Monday, December 19, 2011

The Real War On Christmas And The Mythical "Silent Night"

Every year I try to slow down at Christmas and not get eaten by the cultural add-ons that our American society has saddled the Advent season with. We should be declaring and celebrating the Good News in the season that tells of the birth of Christ. Too many church programs, school programs, office parties, our overindulgence in spending, finding perfect presents and growing in debt make us frantic.
Beside all the the cultural trappings we miss the power of the Word of God addressed to God's people trough out the ages.

Even our Christmas carols of a religious nature miss the mark as we look back at the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, whose name means "Savior" and "Anointed One", the long awaited Messiah, gets His message of forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and Kingdom eternity, has his ministry, message and mission distorted by our Christmas culture. There is no war on Christmas really. There is a very real war on the mission of Christ. That mission is and was "To seek and to save those who were lost." (Matthew 20:28)

One of our cherished songs is Silent Night. We know from school and church Christmas programs that some guy in Germany had no organ in the 1800's. So with only a guitar he wrote and sang "Silent Night." It might have seemed like silent night then in Germany. When Jesus Christ was born hell in full fury came to do the work of the evil one and to "steal and to kill" and stop the work of Christ.

What about that supposed "Silent Night"?
Peasants by the thousands poured to the city of their father's birth.
Poor people were trekking throughout Israel. That was no silent night.

Luke 2:1-4
English Standard Version (ESV)
Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus Christ

"1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David",

We know there was no room in the Inn for the mother who was to be known to have conceived a child before she was married. Who found room for a teenage girl ready to deliver her child? No one. Baby Jesus was turned out by his own people as "The City of David" was filled with his relatives during the time of the census. We know by the record in Scripture He was placed in a manger. A manger was a stable for the animals. Many historians believe this stable was a cave. I doubt it was a silent night in there.

Then we learn a Heavenly host of angels declares the gospel to the shepard's.
A light from what they thought was a star shown brightly. I wonder how quiet those animals were? Then those shepards went through out the area telling the Good News they had received. That does not sound like a silent night.

Luke 2:8-20
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Shepherds and the Angels

8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
15When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."

Then we learn Joseph had to flee in the middle of the night as Herod set out to slaughter the Holy Babe. The wise men were coming through with a gaudy entourage as they surely traveled with protective forces, especially with their cargo of Gold, frankincense and myrrh. King Herod declared the slaughter of every male child under the age of two. Where was this silent night?

Matthew 2:13-18
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Flight to Egypt

13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." 14And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt I called my son."

Herod Kills the Children

16Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18 "A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more."

The outcast couple during a mass movement of people for a census, some sort of star shining all around, angels declaring the Word, poor shepards declaring the Good News, a caravan of rich people traveling through the slums of Bethlehem, a birth in a stable full of animals, the slaughter of babies, where was this silent night?

Hell came against the baby Jesus. God preserved His Son. His mother was under attack because of who was conceived in her. His mother's people the Jews have always suffered from the evil one as the evil one knows the Messiah's people are the Hebrews.

Tell the real story this Christmas. Have your devotions with family and or friends. This story is awesome and real. This baby born in a manger was the "Lamb of God." This Lamb was slaughtered to pay for the sins of believers. We receive the riches of Christ and are forgiven by God. The Lamb, Jesus Christ, received the wrath of God intended for sinners like us. This story will take you from death, hell and the grave.
Trough our the cute stories and myths we have let them override the gospel in our time.
Share the Gospel in this Christmas season. Give your people something to really celebrate.

In Christ Alone!

Fletcher Law

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