This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 11/16. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Sam Rohrer: Hello and welcome to this Thursday additional [inaudible 00:00:03] of Stand in the Gap Today. And this is also our monthly creation and apologetics update focus program. Now, just a day from, or just one day from today is our nation’s… Actually, a week, not a day. Put it together. A week from today is our nation’s most, at least one of our nation’s most loved holidays, it’s Thanksgiving. And people will be traveling to visit family and friends and you may be one of them. We all look forward to it. There’s food often, there’s fellowship. I hope for a time of refreshment and change from the normal work week. It’s a holiday grounded on also biblical precedent though, our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers, they took it right off the pages of scripture in God’s command there in Deuteronomy to recall all of God’s goodness and blessings. In other words, the command to be grateful to God and offer up prayers of thanksgiving to the God of all blessing.
Well, today, Thanksgiving has been generally hijacked, as we know, by more of a commercialized culture where the focus is not generally God at all, in giving thanks to God, but it’s really more on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, a commercialized time to, well, get out and buy a lot of things, many times things we don’t even really need. But Thanksgiving is followed by a worldwide observance called Christmas, a great time of year. Sadly, Christmas has, to a large extent, been hijacked in most cases by the same commercialized, selfish mentality that has consumed more and become more of getting gifts and expecting things from others than recognizing the Christ of Christmas and the reason for the season. But the attack against any biblically-based holiday has not only been orchestrated, but it’s actually been highly effective. And it’s what is the strategy is the question.
Why has it been so successfully and used really to eviscerate the core elements that make these two holidays, but in particular this matter of Christmas? Why such the effort to eviscerate what it really is, subvert it to a commercial time of year? Well, today, I’ve asked Rob Webb, writer, speaker, and co-host of Answers News for Answers in Genesis to be with me again to focus on the Holy Day of Christmas as we examine the most frequent arguments made by the opponents of Christmas, and hopefully provide some information that will help all of us who truly celebrate Christmas to better understand why we do, and to be better equipped to respond to those who prefer to undermine and destroy the observance of Christmas. And so with that, I welcome to the program right now, Rob Webb. Rob, thanks for being back with me.
Rob Webb: Yeah, it’s great to be back.
Sam Rohrer: And Rob, I know some people say, “Well, Christmas, why something on Christmas?” Well, because it’ll be here before we can imagine it. And leading up to Christmas, a lot of things are going to have been seen. So this is a good time to do that. But Rob, we know that for instance, absolute truth as a concept’s been under assault in our country and around the world for a long time. And you and I have talked about it on here, it began in the Garden of Eden when the devil questioned the veracity and the truth of God himself and posed the question to Eve hath, God said, but in the last generation in our country, not only has God been under attack, but the fact that that of anything true and good has been systematically undermined. Now, we live in a time when the majority of people we know do not even believe that there is such a thing as absolute right or wrong. Up is down and down is up.
So it makes a good sense here for I think for us to take a look at truth surrounding an upcoming Holy day, Christmas, and the arguments for and against it. And you guys at Answers in Genesis have actually taken [inaudible 00:04:27] a book, The War Against Christmas. And we’ll touch on some of that if we go through the program, but here it goes. Let me ask you this first question here, Rob, and that is this, in simple terms, could you lay out, from a Christian’s perspective, the foundation for Christmas? And here, it’d be some specific questions. When did Christmas as a holiday or celebration begin? And who began? Who began, if we know, the celebration of Christmas and why? So the who, when, and why if you could.
Rob Webb: Yeah, so like you were saying, our holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, have just been hijacked by an anti-God culture really, culture that’s just bent on becoming its own authority and just obsessed with all these material things. I mean, we just love stuff nowadays and we get so wrapped up in all this stuff, pun intended there. And so really, what it comes down to, like you mentioned, it goes back to Genesis, it goes back to biblical authority hath God really said, and the devil, the enemies being using the exact same tactic for thousands of years. And so contrary to popular opinion, really, the whole Christmas celebration, it didn’t begin with the Romans and third century by Pagans, we’ll actually cover that later. It really began in the Garden. It goes back to Genesis with that first Messianic promise, Genesis 3:15 which says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
And really, that’s where Christmas really began. And this verse essentially just, it sums up the overall entire message of the Bible. And also, before the foundation of the world as well. I mean, God has already had this plan of redemption and throughout the history of the Old Testament, God, he’s really been laying out this redemptive plan for us guilty sinners to be reconciled with him for all eternity. All throughout the Old Testament, everything was pointed to the Messiah to come, Jesus Christ. And then fast-forward to the New Testament of course, when Christ was born, he became a man, stepped in the history 2,000 years ago, born of a virgin.
And really, when you read that Christmas account, I mean, there was a celebration, there was angels, there were shepherds praising God for the event. Perhaps, I mean, just like no other event in history, this was a big deal. Celebrating the birth of the Son of God, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world like it says in Luke 2:10-14 here, you can actually read it here, “The angel said to him, Fear not for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you. You’ll find that baby wrapped in swaddling cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with a angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace among those with whom he is pleased.”
And so I mean, that’s essentially what they were celebrating. They were celebrating the birth of the Messiah, the coming king of kings. Now, in terms of church history, this is one of the common questions we always get from people is when did the church actually start celebrating this event? It actually goes all the way back to about AD 221, right around those early 200s of AD, there was actually early church father named Julius Africanus who mentioned the date of December 25th. So Christians, we know that Christians have been surely celebrating this date by around that time ever since then. Now, of course we don’t know exactly what date of Christ’s birth was, nor the scripture clearly revealed it. We’ll actually cover that later. But really, the most important part of this day here is that we’re taking time to remember Christ’s entrance into the world and to save us from our sin by his finished work of Jesus.
Sam Rohrer: Okay. And that is, ladies and gentlemen, the Christ of Christmas. That’s in a brief setting. That’s the big picture there. Now, when we come back, we’re going to try to walk now through some of the, well, confusion and misconceptions. I’m going to talk to Rob about a couple of those things that we more often hear than not. For instance, Christmas trees. Really, it’s really a pagan holiday. Some say that. We’ll focus on that in the next…
Sam Rohrer: Well, if you’re just joining us right now, my special guest is Rob Webb. He is a writer, speaker, and co-host of Answers News for Answers in Genesis. And once a month or so, we’ll have someone from there, Rob is one of those who are recurring, and we talk with him about some issue, something that is culturally prevalent, identifiable for which there is opposition, and try to address it from an apologetic biblical perspective. The goal being to help align our thinking with the truth and biblically on that particular issue.
Today, the folks, as we’re looking ahead, but it’s not far off, and that is Christmas. And my title today is The War Against Christmas, the arguments and the answers. So we dealt with a little bit of the beginning. I’m going to put this way, the genesis of Christmas, and that’s where we went right to the Book of Genesis, did that in the first segment. Now, in this, we’re talking about that because really, underneath the attack or the war against Christmas is an attack on truth. And when it comes to matters of truth, biblical truth, historical truth, theological truth, scientific truth or whatever. There are multiple ways that truth can be and is undermined. In most cases, truth is intentionally and strategically attacked. For instance, the devil we talked about it, it starts with placing doubts in people’s minds.
Did God really say? That’s what he said to Eve. Or did God actually create life? But then truth is often purposely replaced with a lie, not just questioning it, but substitute a lie substituted for it. One verse I thought of, Romans 1:25, it says this, talking about people who had the revelation of God in Creation and all that we see, it said, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the creator who is blessed forevermore.” That’s Romans 1:25. What Jesus himself then warned that in the end days, false prophets would arise and who would offer intentional lies in place of the truth but made to look like truth but was not the truth. And we have to watch out for that, particularly in our days because we’re in those days.
But sometimes there are misconceptions that are possibly not quite as direct as an intentional lie, but on the other hand, derive from the same attitude which rejects God’s Word as ultimate truth and the standard and replaces it with something that perhaps sounds good but not the truth. So Rob, with that introduction there, let’s look at this section here about some of what would be more of the common misconceptions, and you can phrase it however, but one of those that most people probably heard and you referred to it in the last segment is that Christmas really ought not be celebrated because it really isn’t biblical to begin with. It was a pagan concept based on pagan holidays. Therefore, by connection, anyone who observes Christmas is actually supporting paganism. All right, talk to me about that. Where’d that come from?
Rob Webb: Yeah, so like you were saying, truth really matters and as Christians, we want to make sure that we’re being seekers of the truth, right? We’re not following different conspiracy theories and lies that are out there. And so this is sadly one of the most common questions we always get at our ministry year after year, around this time of year in November, December, people are always saying, “Why are we supporting a pagan holiday like Christmas?” And first off, I always try to tell people, “First and foremost, make sure you listen to your conscious on whether or not to celebrate a holiday really comes down to your own heart and what your own conscience says.” Like Paul says in Romans 14:5, “One person esteems one day as better than the other. While another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
So if you’re fully convinced that Christmas is not worth celebrating, then that’s your own prerogative, but you shouldn’t be really telling other Christians that what they’re doing is sinning or bad or whatnot. But it always cracks me up though because whenever I hear claims like this from people, especially from Christians, I always ask them, “Where are you actually getting this information? What pagan holiday are you actually referring to here?” And then the other thing I usually bring up is if you just look at the word Christmas itself, really, it’s just a combination of Christ and mas, right? Not mass, but mas, which literally means celebration. So simply it just means Christ celebration. So just from the name itself, it’s not even a pagan name. And also pagans around the time of Christ’s birth, they really didn’t even care about Christ anyways.
Now, I know some suggest, well, it was born out of the so-called Roman pagan holiday called Saturnalia, I think it’s called. So basically the worship of the Saturn god. And usually, that was around the winter solstice around December 17th, the 23rd, which is funny because it doesn’t even overlap with Christmas anyway. So trying to align these two really requires a lot of speculation at best. Others will also say maybe it was Sol Invictus, which is the worship of the sun, which actually arrived after Christmas originated anyways. And if you actually look at the timeline, it was more likely a pagan alternative to Christmas was Sol Invictus. But actually, whether Christmas actually happens to occur near a certain Pagan holiday is actually really just irrelevant to the situation, to the whole conversation. Really there’s nothing inherently wrong with celebrating Christian holidays at the same time Pagans are doing their thing. Just as an analogy, I mean, think about it as Christians, do we ever refuse to take communion if it happens to fall on the Pagan holiday like Halloween for example? No, of course not.
But actually, I think if we just take a step back and we just look big picture here, look at the picture itself, especially Western culture today. I mean, like you were saying earlier, I mean, God is under attack. Christianity in whole is really under attack. And what we’ve been seeing is the West has really shifted from a predominantly biblical worldview to more of a secular worldview. I mean, thinking about at school systems and public places, the Bible’s been thrown out, prayer has been thrown out, Creation, the 10 Commandments have removed from public places, even at football games, you’re not even allowed to pray anymore. We’re seeing attacks on the Pledge of Allegiance, even the US motto In God We Trust. And so we’re seeing all of these cases where people are trying to leave out the Bible, leave out God, so then man becomes the ultimate authority. Humanism really is what it boils down to. Whenever man decides what is truth, that is humanism.
And so this religion of humanism is now demanding the removal of God in every single area, including not surprisingly Christmas. So now, all of a sudden, they’re insisting that we say happy holidays rather than Merry Christmas to not offend others. And I think this, along with the accusation of being a pagan holiday, is just one more attack really against God and his Word. So really, I think it’s just time for Christians to… Let’s just go back to taking a stand boldly and unashamedly on the authority of God’s Word. Let’s stop bowing down to the culture. We need to make sure that we’re being sought in light in this culture of death and darkness. But again, it starts with Genesis, it really starts with the foundational book for Christianity, which also gives us the foundation for Christmas itself. And it’s no surprise, out of all the books in the Bible, the most attacked book in the Bible is Genesis, right? The enemy attacks Genesis because he knows that Genesis 1-11 is the foundation for every Christian doctrine we have [inaudible 00:16:42].
Sam Rohrer: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, Rob. And Christ mass, [inaudible 00:16:47] mas, not mass. That’s a confusion. Christ mas, Christ celebration. Okay, let’s just leave it there. One thing I want to ask is a lot of people have heard, “Well, you got a Christmas tree in your house? Really? That is very pagan as well. Well, that’s akin to idol worship. You’ve got that idol with lights on it sitting right in the middle of your living room.” All right, speak to that. Could you do that please?
Rob Webb: Yeah, that’s always, always a very common one we get from people because even at the Creation Museum we have a huge Christmas tree right out the front of our museum. And so some Christians will argue that the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol, maybe representing like an Asherah pole or something like that used for idolatry. And usually, what they do is they reference Jeremiah 10:2-4. And actually if you just read that verse in context, it actually has nothing to do with the tree. It wasn’t the tree that was part of the sin, it was really the hearts of those who were honoring false gods. They were taking these trees, they weren’t dragging these trees into their house. What they were doing is they were having it carved up into idols and then they were worshiping them, thus violating the second commandment.
So really, it had nothing to do with trees at all. And obviously, not an issue if they had maybe honored God with it, who by the way created the tree in the first place. Really, Christians today, they don’t worship the tree or they don’t use it to worship any false gods today. And so what I always say is, instead, let’s actually take it back, let’s take back Christmas from the actual pagan elements that may have infected it. And you can also use the tree as a great teaching point for the next generation. Like for my three little kids, I always use it as a great teaching point to actually talk about some of the basics, the fundamentals behind Christmas. For example, you could talk about salvation springing up from the Root from Jesse. Isaiah 11:10. You can talk about the symbol of Christ coming into the world and bringing the kingdom of God.
You can talk about Christ as the head. And basically, the ornaments could be like the followers who cling to him, that without that, they would not really be anything without it. And of course, you can talk about the star on top of the tree, which would represent the Star of Bethlehem. And so you can just really be creative and you can use all these kind of areas as a teaching point for your kids. And even talking about the tree, going back to Genesis, how Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is why Jesus had to die on the tree in order to redeem us from the sin that originally came into the world through Adam’s sin. So lots of different ways to answer that objection there.
Sam Rohrer: All right. And Rob, and we’re basically out of time for this segment, but ladies and gentlemen, the point here was not to try to address every misconception of things that come up, but basically to say that there is an incessant attack against everything that is godly, that is biblical, that points to Christ. And from all sides, these things come. So what you choose to do is on your own conscious and how you operate before God. But inherently, Christmas is Christ’s celebration. That’s his definition of the Word. That’s good. And a tree, all right, not a problem with that either. God created trees. And as long as you don’t fall down and worship that tree, that tree can be a great reminder for a lot of things of God as creator in what he’s done. So anyway, just put these things into balance when you hear them. When we come back, we’ll continue in this discussion about the war on Christmas.
Sam Rohrer: Well, when it comes to things of God, every part is under continual attack, isn’t it? Kind of what we’re talking about today, having a focus on the attacks against Christmas and more in particular, but it’s not a question of if, but it’s how and to what degree we see or can expect the attacks against God and truth. Biblical truth of any type. For instance, God’s plan for mankind, his plan of redemption through Jesus Christ, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, God’s covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Christ first coming now fulfilled. The rapture yet to come. Christ second coming yet to come. The millennial kingdom yet to come or anything contained in scripture is all under attack, isn’t it? Truth broadly, specifically is under attack. There is a war literally underway. And it’s always been that way from the very beginning and it’s going to remain underway until God’s plan, as we’re told in scripture, is completely fulfilled.
And therein, is when we know when it’s fully completed, Satan is going to be locked up forever. The opposers of God are judged and sentenced to an eternal life of separation from God and sin and death and tears and the impacts of sin are forever done away. And that is something that for all who know the truth, we’re looking forward to that, isn’t it? But until that point we got to put up with it and deal with it. So Rob, in the last segment, we looked a bit at some of the, I wouldn’t say the war strategies used to undermine the observance of the Christmas holy day, holiday, observance. Let’s move now into why Christmas and the observance of Christmas is appropriate in every way. And we’ve already kind of touched on it, but I want you to put it together again and why a careful observance of Christmas is a great way, it’s often a silent way, we do it in the privacy of our home sometimes, a way of fighting against this war against Christmas.
Now, in the book Answers in Genesis have put together entitled The War on Christmas, in that book, you include four chapters under the War on Christmas section. You’ve got several sections in that book. And like you always do, and we do here at Stand in the Gap radio and TV, we got to go back to Genesis. You’ve already done it once, but I want you to go back again, build it out again, overview that chapter of the book, The War Against Christmas, that one chapter is entitled From Genesis to Bethlehem. Make that connection again, please, as we kind of build this up in this section here.
Rob Webb: Yeah, and just real quick, I want to say thank you for mentioning that book. This book, The War on Christmas really is an amazing book that people can pick up. You can actually go on to our bookstore, you can also buy it online, answersingenesis.org. It also goes over a lot of the common misconceptions we were just talking about in terms of the Christmas tree. And we also have a whole chapter dedicated to talking about when was Jesus actually born on, and what date was it? Was it really December 25th or was it another date? And so we have a whole section really dedicated to kind of answering that question. This is one of the most common questions we always get from people here in our ministry.
And like you said before, I mean, really, there is a war against Christianity and there’s a war against Christmas itself. And so obviously, it leads to the attacks on holy days and it always cracks me up when people say Happy Holidays to me. I’ll usually just ask, “Well, what holy days instituted by God are you referring to here? Because obviously, all holy days were established by God. But going back to Genesis, to Bethlehem, really again, it all starts with Genesis. Genesis is the foundational book for Christianity and thus for Christmas, right? Every single Christian doctrine, either directly or indirectly, goes back to Genesis. And so something we often say at our ministry, if we get Genesis wrong, we’re going to get the entire Bible wrong because if Genesis 1:1 is not true, why would you trust John 3:16 or Romans 10:9 or any of these other verses in the New Testament?
And so basically, if we discount the story of Creation, we remove the need for Christmas altogether. And sadly, we have generations upon generations being indoctrinated with these humanistic beliefs of Big Bang, evolution, millions of years, telling kids that they’re nothing more than animals and stardust and basically just eroding Christianity in our society today. And so if they don’t understand Genesis, they’re not going to understand or they’re not even going to listen to what it said about the babe of Bethlehem. So to really fully understand the significance and really the meaning of Christ’s birth, we first need to understand the history of the Old Testament that really led up to it. And so like we mentioned in the last segment, throughout history of the Old Testament, really God has been laying out his redemptive plan for us guilty sinners to be reconciled to him for all eternity. And one of the things we do at our Creation Museum is we have what’s called the Seven C’s of History where we essentially walk through the Bible through each one of our exhibits.
And so we start with the first C, which is called Creation. We talk about how the world was perfect, there was no death, there was no suffering. Adam and Eve was living in paradise. And then we lead to the next C, which is called corruption, when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And that’s what introduced sin and death into the world, which then led up to the next C called catastrophe, where God judged the world by sending a global flood and only Noah and his family were saved. And that’s basically as pointing to the door of salvation, who is Jesus Christ. So the same way Noah and his family were saved, we can walk through the door of Jesus Christ to be saved. And then goes to the next C called confusion, talk about the Tower of Babel and how people based on their pride, and so God forced them to spread out and really disperse.
And that’s why we have all the language group and different diversities in our world. Which then leads up to Christ, the next C. Christ coming into the world, being born of a virgin and then going to the cross, which is the next C after that, dying on the cross for our sins. And then finally, the last C, consummation where God, like you mentioned during the earlier opening statement, that we wait for the new heavens and the new Words where God will restore Creation, there will be no more death or suffering or pain. And so that’s essentially what we do to try to help people really build their Christian world because we walk them through those Seven C’s of History. And then they can really understand the meaning and significance behind Christ’s birth.
Sam Rohrer: And that is perfect because that is what the Word of God is all about. God’s plan of redemption for humankind, sinners, depraved, worthy of nothing but God in his love sent, ladies and gentlemen, who? Jesus Christ. All right, let’s go to the second chapter in that section as well. Let’s touch on this. We haven’t talked about this, but Santa Claus. You deal with Santa Claus and it’s Santa Claus or Jesus. That’s the title of which you’ve given. Give an overview, if you could, of that chapter.
Rob Webb: Yeah, I’m trying to turn to it right now. I got the book open, so it was written by one of our speakers, his name is Roger Patterson. He did a really good job with it. Essentially, what it comes down to is, I mean, just from my own personal experience, I actually grew up in an atheistic home. And so for most of my life, I mean, we never really celebrated the true reason for the season. So for Thanksgiving, Christmas, it was really all about the selfish desires. We were just wrapped up in material stuff and materialism and Black Friday. And so typically, with my family growing up, we would always really heavily, I mean, just heavily focus on the topic of Santa Claus and reindeer, elves, talking snowmen, et cetera, et cetera. Basically, all of these really just distractions from the actual message and the reason for the season like we talked about.
So essentially, that’s the main point of this chapter, is let’s make sure that we’re not getting caught up into the whole Santa Claus thing and really just distracting us from the actual reason, which is Jesus Christ coming to save sinners. A chapter also talks about maybe just some of the origins going back to the real St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra. And so one of the things that I personally like to do with my kids is we talk about Santa Claus, we talk about… Because I mean, it’s going to be unavoidable that you’re going to be driving around town, you’re going to the mall. I mean, you’re going to see Santa Claus things all over the place.
And so naturally, your kids are going to ask you, “What are all these Santa Claus statues? What are all these things about?” And so what we like to do is we like to talk about the real St. Nicholas and what he did. And so that’s what this chapter kind of talks about and how he was really one of the heroes of the faith. He was out there proclaiming the gospel. And then over time, there’s been essentially this pagan distortion of the real St. Nicholas into Santa Claus. And we’re also seeing this mythical figure of Santa Claus essentially taking the place of God and making a weird distorted view of this legalistic type of got to be on the nice or naughty list.
So you have to do all these good things in order to inherit all these good things, which is obviously contrary to what the biblical gospel talks about. So really, at the foundation, it’s an attack on biblical [inaudible 00:30:10] when you really stop to think about it. And then we also have a section in here just talking about in terms of just the importance that parents aren’t lying to their children about Santa Claus. It’s very important that our children depend on us for dependable advice and we don’t want to be giving them lies or deceit. We want to make sure that they can come to us and we can give them truthful answers. So that’s the other big thing we like to emphasize as well.
Sam Rohrer: And that’s very good, Rob. And ladies and gentlemen, just thinking about this, many of you who’re listening are grandparents. So you’ve had your children you’ve raised, many of you who’re listening, you’re parents and so you have your children that are there. One of the things I’ve learned as a father of six and grandfather to 17 now is you know what? Stay focused on what the Word of God says and what is the focus of Christmas? What should it be? It’s a who, it’s Christ. And what is it all about? God loving the world, giving the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
All right, well, when we give gifts, it’s not that appropriate. It can be if we in fact focus on the giving of gifts to those we love in the context of remembering that we’re following a pattern that God so loved us and the world. Now, if you keep it focused on those things and don’t throw in the commercialized pieces of it, well then, that’s all good and the Lord will bless that. So stay focused on what the Word of God says, model that as close as possible and all will be well. Now, when we come back, we’re going to wrap it up from Creation to Christmas. It’s all about Christ, it’s all about the baby Jesus. It really is. And we’ll wrap it up by focusing on, this is a final, final thought.
Sam Rohrer: As we wrap up today’s program, we’re looking ahead actually to Christmas. It is coming, it’ll be here sooner as we know than we can imagine, but we’re trying to deal with it. My special guest, Rob Webb from Answers in Genesis and I taking a look at Christmas from the standpoint of, well, the fact that it is so continually attacked. And we all know that to be the case, this entire last generation in America from removing nativity scenes to trying to substitute everything about Christmas into a commercialized event, to transforming Jesus into Santa Claus, all these things, right?
But from a purely natural man worldview perspective, you see, history has always been parlayed in terms of man and man’s accomplishments. For instance, the average reference to life is in terms of, well, the advancement of mankind, the discoveries of mankind, the buildings built by mankind and so forth. History is broken into ages of human evolution and more, right? But from Creation to this day, all refer to this, this time passed, this refers to it as history, small age, small, lower case history. But from a biblical worldview perspective, we refer to recorded history as his story, history, his story, because it really is viewing all that is from a biblical worldview from Genesis to Revelation, God’s plan of redemption is his story, history.
And his story is broken down into segments of time, but it’s not the development of man that is important as crossroads in history. It’s the continual witnessing of the curse of sin and the fall and the other consequences where the rejection of God’s plan by mankind, that really forms history because it’s then that we see in God’s Word, it’s all about his story and how despite of man’s rejection, continual rejection, God continues to manifest his mercy and his grace and his plan of redemption for the purpose of allowing undeserving and sinful mankind, the free gift of salvation and restoration through one person, Jesus Christ.
And that is the focus and the whole reason for celebrating Christmas. So don’t let anybody tear that apart or weaken it in any means. Now, Rob, let’s conclude in this regard here because one of the sections in your book of Answers in Genesis, people can find it there, The War Against Christmas, one of those sections are entitled, It’s All About Baby Jesus. And in fact, that’s what we’ve been saying. But in the final part here, I’d like you to combine a couple of chapters that you’ve laid out in that book and answer the question of why the baby Jesus and the babe in Bethlehem? And even the name Jesus is so important within God’s plan of redemption, and therefore, why the celebration of Christ mas, Christ celebration, honoring the birth of Jesus as a baby is in fact so appropriate?
Rob Webb: Yeah. And then just real quick too, for anyone listening, if you guys want to also for you and your family, if you want to have a really interactive, awesome experience on understanding the significance of Christ’s birth and the Resurrection, I highly encourage everyone to come check out our Christmastime at the Creation museum as well as the Ark Encounter. We’re going to be starting that coming up next week. Amazing Christmas lights. We have a lot of good shows and events and really good biblical teaching to really understand a love of that history and to really understand why Genesis 1-11 is so foundational to the story, really to the historical account of Christmas. And that’s one of the critical issues that we’re seeing in our culture today. Many people, including Christians, are just missing the actual biblical point of celebrating Christmas. I mean, most folks today you talk to, even atheists today, they love Christmas, but they don’t want the reason for it.
They’re focusing on these, like we talked in the last segment, these pagan mythical things like Santa and Rudolph and talking snowmen and all that, just basically getting wrapped up in the Black Friday deals, buying decorations, even travel plans too, right? I mean, we all have to admit that we’re focusing more on the travel plans and doing all these different things rather than the actual reason rather than focusing ourselves on God’s Word. And by the way, the start of the Christmas season is horrible for anyone working in retail. I always feel bad for those guys. But really, if you come back to it, the true reason for celebrating Christmas, it all goes back to Genesis. Genesis 1, right? When God created everything, he created it perfect. It was exceedingly good that there was such a thing. But then Adam disobeyed God, which brought sin into the world, and at that moment, really all of Creation was cursed.
But then God in his mercy and his grace, he didn’t leave us without hope. So then he gave us that first messianic problems like we talked about earlier, Genesis 3:15. And really, that’s where Christmas really began. And it basically sums up the entire overall message of the Bible here. And then fast-forward roughly 4,000 years, a virgin named Mary was told by an angel that she would bear a son. And then Joseph and Mary were called, they were told to call him Jesus, for he would save his people from their sins to fulfill the prophecy like it says in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel, which means God is with us.” And really, that is the true gift of Christmas. It is Christ himself is the true gift, the eternal Son of God becoming a man.
John 1:14, right? “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” And actually, when you walk into the Creation Museum, right around this time of year during the Christmastime, we have a huge basically exhibit that talks about John 1:14, it talks about the significance of that, how the Word became flesh. And so it talks about the reason that Jesus was born so that he would die for our sins. “The wages of sin is death.” is what it says in Romans 6:23. And so let’s remember that we also shouldn’t just be celebrating Christ’s sacrifice only once a year. Let’s make sure we also do it year-round, of course. And that’s one of the other things we say at our ministry all the time. Let’s just not do it one time a year and let’s do it year-round. And so let’s not get distracted by really all the Christmas hype and distractions that are around that. Let’s focus on worshiping God. Let’s focus on worshiping Jesus Christ.
Just like the Magi, the wise men, when they came to visit Jesus, they didn’t just bring him gifts, they came to worship him. And one last thing I also want to say too is for any pastors or church leaders out there, I would really encourage you to take this opportunity. This is a great opportunity that were unbelievers and people who normally are never at church, they’re going to be coming to church this Christmas season. So let’s make sure you take advantage of that. Because so many churches today, they fail to really state the reason why Jesus came, to really lay down that foundation. I mean, I was at a church recently where they were talking about, “Let’s go back to the foundation for Jesus.” And they go back to Matthew 1 or Matthew 2, rather than going back to Genesis 1, which gives us the bad news in Genesis because without the bad news, the good news of Jesus Christ is not going to make sense. So let’s make sure as pastors, as Christian leaders, make sure you guys take advantage of this. [inaudible 00:40:01].
Sam Rohrer: Yeah, Rob, and that’s a great challenge. That’s a great, great challenge. And ladies and gentlemen, last minute, I’ll follow up and just add to what Rob said is this, Christmas provides an opportunity to yes, celebrate the birth of Christ, but Christ did not come where that remained the objective. He came to provide for us the opportunity for new birth salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. So the new birth and telling people about how they can be born again, new birth is a wonderful time around the time of Christmas, and also, as we’ve all heard, and it shouldn’t just become just an odd saying, but Jesus did not come to stay a baby. He was God the creator, who made himself in the form of mankind as a baby so that we could identify with a baby. But he came to die. So the purpose of the first coming was to go to the cross so that we could have a new birth.
That’s all a part of the Christmas story. Dead stop there though. He’s going to be coming back soon as king. Totally different. That is why Christmas, the celebration Christ mas, is so important and so appropriate and such a great time to share the gospel in these days. Rob Webb, from Answers in Genesis, thank you so much for being with me today. Great emphasis, great input, great challenge to all who are listening. God bless you. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being with us today.