Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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December 17, 2016
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December 17, 2016
Article Intro, My Personal Holiday Observance Practices, Manipulative Tool Of Patriotism, Devilish Evils Of War, My Bible-Centric World View, Strive To Live Peaceably With All Men, Obey The Powers That Be, Clashes With Public School, My Practice Of Gift-Giving, Avoid Hypocrisy: Practice What You Preach And Be A Doer Of The Word, Honor God By Not Observing Secular Holidays, Strangers And Pilgrims On The Earth, Every Day Belongs To The Lord, Brevity Of Human Life Span, Observe Or Don't Observe Holidays Based On Your Conscience And Your Knowledge Of God's Word, Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading
While over the years I have written a variety of articles in which I express my personal views regarding observing secular national holidays, I decided to write another short article in which I briefly address this issue, for the sake of those parents who may not have the time or the interest in reading some of my longer discourses on the subject.
For the record, when my child was growing up, we did not celebrate or observe such holidays as Valentines Day, or Easter, or Halloween, or Christmas. There were no Valentine candies in our home, or Easter baskets with their chocolate bunnies, or Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating, or sitting on Santa Claus' lap, or annual Christmas decorations and Christmas trees surrounded by mountains of presents. I was very strict regarding these matters, because I wanted my child growing up honoring the Lord and His Word.
Neither did we observe national holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Labor Day or for that matter, even Thanksgiving. In the case of the latter, if we consider what became the terrible fate of so many Native Americans after that event, I think it is rather hypocritical to sit down and naively celebrate Thanksgiving. Regarding the other days, I have never considered myself a patriot. I simply believe that patriotism is a manipulative tool which is utilized by every government around the world to bend a people's will to the will of the government, and to whatever administration happens to be in power at the time.
Furthermore, it is my opinion that patriotism glorifies, as well as fuels, the spirit of war and killing. Add to that the fact that patriotism is often used to try to justify a war which simply cannot be justified in any way, and I am even more opposed to it. War, in my view, for any reason, is both ugly and evil, and quite often it is totally unnecessary. It kills, maims and leaves destitute and homeless millions of people over time. It obliterates national economies, and it destroys our God-given Earth. Consider the following sample verses from the Scriptures:
"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
James 4:1-3, KJV
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."
Psalms 20:7, KJV
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Isaiah 2:4, KJV
"And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Micah 4:3, KJV
"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."
Revelation 11:18, KJV
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
Revelation 13:10, KJV
While I am not a fanatical patriot, neither do I view myself in any way as a traitor to my country. I simply have a very different world view. In other words, I embrace a very strict Bible-centric Christian perspective insofar as the things of the world are concerned. More on this issue in just a moment. At any rate, as a number of my articles make clear -- which I will list at the end of this current article -- I would never consider taking up arms against my own country, protesting in the street, or doing any similar thing, even if I do strongly disagree with some of my government's policies -- which I most certain do -- because I have always been a man of peace.
Even decades ago when I was a lot younger, I detested school bullies and the mean, aggressive way in which they acted. As the following Scriptures make rather clear, we Christians are instructed to live as peaceably as possible with all men. It doesn't mean that it will always be easy to do so, but we should make the effort:
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Romans 12:18, KJV
"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."
Psalms 37:11, KJV
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth . . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God . . . But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
Matthew 5:5, 9, 44-45, KJV
"And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus [meaning the Apostle Peter] stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 26:51-52, KJV
As I likewise mention in a number of other articles, God's Word also instructs us to obey the powers that be as much as is possible; that is, just as long as they do not attempt to force us to do anything which contradicts our conscience and God's Word. Abortion and same-sex "marriage" come to mind. Consider the following additional verses:
"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."
Matthew 5:25-26, KJV
"They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."
Matthew 22:21, KJV
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."
Mark 12:17, KJV
"And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
Luke 20:25, KJV
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake."
Romans 13:1-5, KJV
"These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men."
Titus 2:15-3:2, KJV
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."
1 Peter 2:11-17, KJV
Returning to my child, while we avoided celebrating all of the aforementioned secular holidays in our home, of course, there was exposure to these same days in the public school system, which sometimes put me at odds with the schools that my child attended. In fact, so much so, that on a number of occasions, I was compelled to write a letter to the school regarding our Christian beliefs. Obviously, it did not sit well with them. In fact, this is how my article entitled "Dear Teacher: Standing Up for Our Children's Rights" came into existence so many years ago.
Regarding the giving of gifts, yes, obviously, throughout my child's life, at various times I have given gifts. However, that has been when I have been able to afford them, and when I deemed that it was something that was usually practical and needed. In other words, I purposely avoided giving such gifts on national holidays, simply because the disease of political correctness dictates that we are supposed to do so. I did not want to create a link between gift-giving and national holidays such as Christmas. I have given gifts when I have felt led to do so.
My point is, when it came to religious holidays, national holidays, political holidays, etc., I lived what I preached, and I still continue to follow this very same practice today as well, many years later. In fact, for me to say one thing, and to write one thing to you, while actually doing quite another would be rather hypocritical of me. This is precisely one of the big sins which Jesus exposed with His religious persecutors. Consider the following verses:
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
Matthew 23:1-3, KJV
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
Luke 6:46, KJV
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
James 1:22-25, KJV
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
James 2:20-26, KJV
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
James 4:17, KJV
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:20, KJV
"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
John 13:17, KJV
"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin."
John 15:22, KJV
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
2 Corinthians 13:5, KJV
Some folks may consider me a kind of scrooge because I don't celebrate any holidays, but oh well. I am not concerned with what they happen to think. It is my personal belief that by refusing to acknowledge and observe such secular days -- some of which are clearly rooted in ancient pagan practices -- I am both honoring the Lord, and demonstrating to Him that I truly desire to live apart from the world as much as possible, as we are instructed to do in His Word. Consider the following verses:
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV
"I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."
John 17:14-15, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:24, KJV
"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Luke 16:13, KJV
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
John 18:36, KJV
"And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
1 Corinthians 7:31, KJV
"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18, KJV
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Philippians 2:15, KJV
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
1 Timothy 6:6-14, KJV
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
2 Peter 3:14, KJV
Thus, while I live and work in this present world, similar to the Prophets, Apostles and Disciples of old, I have for many years now not viewed myself as a part of it. Therefore, I am under no obligation to observe its holidays, regardless of their nature. Furthermore, as I have mentioned before, I do not require some government-assigned national holidays to tell me how to think, or to remind me when to act a certain way. I don't need Thanksgiving to remind me to be thankful to the Lord, because I can have a thankful heart every day. I do not need Easter or Christmas to remind me to reflect on the Lord's Birth, Death or Resurrection. Again, I can do that every single day if I so desire. One verse which I have often quoted to all of my readers is the following:
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalms 118:24, KJV
So truly, every single day belongs to the Lord, and we should each be thankful for it. After all, we just never know when our life on this Earth may reach its conclusion. This is made perfectly clear in verses such as the following:
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
Psalms 90:10, KJV
"Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away."
Psalms 144:4, KJV
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
Isaiah 40:7-8, KJV
"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
Luke 12:20, KJV
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
John 6:63, KJV
"Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready."
John 7:6, KJV
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Hebrews 9:27, KJV
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
James 4:14, KJV
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."
1 Peter 1:23-25, KJV
In the end, as the Apostle Paul so wisely wrote, we must each determine which, if any, days we wish to celebrate, based on our knowledge of God's Word, and our own conscience. In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul wrote the following when the same issue came up within the First Century Church and was causing some divisions:
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 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 . . ."
Romans 14:5-6, KJV
With these two verses, I will bring this article to a close. I pray that it has been informative, and a blessing to many. If you happen to have a user account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would also very much appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, I encourage you to study the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which are related to this article, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server:
Halloween and Samhain: No Room for Compromise!
Our Pagan World: The Easter Myth Exposed!
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas?
Birth of Jesus and the Star of Bethlehem
Dear Teacher: Standing Up for Our Children's Rights
Are Christians Obligated to Keep the Sabbath?
The Heavenly Vision: Have You Got It?
One From Beyond: Hebrew of Hebrews
Killing and the Phinehas Priesthood
Killing, Murder and Military Duty
Who is the Real Terrorist?
America: Land of the Free . . . and Hypocrisy!
What is Wrong with Modern America?