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Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46439
12/27/04 03:47 AM
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Christmas

King and the Kingdom of Heaven, Love One Another, and Revive Thy Work (CFP) - Watchman Nee

How should the parable of the mustard seed be explained? According to Genesis 1.11-12, whatever God created bears fruit after its own kind. The vegetables will always be vegetables, the birds will always be birds, and the monkeys will never become human beings. Yet this mustard bush grows abnormally into a tree. This is against the will of God. The church is ordained to be the smallest, the meekest, and the most inconspicuous. But alas, she has become a tree—she has developed today into the complicated entity known as Christianity. During the second and third centuries gnosticism invaded Christianity. This is typified by the parable of the leaven. Thereafter, the church, under the Roman Catholic system, has performed mockeries of all kinds. With a royal decree, for example, tens of thousands of soldiers were baptized in one day. Becoming a Christian in those days meant for a person to have special privileges: a gain of four pieces of silver, two changes of suit, and so forth. The church has indeed become like a tree! And in the parable of the mustard seed we can see that the birds of the heaven denote the evil one, even Satan (see vv.4,19) and his influences. Satan is most clever. He knows where he can roost, and he will not let go such an opportunity. How preposterous has the Roman Catholic Church become—a headquarters of Satan! Yet today’s Protestant church follows suit. Christmas, for example, is a bird which flew from the Roman Catholic Church into the Protestant Church.

Many do not realize how much pretension and make-believe they put up before men. During Christmas time one year, brother T. Austin-Sparks lay on the grass and played with his son and his dog. Such a scene was totally natural and beautiful. But many seem to have had their earthen vessels burnt by fire. In meeting them people feel as though there is something unnatural and even frightening about them. They pretend to such a degree that even their voice and speech seem to change before men. Such outward dissimulation is altogether useless.

Many of the Romans believed and worshiped the sun. They set apart December 25th of each year as the birthday of the sun. They chose that date because December 22nd is the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. After that, the days begin to lengthen and the nights shorten. So these sun-worshipers made December 25th the birthday of the sun. It was their time for a big festival. Many of those who accepted Christianity could not stand to see their heathen friends celebrate so jubilantly while they themselves had nothing to celebrate. So they conceived the idea of transforming December 25th into the birthday of the Lord, since, they claimed, the Lord Jesus was the true sun. Thus today we have Christmas on that date. According to its name, Christmas belongs to Christianity; in fact, though, it is a day which belongs to the religion of sun-worship. Let us note that this is fornication, confusion, in the sight of God.


A friend writes,

The words "green tree" appear 12 times in the Old Testament and in every case used in association with pagan idol worship. Here are a few verses which show that green trees were a common element of pagan worship: Deu. 12:2; 1Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 16:4; 17:10; 2 Ch. 28:4; Isa. 57:5; Jer. 2:20; 3:6, 13;17:2; Eze. 6:13.

Please notice that decorated trees were not something that just sprang up after the birth of Jesus Christ and it was a pagan custom even in Jeremiah's time to cut a tree down and decorate it.

(This shocked me, since I thought Christmas Trees were more a medieval custom not that old)

Jeremiah 10:2-4: "Thus saith the LORD, LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. THEY DECK IT WITH SILVER AND WITH GOLD; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

(Let me check KJV version on this verse: from

Jer 10:3 For the customs of the people [are] vain: for [one] cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

Jer 10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. )

Yup its in there..





http://members.aol.com/santalie/santa2.htm


Quote:
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In addition, I was reminded every year that Santa was "present in all places at the same time" or by definition, Omnipresent. (At least this was the explanation offered by my parents when we saw Santa at dozens of shopping centers either personally or on television during X-MAS season.

Note: All of these terms (per dictionary definition) are in relation to the attributes of a deity or God.

Don't we innocently apply these attributes to Santa Claus? ( Remember that Santa knows all things, can be at every house in one night and defies the laws of nature in the process)!

Of course we do!


"...I will be like the most high" (Is. 14:12-14).

It has always been Satan's desire to covet the worship and honour which is God's alone. This deepest need of Satan's comes across most clearly in his temptation of Jesus in the desert, recorded in Matthew Chapter 4.

It is no mere accident that the final "carrot" Satan dangled before the Lord Jesus came with the condition that Jesus bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:9).

Jesus fitting rebuke was that only God is worthy of our worship (Matthew 4:10). Having been foiled, Satan obviously has had to resort to other means of stealing the glory due to God alone. Take a closer look at Santa Claus, and decide for yourself if he be Saint, Sinner or Something More.

Question.
Doesn't it make sense that Lucifer or Satan would try to hide behind a character (Santa Claus) who is readily given the Godly characteristics of Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnipresence, by millions of parents and children worldwide?


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LETS SEE...

Remember that Satan is crafty and disquises himself as an angel of light
"...for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" (2 Cor 11:14)

In other words, Lucifer will often hide behind things that appear very good, noble and seemingly innocent. This angel of light, the bringer of good cheer, has a striking parallel in Scripture,

"Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."(NIV) "Masquerade" is indeed an appropriate word, for what else is Santa if not a large scale masquerade? And how else does he masquerade, but as an "angel of light", a typecast "good guy"?

At the very least, can't it be said that this Santa Claus is some sort of a Strange God? I mean he has been assigned all the attributes of a God. Remember, "All Powerful" (makes and delivers billions of toys in one night). In addition, he "knows all things" (whether you have been bad or good).


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Now... What does the Bible say about "Strange Gods" ?

"...Put away the strange gods that are among you..." (Genesis 35:2)

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3)

"...then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you..." (1Samuel 7:3)


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How does Satan or Lucifer actually imitate our LORD Jesus Christ (via Santa Claus) according to scripture?

Read On. (You may be a little surprised)


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Santa lives at the North Pole. Right?
Notice where our God is located.

(Psalm 4 "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised...the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of our great King."

(Ezekiel 8:14) "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north..."

According to these passages, can you deny that the LORD's house is toward the north? Remember, Santa's house is there also!


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Now Then...

Aren't children either asked or told by Santa to obey their parents?

Notice that the bible tells children to obey in the Lord, not for Santa's sake.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord..." (Eph. 6:1)

"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Col. 3:20).

t we have told our children that it is well pleasing to Santa Claus if they obey him. Notice that scripture says it is well pleasing to the "LORD" not Santa! Parents have unwittingly replaced the biblical Lord with unholy Santa.


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Santa calls all children to his knee.

Jesus rebuked his disciples in (Lk. 18:16) and said, "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not..." Santa imitates Jesus in this fashion.


What color hair does Santa have? Answer: White.

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit...and the hair of his head like the pure wool..." (Daniel 7:9) This verse speaks of the "Ancient of days" and his hair like pure wool. God the Father is called the Ancient of days (Daniel 7:13, 22) and is described as having "white hair" (pure wool).

See (Rev. 1:14) "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow..." (This verse speaks of the Son of man). Remember that Santa Claus has a "white hair" also.

My point is this: God the Father is described (symbolically) as having white hair (white like pure wool) and Santa just so happens to have white hair also... Coincidence?


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Santa gives gifts at X-MAS time.

Every good and perfect gift comes from Santa? (He imitates God the Father here also).

Notice that the Lord Jesus Christ is the giver of good gifts

(James 1:17) "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of light..." Jesus gives gifts to us not Santa Claus!

Santa Claus sees whether you have been bad or good. Notice that this is what our God does for us (1 Peter 1:17) "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear"

God the Father, "judgeth according to every man's work..." (not Santa)! (Proverbs 15:3) "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Yet many tell their children that Santa Claus knows whether you have been good or bad-as the song goes).


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Santa sits on a throne at the Mall

Our Lord sits on a throne in heaven (Psalms 11:4): "The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold..."

(Mt. 5:34) "But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne"


Lies to children are promoted at X-MAS

Santa, though is a known, promoted lie which has caused many a child to question the validity of Christ. (Mt. 18:6) "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck..."

Satan is the father of lies" (John 8:44) Do these lies promote covetousness to innocent children? No Doubt! What is the mindset of kids at Christmas?

Answer: I WANT, I WANT, I WANT...!

Covetousness is Idolatry! "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection...and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Col. 3:5). "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater..." (Eph. 5:3) Can you deny it? Covetousness=idolatry.

This seed is planted early on the minds of so many innocent children. This evil mindset of covetousness which inspires our modern materialistic outlook of "keeping up with the Jones". Oh but Jesus speaks so clearly in Luke 12:15) "...Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

Interestingly enough, but not surprisingly at all, love of money and love of God are considered mutually exclusive (Matthew 6:24).

And finally, when the child reaches mid grammar school they discover their parents have been lying to them (while telling their children not to lie!). There is no person named Santa Claus, the parents explain after years of lying. He is a myth they laugh. Of course, when the child is told about the Son of God Who really does know their every thought and deed and to Whom they one day will give an account, do they readily believe their parents about this One? NO, of course they will not readily do so. (See Psalms106:24-40) I speak from experience[/u]

(THIS happened to me as a kid, I would scoff at age 10, remember I told you all I was an atheist by then)

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46440
12/27/04 03:55 AM
12/27/04 03:55 AM
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Bottom line:

Satan is messing with your subconscious, and may I say the several here defending this teaching at byzcath seems as though you are drones, like zombies, possessed, and brainwashed, like you are in a matrix and you need to come out this coma, your deep sleep.

If you need to reach me, I suspect that will be my last message for quite some time since I am bumping up against nothing but dead spirits here,

Here is haven of truth, a freshness,
http://christianity.3.forumer.com/

byzcath is a fleshly forum.

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46441
12/27/04 09:22 AM
12/27/04 09:22 AM
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Sell this propaganda somewhere else. We're not interested.

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46442
12/27/04 09:44 AM
12/27/04 09:44 AM
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Troy,

Just wanted to let you know. I checked with Santa when he dropped down my chimney, he asked that you stop slandering him, elsewise only coal in your stocking next Christmas.

Many years,

Neil, who is getting very tired of being preached at by someone whose principal concern with the faithfulness of folks to God is the boundaries which their Church encompasses


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46443
12/27/04 09:52 AM
12/27/04 09:52 AM
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Troy,

Just wanted to let you know. I checked with Santa when he dropped down my chimney, he asked that you stop slandering him, elsewise only coal in your stocking next Christmas.

Many years,
biggrin

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46444
12/27/04 10:36 AM
12/27/04 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by alice:
Quote
Troy,

Just wanted to let you know. I checked with Santa when he dropped down my chimney, he asked that you stop slandering him, elsewise only coal in your stocking next Christmas.

Many years,
biggrin
I am beginning to think Watchman Nee was a Wee Nee wink biggrin I know nothing about him personally, and had never heard of him before Troy came along. But he certainly had some peculiar theology - right up there with angel pants, gold tablets, and trips to Utah. I think it goes back to the old statement that when there is a loss of faith in society, people do not become atheists, but rather believe anything and everything that comes along.

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46445
12/27/04 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by byzanTN:
I am beginning to think Watchman Nee was a Wee Nee wink biggrin I know nothing about him personally, and had never heard of him before Troy came along. But he certainly had some peculiar theology - right up there with angel pants, gold tablets, and trips to Utah. I think it goes back to the old statement that when there is a loss of faith in society, people do not become atheists, but rather believe anything and everything that comes along.
Charles,

In defense of Nee, he was incarcerated for 2 decades in a Chinese Communist prison and died within days after his release. Some of his peculiar religious thinking was unquestionably developed and influenced by the 20 years he spent in harsh captivity for his faith.

Watchman Nee was in China in 1903. He was one of nine children and a third-generation Christian on at least one side of his family, with a grandfather who was an ordained pastor.

His mother was politically involved with the nationalistic movements of Sun Yat-sen prior to becoming active in evangelism. Nee himself converted at 16 and was active as an itinerant preacher through his early years, specializing in "church planting". He would begin with a small group of people meeting in a house, seeking a building when the group became to large to continue as a house church.

He traveled to England in the 1930s where he was hosted by the "Exclusive Brethren", a branch of the Plymouth Brethren, but had a falling out with them because of he refused to separate himself from other Christians, a tenet of the Exclusivists. After his return to China, during WWII he essentially maintained a neutrality, refusing to pray for the victory of either the Chinese or Japanese, because he felt that those of God should not involve themselves with the worldliness of government.

He went into business with a family member during this period, in a pharmaceutical firm, because his "Little Flock" (the unofficial name of his church) was impoverished and needed funds for survival. Some church leaders were adamantly opposed to his taking on a secular role though and he was banned from preaching for a few years as a result.

In the late 40s, he regained his leadership role and focused again on church planting and training other evangelists. He devoted some time to preaching in their large church in Shanghai, but spent the bulk of his efforts on founding hundreds of lay-led house churches throughout the country that were focused on Bible study.

Nee didn't fare well in the years after the revolution began and fled to Hong Kong, but returned to the mainland in 1952 against family advice. In 1956, he was charged by the regime with a variety of offenses, including espionage and demoralization of the worker class, due to his preaching on "last days". He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and remained there for the full term. He died in his home province at 69, a physically broken man, just days after release from incarceration.

He has been described as zealous to the point of fanatical. From everything that I've read, he lived a self-imposed life of abject poverty, despite the fact that one of the charges levied against him by the Communists was embezzlement of church funds. He was extremely idealistic and took issue with western missioners on several counts, alleging that they were weighted down with tradition, rather than focusing on the Bible. He also was convinced that clergy-laity distinctions were unbiblical and had the effect of precluding individual Christians from doing the work of God.

The "local church" concept has obviously been carried to an extreme by his spiritual descendents, although he definitely was enamored of the concept. It is important to recognize that the "house church" has unquestionably been the salvation of many religions, including Catholicism, in China under the Communists.

To what extent, Nee foresaw the importance of this form of worship to religious survival under the Communists isn't clear. There are really only a couple of extant works that were actually written by him; the remainder - including the most doctrinally extreme writings attributed to him - were produced by others from notes taken during speeches and sermons by Nee and are, thus, suspect as to the extent of interpretation and editorializing by the note-takers.

All said, one has to recognize that Nee, as much as one disagrees with his doctrine, was committed to his faith in Christ and, for all practical purposes, gave his life for it. We should indeed pray that the Lord saw fit to give his soul rest in a place of light and love, where there is neither sorrow nor sighing, neither pain nor suffering, but only life everlasting.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46446
12/27/04 01:10 PM
12/27/04 01:10 PM
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Troy,

One small comment with regard to the citation from Jeremiah -- it refers to the carving of idols, not "Christmas trees" -- but nice try.

Fr. Deacon Edward

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46447
12/27/04 01:42 PM
12/27/04 01:42 PM
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Troy,

Does your rant against Santa Claus have anything to do with the fact that his real counterpart, St. Nicholas, punched out a certain heretic?

Gaudior, wondering...

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46448
12/27/04 02:21 PM
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All said, one has to recognize that Nee, as much as one disagrees with his doctrine, was committed to his faith in Christ and, for all practical purposes, gave his life for it. We should indeed pray that the Lord saw fit to give his soul rest in a place of light and love, where there is neither sorrow nor sighing, neither pain nor suffering, but only life everlasting.

Many years,

Neil
It seems, if I may mangle Shakespeare, that the good men do is often interred with their bones, but their errors live on, and on, and on. Nee sounds like he might have been a decent individual who honestly believed his own teachings, but I suspect most teachers of heresy actually do believe their errors. Thanks for the information, since I had not heard of Nee before. I still am of the opinion that Nee, as interpreted by Troy, sounds somewhat cultic.

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46449
12/27/04 03:02 PM
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I never expected to live to see the day that I would be defending Santa Claus - but I prefer him to the biblical fundamentalists. I was aware of Watchman Nee thirty years ago, and didn't like his writings even then.

Normally, though, I would be ready to agree that I am not the infallible test of who is and who is not a Christian. In this case, I'm at least ready to agree that Watchman Nee may not necessarily deserve his followers.

Since Watchman Nee's devotee considers this web site "fleshly", he obviously should not even be reading it, let alone contributing too it. Let us hope that he will come out from among us and be separate - or to put it in plain English, that he will leave us alone.

[It seems impossible for a web site to be "fleshly", though I suppose it could be "virtually fleshly".]

Incognitus

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46450
12/27/04 03:29 PM
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Watchman Nee agrees with me for he saw by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God no church in corporation style structures or mother churches, etc. He is accused though by the adherents of religious Rome of the great harlot, Rev. 17, but that is expected.

http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/localcharacter.htm

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46451
12/27/04 03:33 PM
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Virtually fleshly...hmmm. Sounds better than 'soulical'. I couldn't find that word defined anywhere.

I do apologize for comparing Watchman Nee's writings to Jesse Jackson. After further 'research' watchmannee.org I've concluded it isn't Watchman's writings that sound grammatically convoluted. I guess the other writer I must have confused him with was the main poster on topchristiansites.org. (?)

In addition, Watchman Nee sounded like a very humble man who prayed frequently, devoid of 'self', arrogance, pompous pride and/or mean spiritedness seen by the follower(s).

Looking around the internet, it also appears a certain follower is fueled by being banned from Christian groups. It may feed into the persecution/martyr complex? By not banning him here we, like many true Christians, feel his hostility escalating.

My 2 cents,
Sam

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46452
12/27/04 03:56 PM
12/27/04 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Churchwork:
If you need to reach me, I suspect that will be my last message for quite some time since I am bumping up against nothing but dead spirits here,
How many times is this guy going to threaten to leave before he really does?

I haven't been on the Forum much lately, but everytime I swing by there's a post from Churchwork telling us we're all a bunch of heretics and he's leaving. So why doesn't he go the way of everyone else who has called us heretics, and start his own ecclesial community?

By the way, Churchwork, when you point one finger, the other four on your hand are pointing right back at you.

Tammy

Re: Santa Claus and Christmas (read!!!) #46453
12/27/04 04:01 PM
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How many times is this guy going to threaten to leave before he really does?
Good question, Tammy. I've noticed that happens a lot around here wink biggrin wink

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