25 December 2014

Questions for Christmas Keepers and Celebrants

On what basis do we approach God? On what basis do we petition and praise Him? How do we enter the Throne Room so to speak? What gives us the right to do that?

God alone determines how we approach him, how we are reconciled... how we worship. He establishes the criteria and fulfills it. We don't contribute to the plan of the Gospel. We don't get to participate in the negotiations so to speak

Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. And the days that some were keeping in the passage were Jewish ones. Paul nowhere had in mind that Christians in Rome would appropriate holidays to Zeus and Christianize them. That passage has been tortured by those seeking to assuage their consciences.

On what basis can you celebrate Christ-mass?

Where do we find in Scripture that the Church is supposed to create special times and seasons for worship? Where do we find that one day is to be placed above or set aside from another?

In fact we find explicit evidence to the contrary.

Where do we find that we invent new ways to honour (approach) God based on the pagan customs of the world, even if those customs are from a different era and don't 'mean' the same things today?

If you do 'keep' Christmas, then do you keep the whole liturgical year? Do you keep Advent, Lent, Epiphany, Ascension, All Saints, etc...?

If not, why not? On what basis do you accept some days and reject the others?

Your feelings?

Scripture? Surely not.

Your tradition? How do you know your tradition is right when other church traditions say different?

If tradition is the authority, how do you determine which tradition to follow?

If tradition is your authority, why would you be so strict in the formulation of how we approach God in terms of salvation/reconciliation but not strict in how that is expressed?

If you keep Christmas, you deny Sola Scriptura. You cannot have it both ways.

The Protestants who adopted and retained Christmas adhere to Sola Scriptura in name only. They are sitting on the fence. Their hallowed Reformation was ultimately not about returning to Scripture. Instead it merely rolled back centuries of the worst abuses and departures. But a Church rolled back to the say the 4th or 5th century in terms of doctrinal proximity to Scripture is still on the same road... a road of departure. But since we live in the 21st century the culture is different and so the road will venture into different places. Protestantism was bound to degenerate and it certainly has. The process started before the Reformers were in the grave.

Yes, I am assuming the early pre-Constantinian church held a greater purity. And no, I'm not terribly keen on the notion of theological advance and development. The very notion establishes an extra-Biblical authority and represents an equation of tradition and at the very least a sort of crypto-intellectual Magisterium.

If we were meant to build a massive intellectual apparatus based on deduction and coherence then the Scripture was at best a starting point... not a criterion that determines Truth from falsehood. It certainly could not be spoken of as sufficient. Paul's final words in 2 Timothy are at best misleading and reductionist. The Scriptures would not make us complete. They would only be getting us started. And at that point true piety some twenty centuries later would have to rest not on Scripture, that would be going backwards, but on the intellectual body of ideas which have followed it. You would be better served reading a modern theology book than Scripture. Maybe the Liberals are right after all!

But of course, the idea that we could then 'know' anything with certainty would go right out the window.

The Reformation did not resolve some of the most basic issues. They are still with us and those who rest on the Reformation tradition are building on sand.

Instead I will stand with the Remnant that has through the ages insisted Scripture Alone is the authority. I will not bow to the traditions of Christendom and the Beast-allied Babylonian Whore. Not all have been consistent when it comes to this particular tradition but they stood on a foundation quite different from the Magisterial Protestants and their descendants.
Christmas itself is in the end, not that critical. But it represents the most fundamental issue by which the Church stands or falls...
Twenty years ago I became the Lord's free man... I was freed from this bondage and have never looked back.