Commandments Concerning Yuletide Cheer

Commandments Concerning Yultide Cheer
When it shall come to pass that the calendar shall have flipped through another year and thou shalt find thyself again in the Christmas season that thou shalt then with all diligence and steadfastness of thy heart and bowels. For we all know that naughtiness is rewarded not with coals in thy stocking but with the never-dying coals of perdition. Therefore watch out to abstain from pouting, crying and all the rest of the deadly sins.

And of thy Christmas presents we have only this commandment: that thou allow no toy that is worldly, no song that is current, no movie that is recent, no clothes that are fashionable, no drinks that are alcoholic, and no electronics doodads which can be used in the pursuit of lust, laziness, or lighthearted tomfoolery. In short, thou hadst better just stick to shopping at the church bookstore. Missionary biographies are 50% off.

But of the decorations of thine house thou shalt allow no trace of the papist Nicholas or his little-folk spawn for such is rank idolatry and in very bad taste. As for the other false gods of Rudolph, Frosty, The Grinch, and Tiny Tim we ask “why are you watching Christmas specials instead of attending Wednesday night service and Thursday visitation?” For shame.

So it is our wish that thy days be merry and bright and don’t forget that the cantata “Billy Dies Again (And Everybody Else Gets Saved)” Will be in place of our even service on Christmas Day and yes there will be two services on Christmas Day and I can’t imagine why you would think that’s a problem unless you have a hard and rebellious heart which coincidentally is what gets Billy killed twice so you won’t want to miss it.

Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements, p. 1225 (2512 in the European edition)

96 thoughts on “Commandments Concerning Yuletide Cheer”

        1. I tried to tell Natalie where to put her butt cushion before. I still have a bruise and a missing chunk of hair.

    1. I just love the shift in emphasis over the years. I remember when fundy-Christmas was supposed to be all about Christ, not so much about shopping, or what you received – the problem was how commercial it was. The retail aspects were external to what Christmas really was, which was celebrated in church, and with family.

      Nowadays, fundies have fully invaded the retail sector, and turned into the Christmas cops. It’s not really about Christ unless that traditionally pagan tree is a “Christmas” tree, rather than a “Holiday” tree, right? Nothing shows the love of Christ like demanding your faith is the only one recognized. I wonder if they even realize what a clown show it all is.

  1. Oh, yes, the days of leaving early from the gathering at the non-fundy relatives’ house, to go to the evening Cantata at church. Ah, memories. :roll:

    1. Did the choir have horrible costumes? Several years running us women had horrible, ill-fitting bridesmaid dresses from JCPenney’s, with weird cheap lace capelets over them, because they were sleeveless, which Would. Not. Do. One year I was sort of part of the creché, in the part of Gabriel (because we sort of started with the Annuniciation), which was a tenor part, but I can sing tenor if needed. I had an awful angel robe with stooopid gold garland in my hair. I could pass doing that again.

      One year the children’s choir did a Christmas play, don’t know where they got the script but it was one of those with terrible acting between awful songs. It was about King Wenceslaus. Being as I’m a medievalist, they asked me to do the costumes. So I did. Using costumes based on 10th c Eastern European kings. Rather Byzantine. They were a bit taken aback, probably expecting glitter and chain mail and cone hats on the girls. I knew it was right, which mattered to me…

      1. Did the choir have horrible costumes? Now that I think of it, many of those years the choir didn’t even wear robes – just whatever church clothes they wore. Which, being the ’80′s, you could reasonably call horrible – use your own judgment here. :wink:

        Love your story about the historically accurate costumes in the children’s production!

  2. Dear SFL Reader:

    ‘ no toy that is worldly, no song that is current, no movie that is recent, no clothes that are fashionable, no drinks that are alcoholic, and no electronics doodads which can be used in the pursuit of lust, laziness, or lighthearted tomfoolery’.

    I reply:

    Give me an ‘A!’
    Give me an ‘M!’
    Give me an ‘I!’
    Give me an ‘S!’
    Give me an ‘H!’

    Whattda got?

    AMISH!

    If the cap fits …

    Christian Socialist

  3. -Open with,” Hello my name is, Charles Ignatius Parker the III but you can call me Chip for short.”

    PLOT:
    Rebellious teen

    Runs away from home

    Mom dies

    Returns home

    Mom left Chip a note (to be read in voice-over)

    Everyone cries

    Hold Altar Call

    Go home, feeling good about having worshiped at the house of god.

    ♫ so this is Christmas…♫

    1. Helps if Mom dies in some agonizing way, wasting away from some disease, pneumonia’s always good, she contacted while on tour with the church choir. :cry: It jsut doesn’t work if she was killed in a drunken bender playing chicken with a semi. :twisted:
      Bonus points if her last words are to the effect that “Tell my boy..(cough, gasp, wheeze)… that… gid still loves him…(cough, hack, dramatic cough)”

      1. I’m not sure what killed Ma Parker.

        Cancer maybe? But the over all schtick was that she probably dies of a broken heart or she just wore herself out praying. I was a bit surprised that in Ma Parker’s note she didn’t leave the “Sinner’s Prayer” for Chip. Now read this out loud and really, really, sincerely, truly mean it…

        *sniff*
        OK, I’ll do it for you ma’! I’m gonna be a better person you’ll see! *sniff*

        1. Teardrops fell on Mama’s note, as I read the things she wrote. She said we miss you, son we love you come back home…..

        2. And, then someone breaks into, “Coming Home”, even though it’s not a Christmas song, but it was the only song that’d fit.

        3. Thanks for that song, BG. Emmylou has a special place in my heart. When she sings with Linda Ronstadt, the blend is beautiful. Add Dolly for a trifecta of angel voices…
          Also, very nice mandolin solo on this song.

    2. “-Open with,” Hello my name is, Charles Ignatius Parker the III but you can call me Chip for short.””

      I hate you, Don.

      :wink: :wink: :wink:

        1. It took me a minute to figure it out, then it made me laugh against my will, which in turn, made me express said emotion.

          :wink:

    3. I directed some of these cantatas. Very predictable plot, which usually ends up with someone dying and someone getting saved.

  4. Baptists have been fighting a war against Christmas for years. But they like to complain if they think others are doing it..

    1. exactly–Baptists don’t usually follow the Advent tradition of the Church so they just all of the sudden appear at Christmas.
      And then there is the we can’t make too much of Mary so we play her part down as much as possible because it would be too Catholic.
      And then there is the Christmas sermon I heard regularly–Christmas means nothing without the Cross..
      at least this was my experience.

      1. You bring up an interesting point RE: the cross. Of course the cross has an important place in the heilsgeschichte, but I, too, have noticed a weird (as in, “not congruent with the history of Christian teaching and celebration”) conflation of the entirety of Jesus’ epiphany to the cross. I’ll have to thing about this one.

        1. For me it comes down to this question, what part of Christ’s life was redemptive? was it only the cross and the resurrection? I don’t believe so. I believe that the entirety of Christ is redemptive.
          The lack of being able to find the redemptive value of the Manger without mentioning the Cross shows a theological problem imho.

        2. It’s a matter of emphasis.

          Of course the cross is necessary, as is the resurrection, but even by fundy theology, the cross is insufficient without Christ’s incarnation and blameless life. Without that, Jesus is just another executed criminal. Sometimes, though, this tendency to use every occasion to bring up the cross can be distracting, making it harder to reflect at length on Christ’s example, life, and teachings. Maybe sort of a theological tunnel-vision?

  5. I’m planning to go just to see how Billy can die more than once. :???: I’ve heard of being Born Again, does that mean we can also Die Again? (ducks to avoid tomatoes) :mrgreen:

    1. A Festivus for the rest of us!!!
      Now for the “Airing of Grievances”!, I got a problem with a lot of you people!!!

    2. The local morning talk radio host was ranting over the festivus pole being put in the state capital. The nativity scene is welcomed and encouraged but the festivus pole clearly is there to mock Christianity :roll:

  6. Question, Darrell:

    Which is it,

    Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Regulations?

    or…

    Independent Baptist Book of Everlasting Rules and Requirements?

    The reason I ask is that I desparately wanted a copy of said rulebook and commenced to looking for it at Amazon.com. Having no luck there, I resorted to Google which provided me with the following link.

    http://www.stufffundieslike.com/2011/10/rules-concerning-online-discussions/

    Perhaps I’m straining at a gnat while attempting to swallow the camel! :grin:

    B.R.O.

  7. My mom was going to name me Nicholas, but my Baptist grandma said she couldn’t because it’s a Roman Catholic name. I was kissed when I found out, and vowed to name my first born son Nicholas – my wife found that out when we were dating. My oldest son is Nicholas.

    1. And Nicholas is one of the coolest of saints. He not only cared for the poor and paid the dowry to keep young girls from being sold into slavery, he also defended the deity of Jesus Christ against Arias. He is recorded as punching Arias in the face after a debate.
      Glad you got to name your son.

      1. My favorite St. Nicholas story:

        When Nicholas was alive and Bishop at Myra, corruption was rife in the land. Bishop Nicholas was famous as what we would call an anti-corruption activist. One day a judge developed a hate-on for some powerless men, and had them thrown in jail pending a trumped-up official excuse to have them all executed. The men lamented to one another, “If only Bishop Nicholas were here, he would have us out of here in no time!” And the jailers heard this.

        That night, the corrupt judge awoke from a sound sleep to see Bishop Nicholas in the shadows of his bedchamber, leaning over him and glaring. “What’s this I hear about your shenanigans?” Bishop Nicholas said sternly. “I think you’d better stop that.” The terrified judge pulled the blankets over his head. When he emerged, Bishop Nicholas was gone.

        The next morning, the astonished prisoners found themselves set free, with everything that had been taken from them restored, on one condition: that they take a letter to Bishop Nicholas. The letter read (paraphrase): “I have done as you asked. Please, please don’t ever scare me like that again!”

        Praising God, the men immediately set out to do as they were asked, traveling for several days to reach the Bishop in Myra . . . where he had been for months.

        1. He sees you when you’re sleeping;
          He knows when you’re awake.
          He knows if you’ve been bad or good;
          So be good, for goodness sake!

        2. Another source says that Nicholas put his body between the powerless young men and the executioner’s sword; the time he appeared to someone while living somewhere else, that was the Emperor Constantine he read the riot act because he was trying to execute some of his own generals for no just cause. So, one time at great personal peril and once in the Spirit.

          Another story says that St. Nicholas used to go fishing for drowning sailors. As in, walking around on the waves of the stormy Adriatic, looking for shipwrecks and pulling the people safely to shore. While he was still in the flesh himself.

  8. The picture reminds me of a story my dad told me one time about growing up in his parents’ Catholic home. His mom would set up a huge crèche in the living room except for baby Jesus. She would leave the manger empty and put a basket of straw nearby. Each evening, if my dad and his brothers and sister had been “good” that day, she would allow each of them to place one piece of straw in the manger. The idea was that if they were good enough, Jesus would have a nice, soft bed of straw to sleep on. On Christmas night, my grandmother would place the figurine of Jesus in the manger so that he was there when the kids woke up the next day.

    My dad said that one year, they weren’t very well behaved and didn’t get to put much straw in the manger. He said that on Christmas morning, my grandmother lectured them about how poor baby Jesus had to sleep in a hard, cold manger because the kids hadn’t been good enough to give him a soft bed!! :shock:

    1. Somehow it comes across so much more worthwhile as a Catholic story.
      Guilt, yes; but on a much quieter level. :sad:
      There are many days I wish I had been born a Catholic.

        1. True catholic family story: In the late 80s, by dad bought some large wooden cut-outs of the nativity to display in the yard. About a week later, they were stolen. So he went back to the man who made them and ordered another set, only the figures were black instead of white. His reasoning: a black nativity wouldn’t get stolen in central Texas! And they never were!!! They still have them, and after putting them out in the elements for 20+years, the black figures have faded to more of a Mediterranean/Hispanic heritage!

        2. If course Jesus was always portayed as a tall, thin white Aryan looking guy with blond hair and blue eyes, so those nativity figures are still wrong!!

      1. Panda wrote: “Guilt, yes; but on a much quieter level. There are many days I wish I had been born a Catholic.”
        No you don’t. Trust me, you don’t.
        Regarding catholic guilt trips, in my youth the nuns required us to “Examine your conscience.” Each night, lying in bed awaiting sleep, we were to think hard of something to feel guilty about. Mea culpa.
        I’m sure this practice has kept many a shrink in business over the decades.

      1. “The LORD rejected Uzziah and gave him facial leprosy for a new idea” – That statement says a LOT about this man’s view of God. No, it wasn’t because Uzziah had a NEW IDEA. It’s because he broke the law and went into the temple and took upon himself the job of the priests.

      2. “He is defrauded by having his most personal and prized object treacherously shared with a competitor.”

        Uh, no.

        I often refer to my wife as a treasure, but I never, never call her an “object,” seing as how I’m not ready to end my marriage.

      3. I read through as many of the 120 Reasons against Christmas as I could – until I started to watch my marbles disappear off into the distance. If I didn’t know better, and If God is really as petty-minded and constantly nit-picking as this collection of verses seem to imply, I think I would rather become a Pagan. At least the Pagan Gods would have some Compassion.

    1. I’m rather fascinated by this reason: . . . using Scripture’s silence to justify anything not expressly forbidden will lead to Coke and chips for the Lord’s supper and ouija boards for difficult decisions.
      –of course some heretics will insist on using the Magic 8-Ball instead. :razz:

    2. He began with passages from Exodus and Jeremiah and encouraged people to read Ezekiel, all Old Testament passages. He doesn’t seem to realize that we are no longer under the law.

      In his concluding statement, he says, “The Bible clearly condemns observing Christmas and other holy days of Rome’s whitewashed paganism.”

      Um, my Bible says, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday” (Col. 2:16). Yes, Paul was specifically talking of Jewish holy days here but I think the general principle still applies.

      He adds, “We are Bible Christians, and our religion is based squarely on the word of God without any regard for human tradition, popular opinion, warm and fuzzy feelings, or the countless compromises and inventions of contemporary Christianity.”

      You mean, warm and fuzzy feelings like love and joy and compassion?

    3. Paul Best, reading that link reminded me of this quote I saw the other day: “You can’t love flowers and not hate weeds, but beware of those who hate weeds more than they love flowers.”

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