Every holiday has a past. Christmas is no different. The day now known for manger scenes, Santa Claus, and gift-giving during the peak of winter was not always celebrated in said manner.
Many of the traditions connected to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ have non-Christian origins. Items like the Yule log, the Christmas tree, and the very placement of the observance during the darkest time in the calendar year stem from pre-Christian religious observances.
Bruce Forbes, professor of religious studies at Sioux City, Iowa-based Morningside College explained to The Christian Post in an earlier interview that many current Christmas rituals emerged during the difficult winters pagans often encountered. more >>
A recently released study conducted by Pew Research has found that among surveyed Americans, only about half consider Christmas to be an inherently religious holiday.
In results reported Wednesday, Pew's Religion & Public Life Project found that 51 percent of Americans viewed Christmas as more of a religious holiday than cultural.
Thirty-two percent of respondents considered Christmas more cultural than religious, with 9 percent giving other answers and 7 percent saying they do not celebrate Christmas. more >>
A British journalist has denounced a recent British Broadcasting Corporation interview wherein recently deceased human rights activist Nelson Mandela was compared to Jesus Christ.
Dominic Lawson wrote in a column published by the UK Daily Mail on Sunday that it was "absurd for the BBC to compare him to Christ."
"Mandela's greatness is not in doubt. His ability to work with and, apparently, forgive those who incarcerated him for 27 years in appalling conditions does conform to behaviour we might characterise as saintly," wrote Lawson. more >>
Pastor Derwin Gray told Saddleback Church attendees over the weekend that even though he had made it into the NFL as a player he didn't experience "authentic peace" until he committed his life to Jesus Christ.
Gray, who played as a defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers, is the lead pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, S.C. He spoke at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. this past weekend in the stead of Pastor Rick Warren, who he called his mentor, as part of the church's advent series.
Gray says his mother and father were just teenagers when he was born, and he was raised primarily by his grandmother. He grew up in Texas just a half-mile from some government housing projects and says his childhood was anything but peaceful. more >>
Sometimes it can appear that where there is a calendar day, there is a holiday of some kind. Observances can range from the solemn Memorial Day to the not-so-solemn Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Not all holidays are equal, with a small number being nationally, religiously, or ethnically significant; some involve the government closing down for the day while others do not.
Through it all, Thanksgiving has held its own as a much beloved American holiday. Taking place on the last Thursday in November, for many, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. more >>
The family of Pastor Saeed Abedini said in a recent interview that they are "devastated" that the Obama administration failed to secure Abedini's release during recent negotiation talks with Iran, in which the Middle Eastern country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Abedini is an American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran over the past year for his Christian faith.
"As a wife and a mom, it's devastating," Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, told Fox News Radio. Naghmeh and her family saw these recent peace talks between Iran and the U.S. as a possible opportunity for Abedini to be released from his eight-year prison sentence. The pastor was sentenced in January 2013 under the charges of "planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security."
Naghmeh added to Fox News Radio that she now believes the U.S. has no leveraging power since making the nuclear program deal. "Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don't think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent." more >>