Open Mike

by Richard on December 11, 2011

I haven’t run an open mic thread in a while so let’s give it a whirl now — the floor is yours.

Usual rules apply.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Ebeneezer 12.12.11 at 9:17 am

Should Christians really be doing ‘Christmas’? It’s really all pagan rituals isn’t it?

2

Kim 12.12.11 at 10:15 am

Christianised, historicised pagan rituals. The church apes Israel, what Israel did to Canaanite festivals: e.g., the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover, originating in agricultural and and fertility settings respectively, become festivals commemorating the Exodus, while sukkot, originally a vintage festival, becomes a celebration of the wilderness period when Israel dwelt in “booths”. Call it “liturgical theft”.

3

Tony Buglass 12.12.11 at 12:57 pm

Or tradition - the ‘handing on’ of community and faith celebrations with an appropriately different spin. You can look at Christmas in two ways - either the first missionaries in Northern Europe spotted the Yule and midwinter festivals and decided they’d never stop them, so they might as well join them and give them a Christian veneer, or they saw the celebration of the victory of light over darkness and said “Can we tell you how that really happened?”

Someone suggested in a similar discussion a year or two ago that Christians should leave the modern shop-and-stuff-your-face-fest and celebrate the birth of Jesus at a different time of year (possibly early autumn, when it was more likely?) without the pagan confusions (and fun) getting in the way. Not convinced, personally. We can refer to and give thanks for the birth of Jesus anytime we want, but I don’t think we should retire and leave the midwinter field to the unbelievers. We can share as much of the festival as is appropriate, and use it as a platform to tell the proper story where and when people are listening.

4

Richard 12.12.11 at 1:40 pm

I’m wondering if behind the question there’s a hint of grumpiness about all fun that people have? Apologies if I’ve read you wrong Ebeneezer (a pseudonym, surely?!)

5

PamBG 12.13.11 at 3:09 am

I don’t think God is obsessive-compulsive.

Which you can take as just a general open-mike comment. Or my take on why God does not get upset about the celebration of Christmas.

6

Richard 12.13.11 at 7:57 am

An omnipotent god with OCD is a terrifying thought!

7

Kim 12.13.11 at 9:53 am

Ah, the Micro-Manager of the hyper-Calvinist. At least his fists are dazzlingly clean.

8

PamBG 12.16.11 at 3:49 am

An omnipotent god with OCD is a terrifying thought!

Indeed. The fact that we are here, sustained in being with love and kindness and mercy should indicate that God does not have OCD.

(Or as the tee shirt that is sold by the company that I’m temporarily working for says: “I have CDO. That’s like OCD except all the letters are in order like they should be.”)

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