January 2015

  Fifthly, he writes of me and those “people like” me, “thankfully they themselves are insignificant and of no account, although I imagine he may find supporters among radical Islamists.”  Apparently, then, we are only to pay attention to those who are significant and of some account.  Perhaps he wants people to be significant and of some account in his “contemporary society” before listening to what they have to say, which would be odd, since society’s blessing is not what believers seek.  Perhaps, then, he wants people to be significant and of some account in the Church before he will pay any attention to them, which would be very sad indeed, as this would be contrary to the very spirit of the Christian, but certainly a very common thing amongst many professing Christians today, including those in the ministry, who only seem to want to hear what some “famous” or “popular” preacher has to say.  Unlike him, being “significant” in either the world or the Church is not what I aspire to.  I am not star-struck by titles, education, degrees, importance, but seek to ask and know simply: what does the Bible say?  With this attitude, I doubt that he would have felt too comfortable among the apostles, or the early Christians; and for that matter he surely can’t feel too comfortable when he reads 1 Cor. 1:26-29.

  As for his comment about me finding supporters among radical Islamists, this is truly pathetic.  It doesn’t even make sense, given the context; furthermore it is childish, not to mention offensive…

  He would (I hope) know that Christmas was rejected as Popish and pagan by Puritans and many others in times past; were they too, in his opinion, “insignificant and of no account”?  Would they too, in his opinion, in some strange way have found “supporters among radical Islamists”?

  Sixthly, I could not help laughing when I read that he at one time did not keep Christmas, and that “It was a miserable and sterile time and we all went down with heavy colds.”  Exactly what is he even trying to convey by this absurd statement?  That people who don’t celebrate Christmas come down with heavy colds?  That the Lord sends some kind of judgment upon those who don’t observe Christmas?  If this is the best he can do to make people see the “importance” of celebrating Christmas, the members of his church (and anyone else he tries to convince) are in big trouble.  Furthermore, does his happiness and joy derive from a Christmas celebration, so that he is miserable when there isn’t one?  Then the source of his joy is not the Lord, but this celebration.  How sad.  Christmas is part of the world.  The Lord’s people are called out of the world.  They delight themselves in the Lord and His truth.

  Seventhly, he writes, “Christianity should be characterised by what we believe and do, not what we don’t do because the latter is how the unbeliever views the Christian.”  Wrong: Christianity should be characterised by what we believe, what we do, and what we don’t do.   Two simple examples, beginning with Eph. 5:3,4. Christians are not to let such sins be named among them – these are things they don’t do.  And the unbelieving world should know that we don’t do them.  And a few verses later, Eph. 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”  We reprove the works of darkness – this is what we do.  And we have no fellowship with them – this is what we don’t do.  A thousand other examples could be found, without any difficulty, throughout the Bible.  This statement by him is more than just foolish, it is shocking.

  Eighthly, he says we should preach the Gospel at any opportunity, including a carol service or even (if we could) at the Vatican.  It is true that the Gospel should be proclaimed wherever we can; but although a Christian in India could take the opportunity presented by a Hindu festival to go where such large crowds are gathered and preach to them, he certainly would do wrong if he held a Hindu service, or advertised his Gospel meeting as in any way participating in the festival, just so that crowds could come and he could preach to them!  If Christmas is not of God (and it isn’t); if it is a heathen and Romish festival (and it is); if it has no sanction from the Word of God (and it doesn’t); then we must leave it alone.  Preach Christ by all means, on any day of the year, including this one; but that is not the same thing as holding a “Christmas service”, and offering the lame excuse that this is done so as to “reach the lost”.  Holding a Christmas service is compromise; it is catering to the world and its tastes.  Preach the Gospel on Dec. 25, as on any other day; but point out that the true Christ of God is not the “Christ-child” of the Christmas tradition.  This would be preaching Christ on that day, and not catering to the tastes of the worldly.

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