Matthew 24:12 Verse Concepts Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.
The Plain Truth is that the Law was abolished by Christ, proclaimed by the so-called Christian Churches has lead to all of this. The Law of God is still in force and refusing to follow God's Law- leads to this.
Samer Abdalla, from Brooklyn, was knifed in the stomach after a brawl with four men on Sixth Avenue near West 4th Street at around 1.30am. Horrified witnesses said he collapsed into a car before being rushed to hospital where he passed away. Four suspects fled the scene after the vicious attack and the NYPD said no arrests have been made. It came just hours after another murder in the city last night as a man was hacked to death outside a gas station in Queens. Greenwich Village rarely sees violence and is awash with younger residents who frequent its popular bars and restaurants. But it comes amid a tsunami of crime battering New York City as mayor Eric Adams comes under fire again to stamp it out.
Baltimore trauma surgeon Madhu Subramanian was raced to his own ward on Friday after he was shot in an attempted carjacking on his way to work. Subramanian, 38, was shot multiple times around 7 am at the 1110 block of E. 36th Street in Northeast Baltimore, near the intersection of Loch Raven Boulevard. Responding officers found the injured doctor nearby at the 1200 block of that street, according to The Baltimore Sun. Subramanian specializes in acute care surgery, trauma surgery, surgical critical care and burn care at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he has worked since 2020, according to the hospital's website. His wife, Erica Hodgman, is also employed there as a pediatric surgeon. His fellow trauma surgeon, Dr. Joseph Sakran, detailed his shock at seeing his colleague as a critically-injured patient. He wrote that he initially thought that news of the shooting was an April Fool's Day prank. 'As a Survivor of #GunViolence and a Trauma Surgeon at @hopkinsmedicine, I've seen this public health crisis from numerous vantage points,' he tweeted Friday evening. 'Despite my own experience, nothing prepares you when the person you have to take care of is one of your own... In the heat of the moment, we often compartmentalize the emotion that goes along with caring for these injured patients... How do you do that when it's one of your own?'
We have learned since our earliest reflections that the number thirteen is unlucky. Many buildings do not have a thirteenth floor, and many people are scared to death when thirteen falls on a Friday- known as Friday the 13th. Horror movies have capitalized on the notion, this fear, that many of us feel concerning this ominous date. Some historians believe that the fear of Friday the 13th came into being because they believe that Christ died on a Friday, the thirteenth of the month. Christ did not die on a Friday, and he certainly didn't die on the 13th of the month! However, that is another story... For now, I want to propose another concept. That concept is that the number "13" is a lucky number! So lucky, that Satan has tried his best to obscure the true meaning of that number ever since God first gave it as a blessing - Yes a blessing! Originally, there were 12 tribes, or nations of Israel, we will see in the article below that God blessed one son more than the rest, and made him the thirteenth nation! That nation was destined by God to be the greatest nation to ever be on this earth until the return of Jesus Christ. Read on and discover that the thirteenth tribe of Israel, has indeed fulfilled Bible prophecy and has become the greatest nation that ever was, and will ever be until Christ's returns.
Hundreds of concerned parents and activists converged on Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Wednesday evening to protest the Walt Disney Co.’s woke agenda that includes targeting children with radical gay and transgender ideology.
From Sept.2020: Today we have witnessed what I wrote about last spring about the eventual demise of the United States as a superpower and the Biblical outlook that we are destined to be destroyed by aliens among us as well as our dishonest leaders in Washington, with the nationalization of Fannie and Freddie, comrades Bush, Paulson and Bernanke has begun the conversion of the USA into the USSA (United Socialist State of America). This metamorphosis of the United States into a country where there is socialism for only the rich and well connected. Wall Street (i.e. where profits are privatized and losses are socialized) continues today with the nationalization of AIG as being owned by Uncle Sam!
This most recent exploit on AIG accompanies a diversity of many other policy actions that suggest a massive government intrusion in the financial markets and the economy: the bailout of the Bear Stearns; the bailout of Fannie and Freddie; the use of the Fed balance sheet (hundreds of billions of safe US Treasuries swapped for junk toxic private securities); the use of the other GSEs (the Federal Home Loan Bank system) to provide hundreds of billions of dollars of "liquidity" to hard-pressed, illiquid and bankrupt mortgage lenders; the use of the SEC to falsify the stock market (restrictions on short sales); the use of the US Treasury to juggle with the mortgage market (Treasury will now for the first time outright buy agency MBS to manipulate and prop up this market); the invention of a whole host of new bailout facilities (TAF, TSLF, PDCF) to prop and rescue crooked banks and, for the first time since the Great Depression, to bail out non-bank financial institutions; the recent extension of the collateral available for the TSLF and PDCF facilities to a much wider range of toxic securities including equities and thus allowing the Fed to effectively manipulate even the stock market; Furthermore, a whole range of other executive and legislative actions (including the recent bill to provide a public guarantee to mortgages for banks willing to reduce their face value).
The truth is that the government should bail out the masses who were duped by our government leaders that everything was safe in our sick economy, but those who profited from this crime must be jailed, every dime of the money taken away and criminal investigations into our leaders that have knowingly caused this travesty to happen. Friends, THIS IS A CRIME that is bigger than anything that has ever happened to this country, and I make the claim that these crimes are treasonous and thereby carries the death penalty. Our Secretary of the Treasury has insured that his former company is the only one left standing on Wall Street after the Lehman fiasco. This was planned! Make no mistake about it. Mark 9-15 down as a day more important to our history than 9-11! September 15th is the beginning of the end of our democracy. Yes, we may last another ten to fifty years, but the seeds of our destruction have been laid. Only God hidden hand can ever allow us to recover from what has just happened. Our leaders are merging us into a world government under the authority of the Beast that will arise in Europe. Our freedoms are being dissolved and we will soon be in captivity. May America wake up NOW and stop this from happening! It is a time to pray.
'Even in Hitler's Germany, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank'
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and son of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, is facing backlash for telling a crowd of anti vaccine mandate protesters that life was like 'Hitler's Germany.'
Kennedy and Informed Consent Action Network founder Del Bigtree were among big names who addressed the rally Sunday morning. Around 20,000 people were expected to attend the demonstration, with reports of the crowd ranging from several thousand to the Daily Caller's 30,000.
'Americans want democracy back, and this rally is a demand by Americans to get their democracy back,' Kennedy said of the rally, according to WUSA9.
Kennedy went into a conspiracy theory-laden rant, concerned for a future world where vaccine mandates, 5G technology, digital currency and low orbit satellites would be used to establish authoritarian rule.
'What we're seeing today, what we're seeing today, is what I call turnkey totalitarianism,' Kennedy told the rally. 'They are putting in place all of these technological mechanisms for control we've never seen before. It's been the ambition of every totalitarian state from the beginning of mankind to control every aspect of behavior, of conduct, of thought, and to obliterate dissent. None of them have been able to do it. They didn't have the technological capacity.'
He then compared this future to that of Nazi Germany.
'Even in Hitler's Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,' Kennedy continued. 'I visited in 1962 East Germany with my father, and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible — many died doing it, but it was possible.'
Anne Frank did hid from the Nazis, but in a cramped Amsterdam attic with seven other persecuted Jews for 761 days during the Nazi regime before she and her family were rooted out and sent to die in concentration camps.
'Today, the mechanisms are being put in place to make it so that none of us can run and none of us can hide,' he said.
He continued on to conspiracies regarding satellites that can observe human behavior and the evils 5G technology.
'Within five years, we're gonna see 415,000 low orbit satellites - Bill Gates said his 65,000 satellites alone will be able to locate every square inch of the planet 24 hours a day. They're putting in 5G to harvest our data and control our behavior. Digital currency that will allow them to punish us from a distance and cut off our food supply.'
He complained again about vaccine passports, saying that 'as flawed as our government is, you still have rights. The minute they hand you that vaccine passport, every right that you have is transformed into a privilege contingent upon your obediences to arbitrary government dictates. It will make you a slave!'
Kennedy wasn't alone in his allusions to the Holocaust, as at least one person was seen displaying a yellow Star of David, which Jews were required by law to wear as an identifier in Nazi Germany.
RFK Jr. was shellacked on social media for his analogy, including one tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial.
It's been 14 years now since I wrote the essay above. We have seen the continual decline of American freedom and standard of living. The Deep State stole the presidency in a fake ballot 2020 elections. They have mandated you to turn your body over to them, wear masks, take injections that aren't FDA approved, and restrict travel. Yes, as predicted by God, 3500 years ago Jacob, (which is America and Britain today) would be enslaved by its leaders and the foreigners living amongst them. It has been fulfilled. Our rights are gone. You have none of the rights GOD gave you in the Bill of Rights--NONE! Every one of those rights have been abrogated by us all! Woe is us.
Editor's Note: This article was first published in January 2008 and explains how we can understand future events if we know who is who in the Bible. God knew the future of the world when the Bible prophecies were written, and we can understand world events and the coming future when we understand what nations are mentioned in the Bible.
Now with the Ukraine-Russian problem- it is time to remember again - RUSSIA IS NOT THE THREAT TO AMERICA- according to the Bible!
I'm just back from Florida where I had the great honor of speaking at a "Club 45" event that had two speakers: myself and former President Donald J. Trump. Thousands of tickets sold out in 20 minutes. We had a wild, raucous, standing-room-only crowd inside the ballroom of the Palm Beach Airport Hilton.
The main themes of the back-to-back speeches of Trump and myself were A) the possibly rigged, stolen 2020 election and B) the purposeful destruction of America that is being carried out by Joe Biden, who I believe to be the illegitimate president of the United States, and his radical handlers.
I pulled no punches. I described Joe Biden as a "old, weak, feeble, brain-dead sock puppet with dementia, hiding in the basement with a mask and diapers." As a bonus, he's also the most corrupt politician in history, and owned lock, stock and barrel by China and the Chinese Communist Party.
It was a bit of a surprise that Russia stormed into Ukraine because as a practical matter, it didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense. There was no casus belli or threat to Russia from Ukraine. Sure, Russia didn’t potentially want another NATO member shoved up against its border down the road and may have liked the idea of turning that nation into a puppet state, but there is no compelling reason for Russia to invade right now. That’s doubly so since Russia didn’t appear to be fully prepared for the invasion. Granted, you can’t necessarily take the news you hear at the beginning of a war at face value, but the general consensus from policy experts seems to be that the invasion isn’t off to a great start. Surprisingly, Ukraine still has planes in the air, some pretty embarrassing footage of captured Russian soldiers has leaked out, the West has stood surprisingly strong, there have been significant protests in Russia, Putin and company have faced damaging sanctions, and no major Ukrainian cities have been taken… yet. It is still entirely possible that Russia will pour more resources into Ukraine, quickly crush the Ukrainian military, and settle in for years of bloody guerilla fighting fed by massive arms shipments and aid from the West as the Russian economy bleeds out because of sanctions, but that seems like a Pyrrhic victory at best.
How all of that ultimately plays out remains to be seen, but the one thing that has been noticeable since the beginning of the invasion is that it seems to have focused people’s minds on more serious issues.
These along with most of the DC swamp, along with the Clinton's, The Bush's, Obama's and Biden's are corrupt traitors to this country as they have all been bought by China, Russia, Ukraine and our enemies around the world. They should be all jailed and HUNG!
Throughout our nation's relatively short history, powerful people – kings, communist dictators, tribal tyrants, warmongering corporatists – have always resented America. The reason is simple and biblical: America's success was proof that free people who exercise self-restraint grounded in Judeo-Christian principles of human dignity and ordered society can govern themselves and flourish, unencumbered by totalitarian control.
But we have grown weak, dependent and easily manipulated. In 2008, when Barack Obama was first running for president, I remarked on the similarities between those proclaiming Obama to be a messiah of sorts and the ancient Israelites' demand for a king. In the Old Testament book of Samuel, God explains that it is He the people are rejecting as their true king and tells Samuel to warn the Israelites that an earthly king will take their sons for his wars and their daughters for his pleasure. Their property and everything they produce will be taken by the king for his own use and dispensed to his friends as political patronage. "You yourselves," the Lord warns through Samuel, "will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you. …"
In the 14 years since I wrote that column, we have continued to abandon the discipline and self-reliance that made us strong. In so doing, we risk relinquishing to a new generation of egotistical despots the freedoms our Founding Fathers declared to be God-given.
A growing number of Americans, it seems, are surprised at how fast we are descending from a free and liberty-loving society to one that gives every appearance of emulating any one of many failed socialist/communist states.
But still most cling to the idea that this can never happen here – right? Of course not – although, for example, not too long ago Venezuela was one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. But hey – as the saying goes – they just haven't done socialism/communism right. Seems no one has.
For years we conservatives complained about Obama – that he was a lawless president, he was despotic, that we've never seen anyone like him. How did he ever get elected?
(WZZM 13) – Weeks after a controversy over a sign with biblical language in a Jenison park, a neighboring community added religious language to a city memo. Starting this year, an updated version of Hudsonville's city newsletter includes the phrase 'strive to serve God,' which is already part of the city's mission statement.
WZZM 13 spoke to city leaders about whether the changes were tied to other religious controversies in Ottawa County. One word, perhaps even one letter, changes the meaning of Hudsonville's mission statement. "Probably 'striving to serve good' would satisfy many people, but isn't God good," says John O'Brien, Mayor pro tem and council member for the city of Hudsonville.
The words 'strive to serve God' came to light in an updated version of the city's memo to staff and media. "We are just saying we are a religious community, most of us," says O'Brien.
Make no doubt about it, there will be a "strongman" of Europe. He will be a man, not a woman. When he appears (and I don't know when) he will convince the civilized world that he is the greatest person who will have ever lived. He will be more popular than Jesus, and will fool many people. In fact, Jesus said that unless God loved His elect, even they would be deceived! Paul calls this evil man "The man of lawlessness." The man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 is an antichrist who will come on the world stage at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. This Day, sometimes called the “end times.” He is given the title “man of lawlessness” because he will oppose God's Law, just as the Catholic Church and most so-called Christian Churches do today! Daniel 7 speaks of this man as a “boastful” king who will “try to change the set times and the laws” (verses 11 and 25). He will come offering a false peace and prosperity to the civilized world and will with his media-star- personality, convince everyone that he is a great human being. He will be able to perform fake miracles, bring nations together in a global government, and align religiously with the Roman Church and the Pope, the False Prophet, and also an Antichrist. They will make a covenant with Israel for three and one-half years (cf. Daniel 9:27, where “seven” indicates seven years). In the middle of the seven years, the man of lawlessness will break his covenant with Israel, stop their sacrifices (Daniel 9:27), and enter the temple to set himself up as “god” and demand worship (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This is the “abomination that causes desolation” that Jesus spoke of in Mark 13:14.
Two beasts are described in Revelation chapter 13, one from the sea (vs. 1) and one from the land (vs. 11). With the beast out of the sea, we come to that one who, regardless of his claims as the white horse rider or peace maker, comes as a great source of darkness into the world. He comes not to save the world, but to damn the world. In essence, what we have in this chapter in the rise of the beast and the false prophet is nothing short of the ‘trinity from hell’ in that both are the product of the machinations of that old serpent, the devil or Satan.
My view, which is NOT BIBLICAL, but just a hunch, is that this strongman of Europe will ride in on a wave of populism which is now raging worldwide, but unlike what people needlessly fear in Donald Trump, this man (maybe another billionaire) will use Trump's "game plan" to fool the world. The big difference of course is that the main stream media will anoint him, as they did Obama, as a savior! The media is evil, controlled by the prince of the airways (Satan) and will always get it wrong when it comes to predicting evil people. So, again, in conclusion, I will not doubt for a minute that we may see, appearing on our TV screens, a liberal billionaire who will come to prominence in Europe. He will probably be German (but maybe Italian of Germanic decent). Isaiah chapter 10 predicts that the antichrist or beast is Assyrian. Assyria IS modern Germany! Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote in "Germany in Prophecy!": "When the ancient Greek writers wanted to distinguish the Assyrians from the Arameans or Syrians, the Greeks called the Assyrians, 'Leucosyri' - meaning 'whites' or 'blonds' as distinct from the very brunette Syrians who still live in Mesopotamia." (Plain Truth, Jan. 1963, p.17). By the time of Christ, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder recorded that the Assyrians were now dwelling north of the Black sea (Natural History, IV, 12, p.183). By this time, they had moved north. But they did not stop there, as Herbert Armstrong wrote in The United States and Britain in Prophecy: "The Assyrians - before 604 B.C. - left their land north of Babylon and migrated northwest - through the lands that are now Georgia, the Ukraine, Poland, and into the land that is called GERMANY today. Today the descendants of those Assyrians are known to us as the GERMAN people" (pp.143-144, 1980 ed.).
For centuries, the German people have dominated the heartland of Western Europe. Yet they are a people who know very little about their true origin - or at least refuse to know. The Germans themselves are responsible for hiding much of this knowledge, just as many tried to hide their past at the end of the Hitler era. Just as the modern-day Israelites are one family of people from many different tribes, so too are the German people today. They number well over 100 million people worldwide - most of them residing in Germany and Austria.
We know who the nations of the world are. This knowledge, from God's word, enables us to understand the news today, and why and where things will happen - what to expect - and everything we need to know.
The STRONGMAN of EUROPE will appear on the world stage and when it happens - TROUBLE is about to hit the fan.......
Pregnant women, children and the elderly are believed to be among those sent to the Xi'an camps, with insiders sharing the horrors of their detention in the Zero Covid state. Footage shared online shows people in the tiny boxes furnished with a wooden bed and a toilet, where they are forced to remain for as long as two weeks. Detainees showed workers in hazmat suits providing food to those being held in the camps in the epicentre of the latest Chinese outbreak. Those who have experienced the dystopian facilities say they have been left with little food in the freezing metal boxes.
Special Forces candidates will participate in the two-week Robin Sage training exercises in which they will practice overthrowing illegitimate governments. Robin Sage places soldiers in a 'politically unstable' fictional country and uses 'unconventional guerrilla warfare' to defeat a 'numerically superior enemy'. Soldiers will face off against seasoned military members and specially trained civilians during the exercise, which serves as the Special Forces final exam. Several citizens, however, are concerned the exercise encourages soldiers to target civilians. News of the training exercise comes at a tense time in the US, just five days after the country celebrated the first anniversary of the Capitol riot. It also follows the DOJ's creation of a new 'domestic terrorism' unit as the nation faces what officials said is an 'elevated threat from domestic violent extremists'.
Why does Dr. Anthony Fauci’s name appear on 4 U.S. patents for a key glycoprotein that appears to have been inserted into a SARS virus chassis to create the current COVID-19 epidemic?
The legal portal Justia.com lists the following “patents by inventor Anthony S. Fauci” involving a glycoprotein found in the HIV-1, a disease that attacks the human immune system, leading to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, more commonly known as AIDS. In 1990, Fauci held the same position at the NIH that he holds today. Fauci made his mark around the anti-viral medications that were developed by Big Pharma to combat the AIDS epidemic raging at that time.
This same glycoprotein, identified as Glycoprotein 120, or simply as GP120, has also been found to be a key component of the current COVID-19, a disease that appears to combine a HIV-1 attack on the human immune system, with SARS CoV-1, the pathogen from the original SARS (“Severe Acute Respiratory System”) that created an international pandemic in 2002-2003. The pathogen in COVID-19 is named SARS CoV-2 in medical scientific literature.
The four patents on which Fauci is named as an inventor are the following:
Patent Number: 9896509, patent granted August 3, 2016. “Use of antagonists of the interaction between HIV120 and ?4?7 integrin.
Publication Number: 20160333309, patent application filed August 3, 2016. “Use of Antagonists of the Interaction Between HIV GP120 and A4B7 Integrin.
Patent Number: 9441041, patent granted September 13, 2016. “Use of antagonists between HIV GP120 and ?4?7 integrin.”
Publication Number 2016007586, patent application filed September 21, 2015. “Use of antagonists of the Interaction Between HIV GP120 and A4B7 Integrin.”
It may be a funny joke, by a rare funny comedian, but the premise is real. Big Tech, Big Government, Big Pharma and Big business is anti Christian and is laying the foundation for the BEAST OF REVELATION to emerge. I might ad, many BIG RELIGIONS are also included, with their false WOK Christianity, and the pushing of LAWLESSNESS!
What we have witnessed, these past two year is tops tyranny and totalitarianism across the globe. People in China are as free as we are.
Why was the entire country not locked down during major pandemics of 1968/69, 1957, 1949-1952 or even the Spanish Flu of 1918?
"How," he asked, "did a temporary plan to preserve hospital capacity turn into two-to-three months of near-universal house arrest that ended up causing worker furloughs at 256 hospitals, a stoppage of international travel, a 40% job loss among people earning less than $40K per year, devastation of every economic sector, mass confusion and demoralization, a complete ignoring of all fundamental rights and liberties, not to mention the mass confiscation of private property with forced closures of millions of businesses?"
the Bible knows who we are - we are ancient Israel, the lost tribe of Joseph, and it predicts we are going into captivity, before Christ's return.. It has happened... Can we fight back and escape this? I am starting to doubt it.
“The Puritan Governor interrupting the Christmas Sports,” by Howard Pyle c. 1883
The Puritans followed the Bible, and hence the area which gave us Thanksgiving, banned Christmas and Easter!
A short, easily-overlooked paragraph from an early law book of the Massachusetts Bay Colony reads as follows:
“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offence of others, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon such accountants as aforesaid, every person so offending shall pay of every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”
Yes, you read that right. In 1659 the Puritan government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony actually banned Christmas. So how did one of the largest Christian holidays come to be persecuted in the earliest days of New England?
Christmas in 17th century England actually wasn’t so different from the holiday we celebrate today. It was one of the largest religious observances, full of traditions, feast days, revelry and cultural significance. But the Puritans, a pious religious minority (who, after all, fled the persecution of the Anglican majority), felt that such celebrations were unnecessary and, more importantly, distracted from religious discipline. They also felt that due to the holiday’s loose pagan origins, celebrating it would constitute idolatry. A common sentiment among the leaders of the time was that such feast days detracted from their core beliefs: “They for whom all days are holy can have no holiday.”
This meant that Christmas wasn’t the only holiday on the chopping block. Easter and Whitsunday, other important historical celebrations, were also forbidden. Bans like these would continue through the 18th and 19th centuries (the US House of Representatives even convened on Christmas in 1802). As Puritanism started to fall out of favor, however, Christmas was almost universally accepted throughout the US by 1840, and was eventually declared a National Holiday in 1870.
Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Religion Today is contributed biweekly by the University of Wyoming's Religious Studies Program to examine and to promote discussion of religious issues.
Who Was Against Christmas?
By Paul V.M. Flesher
Picture the following scenario. Crowds of Americans rioting in the streets. Two opposing groups shout loudly, vying to have their messages heard and heeded. The groups meet. Confrontation ensues. Fistfights break out. Church windows are smashed. What are these rioters fighting about? Christmas. One group favors celebrating Christmas, the other opposes all Christmas observances. This isn't an imaginary event, it is history. It happened in Boston on Christmas day in 1706.
In America's increasing love-affair with Christmas (both the Christian and commercial versions), we have forgotten that there was a time when much of European and American Christianity thought that Christmas should not be celebrated. In the riot described previously, the anti-Christmas group consisted largely of Congregationalists (Puritan descendants), Baptists, and Presbyterians, while the pro-Christmas group comprised mostly Anglicans (Episcopalians). The notion that Christians of any stripe should not want to celebrate Christmas is so foreign to our present concept of the holiday, that we need to review some history to understand it.
Prior to the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, Roman Catholicism celebrated the "Christ Mass." It was one of many special masses and feasts of the Catholic Church celebrating key events in Jesus' life or the birthdays of saints. The three main Protestant movements that ultimately came to America had three different reactions to this situation.
First, although the Anglican Church developed a Protestant theology, it kept much of Catholic liturgy, including festivals celebrating aspects of Christ's life and the feast days of many saints. It gave special emphasis to the celebration of Christmas.
Second, after Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral in 1517, special liturgical observances began to be frowned upon. The Lutherans thought that the celebrations of saints' days were too much and so cancelled them. But they still emphasized observing events in Jesus' life, and so continued with joyous Christmas festivities.
Third, the Calvinists in Switzerland banned all Christian holy days not mentioned in Scripture. That approach meant that the Sabbath was acceptable, but nothing else. Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and other celebrations were to be treated as normal days with nothing special about them.
The Calvinist position came to be quite influential in Great Britain, even though it never altered the position of the Anglican Church. John Knox brought Calvinism to Scotland as Presbyterianism where Christmas was banned in 1583, while the Puritans brought Calvinism into England, where it became influential in circles both within and outside of the Anglican Church. During the Civil War in 1647, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan followers outlawed Christmas observance. It was brought back in 1660 at the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.
From England, both sides brought their Christmas beliefs to America. The Puritans (later becoming the Congregationalists) were joined by Presbyterians, Quakers, Methodists (despite their founders' pro-Christmas predilections), and Baptists on the anti-Christmas side, while the Anglicans dominated the pro-Christmas side, and were later joined by the Lutherans and the Dutch Reformed.
In Boston, the Puritans outlawed Christmas in 1659. Although the ban was lifted in 1681 when the British government took control of the colony, an armed guard had to protect the governor on his way to church on Christmas of 1686. When the colony reverted to local control in 1689, Christmas again fell out of favor.
The objection to Christmas by Americans was two-fold. First, for Calvinist theology, it reflected the pagan character of Catholic worship. Christmas was not a biblical holiday and had not even become a Christian festival before the late 300s; it was a creation of the church, not of Christ. Second, the holiday was accompanied by extensive reveling. Celebrations were not primarily worshipful, but involved feasting, game playing, heavy drinking, shooting, and gambling. For the over-indulgers, it brought out the worst of their excesses. Since the holiday celebrated the Savior's birth, such immoral behavior was seen as sacrilegious.
During the 18th century, Christmas observance began to be more accepted. Church-goers turned their attention to purifying the holiday of its excesses, rather than rejecting it altogether. By the 1750s, even New England hymn books contained Christmas carols. By the early 1800s, Christmas was observed with an emphasis on family and children.
In 1836, Alabama became the first state to make Christmas a legal holiday. Other states followed suit; even Massachusetts legalized Christmas in 1856, almost 200 years after its ban. But the last state, Oklahoma, did not join in until 1907. So next Christmas, 2007, will be the centenary of Christmas being the first religious holiday whose celebration across the United States is sanctioned by law.
Excerpts from Fox News John Gibson's Book "The War on Christmas...."
As a matter of American history, however, some of the strongest complaints about the public celebration of Christmas have been lodged from within the Christian tradition—by devout Christians who had little use for the holiday. For a surprising number of American believers, the chief concern wasn't putting Christ back into Christmas. It was taking Christmas out of Christianity.
Liberal plots notwithstanding, the Americans who succeeded in banning the holiday were the Puritans of 17th-century Massachusetts. Between 1659 and 1681, Christmas celebrations were outlawed in the colony, and the law declared that anyone caught "observing, by abstinence from labor, feasting or any other way any such days as Christmas day, shall pay for every such offense five shillings." Finding no biblical authority for celebrating Jesus' birth on Dec. 25, the theocrats who ran Massachusetts regarded the holiday as a mere human invention, a remnant of a heathen past. They also disapproved of the rowdy celebrations that went along with it. "How few there are comparatively that spend those holidays … after an holy manner," the Rev. Increase Mather lamented in 1687. "But they are consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in Mad Mirth."
After the English Restoration government reclaimed control of Massachusetts from the Puritans in the 1680s, one of the first acts of the newly appointed royal governor of the colony was to sponsor and attend Christmas religious services. Perhaps fearing a militant Puritan backlash, for the 1686 services he was flanked by redcoats. The Puritan disdain for the holiday endured: As late as 1869, public-school kids in Boston could be expelled for skipping class on Christmas Day.
The Puritans are the most cited example of anti-Christmas spirit, but not the only one. Quakers, too, took a pass, reasoning that, in the words of 17th-century Quaker apologist Robert Barclay, "All days are alike holy in the sight of God." The Quakers never translated their dismissal of Christmas into legislation in their stronghold in Colonial Pennsylvania. But local meetings, as the Quakers call their assemblies, urged their members to disdain Christmas and to be "zealous in their testimony against the holding up of such days." As late as 1810, the Philadelphia Democratic Press reported that few Pennsylvanians celebrated the holiday.
Observance of Christmas, or the lack thereof, was one way to differentiate among the Christian sects of Colonial and 19th-century America. Anglicans, Moravians, Dutch Reformed, and Lutherans, to name just a few, did; Quakers, Puritans, Separatists, Baptists, and some Presbyterians did not. An 1855 New York Times report on Christmas services in the city noted that Baptist and Methodist churches were closed because they "do not accept the day as a holy one," while Episcopal and Catholic churches were open and "decked with evergreens." New England Congregationalist preacher Henry Ward Beecher remembered decorative greenery as an exotic touch that one could see only in Episcopal churches, "a Romish institution kept up by the Romish church."
Naturally, some celebrants of the holiday complained about the abstainers. In 1867, Reformed Church minister Henry Harbaugh protested that Presbyterians in his Pennsylvania neighborhood "spend the day working as on any other day. Their children grow up knowing nothing of brightly lit Christmas trees, nor Christmas presents. God have mercy on these Presbyterians, these pagans." You can hear the echo of that sentiment today, in the criticism of the megachurches that have announced that they will be closed on Christmas, because their leaders think congregations and church staff would rather remain home with their families. "Our culture does not need any encouragement to be more self-centered or narcissistic, or to stay at home on Sunday," Bible scholar Ben Witherington III wrote on Beliefnet last week. "Shame on you, megachurches."
Gibson briefly refers to the Puritan ban on the holiday but otherwise avoids any mention of division within the Christian tradition over how to celebrate it. His "war on Christmas" is purely a clash between secularists and believers. It's worth remembering, however, that in past American battles over Christmas, the combatants on both sides were Christian soldiers.
John Adams warned that, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. … "Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other." John Adams was not saying an American had to be a Christian, as Patrick Henry did, but he said that Americans MUST BE a MORAL and RELIGIOUS!