Posts Tagged ‘pagan’

Humbug! How can a Christian celebrate Christmas?

Yes, it’s true, I’m a Christian and I LOVE Christmas!

imageI’ve been running into a good number of Christians who have decided not to celebrate Christmas, and others who are confused on the issue.

For me, there is no confusion whatsoever—I absolutely, unashamedly, unapologetically love the Christmas season! It is my favorite time of the year!

Here are some reasons why I believe we should thoroughly enjoy Christmas:

  1. Jesus! The story of Jesus coming into our world is precious and should absolutely be celebrated. It doesn’t matter what the specific date is, we just choose to recognize December 25th as the day we remember this special event. Christmas is a wide open opportunity to celebrate Jesus in our culture, love people and enjoy him together!
  2. Presents! Listen, we must stop the assault on the joy of both giving AND receiving gifts! My primary love language is giving and receiving gifts, which is one reason I so value that special Christmas morning tradition. It is joyful! It’s fun! I refuse to apologize for coming alive like a little child when I open gifts. I love the special family member who gave the gift and, yes, I want that present! It doesn’t make you selfish or greedy or less spiritual to enjoy life this way. Certainly, one could become greedy or selfish, but that’s true all 365 days of the year. Over the past month, Amy and I have had so much fun hitting the malls, cruising around Amazon.com and going nuts at a Kmart that was going out of business buying presents for our kids. This is one reason I love Black Friday! There’s a fresh, exciting, festive atmosphere that is all about family togetherness. And, yes, Amy and the kids and I were at the stores on Thanksgiving this year. We were thankful to be together as we enjoyed the kickoff to the Christmas season! We waited in line at Kohl’s for about two hours—a line that literally stretched around the circumference of the entire store! We made friends, and Ella entertained everybody there by dancing and singing loudly, “God’s not dead, he’s surely alive, living on the inside, roaring like a lion!” We were there buying presents and we were doing it because of our love for each other.
  3. Childlikeness! It’s OK to get excited and a bit giddy about Christmas morning. It’s not only the kids that have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve! In the Burton family, we always look forward to a special Christmas Eve event such as attending a movie together, going to a Christmas festival or something else to celebrate the season. We all act like kids! When we get home the stockings are ready to be dumped out and we then spend the rest of the night playing a new family game. Then it’s off to bed—all of us, a bunch of children excited about what the next day is about to bring!
  4. Santa! Celebrate the life of Saint Nick! The spirit of joyful giving is a wonderful thing to celebrate. Our kids have all of the accurate information. They know the presents they get are from mom and dad, but we all enjoy the selfless innocence that the spirit of Saint Nicholas represents.
  5. Memories! Some of my all time great memories growing up were during the Christmas season. I can still remember the gifts that caused me jump up and down in my pajamas! (Based on point #2 above you might have already guessed that I still do this at age 44) I want my family to have memories of joy and family togetherness for the rest of their lives. The Christmas season makes this easy—there’s just something about it.

One of the primary arguments I hear against the celebration of Christmas is that it has pagan origins.

My answer to that is simple—don’t be concerned about origin, be concerned with current status. Today Christmas is about Jesus. Consider Halloween. It’s origins were occultic, and it’s current status is occultic, so we do not celebrate it. Both Christmas and Easter are about Jesus today, and that is glorious.

In fact, consider other holidays that have nothing to do with Jesus. Do you still celebrate those? What about Thanksgiving? Do you take off work for Independence Day? How about your birthday? If we can celebrate those holidays, then we can certainly celebrate Christmas.

If we eliminated everything from our lives that had pagan origins, we’d have a hard time functioning.

Did you know that the following have pagan origins?

  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • New Year’s/New Year’s Eve
  • Statues of people and animals
  • Money has pagan designs on it
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • Eye makeup
  • Wind chimes
  • Saying “Amen”
  • Baby showers
  • Making your bed
  • Birthdays

In the first-century Church, gentile Christians were told to avoid meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols (Acts 15:29). However, Paul told the Corinthians that they could eat meat sold in the public market even though that meat may have been sacrificed to an idol (1 Cor. 10:25). He told them not to eat in the pagan temple. In other words, he told them to avoid blatant paganism, but they did not have to superstitiously avoid everything that paganism might have touched at some time in the past. ~gci.org

There’s no way I’m going to give in to anti-Christmas zealots…I’m having too much good, clean fun! In fact, I’d love to see Christmas extended throughout the year!

Let’s break off the humbug spirit that’s invading Christianity, enjoy the season and celebrate Jesus together!

Now repeat after me, “Ho, ho, ho.” Again, “Ho, ho, ho.”

There you go.

Humbug! How can a Christian celebrate Christmas?

Yes, it’s true, I’m a Christian and I LOVE Christmas!

imageI’ve been running into a good number of Christians who have decided not to celebrate Christmas, and others who are confused on the issue.

For me, there is no confusion whatsoever—I absolutely, unashamedly, unapologetically love the Christmas season! It is my favorite time of the year!

Here are some reasons why I believe we should thoroughly enjoy Christmas:

  1. Jesus! The story of Jesus coming into our world is precious and should absolutely be celebrated. It doesn’t matter what the specific date is, we just choose to recognize December 25th as the day we remember this special event. Christmas is a wide open opportunity to celebrate Jesus in our culture, love people and enjoy him together!
  2. Presents! Listen, we must stop the assault on the joy of both giving AND receiving gifts! My primary love language is giving and receiving gifts, which is one reason I so value that special Christmas morning tradition. It is joyful! It’s fun! I refuse to apologize for coming alive like a little child when I open gifts. I love the special family member who gave the gift and, yes, I want that present! It doesn’t make you selfish or greedy or less spiritual to enjoy life this way. Certainly, one could become greedy or selfish, but that’s true all 365 days of the year. Over the past month, Amy and I have had so much fun hitting the malls, cruising around Amazon.com and going nuts at a Kmart that was going out of business buying presents for our kids. This is one reason I love Black Friday! There’s a fresh, exciting, festive atmosphere that is all about family togetherness. And, yes, Amy and the kids and I were at the stores on Thanksgiving this year. We were thankful to be together as we enjoyed the kickoff to the Christmas season! We waited in line at Kohl’s for about two hours—a line that literally stretched around the circumference of the entire store! We made friends, and Ella entertained everybody there by dancing and singing loudly, “God’s not dead, he’s surely alive, living on the inside, roaring like a lion!” We were there buying presents and we were doing it because of our love for each other.
  3. Childlikeness! It’s OK to get excited and a bit giddy about Christmas morning. It’s not only the kids that have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve! In the Burton family, we always look forward to a special Christmas Eve event such as attending a movie together, going to a Christmas festival or something else to celebrate the season. We all act like kids! When we get home the stockings are ready to be dumped out and we then spend the rest of the night playing a new family game. Then it’s off to bed—all of us, a bunch of children excited about what the next day is about to bring!
  4. Santa! Celebrate the life of Saint Nick! The spirit of joyful giving is a wonderful thing to celebrate. Our kids have all of the accurate information. They know the presents they get are from mom and dad, but we all enjoy the selfless innocence that the spirit of Saint Nicholas represents.
  5. Memories! Some of my all time great memories growing up were during the Christmas season. I can still remember the gifts that caused me jump up and down in my pajamas! (Based on point #2 above you might have already guessed that I still do this at age 44) I want my family to have memories of joy and family togetherness for the rest of their lives. The Christmas season makes this easy—there’s just something about it.

One of the primary arguments I hear against the celebration of Christmas is that it has pagan origins.

My answer to that is simple—don’t be concerned about origin, be concerned with current status. Today Christmas is about Jesus. Consider Halloween. It’s origins were occultic, and it’s current status is occultic, so we do not celebrate it. Both Christmas and Easter are about Jesus today, and that is glorious.

In fact, consider other holidays that have nothing to do with Jesus. Do you still celebrate those? What about Thanksgiving? Do you take off work for Independence Day? How about your birthday? If we can celebrate those holidays, then we can certainly celebrate Christmas.

If we eliminated everything from our lives that had pagan origins, we’d have a hard time functioning.

Did you know that the following have pagan origins?

  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Funerals
  • New Year’s/New Year’s Eve
  • Statues of people and animals
  • Money has pagan designs on it
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • Eye makeup
  • Wind chimes
  • Saying “Amen”
  • Baby showers
  • Making your bed
  • Birthdays

In the first-century Church, gentile Christians were told to avoid meat that had been sacrificed to pagan idols (Acts 15:29). However, Paul told the Corinthians that they could eat meat sold in the public market even though that meat may have been sacrificed to an idol (1 Cor. 10:25). He told them not to eat in the pagan temple. In other words, he told them to avoid blatant paganism, but they did not have to superstitiously avoid everything that paganism might have touched at some time in the past. ~gci.org

There’s no way I’m going to give in to anti-Christmas zealots…I’m having too much good, clean fun! In fact, I’d love to see Christmas extended throughout the year!

Let’s break off the humbug spirit that’s invading Christianity, enjoy the season and celebrate Jesus together!

Now repeat after me, “Ho, ho, ho.” Again, “Ho, ho, ho.”

There you go.

 

Chliaros Church no more: We switched back to Revival Church!

We would be a FOOL to give up the name Revival! An APRIL FOOL!


image thumb Revival Church is changing its name to Chliaros Church!
Last year on April 1st we announced a merger with a pagan organization. We would hold joint services and we’d handle the worship and preaching and they would conduct the altar ministry, baby dedications and weddings!

That lasted only one day too!

So, no, there won’t be a SCHOOL OF LUKEWARM PEOPLE. Sorry!

Since I have you, how about we look at our ACTUAL core values as they compare with the core values of a LUKEWARM CHURCH? (You can reference the original article here: http://detroitrevivalchurch.com/2012/04/01/revival-church-is-changing-its-name-to-chliaros-church/ 

 

THE CULTURE

The Culture is our set of core values at Revival Church. It sets the pace and clearly communicates the culture we are called to establish and steward.

  1. Our mission is your comfort. Our mission is your freedom – The mission of freedom from sin, sickness and poverty drives everything we do at Revival Church. We reject a casual approach to God and affirm abundant life, passion and fire for all.
  2. Tolerance is in our DNA. Honor is in our DNA – Honor is something we are. No matter the issue, you can’t stop us from honoring you! We believe that honor is a condition of the heart and not dependent on someone’s actions toward us.
  3. We rally around your vision. We rally around the vision – Revival Church is built on the vision God gave John. As a company of burning ones, we are passionate defenders and champions of it. Every person is responsible to catch fire and burn hot every day. The resulting corporate torch will inflame our region with revival.
  4. We respond to the status quo. We are a threat to the status quo – This is a ministry of extreme reformation. As we storm against the prevailing flow of the church and society, we fully believe many will be provoked to turn and follow our lead into freedom.
  5. There are many churches in the city, and that is a problem. There is one church in the city and we aren’t it – Revival Church is one department of many in the landscape of the city church. Our focus is regional impact and the increase of the harvest that will be felt far and wide.
  6. We affirm honest analysis. We affirm ridiculous faith – We simply believe that God is extreme and his plans are bigger than what we can imagine. If it doesn’t look ridiculously insane, it’s less than what God has in mind.
  7. We are all about the numbers. We are all about the numbers – We are unapologetically intense in our mission to gather and equip people of destiny.
  8. The mission of the majority prevails. Corporate mission prevails – We are focused on preparing for the influx of zealous people the harvest will bring to Revival Church. We launch and support only those endeavors that fit into the corporate mission.
  9. We refuse to offend people through unnecessary challenge. We refuse to live below the Biblical norm – Healings, signs, wonders, miracles, extreme love and bold prophetic teaching were and are the standard. 
  10. Giving is optional. Poverty has no chance – Extravagant giving in every sphere of life, whether it’s in the church or a big tip at the coffee shop, will displace a spirit of poverty, transform individuals and reform the economy of our region.
  11. Sickness and disease are a part of life. Sickness and disease have no right to torment believersThe Lord Jesus Christ has been given power and authority over all sickness and disease. He has delegated that authority to us.
  12. We err on the side of order. We err on the side of freedom – Revival is messy and is to be stewarded, not controlled. We embrace an atmosphere of bold prophetic declaration and Holy Spirit initiated freedom.

Additionally:

  • We are calling EVERY Christian in Detroit to gather EVERY Friday night to pray and serve another church in our region!
  • The School of Fire is still the School of Fire!
  • We don’t affirm trading the corporate gathering for happy family days in the sun!
  • Our services will be as long as God says!
  • We will NEVER cancel for the Super Bowl!
  • I MIGHT wear a suit… someday!
  • And, yes, our key verse is still Joshua 3:5. We are consecrating ourselves and God will soon do wonders!

Revival Church merging with pagan organization?

A Property Right In Lovely Ferndale—Opportunity Or Long Shot?

There’s a chance to share a property AND hold joint worship services with a pagan organization in Ferndale!
Of course, there are some issues to consider, but I wonder what the bigger picture might present to us.
Is it possible that we could share a state of the art, multi-million dollar property with this pagan organization for less than we are paying now in St. Clair Shores, AND impact their community with abundant life?
Here’s a proposal of how the services would be merged:
Revival Church would be responsible for:

 

  • Worship
  • Teaching
  • Marketing


The Pagan Organization would be responsible for:

 

  • Altar time/personal ministry
  • Receiving the tithes and offerings
  • Community development
  • All ceremonies (weddings, baby dedications, etc.)


Let me know what you think. I know it’s way outside of the box, but it could be powerful!
*The pagan culture may have a lot to offer. For example, I wonder about their use of acronyms. I included a sentence at the very beginning of this message that holds a secret clue if you turn the words into an acronym.
Blessings!!

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