Yesterday, I wrote an article called “He That Preaches Another Jesus“, and I spoke of a “Christian Jesus”. In retrospect, I think I should not have phrased it that way. I think I should have said “the Jesus I learned about growing up”.
I recognized before I hit the publish button that this article would cause a stir, simply because of it’s controversial content but I didn’t want to add to the controversy by using words in such a way that it was disparaging to a particular group of people. For that, I am sorry. (I have since edited it to reflect the change in terminology.)
Most of the controversy that I see is over the holidays/days commonly identified with Christianity: Christmas, Easter and Sunday/Sabbath.
Sunday / Sabbath
I believe the idea of Sunday being the Sabbath day is not as common as Christmas & Easter being Christian holidays, but there are some who believe this. In my personal church-going experience, I have not had direct teaching on Sunday and how it relates to the Sabbath day, but I have been told in the past we worship on Sunday because that is the day Jesus rose from the dead.
Personally, I don’t believe that Jesus rising from the dead on Sunday is Biblically true, but that is my personal understanding of Scripture. The Scripture does not clearly say He was raised on Sunday (the first day of the week). However, it does say he was not there when Mary came to the tomb on
Sunday morning the first day of the week. It’s debatable as to when he actually came out of the tomb. I consider that to be a doubtful disputation.
Christmas and Easter
I had and have no intention of passing judgment on anyone who celebrates these holidays. Personally, I have chosen not to. The point I was trying to make in the article was the “holiday” of Christmas and the “holiday” of Easter are not in the Bible. They were not celebrated by Jesus when he walked the earth (for obvious reasons, I think), but then they weren’t celebrated by the early church in Acts either. Does that make them bad or wrong? No, at least not simply because those holidays are not mentioned in the Bible. I have other personal thoughts on that, but I’ll share them at another time.
I went into great length describing my logic in the timing of the death, burial & resurrection. I understand that this is debatable as well. If someone else has another theory and they would like to share it, I’m open to hear it. But I need Scripture to back up the theory if I’m going to consider changing my personal conclusion. Now, am I willing to “split fellowship” over which day of the week these things took place? Absolutely not. As I stated, I believe there’s room for debate on this, and I don’t think it alters our position in eternity.
I do take issue with imparting ideas through these holidays as if they were “gospel truth”. For example, the idea that “Jesus was born on Christmas morning” is not true. The idea that “Christmas is Jesus’ birthday” is not true. While it is a day that Christians choose to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is not his birthday. Semantics, perhaps. You can just call it a personal pet peeve if you like. Am I passing judgment on anyone when I correct the record by stating he was not born on Christmas? I don’t think so. I certainly don’t mean to convey that.
Sabbaths and the LORD’s Feasts
I feel those who preach and teach in Christian circles have done a disservice to the gospel by leaving out these essential factors. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man (His words); it was a gift from God to all of mankind (my words), and it is my personal opinion that anyone who professes to teach the Word of God yet withholds or disguises the truth regarding this gift is robbing the people of their blessing.
Again, this is my personal opinion: When preachers & teachers omit teaching the correlation between the LORD’s appointed feasts and our Messiah, Jesus to the Christian community, they are leaving a huge chasm in understanding God’s plan for mankind. As a result, it is my opinion that many people within Christianity are clueless about the Great Tribulation, the second coming of Jesus and his millenial reign.
The Dietary Laws: Clean vs. Unclean Food
It is my personal opinion that those who refuse to preach/teach YHWH’s position on food consumption is contributing to the massive health crisis within Christianity. People are being taught that it doesn’t matter what kind of meat we eat, despite the fact that God made a distinction in His Word between what is considered food and what is not.
Am I suggesting that those who teach these things are going to Hell? Absolutely not. Am I suggesting that those who teach these things are robbing their listeners of a blessing. Yes, I am.
Getting Back to Yesterday’s Article…
The point I was trying to make was that the “Jesus I learned about growing up” was different than the one I see now in Scripture. The picture of a Jesus who puts away the Sabbath day, forsakes the Feasts of the LORD and approves of consuming meat from animals that God specificly said were abominable/detestable is not the Jesus I believe Paul preached. Some may disagree and they are welcome to do so. However, I encourage everyone: Go back to your Bibles and search the Scriptures to learn more about the Jesus whom Paul preached.
NOTE: Please understand this post describes my understanding of the Scripture at the time of this writing. If you see there is something I am missing in my understanding, please feel free to share it with me in love. I will be glad to hear other perspectives as I seek to remain teachable.