Post Number: 14110
|Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 - 9:21 am: || |
Now that we are moving into the Christmas season, I'd like to hear how Christmas is different for you now than it used to be. There are many things I could say, but I am struck with one sort-of hard-to-verbalize difference. I used to try to generate a warm, cozy, satisfying feeling at Christmas. Now I have that feeling, even if demands are a bit crazy.
I realize that I actually HAVE that full, warm feeling of belonging that I used to try to manufacture. Jesus has changed everything! Even the decorating is more of an outward expression of what I have inside. And I love the huge cross Carel has helped Richard create and install on our lawn at Christmas!! (I used to hate how Christians kept bringing up the cross at Christmas! Now it's the symbol of all that Christmas means to me internally.)
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 - 8:10 pm: || |
Oh my, where do I even begin? Last Christmas, I was still studying my way out, and that was when I made the discovery that early Adventists did not believe in the Trinity. I had memorized the words to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" for a Christmas concert that I performed in with my choir at my university. When I went home for Christmas and sang the same carol from the SDA hymnal, I noticed that the words were different. They had removed the part about the Trinity, and I wondered why. That was when I made the discovery that early Adventists did not believe in the Trinity and even Ellen White's views on the Trinity were never in line with the biblical Trinity. God has brought me such a long ways in just a year!
Now, when I sing the Christmas carols, I actually understand what the words mean! That same carol, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," also has a line that has popped out at me this Christmas, and it is that Christ was born to give us second birth. Now I understand what that means! My heart just swells with love and praise and worship for my King, who came so that I may know the "glories of His righteousness," may have "second birth," and brought the "dawn of redeeming grace." It's like I'm hearing the Christmas story for the first time.
There is a song by a Christian group called Selah that is also leaving me awestruck. It is called "Mystery" and ties in Christ's birth with the cross. This song perfectly describes what I am feeling this Christmas, about how His death was in His plan. Here are the lyrics and the link to the song:
A child was born on Christmas Day
Born to save the world
But long before the world began
He knew His death was sure
The pain and strife secured
Mystery, how He came
To be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands
The Christmas trees
They glow so bright
With presents all around
But Christmas brought
A tree of life
With blood that sacrificed
The greatest gift in life
I am just a man and
Canít begin to comprehend
When You look into this traitorís eyes
What do You see that justifies the Lamb
God predestined that His
Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His plan
Post Number: 879
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 8:08 am: || |
I'm on my phone as l write this so please forgive any typos.
As a Christian God becoming flesh actually means something to me. The historical nonTrinitarian view of Jesus in the Sda church really
plays down who Jesus is. He is God in flesh and His birth was a HUGE step towards the cross that saved me. The Savior is born is so beautiful q concept and reality.
The otter part for me is lm now one of those "grumpy" Christians who hates the commercialism of the xmas season. True we dony know exactly when He was born but black fridays and going broke to buy gifts and give credit to an imaginary dude from the north pole really gets under my skin
But all in all it reminds me of what Christ did for me and who he is.
Post Number: 729
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 10:08 am: || |
Thank-you so much for sharing your feelings about Christmas now as a "Former"!
I, also, appreciate your thoughtfulness in sharing the link to the YouTube music video~ "Mystery"~
"Hark the Herald Angels Sing", is one of my favorite 'Carols'! I went online to find the history of this beloved 'Carol', along with the music and lyrics~ there are many stanzas, each one, in combination with the others, beautifully expresses the "Gospel" of JESUS CHRIST, GOD with us, EMANUEL !
I tried to put the link here, but I guess it was too long, and would not go to the site~ even though I could reach it from my own e-mail~ sorry about that~
Post Number: 9856
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 12:28 pm: || |
Where do I start?? What I have heard from various Christian ministers is always connecting Jesus birth to His resurrection. It was strange listening to this, at first, but now I like it.
The Christmas songs have more meaning to me now.
I never liked the commercialism and dislike it even more now.
Christmas, for me, is a time to thank God for Jesus coming to this earth as a baby because now He is back in heaven at His Father's right side.
Post Number: 730
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 2:28 pm: || |
The 'Plan' of GOD followed an order~ Birth, Death, then the Resurrection and return to heaven, where JESUS is at the right hand of the Father~ there cannot be one without the other~ JESUS was born to "die"~ to bring everlasting life to all who Believe~ It is our Christmas Gift from HIM~ Who was willing~
Just like the Passover Lamb of the Jews, born and cared for to be used in the sacrifice, JESUS(the perfect Lamb) was to do the same for humanity~
(Once for ALL)~ HIS birth began this process on earth~ This is what I believe~
Post Number: 102
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 5:57 pm: || |
Becoming a Former changed my Christmas drastically. There's a Christmas song I can't hear without nearly blubbering like a baby: Here With Us by Joy Williams. You can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlRssS2Xs0Y
The reason it touches me so deeply, I think, is because I actually get it now. The birth of Christ that we celebrate at Christmastime is part of a larger plan that ended in the ultimate act of love. Warm, cozy, and satisfied explains my Christmastime feelings pretty well, Colleen, as well as a lot of awe.
Post Number: 732
|Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 7:40 pm: || |
This song is beautiful, in its expression of celebration for, "GOD with us"~! I loved it, and I will pass on a link to friends;
Some 'Formers', and some others, not so much!
Rain, I am right there with you, "blubbering like a baby"! Because I, too, now "get it"~
Post Number: 14113
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 - 12:21 am: || |
Eternal Joy, YES! I LOVE that song by Selah!
I'm right there with you all...Christmas is so emotional to me know. Now Christmas can't be separated from His cross and His resurrection; the whole season evokes worship and joy that is different in "quality" and depth than the happiness or satisfaction of Christmas events in the past.
Jesus is the center and the focus, not the day or the traditional events. The thing I used to hate the most...bringing the messiness of the cross into pageants or songs of Christmas...is now the most significant part of Christmas.
It's amazing how different one's experience is when one finally knows Jesus!
Post Number: 14114
|Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 - 12:27 am: || |
Rain, I just watched the YouTube link you posted. That is an amazing song. Thank you!
Post Number: 163
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 2:56 am: || |
I'm curious what EGW's/early Adventists views on the Trinity were.
I've heard many mouthfuls from hardline Trinitarians, catholics chief among them, as well as the Oneness camp, Apostolic Pentecostals chief among them (Believing in what the Catholic Church describes as the heresy of Monarchial Modalism)
I personally believe that the mystery of godliness is great, and the same God(YHWH) that told Samuel "They have rejected Me as their King" is the same God(YHWH-saves) that when asked by Pilate if He was the King of the Jews said yes.
I'm just curious because there are many non-Trinity beliefs, unitarians I believe are the group that deny Jesus' Deity outright, whereas Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus Christ is the Father walking among us. I do personally lean toward the latter, Jesus Christ is my All in All, without Him I would've probably gone on hating an unapproachable God as an atheist. I shy away from using "Holy Trinity" as a name of God as I believe it is man made, but I do believe Father/Son/Holy Spirit are all God the One and Only. I don't believe it's a salvation issue, Jesus Christ is the Salvation issue but I love in John 1 where it says, "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side"
Post Number: 14115
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 3:33 pm: || |
"Colossians", the early Adventists were nearly all anti-Trinitarian, either outright Arians or semi-Arians. They believed Jesus was not eternally Almighty God but was either created or otherwise came into being at some time in the distant past. Moreover, they disbelieved the Holy Spirit was a person, treating Him as a power or force from God.
EGW was a Methodist, but she adopted James' anti-trinitarian position. She later "changed" her beliefs, and in the Desire of Ages, she wrote some almost orthodox-sounding phrases about Jesus. Nevertheless, she always maintained that the classic orthodox view of the Trinity as One God expressed in three Persons who were of the same substance was error. She taught something she called the "heavenly trio" or the "Three Worthies of Heaven".
Today Adventists hold to her amended trinitarian position, and they use words that make Christians think they believe the same as Christianity. In reality, the Adventists rarely use the word "Trinity", preferring "Godhead", and they understand the three Persons as one in purpose but separate "bodies" (because they do believe God the Father has a body). The Adventist "Godhead" is more of a tritheism than a trinity.
Actually, the way an organization defines the Trinity is one of the key "flags" that apologists use to define cults. If a group has a wrong, unbiblical perception of Jesus, they call that group a cult...as the Oneness Pentecostals are labelled.
You might enjoy the article, "Discovering the Adventist Jesus" in a past issue of Proclamation. You can find it here on page 10: http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/Proclamation2007_MayJun.pdf
There is also an excellent and succinct column by Rick Barker on the SDA Fundamental Belief on the Trinity here: http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/proclamation/2012/2/examined.html
Post Number: 165
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 4:31 pm: || |
I see, well Jesus Christ is Creator not created, that's a no-brainer.
The details are not that important to me because I don't expect to full quantify God here, seeing dimly as in a mirror, but I really don't believe God has three bodies and three thrones for those bodies in Heaven. I do believe that Jesus Christ is the express image of God, the Lamb is the lamp as it says in Revelation.
I'm not a ritualistic or ceremonial person either, but I also have a much higher regard for being baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ" which has multiple occurrences all through the book of Acts, over "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" which stands alone at the end of Matthew I do believe. I believe they are both valid to the believer as God looks at the heart, but I will personally err on the side of that "one name under heaven by which men must be saved." hehe
I know from my wife that Adventism is far more than just another denomination that has a lot of things wrong, but on the Trinity, I don't really regard the Catholic opinion much higher than the Adventist opinion. It's all so formulaic and certain, like that old Fox Mulder quote about humans needing to "neatly categorize, file, and index" everything, or something to that effect.
In any case, thanks for the info, and apologies to the OP as this has nothing to do with Christmas
Post Number: 14119
|Posted on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 6:34 pm: || |
Well, it's actually OK, Colossians! The nature of Christ really has a whole lot to do with Christmas!
Post Number: 166
|Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 6:21 am: || |
Colleen, we are certainly working to make that true in our house, but it seems a little harder every year. A local contemporary Christian radio station, that usually plays a very good mix of Contemporary Christian music including some of my favorite modern praise and worship songs like "Revelation Song" from Philips, Craig, and Dean ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF_t1vFPrN8 click cogwheel at bottom right for HD video which also increases audio quality) is now playing a ton of secular Christmas music, it was an awkward conversation with my almost-5 year old when I commented that Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was a stupid song, "But daddy stupid is a bad word" "Yes it is and we should never call /people/ stupid"... haha
Anyway I know I'm welcome but this site is primarily for formers, so I do hope the thread ends with a former talking about how Christmas is different for them now instead of my digression.
Post Number: 848
|Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - 10:54 pm: || |
Christmas is now, for me, part and parcel of church.
Growing up, Christmas was part secular and part
Roman Catholic invention. Today, Christmas is the
culmination of the Advent season, and Advent is the
beginning of the church year.
During the the three or four weeks leading up to
Christmas there are mid weekly Advent services.
There is an Advent wreath to the side of the Altar on
which one white candle is added and lit. At the
Midnight Christmas Eve service a final, purple
candle signifying the arrival of the Christ child is lit.
And from there we follow the events and miracles of
Christs life right through Holy Week and Easter, and then
on 50 days to Pentecost and the beginning of the
So,Christmas has much more meaning and is
closely tied to church for me today .
Post Number: 762
|Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - 8:19 am: || |
Thank-you so much for posting the link to the 'Revelation' song! this music
really touches my heart~ every couple of weeks we
sing this at my church~
I think this should be included in the Christmas
repertoire of music!
Post Number: 41
|Posted on Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - 10:57 am: || |
C2V8 ~ yes thank you! I love this song and when I learned it was from Revelation I rejoiced in the taking away of the veil of fear over reading that book! It is beautiful ! I love when we sing this in church!
Post Number: 1207
|Posted on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 10:59 pm: || |
Thank you all for the wonderful songs.
Here's one that I find utterly beautiful:
A big difference for me is that the words of the Christmas songs cause me to weep for joy now. As an adventist, they were basically pretty songs. Now I know that God was using them to bring the gospel to me, even though I didn't actually know what it was at the time.
Post Number: 767
|Posted on Friday, December 07, 2012 - 8:15 am: || |
Beautiful song~ on so many levels!
Thank-you for sharing!