RALEIGH, N.C. ‚ÄĒ Justin Lee believes that the Virgin birth was real, that there is a heaven and a hell, that salvation comes through Christ alone and that he, the 29-year-old son of Southern Baptists, is an evangelical Christian.
Just as he is certain about the tenets of his faith, Mr. Lee also knows he is gay, that he did not choose it and cannot change it.
To many people, Mr. Lee is a walking contradiction, and most evangelicals and gay people alike consider Christians like him horribly deluded about their faith. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve gotten hate mail from both sides,‚ÄĚ said Mr. Lee....
I agree with Mike from NY that Mary probably did ride a donkey, even though the Bible doesn't say so, just like it doesn't say Mary wore clothes, but we assume she did. We do know Balaam's donkey saved Israel and that Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DONKEYS:
A trained donkey will carry a heavy pack for its master without stopping until it is told to do so. Donkeys are so strong that one weighing 400 pounds can typically carry a 200-pound load all day. In mountainous terrain a trained donkey always carries more than a pack horse, even though the donkey weighs less.
The shape of the donkey's eye allows it to focus on both distant and close objects without raising its head. Thus the donkey can remain alert even while feeding. It exhibits extreme caution and studies an object carefully before approaching it. Danger is signaled by lifting the head up so that the muzzle is parallel to the ground and pointed in the direction of trouble. When the head is down, all is well.
No other animal provides so much service for so long a time with so few needs. A donkey becomes productive at the age of two and can work vigorously for over 40 years. It drinks very little water, sometimes going for days without a single drop. It can thrive on the bark of trees, dried grass, and thistles. The donkey is resistant to most diseases. Females typically work until giving birth and are back working the very next day.
A donkey communicates its feelings with both its ears and its voice. When a donkey is on the alert, its ears are erect and pointed toward the object of its attention. Each donkey has a unique bray which is recognized by the others in the troop. Donkeys also make a low whining sound, and they sigh when they are content.
Used as a source of power, donkeys have walked miles upon miles in a circle without showing signs of discontent, turning the axle that grinds wheat or pumps water. One particular donkey worked at a mill for 42 years surviving three masters and never missing a workday. It is estimated that during that time the donkey walked over 250,000 miles without ever leaving the mill yard -- the equivalent of over 10 trips around the world!
I have not seen any evidence that God approves of innovation in worship, but I have seen evidence that he hates such innovation and that those who have attempted to worship God in a way that he has not commanded have been rejected by him!
"Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (Deut. 4:1-2).
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
I have not seen any evidence that God commanded us to observe Christmas!
"As the name suggests, it is part of the Roman Catholic system as a ‚Äúmass" commemorating the birth of Christ. Roman Catholicism teaches that the mass entails a priest re-offering the body and blood of Christ in sacrifice to God in direct opposition to the Biblical teaching that Christ offered himself once for sin (Heb. 10/10-12)."
Well, Albert, considering the times,I'm sure a donkey or something similar was much more common for transportation instead of an automobile. There is Bible evidence of Jesus riding a donkey, so I think the donkey "tradition" is much more favorable. It's all in there, just it's interpreted differently from you. I'm not here to prove you wrong. I'm simply stating what I believe and why. cbcpreacher, I agree with you about "daily bread" christians. That's why I use the Bible alone for my personal devotions, reading through the entire New Testament once or twice a year. Oh well, I'm not here to be "saved" from supposed lies, so I'll end here.
Q Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem because of a decree by Caesar Augustus.
T Yep. Luke 2:1-5.
Q The wise men followed the star as it moved from their eastern land to Israel.
F Apparently not. The wise men saw the star in the east (Matthew 2:2). But it did not take them to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem they asked for directions. Once leaving Jerusalem the star appeared again and led them to the house in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:9).
Q The wise men did not arrive on the night of Jesus' birth.
T The wise men arrive sometime after Jesus is born (Matthew 2:1). Jesus is called a child, rather than a baby (Matthew 2:11). He may have been as old as two (Matthew 2:7,16).
Q God sent a choir of chubby angels to announce Jesus' birth to the shepherds.
F Actually God sent an army of warrior angels. See Luke 2:13. "Company" and "host" are military terms.
Q Shepherding was considered a very noble occupation.
F In first century B.C., shepherding was close to what we would consider garbage collecting. Shepherds were unable to remain ritually pure according to Pharisaic laws and so were considered unclean. Yet God chose them for His birth announcement!
Q Both Joseph and Mary were told that the baby was to be named "Jesus."
T Yes. See Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31. In Judaism, babies were always named by their father. Here we see God the Father (not Joseph) giving Jesus his name. By the way, "Jesus" is the Greek form of the Hebrew name "Joshua," the successor of Moses. (Joshua means "Yahweh saves").
Q When Herod heard about Jesus he was the only one concerned about this new king.
F All Jerusalem was disturbed by this news of a new king (Matthew 2:3).
Q The wise men found Jesus lying in a manger in the town of Bethlehem.
F Jesus was in a house by this time (Matthew 2:11).
Q After the angels announcement the shepherds went straight to Bethlehem to see Jesus.
T Correct. They were excited! They did not hesitate. They did not stop at Starbucks, they did not pass "Go" and stop to collect their $200! Luke 2:15-16.
Q Joseph married Mary immediately after the angel appeared to him.
T Yes. His obedience was quick, cheerful and complete. Matthew 1:24.
Q Some of the shepherds doubted and refused to believe the message they heard from the angels.
F They went to see the baby right away, they spread the word, and they praised God for what they had been permitted to see and hear. No doubt there. Luke 2:15-20.
cbc,Im of to bed now don't want to be waiting for ever,as you can't find those answers in the bible,only in the minds of men. Have to go think I can hear sleigh bells ringing don't want santa to see now do we
I won't belabor this point long, but I must address it. As a pastor of only 5 years, I am amazed at how biblically illiterate christians are. Not only about the Christmas story, but of Scripture in general. How can we tell others of Christ when we don't know enough of the Book ourselves? we must become students of the Word, in detail, not just for fluff. I'm tired of "Our Daily Bread" christians. You can tell that's all they eat by how spiritually lean they are, and Jesus did say, "man shall not lilve by bread alone".
Of course Mr Lee cannot change the way we is because no man has power over sin but 2Corinthians ch5 v 17 says Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. God saves individuals to bring glory to His great name, he calls his people to Holy living, be ye Holy for I am Holy saith the Lord
Yip msc,wise men did meet JESUS,but you can't find three of them in a stable or in Bethlehem. If you think what I said are lies,then give me scripture and verse to prove me wrong. I'll wait up on your answers. Hope santa doesn't catch me or there will be no goodies for me
I'm not saying we should throw out the whole thing, but if you look closely at the text, the wisemen didn't come to Bethlehem. They came to Jesus' home ata much later time. We do need to be biblically accurate.