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Why do we celebrate Jesus birth on December 25?

For the church's first three centuries, Christmas wasn't in Decemberor on the calendar at all. Some church leaders were opposed to the idea of a birthday celebration. Origen (c.185 c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods.
437 N. Duffy Road, Butler, PA 16001 New Testament Baptist Church

Not all of Origen's contemporaries agreed that Christ's birthday shouldn't be celebrated, and some began to speculate on the date (actual records were apparently long lost). Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) favored May 20, but noted that others had argued for April 18, April 19, and May 28. Hippolytus (c.170-c.236) championed January 2. November 17, November 20, and March 25, all had backers as well. A Latin treatise written around 243 pegged March 21, because that was believed to be the date on which God created the sun. Polycarp (c.69-c.155) had followed the same line of reasoning to conclude that Christ's birth and baptism most likely occurred on Wednesday, because the sun was created on the fourth day. The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen's concern about pagan gods, and the church's identification of God's Son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman "birth of the unconquered sun"), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian "Sun of Righteousness," whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival. Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity, the empire's favored religion. The actual year of Jesus birth may be as early as 1 B.C. or as late as 5 A.D. Most place His month of birth around March or April.

Listen to

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thank you for choosing to worship at the New Testament Baptist Church of Butler. Our prayer is that your heart will be stirred for the eternal as we sing songs & hymns that direct your heart toward Christ and challenge you through the preaching of Gods Word.

Free Nurseries & Childcare:

Out of respect for your loved ones and those in attendance, we ask parents to use our clean & wellequipped nursery. This free service is available for newborns and infants (birth through 24 months). Your cooperation is needed and appreciated. Assistance is available at the Welcome Center.


Post Your Christmas Card to the Church On the Bulletin Board

For the convenience of the church, the bulletin board outside Pastors office is available for your Christmas card. You are welcome to post ONE card to the church family instead of sending a card to each family of our church. Merry Christmas!

Sunday: Service Schedule 10:00 AM 11:00 AM 6:00 PM 7:00 PM Adult & Childrens Bible Study Classes Morning Preaching Choir Practice Evening Preaching Patch the Pirate Childrens Choral Club Midweek Bible Study & Prayer

Church Business Meeting After Sunday PM, December 30 Ladies Bible Study & Fellowship Tuesday, January 8, 6:30 PM
Kick off the New Year by attending the January Ladies Bible Study at our Pastors home. The adult ladies are asked to bring a side dish to share with other ladies. Ladies should also bring their Bibles.

Wednesday: 7:00 PM Saturday: 10:30 AM Bus Visitation

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First Time Visitors

There are friendly people at our Welcome Center in the lobby who will gladly assist you with any questions you may have during your visit. Allow us to make you feel at home during your visit. First-time adult visitors and families are asked to visit our Welcome Center to receive a hospitality bag with a gift card to Chick-fil-A.

The winter months provide a great opportunity for our church to transition from our organized soul winning program on Saturdays to our TAKE 5 tract distribution program.

Food and Drink Items

In the spirit of worship, and as an act of courtesy, please do NOT bring food items, coffee, bottled water, or soft drinks into the Auditorium. Thank you for your courtesy!