Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Poll: Holy Days True or False

We have just gone through one of the biggest holidays (Holy Days) recognized by our culture.

I'd like to know if you think it is more of a Holy Day than the rest?

Is there something different about the Christmas season that can not be replicated on other days the rest of the year?

What about other Holy Days like Easter? Or like Sundays or the Sabath?

I've been wondering what most people think on this. I'm not 100% sure myself. Does the New Testament command us to observe certain Holy Days? I'd like to know if I'm missing something.

This Christmas season I've observed that people seem to behave a little different at this time of year. It is mostly a good thing. Most people are a little extra friendly, wishing people Merry Christmas. People are seeking Joy and Peace. There is an extra emphasis on charity and giving to others. And people seem more open to Jesus. All good things.

The extra shopping, greed and gluttony may not be great... but the good may outweigh the bad. :)

But I've been wondering if Dec 25th is really a God sanctified Holy Day? Has God set this day aside to be something special?

Romans 14:5 confirms to me that I'm OK believing every day is a Holy Day. That every day can be one where God's presence is real and active in our lives, and we can respond to Him with worship/love. We should get together with other believers as often as we can to build each other up to become more like Christ.

Is this similar to the shift we see in the New Testament where we see there is no longer special temples where we must go to worship God (John 4:19-24, Acts 17:24, 1 Cor 3:16, 1 Pet 2:5, 1 Cor 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16, Eph 2:19-22). God wants His worshipers to worship in Spirit and truth, everywhere and all the time.

But I'd love to hear from you. Please answer this survey question, and leave comments if you feel you want to explain your answer.


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Al said...

I agree with your observation that many people are more open to love and compassion at this time of year.

I'm not sure what to make of that. If we can care about others for a few days every year, why can't we have that same awareness all of the time? Maybe it's partly in guilt for the increased sense of selfishness that also happens at Christmas.

But as for 'holy' days, I don't think we are closer to God, or more deserving of grace on certain days. It's just that we might choose to open ourselves more at certain times.

Robin Sampson said...

The holidays contain more divine information of spiritual and prophetic value than any subject of scripture. Why aren’t we taught these marvelous lessons in church? The answer is found during the first through to the fourth centuries.
First Century Church

Passover - In the first century there were literally hundreds of thousands of believing Jews (Acts 2:41, 47, 4:4, 6:7, 9:31, 21:20). Scripture tells us the apostles and the early church continued to celebrate the holidays with the new realization of the symbolism of Christ.

Very few Gentiles converted before Peter and Paul were sent out. When God miraculously showed the believing Jews that Jesus was the Messiah for both Jew and Gentile alike, then Gentiles from every nation began to pour into this Jewish faith. The followers of Christ, whether Jewish or Gentile, were seen as one family. Both considered themselves part of Israel.

The Gentiles saw themselves as grafted into Israel (Romans 11), not replacing Israel. The word Christian was not used until a.d. 42 in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Later it was adopted to set apart Jews believing in Jesus and unbelieving Jews. Ultimately it became an identity for the entire Church.

>Paul makes it clear that Gentiles who trust in Jesus become children of God, are equal partners with believing Jews in the Body of the Messiah, and are declared righteous by God without their having to adopt any further Jewish distinctives. However...

Unfortunately, while trying to separate from the non-believing Jews the Church threw out the baby (Biblical holidays) with the bath water (un-Biblical customs)!

There was no reason to stop the Holidays. These days did not bring bondage they brought people closer to God. Jesus and Paul both celebrated the holidays. The holidays should be analyzed according to the Bible-- not whether or not they are Jewish.

There is a revival in the land! Many are turning away from man-conceived concepts of worship to Biblical patterns. The motive for celebrating the holidays should be as God originally intended; a memorial, a remembrance and honor for what He has done. We don’t need to be concerned with ancient ritualism customs, but we should focus on the basic principle of the holidays prophetic and spiritual meanings as is revealed under the New Covenant (Rom. 7:6).


Jonathan said...

Thanks Robin for the comment. I have high respect for Christians who are rediscovering Jewish holidays and traditions. I've recently discovered how meaningful Passover can be.

However, personally though, I'm not quite at a point where I feel I should switch my customs. Acts 15:23-29 would have been a good opportunity for the early church to list more Jewish customs that should be continued, but the list seems pretty short.

What is resonating with me lately is an understanding that every day is a holy day.

So, although I highly respect you and others who are encouraging the Jewish holidays... I'm not quite there yet. But God isn't finished with me yet. :)