12/25/09

The Two Christmases and the Two (or Three) Atheist Options

Apparently, Christmas has not been around long enough for some atheists to understand it. Actually, I am quite certain that I just made a fallacious statement as, just like Christians, atheists understand that there are two Christmases.

The publishing of An Atheist's Guide to Christmas should make is clear that as per Christmas atheists have two options, three if they are inconsistent: 1) ignore it, leave us alone to enjoy it and get on with your life maaaaaaaaaan, 2) repent and celebrate the birth of your savior, 3) besmirch your Christian parents, condemn Christmas but then make sure you wake up nice and early on Dec. 25th in order to rake in the presents!

Yes, December 25th is close at hand and atheists have already begun giving the gift of mocking Christmas, filing lawsuits and getting ready to collect their presents.

One Christmas is all sugar coating and no substance and the other is substantive with sugar on top. What I am referring to is that one manner in which Christmas is celebrated is to focus on Santa Claus, trees, reindeers and gifts (secular Christ-less-mas). This is the only Christmas about which it could be said that there are Pagan roots and the only one that atheists, always lacking in originality, can commandeer for themselves.

The other Christmas is to view it as a day in which we focus on the birth of the Messiah Jesus. When we focus on Christ’s birth we can also enjoy the tinsel while if we focus on tinsel the holiday looses all meaning and eventually even the tinsel loses its luster. A symbol is never as significant as the substance of that which it is meant to represent. This one includes not Pagan roots and atheists can only do with it what they do in replacing the supernatural God with various natural gods: themselves (see iTheism).

The History
As its name implies, CHRISTmas (literally celebration, or Mass of Christ) is a date in which is celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ (Christ being an English version of Kristos, which is a Greek version of Meshiach, which is Hebrew for anointed). Notice that Christmas, December 25th, is not Jesus’ birth date but a day in which His birth is celebrated. Christianity believes that Jesus is God’s son, which according to historical context meant that this was a claim to equality with God. This is one of many reasons why Jesus is said to be God incarnate (literally in the flesh).
Christmas has been celebrated, in one form or another, since the very day of Jesus’ birth (circa 3-4 BC). This is because Mary and Joseph celebrated His birth, the shepherds celebrated His birth and the angels celebrated His birth.



The Miracle
Christians and Muslims believe that Jesus was born to a virgin. This miraculous birth was foretold in the book of Genesis 3:15 where the seed of the woman is said to be a coming defeater of the serpent/satan (note that males have the seed and females the egg, while in this case the seed is of the woman, i.e., a child will be conceived without the involvement of a male). In the book of Isaiah 7:14 the prophecy is made more specific by referring to a sign from God, which will be that “the virgin shall be with child.” Isaiah 9:6 further applies names and titles to the child that are appropriate for God alone.

Moreover, Micah 5:2 foretells this child’s birth in Bethlehem. Jesus is known as being of Nazareth since that is where He lived but He was born in Bethlehem. It was also prophesied that the Messiah would be Jewish-a Hebrew from the Tribe of Judah, a descendant of Abraham, through Isaac, through Jacob, through Jesse, through David.

These are some of the many prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. Calculations conducted within the field of statistical probability demonstrate that as we compound prophecy upon prophecy the probability of one single person fulfilling all of their requirements becomes staggering. Yet, this is just what has occurred.



The Meaning
On the day of Jesus’ birth the following proclamations were made, “…behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:10-11, 14).

Christianity believes that Jesus chose to come to earth and live just as we do (yet, without sin) in order to fulfill the requirements of the Torah (Law of Moses or Old Testament Law). This would qualify Him to be what is known as a spotless lamb or Lamb of God (according to various metaphoric aspects of the Torah’s sacrificial rites as well as the Passover lamb as described in the book of Exodus). Therefore, Jesus chose to give His life so that those who relied on Him would be covered by His righteousness. This means that Christianity believes that all sins may be forgiven by believing that Jesus has paid the price for them. Thereafter, Christians are called to a life devoted to Jesus in thanksgiving for what He did for us. This is why Jesus’ birth is celebrated and why the majority of the world sets its calendars according to His birth.


4 comments:

  1. "This is why Jesus’ birth is celebrated and why the majority of the world sets its calendars according to His birth."

    Not quite. The reason the majority of the world sets its calendars accordingly is because European culture and civilization have become dominant over the rest of the world in the last few hundred years, and Christianity has traditionally been a component of that civilization.

    Ironically, the primary and most important reason Christianity has become so widespread across the planet is because of something very un-Christian: violence, war and conquest. Nothing special there.

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  2. "Ironically, the primary and most important reason Christianity has become so widespread across the planet is because of something very un-Christian: violence, war and conquest. Nothing special there."

    Blah blah blah....same old song and dance. It is really tiring to here this in some form over and over again. There is no teaching an old dog new tricks. Why waist the time.

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  3. Anonymous, you'll have to explain to me why that statement is invalid or irrelevant. Might require some actual analysis--but I thought so-called "Apologists" were into that kind of thing?

    Let me explicate this further: although I am not a Christian, as I understand it, the central message of Jesus revolves around peace, love, agape, and all that good stuff. Christianity the organized religion, though, has become exceedingly successful across the world primarily through violence, war and conquest--which obviously contradict that basic message.

    It was imposed, often violently, on African slaves in the New World (slavery also being inconsistent with that message), and on the African continent later; it was violently imposed on Native Americans, as well. In addition, within Europe and the western world, various Christian sects and denominations incessantly warred with each other for centuries with the purpose of establishing themselves as the only "official" religion in their domain.

    I don't know, seems pretty straightforward to me.

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  4. I think it's fair to say that nothing is actually known about Jesus until after he started his ministry, or at least until he met John. I find it rather disingenuous to state that X many prophecies were "fulfilled" when it is rather obvious that, in writing 50 years+ after his death, the stories (various and conflicting) were made to fit the prophecy (which actually concerned future Davidic kings).

    I don't believe Jesus would have approved of Christmas, as he was not a god, stated as much, and he declared that the future is already here. For 2000 years we have been disregarding a message and celebrating a man, I pry that will soon change.

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