Last Sunday, my pastor, Bishop Maxwell confirmed the widely spread assertion that Jesus was not actually born on December 25, but sometimes in October. What implication does it have on christianity as a faith, and a religion?
Since only-God-knows-when, Christians all over the world have contended with several issues that had brought the validity of Christianity under an unimaginable scrutiny by those seeking to discredit the Christian faith. From the claim that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross to Moslems’ rejection of his status as the Son of God, Christians who believe the Gospel are fast becoming attorneys. But how do you defend his birth that is fast becoming controversial and contra- indicatory? The Bible might help.
One of my favorite Bible verses is 2Samuel 22: 31.
“This God– his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
In essence, this verse of the Bible shows that God wants that the truth be told. So let’s face the facts.
According to Biblical history, Christ’s birth was during the Jewish census in October. So, like me, many wonder how did December 25 become Christmas?
Regarding this, the Roman Catholic could be held responsible as the day, December 25, was meant to worship a Roman god. It was said that the church miscalculated Christ’s birth and decided to go with the date. From my point of view, I think there is another acceptable explanation.
Christianity is like a tossed coin- there are two sides. An aspect is that of religion. Like other religious worshippers, people that take this side are concerned with the technicalities of the Gospel. They endeavor to conform to some routines that must be pursued wholly holy. To them, the assaults on the Christian faith are a devastating blow.
The other side is that of those who see Christianity as a faith, and not a sacrosanct religion. To them, Christianity is about the man (Jesus) and not the circumstances. They believe that they can choose to believe anything in the light of God’s word. To people like these, the focus of Xmas is not the date but Jesus himself, be it December 25th or February 31st.
From the print media to the internet, enemies of the Gospel are having a field antagonizing the Christmas fate. They are winning the argument based on scientific and geographic facts, while setting aside the main issue, was Jesus born or not?
Till date, nobody, living or dead, has denied Jesus came to the world and died, 2 issues that form the bedrock of the Christian faith. The attempt to discredit the birth of Jesus is an attempt, maybe by the devil and his fallen angels, to create confusion among Christians. But trust God, He is also making use of the situation to know real Christians.
My name sake, Apostle Paul, never met Jesus but the spiritual encounter was all he needed to sprout him to take the Gospel personal and more serious than those who actually met and walked with Jesus. The reason is simple- he understood the simple message of the Gospel. Believing Christ’s birth, death on the cross, and resurrection on the third day. Even today, the message is still the same.
Jesus’ birth in a manger is a message to us that the venue is not the issue. If it were, Jesus would have been delivered in the prestigious King Fasai Hospital by a conglomerate of reputable American, German and British doctors.
His death would also have been on Palladian- finished pine wood cross that was well sprayed to prevent allergens from being inhaled. He would also have been buried in top quality golden casket that is more expensive and eye popping than that of Gani Fawehinmi.
In addition, the resurrection and ascension of Jesus would have been in grand style, broadcasted live on CNN, BBC, Fox, NBC, NTA, SABC, Al-Jazeera and several other television networks. But that wasn’t the case as only his disciples saw him ascend into the heavens.
The assault on December 25 is therefore futile as Christianity is not a religion that is characterized with real dates and locations but a faith that leads to a lifelong relationship built on faith in Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. To us, everyday, not just December 25, is Xmas.