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 does a ‘spirit’ of emotional well-being breed debt and death?

The ‘spirit’ of Christmas began in Mesopotamia with the worship of the god, Marduk. In Persia, the worship of Marduk became the worship of Mithra –– just a cultural name change. The centuries passed and the ‘spirit’ put its roots down in Rome as Saturn and the holiday of Saturnalia. Saturnalia became the Celts’ Yuletide and Scandinavia’s ‘Prodigal Sun.’

“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.”

Saturnalia was originally celebrated for one day on December 17, but it grew into a week-long spectacle of flesh pleasures culminating on December 24. Saturnalia began by dedicating Saturn’s temple through human sacrifices, especially children. Saturn was also known as the Greek god, Kronos, who ate small children. He is also called ‘Father Time’ and looks similar to 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, the week-long festivities would begin with people shouting, “Io, Saturnalia!” Huge public banquets were prepared. Cookies cutouts 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 Santa hats, that symbolized their week-long freedom.

Saturnalia decorations involved greenery, swathes, garlands, and wreaths hung over doorways and windows. Sigillaria or figurines made 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 tree honored the same god, but was known as Baal-Berith.  From a branch of these tree, the yule log came into being. Trees were not cut down and brought inside, but remained outside where they were decorated with sunbursts, stars, and the face of the God Janus.

The Sol Invictus, the god of the sun, was the premier god worshipped in the Roman Empire. The Emperor Aurelian made Sol Invictus the official religion of the empire and combined it with their other gods: Jupiter Apollo, and Sylvanus. The image of the Sol Invictus appeared on coins minted by Constantine in spite of his ‘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 to create a‘universal, all-encompassing religious system.   Pagan gods and their religious observances were re-named. Saturnalia became the Christ Mass.

The word ‘mass’ comes from the Latin word missa meaning ‘death sacrifice.‘ How ironic that the birth date 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 pagan holidays and their pagan god worship traditions became deeply rooted into Christianity through Roman catholicism.   Even the Protestant Reformation did nothing to remove itself from the pagan god practices in which it was steeped.  Today, all Christian churches, no matter what denomination, embrace the root celebration of Saturnalia or the Christ Mass. Remember, Paul’s teaching? If the root is unholy, so are the branches.

Christians celebrate Saturnalia or Christmas while claiming to be anything but Roman catholic. Though they acknowledge the Reformation and breaking away from the Roman church, they continue to embrace Christmas traditions rooted in unholy Saturnalia practices.

In Mark chapter 7, Yeshua discusses the traditions of men versus the commands of God. He said that if a tradition nullified a command of God, it should not be followed because the commandments are greater than the traditions. One Christmas tradition, specifically mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah, completely nullifies a command of God.

“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 read these verses in Jeremiah and claim that cutting down a tree and adorning it with silver and gold has nothing to do with a Christmas tree.  They argue that they don’t shape it into an idol; however, what is the context? ‘Cutting down a tree’ is a way of the nations, something 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 to represent something on earth that God created.  This is called idolatry.

Whether cut down from the forest or not, the ‘tree’ is central to a holiday that was never meant to honor God or His Son. The ‘tree’ cannot stand on its own; it needs a stand.  Inside and outside homes, ‘trees’ are adorned with gold ornaments and silver icicles.  They are lit up with strings of lights.  On top of the ‘tree’ is the face of an angel or a star. Beneath it is the visual sacrifice of finances through extensive gift giving.

The ‘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 the ‘tree’ from your holiday traditions. If you can’t or make justifications, then check your heart for idolatry.

The most common argument for having a ‘tree’ is that we can transform something pagan into something holy because we can sanctify it and give it to God. With this rationalization, the ‘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 about the infamous golden calf has several important details. First, Aaron who was chosen as a spiritual leader of Israel guides the people into worshiping a false god.  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 Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. Yet, with their new-found freedom, they did not listen to God, they listened to man.

We are to be like the Bereans and make sure that what our leaders have been taught and subsequently teach us to do lines up with God’s Word (Acts 17:11). The Israelites already had their encounter with God at the foot of Mount Sinai.  They had experienced His presence and heard His Words, but they didn’t test Aaron’s words with 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 worshiped in Egypt and judged with one of the plagues. After being enslaved, the Israelites forgot the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They had absorbed the idolatry of other gods. They knew they had been brought to the mountain to worship Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, yet they had no idea how to do that.

While Moses was on the mountain receiving the details for worshiping God, they became impatient. They returned to what was familiar while they were enslaved. 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 pagan idol and sanctified it to Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh and even 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 man-made image, an idol, and then tried to redeem it to honor the 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 Israelites’ water. He made them drink the contaminated water, non-living water. This is the same water you drink, water contaminated with the remains of pagan gods, when you mix the holy and the pagan.

Today many Christians want the world to put ‘Christ’ back into Christmas. They fight to sanctify something that came from pagan roots. In the ears of God, their voices sound much like that of Aaron and the Israelites declaring a festival to God with the idol of a false god.

The Jewish Messiah was never in the Christ Mass. It is a massive deception created by a false priesthood and has turned many away from the God of Israel into worshiping an abomination from the nations. Generations of Roman catholics accepted this pagan-rooted festival because the Word of God was not available to them. Today, however, there is no excuse for anyone.  Everyone, in every language, has access to the Scriptures. “To whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48).

Several years ago, I came across a poem about Saturnalia.  Even though our family had stopped celebrating the Christ Mass, the words in the poem still shocked me. There are those who are alive and well on planet earth who continue to worship Saturn and celebrate Saturnalia –– the ‘spirit’ of Christmas. The poem thanks Christians for keeping their pagan holiday alive for millennia! This pagan holiday became even more real when we received a “Happy Saturnalia” card from non-believing friends.

“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.