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In April, 1550, the reformer John Knox, was called to appear before the bishop of Durham and his doctors to give a reason why he constantly affirmed in his preaching that the Roman Catholic Mass is "to be, and at all times to have been, idolatry, and abomination before God." Knox went on to prove his intent by the Holy Scriptures. If Knox was correct in his arguments, that the Mass is Idolatry, then it follows beloved, that Christ - mass [Christmas] being the mother of all holidays to the mother of harlots is also idolatry.
Christmas is celebrated throughout a population that has come to call itself Christian. It is also celebrated by many non-Christians even Jews as a secular, cultural festival. The holiday is widely celebrated around the world, including the United States, where it is celebrated by 96% of the population, even among most Protestants who would be surprised to learn that the holiday is an invention of the Roman Catholic Church. Because gift-giving and several other aspects of the holiday involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, Christmas has especially become a major event for many retailers making up a significant portion of their annual sales and profits. In Revelation 18:3 we read:
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
There is little doubt that the merchants of the earth have profited greatly from the holidays fabricated by the Roman Church: Valentines Day, Easter, Holloween (marking the day before All Hollow's Eve), Lent, and Christmas. Thus, for one to make the statement "Christmas Is Idolatry" puts him in opposition to over 96% of the world who understand this to be a Christian holiday and a windfall profits day for merchants. Knox said, "how difficult it is to pull forth of the hearts of the people the thing wherein their opinion of holiness stands, declares the great tumult and uproar moved against Paul by Demetrius and his fellows, who, by idolatry, got great advantage, as our priests have done by the Mass in time past."
Many who hear one oppose the holiday, rush to judge the same as being also opposed to giving gifts, or helping the poor.Onewho despises the idolatry of Christmas is said to be a cold-hearted, tight fisted, selfish man, and opposed to all things which engender happiness. They may even be called an Ebenezer Scrooge, whose last name has come into the English language as a byword for miserliness and misanthropy. These traits were displayed by Scrooge in the exaggerated manner for which Charles Dickens is well-known in his book, "A Christmas Carol". For example, a quote from the book reads "The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice ..." The catchphrase, "Bah, humbug!" is often used in sarcasm to express Scrooge's disgust with many of the modern Christmas traditions.
Then again, Protestants celebrating this holiday along with Roman Catholics give the Roman church prelacy great encouragement. Since Vatican II they see Protestants as Roman Catholics who have only wandered from home. Therefore, there is special significance to them when they hear Protestants singing with Bing Crosby "I'll be home for Christmas".
One reason I believe that Protestants celebrate this holiday along with Roman Catholics is because as Protestant ministers we have failed to educate our people about the significance and the correlations of the holiday with the Roman Catholic mass. I believe that those Christians who become knowledgeable of the significance of the things associated with the mass, who learn that it is idolatry, and see these very things displayed in the Christmas holiday, would flee from it as they do any form of idolatry that is not so subtle. The question for some is how do you "flee from it" when it is everywhere. Let's begin as Knox did with learning that the mass itself is idolatry:
First, let's consider the Name - Christmas
Etymology - or - The Origin of the Name
The word or name Christmas originates from the compound meaning of two words: "Christ's mass". It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038. "Cristes" is from Greek christos and "mæsse" is from Latin missa. The term "Mass" is derived from the late-Latin word missa (dismissal), a word used in the concluding formula of Mass in Latin: "Ide missa est" ("Go; it is the dismissal").
Second, let us consider the Day Itself
Christmas also referred to as Christmas Day or Christmastide, as we know it, is an annual holiday celebrated on December 25 that we have been told by many marks and honors the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. While many acknowledge that the date of the celebration is not thought to be Jesus' actual date of birth, it may have been chosen to coincide with the winter soltice, which the ancient Romans celebrated on December 25.
Modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, church celebrations, and the display of various decorations-including the Christmas tree, lights, mistletoe, nativity scenes and holly. Santa Claus (also referred to as Father Christmas), although the two figures have different origins) is a popular mythological figure often associated with bringing gifts at Christmas. Santa is generally believed to be the result of a synchronization between St. Nicholas of Myra and elements from pagan Nordic and Christian mythology, and his modern appearance is believed to have originated in 19th century media.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the Mass is esteemed not only as the great holiness and honoring of God, but also the ground and foundation of the Roman religion. The days upon which special masses are observed are held in greater esteem than the Lord's Day itself and are bound upon men as holidays of obligation. In their opinion, if the Mass is taken away, there rests no true worshipping nor honoring of God in the earth.
Third, the Missah or Mass of Christ
It is said that the Missah which we call the mass signifies not a memorial for the one Sacrifice of sins by Jesus Christ, but an actual sacrifice [a substitute] for the sins of the quick and the dead. It is also said that the term Missah or Mass originates from the Hebrew which signifies an oblation or a gift which the inferior offers or pays to the superior. But we have already shown that the name does not originate from the Hebrew; it originates from the Latin invention of men. If the mass therefore changes the original intent of the elements of the Lord's supper from a memorial to an actual sacrifice, and its name is even founded on a lie, it must be confessed that it is an invention of man, and not of God's commandment.
Knox said, "It profits nothing to say that the kirk [the church] has power to set up, devise, or invent honoring of God, as it thinks most expedient for the glory of God. This is the continual crying of the Papists, [they say] "The kirk, the kirk has all power; it cannot err, for Christ says, ‘I will be with you to the end of the world.' Wheresoever are two or three gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Of this they falsely conclude the kirk may do all that seems good for the glory of God; and whatsoever the church does, that God accepts and approves.
Knox argued that it is not that thing which calls itself the church to be the actual church and immaculate spouse of Jesus Christ. He asked, if she is then would she not also be bound to that eternal and perpetual precept: "Not that thing which appeareth righteous in your own eyes, that shall you do, but what God hath commanded, that observe and keep." (Deut. 12:8). Moreover, Jesus Christ confirms the same by saying, "My sheep hear my voice, and a stranger they will not hear, but flee from him." (Jn. 10;5)
To hear his voice (which is also the voice of God the Father) is to understand and obey the same, and to flee from a stranger is to admit none other doctrine, worshipping, nor honoring of God, other than what has proceded from his own mouth, as he himself testified: "All that are of the verity [truth], hear my voice." Jn 18:37"
Jesus said, "I will lay upon you none other burden than I have already, and that which ye have, observe diligently." If God eternal hast laid no other burden upon our backs than Jesus Christ laid on us by his word, then who is it that burdens us with all these ceremonies, prescribed fastings and delicasies, forced giving, unlawful vows, invocation of saints with manger scenes, all associated with the idolatry of the Roman Mass: the devil, Satan himself brethren, invented all these burdens to depress imprudent men to perdition.
In 1 Cor. 11:23, Paul said, "I have received and learned of the Lord that which I have taught you." Therefore, if one ceremony is added or permitted to be used in association with this ordinance other than what Christ ordained and used himself it is not the Lord's supper. His one perfect and only sacrifice is to be held in remembrance as the Lord's institution until his return to judgment.
It is not satisfactory to say as the Papists do that St. James and St. Peter celebrated the first Mass in Jerusalem or Antioch, because one would have to be first and the other second, but they cannot prove from Scripture which came first nor can they say that all the ceremonies and liturgy used now were used by them according to scripture.
On the other hand, history proves that it was Pope Sixtus who was the first to institute the altars for the sacrifice, and he consecrated them and the temples for the sacrifice. Bonifacius commanded the altars to be covered with clean cloths. Gregorius Magnus commanded the candles to be lighted at the evangel, and did institute certain clothes to be worn in the performance of the act. Pontianus commanded Confiteor to be said. And every successive Pope has added his own to garnishments to the ordiance for a perpetual remembrance to themselves until we have compactly set up for us the whole body of that blasphemous idol. . . (hear sermon for more)
The Light Before Christmas by R. K. Borill, December 18, 1985 'Twas the night before Christmas; And strange as it seems,I wasn't indulging in covetous dreams;But reading my Bible, I searched for a clueWhy Christians take part in this holiday too.I...[ abbreviated | read entire ]