29 Comments

Dreaming of a Pink Christmas.

The debate about whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas has recently been raging on DefCon. As many know, my family has decided not to participate in Christmas (my reasons can be found here).

I have been pleased and encouraged to find out that other Christians have also abandoned this holiday and it is very encouraging to find out that those of us who have chosen to treat December 25th as we would any other day are in good company.

The Apostles and early church fathers did not celebrate Christmas, the Puritans rejected Christmas, Charles Spurgeon opposed to Christmas, and more recently A.W. Pink voiced his opposition to Christmas.

It is Pink’s commentary on this holiday that I have posted below for your edification and consideration in DefCon’s ongoing examination of Christmas. My intention in posting this is not to rehash some of the more heated (and vitriolic) debating that we’ve seen on previous comment threads, but it is important to consider what those faithful men who have gone before us have said about this holiday.

Christmas

A.W. Pink

“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen . . . for the CUSTOMS of the people are vain.” (Jer. 10:1-3)

Christmas is coming! Quite so; but what is “Christmas?” Does not the very term itself denote its source — “Christ-mass.” Thus it is of Romish origin, brought over from Paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Saviour’s birth. It is? And who authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples “remember” Him in His death, but there is not a word in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. Is it without reason that the only “birthday” commemorations mentioned in God’s Word are Pharaoh’s (Gen. 40:20) and Herod’s (Matt. 14:6)? Is this recorded “for our learning?” If so, have we prayerfully taken it to heart?

And who is it that celebrates “Christmas?” The whole “civilized world.” Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who “despise and reject Him,” and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on its lowest ground, we would ask, Is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any truly born-again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? Verily, the customs of the people are vain; and it is written, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2).


Some will argue for the “keeping of Christmas” on the ground of “giving the kiddies a good time.” But why do this under cloak of honoring the Saviour’s birth? Why is it necessary to drag in His holy name in connection with what takes place at that season of carnal jollification? Is this taking the little ones with you out of Egypt (Ex. 10:9,10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly a mingling with the present-day Egyptians in their “pleasures of sin for a season?” (Heb. 11:25). Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6). Scripture does command God’s people to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), but where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the little ones a “good time?” Do we ever give the children “a good time” when we engage in anything upon which we cannot fittingly ask the Lord’s blessing?

There are those who do abstain from some of the grosser carnalities of the “festive season,” yet are they nevertheless in cruel to the prevailing custom of “Christmas” namely that of exchanging “gifts.” We say “exchanging” for that is what it really amounts to in many cases. A list is kept, either on paper or in memory, of those from whom gifts were received last year, and that for the purpose of returning the compliment this year. Nor is this all: great care has to be taken that the “gift” made to the friend is worth as much in dollars and cents as the one they expect to receive from him or her. Thus, with many who can ill afford it, a considerable sum has to be set aside each year with which to purchase things simply to send them out in return for others which are likely to be received. Thus a burden has been bound on them which not a few find hard to bear.

But what are we to do? If we fail to send out “gifts” our friends will think hard of us, probably deem us stingy and miserly. The honest course is to go to the trouble of notifying them — by letter if at a distance — that from now on you do not propose to send out any more “Christmas gifts” as such. Give your reasons. State plainly that you have been brought to see that “Christmas merry-making” is entirely a thing of the world, devoid of any Scripture warrant; that it is a Romish institution, and that now you see this, you dare no longer have any fellowship with it (Eph. 5:11); that you are the Lord’s “free man” (I Cor. 7:22), and therefore you refuse to be in to a costly custom imposed by the world.

What about sending out “Christmas cards” with a text of Scripture on them? That also is an abomination in the sight of God. Why? Because His Word expressly forbids all unholy mixtures; Deut. 22:10, 11 typified this. What do we mean by an “unholy mixture?” This: the linking together of the pure Word of God with the Romish “Christ-mass.” By all means send cards, preferably at some other time of the year, to your ungodly friends, and [at] Christmas too, with a verse of Scripture, but not with “Christmas” on it. What would you think of a printed program of a vaudeville having Isa. 53:5 at the foot of it? Why, that it was altogether out of place, highly incongruous. But in the sight of God the circus and the theatre are far less obnoxious than the “Christmas celebration” of Romish and Protestant “churches.” Why? Because the latter are done under the cover of the Holy name of Christ; the former are not.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18) Where there is a heart that really desires to please the Lord, He graciously grants increasing knowledge of His will. If He is pleased to use these lines in opening the eyes of some of His dear people to recognize what is growing evil, and to show them that they have been dishonoring Christ by linking the name of the Man of Sorrows (and such He was, when on earth) with a “Merry Christmas,” then join with the writer in a repentant confessing of this sin to God, seeking His grace for complete deliverance from it, and praise Him for the light which He has granted you concerning it.

Beloved fellow-Christian, “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (Jas. 5:8) Do we really believe this? Believe it not because the Papacy is regaining its lost temporal power, but because God says so — “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) If so, what effects does such believing have on our walk? This may be your last Christmas on earth. During it the Lord may descend from heaven with a shout to gather His own to Himself. Would you like to be summoned from a “Christmas party” to meet Him in the air? The call for the moment is, “Go ye out to meet Him” (Matt. 25:6) out from a Godless Christendom, out from the Christ —deserted “churches,” out from the horrible burlesque of “religion” which now masquerades under His name.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10) How solemn and searching! The Lord Jesus declared that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12:36) If every “idle word” is going to be taken note of, then most assuredly will be every wasted energy, every wasted dollar, every wasted hour! Should we still be on earth when the closing days of this year arrive, let writer and reader earnestly seek grace to live and act with the judgment-seat of Christ before us. His “well done” will be ample compensation for the sneers and taunts which we may now receive from countless souls.

Does any Christian reader imagine for a moment that when he or she shall stand before their holy Lord, that they will regret having lived “too strictly” on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His reproving any of His own because they were “too extreme” in “abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)? We may gain the good will and good word of worldly religionists today by our compromisings on “little (?) points,” but shall we receive His smile of approval on that Day? Oh to be more concerned about what He thinks, and less concerned about what perishing mortals think.

“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” (Ex. 23:2) Ah, it is an easy thing to float with the tide of popular opinion; but it takes much grace, diligently sought from God, to swim against it. Yet that is what the heir of heaven is called on to do: to “Be not conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2), to deny self, take up the cross, and follow a rejected Christ. How sorely does both writer and reader need to heed that word of the Saviour, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thou crown.” (Rev. 3:11) Oh that each of us may be able to truthfully say, “I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy Word.” (Psa.. 119:101)

Our final word is to the pastors. To you the Word of the Lord is, “Be thou an example of believers in word, in deportment, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12) Is it not true that the most corrupt “churches” you know of, where almost every fundamental of the faith is denied, will have their “Christmas celebrations?” Will you imitate them? Are you consistent to protest against unscriptural methods of “raising money,” and then to sanction unscriptural “Christmas services?” Seek grace to firmly but lovingly set God’s Truth on this subject before your people, and announce that you can have no part in following Pagan, Romish, and Worldly customs.

N. B.—The following extract is from the late C.H. Spurgeon’s exposition of Psa. 81 in the Treasury of David. “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” (v. 3) Obedience is to direct our worship, not whim and sentiment: God’s appointments gives a solemnity to rites and times which no ceremonial pomp or hierarchical ordinance could confer. The Jews not only observed the ordained month, but that part of the month which had been divinely set apart. The Lord’s people in the olden time welcomed the times appointed for worship; let us feel the same exultation, and never speak of the Sabbath as though it could be other than a ‘delight’ and ‘honorable.’ Those who plead this passage as an authority for their man-appointed feasts and fasts must be moon-struck. We will keep such feast as the Lord appoints, but not those which Rome or Canterbury may ordain.

‘For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.’ (v. 4) It was a precept binding upon all the tribes that a scared person should be set apart to commemorate the Lord’s mercy, and truly it was but the Lord’s due. He had a right and a claim to such special homage. When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas, Whitsuntide and other Popish festivals were ever instituted by a divine statute, we will also attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men as to observe the ordinances of the Lord.”

HT: Manfred

29 comments on “Dreaming of a Pink Christmas.

  1. Thank you for all the posts on Christmas. We have 7 children and for the past couple of years have not wanted to celebrate Christmas. Well this was our big year! We had already put up a tree before your first article and so we started researching the origins of Christmas. When we took down the tree, we were all in one accord! It felt so right! At first we didn’t know what this season would bring, if we would still give gifts, etc. but as time has passed and we have listened to the Lord we have chosen not to take part in any of it.

  2. Pink Christmas

    Very clever!!

  3. Kelly, bless your heart.
    The peace that you receive when you are obedient surpasses all the persecution (and it will come) you will no doubt encounter.
    It is hard to stand sometimes.
    But, stand we must.
    We have not celebrated for about 25 years now.
    At first we tried to do this or that, keeping our foot in it here and there.
    Not until we completely cut it off did the real peace and VICTORY come in our lives!

    Thanks again to Pilgrim for these articles and the boldness to post them.

  4. Ah, not the Christmas Elvis sang about :-)

    I just took possession of a Puritan Hard Drive http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/calvinism-bookshelf-cds.htm and there are several articles about this season there – none that I’ve yet seen endorse it. Shocking! Turns out it is a new thing in this country – thanks to those who love to distract folk from the biblical Jesus.

  5. If tonight in my slumber I start dreaming of a Pink Christmas, rest assured Pilgrim, you will find nothing in your stocking from me!

  6. This fine article by Pink is one of many I’ve found. More here: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/Xmas_ch0.htm

  7. this is a very thought provoking piece; thank you for sharing. I, in turn, will share this with others.

    Why would any born from above believer want to be a part of this materialistic, selfish, self-centered pagan ritual birthed from the Satanic cult known as the Roman Catholic Church? It’s all about how well those in retail will do, how much money folks will spend, and if all this will boost our sagging economy…where does the Son of God fit in all this? Surely this entire fiasco is a rotten stench in the nostrils of a holy God who warns ‘My glory I will not give to another’.-Is. 48:11

  8. Add to your non-Christmas list missionary Jim Elliott. He saw too many trappings of Catholicism in Christmas. The same is true with a church weddings – he and Elisabeth were married in a civil service in Quito, Ecuador.

  9. I will always remember, “I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas”. I have read this article before, very good! I didn’t know about Jim Elliott, that is very interesting also. Wehahve not celebrated December 25th for 10 years. I have been very encouraged by so many here, who have either put it away or are honestly considering doing so.

  10. While I very much appreciate his contributions to Christian thought and literature, we might pause briefly before making brother Pink our standard of Christian practice.

    The well-known Christian biographer Iain Murray wrote a biography of Pink, which was both complimentary of his work as a theologian, yet was also [honestly] critical of his eventual inability to be part of any church fellowship.

    In summary, after years of lecturing, preaching, and teaching brother Pink finally gave up trying to find a church where he could come alongside fellow saints, and sit under the spiritual authority of duly appointed elders. Pink truly came to believe that there were no churches where he could worship and serve with a clear conscience. The answer? He simply decided to stay home, and work on his books [he would have been a watchblogger today!].

    Pink gave up on the church.

    And even though his gifts and talents were manifold, he couldn’t find one single pastor he could support or one single church he could [or would] attend and serve during the last twenty years of his earthly life.

    He simply withdrew and stayed home.

    Pink apparently preferred a self-imposed isolation to dealing with the typical problems that come along with fellowshipping alongside other fallen sinners saved by grace. Pink’s standard was set so unrealistically high that no church could meet his criteria. And it wasn’t just worship style, or matters of preference, no, for as Murray demonstrates Pink’s reasons for isolation were far more serious. He truly believed that he was being asked by churches to worship a different God than the God of the Bible of Pink’s conception.

    Certainly there are reasons to avoid some “churches” which fail to adhere to the doctrines of Scripture, and we certainly wouldn’t expect a thoroughgoing five-point Calvinist like Pink to attend Saddleback, but at the end of the day every true church is comprised of a mixture of babes in Christ, mature saints, tares, wheat, goats and sheep. The visible professing church isn’t perfect, yet God uses the imperfection of His earthly Bride to show forth His wisdom and glory through His Word among men. Perhaps Pink had an unrealizable ecclesiology, or perhaps Pink should have realized that he himself wasn’t perfect, and should have settled for a less-than-perfect church where he could worship the Lord less-than-perfectly, and serve alongside other less-than-perfect sinners-cum-saints, and honor the Lord with the gifts he was given from within their intended less-than-perfect context. Sometimes, oftentimes, it’s within the less-than-perfect-church where the Lord hones and develops His people’s grace, mercy, patience and love by pruning them, purifying them, and chastening them from among the fellowship of the other less-than-perfect saints.

    In Christ,
    CD

  11. CD–Thank you so much for this! Again, it does my heart so much good to read your post. There has been so much on my mind about this problem you have highlighted– I see it in myself and I read it in posts here. What you have written confirms what the Holy Spirit has been leading me to. Blessings to you.

  12. A dear friend who used to own an honest Christian book store (years ago) told me Pink had grown bitter in his old age. I have read a bit written by Pink and have concluded he was one of the few humans with less social grace than I :-)

    None of us can find a perfect church, yet none of us are sufficient alone – read about Lot and his daughters when he took them to the hill country where his uncle (God’s people) were not. If a church exalts Christ and holds to the sufficiency of Scripture, one could likely worship the Lord there and develop some good fellowship. Might learn something, to boot. Draw the line one essential issues.

  13. CD,

    Thank you for your thoughts on Pink. What Pink did in staying home or playing “home church” was merely the precursor to what we see today happening in huge numbers. Far too many are forsaking the assembling of Christians as we are taught from Scripture to obey. The local church was the focal point in the lives of the early New Testament believers. Yes, they met in homes, but they didn’t meet there simply because they didn’t get along with anybody else.

  14. You’re welcome, Kaydee!
    Amen, Manfred, amen!
    Thanks TDP, I couldn’t agree more!

    In Him,
    CD

  15. I think you have somewhat made a blanket statement about people
    who meet in homes to worship. Maybe they cannot find a fellowship
    with a pastor that is above reproach. That in and of itself is enough not
    to attend. The pastor definitely sets the tone and tenor of the fellowship.
    If he is bold and authoratative in the pulpit, and preaches the Word with
    no apologies, then the congregation will follow suit.
    But, if he is a wishy-washy, touchy-feely, mamby-pamby, man-pleasing
    compromiser, so goes the people.
    I do not think it has anything to do with looking for perfection in people sometimes.
    Of course, I do not want to make a blanket statement and say in all cases.
    But, I speak from experience when I say that it is not as easy as just finding those
    with similar doctrinal beliefs and just slipping in the pew, for the sake of warming it!
    There is so much compromise and ecumenism going on, and such a mixture with the
    holy and profane that the line is blurred beyond recognition, in the name of Christianity.
    I, personally, did not know Mr. Pink, so I cannot say what his reasoning was, so therefore
    I cannot make a judgment about it.

    And for the record, I do not “forsake the assembling”, I meet several times a week with the body of Christ for fellowship and sharing of the Word. Plus, singing of hyms and psalms.

    Ever looking Heavenward.

  16. HHHMMMM well this is all interesting. I couldn’t help but think of Noah, when Manfred mentioned Lot. What church would Noah have had to go to? Why did Elijah think that he was alone, even tho’ the Lord told him there were 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal? I also think it is very easy to fall into “romanish” ideas of “church”. Paul washer says, “saying you are going to church is like saying you are going to human”. If you are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, you are the church, you don’t go to it….. And we can also have “romanish” ideas of pastors and elders…… I think we have to be very careful here also……. I am not supporting “lone-ranger” christianity here by any means, nor staying out of “church” to escape authority or have one’s own way in everything. There is also a biblical teaching of separation, and there is a teaching on a great falling away, a great forsaking of the true gospel, in Noah’s day it was reduced all the way down to just his family. And the Bible also teaches, “as in the days of Noah”. I don’t know exactly where all the lines are drawn….but I think it may be a bit harsh to conclude that “staying home”, “playing church” is a reason to totally disqualify someones orthopraxy. There are many facets to the Biblical teaching on the “church”, and on separation from both the world and those who distort both in orthodoxy and oprthopraxy the true gospel. I find it disconcerting that we so easily disconnect someone’s teaching from their practice which is a whole other subject all together, and that we can classify someone as “bitter” who we never knew. People are often accused of being bitter, when they are actually only zealous to live what they believe to be true, and others, who do not agree grow angry.

    AND we have a come a long way from “Dreaming about a Pink Christmas”, but this time it was the “editors” who “hi-jacked” the discussion. : }

  17. Berean Gal and Stella Marie – Your points are well noted and spot on. I have moved to a new area and have visited countless institutes that call themselves churches. But every time, save for one group, I have come away greatly grieved at how far and fast the church is slipping into the abyss of apostasy. From rock and roll so loud I literally needed ear plugs (a “new-Calvinist” church), to a so-called invitation to “receive” Jesus that was so weak it did not involve praying the evangelical’s “sinner’s pray” or even raising one’s hand!, to woman preaching in the pulpit, things in Christiandom are a mess.

    Could I go to one of these institutions and punch the clock as so many do? Yes, and I’m sure I could and then would meet the approval of those who would ask me where are you “going” to church. It is as if I could rattle off church so and so and all would be well and their concerns allayed. But if I explain my plight and share my struggles and how trying this is, most would label me as a renegade regardless of how I live my live or conduct myself as a believe in the Lord Jesus. And how funny this is in that I could be drinking down the sin of this world and living like the devil (as so many are), but as long as I say I’m “going” to church “x”, no one would give me a second thought.

    To me, Christianity has become more than “going” to church. No longer can I just “go” to church on Sunday, punch the clock for an hour or so and then go on with the rest of my life. I did this as a Romanist but this is not the Christianity I have come to embrace or the one I see in the Scriptures. As far as meeting house-to-house, I have done this and found it to be a blessing of great measure and far more rewarding that sitting like a silent automaton every Sunday and partaking in “Simon says” Christianity as I stood up and sat down, shook people’s hands and rattled off words I was told to repeat, all on cue from the one up front.

    I write this only to share that as ya’ll noted it is very easy to broad-brush fellow believers; we all have done it and it is so tempting as it gives us the high moral ground, but I think we need to extend grace to our fellow pilgrims. And in this to seek to better understand why people are where they are at, and instead of condemning them, come along side and weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn.

  18. It’s interesting how a discussion about how people “do or don’t do Christmas” has morphed into a discussion about how people “do or don’t do church”. The correlation has been there all along, lying just under the surface…“Do you see what I see? Can you hear what I hear?”…Do you do what I do? Is your church as faithful as my church? Do you serve the way I serve? Do you give as I give?

    If not, then perhaps you are just not as spiritual and holy as I am…sinner:)

    For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? – 1 Cor 3:4
    Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Phil. 2:3

    In Christ,
    CD

  19. Yes, Brother Michael, I could add to your list Charismania, Rick Warren wanna-be’s, and churches whose pastors/elders could not possibly qualify for such “positions” if they were actually measured by the standard which they profess to proclaim. Visible Christendom is indeed in a mess. I too have “punched the church timeclock” and rejected it as a truly Christian lifestyle. I actually attended a “church” till a year ago. The original pastor died, then a younger man moved into the “position” of pastor. The fellowship which had challenged, fed, and encouraged us for years disintegrated from a combination of man-based gospel mixed with “New Calvinism”. We were heartbroken. A few of the families from this fellowship now meet in each other’s homes…..it is blessed fellowship, how faithful the Great shepherd is to his sheep, no matter where they live, he does not lose one…. I would love to attend a church, but do not know of one in my area which even begins to uphold a Biblical standard. So for now….. I am very concerned with the idea that we have to go somewhere to be Chriistian, or the “church”. It is a strong resonance from the Old Testament tabernacle worship, modern-day Romanism, and also every false religion in the world emphasiizes churches, temples, buildings, ect. I am always reminded of this scripture when I think on this topic;

    And then if any man shall say to you, Lo , here is Christ; or, lo , he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise , and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce , if it were possible, even the elect.

    And this one:

    And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come , he answered them and said , The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say , Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold , the kingdom of God is within you.

    You have noted the emphasis on church attendance and I have noticed this also…to extreme proportions, How can this be? How can “church” attendance be placed at such a high standard and many other issues of Christian lifestyle be totally neglected? I do not mean to insult or judge those who faithfully attend church by this next statement but it is easier to “go to church”, punch the timeclock, contribute to the programs, whatever they may be, than to constantly wrestle day by day, minute by minute with being a fit tabernacle for the indwelling of the Lord’s Holy Spirit, which I think is the essence of true Christianity.

  20. In all fairness, Coram, you’re the one who placed the penny on the track that caused the train to derail.

    While I very much appreciate his contributions to Christian thought and literature, we might pause briefly before making brother Pink our standard of Christian practice. The well-known Christian biographer Iain Murray wrote a biography of Pink, which was both complimentary of his work as a theologian, yet was also [honestly] critical of his eventual inability to be part of any church fellowship.

    I don’t think this thread has “morphed” so much, as you say, because:

    The correlation has been there all along, lying just under the surface.

    I don’t detect any underlying sinister motivations as much as I believe readers simply followed your prodding and rode your train off the tracks onto another subject.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll stand corrected.
    If I’m right, then “All aboard!”
    ;o)

    – Pilgrim

  21. Thanks for saying that Pilgrim….: } My first thought after reading that post was what someone would say in my family! “That is the pot calling the kettle black.” I didn’t want to be contentious however, not in any way, some people are not comfortable with such “free speech, ” or would just misinterpret because of the mode of delivery. : } I aprrecaite all these discussions……. I stop by often and I have learned a lot from all the articles and enjoy reading everyone’s comments.

  22. I personally don’t think that CD was calling any kettle black, merely making an observation. And I think that his intention was to draw attention to the fact that there is an underlying heart issue at stake. When we are so devoted to our own particular way of thinking, perceiving, serving, giving, observing days, etc… that we are unable to have fellowship with other believers who are different from us, than we are truly more in danger of becoming just like Romanists. After all, in order to be a Roman Catholic, one has to give up one’s freedom to reason from Scripture–everyone MUST be the same and think the same, or risk being anathematized. And if you are not Catholic, you are not welcome to share in the Lord’s Table with those who are. As Protestants, it is a hard won victory to be free to extend the hand of fellowship to those whom we differ with, knowing that it is impossible to legislate beliefs, and it is the Holy Spirit who brings unity.

  23. I disagree with you Kaydee.
    I am not devoted to anything that comes from my heart or mind,
    I am fleshly, human, frail and faulty.
    But, there is absolute truth, black and white truth that is non-negotiable!
    It is NOT my truth, it is the truth of the WORD, the Lord Jesus Christ.
    I will not go to a “church” building for the sake of saying I go there, there is
    a lot of unequally yoking going on!
    These are things the reformers died for!

  24. In all fairness, Coram, you’re the one who placed the penny on the track that caused the train to derail.

    Funny, from my perspective I thought was just following the tracks that had been laid down by the original post to where they logically led, brother.

    But individual perspectives are sometimes, even oftentimes, the reason for simple disagreements, and/or misunderstandings, between Christians which – without grace, patience, love – can sometimes, even oftentimes, lead to divisive sectarianism al la my prior allusion to 1 Cor. 3:4. As we’re all painfully aware, that’s precisely what’s happened in a number of the Christmas themed threads already.

    You began the series by sharing your own personal convictions and making it clear that you left the subject up to others as a matter of conscience in the light of Scripture, which is the correct, Biblical approach.

    And pointing toward the vast distinction between your original approach, and Pink’s unfortunate and un-Biblical approach, was actually among my purposes in sharing what was arguably the logical outworking of Pink’s own rigid, legalistic views on the esteeming or non-esteeming of one day over another (in this case non-observance of Christmas) into the rest of his Christian walk, although I personally doubt the observance or non-observance of this day or that was the genesis of his tendency in this area, but rather was a casualty of it.

    His legalism didn’t, and couldn’t “live and let live” on the subject of the observance or non-observance of one day above another in accordance with the Scriptures.

    His legalism didn’t, and couldn’t stop there.

    His legalism ultimately extended to an inability to simply be a member of a local congregation of other professing believers.

    I think it’s worth pointing out to the brethren at DefCon that rigid, legalistic views such as Pink held don’t and can’t stop at this or that picayune topic; no, legalism is like a metastasizing cancer that spreads throughout the body. If anyone needs evidence of this please go back and read through the comboxes of the Christmas themed posts. Certain Christians in those threads who happened to divulge that they observed some aspect of Christmas were savaged and pilloried by certain other Christians, harshly, gracelessly, and in the most un-Christlike manner, and ended up being generally treated as apostates and idolators. What love is this?

    In light of this concern for the brethren it seemed fair and reasonable to also point out that Pink spent the last twenty years of his life as a “lone ranger” Christian, for reasons cited by his well-known and fair minded Christian biographer, Iain Murray. I’m not asserting that Pink’s non-observance of Christmas directly led him into a life of self-imposed exile from the visible professing church, but the seeds of divisive sectarianism are sown in the seedbed of legalism, which does seem to have afflicted poor brother Pink terribly.

    I don’t think this thread has “morphed” so much, as you say, because:

    The correlation has been there all along, lying just under the surface.

    I don’t detect any underlying sinister motivations as much as I believe readers simply followed your prodding and rode your train off the tracks onto another subject.

    I disagree here not because the motives of our readership were sinister, but because legalism is very insidious, subtle, and sinister – having an appearance of godliness – and I’m persuaded that the correlation of the natural outworking of Pink’s legalistic/sectarian tendencies to the detriment of the spiritual unity of the visible local church – at least in his case at the micro level – is demonstrative of a very real and present danger for the church today.

    Furthermore it became transparently obvious to me during many of the aforementioned Christmas post exchanges that a surprising number of commentors were, in my opinion, legalistically pinning their own Christian credentials on [and passing judgment upon the Christian credentials of others over] nothing more than the observance or non-observance of one day over another, in this case Christmas. While that may seem like a small thing, the little foxes spoil the vine, and ironically those who would forbid such observances [to include men like Pink, and the Puritans both of whom offered much to be admired], nevertheless fall into the equal yet opposite error of Rome, which commands the observance of certain days over another. Neither position is allowed by Scripture, both are in error.

    In spite of the ugliness I’ve seen in some threads, I nevertheless think this is a discussion worth having. Thanks for continuing to post thought-provoking material at DefCon.

    Kaydee,

    Exactly right!

    In Christ,
    CD

  25. Berean Gal,
    Not sure what specifically you are disagreeing with in what I said. I’m slow sometimes, sorry. Anyway, I have no issue with you. I trust you are being quite faithful to what the Lord has given you. And yes, there is absolute truth. We agree there. But no 2 people on earth are ever going to be in the exact same place of the journey to that truth. None of us have possession of that absolute truth yet, and we will not until we see Jesus face to face and all things are made known. Until then, we labor together and wrestle with one another. You have much wisdom. It seems a sad thing that you are not able to share your life with others who may not have all that you have in their “wisdom” toolbox. You are a wonderful asset to the Body of Christ, you are needed, you are my fellow living stone. I may not see things exactly the way you do, but I would hold your hand and walk with you any day of the week or year. Hope you don’t mind.

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    One more thing. The reformers also held to the notion of “reformed and always being reformed.” The church is a living thing and is continually growing to the full stature of Christ. And whether we are being poured out for the lost or for the people of God, it is no difference. We are not meant to live in isolation.

  26. Amen and amen, Kaydee – Sempre Reformanda! Isolation is wicked, as our flesh will drag us aside. The Lord provided the church, in part, for us – as we need one another. Too many are fooled into thinking a home church is the only thing or that no church is better than a “bad church”. We must focus on the essentials and struggle with one another on the lesser issues.

  27. Manfred, exactly right brother!

    In Him,
    CD
    ____________________________________________
    I’d like to add that one of the things that’s rather unique, in my opinion, about the DefCon blog is that the authors can and do disagree on various topics, but we do so in full knowledge that we’d go down in flames defending one another in Christ on the essentials, regardless of our differences of opinion on the non-essentials.

    I wanted to add this addendum because The Pilgrim and I previously exchanged private e-mails about the different perspectives we were setting forth here, and I want to make it clear that we are not having a “Christmas War” by proxy, but rather we’re having an open, frank, public discussion to which any and all are welcome to join, so long as it’s done in a spirit of humility and love as opposed to pugnacious contention.

    In Christ,
    CD

  28. I really like what a friend of mine had to say about arguments against Christmas. I also like the thoughts above cautioning us not to make AW Pink our standard for belief as well:

    “Well, for me it’s not much of a debate. I hadn’t even encountered any opposition on that subject until like 3 years ago.

    I’m aware of the “pagan roots” of the holiday, but 1,700 year old pagan roots that have been completely forgotten are no longer relevant, IMO. When I celebrate Christmas, I’m setting aside a part of the year to remember and reflect upon the incarnation. Trees, gifts and putting up lights may be a part of it, but they’re essentially neutral cultural trappings that are fun, but not the focus.

    In putting up a tree, I’m not celebrating Saturnalia.

    In giving gifts, I’m not attempting to please Forrest demons.

    In putting out lights, I’m not attempting to drive Forrest demons away.

    I pretty much place fighting about celebrating Christmas up there in the “stupid arguments” along with not listening to blues or jazz because their associated with illegal alcohol consumption. 90 years after prohibition, that reason is no longer relevant and 99% of people don’t even know about it.

    The whole argument is evidence of someone who basically knows precious little about history, has learned a handful of things, and now is going nuts.

    By that same line of reasoning we should not wear suits in church, not speak English and not sing hymns.

    Come to think of it, that reasoning eliminates almost every component of our modern church services.”

  29. “Come to think of it, that reasoning eliminates almost every component of our modern church services.”

    That is because your modern church services can be traced out the same way as the christ-mass. Heathen customs mixed with roman catholicism. That truth should be a bed of thorns to any true believer, not a comfortable couch to lay on.

    -Jim

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