Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Should Be More About Family and Food Than Gifts and Debt

Going Into Debt Over Christmas

They are going to try to get you to spend all your money you made this entire year in one shopping period, Christmas.  It is where they spend the most time and money for marketing.  But, if this economic period has not awakened you to how our country is completely upside down, then you truly need to wake up.  First of all, understand what the "holiday" is.  Christmas is the Christian observance of the birth of their messiah.  It is a strictly religious holiday.  If you're not Christian, you shouldn't even be observing the holiday to begin with.  However, because Americans have such a herd mentality, even Atheists buy their children presents on Christmas, because "everyone does it."

If you're not Christian, you shouldn't even be observing the holiday to begin with.

What's more is that, the Christian Messiah wasn't even born in December.  He was born in June.

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti

Sol Invictus was the official sun god of the later Roman empire. The religion was created by Aurelian in 274, who made it an official religion alongside the traditional Roman religions. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin religion of Sol, a revival of the religion of Elagabalus or completely new. The god was favoured by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 AD. and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. A festival on 25 Dec. is sometimes thought to be responsible for the date of Christmas.

The Roman gens Aurelian was associated with the religion of Sol. After his victories in the East, the emperor Aurelian thoroughly reformed the Roman religion of Sol, elevating the sun-god to one of the premier divinities of the empire. Where previously a priests of Sol had been simply sacerdotes and tended to belong to lower ranks of Roman society, they were now pontifices and members of the new college of pontifices instituted by Aurelian. Every pontifex of Sol was a member of the senatorial elite, indicating that the priesthood of Sol was now highly prestigious. Almost all these senators held other priesthoods as well, however, and some of these other priesthoods take precedence in the inscriptions in which they are listed, suggesting that they were considered more prestigious than the priesthood of Sol. Aurelian also built a new temple for Sol, bringing the total number of temples for the god in Rome to (at least) four. He also instituted games in honor of the sun god, held every four years from AD 274 onwards.

The confusion surrounding Aurelian's reforms has been significant, much of it rooted in the mistaken opinion that he was introducing a new religion, which, as is now clear, he was not. The following constitute the most common errors of fact attributed to Aurelian and his reforms.

Aurelian called his sun god Sol Invictus to differentiate him from the earlier Roman god Sol.

Actually, Aurelian is twice as likely to call Sol Oriens on his coins as he is Sol Invictus.  Only one of the fifteen or so pontifices of Sol adds the epithet invictus; all others simply call themselves "pontifex Solis".

Aurelian built his new temple for a Syrian sun god, not the Roman one.

There is no credible evidence to support this, and ample evidence to refute it. The "Syrian Sol-hypothesis" is therefore now rejected by all specialists in the field.

Aurelian inaugurated his new temple dedicated to Sol Invictus and held the first games for Sol on December 25, 274, on the supposed day of the winter solstice and day of rebirth of the Sun.

This is not only pure conjecture, but goes against the best evidence available. There is no record of celebrating Sol on December 25 prior to CE 354/362. Hijmans lists the known festivals of Sol as August 8 and/or 9, August 28, and December 11. There are no sources that indicate on which day Aurelian inaugurated his temple and held the first games for Sol, but we do know that these games were held every four years from CE 274 onwards. This means that they were presumably held in CE 354, a year for which perchance a Roman calendar, the Chronography of 354 (or calendar of Filocalus), has survived. This calendar lists a festival for Sol and Luna on August 28, Ludi Solis (games for Sol) for October 19–22, and a Natalis Invicti (birthday of the invincible one) on December 25. While it is widely assumed that the invictus of December 25 is Sol, the calendar does not state this explicitly. The only explicit reference to a celebration of Sol in late December is made by Julian the Apostate in his hymn to King Helios written immediately afterwards in early CE 363. Julian explicitly differentiates between the one-day, annual celebration of late December 362 and the multi-day quadrennial games of Sol which, of course, had also been held in 362, but clearly at a different time. Taken together, the evidence of the Calendar of Filocalus and Julian's hymn to Helios clearly shows, according to Hijmans and others, that the ludi of October 19–22 were the Solar Games instituted by Aurelian. They presumably coincided with the dedication of his new temple for Sol.

After Aurelian, Sol became supreme deity of the Roman Empire.

Therefore, if you, as a Christian, celebrate December 25th as the birth of your messiah, you are celebrating a pagan holiday and not the actual birth of the messiah.  And, how was the pagan holiday observed?  By gift giving!

The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making the Christmas season the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. Gift giving was common in the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, an ancient festival which took place in late December and may have influenced Christmas customs. Christmas gift giving was banned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages due to its suspected pagan origins. It was later rationalized by the Church on the basis that it associated St. Nicholas with Christmas, and that gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were given to the infant Jesus by the Biblical Magi.

I don't think any more evidence need be put forth for the argument that what Christians are being taught as being the most holy day of their religion, is an actual pagan celebration, with a pagan ritual of gift giving.

It can be said that people going into debt, in general, just to give gifts deserve what they get.  I am here to tell you that there is another way.

I think a new tradition for Christmas should be started: paying off debts.  That means, instead of buying gifts and giving them away, families should come together and try to pay off or pay down debts, so the entire family prospers.  If you truly are Christian, there could be no more appropriate observance of the messiah that forgave all our debts, than a ritual paying off of debts.

A Jewish friend once told me that it is ungodly to be in debt to another man.

Proverbs 22:

7. The rich rule over the poor,and the borrower is servant to the lender.

22. Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court,

23. for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.

26. Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts;

27. if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.

I don't think I could warn you any more than this.

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