JREnsey December 2020 Blog

 

 

Welcome to the JREnsey December 2020 blog. Grab a hot drink, sit and share a few minutes with a thousand+ other readers.

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The Word for Today

“Stand firm against [the devil], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (I Peter 5:9,10).

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Did you miss the November blog?

Actually, everyone did. We decided to wait until after the election to post the November blog with the election news and the feedback. However, the outcome is yet undecided since there has been no certification of the vote count, or the final word from the electors. At this point, since there seems to be little hope of changing state vote counts in sufficient numbers to overturn the election, we will assume that Joe Biden has won the presidency.

What follows will be some comment from me and others, with a hint of a return to biblical and theological themes.

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Another view

By Daniel Lattier

The Myth of the Pagan Origins of Christmas

Professor William Tighe argues that, actually, the pagans co-opted it from the Christians.

It’s generally accepted that early Christians adopted December 25th as the day of Christ’s birth to co-opt the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Some believe this fact undermines Christianity.

But according to Professor William Tighe, this “fact” may actually be a myth.

Based on his extensive research, Tighe argues that the December 25th date “arose entirely from the efforts of early Latin Christians to determine the historical date of Christ’s death.” He also goes so far as to claim that the December 25th pagan feast of the “‘Birth of the Unconquered Sun’… was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance of Roman Christians.”

Tighe explains…

In the Jewish tradition at the time of Christ, there was a belief in what they called the “integral age”—that the prophets had died on the same days of their conception or birth. Early Christians spent much energy on determining the exact date of Christ’s death. Using historical sources, Christians in the first or second century settled on March 25th as the date of his crucifixion. Soon after, March 25th became the accepted date of Christ’s conception, as well.

Add nine months—the standard term of a pregnancy—to March 25th, and Christians came up with December 25th as the date of Christ’s birth.

It is unknown exactly when Christians began formally celebrating December 25th as a feast. What is known, however, is that the date of December 25th “had no religious significance in the Roman pagan festal calendar before Aurelian’s time (Roman emperor from 270-275), nor did the cult of the sun play a prominent role in Rome before him.” According to Tighe, Aurelian intended the new feast “to be a symbol of the hoped-for ‘rebirth,’ or perpetual rejuvenation, of the Roman Empire…. [and] if it co-opted the Christian celebration, so much the better.”

As Tighe points out, the now-popular idea that Christians co-opted the pagan feast originates with Paul Ernst Jablonski (1693-1757), who opposed various supposed “paganizations” of Christianity.

Of course, to Christians, it really doesn’t matter that much whether or not they co-opted December 25th from the pagans, or vice versa. The Christian faith doesn’t stand or fall on that detail. But it’s nevertheless valuable for all of us to give closer scrutiny to shibboleths—such as that of the pagan origins of Christmas—which are continually repeated without being examined.  ​

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/myth-pagan-origins-christmas

Just celebrate Christ’s birthday in the traditional way and forget about the details of the date. It makes no difference.

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Book review

The Path

By Harlan Morgan

Family and Faith Ministries, 2020; $7 plus shipping; 10 or more $5 ea.

A book is just a book, black ink on white pages, unless the breath of life is breathed into it. Only that which is alive conveys life. This book lives and breathes. You can almost feel the heartbeat. You are motivated to take deep breaths as the life of the author seems to issue from its pages. This book will be CPR for many readers. That is not an overstatement.

         The author walks us down some paths that are familiar to all committed Christians, plus a few he has walked along without a lot of company. He identifies the path, shows us how to find it and stay on it. Some aspects of “the path” may not be familiar to all believers, but reading his perspective will open the reader’s mind to some important truths.

         Who could write such a book? Only one who has walked the path himself. Only he who has tasted the succulent sweetness of early honor, yet later drunk from the bitter cup of disappointment. Only he who has experienced life’s highs and lows, and encountered the plusses and minuses of Christian ministry in the 21st century. Harlan Morgan has been there. He has paid his dues.

         The Path is a perfect sequel to his first book titled A Walk in the Morning. These salient observations of life on the Christian path have been brewing in the author’s mind since that first tome was published a few years ago.

         Now and then each of us must take account of himself. Have we determined a destination? Where are we going? Why are we making that choice? By what path will we arrive? Answers to these and other important questions are addressed herein—not presented in the fabric of mere fact and theory, nor in fiction and folly. Those dead texts do not exude life. Truth is presented as something positive offered to us, not something negative forced upon us. It is as if the author personally beckons you to take his hand and walk with him on the path.

         What shall we do with this book? Glance through it? Shelve it and forget it? Better to read it twice carefully and then share it. Seasoned believers will be uplifted, and new Christians will find helpful inspiration and guidance in its pages. There are several ways this book can be used. Read it for comfort and encouragement. Use it as a small group discussion guide. As fresh inspiration, walk through it with new converts. Use it for the basis for a sermon series.

         You will appreciate the insights from this fine author. Get this book! – JRE

-Order from:  RevHMorgan@gmail.com or phone 337-532-7653.

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Was/is Jesus an egalitarian?

Strict egalitarians take Paul and Peter to task about what they wrote to the churches concerning men and women and their roles in human society and in Christian service (Ephesians 5:22-24; I Peter 3:1-6; Titus 2:5; I Timothy 2:11-12; I Corinthians 14:34-35, etc.). They claim the church and the Bible are out of step with the culture. Those two apostles are virtually dismissed by secular activists, liberal theologians, and left-leaning Christians because of their statements regarding male and female gender roles, and husband and wife relationships.

         First, whoever said the church and the culture should be in lockstep? The church is not obligated to honor and submit to the dictates of culture.  Ministers are called to confront and challenge the culture, not submit to it.

         The only way to successfully find a place in the current media realm, in academia, or in politics is to confess your allegiance to a liberal, leftist agenda, which includes a view of equality that dismisses all scriptural principles relating to the topic. Egalitarianism has become a password to thrust women into many professions for which they were not designed. The overflow of this theory into Christianity is compromising the churches at many levels. Simple observance and minuscule research provides plenty of proof.

         For example, only in my lifetime have women been voted into the U.S. Senate—Margaret Chase Smith of Maine in 1949 being the first. Today they comprise almost one third of the full Senate. During the period of the Suffragettes in the early 20th century, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman to serve in the House of Representatives. Today over 100 members are women, almost one in four. Nine women currently serve as state governors. Many are mayors of some of America’s largest cities. Under pressure from feminist activists, female candidates gradually became more “progressive” and liberal, giving way to the extremely partisan scenes we have observed at the last few State of the Union presidential speeches. Led by coalitions and a “Squad” of leftist women, the governing bodies of our nation have moved steadily toward liberalism, socialism, and cultural division.

         Am I saying that women don’t belong in government? I am just saying that, by nature, they will tend toward a more liberal position. Can they actually perform well in such positions? Some can. But can is not always tantamount to should. As a group, leadership is not where they shine. The farther women get from the biblical model, the more stress they lay on themselves and on their families. Weaken the family and you weaken the culture and the nation.

         Female political leaders (mayors, governors, members of Congress) are pressing us to “re-imagine” American life—from homemaking to policing to religious life and liberty. They are leading the way in turning the culture upside down. Behaviors in morals and ethics that were condemned a generation ago are now re-imagined to be acceptable, and religious leaders who try to hold the line are labeled as out of touch, stupid, or worse. The resultant gender confusion and emasculation of our young men is a national disgrace.

         Would Jesus be considered an egalitarian if He were walking among us today? Probably not, since He was the One who actually inspired the admonitions and commandments of Scripture (I Corinthians 14:37). Jesus did give due honor to women, treating them with respect, perhaps above most of His peers—but befriending them, allowing them to minister to Him, and permitting them to be the first to discover His empty tomb, did not erase long-established family standards or ethical codes. He never urged them into positions or activities that would oppose the principles of Scripture or alter the creation order. He underscored those positions by motivating Paul and Peter to write the marital and familial guidelines that are still in effect today.

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Just be honest

• “Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician and I will show you a crook.” – President Harry S. Truman, one of the better Democrats of the past 100 years.

• After reading the following, do you think she is sold out to the socialists/communists or what?

https://twitter.com/kamalaharris/status/1322963321994289154?lang=en

• Someone said, “I can’t believe a senile old man who couldn’t get a dozen people to his rally somehow got more votes than Obama did in 2008.” Stay tuned to CNN and you will find out how he did it, if indeed he did.

• Here’s some honesty:

After people spending the better part of the year:

Cleaning and sanitizing EVERYTHING.

Workers constantly wearing gloves and masks.

Stores mandating masks and cleaning everything.

People wearing masks outside while alone.

People wearing masks everywhere.

People staying six feet apart while wearing masks.

Lockdowns.

Schools never opening up.

Running restaurants at 40-60-80% capacity.

People having to wait their turns to go inside of places.

Nothing has changed.

Nothing has stopped the virus.

There’s no evidence that masks prevent contraction or spread of the virus outside of a commercial washing machine used at hospitals.

People are still getting it.

People are still dying.

It has a 99% recovery rate.

The flu season is not a thing for some reason.

Doctors have constantly contradicted each other over this thing.

Politicians use it as a means to control people and rig elections.

It’s time to be done with this.

We tried.

We complied.

We did our part.

We cared.

We prayed.

We stayed home.

Elderly people died with no one allowed to be with them.

Elderly people were trapped in a nursing home prison for months on end…husband and wives separated for over 100+ days.

Can anyone honestly say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel?

– Jared Pettit on Wordshare

The line I liked best: “It’s time to be done with this.”

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Have a merry Christmas and a happy and blessed holiday season!

JREnsey

 

Published in: on December 1, 2020 at 2:36 AM  Leave a Comment  

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