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Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas (διαθηκη blog)

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

διαθηκη has a good blog post about the pagan lies surrounding Christmas.

Excerpt:

This first evidence from Clement of Alexandria Egypt strongly suggests that before his writing the Stromata there were people in the Church who had already fixed December 25th as the birth of Christ.

A second example from the same period is Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235).

Between the years 202 and 211 A.D. the Church Father Hippolytus wrote in his Commentary on Daniel (section 4.23.3) about the date of the birth of Christ.

Ἡ γὰρ πρώτη παρουσία τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ἡ ἔνσαρκος,
ἐν ᾗ γεγέννηται ἐν Βηθλεέμ,
ἐγένετο πρὸ ὀκτὼ καλανδῶν
ἰανουαρίων,
ἡμέρᾳ τετράδι,
βασιλεύοντος Αὐγούστου
τεσσαρακοστὸν καὶ δεύτερον ἔτος,
ἀπὸ δὲ Ἀδὰμ πεντακισχιλιοστῷ
καὶ πεντακοσιοστῷ ἔτει·
ἔπαθεν δὲ τριακοστῷ τρίτῳ ἔτει
πρὸ ὀκτὼ καλανδῶν ἀπριλίων,
ἡμέρᾳ παρασκευῇ,
ὀκτωκαιδεκάτῳ ἔτει Τιβερίου Καίσαρος
For the first advent of our Lord in the flesh,
when he was born in Bethlehem,
which happened eight days before the kalends
of January [December 25th],
on the 4th day of the week [Wednesday],
while Augustus was reigning
in his forty-second year,
but from Adam five thousand
and five hundred years.
He suffered in the thirty third year,
8 days before the kalends of April [March 25th],
the Day of Preparation
the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesaer

(The Greek text can be found in volume 9 of Migne’s Patrologia Gracae)

This evidence from Hippolytus of Rome shows that by the end of the 2nd century, the same era as Clement of Alexandria, Christians in Europe as well as Africa recognized December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth.

The fact that December 25th had been established for Christ’s birth by the end of the 2nd century is important for refuting claims made by modern pagans and others about Yule and Sol Invictus which we will cover in future articles.

Read the rest

Categories: Right Worship

Confession Mirror: The Third Commandment

December 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Since so many pastors don’t know how to preach the Law to their members, perhaps this will help. From the Confession Mirror in Brotherhood Prayer Book:

THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Have I neglected the reading of the Bible thinking that hearing it on Sunday is enough? Do I let other daily activities take precedence over prayer and meditation on God’s Word? Have I kept every day holy with the reading and meditation upon God’s Word?

Has the hearing and reading of God’s Word become boring and meaningless to me? Have I despised the preaching of His Word by not coming to church as regularly as I should?

Have I let my mind wander when I am at church and become distracted by my thoughts?

Do I despise the reception of Holy Communion by not coming to receive it or by receiving it with no thought of the great price Jesus paid for my sin on the cross?

Have I been an unfaithful witness to others in our congregation by my absence from or inattention in the Divine Service?

Have I gone to church only out of habit, or because I was forced? Do I get bored with the sermon, the holy liturgy, or the celebration of the sacrament, when I should know that the Lord Jesus is present and wants to speak to me through them?

Did I also reflect on the service and the sermon after it was over, or did I forget it all as soon as it was over?

Does my attendance to the Divine Service suffer because of my other weekend activities? Do I needlessly despise worship services that are offered during the week, not taking the opportunity to pray publicly with other members?

Am I ready to learn from the sermon and make progress in Christianity?

Have I destroyed the blessing of the Divine Service for myself and others with frivolous criticism?

Have I stopped to consider that God will one day ask me what I have done with my Sundays and whether I have taken His Word and His Divine Service seriously?

Have I observed the “penitential seasons” of the church year (Advent, Lent, Holy Week, days of humility and prayer) with requisite seriousness?

Categories: Catechesis

Quote of the Day

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

If the Book of Concord has ceased being an accurate description of doctrine and practice in a given congregation, either the pastor of that congregation should preach and teach in order to bring the congregation back into communion with those confessions, or pastor and parish should both openly renounce the Lutheran confessions and leave our fellowship. Integrity demands it. It is openly hypocritical to stand before the holy altar and pledge fealty to confessions that one feels he is free to ignore.

[Are the Confessions Prescriptive or Descriptive? – Pr. Larry Beane – Gottesdienst]

Categories: Wrong Worship

Broken by Pr Jonathan Fisk

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment