Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To the Lord, I will not be Celebrating Christ's Birth

As an exercise of my Christian liberty, I will not be celebrating Christ's birthday on December 25, 2008. I will not be attending a "mass" or any substitute thereof. I do not plan to set aside any business concerns that would interfere with such religious exercises.

Instead, by engaging in worldly employments and recreations, I will not treat that day as holy. This is my Christian liberty, as Paul explained:

Romans 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Rome has tried to bind the consciences of its members by employing, for example:

Canon 1246
1. Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church. Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary Mother of God and her Immaculate Conception and Assumption, Saint Joseph, the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and finally, All Saints.

Canon 1247
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass; they are also to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.
(emphases added)

As explained at the link (link), "Since a 'grave cause' is needed to excuse one from this obligation it would be a serious or mortal sin to willfully skip Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation, as the Church has always taught." Thus, Catholicism legalistically seeks to bind the consciences of its members to observe holy days that Scripture does not require.

In fact, Scripture gives Christians the freedom that I will (Lord Willing) be exercising to use the day for God's glory through an absence of regard for the day. I would like to encourage my readers to consider doing the same.

Don't get me wrong, if you choose to celebrate Christ's birth tomorrow, there is nothing inherently or intrinsically wrong with that. It is also your liberty to do so, and I won't tell you that it is a serious sin to do so. That's the other side of the Romans 14:6 coin.

Whether you choose to celebrate Christ's birth or not, may December 25, 2008, find you being edified and grown up in the knowledge of the Incarnate Word.

-TurretinFan

9 comments:

Turretinfan said...

To save people the trouble of noting the obvious: canon law doesn't apply to those outside of Catholicism.

natamllc said...

To the celebration, amen. I haven't for many years and it is awkward at times answering the inquiries:::> "what did santa bring you"?

My answer is, "nothing".

You do tend to have unusual responses after that answer! :)

Psa 78:65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a strong man shouting because of wine.
Psa 78:66 And he put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting shame.
Psa 78:67 He rejected the tent of Joseph; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
Psa 78:68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves.
Psa 78:69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.
Psa 78:70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds;
Psa 78:71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance.
Psa 78:72 With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.

Nick said...

There are many "home based" non-denominational churches that apply your logic and in effect take away any common day of worship for Christians. The "Lord's Day" on Sunday is no more binding than say Saturday or Tuesday worship. On top of that, any form of weekly worship is technically not binding, so someone could argue for one day a month.

This logic played a big role in the secular world for stripping Sunday of an religious significance as well as Major Holidays.

Places like Acts 15:28-29 show the Church has the power to dictate practices Christians are bound to (even if those acts are not intrinsically sinful). So based on Scripture, the Church can bind the Christian conscience.

rsolis89 said...

Turretin do you plan on making a response to

http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/2008/12/why-protestantism-is-theologically-dead.html

or this

http://anathemasitblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/fallacies-francis-turretin-part-i.html

Red Monkey said...

Bah humbug!

Turretinfan said...

rsolis89:

As to the first, I have provided a response in a new post (link). As to the second, I may be able to squeeze it in, but I cannot promise. Unfortunately, it seems Bellisario is more interested in insulting than disputing - and it can be challenging to justify spending time responding to what amount to little more than heaped insults.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Nick,

Thanks for your comment, which (I must say) was oodles better than Bellisario's. I've responded to your comment in a new post (link).

-TurretinFan

Lucian said...

Well, ... a merry little Christmas nonetheless, and a happy New Year! God bless!

:-)

Turretinfan said...

Thanks Lucian! May God bless you in the New Year, as well!