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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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          For over 18 years I traveled the freeways of Los Angeles as a commuter. Sometimes I commuted over 30 miles to my place of employment. To keep me company on those long drives I listened to religious radio , KGER from Long Beach. Each year I listened to Charles Halff, of The Christian Jew Foundation. Charles Halff was a Jewish Christian evangelist who's favorite broadcast topic at Christmas each year was, "The Fake and Fraud of Christmas."
          Hour after hour Rev. Halff harangued his listeners about American modern Christmas traditions. I didn't understand Biblical interpretation back then, but I dismissed Mr. Halff as a bitter, anger person. Mr. Halff isn't the only angry bitter person when it comes to Christmas.
          What about Charles Dicken's character, Ebineezer Scrouge in the immortal tale, "A Christmas Carol?" "Bah! Humbug, Christmas, indeed!" Or what about The bitter reply of a wife whose husband had been inattentive for many months. Suddenly, the derelict husband realized he had not purchased his wife a proper Christmas present. He tried to smooth over by asking his wife in his most charming tone, "And what little gift can I buy for the one I love the best?"His wife dryly suggested,
"What about a new pipe and two pounds of tobacco?"
          Who of you haven't heard of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas?" The classic Dr. Seuss wrote,
Every Who in Whoville liked Christmas a lot,
But the Grinch, who lived just North of Whoville, did NOT!
The Grinch Hated Christmas! The whole Christmas Season!
Now please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right!
It could be because his shoes were too tight!
But I think the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small!
What about "Rudolph's Rage Room" in Spokane, Washington where Christmas haters can go for $25 and smash everything Christmas with ball bats, orange suits and goggles?

Ebineezer Scrouge, Charles Haliff, Spokane Christmas haters. .
Other Christmas haters are simply religious versions of
          Dr. Seuss' famous Grinch!
My sermon this morning is about. . .
Defending Christmas
My purpose is to come against religious extremists who tell me
God is against Christmas!
Christmas is a Pagan Holiday!
Christians shouldn't celebrate Christmas!
Let's explore the reasons to honor Christ at Christmas together.

Pastor Phil  <><<

10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.





Fourth Week of Advent - December 24, 2017
Pastor Phil Roland  -  Sheepfold Ministries

Jeremiah 10:1-10
"It's true there are plenty of reasons not to love Christmas. I choose to love Christmas because it is one day that Jesus' Birth is remembered. True, the commercial people and politically correct police have tried to destroy Christmas, but they haven't succeeded. Jesus is Lord!"    Pastor Phil   <><<

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.        Isaiah 7:14

My opponents of Christmas cite four major objections to Christmas in our modern society:
          1. The Observance of Christmas
          2. The Day of Christmas
          3. The Tree of Christmas
          4. The Person of Christmas
First this morning let's examine. . .
Religious Grinches tell me as a Christian believer I shouldn't observe Christmas because of Commercialism, the actual name of "Christmas, Holly, Mistletoe, Caroling. . .The Grinches say. . .

A. Christmas is too Commercial
               (Is this Throwing out the baby with the bathwater?)
              Shall we. . .
1. Discard all Bibles because cults misuse them?
                    2. Eliminate kitchen knives because someone has murdered                              with them?
                    3. Stop eating corn because whiskey distillers make whiskey                             from corn?
                    4. Prohibit all fires because arsonists use fire for wicked acts?
                    5. Outlaw Christmas because some Christians use Christmas                            as an excuse for commercialism, avarice and greed?
                    6. Millions of believers observe Christmas in a reverent,                                    spiritual manner
B. The name, "Christmas" is Pagan and Roman Catholic
                    1. The word Christmas, "Kris-Maes" Old English for Christ's                              Mass, or Christ's-Mass, "The Mass of Christ"
                    2. What does the word, "Mass" mean?
                    3. Derived from the Latin word, meaning, "Missea"
                    4. Missea in its verb form means, "To send"
                    5. The Latin Root of Christ-mas means "To send Christ"

                    6. God sent forth His Son at Christmas - Galatians 4:4a
                                        4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His                                    Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who                                were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
                    7. The word, "Incarnation" means that Jesus, the Word of God                       was sent forth  to be clothed in human flesh.
                    8. The word "Christmas" accurately represents what the                                  holiday is actually about: "The Sending of Christ."
C. Christmas Holly is of a Pagan origin
                    1. The ancient Romans exchanged gifts and  decorated with                            Holly at the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year
                    2. The Holly was supposed to bring Good Luck and esteem to                         the receiver
          D. Mistletoe is also of Pagan origin in the Druid, Celt, Norse and                        Roman civilizations
                    1. The Druids of Gaul felt the mistletoe symbolized eternal life
                    2. Receiving a kiss under the mistletoe assured Eternal Life
          E. Caroling as well is of Pagan origin
                    1. St. Francis of Assisi started Caroling in 1223 A.D.
                    2. The Druids and Romans sang Carols celebrating Winter                                 Solstice, the Equinox
                    3. So. . .Holly, Mistletoe and Caroling all are of pagan origin
                    4. THINK: Look at Holly and think of God's greatest gift of His                           Son to the sinful world
                    5. Hang the Mistletoe and steal a few kisses from your wife or                           girlfriend and think of Eternal Life in God's Son Jesus Christ
                    6. Sing the Carols and let them bring you close to the Birth of                           God's Son, and give Him Honor and Worship
          F. Defending Christmas, observing Christmas can be made Christian
              It's all up to you and what's in your heart
Answering the Grinches let's examine. . .
    History shows us that no Christians in the earliest days of Christianity
    observed a day of Christmas, the birth of Jesus.
          A. The actual Day of Christmas had a pagan origin
                    1. Christ's Mass was instituted in 345 AD by Constantine,                                  Rome's First Christian Emperor
                    2. Rome's pagan polytheists set aside the same feast day for                            the worship of their god Saturn  (The Winter Solestice)
3. Jesus' Birth probably didn't occur on our designated day
                    4. Ancient Egyptians observed the Solstice w/Palm Fronds
                    5. Romans elevated Evergreen Boughs at the Feast of Saturn
                    6. Fierce Norsemen paid homage to the Fir tree itself
          Christmas Grinches say. . .
          B. The Bible is against Christmas trees


                    1. This morning's text says avoid Pagan Practices - in v. 2
                                        2 Thus says the LORD: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not                              be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
                    2. The ungodly follow Vain Customs - v. 3
                                        3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from
                          the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
                    3. Textual Question, Is the prophet talking about then or now? 
                              a. Are the customs of Jeremiah's people in his time                                            futile or do they apply to a Christmas Tree today?
                              b. Context always supercedes Interpretation
                              c. To whom is God's Prophet speaking
                              d. What is He speaking about?
                    4. Jeremiah was a So. Kingdom prophet to Judah before the                             captivity
                    5. Both Israel Northern Kingdom and Judah Southern Kingdom
    mingled the worship of Adonoi with the worship of Idols
                              a. The two false idols were Baal and Asherah
                              b. Evil worship practices: made their sons pass thru the                                   altar fires, practiced soothsaying and witchcraft,                                            consulted mediums
                    6. Set up groves of trees carved with the image of Asherah
                    7. This is how they built an Idol: - v. 3
                                        3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from
                          the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
                    8. It's a 2,500 year stretch to make this Idol a Christmas Tree
                                        4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and                                hammers So that it will not topple.
                              a. Gold / Silver Leaf Gilding Process
                              b. Paper-thin pounded leaf is pounded into the images
                              c. One oz. of Gold is so malleable it can be pounded into
                                  more than 96.9 square feet of surface
          C. God isn't against our modern Christmas Tree tradition,
                    1. He's against the idolatrous heart than would rather bow                                 down to a wooden idol made with hands
                    2. Than worship the Living God of Heaven
          1. The Observance of Christmas
          2. The Day of Christmas
          3. The Tree of Christmas
Finally, there is. . .
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
          A. The world call the Christmas Person various names:

          Jack Frost, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, "Satan Claus"
                    1. One '70's Rock Song, Satan Claus
                    2. Modern Horror Story,
                        Modern Horror story of a teen who accused parents of Lying
                            Lied about Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Stork, Santa Claus. . .
                            What about Jesus Christ? Was He another of their lies?
                        3. Children raised in a Christian home know the difference
                        4. Jesus is the real Person of Christmas
Eg. One of my kids, I'm not saying names, but a certain blue-eyed blonde who was suffering from pre-Christmas Day insomnia, snuck down the hall from her bedroom to observe Santa Claus as he noisily assembled and arranged presents under the Christmas Tree. . .She didn't see Santa, but she did see mom and dad giving Santa a hand! She could hardly wait to tell her younger siblings the truth about the Santa myth! She still maintained her faith in the Person of Christmas.

Arturo Toscanini, the late famous conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, received a brief crumpled note from a lonely sheep herder in the remote mountains of Wyoming.
          "Mr. Conductor, I have only two possessions: a radio and an old violin. The batteries on my radio are getting so low, they coon will die. My violin is so out of tune I can't use it. Please help me!
Next Sunday when you begin your concert, will you sound an 'A' string? Then, I can tune the other strings on my violin. When my batteries are dead, then I'll have my violin."
At the beginning of his next nationwide radio concert from Carnegie Hall, Toscanini announced, "For a dear friend and listener back in the mountains of Wyoming the orchestra will now sound an 'A.' The musicians obediently sounded  perfect 'A'."

God has sounded a single perfect note in all of human history.
That note will help you get all the strings of Christmas into tune.
That clarion clear note God has sounded for all time is
          His Son, Jesus Christ. . .truly God. . .Born truly man in human flesh.
That's why I am Defending Christmas this morning!
          Have you tuned the strings of your heart to His perfect 'A'?
          Have you accepted Him personally?
          Have you entered into a life-long relationship with Him?
          Is there even room in your life for Him this Christmas?
Jeremiah 10:1-10
1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the LORD: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, For they cannot do evil, Nor can they do any good."
6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O LORD (You are great, and Your name is great in might),
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations, And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You.
8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.
9 Silver is beaten into plates; It is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of the craftsman And of the hands of the metalsmith; Blue and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skillful men.
 10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.