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Canceling church for... Christmas?

Some churches closing on Christmas
"This is a consumer mentality at work: 'Let's not impose the church on people. Let's not make church in any way inconvenient,' " said David Wells, professor of history and systematic theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a leading evangelical school in Hamilton, Massachusetts.

One pastor said: "The best way to honour Jesus's birth is for families to have a more personal experience on that day."
Consumer mentality is right.

The church I attend will not only be open on Christmas - for us, it will be a Sunday like any other. No special Christmas message, our pastor is just going to keep plugging through the Beatitudes (which he started last week). (We'll certainly be singing a lot of Christmas hymns, though.)

In the Christian calendar, the biggest holiday is (or should be) Easter. Jesus's death and resurrection were the culmination of His ministry on Earth, and the reason that we can be justified and pardoned of our sins. Not to mention that we actually celebrate it at the right time of year. Christmas was first celebrated to Christianize a pagan holiday (winter solstice), and it is slowly turning into a totally non-religious holiday. I don't have any problem with the non-religious aspects of Christmas... but when Christmas falls on a Sunday, it becomes obvious just how non-religious this holiday has become.

Thanks to mookieghana, who originally alerted me to this story.
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londo December 8th, 2005
According to the article, the churches that are closing are the gigantic megachurches down south. Given that these churches seem to be in the process of selling religion to begin with (selling like literally selling, not selling like missionary work), I'm not at all surprised that they made an economic decision to close. This does not make them any more bastards, it just makes it more obvious what they are.

I've never known BBC to be anything less than chock full of integrity, and it's good to know that this is still true.

daedaleandeus December 8th, 2005
Just, you know, for the record, Easter is also just a Christianization of a Pagan holiday. And in my opinion, Easter is a lot more bothersome, because the Pagan holiday behind it celebrated things "rising" from the "dead" of winter, much as we now celebrate Jesus rising into heaven on the 3rd day after his death.
I know that you and yours take the bible a lot more literally than me and mine, but I still cant help but point out that its scary sometimes how much of Christianity was influenced by all that came before.

anitra December 9th, 2005
You can view Easter as the Christianization of a pagan holiday, if you want to... Since I take the Bible pretty literally, I view the pagan death/rebirth theme as a foreshadowing of what was to come with Jesus; much like Passover was a symbol of judgement being "passed over" because of the death of another.

lil_cherub December 9th, 2005
I believe scientists traced Jesus's birth back to 4BC in April. 3 planets lined up in the sky and they think that was the light which lead the wise men to find the baby. Christmas was placed, like you said, to align with the pagan holiday, as was so many other holidays.

I added you to my friends :)

anitra December 9th, 2005
It's obvious from the Christmas story in Luke that Jesus was born in the spring ("shepherds were in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks.." which, in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem, only happened in the springtime).

We've also known for many years that Jesus wasn't actually born exactly at the BC/AD crossover - the guy who originally made that calculation was off by a few years.

I'd never heard about that theory with the planets lining up to form the "star", though; that's pretty interesting.

imotic December 9th, 2005
i say, so what if it was a pagan holiday? so what if the 12 days of Christmas have become the ... well however many days there are between Thanksgiving (soon becoming Halloween) and Christmas, when the Christmas ads start running?

Jesus' birth is still worth celebrating. And that's what I'm going to do on Christmas. And no amount of pagans or heathen capitalists (or people who correct me on the date, hehe) are going to change that. It's the spirit of the holiday, maybe not the letter of the holiday. (if that last bit makes sense.)

anitra December 9th, 2005
That totally makes sense to me.

By the way, traditionally the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day and extend into January... I've never understood why modern American culture shys away from anything Christmas-like after December 25/26.

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