did…

      Hi amongtheforgotten…what post are you referring to by Jim? I would like to read it…(or am I missing the wood from the trees here!?)

      • amongtheforgotten says:

        Hi Colin. Good to see you frequenting our sites and adding your sound thoughts.

        This article- “Boycott the Christian Boycott” This is a straightforward and spot on indictment of exactly what characterizes most of modern day American Christianity. Only a Pharisee would ever point the finger at another person or business and be so blind not to recognize many if not all of the sins above that Jim mentions in their own life. Anyone practicing any of the sin above might want to consider what a man named Paul said: “Consider this, whether ye be in the faith.”
        Carrying Christ’s cross and dying to the sins above are not options on the road to heaven- they are absolute necessities and mandates by none other than Jesus Himself.

        • Colin Saxton says:

          Yeah…I saw something like this in Isaiah 4 … I just blogged about this…but to put it quickly…I was reading Isaiah 4:1 and is stood out like a saw thumb

          The seven women are (unbelievers in the church)…they want to be called by the one mans name (Christians being of Christ’s ones) but they want to eat their own food (live by their own words) and wear their own apparel (clothe themselves with their own righteousness) but let us be called by your name (let us be called Christians) to take away our reproach (so that our sins can be forgiven)…

          You might disagree or agree with it…hey it made sense to me when I saw it and it opened up the previous chapter of Isaiah 3 and the rest of chapter 4…

          But let us forget that it is a work of the Spirit…One reason that someone keeps on sinning in the same blatant sins is that they have yet to be saved or accept the gospel. All of us at some point will sin and that is when we must ask for forgiveness…its when we sin and don’t see a problem with it that the Spirit isn’t chastising us…because we are not of Him…why would He?

          this goes hand in hand with repentance – acknowledging our sin and the righteousness of God and coming to Christ for forgiveness *before* we receive sanctification – its an entire work of the Spirit who is convicting us of our sin (if we are saved He will sanctify us)…Telling sinners to stop sinning is like telling a dolphin to stop eating fish…they need to hear the gospel first (which saves sinners who are in sin) and when they are saved through the gospel then the Holy Spirit will do the sanctification…sometimes we want sinners to start sanctifying themselves before they are saved by the hearing of the gospel…we plant the gospel and the seed starts to grow and the bigger it grows the more conviction and sanctification grows…the fruits of the spirit then begin to grow as the sin is purged (pruned as in John 15…by the Lord)

          However, there must come a point that unbelievers…who are not saved and running rampant amongst the believers…causing all kinds of problems…that the church must take a stand. The whole point here is that the churches of today are compromised and accepting apostasy of all kinds…so we have Christians who are moving out and being church instead of going to church…It takes grace doesn’t it…there does come a point…but until that point we have time to push the word home to them…as the word says…let it be known that he that turns a sinner from his ways saves a soul from damnation and covers a multitude of sins…(paraphrasing from my memory).

          When that time is or comes must be something that is lead by the Spirit…blatant fornication and adultery amongst the assembly should bot be tolerated!

          We had better make sure though that we have a forgiving heart before we start wading in with they are in the wrong…Jesus Christ hates hypocrisy and is one of the statements that he uses against the Pharisees in Matthew 23 over and over again…(core I should have turned that lot into a post!?)

  28. Colin Saxton says:

    The Christmas issue is something that continually attacks the body of Christ over and over again. I think it is one of the ways that the devil uses to cause friction amongst the believers. I must say it is something that continually comes up on my radar through out the year and it really is something that I hate…being like a monk and not having anything to do with the world is not the answer. The bit I hate is that His name is used in this day and it is attached to all kinds of commercial selling…surely God hates that.

    We need to ask for His guidance and forgiveness and it brings home the meaning of “Those who are forgiven much love much” – we had better tread with trembling and fear because the Lord is going to make a quick work of the world when He returns…we are all going to be humbled and covered in sackcloth and ashes when He returns…Judgement begins in His house so we had better start being humble and merciful so that He will be merciful with us…

    God bless all in Christ…let us pray for one another no matter where we are…let us seek to build one another up in love (which is the bond of perfection and peace amongst the saints) and let is have a heart that wants to witness for Christ in the streets and markets through out wherever we live…Get out there and preach His name brothers and sisters…lift His name higher and higher continually every day…let us not have confidence in what we can do but let us boast in what He has already done…Spread the good news

    God bless you, Amen and Amen.

    Lord forgive me a sinner

    • fleebabylon says:

      “The Christmas issue is something that continually attacks the body of Christ over and over again. I think it is one of the ways that the devil uses to cause friction amongst the believers.”

      At the same time the devil can use any issue to cause friction with believers brother (God bless you and good to hear from you btw) so that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about it.

      For me I just have to ask this one question.

      Why do I celebrate a tradition that is not in the Bible but was handed down to me by popular christendom.

      I think every true believer owes it to themselves and their Lord to ask “why am I doing this”. From there we can form honest personal convictions on if we celebrate Christs birth or not and if so how? I would never separate from other believers because they celebrate the birth of Christ or even because they have a tree up in their house. You would not find our house doing this though.

      I have found this conversation to be helpful in some ways though long and drawn out in others. I guess the two things I really hate are:

      1) The materialism that brother Colin talked about earlier.

      2) All things roman catholic including and especially the popes satanic christMass (the foundation of the protestant celebration).

      Anyway, God bless you brother. -Jim

      • Colin Saxton says:

        If I am honest – I don’t know the answer? On one hand I can see in scripture (Jer 10:1…) the roots of it…and on the other I can see other scripture in the new testament that speaks of liberty in Christ as we have spoke of above…

        Maybe it is time to just say “enough is enough…I am not taking part in this” in my house – being the spiritual head I have to weigh up also how to be graceful with it but maybe this is the wrong application of grace!?

        I don’t have the answer….there was a time that I would think about it in the run up to the day but now it seems to occupy my mind many months before…it could be the Holy Spirit putting this on my heart to lay down the rules now in preparedness…The holy days that Paul talks about in Romans must have been the Jewish calendar – I can’t see otherwise…I can’t ever see him talking about pagan days. As I have said before…how far do we go with this…does it make a difference to my salvation if an unbeliever in my family puts up a tree or eats chocolate on easter? If I have given them the gospel and they refuse it (and they have for now) do I then enforce my beliefs throughout the family…

        This is a tough one for believers living with unbelievers…what won’t be tough is not taking the mark of the beast…when that comes…no matter what…if they want to do that then that will be the time that we part company…and it will be God who will make that forever, as His word says and teaches about that mark…

        It is Roman catholic and I do hate this day more than all of the others because the Lords name is used for the lowest of all mans activities…advertising to make more money than they already have!

        It is a tough one Jim and I do hate the day…but let us celebrate Jesus everyday and treat it as another day…not to overindulge or to join in with spending ridiculous amounts of money and the like…let is keep in our forefront that an idol is just a dead object…if we make more than what it is then we start to credit power to it…I think there is something in this last statement…

        One thing that I do have in my mind is that – could the doctrine of the nicolatians be the trappings of this day…since it stems from “st nicholas” … that would make sense in the revelation letters … if it is then we also know that the Lord hates this…(I can’t see how he would like any of it though)…

        I need to keep praying on this and ask for the Lords leading.

        • ian vincent says:

          Hi Colin, Just to add, we do meet some brothers and sisters who celebrate Jesus birth on the 25th without the religious, pagan, cultural or commercial “trappings” and even without hypocrisy, and there’s nothing about that which i personally would raise objection to, even though i don’t celebrate it myself. And some sincere believers like this don’t try and justify it in any other terms than they simply want to do it and they feel there is no harm in it, even though it is not Biblical. But when people start to argue that religious tradition has some kind of authority which Christians must be obligated to, then it’s sad.

          • Mark Ketchum says:

            Ian… now it seems as if you are playing a different tune. I, for one, have never said that because it is a religious tradition, it should be celebrated… I said it is our family tradition and I find nothing wrong with it. If you are OK with that, I have no problem with anything you have said on the subject as I can see your point of view as well as your conviction.

          • Colin Saxton says:

            Hi Ian,

            Yeah I went away and asked the Lord to lead me in this area and what I got was Colosians 2…right at the end it says the following, I will quote from the ESV

            Let No One Disqualify You

            16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[d] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

            20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

            These scriptures give seem to speak of freedom either way…as long as in faith we are holding onto Christ…If someone choose to ignore Christmas…then good…if someone choose to remember the birth of Christ on this day…then that is okay too…what is the motives behind it?

            I think if we do either to try and get closer to Christ then we are trying to add to our salvation (Christ+us)…but if we are committed to the love of Christ and we fully know that He has saved us then we have liberty here…we are not bound either way

            Someone said last night…if you are trying to do something to put yourself right with God then you may as well say the following.

            “Baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and [insert your name here]”

            I think colossians 2 also backs up the text from Romans 14…we have freedom to celebrate Christ’s birth and we can enjoy this day without all of the worldly stuff that goes along with it – like you said.

            God bless you Ian.

            • ian vincent says:

              When it comes to sincere believers observing a certain day from a pure conscience by faith (and not law) then the issue is maturity not morality, if i take all that Paul said on the issue. I take it that Paul was praying that the Church would come to a level of maturity which would embrace every day as holy and special in Christ. When Paul was there, if someone had come up with the idea of Christmas, i don’t believe he would have gone along with it. It’s one thing when believers observe days which were originally instituted by God, but to create our own holy days (out of our imagination) … i don’t think Paul would have gone along with that.

              • Colin Saxton says:

                Your right, however…we do have this day in the world and I live with unbelievers who are not going to let it go with me dictating to them what they should do…so how do I use grace in this situation? I have to have patience in gently leading my family to Christ.

                The word clearly says if I want to hold a day special for whatever reason then I can and if I want to treat everyday the same then I can…I have liberty in Christ to do this. Its more a question of how we are on this day and not whether we remember the birth of Christ or not. A christmas tree is a dead tree and it has no power and it certainly has no power over me to want to bow down to it…the same way that an easter egg is just a piece of chocolate and nothing more.

                My salvation is in Christ – no one and nothing can keep me from that salvation – my trust is in what Christ did on the cross and I have absolutely no confidence in what I can do for the Lord because all of my works are but filthy rags before him…before the Lord saved me I was dead in trespasses and sins and all my good works where just dung!

                Romans 4 says that if we are taking confidence in anything that we have done to count towards our salvation then we are saying that God owes us for what we have done…There is nothing I can do to get into heaven more than what Christ as already done on the cross…Eating chocolate on any day of the year is not going to stop me getting into heaven – my trust is in Christ and not myself…if my family have put up a Christmas tree then how can that stop me from being saved? Christ died for me and cleanses me from all sin…a dead tree with some colored balls on it with a few flashing lights has absolutely no power to stop me being saved…its just a tree with colored balls and flashing lights…do I need it – no – has it got power to stop me getting into heaven – no! none whatsoever…

                And I can say this because Pauls says in Romans 8

                38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                However,

                If my brothers choose to ignore this day (and save their money…which is wise) then I hold nothing against them and I for one would never separate from a brother who either remembers or ignores this day…I for one would dump all of it…but for now – at this time – I am praying for my family to come to the Lord and I don’t want to let these things come between me and my family…

            • Mark says:

              My comments concern the following verses:

              “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ,” (Colossians 2:16-17).

              The context of these verse [looking at what comes prior to them] is what Christ accomplished on the cross, the nature of His atoning work, which is complete.

              Therefore, the implication of verses 16 and 17 is that what came before Christ [the shadow of eating only certain kinds of foods and observing certain, special days] is done away with–and the verses that follow seem to confirm this:

              “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God,” (Colossians 2:18-19).

              If a believer continues in Old Testament practices [which are a shadow and type of things to come], they do not hold fast to the head [Christ], the true substance of our faith.

              Consequently, given the context, verses 16-17 clearly are communicating that the observance of special days and other old covenant practices are something to be done away with.

              I am speaking specifically about Old Testament practices; I am NOT addressing how each believer extends this teaching to the practice of recognizing traditions specific to their own cultures. That is between the believer and God.

              I am only clarifying my thoughts on Colossians 2.

              I thank you were wise to make the following statements, Colin:

              1) I have to have patience in gently leading my family to Christ.
              2) I am praying for my family to come to the Lord and I don’t want to let these things come between me and my family…
              3) I for one would never separate from a brother who either remembers or ignores this day.

  29. ian vincent says:

    Anything which smells like a “Christian Censorship Board” is suspect.

    Like, to make even discussing Christmas or Easter or the like “off limits” and to have controlling “Censors” who swoop down on any discussion they don’t approve of: this is probably more at the root of the matter.

    Usually the issue is not that we are “fighting” over it, but that we “dare” to raise the issue in the first place, we are on a taboo subject or we’ve touched on some idol.

    • Mark Ketchum says:

      I do not want to start another disagreement, but I have to ask… is it the idol of Christmas that is taboo, or is it the idol of legalism?

      • fleebabylon says:

        Mark Ketchum,

        Please look up the word legalism and consider your understanding of it may be tainted by the harlot church system you are wedded to. If anything Paul equates legalism with keeping of special “holy” days, not teaching against keeping days…

        Galatians 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
        Gal 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years!
        Gal 4:11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

        Again there is some liberty in these matters, this comment is just to add balance to what you have said. -Jim

        • Mark Ketchum says:

          Thanks, and I did look it up.

          The word “legalism” does not occur in the Bible. It is a term Christians use to describe a doctrinal position emphasizing a system of rules and regulations for achieving both salvation and spiritual growth. Legalists believe in and demand a strict literal adherence to rules and regulations. Doctrinally, it is a position essentially opposed to grace. Those who hold a legalistic position often fail to see the real purpose for law, especially the purpose of the Old Testament law of Moses, which is to be our “schoolmaster” or “tutor” to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).

          Even true believers can be legalistic. We are instructed, rather, to be gracious to one another: “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters” (Romans 14:1). Sadly, there are those who feel so strongly about non-essential doctrines that they will run others out of their fellowship, not even allowing the expression of another viewpoint.

          Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-Christian-legalism.html#ixzz2RHef0UqV

          So I guess it would be those who rally against Christians celebrating Christ’s birth who are subject to legalism… simply because most Christians are OK with those that don’t and don’t force their “OKness” of Christmas on fellow brothers.

      • ian vincent says:

        I think the majority (not all) celebrate Christmas out of legalism: their conscience is tied to it, they would feel they have sinned, or at the least backslidden if they don’t celebrate. That’s the usual response I get from Christians,

        Yes, and some oppose it legalistically as well.

        But that’s not the case here.

        ——————————————————–

        It gets confusing when these two issues get merged:

        a) Public proclamation (on the net, books etc)

        b) Personal communication

        We have a duty and a right to proclaim the truth publicly.

        We would very rarely speak to an individual one to one in exactly the same way that we preach in public, for we would be imposing ourselves on them.

        In public it is not an imposition, cos they are free to just switch off, not listen or not read what we’ve written.

        So it’s not right to read someone’s articles and assume they go around speaking the same thing into every face they meet.

        I usually write one article about Christmas per year. In my personal interaction with all kinds of Christians i would never raise the issue of Christmas unless they raised it or asked me how we celebrate.

        • ian vincent says:

          So this is why “anonymous fellowship” doesn’t work cos its out of ignorance of the person’s actual beliefs and lifestyle.

          I met Jim on the net and now i’ve come to know him thru communication like skype almost as if i was there with him.

          the same with Mark Finger, Sean, Al, Michael “amongthe forgotten’ ….

  30. Mark says:

    Ian wrote: “When it comes to sincere believers observing a certain day from a pure conscience by faith (and not law) then the issue is maturity not morality, if i take all that Paul said on the issue. I take it that Paul was praying that the Church would come to a level of maturity which would embrace every day as holy and special in Christ. When Paul was there, if someone had come up with the idea of Christmas, i don’t believe he would have gone along with it. It’s one thing when believers observe days which were originally instituted by God, but to create our own holy days (out of our imagination) … i don’t think Paul would have gone along with that.”

    This perfectly sums up what I believe …

  31. ian vincent says:

    The Jews strictly observed many religious dates on the calendar and yet they never celebrated birthdays. The Lord Jesus, as a Jew did not celebrate His birthday and the early church did not celebrate birthdays. It was the influence of the pagan Roman culture upon Christians which caused them much later to celebrate birthdays and eventually to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

  32. Mark Ketchum says:

    Thought you might enjoy this read. Helped me put things in perspective regarding sports.
    http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/in-defense-of-sports

  33. fleebabylon says:

    Reblogged this on Flee from Babylon… AKA Modern American Christianity and commented:

    Yearly reblog..

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