I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Does God sanction the celebrating of Jesus’ birth?


BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK - DECEMBER 14:  Palestini...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
There is not a Christmas season that arrives that does not bring with it discussion and even discord over the actual birthday of Jesus. It seems to me that Christian brothers and sisters would not squabble over such a small thing. It might be a good thing to remember the teachings of Jesus relating to loving each other. But, since many seem stuck on resolving minor meaningless differences I decided to put my 2 cents worth in.

Let’s start with what we know for sure about His date of birth.  What we know for sure is we really don’t know. We do know that there are several dates that have people who will swear are the correct birth date.  There are some that say it had to be in May, and they can provide their “evidence” proving it. And there are those who say it had to be in September, and they also can provide their “evidence” proving it.  Of course there is the ongoing debate regarding December 25th vs. January 6th.  Yes, there are those who have “proof” that the birth of Jesus truly is December 25th.  If you are interested is some of the pro December 25th arguments you may want to visit the Wikipedia site at the bottom of this article.

The truth is rather than focusing on whether the date we celebrate His birth is the correct date, we probably ought to think about if we should celebrate it at all.  There are some out there that think we should not.  Usually they will point to Deuteronomy 12:28-31, which reads:

28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
29 The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, 30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." 31 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.

Personally, I do not believe that the above scripture prohibits Christians recognizing or celebrating the birth of Jesus.

In any event, the date really doesn’t matter. If God had decided it was important He would have made the date clear. He did not, however He did give us quite a bit of information about the birth, so He felt that it was important. I would agree it is not as important as the resurrection, but it did have to happen first. I think what is important is our attitude towards Christmas. There are those who believe Christmas is a compromise with paganism and others who have other problems with Christmas. Trust me, I have heard it all. Having said that, December 25th happens to be the day we observe as the birth of Jesus. If I am going to observe it at all, I will do so on that date. I guess I could observe it in May or September but I probably won’t see quite as many Nativity scenes. 

So, how should Christians celebrate Christmas?  I believe it is important to remember that Christmas is really about gifts. Oh, not the temporal material gifts that it seems to have become about, but the gifts Jesus gave us.  Christ gave us gifts of eternal value: His love and companionship along with gifts of salvation, forgiveness of sins, the indwelling Holy Spirit, His righteousness, peace, joy, wise counsel, healed minds, restored relationships, and adoption into His eternal home.  Now those are some gifts I am glad I received! 

I hope you always appreciate Christmas but from the correct perspective.

Be blessed,


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Monday, December 21, 2009

CHRISTmas Message


Because we are celebrating the birthday of our Lord. I thought it would be meaningful to look at Isaiah's prophecy, made more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus, and then the fulfillment of that prophecy in the New Testament.

A Child Is Born
Isaiah 9:6,7
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isaiah includes many direct predictions of the coming Messiah, including this passage, which established that the Messiah will come from Galilee (read verse 1). The lands Isaiah mentions as "humbled" in verse 1 are the very regions devastated by Assyria's armies (2 Kings 15:29). Thus Isaiah offers a word of distant hope for those parts of his nation most affected by war.

Matthew 1:18-25
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 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." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

1:18 Pledged to be married. There were no sexual relations during a Jewish betrothal period, but it was a much more binding relationship than a modern
engagement and could be broken only by divorce (see v. 19). In Dt. 22:24 a betrothed woman is called a "wife," though the preceding verse speaks of her as being "pledged to be married." Matthew uses the terms "husband" (v. 19) and "wife" (v. 24) of Joseph and Mary before they were married. 1:19 righteous. To Jews this meant being zealous in keeping the law. Divorce her quietly. He would sign the necessary legal papers but not have her judged publicly and stoned (see Dt. 22:23-24). 1:20 In a dream. The phrase occurs five times in the first two chapters of Matthew (here; 2:12-13,19,22) and indicates the means the Lord used for speaking to Joseph. son of David. Perhaps a hint that the message of the angel related to the expected Messiah. take Mary home as your wife. They were legally bound to each other, but not yet living together as husband and wife. What is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. This agrees perfectly with the announcement to Mary (Lk 1:35), except that the latter is more specific.

Have a blessed CHRISTmas,

PS: Please do two things for me. First, please email or otherwise notify your contacts about this post as ask them to come and read it. Second, become a follower of this blog. You can do that on the left. thanks, Wayne


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is Infant Baptism Valid?

Question: My parents told me that I was baptized as an infant. Some of my Christian friends say I need to be baptized again. Why?

Baptism is one part of your overall commitment to Christ. It is a public proclamation of that commitment. That being so, the person being baptized must be old enough to have made a sincere commitment to Christ himself or herself. Children can do this at a fairly early age in some cases. I see baptism of infants as the parents committing the child to Christ, and that is OK, but I believe the biblical pattern is for people to be baptized following conversion (see Acts 16:29-34 for one example). Baptism is not necessary for salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:17 Lets not forget the thief on the cross next to Jesus. He was saved though never baptized. Having said that I want to say baptism is biblical and important. If you were baptized young, and/or are not sure you had given your life to Christ prior to your baptism, just do it again. Jesus considered baptism so important that He did it Himself, and made it part of His instructions in "The Great Commission" (read Matthew 28:16-20)

Revenant Scripture
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. Matthew 3:16

In the grip of grace,



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Evolution vs. Creation


The evolution vs. creation debate is a question of origins. Were we intelligently created or did we simply evolve randomly? How did we get here? Are we the products of Creation by a higher intelligent power with a purpose, or are we simply an accident? Are we the result of a cosmic accident or a series of such accidents?

The media of today likes to portray the evolution vs. creation debate as science vs. religion, with creation being religious and evolution being scientific. Often, if you don't agree with this label, you too may well be labeled. It really does not matter which camp you are in. If you are an evolutionist or creationist, and you don’t agree with the type cast you receive, you can be criticized and maybe even called a religious fanatic who is trying to pass off religion as science or, perhaps even worse, trying to disprove science to promote a religious worldview. I think we can agree that neither model of our origin has been proven and certainly there remains doubt. Otherwise, the theory of evolution wouldn't be called a "theory.” Whether we like to admit it or not, those who subscribe to the theory of evolution do so by faith. And it takes just as much faith as believing in creation, maybe even more.

Since there is no doubt that I am a Creationist the balance of this article will be written with that slant. After all, why would I want to argue the Evolutionist position since I believe them to be wrong?

Evolutionists, as hard as they try, can not come up with reasonable answers to a couple of very fundamental questions about Evolution.

Question #1. Most Evolutionists say the “Big Bang” exploded into our perfectly formed universe as we have it today. If that is the case where did the mass of matter come from? Science does not explain scientifically where the matter came from that “Big Banged” it's way into our universe, as we know it today.

Question #2. How did living things initiate life in themselves? Science cannot explain scientifically how living things initiated life in themselves.

Question #3. How did life not only initiate life in itself, but how did it do it from absolute sterility? Again science cannot answer how life begot itself from absolute sterility.

These are three very basic questions that, as far as I am concerned, must be answered if Evolution is to be given any credence at all. And, as I indicated, science is unable to provide any credible answers here. In order to accept this “science” you must accept, on faith, that these things “just happened.” You must swallow hook, line and sinker all the unexplained parts they simply can not answer.

So, let’s attempt to establish some examples of the thought processes. To accept the thinking of the Evolutionists you would have to believe that it is possible to have a skyscraper where construction began on the 5th floor and progressed upward from there. The Creationists of course will ask, “where is the foundation?” To answer honestly the Evolutionists will have to respond "well, there is no foundation. " This answer assumes the Evolutionist will answer honestly.

Applying the Evolutionists form of thinking in another way, I seriously doubt an
Evolutionist would get on a train which they know passes over a bridge that is missing some tracks.

I really don’t consider these really good demonstrating examples, but I don’t see them much more difficult to conceive and believe than the lack of reasonable answers to the three above fundamental questions.

As for me – I find Creation much easier to believe than Evolution. Creation takes less faith.

Be blessed,




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Does God punish children for the sin of the parents?

I remember reading in the Bible that God punishes children for their parents sin. Is that so?

No, not exactly. In fact there is scripture to the contrary. Please read Ezekiel 18:14-20, and the promise of the new covenant -- Jeremiah 31:28-34. Children often do inherit problems from the parents. Sinful patterns of behavior are often passed on to family members. An environment of alcoholism, sexual abuse or violence can scar children for life, but these children will answer to God for their own lives, not for those of their parents. Your question probably came from reading Numbers 14:18. I believe scripture is consistent in that God punishes people for their own sins, and Numbers 14:18 is referring to passing on of a sinful nature, or the sad results of sinful parents. Are not "crack babies" punished for the sins of their parents? The parents do it though, not God.

Revelent Scripture
Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16

In the grip of grace,



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why Pray if God is in Control?

If God is in control of everything; if God is sovereign and rules all, why should we pray?

While it is true that God is sovereign and rules over all, we must understand that God has ordained not only the "ends" but also the "means" to those ends. God has not only predetermined to bring certain things about, but also He has ordained to accomplish some specific things as a result of the individual prayers of His saints (us). Therefore, we absolutely should pray for specific needs. Let us not forget the teaching of James 4:2 "You do not have, because you do not ask God." (also see 1 Thessalonians 5:17) Further, our God is the God of love and a God of personal relationships. He desires that we be in communion with Him. He wants a close personal relationship with each one of us. How could that be possible without intimate conversation? That alone is reason enough to pray.

Relevant Scripture
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Be blessed,


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