Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Week: The Tinselling

With all that's been going on, I nearly forgot to extol the wonderful virtues of Christmas! How could I have been so thoughtless?

I'll make up for it now.

Do take the time to respond to the poll. For my money, it's "A Charlie Brown Christmas". When Linus reads from the Gospel according to Saint Luke, I get giddy with joy.

And who could forget that tree?

And now Christmas.

From the first century writer Josephus:

NOW Cyrenius, a Roman senator, and one who had gone through other magistracies, and had passed through them till he had been consul, and one who, on other accounts, was of great dignity, came at this time into Syria, with a few others, being sent by Caesar to he a judge of that nation, and to take an account of their substance. Coponius also, a man of the equestrian order, was sent together with him, to have the supreme power over the Jews. Moreover, Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance, and to dispose of Archelaus's money; but the Jews, although at the beginning they took the report of a taxation heinously, yet did they leave off any further opposition to it, ....

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. 

As the accounts from the Bible state:

"Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

"8 Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; 9 and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”"

So now that I've established that Jesus existed, we can dispense with the nonsense that He didn't and talk about Christmas at leisure.  As El Barto is wont to say: 

The Historical Jesus can be explained this way....

Massive religious followings don't appear *SUDDENLY* around and about men who didn't exist. THe Romans recorded the existence of Christians since day one. Proof of Historical Jesus established.

Now, why DO we celebrate Christmas?

For Christians, the Birth of Christ heralds His ultimate purpose: to re-establish by dying and rising from the dead what went wrong from the beginning- the start of Original Sin. No one wants to hear that not only could there be one supreme being running things but that as human beings we are flawed. Well- it's true. Deal with it. This shouldn't be a reason for despair as there is a way to resolve the errant nature of humanity through Christ Himself. The season of Christmas engenders more than Christ's future purpose. The season of Christmas brings with it an innate sense of cheer and goodness not seen throughout the year. We know we are on the verge of something good happening. We anticipate the feasts. We prepare things that remind us that- at least one day of the year- we should be completely happy.


Moving on....

This article highlights the use of North Korean slave labour in Russia. Not uncommon knowledge in some circles. Check out part five of the video series. (NSFW, as they say)

Also, North Korean defection, escape and cowardice.

(thumbs up)

Christopher Hitchens has finally discovered there IS a God after passing away this past week. His finer moment can be seen here.

Apparently, "An Open Letter from Canada to China" was mentioned on an Occupy Toronto Facebook page by a guy named David Notlib. Thanks for spreading the good word, David.

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