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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Jonathan Edwards' 'The Excellency of Christ': Edited and Updated by Charles R. Biggs | Main | Future Grace (Book Review) by Pastor John Samson »

    "Where Is He Who Has Been Born King of the Jews?": Christmas Day Worship of Christ!

    Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him. —Matthew 2:2

    The Magi trekked a long distance on Christmas to worship the newborn king. Imagine celebrating Christmas Day this year without worshipping and thanking God for HIS indescribable gift in Jesus Christ to us? Well, you may think this is strange to celebrate Christmas Day without the formal worship of Christ, but some are considering it! In fact, there are many congregations who are planning on closing their doors on Christmas Day. I guess if Jesus had been born in our consumeristic American culture of the present, the magi would not have found an open church to worship the newborn king (I guess again, they would have had to take him to a cave or manger!). These planned church closings on Christmas were even deemed newsworthy and made a report in the Associated Press:

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Central Kentucky's largest church will be dark on Christmas Day, a decision drawing some criticism among the faithful. Southland Christian Church near Lexington is joining several evangelical megachurches across the country in canceling services for the holiday, which this year falls on a Sunday. Officials at the church, where about 7,000 people worship each week, said the move is designed to allow staff members and volunteers to spend the holiday with their families.

    Notice the unbiblical logic above: Churches will be closed so that "staff members and volunteers can spend the holiday with their families." Isn't that the excuse that pagans and the unchurched use every Lord's Day to disregard worship, spending time with family? "I think it's ridiculous," Pastor John MacArthur says, "You certainly wouldn't want to have a church service interrupt a celebration of Christ's birth, I guess. What kind of thinking is that?"

    Here at KCPC (Ketoctin Covenant Presbyterian Church where I pastor) we have a great privilege and opportunity to celebrate the Lord’s Day AND Christmas Day together as a family in Christ. Before opening all the gifts from each other, let all God's people gather for the call to worship to open the word of God together where we and our families will receive the gift of God found in the holy gospel of the Lord Jesus.

    The people of God are called to worship every Lord’s Day, and particularly when the Lord’s Day is on Christmas Day! What a privilege to gather and hear the gospel on Christmas Day and to bring our gifts of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord, and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!

    Exodus 20:8 teaches us: “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy” and this applies to us even on Christmas Day. Hebrews 10:25 teaches us: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

    Christmas Day is important, but “the Day” to come of Christ is so much more important, and we are taught in Scripture to gather eagerly and expectantly as a congregation each Lord’s Day as a foretaste of “the Day”, and this year the Lord’s Day falls on Christmas Day! Some may say that I am not going to church on Christmas Day, but this is to forget that YOU ARE CHURCH, and very much needed as part of the Body of Christ and its worship.

    So plan to attend and graciously invite friends and family who do not have a worship service to attend on this special day! Pastor Charles will be preaching on the theology of the Incarnation of the Son of God! This special worship on December 25th is a SPECIAL Lord’s Day that only comes every 7 years (well, leap year changes this!)- - don’t miss this worship service!

    Let the people of God be lights before the watching consumeristic world! Even the pagans seem to know that somethings wrong when Christians don't worship Christ on his birthday!

    This Christmas, with the Magi, ask with your family:

    Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him. —Matthew 2:2


    Posted by Charles Biggs on December 15, 2005 09:44 AM

    Comments

    Christ or Christmas?
    D. Kane 12/19/2005

    Christ’s honor and glory is again being dragged through the mud by those who wear His name as Mega churches announce that they will not be holding worship services on Sunday, December 25th.

    Why? Because it’s Christmas and they feel people should “focus on the family”.

    The secular media has grabbed on to this with all their might…and no wonder! As “Christians” openly campaign to get Christ back into Christmas and actively protest against department stores and businesses that refuse to say, “Merry Christmas”, some of those very same “christians” are canceling Sunday Morning worship. Is it any wonder the media is intrigued?

    In addition, the media is also highlighting the fact the Catholic churches would never dream of doing such a thing, as this is one of the churches “Holiest Days.” Those who are familiar with Church history will see the significance of this. Christmas was made an official “Christian Holiday” in 350 A.D. by Pope Julius I.

    Spurgeon (on the other hand) said this about celebrating Christmas:

    “We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.” (Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on Dec. 24, 1871).

    Regardless of where you stand on the “Christmas” issue, you must admit that putting anything (including your family traditions) above worshipping the Lord on the Lord’s Day (regardless of what “holiday” might happen to fall on it) is a clear indication of where our hearts truly are.

    Have “Christians” completely forgotten why we go to church? We go primarily to worship and praise the Lord! The idea that we would forsake that because we want to “Celebrate Christmas with our Families” is not only ironically disgusting but borders on idolatry. When it comes right down to it, it is the Pastors of these churches that will be held accountable for making such a decision. A man of God, who has been called by God to the pastoral ministry would be standing in the pulpit on Sunday morning even if only two people showed up for worship.

    What message do you think this is sending our Lord and Savior? The answer should be clear. “I’ll catch you next week…I’m kinda busy today!”

    There is so much more to say, but I fear I have already burdened you with this rather long and fragmented dissertation…but, my heart is heavy.

    This is not about “Christmas”. This is about men deciding to cater to their own desires and the desires of their congregation over and above honoring the Lord. “Worshipping you, God, on Sunday, December 25th is just a little too inconvenient. You understand…Don’t you?”

    For me...I'd rather have Christ than Christmas!

    D.L. Kane

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