Weekly Mind Dump: Holiday Rant

✪ Sometimes I get onto American news websites to see what is going on back across the ocean. I read the following headline: “Some Christians Are Extremely Unhappy About Starbucks’ New Holiday Cups” and then I proceeded to read the article. I was baffled. My first thought was: “What a bunch of idiots!” Then I realized that wasn’t very nice. But seriously, you are offended by a bunch of red coffee cups?

✪ So let’s get this out there: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are not Biblical holidays. The Scriptures do not command, encourage, teach or prohibit them. We are to be lights in the world every day, not cultural crybabies who whine when nonbelievers don’t celebrate a cultural holiday with the same moral tone that we do. As a Christian, there is no moral obligation to celebrate these holidays.

✪ Getting upset about an unbeliever not saying, “Merry Christmas” is silly if we stop and think about it. Would you expect an unbeliever to go around saying “Jesus loves you!”? No! You, Christian, are to be the salt and light in the world, not the unbeliever! Stop watching Fox News and tell someone, “Jesus loves you” (because when you tell them Merry Christmas anyways they just think about Santa Clause, not Jesus)!

✪ Recently Read: The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History – I actually really enjoyed this book. I got way more out if it than I was expecting. I was just looking for a book to read about the origins of Thanksgiving and was this packed full of that and so much more. If you like thanksgiving, history and are a Christian then you will probably enjoy this book as well. From the book: “Finally, and most important, we cannot positively conclude what kind of religious significance, if any, the Pilgrims imputed to the celebration. While American Christians have been accustomed to think of Thanksgiving as an intrinsically religious holiday, Winslow makes no mention of prayer or worship in his pithy description. Curious, isn’t it?” [1]

✪ Below are some quotes about the pilgrims that will probably blow your mind:

✪ Quote: “…the Pilgrims were suspicious of almost all regular holidays, viewing them as papist inventions. This means that they didn’t celebrate Christmas. As Pastor Robinson had noted, nowhere in the Bible are we told that December 25 was Jesus’ birthday; the occasion looked suspiciously like an excuse for a pagan celebration. (When Puritans briefly controlled the Parliament in the middle of the seventeenth century, they actually enacted a national law prohibiting observance of the day.) Nor did they celebrate Easter, which similarly lacked an express scriptural mandate. Every Sunday was a commemoration of the resurrection, and to set apart one Sunday each year from all the rest was presumptuous.” [2]

✪ Quote: “Finally, while they looked on marriage as a divinely ordained institution, they wanted nothing to do with church marriages. God had given marriage to “Gentiles” as well as Christians, and he had never explicitly charged pastors with solemnizing the relationship. By only recognizing marriages performed by a priest, both Catholics and Anglicans were guilty of aggrandizing the role of the church and forcing unbelievers to submit to a religious rite. Couples truly faithful to the Word of God would insist on being married by a civil magistrate.” [3]

✪ Quote: “When the Pilgrims prayed—something they did frequently and, from our perspective, at great length—they thought it best to look upward with their eyes open, not downward with their eyes closed. “The eyes of the mind are lifted to God in prayer,” taught Pastor Robinson. “Why not the eyes of the body also?” At meals they thought it best to pray not once, but twice. Before the meal they “craved [God’s] blessing upon that we had and were about to eat,” Winslow explained, while afterward they “again returned thanks to the same Our God” for his having done so.” [4]

✪ Quote: “These 115 words constitute the sum total of contemporary evidence regarding the First Thanksgiving … Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.” [5]

✪ Quote: “The Pilgrims rejected the King James Bible. (Gasp here.) James had actually commissioned that famous translation to counter the Geneva Bible of 1560. That edition, so beloved by English Puritans, had included marginal explanatory notes undermining the “divine right of kings,” and the monarch detested it.” [6]

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