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  • John T. Polk II 10:32 am on 2017-03-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, , , ,   

    3-6-2017 A Calendar Or The Cross 

    “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:1-2 NKJV).  It is this fact of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Apostle Paul was determined to preach.  By following a man-made religious calendar, people have been turned away from that Cross. “Christmas” diverts attention to Jesus’ birth; “Lent” places the emphasis upon human denial; “Easter” skips the cross to Jesus’ resurrection; and “the thief on the cross” makes salvation from a thief rather than Jesus! Bible faith says: “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:06 pm on 2016-12-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, Latin   

    Say what? Angels sang in Latin? 

    That’s what this guy said:

    “The Latin expression the angels echoed from the heavens, ‘Gloria in excelsis deo’ is also the refrain from our hearts this Christmas season.”

    Chalk up another one for the list of Christmas myths?

    • docmgphillips 5:56 pm on 2016-12-27 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, you never read of angels “singing” until you read Revelation. Nowhere else.

      • J. Randal Matheny 5:59 pm on 2016-12-27 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I must admit, the quote I inserted doesn’t actually say they sang. He used the word “echoed.” My point was the angels’ use of Latin.

    • Harold Letson 6:30 pm on 2016-12-27 Permalink | Reply

      I am sure the shepherds in the field understood Latin! I say that with sarcasm.

    • Eugene Adkins 8:45 pm on 2016-12-27 Permalink | Reply

      Funny…in a sad but still funny way.

  • J. Randal Matheny 5:24 am on 2016-12-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , christmas,   

    Holiday blessing 

    During these holidays, may you and yours be greatly blessed by the time spent together and by the enjoyment of all the things “that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” 1 Tim 4.3.

    Our prayer is that you may be drawn even closer to the Lord. If you are not in Christ, we pray you may enter the kingdom of God through faith, repentance, and immersion.

    If you are already in Christ, we pray the Lord may give you greater appreciation of your salvation, greater love for his leading and his family, and greater opportunity for service as his followers.

    We are happy also to share this prayer with you.

    I speak both for and to the Fellows here on TFR. Thank you for being a special blessing by your presence here.

    • docmgphillips 5:47 pm on 2016-12-25 Permalink | Reply

      Thing is…if the Bible is wrong in any one fact, there is no reason to believe the rest. Personally, I believe the only “untruths” n the Bible are those that are so identified, like in the incident of Ananias and Sapphira.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:03 am on 2016-12-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, ,   

    What I don’t like about Christmas songs 

    Yes, I like Christmas songs, but I don’t like all of them. And my dislike often has to do with one thing – what they teach.

    The birth of Jesus doesn’t take up a whole lot of territory in the gospels. Not including the veiled references of unbelievers, John basically uses one verse (John 1:14), Luke uses less than three “chapters”, if you count the announcement to Mary and the genealogy tree, to go more in-depth including the angelic announcement to the shepherds in the field (Luke 1-3), and Matthew uses two “chapters” to cover more genealogy, the announcement to Joseph and the gift-giving wise-men account (Matthew 2:1-2).

    The biblical account of Jesus’ birth, and its surrounding events, are fairly easy to understand … unless, for some reason, you’re a “Christmas” song.

    Many Christmas songs help to promote biblical ignorance by combining Luke’s account of the shepherds, who actually visit Bethlehem the night Jesus is born, and Matthew’s account of the wise-men, who first visit Jerusalem (after the birth of Jesus takes place) and then later present their gifts after finding Jesus in a house, into one mismatched scene.

    The simple fact is, whether one tries to sing it or not, the shepherds didn’t have to make room for the wise-men that exciting night in Bethlehem. To some people this may not seem like a big-deal, but truth be told – the truth of Jesus’ birth can’t be told with many “Christmas” songs, and that’s what I don’t like about them.

    • dhparker 6:23 am on 2016-12-20 Permalink | Reply

      I agree. On the other hand, why don’t we sing the scriptural ones any time of the year?

      • Eugene Adkins 10:14 am on 2016-12-20 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, I’ve talked about that before. There was a couple of guys (myself included) at the congregation I used to preach for that would mix them in once in a blue moon. Unfortunately, the congregation that I preach for now has no “Christmas” songs in it. That was kinda the inspiration for my last couple of posts.

        Thanks for reading and for commenting.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:49 pm on 2016-12-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, ,   

    I like Christmas Songs. Do you? 

    I don’t know about you, but I like “Christmas” songs.

    I can’t say I like every song, or even most songs that fall into the “Christmas” category, but some of my favorite songs just happen to be songs that are labeled as “Christmas” songs.

    I don’t like listening to all of the pop-stars singing to make a buck with their latest “Christmas” album. I may be wrong, but judging by the albums released before and after the nicey-nice holiday studio cut, I don’t think the vast majority of the famous singers really care about the message that surrounds the average “Christmas” album.

    I like singing several songs while I’m alone and while I’m with others. Silent Night, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, and O Come All Ye Faithful are songs worth singing. They remind us of an important message (1 Timothy 3:16).

    Whether the calendar says it’s December or July, I like singing these songs because they do my heart good, and I hope they do you good as well.

    I’m not saying you have to like “Christmas” songs … I’m just saying that I do.

    Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:2 – NKJV)

    By the way, if you want to watch one of my favorite video and song combos, you can click here.

  • Eugene Adkins 8:08 pm on 2016-12-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , christmas, ,   

    One thing that “American Atheists” and several Protestant churches will have in common this holiday season 

    The title of this post may sound a little weird, but assure you that “American Atheists” and several Protestant churches will have something in common this holiday season that you may never fathomed.

    What is it?

    They think you (More …)

    • marciasettles 8:45 pm on 2016-12-05 Permalink | Reply

      Our doors will be open! (We are a small Church of Christ in KY.)

    • Bernard Barton -Preacher for the Pleasant Hill church of Christ in Tennessee 5:29 am on 2016-12-06 Permalink | Reply

      The Pleasant Hill church of Christ in Pleasant Hill, Tenn will be meeting December 25 because it is the first day of the week when Christians worship God and study the Word of God together-Bernard Barton-Preacher of the pleasant Hill congregation

    • docmgphillips 1:32 pm on 2016-12-06 Permalink | Reply

      Regardless of secular holidays, we will be in church when the elders have set the time…and if they are led astray by “political correctness,” we will worship at home. But, regardless, we will worship the Lord on the Lord’s day.

  • John T. Polk II 9:47 pm on 2016-09-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , christmas,   

    8-29-2016 The Savior’s Start 

    “An angel of the Lord” told shepherds, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12 NKJV).  The shepherds said: “’Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:15-16 NKJV)1) This is about the birth of Jesus, and has nothing to do with a “Christmas;” 2) The shepherds saw “a Babe,” “born” that very day.  The “wise men” were nowhere around; 3) God’s “Savior” was born in Bethlehem, not Mecca!

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:26 am on 2015-12-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, , ,   

    The Last Days 

    By J. Randal Matheny © 2015

    Grateful are we to live in the last days,
    In the fullness of time, when Jesus Christ was born
    Of a virgin, God in the flesh, when humble praise
    Broke out among shepherds, the holy kingdom torn
    From Israel, and given to those who’ll bear
    The fruit of God. The days of mystery
    Have ended. Now’s the reign of the true Heir,
    The Seed of the Gospel. The kingdom’s key
    Is offered to all. The call of the Lamb is strong,
    He chimes the hour to watch. He bids take sides.
    No neutral ground can be held—’tis right or wrong—
    He brings a sword, the faith a house divides.
    The lines are clear, shall we draw back and blur
    The truth? Or speak because we love our Lord?
    The priceless pearl is ours — shall we prefer
    The home’s comforts, or the eternal reward?
    The King returns! The Sovereign seeks his own!
    The morning dawns, angelic trumpets ring!
    We greet his appearing, in clouds, on cherub’s wing!
    What glory to rise with him and see his throne!

  • Eugene Adkins 7:15 am on 2015-12-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas   

    A little shopping advice for this Christmas season 

    Need some advice (a.k.a. opinion) for this year’s shopping season? If you’re not already finished that is.

    You can find some here.

    I’ll warn you ahead of time that some may not like the advice that’s given…but to those who feel that way, I’ll just say that the advice comes at a much greater percent off than any sale you’ll find in the stores.

    • James McFerrin 9:34 pm on 2015-12-14 Permalink | Reply

      Some additional advice that has been helpful for us:

      Set up a budget and include the amount that you want to spend for Christmas and also other gifts and set that aside monthly for the appropriate time. Place that in a money market account so it is accessable when needed. It might accidently earn a couple of cents interest along the way. We fund our money market account each month and use it for gifts and other irregular expenses such as car repairs, etc. We’re actually going to have Christmas paid for this year and have a little excess left over for next year.

  • Ron Thomas 1:41 pm on 2015-03-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, , ,   

    Easter and Christmas Always on Sunday 

    Letter to editor (3.25.2015)

    Easter is a date is that is fluid in America’s culture; in fact, it is fluid in what is known as Christendom. The fluidity of the date corresponds directly to the fact that it is not a biblical date of recognition. It is a lot like the date that is fixed in western culture known as Christmas. Neither one of these holidays are biblical in origin.

    Since they are not biblical in origin, then it must be they have their origin in man’s thinking. Simple research on the internet will illustrate the origins of both. Easter, for instance, was derived from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant the “goddess of spring.” Of course, today, it stands for something entirely different than the “long-time-ago” meaning. Regardless of the good intentions surrounding the occasion, still, it is not a biblical date of recognition.

    New Testament Christians, on the other hand, celebrate the Lord’s resurrection each and every Sunday. If the Lord wanted Christians to remember a particular date, then He would have said as much. Since He did not, then when the saints gather together on the first day of each week, in adoration to the Lord, the “Easter” and “Christmas” occasions of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is memorialized.

    (Submitted to Decatur Herald and Review)

  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on 2013-12-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, , ,   


                    No man ever spoke like Jesus, it was declared. His word penetrated to the very essence of a person. Those who lived during the time He lived had come to recognize this (John 7:46), and those who take time to understand what the New Testament says about Him will quickly come to the same conclusion.

    What was it about that which Jesus said that was so significant and challenging to the people of His day? First, He was one who spoke with authority (Matthew 8:27). When the Lord spoke it was not only those who had ears that were hearing, but the elements of this world were also hearing Him. The wind, the rain, the snow, and the heat play such an important role in the life of man, but they were controlled by Him who spoke with authority. Second, He spoke with conviction. By this I mean that He spoke with knowledge concerning His mission and message. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). This pertains only to people; those who have the ability to hear and understand, but make choices that are contrary to the Lord’s way—these are the ones Jesus came to seek and save (Romans 3:23; 6:23). His conviction was not only with regard to His knowledge concerning His own mission, but that message He spoke convicted the many who heard Him. The responses were varied, but there was a response (Matthew 9:22; John 7:45-52). Third, He spoke with compassion (Matthew 9:36-38). Compassion is related to understanding unfortunate circumstances another might be experiencing and then trying to assist in offering some sort of reprieve from it. In the passage referenced Jesus took notice that those who were in unfortunate circumstances were in actual need of a shepherd. As they were in need, we are also in need—and our shepherd is the “chief shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4).

    A thoughtful person can’t help but to take notice that there was (and is) no man who ever spoke like Jesus. His words were not just words of wisdom, but the message He spoke was a message that took one from this worldly realm and transported him into a heavenly realm (John 8:31-32). I think I will listen to Jesus. RT

  • TFRStaff 5:18 am on 2013-12-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Merry Christmas) 



    Today is Christmas Eve, and in keeping with our family tradition, our son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren are at our house for brunch, gift exchange, general visiting and just enjoying being with one another. Tomorrow morning we will gather at the home of our daughter-in-law’s parents in Gladeville, Tennessee (The Glade) for a Christmas breakfast of country ham and all the accoutrements and another round of gift exchanges with her mother and daddy and her two brothers and their families. Jan and I will return home later in the day with a sack full of various kinds of goodies.

    What a joyous and delightful and noisy time of the year! But, hey, it’s Christmas and kids will be kids and sometime adults also will be kids! How wonderful! To one and all, Jan and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! Tonight may ol’ Santa fill your stocking with joy, peace, and contentment . . . enough to last throughout the coming year.

    Hugh Fulford

    December 24, 2013

    • Steve Griffin 7:36 am on 2013-12-24 Permalink | Reply

      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Peace and Good Will, enjoy your posts immensely, may God continue to Bless and Keep you and your families.

    • kenandjean92 10:03 am on 2013-12-24 Permalink | Reply

      Wishing you and yours the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest, Blessed New Year. Thanks for sharing yours thoughts and article this past year. Looking forward to seeing more in the coming year. God Bless

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:04 am on 2013-12-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, , ,   

    Christmas observance detracts from discipleship 

    Christmas or discipleship?The so-called Christian world celebrates a date that is most certainly wrong in order to mark the coming of the Christ into the world, rather than obey him as Lord and put him on as Savior. Christendom prefers the ritual of a yearly observance to the daily carrying of the cross of Christ.

    Let us be clear: As we speak to those outside of Christ, as we will certainly do this evening and tomorrow, we will seek to use the moment to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ. But let us not work under the delusion that people, just because they might think at some time during this holiday of the God who came in flesh, will be more disposed to obey the Lord. On the contrary … (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 2:19 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Christian assemblies, christmas, , , foul language   

    Did Jesus hear foul language? 

    clean-lanaguageIn order to learn more about the Internet and also to influence for God, I hang around some spots and places where foul-mouthed people also frequent. Not that I want to hear their infantile and immoral speech. Far from it. But the experience makes me wonder if Jesus, as he went to sinners and publicans and prostitutes, didn’t hear some things he’d rather not.

    Foul language is vile. But was the Son of God more saddened by foul language or by false religion? That’s a hypothetical question, of course. He obviously was unhappy with both. He had something to say against breaking one’s religious vows. Much to condemn in showy religion, in twisted messianism. Paul warns the Ephesians against unclean and uncouth talk, but I don’t remember Jesus taking anyone to task over it. Maybe the Jews spoke whitewashed words while the Gentiles were the potty mouths.

    Some Christians on Facebook are deleting so-called friends who post unedifying words or inappropriate pictures. I appreciate that. At the same time, there’s something to be said for ignoring for the moment some bad behavior in order to get past that and into the heart with a word for the Lord. But perhaps I’m too optimistic to think that, in a setting like Facebook, it can happen. What do you think? How do you handle that?

    • After her accident at a fellowship event a couple of weeks ago, the Missus’s arm was in a sling for a couple of weeks. The physical therapist told her to keep it wrapped until this past Saturday. I’ve stayed home (and worked from home) during this time to take care of her, since her left hand isn’t her best. I told her she now gets the blessed experience of what’s like to be a lefty in a right-handed world. (More …)

    • Joshua Gulley 12:19 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

      I think your comment about ignoring some bad behavior for the moment is right on board with Scripture. Didn’t Paul say that God “winked” at previous times of ignorance when man thought God was an item of silver or stone (Acts 17:30)? “Defriending” someone for using foul language seems to me a bit like kicking someone out of AA because they took a drink in a moment of weakness. If we isolate ourselves from everyone who demonstrates any kind of bad behavior, I’m afraid we come across as self-righteous–which, as you mentioned, seems almost to be a greater sin.

    • James Randal 3:20 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

      Each person has his own reasons and needs when he takes actions to defriend or not, so I’ll let the Lord judge how appropriate that is. Just seems to me that the need to focus on the salvation of those who show bad behavior will often take precedence on our need to preserve our ears. May we be strong to endure the evil so that good may result!

  • Eugene Adkins 6:34 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christmas, denominational, ,   

    You Tell Me 

    There are some in the brotherhood who are staunchly opposed to talking about the birth of Christ at this time of the year in scripture, in song or even conversation because they claim it’s denominational, but at the same time they staunchly promote using the word Christmas when it comes to trees, cards and presents.

    You tell me, which is more denominational? Talking about the birth of Christ or saying Merry Christmas?

    • James Craven 6:55 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      Obviously , “talking about his birth” is not “denominational”. Saying the word “Christmas” is denominational , catholic (Christ Mass) , and pagan in origin. I do not say “Merry Christmas” and would prefer we not talk any more or less about His birthday at this time of year. What we do need to do is talk DAILY about His death and resurrection . That is what we are baptized into. J.Craven

      • Eugene Adkins 8:43 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, James. Do you not think that this is the right time of the year to talk about a topic in which there is a lot of biblical ignorance? I find that it’s a really great opportunity to point to the importance of Bible study in light of the “average manger scene”.

        • James Craven 10:57 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply


          There is never not (double negative intended) a “right time” to discuss every aspect of Jesus ; His foretold and fulfilled birth, His life , teachings , death for our sins and His victory over the grave , etc.

          My fear of you wanting to talk about a particular part of His life at a particular part of the year just because the rest of the world is erroneously doing is so is this:

          We brag in the church of Christ of being “people of the Book” . We like to say we speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent”. We like to say we made it out of the 1000 years+ stranglehold of Latin-only catholicism through a period of reformation and more important to us , restoration. However , then we go around a say words like “christmas” and “easter” that the catholics made up wholecloth and grafted on to pagan holidays so they would appeal to the gaulish , germanic , pagan barbarians.

          After you have studied with the person that darkened your congregation’s door around this time of the year and heard you delivering a “christmas” themed sermon because you felt it was a “unique open door opportunity”, after you baptize them and they ask you “now where is those christmas and easter stories” in the Bible? What do you tell them?

          You can’t say “my family never celebrated as a “religious” holiday and call it CHRISTmas .


          • Eugene Adkins 11:33 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            You strike while the iron is hot, not when it’s cooled down. I have never presented a “Christmas” sermon in the traditional sense of the word, but I have given several different lessons that revolve around the birth of Christ, which is different than Christmas. For example, this Sunday my planned lesson will be about gifts that come from God (with the main thrust coming from James 1:17), and it will include a reference to Isaiah 9:6.

            Christmas has become a part of the American culture in a way that does not always have to reflect Catholicism. And I believe the church can take advantage of the opportunity it presents much in the same we can talk about the liberty of Christ around Independence Day, about new beginnings in Christ around the New Year, about the rest of Christ around Labor Day and even the resurrection of Christ around Easter without the church recognizing any of these days as a holiday religiously. Just because the world celebrates Easter doesn’t mean I’m not going to remember Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that day, and when I do it doesn’t have to have anything to do with what the religious world is doing.

            If one were to be converted because of a lesson that revolved around the birth of the Word of God and the truth that it contains then glory to God. But I don’t see in any way how their conversion would have to necessarily have any thing to do with telling them where those “stories” are in the Bible. A person can talk about the birth of Jesus (just like Matthew, Luke, John and Paul did) without it having anything to do with Christmas and the same goes with the resurrection. These topics predate manmade holidays.

            As far as celebrating Christmas without a person observing it religiously, they can do it in the same way that the Corinthians were able to eat meat without acknowledging the pagan god that it was sacrificed to. And don’t forget about Romans 14:5-6 while thinking about topics like this.

            I can appreciate your consistency, which is something others seem to lack concerning the matter.

    • Bernard Barton 7:10 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t support christmas at all-I think of Christ every day of the year_ i don’t celebrate Christmas and I don’t say mery christmas to anyone 12 25 isn’t when Christ was born anyhow-we don’t find the word christmas in the Bible at all-let’s rember Christ’s death, burial & resurrection

      • Eugene Adkins 8:55 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting, Bernard. Have you ever considered that this time of the year may have very unique “opened door opportunities” to use for truth of the gospel, much in the same way that Paul used the Jewish festivals?

    • Will 8:12 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      It depends entirely on the context and whom you are addressing. Is there not a correct and incorrect way to refer to just about ANYTHING… ? Your question, at least to me, seems insignificant.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:31 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        Here’s the signifance: consistency. To not want to (or to tell others not to) talk about the birth of Christ (his birth – not his birthday) during a time of the year when a lot of people (even non-religious people) are thinking about it but also insist that Merry Christmas should be used (along with using Christmas trees, gifts, etc.) in greetings and conversations seems like a big inconsistency to me.

        To avoid one so we don’t sound denominational (which in fact is scriptural) but to use the other (which actually has denominational roots) just doesn’t make sense and therein is the significance of my question.

    • Chris Barrett 8:32 am on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      My personal opinion is that there is nothing denominational about either one if we are talking about it from a Christian view. As a Christian my family and I remember the Savior’s death every day and thank God for his love for us. Sadly Christmas, Easter, and death of a loved one are the only time some think of our Lord. I love singing songs, sometimes reserved for this time of year, in the summer months just to rebuke this type of thinking. The Savior’s death is the most important, but the rest of his life from birth to death should and will be taught and remembered.

      As for the word’s “Merry Christmas” I make it a point to wish everyone who walks through my doors a Merry Christmas. To me and my family this is a time of year set aside for family. I will be the first to admit with the busy life style a lot of us have its getting increasingly harder as our children grow older to spend more time with them. My parents always made Christmas about family with a big emphasis on children, from my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. We did not celebrate it as religious or anything associated with bible. It was just a time of love and giving to remind us of what we have together.

      We have all seen the sign “Keep Christ in Christmas” . Let’s change that to “Keep Christ in Everything” I think we all agree the world would be a much better place. I thank God for everyone on this site and others like it. I know it’s an encouragement to me and many good thought provoking lessons are taught here. Merry Christmas to everyone.

    • James Craven 12:32 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      “Christmas has become a part of the American culture in a way that does not have to reflect catholicism.” Who invented the word? “And I believe the church can take advantage of the opportunity it presents…” No thank you , I don’t think that’s what the Restoration was about.

      What is the origin of the phrase “Independence Day” or “New Year’s Day” or “Labor Day” as they are used to describe U.S. holidays? What is the origin of the word “christmas”?

      Did the Corinthians call it “the meal in which we eat meat that was offered to idols but we don’t worship that idol so don’t judge us” meal? Just don’t take my Lord’s name in vain and call it “CHRISTmas”. Please.

      • Eugene Adkins 12:44 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        So I guess you don’t buy presents for anyone at this time of the year then?

        • James Craven 12:55 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          I do not give any more or less gifts to anyone “at this time of the year” than I would give to them at any other “time of the year”.

          Was that a response to one of my comments?

          • Eugene Adkins 1:13 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            So you actually buy gifts for your friends and family every single month? But you just so happen to open them around the 25th of December? Or do you not open presents at all in December?

            I had friends whose family belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and they wouldn’t get presents for their birthday or Christmas but about a month or so later they would get a “special” toy. They did the samething with fireworks. Never made sense to me.

            So you actually give the same amount of presents through out the year to your family as you do in December? That’s some consistency I’ve never seen before.

            What do you call the December presents, and do you have a tree? If so, what do you call it?

      • Eugene Adkins 12:51 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        And by the way, you’re completely ignoring the point about the meat that the Corinthians ate and the point of Romans 14.

        Using the biblical narrative of the birth of Christ to teach others in no way harms scripture – it uses it. And to sit by and waste an opportunity to help someone see the truth is a waste of an opportunity. I suppose you would’ve told Paul to ignore the Jewish feasts and the opportunities they provided since their observance isn’t required under the NT. Paul became what he needed to become to win others to Christ, as long as it didn’t sin against God, and using this time of the year as an opportunity to teach others doesn’t sin against God.

        • James Craven 1:10 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          Let’s look at you original question in your blog.

          If I was sitting in your congregation one Sunday near Christmas and you preached on the “birth of Christ” , I would not say to myself “you harmed scripture”. However , I would feel uncomfortable about it on behalf of any unbaptized/ denominational visitors that might be present. If you prefaced it by saying , “here’s what the world thinks about the word “christmas” and this time of year but what does the Bible say about the birth of Jesus?” , I would no longer feel uncomfortable on their behalf but If you asked me personally (and you did by posting this blog) , I would tell you that if you have to preface it , why do it. I know that leaves you in a no-win situation and that’s why I wouldn’t do it.

          • Eugene Adkins 1:29 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            My friend, if we stopped and explained every jot and tittle to visitors about what we’re doing in worship and how it’s different from the denominational world we’d have to do all explaining and no worshipping. I didn’t grow up in the churches of Christ, and the first time I visited and saw the Lord’s Supper being taken it was a shock to me cause it never occurred to me that anyone other than the Catholics observed it every Sunday. But it wasn’t the church’s responsibility to explain how their observance was different than how other people observed it. It was just their responsibility to observe the truth of the matter. And when it comes to the birth of Jesus I can talk about it without having to explain every nuance of how others are wrong to every single person. I can just preach the truth and use the opportunity to create other opportunities.

    • James Craven 1:31 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

      I call “presents” , “presents.

      I do not put trees INSIDE my house “at this time of the year” or at any other time of the year. Do you? What do you “call it”? What does it represent to you? Do you know and understand the pagan origins of the “christmas tree”?

      • Eugene Adkins 1:35 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        So you mean to tell me that it’s just a coincidence that your family gets together in December and opens presents?

        • James Craven 1:39 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          I live in the SAME house with my wife and daughter , it’s not a coincidence! And as I have said before , we buy things for our daughter ALL year long , her birthday is in may if it makes any difference in the conversation we are having.

      • James Craven 1:35 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

        I’m glad I attend a congregation that does explain every Sunday morning before we partake in the Lord’s Supper what we are about to observe and partake in.

        • Eugene Adkins 1:49 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          I’m not calling you a liar but I doubt very, very seriously that you explain how all the other observances are wrong when it comes to the Lord’s Supper. You’d be there over an hour just explaining that.

          So no other family or friends come over in December, and you only buy gifts for your wife and daughter, and you just so happen to buy and open gifts in December but it has nothing to do with America’s observance of Christmas???

          The only way you can be consistent with your word is to not buy gifts at all for the month of December. And again, please keep Romans 14:5-6 in mind when it comes to what you’re trying to bind in others. We’re taking about personal observances, not church requirements.

        • James Craven 1:52 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

          You got me , I have a friend whose birthday is Dec.9 , and I have bought him a gift before. I will go forward this Sunday , and I promise I will never buy him a gift again.

          • Eugene Adkins 1:57 pm on 2013-12-18 Permalink | Reply

            Sarcasm isn’t appreciated, and you’re starting to sound like someone who strains out the gnat but swallows the camel.

    • docmgphillips 12:53 pm on 2013-12-19 Permalink | Reply

      I am a little late, but I have two cents, also. My family has never celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday, but always as a secular holiday. (By the way, holiday comes from “holy day.”) Same with Easter. In fact, we celebrate several special days as secular holidays, even Valentine’s Day. We give thanks to the Lord every day, but we still celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I am afraid we “throw out the baby with the bath water” too often. It seems to me that few celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday any more, even thought they absolutely do give lip-service to the idea. Christmas and Easter have become no more religious than Labor Day or Independence Day in our society.
      Personally, yeah, it does kind of niggle at me when we have a nativity sermon at Christmas; however, if everyone in town is, in some way, tuned to think about Christ at that time, what is the real harm in using that to tell them the truth?

      • James Craven 4:41 pm on 2013-12-20 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, well, then if everyone else is doing it …

        • Eugene Adkins 5:43 pm on 2013-12-20 Permalink | Reply

          James, I’ve told you that I appreciate your consistency but you’re only consistent to a certain extent. You giving gifts in December under the guise of “well, I give gifts at other times of the year too” is just that – a guise. Most people give gifts at different times of the year but they also recognize the real reason they’re giving them during December – because of the holiday. And to the majority it’s a secular holiday full of traditions that have nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus!

          The thing that you’re failing to see is that your sarcastic remark applies to you too because guess what your family is going to be doing this month – opening presents! And you know why? Because everyone else is doing it.

    • James Craven 10:52 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

      When did I ever say I give gifts in December , because it’s December? You asked me if I “buy presents for anyone at this time of the year”. I responded “I do NOT give any more or less gifts to anyone at “this time of the year”. Remember it is you that finds some significance to the month of December , not I. You missed the whole point of my “sarcastic” remark of my childhood friend that I haven’t seen in 20 years. In fact , I will NOT be buying “gifts/presents” for anyone this month.

      I have answered every question you have asked me , even when it got far afield of your original blog question to which I was originally responding. Why did you not answer my question about whether YOU put a tree INSIDE your house at “this time of the year”? What do you call it? What does it represent to you? What is you definition of idolatry? I think the readers of this blog would like your answers to these questions.

      • Eugene Adkins 11:56 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

        Listen closely James, because I’m going to say this very slowly since you’re more interested in arguing and acting self-righteous than you are actually listening to what’s being said and what the Bible says about the principle. I’m not going to argue with you anymore; I’ll just remind about what the Bible says about matters like this:

        One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” (Romans 14:5-7)

        Individuals have rights than can be used without forcing it upon the church as a whole. I understand that you’re weak in this area of understanding, so I will not force anything upon you to which you do not agree; but at the same time you must recognize that a person can participate in cultural customs without that custom violating any scriptural principles – and talking about what the scriptures say about the birth of Jesus and giving gifts to friends and family do not violate any tenor of scripture whatsoever!

        I would be very careful about using insinuations that paint me or anyone else who talks about the birth of Jesus and gives gifts to others at this time of the year as idolaters! You’ll be judged the way you judge, and right now you’re judging without righteous judgment because it has no basis from the scriptures at all.

        You don’t have to celebrate Christmas in any form or fashion if that’s what you choose to do, but you can also do that without being judgmental and a jerk to others. If you want to act like a Jehovah’s Witnesses, have at it. I’d say more but unfortunately it would probably bounce off like a rubber ball that hits a brick wall.

      • Eugene Adkins 12:05 pm on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

        I hate it when I do this, but one more thing. You do know that a JW would call you an idolater for giving others a birthday present right? But unlike the way you’re judging me and my personal rights, I in fact believe that you have that personal right and that you can use it without violating any scriptural tenor even though some do with their behavior. You see, James? Do you finally get it?

        And I also bet, metaphorically speaking, that God Bless America around the 4th of July must sound like nails on a chalk board to you, huh?

    • James Craven 11:09 am on 2013-12-21 Permalink | Reply

      ” MOST people give gifts … but recognize the real reason(?) they’re giving them during December – because of the holiday.” What holiday? CHRISTmas ?!?

      I am so glad I am not “MOST” people. I am a member of a “called out of the world” people.

      “… to the MAJORITY it’s a secular(?) holiday full of traditions that have nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus.”(CHRISTmas!?!)

      Then you won’t mind me asking you to not take my Lord’s name in vain and call it CHRISTmas.

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