Saturday, December 22, 2018

Defending Christmas

As we are in the Christmas season, many people will object to the observance of Christmas as a 'pagan' holiday even among Christians. Many Muslims accuse Christians of observing paganism if they celebrate Christmas. Is this true? The observance of Christmas is a grey area for Christians, it is neutral. The celebration of the birth of Jesus is neither commanded, or prohibited in the Bible. It is up to each Christian to observe it or not (see Romans 14:5-6). In Islam however, 4 of the 5 Pillars of Islam (salat / praying 5 times a day; observing Ramadan; zakat / almsgiving; and the hajj / pilgrimage) are all pagan in origin, practiced and observed by the pagan Arabs long before Muhammad, including circumambulating around the Kaba and kissing and caressing the black stone at the corner of the Kaba. Worshiping stones was a standard pagan practice. These Pillars are commanded in the Qur'an as coming from Allah and therefore divine, although scholars have long acknowledged that these 4 Pillars in Islam are pagan, so that Islam is essentially paganized monotheism.

Check out Season 4 on the Third Degree videos where I and my good friend Pastor Sule deal with the most common asked questions about Christmas. A Merry Christmas to all our visitors and readers on the Answering Muslims blog.


Mahdi said...

Ironic, seeing as how the idea of an innocent person being sacrificed for your sins and to appease the wrath of God was a common pagan belief long before Christianity appeared. Paul inserted this pagan belief into his new religion (Christianity) to make it more palpable for the Roman pagans.

Andrew said...

Mahdi, lol. That old Muslim trope of Paul inventing a new religion. Paul used to be a Pharisee. Paganism was an anathema to him. Back to drawing board for the Imma.

Unknown said...

Our family finds the pagan elements of the traditional Christmas observance too off putting for us to embrace it or attempt to defend it. The date is wrong, the elements do not point to the Lord , it lacks Biblical foundation. If we really feel the need to celebrate His birth the feast of tabernacles would be far better and if we need an observance for this time of year the feast of lights or dedication would probably be much better.

Mahdi said...

I hate to break it you Andrew, but Paul was heavily influenced by pagan beliefs, which he then later incorporated into his new religion (Christianity.) Like I said, the idea of an innocent person dying for your salvation was a common pagan belief that predated Christianity itself.

Paul's doctrine of Jesus is a huge departure from Judaism. Paul was advocating a doctrine that was more in common with pagan myths than with Judaism: that Jesus was a divine-human person who had descended to Earth from the heavens and experienced death for the express purpose of saving mankind. The very fact that the Jews found this doctrine new and shocking shows that it had no place in the Jewish scripture.

Many other popular pagan ideals, such as eating whatever you want, was also preached by Paul. Unlike the Jews, the pagans had no dietary laws. It's one of the many reasons why Paul's teachings had no success with Jews but a lot of success with the Roman pagans (who were already accustomed to worshipping humans and eating whatever they want)

Andrew said...

Lol Mahdi. Jesus called Paul his chosen vessel. The disciples accepted Paul. Your attempt to drive a wedge between Jesus, the apostles and Paul is risible.

Do you even know anything about Judaism? About the sacrificial system and history. About Psalm 22. The Passover lamb.

The Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah because he didn't fulfill all the messianic prophecies in one go.

Even Jews say dietary laws are just for the Jews. The Gentiles have 7 laws. The Jews have 615.

joshuanah said...

Hi, Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year

I'm trying to contact David Wood.

I want to volunteer to be a prayer partner in this ministry


Unknown said...

Hello Madhi,

Can you answer these questions:
Why were 11 of the 12 apostles Jews (for your information, only Matthew was non-Jewish)?

Why did people first have to become Jewish before they could become Christians in the first 200 years of Christianity?

Why did the Passover to the First Concession coincide with the Pesach?

Why did an angel forbidden Paul to worship him?

Please think about these questions. You might not find the answers in the bible but I'm sure you'll find them more in the history of Christianity.

joshuanah said...

Hi, Happy new year.

I think having prayer partners in this ministry can be helpful.

Because Romans 15:30 says
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

And Colossians 4:12 says
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

joshuanah said...

I'd really like to help out in prayer


Ephesians 6:12 says
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Anonymous said...

I'm just trying to be persistent, according to Luke 18:1-8

The Parable of the Persistent Widow
1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ”
6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Amin said...

Is Islam a new religion? Does Muhammad differ from other Prophets?

Andrew said...

Amin. Mad mo was a caravan thieving, pedophile, rapist, mass murderer. I think that disqualifies him as a prophet.

joshuanah said...

I still want to volunteer to pray for this ministry. Don't mind me disturbing this website with inspiring bible verses. Heheh.

James 5:16-18 says
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

joshuanah said...

I don't know how denigrating Muhammad can achieve witnessing to muslims. But I have heard that praying can help a lot because of testimonies in my country, Malaysia.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Andrew said...

Was there anything in that statement that wasn't true?

"Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" John 8:32

Amin said...

Is rape allowed?

Which religion is moderate and which is extreme? Who are the radicals? Judaism vs. Christianity vs. Islam

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