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Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 04 Dec 2014, 13:41
by Roy
Found this quote from Pope Benedict XVI in his book "Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives": Talking about probable later additions into the Noel story and how the animals and magi's insertion into the story served important purposes for the early church (i.e. even the animals and the great kings of the east recognized Jesus as divine) he says, "The aim of the evangelists was not to produce an exhaustive account, but a record of what seemed important for the nascent faith community in the light of the word."

I was also reading an MSNBC article about the Bible Project and wanted to share a portion here:
But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine.... "A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy," said the project's bearded academic secretary, Rafael Zer. "But as soon as the words are given to human beings — with God's agreement, and at his initiative — the holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text is passed on."
For those that are interested in the full article it can be found here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44117239/ns/w ... ?gt1=43001

We also had a good thread about a similar topic back in 2011: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2310&hilit=+pope

I personally like Christmas - though I try to minimize the Santa part. (kids get 1 santa gift and it is not to be the main one)

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 05 Dec 2014, 06:51
by SamBee
I don't like Christmas because of capitalism - the Christian and Pagan aspects don't bother me.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 05 Dec 2014, 09:35
by SilentDawning
I'm agnostic about the story as well. But as a possible myth, I like the idea of a powerful leader born in a stable, the humility Christ's birth depicts, how Joseph supported Mary in her pregnancy. And those you who know my background, know that my daughter has a lot in common with the concept of a virgin birth. Given how good and kind she is (controlling for teenagerism), every time I hear of the story of Mary's conception, I think of my daughter's pure heart.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 08 Dec 2014, 21:02
by Ann
Heber13 wrote: - Have you been comfortable with the story of Christmas (or parts of it) not being literal, but you have struggles with Joseph Smith's experiences, or the Book of Abraham, or the multiple First Vision accounts when you found out they didn't seem to happen as you thought?
If the scriptures recounted the many times that Christ spoke emphatically about his virgin birth, the manger, shepherds, magi, etc., I would have more "cog diss" to work through.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 09 Dec 2014, 08:25
by Gerald
Accurate or not, the Christmas story is a great story about humility and sacrifice and it adds a sense of wonder to the season. Perhaps it can be thought of akin to the story of Santa Claus. It may not be true but it sure makes Christmas fun when you're a kid. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything. And I wouldn't trade my memories of the more holy Christmases I have spent. A holiday dedicated to thinking of others and giving to others (even if it gets a tad overblown by merchandising) is to me a good thing. So I am comfortable celebrating Christmas and would continue to even if I came across incontrovertible evidence that the whole story was made up.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 09 Dec 2014, 11:38
by Heber13
Gerald, well said.

Would you feel the same about the Joseph Smith story (First Vision and Golden Plates, for example) if it was a good story, leading to a good organization to serve others, but totally made up story? Or would you not be able to have faith in the church unless those things really happened?


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Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 09 Dec 2014, 11:58
by nibbler
I'm certainly not answering for Gerald but:
Heber13 wrote:Would you feel the same about the Joseph Smith story (First Vision and Golden Plates, for example) if it was a good story, leading to a good organization to serve others, but totally made up story?
It all hinges on what the organization spent more time doing, serving others or watch dogging its members to ensure they believed in the literal interpretation of the good story.

Sometimes it's like the "global consciousness" of the church suffers from issues with insecurity. How about shifting focus away from establishing truth claims and just be good. Oh, and there's plenty of room for good stories that come from external sources.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 09 Dec 2014, 12:24
by Curt Sunshine
Christianity as a whole has had over 2,000 years to move past the absolute need for a literal interpretation of its origin stories - and it still hasn't done do for most of its adherents, especially the actively involved and deeply committed ones. The same is true of all other major world religions.

Those who are willing and able to see religious foundation stories in any way other than literal and continue to participate always will be the minority. The other two options are much, much easier - and, imo, much less growth-producing for those who are not prone to literalism.

Just saying.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 09 Dec 2014, 12:35
by nibbler
Good point.

Re: Do you Believe in Christmas?

Posted: 09 Dec 2014, 13:00
by LookingHard
Ray DeGraw wrote:Christianity as a whole has had over 2,000 years to move past the absolute need for a literal interpretation of its origin stories - and it still hasn't done do for most of its adherents
Because they somewhat keep starting over every generation. Even if a few generations "progress" in this area, all it takes is one or two to start back over.