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 >>
Award-winning gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp's latest CD, a feel-good album titled Christmas Card, reminds listeners of the reason for the season and includes a "thank you" from the Sapp kids to all who have supported them since their mother's passing. Sapp recently spoke with The Christian Post about his new LP, celebrating the holidays without his late wife, and how he manages being a single dad, pastor, and recording artist.
Sapp's Christmas Card, opening with the track "Feels Real Good," a bouncy, bass-heavy cut, and closing with the doo-wop track "Don't Get It Twisted" that calls for keeping Christ in Christmas, also offers two traditional tracks, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Joseph's Song."
The family- and dance-friendly album is Sapp's first-ever Christmas-themed LP, which is just one of a few recent firsts for the Michigan artist and minister. 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 preacher featured on the National Geographic reality television series 'Snake Salvation' will go before a Tenn. grand jury next month.
Pastor Andrew Hamblin of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette appeared for a preliminary hearing Tuesday over allegations of snake handling and owning dangerous wildlife.
More than 3,600 people attended LifeChurch.tv's first worship services at its newest campus in Moore, Okla., and about 70 people made commitments to follow Jesus Christ last Sunday at the branch of the multisite megachurch founded 7 years ago.
Moore campus pastor Michael Metcalf told The Christian Post that the new campus was launched because of the many LifeChurch.tv worshippers living in the area.
"Many people that live in Moore, Norman, and surrounding areas were attending our South Oklahoma City campus and are passionate about making a difference in their community," said Metcalf. "Our mission is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ, and we believe a campus in Moore will be a huge catalyst for reaching thousands of people in the community who don't yet know Him." more >>
Joel Osteen does not believe that churches should shy away from politics, states a source close to the best-selling author and pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
Donald Iloff Jr., senior executive for Joel Osteen Ministries and brother-in-law of pastor Osteen, told The Christian Post that Osteen "doesn't really believe" all churches should shun political matters.
"He'd never said that before and doesn't really believe it," said Iloff, adding that Osteen is friends with pastors like Rick Warren of Saddleback Church whose "gift [is] to be involved politically." more >>