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Items filtered by date: December 2014
I won't put up a Pagan Tree!

I was probably 10, when I heard a woman for the first time, whom was furious because thousands, if not millions, of Christians celebrated Christmas with what she said was "the pagan tree". Since then I've ran into several people with the same conviction, that it is a sin to have a Christmas tree. So, I looked up biblical and historical information regarding the Christmas tree.

Biblical:

The Bible, in Jeremiah 10: 1-5, speaks of a people who worshiped a tree cut from the pine forest and decorated it with gold and silver. The Bible tells us not to fear the "pine god."  It’s only a pine tree. What this passage is teaching us is that it’s not bad to decorate a tree, but it's bad to worship a tree. In other words, it didn’t state that it was bad to decorate a tree, but that people worshiped and feared the tree.  Today there are people who do the same, that for them Christmas has little to do with Jesus and has everything to do with decorations, food, and gifts. However, most of those who put up a Christmas tree are not worshiping a god. They are simply enjoying a festive decoration.

 Throughout the Bible, we see the concept of idolatry as elevating something that is neither bad nor good and putting it in the place of God. There are people who do this with images, but itdoesn’t mean that a picture is bad unless it is seen as divine or something that takes the place of God. Some people have their spouses as an idol; it doesn’t mean that marriage is bad, but people are taking something good and making it a priority ahead of God.  There are people in the Bible who worship the sun, but that doesn’t mean that having a picture of a sunset in our homes is a sin. There are people in the Bible who worshiped a pine tree, but that does not mean that having a decorated pine tree in your house is a sin.

 Historical:

 The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree is relatively new.  During the Reformation in Germany, people would have holiday gatherings and through plays they would illustrate what happened in the Garden of Eden with a tree (in Germany the most common tree is the pine). They would hang apples, figs, or some fruit on the tree to represent the forbidden fruit.  Some people, to this date, still hang apples on their trees and have no idea why.  In fact, the spheres currently hung on trees represent the fruits that would hang on the tree back then.  After a while, thanks to the Christmas drama, the pine tree began to be a Christmas decoration. Those who started this tradition did not see it as something that they worshiped, but as something to remind them that all have sinned and that the purpose of Christmas is that Christ came to die for our sins to give us eternal life.

 The Christmas tree is not a useless decoration, on the contrary, it should serve as a reminder of how much God loves us. The Christmas tree has more value than we imagine.  For a Christian the tree is not an idol, but something that reminds us that we need to be redeemed by Christ.

 

Jonathan Domingo

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Why don’t we knock people over?

Why don’t we knock people over?

There is something that is practiced in some churches that we don’t practice ourselves and often people ask me, hey Jonathan, why doesn’t your church knock people over? I want to give you the Biblical explanation of why Horizonte does not knock people over by the "Holy Spirit."

 1. Because it’s not seen in the Scriptures.

In the Bible you don’t see a person knocking someone else over.  On the contrary, Jesus tells the lame to arise. Likewise the apostles didn’t knock people over, they came to instruct, heal, help, but never to knock people over. Some say, how about Isaiah or Juan, who saw God and fell over as dead?

 

1. They were seeing God in person and it was something so immense that they couldn’t stand.

2. It wasn’t a person who knocked them over

3. It was in private, not in public.

4. It was not the Holy Spirit, it was Jesus in his glory.

"You will never see anyone in the Bible wearing a white suit hitting people in the forehead making them fall over ..."

 

 2. The work of the Holy Spirit is ordered.

 

The Bible says that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters because there was disorder and right after that the light was created (Genesis 1: 2-3)

The Holy Spirit always seeks to bring order.  When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth which was in disarray and said it was the work of the Holy Spirit, he said to them that everything is done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).  Disorder is never the work of the Holy Spirit.

I will conclude this post by saying two things:

1. We are all for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we believe in healing, in gifts of prophecy, the gift of tongues, in all the gifts. But we simply want to exercise those gifts in a Biblical way.

2. We are not against Pentecostalism at all; I know many Pentecostal churches that love Christ, preach the gospel and are being used by God. What I am saying is that there are some people who take advantage of others and put on a show but do not love Jesus nor do they preach the gospel; they do not operate in the Holy Spirit; they are scam artists ...  It is not because a Pastor practices the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a different manner does that mean he is evil ... it’s just a little more energetic than us, but we are all in favor.

The purpose of this post is to explain why we don’t knock people over.

 


 

Pastor Jonathan Domingo

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