Do you plan on celebrating Christmas?

Discussion in 'Puritan Publications' started by C. Matthew McMahon, Nov 13, 2015.

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  1. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    The Christian’s Duty to Reject Christmas, by Thomas Mockett (or Mocket) (1602-1670)

    Thomas Mockett (or Mocket) (1602-1670), was a studious theologian, Reformed preacher of the Gospel, and scholarly puritan divine during the era of Westminster. Edmund Calamy describes him as, “a very pious, and humble man.”

    Mockett’s argument in this work is directed to well-meaning Christians who are defiling the Regulative Principle – that God alone determines the manner and time in which sinners are to approach him. Writing against the, “observation of Christ’s nativity,” Mockett shows the Christian how he is to reject, whole-heartily, adding Christ into Christmas as a religious or worship observance.

    Mr. Mockett is not going to deal with taking Christ out of Christmas. Instead, he is going to painstakingly demonstrate the ill-use of trying to reclaim Christ for Christmas as an unholy venture. He will show that it is a detestable, sinful practice to put Christ back into Christmas since men have no warrant from God to do so. Though they do this in pretense of honoring Christ in a day of worship, and do so with a sincere heart, as Mockett shows, “Good intentions and well meanings cannot justify any unwarrantable practice.”

    Mockett’s treatment of this issue is clear and well documented. The student of Scripture and historical theology cannot but come away with believing that reclaiming Christ in Christmas is truly a violation of God’s word, and a sinful practice which has harmed the church throughout its history.

    This is not a scan or facsimile, has been updated in modern English for easy reading and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.

    eBook Pack at the Puritan Shop (mobi, PDF and ePub)

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    TheChristian'sDutytoRejectChristmasThomasMockett.jpg
     
  2. Chengyi

    Chengyi Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, I do intend to celebrate Christmas this year. Just as I have celebrated it in years past. I know that some Christians might object to the celebrating of Christian altogether. It seems from the title and description the author of this particular book might be advocating Christians should do just that. Last year, R.C. Sproul wrote an article that addresses a lot of the reasons some Christian might decide to reject Christmas. The article is posted here, [ http://www.ligonier.org/blog/dont-be-scrooge-christmas/ ] if anyone is interested in reading it.
     
  3. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Where is the charity calling a brother Scrooge if they decide to not plan on celebrating this day? Don't get me wrong it has little effect on me but my question stands. :)

    Bah Humbug

    This paragraph alone should be cause to wonder where Pastor Sproul places The Lord's Day in his thinking...."Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that differs from every other day."
     
  4. Captain Picard

    Captain Picard Puritan Board Freshman

    I respect the reasons people have for not celebrating, but I will be. I do think that the bandying about of terms like "scrooge" is unhelpful. I also think the implicit accusations of idolatry or violating the 4th commandment regarding people who do have some celebration of the Incarnation in December is unhelpful.

    I'm considering going against the flow and dropping the term "Christmas" in favor of something like "Incarnation Day". I don't celebrate "mas".
     
  5. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    It is pretty well known that Dr. Sproul disdains the traditional Reformed teaching on both the 2nd and 4th Commandments.
     
  6. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Puritan Board Sophomore

    We will joyfully celebrate the Incarnation, taking part in advent and Christmas services, music, parties, etc.

    But honestly, we celebrate it all year round. It is a great and glorious wonder!

    The special emphasis of Scripture reading and music in December is an especial blessing, as is the remembering of the Resurrection. Good things to note and mark and relish as a church body.

    We are not an RPW church, needless to say. :)
     
  7. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Puritan Board Sophomore

    The 'Scrooge' comment is a bit much, for sure, I meant to add.
     
  8. Chengyi

    Chengyi Puritan Board Freshman

    My purpose in mentioning the article by R.C. Sproul was not to imply that any brother who does not celebrate Christmas is a scrooge but simply to highlight in brief some of the reasons why some Christians decide not to celebrate Christmas.
     
  9. Chengyi

    Chengyi Puritan Board Freshman

    This is news to me. Could you please provide some proof?
     
  10. Fogetaboutit

    Fogetaboutit Puritan Board Freshman

    I know your question was addressed to Rev. Glaser but reading the article you posted above then reading the Larger Catechism on the second commandment should be pretty obvious.

    WLC

    Q. 109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

    A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising,529 counselling,530
    commanding,531 using,532 and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God
    himself
    ;533 tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any
    of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or
    likeness of any creature whatsoever;534 all worshipping of it,535 or God in it or by it;536 the
    making of any representation of feigned deities,537 and all worship of them, or service
    belonging to them,538 all superstitious devices,539 corrupting the worship of God,540 adding to
    it
    , or taking from it,541 whether invented and taken up of ourselves,542 or received by tradition
    from others,543 though under the title of antiquity,544 custom,545 devotion,546 good intent, or
    any other pretence whatsoever
    ;547 simony;548 sacrilege;549 all neglect,550 contempt,551
    hindering,552 and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.553.
     
  11. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    “When God touches earth, the place is holy. When God appears in history, the time is holy. There was never a more holy place than the city of Bethlehem, where the Word became flesh. There was never a more holy time than Christmas morning when Emmanuel was born. Christmas is a holiday. It is the holiest of holy days.”
    This is truly sad. Hello?! This is the anglocatholic argument which Presbyterians rejected at the Reformation, and cast off again at the second reformation.
     
  12. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    One only needs to know that Dr. Sproul plays golf on the Lord's Day and has a large painting of Kenny Loggins in the narthex of Saint Andrews to understand Dr. Sproul's thoughts on this.

    But here are some articles.

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/defining-debate/

    http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2011/01/05/ask-r-c-sproul/

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/second-commandment/
     
  13. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    By Kenny Loggins I assume you mean a tacky painting depicting a very unrealistic likeness of Jesus.
     
  14. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    No, I don't intend to celebrate Christmass--I'm too lazy and don't feel like putting something else on my calendar. I look forward to binge-watching Netflix though!
     
  15. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    No.

    Isn't this place called PURITAN Board?
    I expect all answers to be "no" otherwise you must pay a fine of 5 shillings.
     
  16. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    We'll take payment in M&Ms; but not the Green and Red ones.
     
  17. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Actually I thought it was Christmas last night watching the Bills and Jets in those tacky red uniforms vs. tacky green uniforms
     
  18. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    I have personally seen Dan Fogelberg and Gregg Allman in various places.......
     
  19. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Is this so that sinners will know they are on a 'highway to the danger zone?'
     
  20. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I celebrate Christmas for family time, presents, the beautiful tree and lights. I don't believe it has any more to do with Christ than the other holidays which I also celebrate except for Easter. I don't recall ever celebrating Easter even as a child.
     
  21. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    Nope. We intend on celebrating the incarnation and resurrection every Lord's Day.

    Besides the fact that Dr. Sproul has no license from God to create a holy day, he is mistaken on both the 2nd and 4th commandments, though he is very good on a good many other topics and undoubtedly a much wiser man than I am in many areas.

    I know that Christmas is a "sacred cow" (and that's fun to say when it comes to this topic) when it comes to many believers, but the more that one studies its origins and the emphasis on this day, the more disturbing it becomes. Beyond the fact that several churches will celebrate it as a holy day (see Dr. Sproul) which is against the teaching of Scripture, the fact that it revolves around a lie (Christ's birth is nowhere said to be Dec. 25), and is really more about people feeling good about their own traditions (see Jesus re: traditions of men), the commercialism, the greed, etc. just makes this a very disturbing "holiday" on many levels.

    It is hard to be objective about something that the culture has elevated to something sacred however.

    Beware any time that Popish Ceremonies and Madison Ave link arms: You end up with Christmas.
     
  22. Rutherglen1794

    Rutherglen1794 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I have only been a Christian for a few years, and although I haven't eradicated Christmas from my life completely, I do feel less inclined to celebrate it every year. But I have never really sat down with the purpose of looking into it in-depth.

    Can someone please clarify what exactly is meant by celebrating Christmas? Is it wrong to:

    Get together with family on December 25th?
    Have a family dinner on the 25th?
    Exchange gifts with your family on the 25th?

    Or is it only wrong when any of these things come into the church? Christmas Eve services, etc.

    Where is the line drawn? Is it possible to do some of these things without being in the wrong?
     
  23. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Christians should not refer to their brothers and sisters who do not celebrate Christmas as "Scrooges." Nor should Christians who refrain from celebrating Christmas voluntarily assume or "poke" the other side by embracing the label of "Scrooge" as a badge of honor showing disdain for the day/season. Ebenezer Scrooge isn't "Scrooge" because he is an otherwise good man who simply disregarded Christmas. On the contrary, he is a pitiless, miserly, thoughtless, self-absorbed, materialistic, naturalistic, utilitarian wretch. And oh, he didn't celebrate Christmas. In every way "Scrooge" is the embodiment of virtues Christians should repudiate, even if his utter-rejection of Christmas strikes your fancy.
     
  24. CJW

    CJW Puritan Board Freshman

    No,I don't celebrate the 25th December as anything special. One of the most liberating decisions I have ever made! I dreaded it every year, but, because Jesus was born that day, and I was supposed to be merry, and generous, and buy gifts for everyone, and cook, and entertain, and have green and red stuff everywhere in my house, I did it. To discover to my joy that my conscience had been bound by the tradition of men all those years, and that not one single place in all of scripture commanded me to do these things was marvellous good news indeed! I am now free to be generous, merry, and entertain whenever I wish, and I never have to subject myself to red and green decorations again :)

    Another advantage of my giving up Christmas is that my research on the subject brought me here, to the Puritan Board, where I have been blessed beyond measure by the wisdom and knowledge of the saints here.
     
  25. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    How do you really feel, Ben?
     
  26. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ditto...

    That reminds me, I've got to put the tree up soon. :)
     
  27. puritanpilgrim

    puritanpilgrim Puritan Board Junior

    Yes
     
  28. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    You are correct Ben, and when I said "Baa Humbug" I did not mean convey my objection to the celebration of Dec. 25 in the way Ebenezer did, as you pointed out, which is unavoidable in the vast majority of today's society in that this type of connection "Baa Humbug" is assumed unless one is familiar with our confessions and catechisms.
     
  29. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    We put ours up a few days after Thanksgiving. I love decorating the tree. One year I played Pink Floyd while decorating it I was already tired of the xmas music lol.
     
  30. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I have come to the conclusion that no signs of Christmas ought to interfere with churchly activities or worship on the Sabbath. But privately and in families, Christians may partake of holidays and special red calendar days. So do we celebrate Christmas? Both No, and also Yes. Depending on how and where and among whom. I even believe that Christians have liberty to let their kids dress up and trick or treat on Halloween.
     
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