Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Why we continue pagan elements in our holidays

“So why not celebrate Christmas?  Many cite the pagan rituals that have crept into the practice of Christmas.  The Christmas tree, the giving of gifts, and the mistletoe among many other traditions do have roots in paganism.  If we go back to 4th century ancient Rome, we see a Christianity struggling to evangelize a pagan society.  One of the key ways those early missionaries evangelized the pagans was by taking pagan rituals and infusing them with Christian meaning.  Those missionaries matched pagan holidays with new Christian holidays to help the pagans make smooth transitions into Christianity.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It's a somewhat drastic method of missionary work where you help new believers to remain in their cultural context while allowing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to transform the cultural practices.  This allows people to remain in their "people groups" making "people movements" toward Jesus a much more likely possibility.  And what do we see as a result?  The ancient Christians succeeded, and the church grew by leaps and bounds.”  A lifestyle change for peace


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