Why Some Christians Dont Celebrate Christmas

I Normally write all my own stuff for this blog, but I decided to simply publish an article that my pastor wrote a few years ago in reference to the issue of Christmas. I think it is well written, but be warned, it is longer than most of the blogs I usually post. 
Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?
     Having been a pastor for 30 years, from year to year I am confronted with the question of why are there Christians who do not celebrate or partake of the festivities of Christmas.  It seems unimaginable that a professor in Jesus Christ could find fault with Christmas: an apparent unique opportunity to present the coming of our Lord into this world as it’s Saviour.  Why would anyone want to oppose the undeniable recognition given to Him by the world that he came to redeem?  Could there be a negative aspect so strong as to override the tradition that could stir up an animosity against its observance from a true believer?  To protest the commercialization or a worldly reveling and such like seem understandable, but to totally reject any association at all with the holiday seems to be unrealistic for any real Christian.  Yet, there are those who don’t just let December 25th pass in quiet protest of inobservance, but rather openly express an attitude of intolerance as to write, preach and even suffer family disunity in their opposition of it’s observance.  What is it about December 25th that affects some Christians in this matter?  Is it fanaticism?  Is there a reasonable cause behind their actions?  Does the Word of God say anything that would provoke this minority’s views toward Christmas?  This pamphlet is intended to help answer these questions.
     The first thing to be considered is found within the title of this holiday itself.  Christmas is a compound word derived from two words: Christ and Mass that reveal a religious association with the Roman Catholic Church.  The institution of Christmas, therefore, is associated with a Roman Catholic Sacrament.  It should not be strange then, that Protestants or other Christian churches that do not believe in or practice masses could not be offended with associating Christ with what they consider unscriptural practices.  Those who would be opposed to Catholic doctrines, such as observing sacraments to obtain righteousness, would naturally be the ones, to some degree, that would be the most likely to disassociate themselves with this tradition.  Therefore, in most cases, although not all, those who have strong feelings against the Catholic Church and her doctrines will be the most likely ones to oppose this tradition.
       Another very important point to consider in assessing this matter is the fact that some Christians take the Bible literally when it comes to it’s revelation of what pleases God, and what doesn’t please Him, concerning how he is to be worshiped.  They believe the Bible to be a true revelation of the desires of a benevolent God that reveals, though His word, His will.  Tradition to them must have a sound, biblical reason for it’s acceptance.  Areas where tradition would contradict the Word of God would not be considered a light thing to these Christians.  To impose a method or time of observance to honor Him that He himself has not requested or commanded is presumptuous.  Did not Isreal, in Exodus 32:1-35, sin in the same manner when they made the golden calf?  Did not David, in II Samuel 6:1-11, transgress in the same manner when he tried to bring the ark up to Jerusalem?  When David followed the manner of the Philistines in his effort to honor God, rather than the due order revealed in God’s word, it caused death and confusion rather than joy and fellowship with God (I Chronicles 15:1-29).  Does not I Corinthians 10:1-14 warn us that we, in the same manner, can be displeasing unto God if we are not careful in this manner?  When Jesus said, “they that worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), was that not a revelation of His will? If Christmas is not the true birthday of His Son, how can God be pleased with its observance?  If Christmas is a day of our making for our pleasure, yeah, even a day mixed with error and things which He has revealed to be unpleasing to Him, why would any real Christian think that it is pleasing God?  Let me explain, according to all reliable sources, if there’s any day which we can reasonably be sure that Christ was not born on, it would be December 25th.  Without question, the majority of all Bible scholars and historical writers testify that the Western Church’s (Roman Catholic) purpose of using December 25th as the birthday of Jesus Christ was to facilitate the converting of Pagans to Christianity beginning at the latter part of the Fourth Century. There is no historical reference that the birth of Jesus Christ was celebrated before this time by any professing Christians. Furthermore, church history reveals that making December 25th the birthday of our Saviour was to assist the heathen’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as the “Sun of Righteousness,” because of their deification of the Sun, and its worship.
     The Encyclopedia Americana states, the reason for establishing December 25th as Christmas is somewhat obscured, but it is usually held that the day was chosen to correspond to pagan festivals that took place around the winter solstice, when the days begin to lengthen, to celebrate the ‘rebirth of the sun’. Northern European tribes celebrated their chief festival of Yule at the winter solstice to commemorate the rebirth of the sun as the giver of light and warmth. The Roman Saturnalia (a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, and to the renewed power of the sun), also took place at this time, and some Christmas customs are thought to be rooted in this ancient pagan celebration. It is held by some scholars that the birth of Christ as the ‘Light of the World’ was made analogous to the ‘rebirth of the sun’ in order to make Christianity more meaningful to pagan converts.” (Encyclopedia Americana)
     The Encyclopedia Britannica, on page 528 states, “the first mention of December 25th as the birth date of Jesus occurred in A.D. 336 in an early Roman calendar. The celebration of this day as Jesus’ birth date was probably influenced by pagan (unchristian) festivals held at that time. The ancient Romans held year-end celebrations to honor Saturn, their harvest god; and Mithras, the god of light. Various peoples in northern Europe held festivals in mid-December to celebrate the end of the harvest season. As part of all these celebrations, the people prepared special foods, decorated their homes with greenery, and joined in singing and gift giving. These customs gradually became part of the Christmas celebration.”
<title=”i chronicles?=””>    Alexander Hislop, in his work, The Two Babylon’s, states, “The festivals of Rome are innumerable; but five of the most important may be singled out for elucidation-viz., Christmas-day, Lady-day, Easter, the Nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption. Each and all of these can be proved to be Babylonian. And first, as to the festival in honour of the birth of Christ, or Christmas. How comes it that that festival was connected with the 25th of December? There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of his birth, or the time of the year when He was born. What is recorded there implies that at what time so ever his birth took place, it could not have on the 25th of December. At the time that the angel announced his birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields. Now, no doubt, the climate of Palestine is not so severe as the climate of this country; but even there, though the heat of the day be considerable, the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing, and it was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later that about the end of October. It is in the last degree incredible, then, that the birth of Christ could have taken place at the end of December. There is great unanimity among commentators on this point. Besides Barnes, Doddridge, Lightfoot, Joseph Scaliger, and Jennings, in his “Jewish Antiquities, “who are all of opinion that December 25th could not be the right time of our Lord’s nativity, the celebrated Joseph Mede pronounced a very decisive opinion to the same effect. After a long and careful disquisition on the subject, among other arguments he adduces the following:- “At the birth of Christ every woman and child was to go to be taxed at the city whereto they belonged, whither some had long journeys; but the middle of winter was not fitting for such a business, especially for women with child, and children to travel in. Therefore, Christ could not be born in the depth of winter. Again, at the time of Christ’s birth, the shepherds lay abroad watching with their flocks in the night time; but this was not likely to be the middle of winter. And if any shall think the winter wind was not so extreme in these parts, let him remember the words of Christ in the gospel. ‘Pray that your flight be not in the winter.’ If the winter was too bad a time to flee in, it seems no fit time for shepherds to lie in the fields in, and women and children to travel in.” Indeed, it is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties that the day of our Lord’s birth cannot be determined, and that within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed; and we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to their own superstition. “By us, “says he, “who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year’s day presents are made with din, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians.” Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin.” (The two Babylon’s, pages 91-93)
 
     The Encyclopedia Americana says, under the title, “Development of Customs,” The English adapted many older folk festivals to their Christmas. In the middle ages, English Christmases were times of great hilarity and good cheer, and vast banquets and pageantry celebrated the occasion.  Burning the Yule log was adapted to English custom from theancient Scandinavian practice of kindling huge bonfires in honor of the winter solstice. The idea of using evergreens at Christmas time also came to England from pre-Christian northern European beliefs. Celtic and Teutonic tribes honored these plants at their winter solstice festivals as symbolic of eternal life, and the druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe.”
 
     What about the story of Christmas? When we read the scriptures we do not find “three” wise men, although we do find three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh, which typify of Christ being Prophet, Priest, and King (Mathew 2:11). The wise men do not worship a babe in a manger but rather a young child who is residing in a house (Mathew 2:11-15). We know that Christ is approximately 2 years old at this time, because Herod diligently inquired of the young child’s age in Mathew 2:7 and 8, and acted upon the time given by the wise men whom he had asked, (Mathew 2:16 )!
 
     We know the date of our Saviour’s death was on the 14th day of Niacin, which coincides with our March/April. From knowing that the Lord’s ministry was for 42 months according to Daniel 9, it can be conceded that six months preceding could not be the month of December, but rather, September/October, which would coincide with the Jewish month of the Feast of Tabernacles. The most logical conclusion that a Christian could come to, if he was looking for the birth date of our Lord, would not be December, but September/October. It should be a point of interest that our bodies are referred to as tabernacles in II Corinthians 5:1-5. Taking this to be so, it would complete the fulfillment of the Jewish Feasts as such: Christ our Passover being sacrificed for us (I Corinthians 5:7) we are therefore now keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread (I Corinthians 5:8), waiting for the Feast of Trumpets which signifies the in gathering of the harvest (I Thessalonians 4:16), when Christ shall gather us unto Himself (I Corinthians 15:20-23).
 
     Isn’t it strange that we have adopted the same methods of Christ worship in our day as the Lord warned Israel not to adopt in their day? The only difference being, Israel changing a tree into the image of God and we’re changing the image of God into a tree.
Jeremiah 10:1-5: Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, 0 house of Israel: Thus 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.
For 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.  They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go.  Be not afraid of them,-for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
 
     As Israel entered into a vain worship of God the Father, we have now entered into a vain worship of the Son through like methods of tradition. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day, in Matthew 15:1-9 for making the word of God of none effect by their tradition, saying, that with their mouths they honor God but their hearts were far from him. Shall we not be just as guilty as them, if we adopt pagan customs and transform them into Christian traditions, unconcerned about what Paul has written to us in II Cor.6:14-7:1? Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?  and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my Sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
 
    What about the words of Corinthians 10:1-14? Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lasted Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
 
     Aren’t we mixing Christ with Belial when we knowingly mix him with pagan customs? Are we not partaking of idolatry when we involve ourselves in the worldliness and revelry of the world’s celebration of a self-appointed birthday of Christ?
 
     What is the answer to these things? Historically Christians of every generation have tried to oppose this marriage of Christianity with Paganism, but the weight of the multitudes have prevailed to make the minority to look uncharitable or fanatic to a degree of such proportions to judge them as unworthy of notice or to downright rejection. It has not always been so. In the past, many prominent Christians tried to stem the tide of this transition from truth to traditional supremacy.
 
      In the Encyclopedia Britannica it states, “not until the late 300’s did Christianity become the official religion of the Roman Empire. Through its expansion (Roman Catholic) by 1600 A.D. Christmas became the most important religious festival in Europe. This popularity of Christmas grew until the Reformation, a religious movement of the 1500’s. This movement gave birth to Protestantism. During the reformation, many Christians began to consider Christmas a pagan celebration because it included non-religious customs During the sixteen hundreds, because of these feelings Christmas was outlawed in England and in parts of the English colonies in America. The old customs of feasting and decorating, however, soon reappeared and blended with the more Christian aspects of the celebration.”
 
      In the Encyclopedia Americana it states, “Christmas was not celebrated by the puritans or the Calvinist. When the puritans came to power in England under Oliver Cromwell ‘in 1642, Christmas celebrations were banded as evidences of anti-religious, royalist, sentiment. Penalties were exacted for celebrating Christmas and for staying home from work on Christmas day. The Puritan tradition was brought to New England, where Christmas did not become a legal holiday until 1856 In Europe, on the other hand, Christmas was being traditionally accepted as the papacy grew in influence. Even so, preachers of Leonia still preached against its observance and effect upon the protestant body of believers.”
 
     Charles Haddon Spurgeon of London, who preached to thousands each Sunday in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, in his message on December 24, 1881, preached against Christmas as, “a religious superstitious event that no Christian should celebrate because it is of no divine origin or commandment. That, no doubt all of its observance and inception is of Pagan origin.”  
 
     Considering the facts shown, can a Christian, in good conscience allow themselves to fellowship with such a worldly corruption or custom that perverts God’s person or violates scripture to this degree? Should we profane all that is holy to the level of commercialization and worldly observance as Christmas has done to the name of Jesus Christ? Hasn’t Santa Claus taken the place of God and corrupted his holy person to a level of blasphemy?
What do trees, reindeer, and elves have to do with the coming of our Lord? No more than Easter eggs and rabbits have to do with his resurrection! They are nothing but tale-tale signs of the apostasy that Paul forewarned us about that would precede the world’s appointment of the man of sin, as their God
(II Thessalonians 2:1-12).
     Is there a day our Lord desires to remember him by? If not his birthday, is he pleased to recognize him for any day? Yes, as a matter of fact, there is a day our Lord told us to remember him by! As his disciples, he has given us an ordinance of the day to remember him on, and it is, his death till he comes (I Corinthians 11:23-26). For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. Should we not keep his commandment rather than to enjoin ourselves to the tradition of men? Would it not please our Lord better when we submit ourselves to his desires?
 
     It is argued by some, that Romans 14, and especially in reference to verse 5 justify their celebration of Christmas as a Christian holiday, as long as they are doing it, unto the Lord. But is this not perverting the word of God to justify idolatry? Shall Romans 14:5 nullify II Cor.6:14-7 or  Cor 10:1-11? Have they not taken a verse out of context because of a pre-text? Romans 14:5 is not speaking of pagan practices in its worship of their gods being accepted by God, Romans 14:5 is in the context of a converted Jew who recognized the days and ceremonial laws of eating and drinking as was given him under the law of God. The context is a Jewish believer which was still weak in the faith (v.1) and was still having a problem transitioning over to the new covenant as far as eating any meats or drinking without guilt of conscience (v.14-23)! Peter had this problem in Acts 10:9-16, when the Lord revealed it to him. The weak of Romans 14 is not a pagan worshipping God in idolatry! God commanded us to repent of these vanities; Acts 14:8-18, Acts 17:22-3 1, I Cor. 10:1-14. Romans 14 therefore cannot be justifying Christmas anymore than I Timothy 5:23 justifies social drinking.
 
     Christmas is a deeply ingrained tradition in the lives of so many and to cease from its celebration no doubt will bring division and sometimes persecution from family and friends. But, where shall we draw the line before the Lord is no longer identifiable in the Word, much less the world. If tradition is going to have such precedence that can override the truth, how long will it be before we digress to the state of the Athenians, and our devotions be steeped in superstition rather than truth (Acts 17:16-31). How long before we who are supposed to be “children of light” are transformed back to the image that we came from? Whereas, before we knew we were living in darkness, now we are calling it light! We knew there was a devil, but now have allowed him to transform himself into that angel of light he desires to be (II Corinthians 11: 14)!
 
     Isn’t it strange how some Christians are not offended that the world is corrupting the things of God so badly for their covetous motives and yet, if a brother or sister in Christ cease to partake of it, they are seen more evil than them. Maybe it’s about time to take warning of the words of our Lord in Rev. 18 1-5?  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
     This information is for those who seek an answer to why some Christians have chosen to cease from the celebration of Christmas, it no doubt, will be opposed, rejected and in some cases abhorred. Yet, it is not intended to offend anyone; it is intended to inform everyone who would desire a sincere answer to a question of honest inquiry. Here it is, reject it if you please, receive it if you will, but be assured of this one thing; every one of us shall give account of himself unto God, to answer for the things we have done in his flesh, whether it be good or bad (Romans 14:11-12 and II Cor.5:9-l0), saved or lost.
 
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit.
 
Karl M. Baker, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church Beaufort, S. C.

September Prayer Letter

September 2015

Brethren,

Praying that this letter finds you all doing well in your places of service for our Lord Jesus Christ.

This month, we were able to celebrate being here in Brunswick at Open Bible Baptist Church for a whole year. A lot has happened this last year, and many opportunities have been made available to preach the gospel. Our church has also grown this last year with folks coming to join up with us in the work for the Lord. It seems as if this last year has flown by, but the Lord has guided us through the entire year.

In September, we have been able to continue to preach at the Salvation Army on Friday evenings. We have noticed that quite a few folks have been taking their food and going to sit outside at the picnic tables instead of staying inside where we normally preach. So this month, while I preached to the folks that stay inside, Bro Mike Alford has been going out on the patio and preaching to those folks out there. Many of the folks that go outside have made it clear to us that they were going outside to “escape” the preaching. But some of them did make it a point to let us know that they appreciate the faithfulness to keep coming down there. So, we intend to continue to go to the Salvation Army to try to win souls to Christ. In fact, this month, we have had some tremendous witnesses with some of the folks there and have noticed that some of the regulars seem to be attentive to the preaching more than normal. Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom to know how to reach these people with gospel.

The street preaching ministry has been going very well this month as well. At St Simons we have been able to freely preach to many folks and have been able to pass out quite a few tracts. On the first Friday, while we were preaching in Brunswick, we had a group of teenagers come up and heckle us. Initially, we thought we would get nowhere with this foolishness (most times they are simply trying to impress their friends). But, as we continued on with our preaching, the teenagers trickled away, with the exception of one guy about the age of 20 named Tristen. Once his “friends” were gone, we were able to reason with him about his soul and the need for him to be saved. We witnessed to him for about 45 minutes and saw him be dramatically convicted by the conversation. Although he did not get saved that night, we were able to give him a Bible and have prayer with him before he left. Please pray for him to be saved.

In Nahunta, at the jail this month, we were able to preach to a group of guys. I was able to preach, then Bro Mike Alford, and finally Bro Darnell Robinson. After the preaching, a guy came forward to get saved. After having the gospel explained to him, he bowed his head and asked the Lord to save him. A few days after we were there, he called and let us know that he had shared the gospel with his wife, and that she had gotten saved. Please pray for David and his wife Kenya to grow in the Lord and that we will be able to be a help to them in their spiritual growth.

Also, we were able to get some work done on our church building this month as well. We are going to be continuing the work as we are able to. Unfortunately, between our other church ministries and the rain, we have been limited to find time to get these repairs completed. But, slowly but surely, we are getting the repairs addressed.

Thank you all for your prayers

Kenneth Seremak Jr

One year down…..

This last Sunday(9/13/15) was the one year anniversary of being the pastor of Open Bible Baptist church. It sure does not feel like it has been a whole year. Alot of things have happened in this year, both good and bad. We have had trials and victories both. This year, if there is one thing I learned above all other things, is that I am not capable of being a good pastor by myself, but God is capable of using the most incapable of folks to get His plan done.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I believe, without apology, that the most important element of a Christians life is to preach the gospel to every creature. Since arriving in Brunswick, the Lord has given many opportunities to do that very thing. He opened the door for us to preach regularly at the Salvation Army homeless shelter, Gracemore nursing home,and  The Brantley county jail. Also we are able to preach on the streets in both Brunswick, and St Simon’s Island(the adjacent town) without opposition at all. We have been able to knock doors in our community and have even seen folks come out and be a part of our church as a result of this. We have also been able to put brochures containing the gospel and information about our church in the welcome centers in the area.  Now don’t misunderstand, I am in no way bragging in my ability or accomplishments, every one of these ministries has been 100% God’s doing.

In the last year, we have had the pleasure to preach, pass out tracts, and hold signs and banners at a few festivals and parades as well. We were able to go to the St Patrick’s parade in Savannh, the Blessing of the Fleet in Darien GA, the Blessing of the Fleet in Brunswick, The Memorial day Parade in Beaufort SC, the Crawfish Festival in Woodbine GA, the Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach FL, and the Labor Day Parade in Kingsland GA. We have stood out front of the rodeo when in came into town and handed out tracts as well as outside the theater downtown to distribute tracts to folks as they exited the facility. Some may think that I am try to boast, but nothing is further from the truth. I am simply looking back on the year and praising God for all of the labor that he has allowed us to do for His Glory.

This year has brought some folks by the church as well. In January, the Alford family came to be a part of our little church, and they have been a blessing to us as well. Bro Alford is faithful in our song-leading duties at the church services as well as a faithful participant in our Salvation Army, Jail, and Street Preaching ministries. In the month of March, the Lord brought us Mr and Mrs Page as well. Great people, that are such a blessing to the church. Mrs Page is faithful to be a part of our song service by playing the keyboard, as well as being the one behind the songs at Grace more Nursing home. Mr Page is a great help with church repairs and maintenance as well. We thank the Lord for bringing us these 2 families and the help that they are to the church and it’s ministries.

Now, this year, has also had some trials. This last year, we had a fellow trying to destroy the work by backbiting and railing and trying to sow discord among the brethren. It broke our hearts to have to institute church discipline but many of the actions were detrimental to the church. The issue really hurt the church and has caused some folks to leave unfortunately. In fact, at this time, we are still dealing with the hurt and problems that came from this sin in the church. This year, we have had some folks get sick, lose jobs, have family issues, and more. Now some would say that this stuff is “normal” to church, but it still is a struggle to get through. Thank the Lord for His goodness to us to guide us in the right way.

So, as we finish our first year here, we don’t intend to look back on the last year for too long, but instead we look forward to another year anxious to see what great things the Lord will do here in Brunswick. We are excited to see how the Lord intends to use a small group of incapable, sinners to accomplish His purpose here in order to allow Him to get the glory.

August Prayer Letter

August 2015

Brethren,

It seems like this month has simply gone by so quickly. But, I am reminded of the old saying that “Time flies when you are having fun.” And indeed we have been having a blast laboring here in Brunswick GA.

As I mentioned in my last letter, this month we began going to the Gracemore Nursing Home here in Brunswick. We have been having a great time singing hymns with the residents and then sharing the gospel with them out of God’s Word. The residents really seem to enjoy the services and have requested that we come every week, instead of every other week like we have been doing. So starting in September, we will be going every Monday evening to try to encourage these folks.

I mentioned previously as well, this month we had a 3 day special meeting at the church. It was such a blessing to have Bro Karl Baker and Mrs. Pam Baker with us for that time. We were able to hear the preaching of God’s Word from Bro Baker and get encouraged to apply it to our lives. We also had a great time to fellowship with them and catch up in regards to the things in the ministry. We had quite a few visitors come out for the meeting and they also expressed the Lord’s working in their lives by the meeting.

This month, at the jail in Nahunta, we had a tremendous service. This month, we were able to preach to the female inmates. A few men were able to preach the Gospel, and Bro Mike Alford was able to preach via a “chalk talk.” Bro Darnell Robinson was the first to preach, and when he was finished 3 girls came forward to receive Christ as their personal Savior. One of the 3 girls claimed to be saved, and wanted to get back to where she should be spiritually. The other 2 ladies, asked the Lord to save them and seemed to go away rejoicing. One of the 2 girls to be saved is supposed to be released on the 1st of September, and she lives in Brunswick. Please pray for her that nothing will hinder her from coming to church and allowing us to help her to grow in Jesus Christ.

The rain has continued to cause us to be hindered in some of our outreach as well as some of the things that are needed in regards to church building maintenance. In the next few months, we are going to have to change out the roof on our building (it has begun leaking) and redo the exterior trim as well. Please pray that all will go well with these projects, and that we will be able to accomplish them speedily and properly. I praise the Lord for the men and women who are willing to give up their time to help with these repairs.

Also, lately, Daniel Holton (our sound man) has been making an effort to advertise our church more heavily via the internet. Considering that this is the way that our culture is headed, we figured it would be worth a try. He has just started doing this in the last month, and so far we have already seen some visitors. Please pray the Lord will use this means to continue to reach folks as well.

We ask your prayers this month as well for a few things: 1) Please pray for Mrs. Georgia Reddick. She is an older member of our church who has been battling with her blood pressure. It will randomly drop and skyrocket and cause her issues. A few weeks ago, it fell to the point that she got so weak that she fell and ended up breaking a bone in her ankle. She is in a rehabilitation facility right now doing therapy, and the doctors think she will be there at least another 2 weeks. Please pray for her recovery and her spirits to stay encouraged. 2) Also, another member of the church, Jack Hannah, had to have surgery on the 31st  in regards to cancer that he has in his colon. The surgery went well, but when they awoke him from surgery, he had a violent reaction and they were forced to sedate him. Please pray for him as he is in his early 90’s, as well as the salvation of some of his family members.  3) Lastly, we ask your prayers for us this fall. In this part of the country, it seems that every weekend there is a gathering of people for a festival, fair, or football game. We are going to make every effort possible to try to be at most if not all of these events to preach the gospel and distribute gospel tracts. Please pray that the Lord will bless these endeavors, as well send us laborers to help us with these opportunities.

God Bless you all,

Ready, Set, Here we go.

We are a week away from Labor Day here in the USA and summer is almost over(although here is South Georgia it doesn’t feel like it.) Most kids are going back to school and people are preparing for the adventures that comes with that. Others are anticipating the relief from the heat, only to begin complaining about the cold and the abundance of leaves we have to rake. (We are indeed funny creatures). Some look forward to Autumn for other reasons such as hunting season, or football season. There is alot of stuff that starts up in the next month or so that people look forward to in this great country of our’s, but let me point out one more thing. What you will find all across this land as the weather cools off, is the same thing you see in the Spring, an abundance of fairs, festivals, parades, etc will be happening. Now, this may not be the case everywhere, but it is here in the Southeast. Also, down here, every Friday night high school football is the most populated event, and Saturday’s is college football.

You might wonder why I point this out. Well, I would like to encourage everyone reading this to make an effort to attend these events, not as participants, but instead as a representative of Jesus Christ preaching the gospel. Honestly, Brethren, I believe that we sin against, not just the Lord, but our fellow man, when such an opportunity is given to go and preach the gospel to folks when they are already congregated, and we chose instead to stay home. I think, if we go and make an effort to preach the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if anything, we please the Lord by our obedience.

Now, I don’t know what is scheduled in your town, county, or region, but I encourage you to look it up. (Welcome to Google) Look, I understand that you have plans, we all do, but are your plans really more important than telling sinners how to be saved? Doubt it. Some may think that another will go in their place and the job will get done, but that is not the case. The one who goes, goes in their own place, not your’s. Your place is still missing. Have we joined the Lord’s Army to sit at  the house, or have we not received our marching orders?

Let me ask you a question? If a missionary was to come to your church, and presented his calling to preach the gospel in an area depleted of God’s Word, plant churches, and train men for the ministry, would you be in agreement that what was desiring to do was honorable and necessary? Sure you would. Now, what if at the the end of the presentation, the missionary announced that he was coming to your town? Would you still be in agreement with his calling, or would you think to yourself that there already is a good church there(the one you are sitting in)? Would you think that this guy is confused, and would you try to straighten him out? Sure you would. So then the fellow apologizes, and packs up and heads out. Now what?  You go home and and still claim that preaching the gospel is not your thing, while you sit on your couch? What a shame. God put you in a location, not to take up space, but so you could preach the gospel to those people there.

Now some may say, that I should stop writing posts like this to encourage folks to get busy for Christ, because there was a time in my own life that I was not obedient to the orders of my Lord myself. While I agree that in times past, I myself was slothful in my business for my saviour, I do not intend to stop trying my hardest to encourage others in this great work. I realized myself(much to my shame) that my idleness in the preaching of the gospel was sinful and I repented of that SIN and now try to be as faithful as I can to tell others about the saving grace of Christ Jesus our Lord, and to provoke my brethren to love and good works(which is inclusive of preaching the gospel)

The reason, festivals, fairs, football games, etc, are such a great place to preach is because the people are already assembled. Why not Preach to them? It is a no-brainer. So this fall, get on Google and find out where the people are, get some tracts, and get busy. Encourage those around you to also get busy, and maybe, like the apostles, we can turn the world upside down.

Radio Adventure — Round 2

As many of you know, I was previously a guest on the Save the Youth Radio Program for Diana Reed. In order to be on the show, I had called in. Mrs Diana Reed asked me again to be on the show, this time she wanted me to come to the studio to do it in person. for some reason, she has taken a real liking to me and our church. I have attached the recording for your pleasure.

Click Here To Listen

The New Cross – – A W Tozer

I thought this was a pretty good read when someone gave it to me. Thought everyone may enjoy it.

A. W. Tozer, “There has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental. From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique-a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before. The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually. The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better. The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public. The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross. The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more. The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die. Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ. To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul’s day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God’s approval. Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power. (A. W. Tozer, Man, the Dwelling Place of God, 1966)