Sinful Heathen Holidays Sermon - Pastor Steve Winter

This is the text I used for tonight's sermon about sinful heathen
holidays 8/18/2001. Lord willing I will have it uploaded to
http://www.onenesschristian.org/audio later tonight.

This is closer to the real birthday of Jesus than the middle of
winter.
What is wrong with observing heathen holidays if it makes money and
draws people to church?

I have never found anywhere that God said that the end justifies the
means

The Bride of Jesus Christ is a faithful bride.

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or
compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they
measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among
themselves, are not wise.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is abomination for so called "Oneness", so called "holiness"
churches to celebrate a Roman Catholic mass that has NOTHING
WHATSOEVER to do with Jesus Christ other than to defy His Word
in a plethora of ways.

We hear of Xmas trees IN CHURCHES, and it is not just one of the major
Oneness Organizations either!

There is, however, one "Christmas" style celebration is mentioned in
the Bible, though, did you know that? (other than the tree worship
stuff, I mean).

Revelation 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony,
the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war
against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city,
which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was
crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall
see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer
their dead bodies to be put in graves.

Revelation 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice
over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another;
because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

Related scriptures:

Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them
that hate me;

Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose
name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a
jealous God.

Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve
them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity
of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation
of them that hate me,

Deuteronomy 6:15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you)
lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and
destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the
LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive
your transgressions nor your sins.

And, of course, the tree thing...

Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be
not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at
them.
Jer 10:3 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth
a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with
the axe.
Jer 10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with
nails and with hammers, that it move not.

December 25 is the winter solstice. It is the time when the sun after
having been at the lowest point in the heavens, beings to rise over
the world with renewed vigor and power. It was the time of heathen
festivities in worship of the sun. The vernal equinox is the point
where the sun crosses the celetial equator, about March 20, making
day and night of equal length everywhere. This was the time of pagan
spring festivals.

The day of December 25 acquired a new significance under the rule of
Emperor Aurelian. He proclaimed this day as "Dies Natalis Invicti
Solis," or the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. This was because of
a strange Eastern religion, Mithraism, whose god Mithras was
identified with the Unconquered Sun. During the Saturnalia work of
every kind ceased. Schools were closed.

The Roman Saturnalia was boisterous. But whatever the behavior of some
Romans, others were simply merry. They ate big dinners, visited their
friends, etc. The halls of the Romans were decked with boughs of
laurel and of green trees, with lighted candles and with lamps--for
the hovering spirits of darkness were afraid of light. Bonfires were
lit in high places to strengthen the reviving sun in his course.
Candles and green wreaths were given as presents, the streets were
crowded with noisy processions of men and women carrying lighted
tapers, and public places were decked with flowers and shrubs.
The practice of giving and receiving presents was almost as common
then as it is now at Christmas. Our present day "Christmas spirit"
is actually the spirit of this old Roman festival.

During the Kalends of January, which lasted for three days, Roman
houses were adorned with lights and greenery, and presents were
given to friends and children and to the poor.

We can see how that the exchanging of gifts was an important feature
of this Roman festival from the writings of Libanius, an ancient
Sophist. He might be writing about Christmas in the modern world from
the way it reads: The festival of the Kalends is celebrated everywhere
as far as the limits of the Roman Empire extend.. The impulse to spend
seizes everyone... People are not only generous towards themselves,
but also towards their fellow-men.
A stream of presents pours itself out on all sides... The Kalends
festival banishes all that is connected with toil, and allows men to
give themselves up to undisturbed enjoyment. From the minds of young
people it removes two kinds of dread: the dread of the schoolmaster
and the dread of the stern pedagogue... Another great quality of the
festival is that it teaches men not to hold too fast to their money,
but to part with it and let it pass into other hands.

Excerpts from from "Heathen Holidays" by Denise Snodgrass

But do not people sometimes get the Holy Ghost at Xmas services?

But did not water still flow from the rock when Moses defied God?

Numbers 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together
before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we
fetch you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock
twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank,
and their beasts also.
12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me
not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore
ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given
them.

But let us look back a couple of verses.

Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together,
thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their
eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth
to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation
and their beasts drink.

Moses paid a price for his rebellion to the Word of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 34:4 And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which
I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give
it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but
thou shalt not go over thither.

But if ALL you were measuring was WATER, you would never suspect that
anything was wrong.

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number,
or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they
measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among
themselves, are not wise.

Why do we hear of Xmas trees in "Oneness Churches?" We have the
fruit of generations commending themselves and measuring themselves
by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves.

A study on Easter with excerpts from
CHAPTER III EASTER: THE GODDESS OF SPRING

The name of this festival, itself, show its heathen origin.
"Easter" is derived from Eastre, or Eostre, the anglo-Saxon Goddess
of spring and dawn. There also is some historical connection
existing between the words "Easter" and "East," where the sun rises.
The festival of Eostre was celebrated on the day of the Vernal
Equinox (spring). Traditions associated with the festival of the
Teutonic fertility Goddess survive in the Easter rabbit and colored
eggs.
Spring is the season of new life and revival, when, from ancient
times, the pagan peoples of Europe and Asia held their spring
festivals, re-enacting ancient regeneration myths and performing
magical and religious ceremonies to make the crops grow and proper.
From "The American Book of Days," by George William Douglas we
read: "As the festival of Eostre was a celebration of the renewal of
life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the
resurrection from the dead of Jesus. There is no doubt that the
Church (of Rome) in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and
gave a "Christian" meaning
to them.

Pastor Steve Winter