The Meaning of Christmas
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14576) 5 years ago
Many historians are convinced, and I agree with them, that it is the apostle Paul, not Jesus, who should be credited as the founder of Christianity. Paul never met Jesus but he based his gospel message on a series of clairvoyant visions and revelations that he experienced some years after Jesus’ death. Paul’s letters are the earliest documents in the New Testament, predating even the Gospels. In those letters we encounter a portrait of Christ as the divine Son of God and Savior who was “born of a woman,” taking on human flesh, living without sin, and dying as an atonement for the sins of the world. Paul’s Jesus was the heavenly Christ whom he expected to return in his lifetime. The theological understanding of Jesus that is largely drawn from Paul influences even the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Although they come first in the New Testament they are among the last documents written—in the last decades of the 1st century when Paul’s understanding of Christ predominated.

Perhaps the deepest meaning of Christmas might lie beneath the popular customs of our culture and the overlay of Christian theology. If we sift through the texts as archaeologists sift through the material layers of human habitation we might well find Jesus as a Jew in his own time and place, defining the “kingdom of God” as the will of God done on earth as in heaven. This was the Jesus who denounced the corrupt societal norms of power, wealth, and oppression, and called for a radical change that broke down the barriers of class, gender, and privilege. This was the Jesus who taught love of God and love of neighbor as the heart of true religion and cited the “Golden Rule” as a summary of all of God’s commandments—a Jesus who even called for “turning the other cheek” and loving enemies. Such a focus on the historical Jesus, in contrast to the Christ of theology, might help us to better address the question this Christmas season—what would Jesus do?
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Posted by busyB (+628) 5 years ago
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2899) 5 years ago
Luke 2:14 King James Version
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


This Christmas season I've read that guns are being sold in record numbers. It has been reported that the FBI processed 185,345 background checks — roughly two per second — as Americans took to local malls to buy their loved ones Christmas gifts. So, I suppose many guns are being given as presents for loved ones and are wrapped and sitting under beautiful Christmas trees. It was also recently reported in the Washington Post that gun related deaths in the U.S. kill as many Americans each year as car accidents -- roughly 30,000 people a year.

So, I sit here sad and utterly gobsmacked that so many people think a gun is an appropriate gift to celebrate Christmas Day -- the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace.

What we really need this Christmas of 2015, more than ever, is a Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All People. In other words, humans for humanity!

References:
http://www.ibtimes.com/gu...as-2207828
https://www.washingtonpos...n-the-u-s/
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supporter
Posted by cubby (+2584) 5 years ago
Makes me want to go buy another gun for a present to myself.
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Posted by Oddjob (+185) 5 years ago
7 years running.

Santa's little helper......



Merry Christmas...
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moderator
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Posted by David Schott (+16314) 5 years ago
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+16318) 5 years ago


[Edited by Gunnar Emilsson (12/24/2015 6:48:29 PM)]
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