Bible Christianity Jesus Christ

Christmas – Where is Jesus?

the-recordOne of the most frustrating things about Christmas is the way that the message of Christ is so misunderstood.  One of the main reasons it is so misunderstood is because of the way so much of the professing church presents it.  If church leaders often get is so wrong I guess we should not be surprised that most politicians don’t get it either. As I listen to their Christmas messages it seems that the only one who gets it is the Queen! (This year Boris Johnson’s is the best – he stresses that Christmas is about Christ and makes special mention of persecuted Christians. Jeremy Corbyn at least mentions the message of Christ. Nicola Sturgeon manages to get through a whole Christmas message without mentioning Jesus or Christians once!).

Today for example, in the Sydney Morning Herald, Julie Baird argued that Christmas was about feminism – Mary was a woman, the three wise men were really women….etc.  In fact whatever your cause, it’s the easiest thing in the world to co-opt Jesus for it.  The world will be filled of messages from clergy and politicians telling us what they think Jesus would say (which remarkably aligns with their agenda!) rather than telling us what Jesus did say, and why he came.

I much prefer the wonder, beauty and simplicity of what the Bible actually says…..

” She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”   All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”  (Matthew 1:-23).

He came to save his people from their sins. We are sinners. We need salvation. Christ came to provide it. End of. Beginning of!

Where is Jesus?   He is with us.

“Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrows, in our life work, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendour” (C H Spurgeon)

https://theweeflea.com/2016/11/29/advent-judgement-and-hope-revelation-ch-6/

If you want a real blessing this Christmas then listen to Andy Robertson’s three sermons from St Peters from Luke – 

Here is the last one.

Happy Christmas!

 

 

 

22 comments

  1. “In fact whatever your cause, it’s the easiest thing in the world to co-opt Jesus for it. The world will be filled of messages from clergy and politicians telling us what they think Jesus would say (which remarkably aligns with their agenda!) rather than telling us what Jesus did say, and why he came.”

    Indeed, Pastor. It is tragic and disgusting and, just to reinforce this point, it looks like Dean Peter Catt’s ultra-liberal group, “A Progressive Christian Voice” is Tweeting again with a vengeance after a period of silence:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/APCVA/with_replies

    One of the articles they have just promoted is this one:

    “God made the rainbow: why the Bible welcomes a gender spectrum” by your old sparring partner, Robyn Whitaker, in which she claims Adam was genderless.

    https://theconversation.com/amp/god-made-the-rainbow-why-the-bible-welcomes-a-gender-spectrum-126201?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutton&__twitter_impression=true

    They also promoted this article by the SMH featuring the usual suspects like Deidre Palmer and Rod Bower using Christmas to push the climate change agenda:

    https://amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/church-leaders-use-christmas-message-to-call-for-climate-action-20191222-p53mau.html?__twitter_impression=true

    Whatever our thoughts on climate change, the message of Christ’s coming is ignored in this article.

    Finally, they retweet this rant from (the homosexual) APCVA member, Dr Stuart Edser, to (the homosexual) Uniting Church Minister, Dr Avril Hannah-Jones, attacking conservative religion and conservative politicians as “hypocrites”. Talk about APCVA/Dean Peter Catt calling the kettle black! Catt is one of the blatantly hypocritical minister I have ever had the misfortune to encounter.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/StuartEdser/status/1209307632609062912

    So it looks like the usual nonsense from the APCVA and Anglican Church Southern Queensland crowd will continue for yet another year. 🙁

    1. Just one more thing I found… It seems the APCVA types actually reject the efficacy of prayer:

      https://www.progressivechristians.org.au/articles/a-serious-disconnect-between-political-piety-and-bush-fire-reality/

      They do their usual tactic in the article of labeling traditionalist/orthodox Christians as “fundamentalists”. Thankfully, after getting it so wrong for 2000 years, we have Marcus Borg and his sycophants like Dean Peter Catt of the authoritarian progressive left to put us right! 🙁

    2. Sorry, I am going down the rabbit hole a bit now. It turns out APCVA also opposes the National Schools Chaplaincy program and they cite the militant atheist academic Marion Maddox in support of their views:

      https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/progressive-christians-oppose-chaplaincy-program,7124

      It seems they oppose it because it is run by groups like Scripture Union; they would rather have secular counsellors or no chaplains in schools at all then to have orthodox Biblical chaplains in schools. It proves APCVA is all about ideology and could not care less about the interests of the children, which us the most damning thing I can say on the matter. I am truly angry with them about this.

    3. Last comment: another APCVA member tweeted this:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/stephaniedowric/status/1202326744109207553

      So it is bad to arrest people protesting outside Morrison’s church in support of asylum seekers but good for APCVA types such as the powerful left-wing authoritarian Anglican Dean, Peter Catt, to call the police to arrest those protesting against paedophilia, homosexuality and the culture of bullying and hypocrisy in his diocese? Stunning hypocrisy. The more I learn about these people from reading their views and the things I hear they have done such as the police call to remove the protester, the more disgusted I am by them.

  2. Thank you for yet another helpful article, and comment and links.
    During recent visits to aged persons’ homes, as part of a Choir we sang an ‘Aussie’ carol named ‘Christmas Day’ – the words of which are so apt although written in 1948, to this present hot, dry summer – with many bush fires raging and over 900 homes lost, so far, throughout the country. (Your comments of 9 December were so appropriate.) The first verse and chorus of this carol goes:

    ‘The north-wind is tossing the leaves, the red-dust is over the town; the sparrows are under the eaves; and the grass in the paddock is brown’.
    ‘As we lift up our voices and sing – to the Christ-Child, the Heavenly King’.

    Then, it seems appropriate to consider this: ”The doctrine of the Trinity proclaims to us the very heart of God, made known to us and to the world in the self-sacrificial love of Jesus Christ and poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” https://www.presbyterianmission.org/what-we-believe/reclaiming-the-trinity/

    That requires contemplation of the awesomeness and majesty of the triune God, as holy Scripture reveals. And also brings to mind the title of a book: ‘God’s Empowering Presence’ (by Gordon D. Fee) and, the words of a hymn:

    God reveals His presence:
    Let us now adore Him,
    And with awe appear before Him…
    Him alone, God we own,
    Him our Lord and Saviour:
    Praise His name forever. by Gerhard Terstergen (1697-1769)

    The 2nd verse speaks of the Lord Jesus; the 3rd of the Holy Spirit: “O Thou fount of blessing, purify my spirit; Trusting only in Thy merit.” -:
    Thanks for your helpful and penetrating comments and analysis! Best wishes and prayers for a meaningful Christmas and a safe New Year.

  3. Another new APCVA tweet:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/slamup/status/1208117010749517824

    I just clicked into the site and read the full poem. Dean Peter Catt and his fellow APCVA types really are endorsing a World Revolution! Apparently it is a violent one, too, judging by the “gunpowdered shore” line at the end, ( though elsewhere the poet talks about legislating.)

    In one part of the poem, they criticise the church being more powerful than the State. Funny how so many abuses of power in Brisbane lie directly at the feet of Dean Peter Catt himself and his mates though. It is as if he is completely lacking in self-awareness.

    1. I am probabky harping on about the madness in Brisbane too much again but here are Catt’s views on Satan:

      ” I know for myself that the understanding of the key questions and answers we engage with at Baptism has shifted over the years. For example, one question asks if we renounce Satan. Years ago I thought this question to be ridiculous and superstitious. Over time, as I have engaged with the faith story and its intersection with the story of human history and my life story, I have found myself moving to understanding Satan as the mob-generated and mob-inspiring presence so eloquently described by the French Catholic sociologist Rene Girard. ”

      https://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14643

      He is blind to the Satan that has so much control over his life.

      Reader reaction to the piece includes these comments:

      “This is perhaps the longest and most discursive apology for telling lies I have ever read.

      “Narrative theologians look for the story that unfolds within the Bible rather than seeing the Bible as a source for developing systematic theology.”

      Translation: we make up stuff that sounds good.

      Next week at St. John’s — how Jesus and Peter took the Ring to Hell, and Judas snatched it away before falling into the lake of brimstone.
      Posted by Jon J, Monday, 4 February 2013 12:08:21 PM”

      “a load of waffle that parades as intellectual but is really simply unbelief. I’ll stick to the doctors, science Proffessors, the garbage collectors, the cleaners etc and the occassional pollie who is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the Only way to salvation and any other waffle is a denial of simple truth. No wonder the Anglican church is in such a poor state. The believers still in the Anglican church must be in despair.
      Posted by runner, Monday, 4 February 2013 1:04:09 PM”

      https://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=14643&page=0

      His second piece, about climate change, features more pretentious verbiage, psycho-babble and an unbelievable bad poem/prayer addressed to “Dear Life/God/Mother Earth”. Since the poem/prayer is unattributed, I presume he wrote it himself.

      https://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14595&page=0

      Again, a choice reader comment:

      “Great Caesar’s Ghost!

      It’s hard to believe I’ve actually read this article here today in the twenty-first century.

      Mr Catt writes a sort of mixed up prayer of confession, penance and hopelessness all at the same time to some hybrid Christian/Green/CAGW Life/God/Mother Earth deity. Is that weird or what?

      Aside: This has got to be a wind-up, yes? Surely no one could really think, write or believe any of this.

      What about this bit – “I like tagines”? Where did that come from? My spell checker didn’t recognise the word and I had to go Google tagines to find out what it was. Even then I couldn’t work out how to place it into context.

      And then he goes on –

      “And yet we are told all this good stuff is ruining the planet.
      I don’t want to destroy the earth
      but I also don’t what to lose the life I now enjoy.
      It seems so unfair that the two just won’t go together.”

      What two, tagines and the Earth?

      Why are tagines destroying the Earth? He doesn’t explain that bit. But then maybe he’s on to something. Some new CAGW conjecture. Someone with a Christian/Green/CAGW religion could be capable of no end of devilish pessimism to link tagines with global destruction. After all, they did it to CO2.

      Wow. What can you say?

      My advice to Mr Catt – go back to basics, read the Holy Bible, refresh your understanding about the miseries of man eating fruit from the tree of knowledge, banish yourself from technology, using cars, world travel and tagines, especially tagines, find some modern Eve-like woman to blame and curse her to eternity with periods. Then, embrace a tree, hang on to it tightly and await the forthcoming apocalypse whilst chanting prayers to diverse deities of your choice.

      Good luck Mr Catt.

      The frightening part about this folks, is that I don’t think it’s a wind-up.
      Posted by voxUnius, Tuesday, 22 January 2013 2:03:57 PM”

      https://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=14595&page=0

  4. Bless you as you continue to reveal the truth of Jesus and our complete dependence on Him.
    Wishing you and your family a very blessed and joyous Christmas.
    Kindest regards
    Laura Kirsten
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

  5. ‘Today for example, in the Sydney Morning Herald, Julie [sic.] Baird argued that Christmas was about feminism – Mary was a woman, the three wise men were really women….etc. ‘
    Actually, David, no she didn’t. Are you saying Mary wasn’t a woman? And where does the text say ‘three wise men’?

    1. I’m afraid that is precisely what she said. She used the Christmas story to push her own agenda (even down to the ridiculous gender stereotype that women would have brought more sensible gifts.

      Bruce you are welcome to post on here – but try to avoid the inane comments. Doubtless you think there is some humour/point in saying ‘art you saying Mary wasn’t a woman, but I prefer a more sensible and mature discussion. Try not to make such remarks in the future.

      1. David, I’m wondering how a ‘sensible and mature discussion’ is possible when you insist that Julia Baird was pushing a feminist agenda? I am interested in what you saw in her piece that gave you the evidence for ‘I’m afraid that is precisely what she said’. So far the only clues you have given of your reading are that Julia claimed (1) Mary was a woman, (2) there may not have been 3 wise _men_ (which may rely more on tradition than the text of Matthew), and (3) a quote from a tea towel. What are you seeing in her piece that an ordinary Australian wouldn’t? Are there even suggestions in her article that might give that ordinary Australian pause for thought?

      2. Bruce – did you actually read the piece? Of course she was pushing a feminist agenda – there was little or nothing of the Christian gospel in there…

      3. Yes, David, I did read the article. I guess the difference between us is the presuppositions we brought to to our readings. Which I guess was really Julia’s point — we hear the Christmas narrative through presuppositions. For many people in Australia (and elswhere) these are based more on Christmas traditions rather than the narrative itself.
        Some of the presuppositions, I guess, we could call ‘Aussie humour’. I think Wyldkat seems to have missed this. Is Luke’s narrative also to be called ‘feminist drivel? He seems to ‘downplay’ Joseph a little, yes? And he seems to treat Mary and Elizabeth as a bit ‘more than property’. And I guess if there was a woman among the Magi, then Wyldkat’s ‘evidence’ about women in the 1st century would show that at least one of the other Magi was her father or brother??

      4. No – I don’t buy into the post-modern reading – that it just depends on the pre-suppositions. Mine was very simple. I was reading Julia as she wrote. She even had the nerve to suggest that the church had underplayed the role of Mary! It was speculative meaningless nonsense.

    2. American woman speaking here. The aforementioned article is feminist drivel.

      She spends at least a third trying to argue that at least one of the magi was a woman. A notion that boggles the mind.

      In that era, women were little more than property. A woman did not travel alone, let alone travel long distance. If a woman was present, she was with her husband/father/brother and hardly anyone would have paid much attention to her presence.

      Also, the magi were not present when he was born. The magi arrived in Bethlehem when he was around 2 years of age. “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” “11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother” – First, they were following the Bethlehem star, which did not appear until He was born. Second, if they had arrived on that blessed night, why did Herrod give “orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under”. If He was just born, only those born within a few days or weeks would have been killed. Perhaps if she was better read, or knew how to apply logic, she might have known this.

      To me it seems that the author is far more interested in the birth than the miracle of His birth. She seems to think that no one has ever thought that the group consisted of more than just Joseph and Mary. Yeah, that’s the traditional image, but her idea is hardly unique. I’ve run across it several times.

      Quite frankly, I find her downplay of Joseph to be insulting. Joseph already vanishes too quickly, we don’t need to remove him completely.

  6. “the three wise men were really women…”
    At least she wasn’t suggesting that they were transgender women!

    (Bruce Symons is correct on one point: her name is Julia.)

  7. Re the Queens’ Christmas message, David – I was saddened that she felt the need to be politically correct by adding “and womankind” after using the word Mankind. “Good news to all mankind” – do Christians REALLY have to now spell out that that term covers females as well!!
    Dear oh dear.

    Does the BBC write the speech for her?

    1. Her Majesty should have stuck to ‘mankind’ but as PC is now the norm perhaps the portmanteau term ‘humankind’ could have met the case.

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