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Doctrine in dialogue format
And on his word does he meditate day and night.
"Thank you Mr Busybody. And I thank you and your audience for joining me today. Yes, of course I chose a title that would cause a potential buyer to sit up and take notice, which is the intent of any title of any book. As to the conflict of the title, it is not a conflict in reality, as one might discover in the reading of the book."
"I see. Well Mr Snuffler, if you will tell us a little about your book and why you wrote such a book, that may help me and my audience to better understand your reasoning. Please do go on sir."
"Of course. To begin with Christmas is a holiday founded upon myths from its very inception. For instance, Christmas, who's meaning is the celebration of the birth of Christ, could never have occurred in the middle of winter as it is now being observed. This in itself is not a new discovery and has been widely discussed elsewhere, so I won't bother to expound on that subject."
"Indeed it is Mr Snuffler. But other than the choice of day appointed to celebrate the birth of Christ, is there any other misconception regarding the celebrating of the holiday?"
"Indeed there is Mr Busybody. For instance we have as a tradition the serving of what we call a Christmas ham. Jesus being a Jew would not have touched a ham. In this way we can see that Christ is not even considered in Christmas as far as meal planing is concerned."
"Too true Mr Snuffler. However many people do not serve ham on Christmas, it's not mandatory you know. What else do you have for us to deliberate?"
"Let's consider the tree around which Christmas is celebrated. A tree, by tradition and by implication is symbolic of the worship of false gods and frowned on at best by God Himself. By this we know that Jesus would have never even considered using a tree as a symbol of His birth. Yet in spite of this fact we, even the churches themselves, continue to celebrate around a tree."
"I hadn't thought of the tree in quite that way Mr Snuffler. What else do you have for us?"
"The very essence of Christmas is wrapped up in two things, one is the practice of giving of gifts, and the second is the gathering of friends and family. The first practice of gift giving in itself goes completely contrary to the core of Christianity which is the love of one's neighbor, and the betterment of the poor. We're told in the Bible not to give to those who can recompense us in kind. We're to give to those in need. In spite of this fact the churches, and the Christians, continue to drain their bank accounts giving to those that already have in abundance, and they try to outdo, or at the least equal the value of the gift they expect to receive. Besides there being absolutely no benefit to this practice, it continues to this day, with the costs of the gifts given having been multiplied many times over. In the beginning the gifts ranged from a stocking of fruits and nuts, with perhaps a small hand made toy, destined for the smallest of child, to what it is now, everyone of any age receiving gifts that often cost in the hundreds and the thousands of dollars. This is not a concept Jesus would have approved of I can assure you."
"I agree with you Mr Snuffler. But you mentioned the gathering of friends and family. How might I ask is this contrary to the purpose of true Christianity?"
"The gathering of friends and family in itself is not the problem. This should be practiced all through the year. It has been a tradition since the beginning I suppose that the family would work together, eat together, and pray together. A regular gathering was held each and every day wherein problems were discussed, joys were shared, and the Bible was read. This is not only no longer practiced, but even on this special day of celebration prayer and the study of the One, or even the mention of the One who's day this is supposedly commemorating is not upheld. The occasion has become, not a Christ-mass, that is a gathering around Christ, but a gathering of people under the banner of the name of Christ. This is not only true on Christmas, but it is a practice all through the church world as well. Jesus is left out of the very establishments that have been built around Him. It is my contention that this, along with other hypocritical attitudes of the Christian, is why the world at large is skeptical of Christianity, and of Christ. Christ is supposedly represented through the church given His name, and by those who bear His name. What we see in the Christian, is supposedly who Christ is. Does this follow in your mind?"
"It does indeed Mr Snuffler. Howbeit I hadn't considered it in quite those words before. However I must also debate with you the idea that all churches practice the hypocrisy you allude to. There are those who do strive to practice what they preach."
"There are indeed Mr Busybody. But if you examine those churches, and those people, you will find that very often, if not altogether, they are considered outcasts by the mainstream of Christianity."
"Indeed Mr Snuffler. I must declare sir that you appear to be quite knowledgeable in regards to the Bible. In fact it would appear that you know more about the Bible than a lot of ministers of the Word I've met. Am I to take it that you've majored in the subject of the Bible in college, and you are perhaps a pastor of a church yourself?"
"Not so Mr Busybody. I am neither educated in the subject of the Bible, nor am I a Christian. But I can readily see why you would possess such a misconception."
"You're not a Christian Mr Snuffler? I'm taken aback by such an acclamation. Why then sir, if I may ask, are you so versed in the Bible if you do not believe in the Bible? Isn't that rather an oxymoron?"
"Not at all Mr Busybody. And above this, you've asked the wrong question of me. As to whether I believe the Bible or not, I in fact do believe the Bible. It's that I do not believe in Christianity as practiced by the Christians and their churches. As to why I am versed in the Bible, I find the Bible to be a most captivating and interesting book. I've read it many times, and with each reading I gain more insight into not only God, but the workings of mankind in general. I learn about me as well, which I find of most value. If I could be in possession of but one book, it would be the Bible I would choose."
"I see. You introduced your soliloquy with the statement that I had asked the wrong question. And just what question should I have asked, and what would be your reply to such a question?"
"You asked me why I am so knowledgeable in the Bible if I'm not a Christian, is that not correct Mr Busybody?"
"As I recall, yes Mr Snuffler, that was indeed the question I posed."
"The question is not why I am so knowledgeable in regards to the Bible; the question is why is it that the Bible is not extensively read and found interesting by those who profess to be Christians and followers of Christ."
21And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. 22Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (Luke 18:)
5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? (James 2:)
1Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2Thus 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. 3For 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. 4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. (Jer 10:)
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