DECEMBER 22 – 25 AND CHRISTMAS REVISITED: BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS – GOOD REVELRY OR BAD IDOLATRY?

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIRTHDAYS

Ever wondered why we have birthday celebrations or it is too obvious? Rhetorical? Ok, true. One’s date of birth is very important for one simple fact. If there was no birth date, there would be no you. Of course, your birth date is also important as it marks your beginning, genesis or start of life on earth. It can be a pleasant fuzzy feeling of emotions when we are given gifts on our birthdays. On the other hand, if we are not “fussed” over during our birthdays we may feel neglected and unimportant.

This is the key behind birthday celebrations and astrology. This basic concept was originally used for gods, in an attempt to appeased them so they could  make life better for us here on earth. If we give gifts on a birthday the god will be happy and sees us in a favourable light. The reverse is true. No gifts and the god makes our lives miserable.

Birthday celebrations were only for gods initially. It was eventually extended to kings who claimed divine rule on behalf of the gods. As such, normal ordinary people could not celebrate birth dates.

It was the Romans who made the idea of birthdays for ordinary folks popular. However, only men experienced this birthday celebration at first. Female birthdays were not celebrated until about the 12th century. Regular Roman citizens were then allowed to  celebrate the birthdays of their friends and family members. The government, however, created public holidays in honor of more famous citizens.

THE ORIGINS OF BIRTHDAYS: ASTROLOGY AND RELIGION

Birthdays didn’t begin until calendars were created more than 4000 years before Christ by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia.  Calendars were used to record, monitor and predict the influence of the Sun, moon and stars on life on earth. As ancient people began taking note of the moon’s cycles, they began paying attention to the change in seasons as well. They also noticed this pattern repeated itself, so they began marking these changes in time.

poster solstice-and-equinoxNotably, they believed that the year began at the Spring Equinox (Eq-ui equal, nox – nights), circa March 21, when there is equal number of hours of daylight (12) and hours of darkness (12). They also noticed that the hours of sunlight increased or lengthened from 12 hours on March 21 (Spring Equinox) by about 2 minutes each day, reaching the its longest at the Summer Solstice, June 21 up to 15 hours or more, as the sun moved southerly across the earth.  The Sun is King, and light prevails.

However, after June 21, the hours of sunlight gradually reduced or shortened by about 2 minutes per day until it is again the same number of hours of light and darkness (12 hours at the Autumn Equinox (Eq-ui equal, nox – nights), circa September 22. The hours of light still continue to shorten until it is at its lowest point circa December 22, the Winter Solstice.

A remarkable thing happens at this period when the hours of sunlight is at its lowest. The hours of sunlight stop reducing and seem to stand still for three days, December 22 – 25. Hence the name Winter Solstice, the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”). This mean that the hours of sunlight do not shortened nor lengthened for three days. The sun has died.

Another remarkable feat then occurred at December 25. At the end of these three days, on December 25, the sun seems to “reverse “change direction from a southerly movement to a northerly movement and the hours of sunshine began to lengthen once more. This new lengthening of the sun was so gladly welcomed by ancient agriculture-based civilizations that it was worshiped and celebrated. Indeed, it was believed that the sun was born on this day. It is one of if not the first birthday celebration.   Maybe the Spring Equinox and beginning of the year (March 21) Ishtar’s (Easter’s) or Venus’s birthday occurred before.

Basically, most of these birthday god celebrations involved a surrogate king and an effigy of the god of darkness being burnt (sacrificed to the sun-god) in a huge bonfire. Recitals of their creation myth is done followed by military exercises symbolizing the great battle that was going on between the sun and the forces of darkness. After the bonfire, the people exchanged gifts, held feasts, and visited friends and relatives.

Indeed, in many civilizations, the major gods such as An, Marduk, Osiris, Horus, Isis, Mithras, Saturn, Sol, and Apollo celebrated their birthdays on December 25. SEE MY BLOG ON DECEMBER 22 for more information on the death and birth of the invincible son 

poster zodiacAs mentioned, thanks to the Sumerians, this mystery and awe was explained and manipulated via astrology, which they invented.  They named many of the constellations and defined the nature of numerous bodies in the solar system. They created a calendar that divided a year into 12 lunar months of 29 or 30 days. Each month began with the sighting of a new moon. Indeed, the Sumerians taught the Babylonians astrology. Ptolemy and others then learned from the Babylonians. The rest of the world learned from them.

The Greek astronomer Ptolemy rationalized that the zodiac predicts the path our lives will take in. With this knowledge he made 12 astrological signs; Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, and Leo. He called these predictions horoscopes which means “hour of birth.”

THE BIBLE, BIRTHDAYS AND ASTROLOGY

The Bible does not support or mandate the worshiping or celebration of anyone’s birth. Indeed, the three instances of birthday celebrations in the Bible had to do with unrighteousness and it was  done by two evil Kings (Pharaoh – Genesis 40:20 and Herod- Matthew 14: 6. ) and by Job’s sons – Job 1:4, who were following evil strange religions. In all three occasions, the events and celebrations were ignoble from a biblical perspective.

poster deuteronomy 18 vs 10

On the note of astrology which bears birthdays (horrorscope, oops typo, horoscope) , there are many instances of the bible frowning at astrology. These include Leviticus 19:26-28; Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 18: 10 – 14 and 2 Kings 21: 6

(Does this mean that horoscope, palm reading, obeah, Christmas and Easter celebrations, etc are evil?)

 

HOW AND WHY DID BIRTHDAYS BECOME CHRISTIAN

Poster Constantine-The-Great-The-First-Christian-Emperor-2 Constantine, Emperor of Rome, worshipped the pantheon of Roman gods as all his predecessors had done and especially the Roman sun god, Sol. However, history has it that as he was traveling to battle his most powerful rival in Italy, Maxentius, at the Tiber River in A.D. 312, he had a vision. In that vision, he reported seeing the cross of Christ superimposed on the sun with the words, in hoc signo vinces – “in this sign you shall conquer.” After winning the battle, he became a strong champion of Christianity.

Either as a means to unify his empire, or to make converting to Christianity easier, Constantine sought to blend Christian and pagan traditions. At that time, two prominent pagan winter festivals were celebrated. The first, starting on December 17 and lasting seven days, honored Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture. The second, starting on December 25 and lasting through January 1, commemorated the birth of Mithras, the Persian god of light. Constantine merged many of the traditions from these festivals with the Nativity story in the Bible and Christmas was born.

From its beginning, Christmas was a holiday (or holy day), gifts were exchanged, families and friends gathered to feast, and a birth was celebrated; just like in the Roman and Persian festivities.

REMEMBER THE REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON

During the Silly Season of December 22 – 25, remember the reason for the season. It is in recognition of the birthday of the mythical Sun god,  Sol Invictus (Invincible Sun).  The presents and gift giving as well as revelry, commerce and piety are all done in pursuit and recognition of what was seen as detestable from a biblical perspective.

The bad of birthday celebrations  and the evil that results This is easily seen since, the Creator God mentioned in the bible is a jealous, bias, prejudice ONE, insisting that mankind had no other god before him as noted in Exodus 20: 1- 6.poster exodus 20 1 commandments

Of course, we could justify our participation in Christmas by saying it is really Christ that is the reason for the season and we are celebrating the birthday of the son of God, Jesus Christ. The fact that the Winter Solstice December 22 – 25 was worshiped as a pagan and animistic religion as part of astrology years before Christ was born would belittle such justification since our actions should favour righteousness and not darkness.

Remember too, if a whore house by the name of Madame’s Parlour continues offering prostitution services but decided to rebrand and reposition itself as Venus Leisure Centre , that does not makes it legal or moral. A whorehouse by any name is still a whorehouse… I mean, a rose by any name is still a rose.

DECEMBER 22 – 25: THE DEATH AND BIRTH OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN

 

SOL INVICTUS – THE UNCONQUERED SUN 

The Sun will “die” at midnight on December 21, but don’t panic, it will “rebirth” on midnight December 24. This occurs at the beginning of Winter every year for the past 4.6 billion years. It is called the Winter Solstice, “sun stood still”, and is considered the shortest day in the year in terms of hours of sunlight. It is a three-day period when the hours of daylight are at its shortest and the hours of night (darkness) are at its longest. Noticeably, the sun progressively sets earlier each evening after June 22 (The Summer Solstice – longest hours of sunlight) and night fall comes the earliest on December 21. Hence daylight savings time put our clock one hour back to make up for the shorter hours of day light.

 

Needless to say, the Sun is vital to our life here on earth and is one of the most important star in our world. It is the nearest star to Earth and is believed to be formed 4.6 billion years ago.  It is the most important source of energy for life on Earth and its diameter is about 109 times that of Earth, with mass about 330,000 times that of Earth. The sun accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System and is so large that about 1,300,000 planet Earths can fit inside of it. Awesome. WOW. (Worthy of Worshipping?)

WORSHIPPING THE SUN

Well, our ancestors did just that more than 9000 years ago and it is still being done today. The ancients selected December 21, the Winter Solstice as the ideal time to invoke the sun. Maybe if you were living in the north pole and had long, dark harsh winters to deal with you might want to invoke the sun too.

In the solar myth, the death of the “old sun” occurs as the length of daylight decreases and bImage result for invictus sol unconquerable sunecomes its lowest at the Winter Solstice which begins on the midnight of December 21 (early morning December 22) and ends on Midnight December 24 (early morning December 25). The sun stop moving south on December 22, it is then at its lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere, residing in the vicinity of the Southern Cross. It stays at this lowest point for three days (December 22, 23, 24 appearing to not moving south or north and was considered “dead”

It “returned to life” at midnight on December 24/ early morning December 25, when it begins its northern journey again and the hours of sunlight start to lengthen. Therefore, the ancient said that the SUN was born on December 25. As a result, mistletoes, holly, wreaths, cakes, gifts, greeting cards and feasts were done to honour Sol or Mithra or Saturnalia as the case may be.

Interestingly, on December 24, Sirius (star in the east and brightest star in the night sky) aligns with the three brightest Orion belt stars called the Three Kings, (Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka) and on December 25, these all point to the location where the sun will rise on earth that day. In essence, the three kings follow the star in the east to find the sunrise (birth of the sun).

Image result for unconquerable sunSolar deities and Sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms, including the Egyptian Ra, Mithra in Persia, Apollo the Romans, Isis the Hindu Surya, the Japanes Amaterasu, the GermanicSol, and the Aztec Tonatiuh, and controversially, more recent, Jesus in “Christianity”.

DECEMBER 25: BIRTHDAY OF THE SUN OR SON?

As a Baptist, I grew up with the belief that December 25 is the birthdate of Jesus Christ and as such we worship and acknowledge it as Christmas. Indeed, Christmas is big— very big. The entire Island of Jamaica comes to a virtual standstill. Schools and colleges are closed; businesses shut down to give their employees time off; many families plan trips and get-togethers; Church attendance increase; and gifts are given by even those who were scrooge all year long. Maybe you recall, the Christmas Carol that even erroneously say “ Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible said, Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day”
However, recall all these activities were already being done in Rome, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Egypt to acknowledge and worship the birth day of Sol Invicta  (the Unconquered Sun) up to 4000 years before Jesus Christ was born. It then begs the question, whose birthday are we celebrating on December 25? Does Jesus the SON share the birthday with the SUN?

WHEN WAS CHRIST BORN? LATE SEPTEMBER?

There is no definitive proof of Jesus’s birthdate but there are clues about when he was or wasn’t born.

First, we know that shepherds were in the fields at night watching their flocks at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7-8). According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays , Luke’s account “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night”.

Second, Jesus’ parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition and would be self-defeating.

Also, the conception and birth of John the Baptist gives an idea since Elizabeth (John’s mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36). From this we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John’s father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible , 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).

It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23-24). Assuming John’s conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John’s birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus (Luke 1:35-36)) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus’ birth.

HOW DID THE BIRTH OF THE SUN CHANGED TO SON?

According to scriptures, Jesus Christ was whipped, spat upon, publicly dishonored then killed by the Church (Caiaphas the high priest) and the State (Pilate the Roman governor). After JesImage result for invictus sol unconquerable sunus’s death, his followers had to go “underground” as they too were meeting the same or worse fate than Christ. These “Followers of Christ” (not Christians as Christianity wasn’t start as yet) were stripped and flogged with whips, stoned to death, and persecuted.

Yet, despite the persecution, the “Followers of Jesus” went underground and their church started to flourish and soon became a major concern to the Roman government. They were blamed for spreading “mischief” that Jesus Christ was king and lord, and was crucified to save our souls. Followers of Christ were also accused of destabilizing the economy and threatening civil war.

Constantine I. R. 306-337. Constantine was the 1st Christian emperor. Constantine decided to establish a new Eastern capital representing the integration of the east into the Roman Empire as a whole. He settled on the Greek city of Byzantium, located in strategic spot. The residents spontaneously decided to rename the city Constantinople. Relics of the True Cross & the Rod of Moses protected the city. The Church of the Holy Apostles was built over a temple to Aphrodite. It was the “New…
Constantine I.R. 306 -337. The first Christian emperor.

To stop the possibility of civil war and at the same time keep the existing pagan occult worships, Constantine, in AD 326 at the Council of Nicaea, “married” Christ like sentiments (name and life story) with that of Rome’s mysticism and called it Christianity. This new “Christianity” became the official religion of Rome and the SUN was replaced by the SON with Isis and Osiris became Mary and Jesus. December 25 was then decreed as Jesus birthday with the Spring Equinox full moon in March/April designate as his death day. In short, today’s Christianity is an unholy marriage of Roman Idolatry and Christ sentiments designed by Constantine to maintain religious and political if not economical order and harmony in the empire.

KEEP THE SON OUT OF THE SUN

Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) is a very important star in our solar system without a doubt. As the main source of energy, we can understand the need to recognize it and maybe even glorify its daily presence in our lives. Many people deliberately and some unwittingly  worship and glorify the SUN between December 21 – 25 to show appreciation. Unfortunately Jehovah is a very jealous god and considered Sun worship as an abomination 4000 years prior to the birth of Christ.

It now begs the question:  is the Son of God the same as the Sun of God? Is it now okay to use the same day to celebrate our Messiah’s Birth and the Sun’s birth bearing in mind the Scriptures do not sanction birthday celebration of any kind and Christ wasn’t born in December in any event?

According to a friend of mine, “December 25 is the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s okay if we buy gifts and put up Christmas Trees. Furthermore, the Lord will understand that “disobeying” and having festivities on December 25 is not in honour of the SUN, as pagans do, but is for his SON Jesus which is the reason for the season”. I smiled as I reminded myself that December 25 is the “silly season”.