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Do You Want to be Correct, or Just Close Enough? – by Kathy Beardsley

December 21, 2013

Being the imperfect humans we are we tend to cling to our own version of the truth or accept alleged truth simply because it already aligns with what we want to hear. Rather than accept the truth that sometimes can be hard to handle because it goes against the main stream of tradition, we go into preservation mode and hold on tightly to our pride or self-image. After all, that’s more important, right?

As truth demands accuracy to remain truth; so God’s Word demands accuracy because it is THE truth.

Anything that concerns God’s Word can never just be “good enough.” It must always be as close to correct as possible when quoting, teaching, or conveying it. When we find ourselves excusing error with “yeah, but” or “it’s not that big of a deal” or worse “wasn’t that good?” when blatant error is mockingly waving its red flags in our face, something is very wrong! It is far too serious a matter to be so nonchalant about the inaccuracies being taught or represented out of ignorance when souls are on the line. We need to live our lives with the truth according to scripture, and not according to what makes us happy.

Example:

The “Christmas Story” i.e. Jesus’ birth as is traditionally taught every year. To say Jesus’ birth was the first Christmas is as wrong as it can be.

  1. His birth was not a holiday, and it was not celebrated annually by anyone until the Roman Catholics made it so.
  2. One angel appeared only to the shepherds with the glory of the Lord shining round about them to which they reacted with fear Luke 2:9, but were quickly calmed and given the joyous news of Jesus’ birth. That is when the one angel was joined by a multitude of the heavenly host who praised God then the angel and the host returned to heaven Luke 2:15.
  3. The nativity incorporates the whole story in one scene when it actually happens over a span of at least two years. The wise men were not there with the shepherds; they arrived when Jesus was a toddler. We know this because Jesus is called a babe with the shepherds, and a young child with the wise men. Also, Herod calls for the death of all the children two years old and under.
  4. The scriptures do not say how many wise men there were; it is presented as three because of the “gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
  5. Many of the Christmas songs are penned by Roman Catholic Priests. The problem with this is the error of Roman Catholic beliefs being introduced, and for the most part, unwittingly accepted through their pretty and even festive music. Poetic license, some would say, is allowed and should be considered harmless. That means any Tom, Dick, or Harry can write something completely unbiblical, arrange it to ear catching music, put a Christian label on it and call it good. Not if it is scripturally incorrect! Wait, isn’t that what CCM does? What’s the difference? Some people don’t buy CCM based on the lifestyle and or message of the writer not to mention the error introduced into the music. Why are Christmas songs allowed a pass?

Ultimately, it is correct to say there was rejoicing at the birth of the Messiah, and there is no wrong in remembering it often (in conjunction with the rest of the history).

It would be correct to observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular schedule if one desires to do so because that is the personal request from Jesus in 1 Cor. 11:24-26; “This do in remembrance of me.” The focus was on salvation because of his sacrifice through his death, burial, and resurrection. He is not asking us to remember his birth; we choose to do that, and look what surrounds it. In comparison, more emphasis is placed on a tree, gifts, food, parties, and so on. All these things become the center, and bulk of the holiday. What very small role does Jesus’ birth (what Christmas is supposed to be all about) really have in the celebrating; a token reading of his birth in the morning, and maybe a prayer – fifteen minutes, thirty tops?

What is our demeanor when remembering Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection? It is all about Him, and not about us! A humble and prayerful heart turns attention away from itself.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, by the way, did not begin at his birth; it began with John the Baptist’s announcement of Him. Mark 1:1-3 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Celebrate this festive holiday as you would Valentine’s Day; a generic goodwill holiday in which you can show the love of Christ to others, and seize the opportunity when it arises to share the gospel. This is something that should be done regardless of the season or holiday. Let’s keep things correct – stop proclaiming this holiday as Christian, and wrongly using our Savior’s birth to justify it.

From “Truth in Acrostics” – (A poetic work in development)

LIBERTY – As Christians, we have liberty to enjoy things this world has to offer, but only if it does not compromise or stand in opposition to God’s principles. These things may not have anything to do with Christianity, but they are not necessarily sinful to participate in. It is on the shoulders of each of us to determine whether we will be crossing the line of biblical principle to enjoy such liberty. A true Christian is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. This does not give us the authority to adopt worldly things or customs in the name of Christianity, which is the same as using Jesus Christ’s name, to legitimize the compromise. This has been done with music, movies, and at least one very popular holiday just to name a few. “Be ye separate from the world” is to keep the things of Christ separate from the things of the world. When we mix water with dirt we get mud; when we mix Christ with the world we get compromise. Redefining or renaming the compromise takes advantage of a liberty we do not have the right to claim.

1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

Titus 2:11, 12 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”

Living and modeling an uncompromised life
Is a Christian’s dutiful goal to reach for;
By keeping separate the worldly things:
Entertainment, traditions, holidays and more.
Resist legitimizing in the name of Jesus Christ,
To appease the emotion toward that which you adore.
Your liberties end at the threshold of His holy door.

© Copyright 2013 Kathy Beardsley

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