CHRISTMAS — 25th DECEMBER The fact of the pagan origin of the festival of Christmas on the 25th December, namely, as birthday of the Sun deity, is admitted by all scholars. The Messiah could not have been born in mid-winter, 25th December, as the shepherds were out in the fields, watching over their flock by night — Luke 2:8. In Israel no one would permit their flock out on a winter night. The date of our Messiah's birth has been calculated to be in fall. In any case, we are not commanded to remember the day of His birth, rather, to remember the day of His death. According to Scripture, this is what the early believers did, 1 Cor. 11:26. The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts." Wherefrom does this Christmas on 25 December originate? Sir James Frazer says, "The largest pagan religious cult which fostered the celebration of December 25 as a holiday . . . was the pagan sun- worship, Mithraism . . . This winter festival was called . . . 'the Nativity of the SUN.' Mithraism was the fastest growing cult just prior to the year 321 and was the major rival of Christianity. Franz Cumont, perhaps the greatest scholar of Mithraism, wrote, quoting Minucius Felix, "The Mithraists also observed Sun-day and kept sacred the 25th of December as the birthday of the Sun. Many scholars have pointed out how the Sun- worshipping Mithraists, the Sunworshipping Manicheans and the Christians were all syncretised and reconciled when Constantine led the takeover by Christianity, even if it meant the latter's surrender of most vital Scriptural truths, especially its Hebrew roots. However, other Sun-worshipping groups were included too, because of the general importance and popularity of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun-deity. Mario Righetti, a renowned Catholic liturgist, writes, "the Church of Rome, to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, found it convenient to institute the 25th December as the feast of the temporal birth of Christ, to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honour of the 'Invincible Sun', Mithras. Sir James Frazer wrote, "If the Mithraic mysteries were indeed a Satanic copy of a divine original, we are driven to conclude that Christianity took a leaf out of the devil's book when it fixed the birth of the Saviour on the 25th December; for there can be no doubt that the day in question was celebrated as the birthday of the Sun by the heathen before the Church . . . transferred the Nativity The mixing of pagan Sun-worship and Christianity is exemplified by the testimony of a Syrian scholiast on Bar Salibi, who said, "It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same 25th of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part." Practically all the known Sun-deities were born on the 25th December. In S.E. Titcomb, Aryan Sun myths, the Origin of Religions, we find it cited, quoted from primary sources, that the following Sun-deities were all born on 25 December, according to their legends: Crishna (Vishnu), Mithra (Mithras), Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Dionysus (Bacchus), Tammuz, Indra, Buddha. Therein we also read of the Scandinavian goddess Frigga in whose honour a "Mother-night" festival was held at the winter solstice (+ - 25 December), as well as a similar great feast of Yule, where a boar was offered at the winter solstice in honour of Frey. Thus we find the three great days of Christianity (as it is practised by most today), namely Sun-day, Easter and Christmas, all three having had its origin in the Sun-worship of the pagan nations. "How did these nations serve their mighty ones? I also will do likewise," Deut. 12:30. This is exactly what the true Mighty One, Yahuweh, forbade His people to do. The keeping of days, especially days of festivity, is perhaps the most popular amongst all religions "And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which Yahuweh your Elohim has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage," Deut. 4:19. The New English Bible and the Good News Bible render this more interpretatively, ". . . your Elohim has given these to all other peoples for them to worship." The prophet's warning of Eze. 8:9-16, the "wicked abominations" of Sun- worship which had been fused and mixed with True Worship, is equally applicable for our day. What greater proof do we need of the most alarming fact that Elohim has indeed given us up to worship the host of heaven, especially the Sun! These Sun-worshipping festivity days had been used to win over to the Church, the pagan masses of the Roman Empire in which the Sun was the leading power in the Roman pantheon. The weekly Sun-day, the spring Easter Sun-day, the birth of the Sun-deity on 25 December — all three of these festival days originated from, and were instituted by pagans in honour of the Sun-deity

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