Posts Tagged ‘Christ Mass’

Christmas is Not My Holiday and They’re Just Fine

Year after year, family and friends struggle with our decision that we do not celebrate this Christmas nor do we give or receive presents.  A few relatives have accepted our decision and send their gifts at Hanukkah.  Others insist that everyone NEEDS Christmas presents and they show up in the mail.   Well, we don’t NEED presents!

Christmas is not our holiday.  It just isn’t.  It hasn’t been for over 30 years.  It’s just that simple.   Every year when one of my adult children tells someone who celebrates Christmas that they don’t, they are invariably asked, “How has that affected you?” making them feel like they have been deprived of something grandiose or that their parents are mean green ogres.

Now that they are adults, it has been interesting to listen to their responses to those who wonder about their Christmas-less-ness.   One said they ‘love’ this time of year because they aren’t stressed out like everyone they know trying to buy gifts, getting them wrapped and attending parties.  Another said she has enjoyed wrapping gifts at her job knowing she’s helping relieve some of the stress of those who do celebrate!?  Another one said, they’ve never really thought about what they missed because there’s nothing to miss.  The discussion segued into conversations they have had with different individuals and not one ever mentioned a spiritual connection to the holiday – not one. 

Now that there are significant others in the family, it has been interesting to watch their responses as well. When they learned about the ties of Christmas to Saturnalia, they are initially shocked. Because they have hearts to serve God, they are relieved they no longer have to take part in a pagan holiday. Though their families continue to celebrate the mass of Christ, they understand the roots of the holiday from cutting down trees to embracing a catholic mass and have chosen to ‘come out from among them and be separate.’ Unfortunately, there is still one whose soul is still tied to the ‘warm fuzzies’ which allows for the holy and profane to be in the home.

Though I know everyone who wishes me “A Merry Christmas,” means well, I wonder what they think when I say, “YOU have a Merry Christmas, our family does not celebrate.”  Generally from their silence, they appear dumbfounded.  They probably think,  ‘Who would be so humbug as to not celebrate this holiday of cheer?’  But then, I wonder how has not celebrating Christmas and all its trimmings affected the Jews? How has not celebrating Feast of Tabernacles, Hanukkah or Passover affected their children?

We have never felt comfortable about lying to our children about a hopping rabbit that lays chocolate eggs (?), a little lady with fluttering wings who steals teeth from them while they sleep or the jolly man from the north pole who flies a sleigh through the sky led by eight wingless mammals with antlers.  Really?  He comes down the chimney?

With the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, we realized that we would begin a subtle cycle of teaching our children lies. When they grew up and realized that each of these entities had been a make-believe sham, they would begin to question our authority in speaking the truth.  As parents, we wanted to set an example – a lifetime example.

The most important Truth to us is our faith in the God of Israel and the birth, life, death, resurrection and soon return of Messiah Yeshua.  To think that someday our children would doubt Yeshua as the Savior of the world and his Lordship in their lives because we fabricated cutesy games about other beings they couldn’t see, feel, touch, or hear was just not worth the price of their eternal life.   Lies are lies.  Not bearing false witness is a commandment.  There is someone other than mommy and daddy who can claim to be the ‘father of lies,’ but not us.

Some  may choose not include the Christmas clown and his reindeer in their holiday festivities because they honestly want to honor the time as Jesus’ birthday.  But was Jesus really born at Christmas? At one time we believed he was, but then we learned that is another lie based on the misconception that ‘we don’t know when he was born.’  When we were made aware of the timing of the Messiah’s birth through Scripture, we were honest with our older two children (4 and 2 at the time) about our own fall into deception.  We repented and removed that lie from our lives and began remember the birth of our Savior at the proper time on God’s calendar. 

For over 30 years, Christmas has not been our holiday and our children are just fine. In fact, they are better than fine. They are free from the bondages attached to a holiday that consumes time and money. More importantly, they are free from the ‘father of lies.’

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The Christ Mass Around the World

Every year there is a great American push to put the word “Christ” back in Christmas.  The date for the birth of Jesus Christ has been believed and accepted without much question by people for many centuries as December 25.  The date was probably selected by the church leadership in Rome in the early 4th century in order to meld together Christians and non-Christians, believers and pagans in the Roman Empire.

As this date was selected by the Roman catholic church for the birth of Jesus, it is also known as the Christ Mass. The word ‘mass’  in religious terminology means a ‘death sacrifice.’ How ironic that the very day that the church chose to commemorate the birth of the Savior  is named with a term implying death and sacrifice!

Because we are not catholic, we do not take part in the Christ Mass with its roots in Saturnalia.   Unfortunately, most of Christiandom does celebrate this holiday even while they claim to be anything but catholic.  Many honor the Reformation and breaking away from the Roman catholic church while continuing to celebrate the  traditions incorporated by that same church authority.

The whole Christ-mass concept is catholic and has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus nor is it found in Scripture, but I wanted to see if “Christ” is in Christmas in other languages or just English.

Only a few languages like the Greek Kala Christougenna or Russian С РОЖДЕСТВОМ actually use some form of “Christ”  in the phrase.  Other languages acknowledge a ‘holy birth’, ‘a general birth’ but do not get specific about the birth of Jesus Christ thus making the ‘holy birth’ possible for any ‘god’ one chooses.  Some languages use a phonetic rendering in their alphabet or avoid it altogether with commemorating Yuletide. The few languages that have translated the phrase into Merry Christmas do so because of  missionary influence into their culture, but do not try to put ‘Christ’ back into Christmas.

Arabic – Eid Milad Majeed means ‘Glorious Birth Feast.’  

Armenian – Shnorhavor Soorb Tsnund  means ‘Congratulations for the Holy Birth.’

Chinese Mandarin –  Sheng Dan Kuai Le or 圣诞快乐 means ‘Holy Birth Day, Be Happy.’

Czech – Prejeme Varn Vesele Vanoce

French – Joyeux Noel means  ‘Joyful Birthday.’

Noel comes from the Latin word meaning ‘birthday’.

Danish –  Glaedelig Jul means ‘Happy Yule.’

Yule or Yuletide was a mid-winter 12-day festival observed by Germanic people and some neighboring peoples and became absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas.  Scholars have connected the celebration to the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht.  Yule log, Yule goat (a sacrificial goat for Yuletide), Yule boar (the boar with apple in its mouth) and Yule singing (carols) come from the Yuletide.

German – Frohe Weihnacht means ‘Happy Holy Night.’

Weih is a church-word meaning holy or special.  Nacht is night.

Hawaiian – Mele Kalikimaka means ‘Merry Christmas.’

‘Mele Kalikimaka’  is only a phonetic rendering of Hawaiian sounds, but not a literal translation because there is none in the language.   Christmas is not indigenous to Hawaii.

Hindi (Urdu) – Bade Din ki Mubarak means ‘Happy Nativity.’

Indonesian – Selamat Natal means ‘Happy Birthday.’

Hebrew – Mo’adim Lesimkha, Chena tova means ‘Happy Times.  Happy Week.’  

Italian – Buon Natale means ‘Good Birthday.’

Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha means ‘Seasons Greetings.’

Norweigan – God Jul means ‘Good Yule’.

(See Danish above).

Philippines (Tagalog) Maligayang Pasko means ‘Happy Christmas’.

Pasko is the word for Christmas, but actually comes from the Spanish word, Pascoa.  Pascoa refers to Easter, but is a corruption of the word, Pesach or Passover.

Polish – Wesolych Swiat means ‘Happy Holidays.’

This phrase can be used to wish anyone any ‘happy holiday’.

Portuguese – Felize Natal or Boas Festas means ‘Joyous Birth’ or ‘Good Celebration.’

Russian – С РОЖДЕСТВОМ means ‘For the Nativity of Christ,’

Rwanda – Noheli nziza means ‘Good Birthday.’

Scotland – Blithe Yule means ‘Cheerful Yule’.

(See Danish above).

Spanish – Feliz Navidad means ‘Happy Birthday.’

Swedish – God Jul means ‘Good Yule’.

(See Danish above).

Switzerland – Schoni Wiehnachte means ‘Happy Holy Night.’

Turkish – Mutlu Noeller means ‘Happy Birthday.’

Welsh – Nadolig Llawen means ‘Merry Christmas.’

Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Don’t Go Home for Christmas

Quote from an article by David J. Meyer:

“If you are an honest, sincere and discerning Christian, please read on; if not, you might as well stop right here.  The World Book Encyclopedia defines “Christmas” as follows:  “The word Christmas comes from “Cristes Maesse”, an early English phrase that means “Mass of Christ.” (1) It is interesting to note that the word “Mass”, as used by the Roman Catholics, has traditionally been rejected by the so-called Protestants, such as Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and so on.  The word “Mass” is strictly a Catholic word and thus, so is “Christ-Mass.”

It would stand to reason that since all of these denominations love and embrace Christ Mass,  December 25th is the greatest homecoming day of all time when every Protestant become Catholic for a day.  All of the so-called “wayward daughters” of the Rome-ish church return to their mother, the scarlet harlot.  All of the Protestant churches should be singing to the Pope, “I’ll be home for Christmas.”

The word ‘mass’ in religious catholic usage means a ‘death sacrifice.’   The impact of this truth is horrifying when the millions of people are saying, “Merry Christmas,”  they are literally saying “Merry death of Christ!”  When the fat man in the red suit laughs boisterously  and says, “Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas”, he is mocking the suffering and bleeding Saviour who died for our sins.  He ‘ho ho hho’s’ while parents place little children into his waiting arms to hear his false promises of gifts.

Read the complete article from Last Trumpet Ministries that details the meaning of ‘mass’ and the deeper meaning of the words  ‘Merry Christmas’, The True Meaning Of Christ-Mass .

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The Spirit of Christmas

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world…” “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Messiah Yeshua has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).

“What is the ‘spirit’ of Christmas?”  Many will respond with ‘warm fuzzies’ like family and a sense of emotional well-being.  However, it is during the Christmas season that people incur huge debt and the rate of suicide escalates.  How can a ‘spirit of emotional well-being’ breed debt and death?

The ‘spirit’ behind Christmas has actually deceived the masses while perpetuating a false god worship that began in Mesopotamia with the god, Marduk.  It progressed through early Europe and the Celts with the Yuletide and Scandinavia with “the Prodigal Sun.”   As centuries passed, Persians celebrated it centered on the god Mithra, and  eventually in Rome, it was commemorated as Saturn’s day or the Saturnalia.

“For how many years shall this festival abide! Never shall age destroy so holy a day!  While the hills of Latium remain and father Tiber, while thy Rome stands and the Capitol thou has restored to the world, it [Saturnalia]  shall continue.”

Originally, Saturnalia was celebrated for one day on December 17, but then it grew into a week-long spectacle of pleasures culminating on December 24.    Rome borrowed most of Saturnalia’s cultural celebrations primarily from the Greeks.  However,  Saturnalia has its roots in Egyptian culture with Osiris and Isis, the two gods who protected the dead and mummies.  These two gods were judged  with the ‘death of the firstborn’ when Israel was delivered from Egypt. 

Saturnalia celebrations began by dedicating the temple to Saturn through human sacrifices, especially children.  Saturn was affiliated with the Greek god, Kronos, who ate small children.  He is also known as Father Time and looks a lot like our modern-day Santa Claus.  Could this be why small children fear Santa?  Could this be why so many people take their lives at this time?  Could it be they are the human sacrifices that the ‘spirit of Saturnalia’ requires?

After the human sacrifices were completed, celebrants would shout “Io, Saturnalia!” and the week-long festivities would begin.  Huge public banquets were prepared. Cookies were made with simple face shapes.  People would eat,  drink, and be merry.  It was a time for friends and relatives to exchange gifts, especially wax candles and little dolls.  Slaves would be set free and wore peaked woolen caps, similar to modern-day Santa hats, that symbolized their freedom.

Many of the Saturnalia decorations involved greenery, swathes, garlands and wreaths, being hung over doorways and windows. Sigillaria or figurines made out of clay were hung on the bows of pine trees.  A Saturnalia tree was common in Egypt and Rome long before Christianity incorporated it into Christmas observance.  In Egypt,  a palm tree honored Baal-Tamuz (Ezekiel 8:14).  In Rome,  the fir was used to honor  the same god, but who was known as Baal-Berith.  From a branch of these trees came the Yule Log.  Trees in these cultures were not cut down and brought inside,  but remained outside where they were  decorated with sunbursts, stars and faces of the God Janus.

The Sol Invictus, the god of the sun,  was the main god of the Roman Empire.  The Roman emperor Aurelian made Sol Invictus the official religion of the empire combined with their other  gods: Jupiter (supreme deity), Apollo (destroyer), Sylvanus (guardian of the flocks, shepherd).     The image of the Sol Invictus appeared on coins minted by Constantine in spite of his supposed conversion to Christianity.   After the week-long celebration of Saturnalia and the end of the solstice, December 25 became known as the “Birthday of the Sun.”  

In the fourth century, the Roman church united all religions and their multiple gods through a catholic vision.  Pagan religious observances were given new names and Saturnalia was transformed into the Christ Mass.

The word ‘mass’ may come from the Latin word missa meaning a ‘death sacrifice.‘   How ironic that the date for the birth of Jesus Christ, believed and accepted for many centuries by the Christian church as December 25, is actually the death sacrifice part of Saturnalia.

Throughout the centuries these catholic holidays and their traditions became deeply rooted into the church.  Even the Protestant Reformation through Martin Luther did nothing to remove itself from the pagan practices in which it was steeped.  Today, all Christian churches no matter which denomination embrace the roots of Saturnalia as Christmas.  Remember, if the root is unholy, so are the branches. 

Sadly, most Christians celebrate this holiday while claiming to be anything but catholic.   Many acknowledge the Reformation and Martin Luther’s breaking away from the Roman catholic church, but continue to embrace many Christmas traditions that have their roots in unholy catholic and Saturnalia practices.

In Mark 7, Yeshua discusses traditions of men and commands of God.    If a tradition nullifies a command of God, it should not be embraced because the commandments are greater than the traditions.  One holiday tradition, specifically mentioned in Jeremiah, that nullifies a command of God needs to be addressed. 

“Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel.  This is what the LORD says: ‘Do not learn the ways of the nations … for the practices of the peoples are worthless.  They cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.  They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter” (Jeremiah 10:1-4).

Some may read these verses in Jeremiah and say that cutting down a tree and decorating it has nothing to do with a Christmas tree.  They argue that they don’t shape it into an idol, however, let’s look at the verses in context.  Cutting down a tree is a way of the nations, a way of the gentiles, that Israel was not to embrace.  When gentiles enter a covenant relationship with the God of Israel, they join the commonwealth of Israel and are to leave their pagan ways behind . Just like Israel, they are not to mix the holy things of God with the idolatries of the nations. 

Of course, we don’t craft the tree into a literal idol, but that’s because we’re either too busy or too lazy.   Then there are fake or artificial trees, poles with branches fashioned by the hands of man to  represent  something on earth that God created.  This is called idolatry in Exodus 20:4.   

The tree,  whether cut down from the forest or not, is central  to a holiday from the nations  that was never meant to honor God or His Son.  It cannot stand on its own; it needs a tree stand.   Both inside  and outside homes, trees are adorned with gold ornaments and silver icicles.  They are lit up with strings of lights.  On top is the face of an angel or a star.  Beneath it is the visual sacrifice of finances through extensive gift giving.   The decorated tree becomes the holy place in a home, central to the celebration of Christmas, and adored by those who erect it and those who visit.  If you disagree, then I challenge you to remove it from your home.  If you can’t, then check your heart for idolatry.   

The most common argument for having a Christmas tree is that we can transform something pagan into something holy because we can sanctify it and give it to the LORD.  With this rationalization, the Christmas tree begins to sound like a modern-day golden calf.

The Golden Calf

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us a god who will go before us….  “Aaron answered them, ‘Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.’  So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron.  He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool.  Then they said, ‘‘Here is your god, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’

“When Aaron saw this,  he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, ‘Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD’” (Exodus 32:1-4).

This passage is about the infamous golden calf and it is important to acknowledge several details.  First, Aaron, who was chosen as a spiritual leader of Israel, guides the people into worshipping a false god, an idol.  They had no excuse for listening to Aaron.  They had just been miraculously set free from slavery in Egypt.   They had witnessed the destruction of Egypt’s gods by the power of Yod Hey Vav Hey.   Yet, with their new-found freedom, they did not listen to the LORD, they listened to man.

We must always be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and make sure that what our leaders have been taught and subsequently teach us to do lines up with God’s Word.   The Israelites had already had their encounter with God at the foot of Mt. Sinai.  They had experienced His presence and heard His Words, especially the first of the Ten Commandments, but they didn’t test Aaron’s leadership with that of God’s Word.

“I AM the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-2).

Second, Aaron cast an image; he created an idol.   The image was of a calf, an animal worshipped in Egypt and judged with one of the plagues. After being enslaved for 400 years, the Israelites had lost their understanding of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They had absorbed the idolatry and concepts of other gods. They knew they had been brought to the mountain to worship their God, Yod Hey Vav Hey,  yet they had no idea how to do that.

While Moses was on the mountain receiving the details for worshipping their Deliverer, they became impatient.  They made up their own ways according to what they had learned in slavery.  They embraced idol worship.  There was so much immoral revelry, dancing and celebration around the golden calf that Moses had to ask Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?” (Exodus 32:21).

Third, and most importantly, Aaron built an altar and dedicated the golden calf to the God of Israel.  He took a symbolic pagan idol and sanctified it to Yod Hey Vav Hey and set an ‘appointed time’ to worship it.  God did not look at the intention of anyone’s heart; He struck the people with a plague and many died (Exodus 32:35). 

What had they done?  They took a manmade image, an idol, and then claimed they made it  to honor the One True Living God.  They mixed the holy and the profane, the hot and the cold and became lukewarm. 

Moses took the calf and melted it in the fire.  He scattered its powder on the Israelite’s water.  He made them drink the contaminated water, non-living water.  Is this the same water you are drinking, water polluted with the remains of pagan gods?

Today many Christians crying out for the world to put ‘Christ’ back into Christmas. They  fight to sanctify a pagan holiday that became a catholic mass.   Their rationalizing voices in the ears of God sound much like that of Aaron and the Israelites. 

The salvation of the world that came from the Jews was never in the Christ Mass.  It is a deception created by a false priesthood that has turned believers away from the God of Israel into worshipping an   abominations of the nations.  Generations of catholics accepted this unholy rooted festival because the Word of God was not available to them.   Today, however,  there is no excuse.  Everyone, in any and every language, has access to the Scriptures; and,  to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).

“Saturnalia,” by Selena Fox

It is the middle of December. The nights are long, the weather is colder, winter comes. Celebration is at hand. Renewing bonds of friendship. Visiting with family and friends. Exchanging gifts with loved ones. Candles, Dolls, Cookies, Sweets, Holly, Wreaths of Green. Surprises. Courts close.  Battles stop. Time off from school and work. Holiday break. Singing, Dancing, Games, Merry-Making. Food … Lots of Food and Drink. Great Feasts and Parties.

To celebrate the Sun, the Land, the Ancient Ones, the great Circle of Nature. To welcome in the Winter and the New Year. To bring forth renewal, peace, and joy.  Solstice Present … Solstice Past. This is the legacy of Saturnalia. Weeklong Pagan Winter Solstice Festival of Ancient Rome.

Saturnalia, your spirit and these traditions live on in the world today in Christmas feasts and New Year’s parties, in our Winter Solstice celebration tonight. Bless our connection with the ancients. Bless our connection with each other. Bless our connection with future generations. We rejoice.

Io, Saturnalia! Io, Saturnalia! Io, Saturnalia!

Selena first publicly shared this poem on Solstice night 1994 during Circle’s public Winter Solstice Celebration in Madison, Wisconsin. Contents©1998-2010 by Circle Sanctuary. All rights reserved worldwide.

Several years ago, I came across the poem above regarding Saturnalia.  Even though our family had stopped celebrating Christmas, the shock of the words in the poem brought a different light to the whole celebration.  There are those who are alive and well on planet earth who worship Saturn and celebrate Saturnalia. Notice the poem thanks Christianity for keeping their pagan holiday alive for millennia! The reality of this holiday became even more clear when that particular year we received a “Happy Saturnalia” card from friends.

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.