Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God…” NKJV
From time to time I have people challenge something that I do and demand a specific biblical reference. I refuse to get into contentious discussions and splitting hairs regarding things in life but try to answer objections and questions. I was once a very good Pharisee, but the Holy Spirit convicted me of my legalism and since that time I have refused to live the life of a Pharisee and have my lists and sets of regulations that everyone must follow and that I can use to compare myself with them. I usually go to the aforementioned passage and say this is where we must begin our discussion.
IN THE BEGINNING GOD! He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the first and the last and truly everything in between. He is the glue that holds it all together and without Him, we would not only, not be we would not be able to survive. I like what Paul said 1 Corinthians 6:12 – “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” NKJV I realize the context of that passage but also believe the larger application covers life. When Jesus was accosted by the legalist about his disciples eating grain on the Sabbath day His response can be seen in Mark 2:27-28 – “And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” NKJV
It is God’s desire that we Love Him supremely above all else and dedicate ourselves to pleasing Him and fulfilling His purpose for our lives in our generation. We will never all agree on every point regarding holidays, feasts, celebrations, activities, dress, etc. But, we can all agree that “In the beginning GOD…” We can all agree that Jesus Is The Christ, the Son of the Living God. We can agree that He came, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, gave His life on the Cross as payment for the sin of whosoever will accept His sacrifice, rose on the third day, and is ascended to heaven now making intercession for us. We can agree that He promised to return and that where He is we will be with Him for eternity.
If we can agree on those things we have common ground for fellowship. If we split hairs over a particular day, particular mode of dress, particular activity, etc. we will separate ourselves and destroy any basis of fellowship and thereby lose not only the benefit of our fellowship together we will demonstrate to the world that the Church is a divided sectarian group of ideologues and lose our effectiveness and appeal to them.
The Love of God shed abroad in our hearts should be our rule and our guide. He should be most important not our pet doctrines or thoughts regarding a particular idea or event. There are many things that others do and believe that I do not understand but we agree on the foundational principles and thereby I can accept them as my brother or sister in Christ. It is those cases where someone denies Jesus as the Christ or denies God as the only true God that I find that there is no basis of fellowship.
We are entering the Holiday Season and while I don’t say “Happy Holidays” for Christmas I say, “Merry Christmas.” I realize that some believers have a problem with even celebrating Christmas on December 25th each year. I would suggest to you that it is not the day that is important as the reason for celebrating. I celebrate to Honor Jesus and give thanks for Who He Is and What He Has Done! I celebrate to Honor Jesus for my Salvation. I really don’t care if He was born in October or July I do care that He Was Born!
Since I do not have a specific date given to me I use this one to give Him honor. If that is a problem for you, then I am so sorry but ask that you please forgive me and not judge me a heretic or something worse as a result. I won’t argue with you over it but will continue to honor the Lord by celebrating this day as recognition of The Fact Jesus Was Born! Hopefully, you will be able to continue to love me and find our own way to honor His birth and I will love you and support you in that decision.
May God be with you as you go through your day in Him!