Hey, there, people. How’s it going? Did you all have a nice christmas? I certainly hope so. I had a good time with my family, as my son came up from base to stay for the weekend along with his very nice girlfriend. My pops smoked a prime rib on christmas day and, once again, I ate way too much of everything. Me and the guys had some rousing bouts of Smash Bros. and Towerfall (which is a great Smash alternative, btw. Get it if you have a few bucks and some friends who like to play games on the couch.) along with more than a couple of glasses of delicious bourbon and scotch. I’m glad things ended on a good note, because I was not feeling the christmas spirit this year at all. The whole issue with my wife and fighting her on moving had left me drained and feeling rather un-merry, and honestly I wasn’t looking forward to any gatherings this year, but I’m glad to see my family all come together again.
A couple of things happened over the holiday weekend, however, that I wanted to bring up because I think they are indicative of a lot of modern Western christians and non-christians.
First, let me just say to the ladies out there, don’t be THAT woman and write your husband a garbage letter before christmas telling him he sucks and complaining about where you are in life when you have a roof over your head, food in the cupboards and more shoes and clothes than you could possibly wear. Especially if you claim to be a christian. Its a dick move and it pretty much wrecks the entire month. Of course, you may be the kind of woman who just doesn’t care and will not even recognize you did anything wrong, so I’m telling you beforehand, its messed up and it sucks and if you do it you are a horrible person.
Now that we have that out of the way there are actually THREE other things that happened over the holiday weekend I’d like to discuss. The first involves my sister-in-law who’s family goes to a church where the pastor has convinced them to stop celebrating christmas altogether because its a “pagan holiday” and “Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th” and all that jazz. If you’re a pastor, just, stop. Yeah some of the trappings of modern christmas come from pagan solstice or whatever, like the tree and yuletide and fa-la-la-la-la and all that, but pretty much world-wide the holiday of christmas has been universally accepted as a celebration of the birth of Christ, and has been for a long, long time. I don’t 100% know how pagan tradition got mixed in there but likely some pagan converts mixed the two together and next thing you know we are lighting trees on fire and worrying about Krampus kicking down the door if you’ve been naughty. I’m all for making sure “Christ” stays in “Christmas”, but I’m not about removing hundreds of years of tradition because they “originated from pagans”. As I said in my post about yoga, unless someone is telling you specifically that their decorations and festivities are specifically meant to worship pagan gods then don’t sweat it. I mean, where do you draw the line? Does this pastor know that the days of the week are named for pagan gods? Or what about superstitions like saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes? Some things that may have once been intended to worship false gods have been made innocuous by time and use, and we should have no concerns over those things as christians except in the most extreme cases. Unfortunately for my sister in law, her holiday seasons was sad and boring, all because of a pastor who is a bit overzealous and a little undereducated, it seems.
The second item is related to the first and has to do with a conversation my wife was having with my son over the issue of ditching christmas celebration. To her credit my wife thinks the whole idea is silly and pretty much for the same reasons I have given: None of her celebrating christmas has anything to do with pagan gods or winter solstice. However, when talking to my son about this pastor she said, “There are tons of things inside the bible that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted if you’re not careful”, and the more I thought about that statement the more frustrated I got. I mean, on the one hand she’s right, the bible IS full of tons of verses and quotes that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted – IF THOSE ARE ALL YOU EVER READ. We live in a “bible verse” christian culture where christians get their “daily bread” from cutesy pictures of one or two verses that sound good when you read them alone, without knowing the context. This itself is not particularly horrible, but there are tons of things in the bible that, if you read them without knowing the context, become confusing and can easily be used to manipulate people not in the know. And by “knowing the context” I mean “having read the entire bible”, because the bible is a reference unto itself. Who can understand what Jesus is saying about the law and marriage if they haven’t read the Old Testament? Who can understand the New Testament references to the prophets if you’ve not read the prophets, who reference the future of the New Testament? The trap of “misconstruing and misinterpreting” befall lazy christians who get their bible knowledge by listening to others talk about the Word but never go into it themselves. One of the reasons I got into it with my old pastors is because some of the things they said at the pulpit did not match up with what the actual Bible said! Even as recently as a few weeks ago, when talking to my dad, I had to point out to him that what he was advocating was not scriptural, and that scripture, in fact, SPECIFICALLY said the opposite of what he was telling me. Taken out of context, however, or to one who has never read the entirety of the bible, these things either make sense or the listener has no defense against it!
I plan on talking to my son and letting him know these things, and to make an effort to stick to reading his bible from start to finish.
Lastly is a little interaction I had on the social media platform, Gab. The meme group I am a part of is weird in that some people post a lot of odd and political stuff that is not meme related, but they don’t get taken down, even if they probably should be. I was perusing the feed when I found a post that said (emphasis theirs):
A quick reminder for you “Christians”:
No, Christians cannot have sex before marriage. The bible tells us that God created sex to be enjoyed within the boundaries of a covenant relationship between one man and one woman in marriage.
Which is not a horrible thing to say, I mean, at least SOMEONE out there is encouraging people not to have rampant sexual encounters with whomever they want, but I replied:
The bible tells us that sex IS marriage. There can be no sex before marriage, there is only sex that makes marriage or adultery. True story.
The poster responded back:
I responded by posting a link to my virginity/horse manure post, which goes into detail about what the bible says about when a woman is considered married, since a man having sex with a married woman is adultery, a death penalty offense, either for both the man and the woman, if it was consensual between them, for the man only, if it is a case of rape or for the woman only, if its a case of her hiding her married status (because someone else took her virginity) and allowing herself to be pawned off as “a maid, unknown by a man”, thereby committing adultery!
This Gab yahoo reposted my link along with the text:
I think I’ll ask Jesus for proper answers.
Are you kidding me? Do you not understand what the bible is? Are you expecting a call from our Lord and Savior? THE BIBLE IS JESUS. JESUS IS THE BIBLE!
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Col. 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him.
This guy either is not a christian and has no clue what he is talking about, hoping only to “own” some christians that said something to him prior to his post, or he is a modern day lazy christian who doesn’t even have the understanding that Jesus is THE WORD! If you want JESUS to answer your questions, you need only LOOK IN THE BIBLE! It is LITERALLY the instruction manual from God about how these things work and what is both pleasing and offensive to Him!
These types of people give me great cause for concern, because Jesus/The Word is one of the most basic tenants of christianity, and I hope this guy is either just super dense or not a christian at all.
Oh, and according to my viewing logs here on WordPress, he didn’t even read the article!
Anywho, I hope I’m not ruining anyone’s holiday cheer with this stuff, but it just weighed on my mind over the weekend, and since I didn’t really have access to my laptop I just had to wait until this morning to get them off my chest.
What do you think? Am I wrong in any of this? Got any input? Taco bout it in the comments below!