Friday, December 23, 2011

The Paranormal Christian – Christmas Myths

By Pastor Michael Frisbee, DD/DM

In a couple of days, we will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holiday of Christmas.  This holiday has become increasingly secular and commercialized over the past few decades.  Less and less is the focus on the birth of Jesus Christ, and the gift of Salvation He represents, and later would be sacrificed and resurrected to fulfill that prophecy.

There are a number of myths regarding Christmas and the tying in of Christ’s Birth to it.

Christians have always celebrated Christ’s Birth.

For the first several centuries of Christianity, the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. The earliest Christians viewed the celebration of birthdays, by definition, to be a pagan practice. Christians were discouraged from celebrating their own birthdays, so it is unlikely they celebrated Christ’s. This was true as late as the turn of the 5th century. Of course, by Augustine’s time, some Christians were observing Christmas, and were in the process of pegging it to their calendar, coincidentally at around the time of the winter solstice, which also happened to have been a time-window in which other, older pagan holidays had been celebrated. For a number of reasons this happened to be a convenient time of the year for holidays, so it had long been used for that purpose; first by pagans, then by Christians. It’s quite natural and understandable that they did so.

Christmas customs are centuries old.

This is quite false. We think of things like giving gifts as an old Christmas tradition. From the time Christmas was first observed by the Church, intermittently in the 4th century, then more steadily by the middle of the 5th and on into the Middle Ages, the only Christian activity performed on Christmas was the celebration of a special Christmas mass. Within the first few centuries these special Christmas masses were attended only by clergy, not the congregation. Christmas trees, decorating and feasting were all much-later developments. Giving gifts had been a custom in some pagan holidays, but it did not become a Christmas custom until the Middle Ages, and even then this was not consistent.

Christmas is celebrated by all Christians.

This claim is ridiculous on its face. Even now, there are some Christians who refuse to celebrate it, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Historically, there have been Christian sects who also did not celebrate it, and they even repressed it where they could. The truth is that the only holiday that all Christian sects have in common, is Easter. Even then they don’t all observe it on the same date. Most sects also observe Pentecost in some way, even some that don’t observe Christmas.

Christmas has always been celebrated on December 25

This is not true, not only because not all Christians have designated December 25 as “Christmas,” but because not even all of those who do, actually celebrate that day. Some Christian sects assign Christmas to days other than December 25. Other sects celebrate Epiphany, the annual commemoration of the visit of the Magi, in preference to Christmas. This is more common in Orthodox Christianity, but it’s found even among some western Christians, among many Hispanic cultures for example, which celebrate what they call “Three Kings Day.”

The most sacred holiday on the Christian calendar is Christmas.

Undoubtedly this statement is untrue.  The most sacred holiday for Christians, is Easter, the day which commemorates Jesus’ resurrection. Easter was celebrated long before Christmas ever was, to the point where its dating was a point of contention among Christians a couple centuries before Christmas was a thought. Easter was observed on varying dates as early as the middle of the 2nd century, and dating it was discussed at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. At that time it was noted that Christmas was merely a mass that was held annually, and attended only by clergy, only in some places. It was not a “holiday” in any conventional sense, not even in terms of the Greco-Roman culture of that period.

Jesus was born in December near the time of Christmas today.

Although it’s not impossible, it seems unlikely. The Bible does not specify a date or month. One problem with December is that it would be unusual for shepherds to be “abiding in the field” at this cold time of year when fields were unproductive. The normal practice was to keep the flocks in the fields from Spring to Autumn. Also, winter would likely be an especially difficult time for pregnant Mary to travel the long distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

A more probable time would be late September, the time of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, when such travel was commonly accepted. Thus, it is rather commonly believed that Jesus’ birth was around the last of September. The conception of Christ, however, may have taken place in late December of the previous year. Our Christmas celebration may well be recognized as an honored observation of the incarnation of ‘the Word made flesh’ (John 1:14).

Legend Of Santa Claus

Santa Claus has become indispensable to secularized version of Christmas. There has hardly been a Christmas when children have not waited for their kind and beloved Santa. The stories related to Santa Claus have managed to gain much popularity amongst people all over the world. Santa Claus, the noble saint with his big belly and red outfit, wanders around homes spreading the message of optimism and prosperity. He is depicted with a long white beard which is a sign of his worldly wisdom.

The story traces the kind deeds of St. Nicholas in his city. It took form hundreds of years back when Nicholas was born to a wealthy Christian family in Myra, now located in modern Turkey. The legends of his good deeds and helpfulness soon made him the Bishop of Myra. He wished to see his people satisfied and happy and would even travel at night to ensure the same. One night, during his visits, he overheard a family complaining about their misfortunes and poverty which was compelling them to sell their three daughters as slaves or prostitutes. Nicholas could not stand their plight and threw three purses of gold from the chimney in to their house secretly. Such instances were common and only made him more popular. He was referred to as the 'Patron Saint of Children and Sailors'. Every year on December 6th, that is the death anniversary of St. Nicholas, families prepare feasts in honor of the memory of St. Nicholas. Owing to the respect for his great nature, it is also considered good fortune to get married on the same day.

Tomorrow night, Saturday Dec 24th from 7 pm to 9 pm, Reverend Mark Hunnemann and I will delve even deeper into Christmas myth and the Birth of Jesus Christ during our “The Paranormal Christian” radio show.  Join us for a light hearted discussion on these topics, with calls from our listeners, and some great Christmas music.  Tune in at http://www.TheParanormalChristian.com

27 comments:

Enigma said...

Yes, there is no denying that there are numerous myths surrounding Christmas. You have outlined many of them in your blog. I think that it is important to remember that regardless of whether or not Jesus was actually born in December or not, and regardless if people used to celebrate HIS birthday or not, Christmas is the only time of year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, even foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance people have to really be themselves and display their humanity and good will towards one another.

As W.J Ronald Tucker once said: "For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, and home". i think that celebrating Christmas is a necessity, as there has to be at least one day of the year to remind us all that we're here for something else besides ourselves. So, no matter when Christmas first started being recognized or celebrated, and no matter what the date was that Jesus was actually born or any other myth concerning Christmas, I, for one, revel in the spirit of the Season. I am thankful for Christmas.

And on that note, here is a true piece of history that captures exactly why it is important to keep celebrating, recognizing and enjoying all of those things that makes Christmas a very special time of year:

http://firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm

Pastor Michael Frisbee said...

Personally - as Christians - the things we are supposedly supposed to be instilling on Christmas day; good will towards men, charity for others, etc that should be practiced EVERYDAY. We should not have to have a single day to remind us to do that.

Aanica said...

As a Christian I take special care to honor Christ and do whet I feel is moral and right. Our community is very charitable not only at Christmas but all year and I love that. I belong to Eastern Star and we raise funds all years and take on projects of immense scale to help those less fortunate. Christianity is not dead.

Merry Christmas Pastor Frisbee and God Bless

Enigma said...

I agree, the spirit of Christmas should be a year long thing, not just during the month of December! Unfortunately, not everyone gets that concept. For years now, I have volunteered for the American Red Cross, and have helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity. I like to get out there and get my hands dirty all year long! I also volunteer at a local battered womens shelter. Many of these poor women leave in the middle of the night with only their children and their clothes on their backs. I get an immense amount of satisfaction helping these women get back on their feet and helping them land jobs so that they can support themselves and their children.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Frisbie.. YOU HAVE COMMITED PLAGERISM.
I FOUND EVERYTHING YOU POSTED- VERBATIM ON SEVERAL WEBSITES.

WHY DON'T YOU WRITE YOUR OWN MATERIAL AND STOP PRETENDING TO BE A PASTOR?

http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/myths-about-christmas-in-the-u-s/

Anonymous said...

I AM GOING TO CIT HERE THAT I GOT THIS FROM THE ZEITGEIST MOVIE TRANSCRIPT. I DID NOT WRITE A STITCH OF IT MYSELF. The fact of the matter is there are numerous saviors, from different periods, from all over the world, which subscribe to these general characteristics. The question remains: why these attributes, why the virgin birth on December 25th, why dead for three days and the inevitable resurrection, why 12 disciples or followers? [M] To find out, let’s examine the most recent of the solar messiahs.

First of all, the birth sequence is completely astrological. The star in the east is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which, on December 24th, aligns with the 3 brightest stars in Orion’s Belt. [S60] [M] These 3 bright stars are called today what they were called in ancient times: The Three Kings.[S61] [S62] The Three Kings and the brightest star, Sirius, all point to the place of the sunrise on December 25th.[S63] [M] This is why the Three Kings “follow” the star in the east, in order to locate the sunrise — the birth of the sun.[S64] [M]

The Virgin Mary is the constellation Virgo, [S65] also known as Virgo the Virgin. Virgo in Latin means virgin. The ancient glyph for Virgo is the altered “m”. This is why Mary along with other virgin mothers, such as Adonis’s mother Myrrha [S66], or Buddha’s mother Maya [S67] begin with an M.[S68] [M] Virgo is also referred to as the House of Bread [S69] [S70], and the representation of Virgo is a virgin holding a sheaf of wheat. This House of Bread and its symbol of wheat represents August and September, the time of harvest. [D] In turn, Bethlehem, in fact, literally translates to “house of bread”. [M] [S71] Bethlehem is thus a reference to the constellation Virgo , a place in the sky, not on Earth.[M] [S72]

There is another very interesting phenomenon that occurs around December 25th, or the winter solstice. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, the days become shorter and colder. From the perspective of the northern hemisphere, the sun appears to move south and get smaller and more scarce. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients. It was the death of the Sun. [S73] By December 22nd, the Sun’s demise was fully realized, for the Sun, having moved south continually for 6 months, makes it to it’s lowest point in the sky. Here a curious thing occurs: the Sun stops moving south, at least perceivably, for 3 days.[S74] [M] During this 3 day pause, the Sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross, or Crux, constellation.[S75] [S76] [M] And after this time on December 25th, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth, and Spring.[S77] And thus it was said: the Sun died on the cross, [D] was dead for 3 days, only to be resurrected or born again.[S78] [S79]This is why Jesus and numerous other Sun Gods share the crucifixion, 3-day death, and resurrection concept. [S80] [M] It is the Sun’s transition period before it shifts its direction back into the Northern Hemisphere, bringing Spring, and thus salvation.[S81] [S82] [M]

However, they did not celebrate the resurrection of the Sun until the spring equinox, or Easter. This is because at the spring equinox, the Sun officially overpowers the evil darkness, as daytime thereafter becomes longer in duration than night, and the revitalizing conditions of spring emerge.[M] [S83]

Now, probably the most obvious of all the astrological symbolism around Jesus regards the 12 disciples. They are simply the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which Jesus, being the Sun, travels about with. [S84] [S85] [S86] [S87] [M]

Anonymous said...

In fact, the number 12 is replete throughout the Bible. [M] This text has more to do with astrology than anything else.

Coming back to the cross of the Zodiac, the figurative life of the Sun, this was not just an artistic expression or tool to track the Sun’s movements. It was also a Pagan spiritual symbol, [S88] the shorthand of which looked like this. [S89] This is not a symbol of Christianity. [M] It is a Pagan adaptation of the cross of the Zodiac. [S90] [S91] This is why Jesus in early occult art is always shown with his head on the cross, for Jesus is the Sun, the Sun of God, the Light of the World, [S92] the Risen Savior, [S93] who will “come again,”[S94] as it does every morning, the Glory of God [S95] who defends against the works of darkness,[S96] as he is “born again” [S97] every morning, and can be seen “coming in the clouds,”[S98] “up in Heaven,”[S99]with his “Crown of Thorns,”[S100] or, sun rays.

PsiCop said...

Several big chunks of this article have been copied verbatim from my blog (see the URL http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/myths-about-christmas-in-the-u-s/).

I don't mind people using my material, but the least you could have done was give me credit for it. All you had to do would have been to included the URL of my article.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Anonymous said...

@PsiCop

I see a similar article but I fail to see the copied blocks of text as alleged.

Kind of seems like a feeble attempt to plug your rather lackluster site to be honest.

Aanica said...

@Psicop, I agree with anonymous "Kind of seems like a feeble attempt to plug your rather lackluster site to be honest."

And the link you include is a 404 error page.

Pastor Frisbee is an honest man and I really hate to see someone try to make him look bad out of simple jealously.

Anonymous said...

ahem... I did give credit to zeigeist... PASTOR MICHAEL FRISBIE IS A TOTAL LUNATIC LIAR. HE HAS NO ORIGINAL CONTENT ANYWHERE!!! I HAVE REPORTED HIM TO THOSE WHOM HE'S STOLEN ORIGINAL TEXT.

INCLUDING HERE..

The Truth Shall Set You Free: How Many Americans Believe in Reincarnation? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8679086016744265029&postID=6360915310407300857

http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Reincarnation.html

AND HERE

Anonymous said...

ahem... I did give credit to zeigeist... PASTOR MICHAEL FRISBIE IS A TOTAL LUNATIC LIAR. HE HAS NO ORIGINAL CONTENT ANYWHERE!!! I HAVE REPORTED HIM TO THOSE WHOM HE'S STOLEN ORIGINAL TEXT.

INCLUDING HERE..

The Truth Shall Set You Free: How Many Americans Believe in Reincarnation? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8679086016744265029&postID=6360915310407300857

http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Reincarnation.html

AND HERE

Anonymous said...

@ PSI COP... IF YOU CAN READ.. WICH I BELIEVE YOU ONLY SCANNED... THE FIRST WORD OUT OF MY MOUTH WAS A CITATION TO ZEITGEIST WHO WROTE WHAT I COPIED AND PASTED.

FRISIBE! MAY YOU FRY IN JAIL!

PLAGIARIZER!! 3 YEARS MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCE FOR EACH OFFENSE.

RickyD said...

@ Anonymous

The link you posted is to this blog Ace.

-----------------
The Truth Shall Set You Free: How Many Americans Believe in Reincarnation? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8679086016744265029&postID=6360915310407300857

------------------

RickyD said...

@ Anonymous

One of the links you posted is to this very blog Ace.

........................

The Truth Shall Set You Free: How Many Americans Believe in Reincarnation? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8679086016744265029&postID=6360915310407300857

.........................

Aanica said...

looks like there are some very green-eyes in the paranormal, we actually know who you are, sorry your a failure and Pastor Frisbee is not.

Anonymous said...

What a sad little life to spend every waking moment trying to hurt another Christian instead of taking the time and improving your own life. Your misery and jealous nature is quite obvious to all of us.

PsiCop said...

For those who deny any plagiarism from my own blog article ( http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/myths-about-christmas-in-the-u-s/ ) vs. this one, here are some passages copied verbatim.

Mine: Christians have always celebrated “Christ’s birthday”: This is just not the case. For the first several centuries of Christianity, the birth of Jesus was not celebrated — at all. There are a number of reasons for this, but perhaps the most significant is that the earliest Christians viewed the celebration of birthdays, by definition, to be a pagan practice. Christians were discouraged from celebrating their own birthdays, so it’s hardly likely they’d have wanted to celebrate Christ’s.

The Pastor's: Christians have always celebrated Christ’s Birth. For the first several centuries of Christianity, the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. The earliest Christians viewed the celebration of birthdays, by definition, to be a pagan practice. Christians were discouraged from celebrating their own birthdays, so it is unlikely they celebrated Christ’s.

Mine: The customs of Christmas are age-old: This is also not true. We think of things like gift-giving as an old Christmas tradition, but really, it’s not. From the time Christmas was first observed by the Church — intermittently in the 4th century, then more steadily by the middle of the 5th — and on into the Middle Ages, the only Christian activity performed on Christmas, was the celebration of a special Christmas mass — and in the first few centuries these special Christmas masses were attended only by clergy, not the laity.

The Pastor's: Christmas customs are centuries old. This is quite false. We think of things like giving gifts as an old Christmas tradition. From the time Christmas was first observed by the Church, intermittently in the 4th century, then more steadily by the middle of the 5th and on into the Middle Ages, the only Christian activity performed on Christmas was the celebration of a special Christmas mass. Within the first few centuries these special Christmas masses were attended only by clergy, not the congregation.

Mine: All Christians celebrate Christmas: This claim is absurd on its face. There are, even now, some Christians who refuse to celebrate it, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Historically, there have been Christian sects who also did not celebrate it, and they even repressed it where they could (such as the Puritans did in colonial New England). The truth is that the only holiday that all Christian sects have in common, is Easter — but even then they don’t all observe it on the same date. Most sects also observe Pentecost in some way, even some that don’t observe Christmas.

The Pastor's: Christmas is celebrated by all Christians. This claim is ridiculous on its face. Even now, there are some Christians who refuse to celebrate it, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Historically, there have been Christian sects who also did not celebrate it, and they even repressed it where they could. The truth is that the only holiday that all Christian sects have in common, is Easter. Even then they don’t all observe it on the same date. Most sects also observe Pentecost in some way, even some that don’t observe Christmas.

Those are just three examples. I could have cited more, but it would be tedious. Three is more than enough to establish a pattern of plagiarism. I expect better of a man who calls himself "pastor." I dare him to show some integrity and confess to having copied me. Does he have the courage? I have no idea.

Oh, and if you think I need to post comments on this blog in order to get "hits" for my own ... that's just freaking laughable. Truly hilarious!

Anonymous said...

@PsiCop

Nope,those are not even remotely the same text and I wouldn't even call it paraphrasing.

Boy are you ever anal and boring BTW

Aanica said...

@Psicop,

I have compared what you posted and I have to say no they are not exactly the same. This information is available all over the web including Wikipedia.

I do see your point about similarity. It's more like you both drew from the same sources (and that's not a problem as everyone has to do research from other places).

Psicop, let me ask you is this your original work?

PsiCop said...

I see this blog's owners and commenters have a lot of integrity. Thanks to one and all for showing conclusively your utter lack of character. I couldn't have done a better job of it myself!

(Oh, and that the Pastor's unthinking supporters are all "anonymous" is precious beyond belief! Not only do you have no integrity, you have no courage, either!)

Sid Vicious said...

@ PsiCop

Is "PsiCop" your real name Captain Courageous?

The post directly above yours is not "Anonymous" and all you seem to have proven is that you and the OP evidently have both drawn from the same reference sources. I have to say I highly doubt you personally deciphered the ancient scrolls, hieroglyphics, cave drawings, totem poles or whatever else to glean this information so aren't you guilty of plagiarizing the work of the original archeologists, historians and scholars that discovered and translated these archaic texts?

No reply will be construed as an admission of guilt on your part.

Anonymous said...

Please check out David Rountree's worm hole theory..

its hillarious...

He copy and pasted its entire contents.. encluding equations (that couldnt be clipped) into it..

Here it its.Wormhole Theory, addendum to the Origins series, courtesy of David Rountree | David M. Rountree | ResearchGate

Pastor D. said...

As a pastor and one who has both written and graded college and master level papers, I can assure you that this would indeed qualify as plagiarism in any context. Were Michael Frisbee to have submitted this work to any elementary, middle, or high school - much less any college or institution of higher learning - he would have been rightly failed for cheating.

For those who say that the true author is trying to get attention or any of that other garbage - you have got to be deluded. Anyone who produces an original work should be credited when quoted, especially when large blocks of text are direct quotes. And any writer of an original work is well within his or her rights in asking for that credit to be given.

Folks, there have been journalists at major newspapers fired for much, much less. College students have been flunked for plagiarizing one paragraph. And yet Michael Frisbee clearly has gone far beyond that. As a pastor and a fellow Christian, I believe his only recourse is to admit what he did, apologize to the author, publicly credit him for his work, and then repent for his deceptive actions.

Anything less than that defames the name of Christ whom Michael Frisbee claims to exalt.

BigTimer1254 said...

It does not make any difference what day Jesus was born. We are use to celebrating his birthday on the 25th of December. (It doesn't get any better than this.)Any other day of the year would just throw our Christmas inspiration completely off. Cause people are caught up on inflection, the way things sound when you name it. Like a name or thing that draws a lot of attention. And they also want an inflection that looks like what they are talking about. You know what I mean? Why do you think celebrities change their names? Cause their regular name just don't sound right, and don't fit. That is why they are so particular about how they name things.
However, I have always heard Jesus was born on the 12th of January. Which emmulates the 12 days of Christmas. And is the reason why it is always so good to leave your Christmas tree for the whole month of January. You know what I mean?And not take it down on the 7th like people usually do. Since I was a kid. I have always felt the 1st of February was the end of the Christmas feeling anyway. All our Christmas gifts and toys just feel like regular items, and not Christmas gifts and toys anymore.

Anonymous said...

This is some thing which i dont typically do, but what the hell i loved your post so i need to say thank you. You might have gotten a loyal reader.

KM said...

Rest in peace, Michael. Thank you for being a good friend. Despite your own struggles, you spent your life trying to help others. I thank God you no longer have to deal with the nonsense of those who would try to tear you down.

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