What Do Jews Think About Christmas Celebrations?

God's Love

Nearly all Americans (93%) celebrate Christmas. Only an extremely tiny minority would object to the greeting, “Merry Christmas,” a cherry greeting roughly equivalent to, “I love you,” Yet, political correctness, championed by the liberal/progressive movement, has effectively eliminated the Merry Christmas greeting from public life as well as nativity scenes and other symbols of Christmas. In contrast, consider what three nationally-known Jewish leaders have to say about Christmas celebrations:

Burt Prelutsky, a Jewish columnist for a number of national publications, declares:

I never thought I’d live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word. . . . How is it, one well might ask, that in a Christian nation this is happening? . . . Speaking as a member of a minority group – and one of the smaller ones at that – I say it behooves those of us who don’t accept Jesus Christ as our savior to show some gratitude to those who do, and to start respecting the values and traditions of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, just as we keep insisting that they respect ours. Merry Christmas, my friends!

Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin agrees:

Secular fundamentalism has successfully injected into American culture the notion that the word “Christmas” is deeply offensive. . . . Anti-Christianism is unhealthy for all Americans; but I warn my brethren that it will prove particularly destructive for Jews. . . . Let us all go out of our way to wish our many wonderful Christian friends – a very merry Christmas. Just remember, America’s Bible belt is our safety belt.

Orthodox Jewish radio host and creator of PragerUniversity.com Dennis Prager writes:

As a Jew, and a religious one at that, I want to wish my fellow Americans a Merry Christmas. Not “Happy Holidays.” Merry Christmas…

It doesn’t matter with which religion or ethnic group you identify; Christmas in America is as American as the proverbial apple pie. That is why some of the most famous and beloved Christmas songs were written by guess who? Jews.

  • White Christmas—Irving Berlin
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer—Johnny Marks
  • Let It Snow! Let It snow! Let It Snow!—July Styne/Sammy Cahn
  • Silver Bells—Jay Livingston/Ray Evans
  • The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an Open Fire—Mel Torme/Robert Wells
  • Sleigh ride-–Mitchell Parish

and many others.

The notion that non-Christians are excluded is absurd.

It never occurred to my Orthodox Jewish family not to enjoy this season. It was a tradition in our home to watch the Christmas Mass from the Vatican every Christmas Eve…Had you visited our home, you would have seen my mother—and my father, my brother and I all wearing our kippot (Jewish skull-caps)—watching Catholics celebrate Christmas…

So when and why did this pernicious nonsense of non-Christians being “excluded” by public celebration of Christmas develop?

It is nothing more than another destructive product of the 1960s and 1970s, when the left came to dominate much of the culture.

There you have it! Say “Merry Christmas” everywhere; say it again and again and again. Say Merry Christmas with love every time. Saying it mechanically, without love betrays the greeting and the Lord.

So—Spread the Deliberate Joy; spread the merriment. After all, love is contagious. And—don’t forget the reason for the season!

Blogging YOU the warmest and merriest Christmas ever!

The first two quotes were abstracted from http://www.wallbuilders.com. The third quote is from wnd.com magazine, Whistleblower, “Of Messiahs False and True,” December 2014.

The Birth of the Light of the World!

The Nativity scene.

The Christmas season reminds us of some curious lyrics about love and light, in the most enduring Christmas carols. A closer look reveals that the curious lyrics are rooted in Scripture. Consider two examples:

  • Silent Night, Holy Night-3rd verse

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing-3rd verse

Light and life to all He brings…”

There is a linkage between love and light and something very special about the linkage. Light has fascinated mankind since Creation; artists and scientists have had a complementary interest in studying light. But the highest source of information is Scripture. A look at what Scripture reveals about love and light may save artists and scientists considerable time and effort. We can do that right now:

  • “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:5 NIV]—All electromagnetic energy that we perceive as light comes from the Sun. Since the light that illuminates the eyes was created by God, He is the physical light. God is also the spiritual light that illumines the soul.
  • “…God is love…” [1 John 4:16 KJV] and “…love comes from God.” [1 John 4:7 KJV]—Love is spiritual energy that comes from God, illuminates the soul, and fuels all interpersonal relationships. All love comes from God, whether the one loving gives God credit or not. Our greatest responsibility is to pass it on.

The visible earthly expression of God’s love is in and through the Son (Jesus, Y’shua). He provided “…a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” [Luke 2:32 NIV] “In him was life, and that life was the light of men…The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” [John 1:4 & 9 NIV]

After forgiving the adulteress, Jesus (Y’shua) confirmed “…’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness. But will have the light of life.” [John 8:12 NIV]

Albert Einstein was famous for thought experiments. As a young man, he imagined riding a beam of light. Of course, Jesus could not ride a beam of light; he is the light. Instead, he chose to arrive in a stable through the humble darkness of a virgin’s womb. He was laid in an animal’s feeding trough called a manger. For 33 years, the “King of the Jews” lived a humble life serving others, ultimately exiting this life in the humblest way possible, dying virtually naked on the excruciatingly painful Roman cross.

King Jesus (Y’shua) came as a humble servant to model the life God intended for us to live and to pay the penalty for Adam’s first sin and all the sins in your life and mine. One day, the King will return as the conquering Messiah.

Don’t be afraid of any form of darkness; God is the light! Don’t fear any form of threat; God is love!

As for me, “The Lord is my light and my salvation…” [Psalm 27:1 NIV]

Won’t you join me?

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil?

This short 6-minute video answers the question through the life of Joni Eareckson Tada.

You may already be familiar with her. Nevertheless, this may be the most important six minutes of your life!

Check out “CAN GOD BRING GOOD FROM SUFFERING?” from The John 10:10 Project on Vimeo at:

https://thejohn1010project.com/can-god-bring-good-from-suffering.html

If you like this video, make sure you share it, too!

Vimeo is filled with lots of amazing videos. See more at https://vimeo.com.

The films that comprise THE JOHN 10:10 PROJECT were produced to help nurture a deeper understanding of God.  Each 4-10 minute video explores a facet of the Lord’s character, promises and power.  Think of them as small stepping stones on your pathway to a more abundant Christian life.  Each film in this collection is structured for use in personal devotions, Bible studies, outreach and corporate worship.  We hope you will find them helpful on your journey. Find them at: https://vimeo.com.

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 2)

While The Ten Commandments in the first table (refer to Part 1 of this blog) exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 2

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil.

In Asian TV dramas, the villain is not necessarily a murderous, unlawful villain; more often the “villain” is an unscrupulous emotional or spiritual villain resorting to various forms of skullduggery to break up love triangles. The most popular Asian TV dramas contain several overlapping love stories, because, “love covers a multitude of sins.” [1 Peter 4:8 NASB] For the sources of dramatic power in Asian TV dramas, here is the list:

  • The storylines are amazingly creative unlike anything American have been able to produce. American cultural decay has produced one-dimensional movie/TV characters with a keen intellect and a severely limited range of emotions. Asian TV still produces three-dimensional characters using the full range of God-given intellectual, emotional, and spiritual faculties.
  • Characters are fascinating, played by outstanding actors with endearing personal characteristics
  • Selected characters have a vibrant sense of humor, backed by a soundtrack that demonstrates musical humor
  • Drama aroused by conflicts and misunderstandings regarding ordinary and major life obstacles (romance, competition, illness, injury, separation, death)
  • Rich interpersonal relationships among the characters fully engage the viewer
  • Dramatic satisfaction is rooted in compelling illustrations of applying Biblical principles, producing the best possible results
  • In a love triangle, the leading man invariable ends up with the girl who routinely meets the needs of others.
  • Many scenes varying from heart-warming or heart-wrenching to heart-breaking, but nearly always reflecting positive character goals
  • Dialogue exhibits amazing wisdom in ordinary and challenging situations—characters seem to say precisely the right thing at exactly the right time. The expressions of rightness paint spectacularly beautiful word pictures
  • Most characters, other than villains, are positive role models. Even the villains repent by the end of the series.

American movies/TV routinely and aggressively break all ten of the commandments and then celebrates the outcomes. Asian TV celebrates godly virtues and character building.

So why not follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” Why not entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than the sleazy, ugly, and evil. We cannot continue injecting ourselves with a dose of evil every time we turn on the TV or go to a movie.

If you have never seen any of the Asian dramas, you must try at least one. If you are curious, try “Autumn’s Concerto” (Taiwanese), “Descendants of the Sun” (South Korean), or “Tomorrow’s Cantabile” (South Korean). They are available on Netflix and other common outlets.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 1)

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 1“…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” [Philippians 4:8 KJV]

Entertainment is powerful—so powerful that it can be profoundly life influencing, if not completely life changing. Modern technology provides endless entertainment options and unlimited personal content choices. With such awesome power at our fingertips it makes compelling and inescapably good sense to entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than sleaze and evil. Yes, there is an easy way!

Tragically, the American motion picture and television entertainment industries have declined to sewer levels. Although the decline is recently accelerating, decades of incremental decline have dragged many Judeo-Christian believers down along with the rest of the American culture. As Lot did long ago, we have in past decades pitched our tents towards Sodom and have long since moved in.

Many, especially younger believers, remain unaware of anything more than a modest cultural and entertainment decline. They persistently perceive themselves unaffected by it. Pride on steroids? You bet! Believers continue watching dramatizations of nudity, gratuitous violence, saturation profanity, rampant uncivil sarcasm, and people of low character portrayed as heroes. Once planted, the evil seeds grow in the intellect, emotions, and spirit. There is little or no understanding of the relentless and severe weakening effect on the viewers and virtually guaranteed future pain and suffering produced by weak character.

Although specifically Christian entertainment has improved greatly in recent years, much of it remains dramatically weak and—long term—there is not nearly enough of it.

However, there is a fascinating alternative, Asian television dramas made primarily in South Korea and Taiwan (available on Netflix and numerous other venues). The Asian dramas are wildly entertaining, sans the pervasive sleaze in American entertainment, and typically feature one or more strong moral themes.

The Asian dramas typically project a vibrant sense of humor and have captivating musical sound tracks using every imaginable musical genre. Most appealing are the endless dramatizations of beautifully applied Biblical principles. Examples are routine dramatizations of absolutely unconditional love surviving all manner of heavy duty obstacles and long periods of separation, forgiveness in particularly painful circumstances, and “love your enemies”—clearly one of the believer’s most difficult challenges. The overall message of the Asian TV dramas is that there is no conflict or misunderstanding that cannot be overcome in a loving, godly, manner.

Yes, you will likely have to read the English subtitles, but doing so does not weaken the drama at all. The viewer still enjoys and experiences all the emotions, laughter, and tears produced by the characters in the program. The actors speak just enough English for a Westerner to feel comfortable.

God’s very best floodlight for exposing the differences between American motion pictures/television and Asian television is The Ten Commandments. Consider the first table, comparing the attributes of American and Asian entertainment side-by-side with the Commandments. The contrast is so stark, it will seem like flashing neon to the reader. Since no mere mortal can one-up The Ten Commandments, no further commentary on the table is necessary.

While The Ten Commandments in the first table exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil. Find out more in Part 2

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Sing a Little Louder (2)

This blog was first posted about a year ago. The astonishing, shocking, short 14-minute Christian blockbuster movie can be viewed here: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=robo&p=Sing+a+Little+Louder+movie+trailer#id=4&vid=32a843fdd85f277309e5e1b2aebf5849&action=view or

at Kingdom Works here” https://kingdomworks.com/sing-a-little-louder/

Kingdom Works allows the movie to be shown in your church or synagogue for free.

For convenience, the original blog is provided as follows:

An old man tells a profound story about a childhood experience. As a young boy during World War II, he lived in Nazi-controlled Germany. His family regularly attended a church located along side railroad tracks. Trains regularly passed the church during the church services.

They were long strings of cattle cars painfully overloaded with terrified Jews destined for work camps, concentration camps, and usually death. There was no food, no provisions for personal hygiene, and no considerations for people with special needs. In the heat of summer, the extremely cramped cattle cars became ovens. The stench from accumulating body waste was suffocating.

On at least one occasion, a train stopped outside the church. In the absence of air conditioning, the windows were frequently open. The congregation could hear anguished cries of pain and desperate pleas for help.

The pastor raised his voice so he could be heard above the din. When it was time for the choir to sing, the pastor instructed them to, “Sing a little louder,” to cover the disturbing sounds from outside. The compelling experience seared into the boys mind and changed his life forever. The story has become a book and recently a movie.

          What about today? Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

  • 55,000,000 unborn babies have been murdered using increasingly gruesome processes euphemistically called “abortion.” When we hear their cries, are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • America’s Judeo-Christian culture is being destroyed by massive government-encouraged immigration that includes the immigration of large numbers of criminals, terrorists, and people adhering to religious beliefs that are hostile to Jews and Christians as well as millions of immigrants too poor and uneducated to support themselves. (Refer to Ann Coulter’s new book, “Adios America.”) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Our culture, including a large portion of the body of Judeo-Christian believers is rapidly sinking into a moral abyss. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The witness of believers is being crushed by the relentless pressures of political correctness. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The public school system has become intellectually inept as well as emotionally and spiritually toxic. (Refer to “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children,” by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.) Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The politicians of both political parties are spending America into irretrievable bankruptcy. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The United States Supreme Court appears poised to declare the sin of oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” to be a Constitutional right. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • The military valiantly protects our freedom from without. But our individual freedom is being lost from within by the feeding frenzy of a rabid, out-of-control government. Freedom is a gift from God, not a grant from government. Are we moving to protect that divine gift or are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”
  • Large numbers of believers around the world, especially in the Middle East are being tortured, shot, hanged, burned alive, or beheaded, because they refuse to renounce their Messiah. Are we being told to “Sing a little louder?”

Who among the clergy or laity has the courage to stand up and demand that we sing a new song? No—not the one we will sing in glory, but the new song for today that actively confronts the exponentially increasing evils of 21st Century America.

What would the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John say if they were with us today?

The movie, Sing a Little Louder, is now available for viewing in places of worship. Find it at http://singloudermovie.com/

What will YOU do?

Big Guns are Aimed at YOUR FAMILY! Will It Survive? (Part 4E)

The PAIN When God’s Family Turns Away from HIM

beauty girl cry

History has treated the family as a state within a state attaching to the family a certain “sovereignty.”6 G.K. Chesterton. Two people must agree to marriage; only one is necessary to guarantee a government facilitated divorce. Divorce cedes authority to the state, assuring increasing dependence on the state and perpetual domination of the wealthy over the poor and middle class. Consider that most people go to church to be married, but go to the government to be divorced. Marriage costs the state very little, but a huge tax payer-funded bureaucracy is required to support divorce. We pay billions in taxes to support the sinful choices of others. Marriage preserves freedom from government control. Divorce cedes freedom and control to the government.

Limiting sexual intimacy to the confines of marriage contributes to the permanence of the marriage. True sexual intimacy reflects the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy (bonding of two souls), which become the mortar that holds together the structure of the marriage. Physical intimacy before marriage allows two people the shallow transient pleasure of a rub and a tickle, rather than unfettered soulful bonding. But that transient experience is so powerful, so all-consuming that it becomes virtually impossible to clearly discern whether or not that partner is the best one to become an irrevocable, lifetime, “til-death-do-us-part” marriage partner.

Multiple intimate partners before marriage weaken or damage the soul and seriously inhibit the ability to make and sustain a lifetime commitment to a marriage partner. Following a series of temporary “bonds,” it becomes increasingly difficult to form the pervasive holistic bond that God intended with the one special marriage partner.

Similarly, extra-marital intimacy following the marriage creates the potential for destroying the marriage and family. The devastation painfully damages the spouse, children, siblings of the couple, and many friends. In addition, there is an immediate ripple effect among many people and an extended ripple effect through at least three or four subsequent generations. Is it worth it? Of course not! There is no way that the momentary pleasure even when repeated numerous times can justify the extended sphere of subsequent pain and suffering.

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” [Hebrews 13:4 NAS]Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not covet.” [Exodus 20:14 & 17 KJV] Hosea repeatedly forgave Gomer even though she was adulterous and a prostitute. [Hosea 3:3 KJV] As always, God’s moral law is an expression of His love established for our benefit.

Tasting the original forbidden fruit carried a high price. (1) “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” [Genesis 3:6 KJV]. Sin entered the world. Similarly, (2) “The path of the adulteress leads to death.” [Proverbs 2:16-22 KJV] “What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.” [Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9 KJV] The command is non-optional and non-negotiable.

“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.” St. Francis of Assisi “…in everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may be revived and endure.” G.K. Chesterton.

For troubled Christian marriages, counseling is not likely to be productive unless and until both parties genuinely agree that the Bible is the inspired inerrant word of God and that divorce is NOT an acceptable option under any circumstances. The agreed upon mutual view solidifies the common goal to save the marriage. In addition, the husband and wife both have an incentive to resolve troublesome issues because they both desire to enjoy the fullness and richness of the human experience. Since they have both agreed that divorce is unacceptable, the only remaining alternative is to resolve the issues. Often the resolution is facilitated if the effort is framed by the memory of why they originally chose to marry.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?