Know Your Bible

VOL. 12                                                                                                                          December 15, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 42



The first definition given by the New World Dictionary for mannequin is “a model of the human body, used by tailors, window dressers, artist, etc.” (Page 823). For us common folks a mannequin is the plastic dummy in store windows. What, you may be asking, does a mannequin have to do with Christianity and being a Christian? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Have you ever spoken with someone about their need to obey the gospel (...their need to have their sins forgiven...their need for salvation) only to be told “I don’t have anything to be saved from”? I’m not a bad sinner; in fact, I’m a pretty good person. I don’t cheat on my wife/husband, I don’t steal or pad my income tax, I don’t lose my temper and yell, rant and rave, I don’t gossip about my friends and neighbors, I don’t abuse my wife/husband or children, I don’t..., I don’t..., I don’t....” Well, my friend, that is Mannequin Christianity. A mannequin could say, if a mannequin could talk, all of these same things.

Many people, even some who claim to be a follower of Christ, have a negative view of being a Christian. To such individuals the measure of following Jesus is in what they do not do. Such is, to be kind, a simplistic, silly view of what it means to be in the kingdom of God.

The life of a Christian is to be a life of doing and being. “Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:16-17). The following is a sampling of New Testament verses which scream of the necessity of DOING:

Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:17)

For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35)

And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’” (Luke 10:28)

So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’” (John 4:34)

And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” (John 8:29)

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14)

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” (Acts 1:1)

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” (Romans 13:3)

Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” (1 Corinthians 9:23)

Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)

Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,” (1 Timothy 6:18)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

I dare you, “I double-dog-dare-you” (when I was a child that was one of the strongest ways to show that we were most serious) to read the verses above and then to attempt to make a good faith effort to make any sense of Mannequin Christianity based on what is found in the New Testament.

Yes, there are “DO NOT” passages found in the New Testament. Many of these are a means of emphasizing the “DO” passages, or the out-growth of a failure to practice the “DO” passages.

There are many other things which the advocates of Mannequin Christianity could say, “I don’t study my Bible regularly”, “I don’t attend worship services regularly”, “I don’t live a Christ centered life”, “I don’t teach the gospel to my friends and neighbors”, “I don’t set a good example of being a Christian before my family, friends, and neighbors”, “I don’t oppose unrighteousness”, “I don’t encourages others to obey the gospel”, “I don’t...”, “I don’t...”, “I don’t...”, etc., etc., etc. 

---Bill Beasley

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The word "Christmas" is formed by the combining of the words "Christ" and "mass", thus, "the Mass of Christ.” The holiday as we know it originated with Roman Catholic ritual, although the ultimate origin of many of the customs of the season is not Catholicism, but paganism.

No one knows the birth date of Jesus. We do not know it because God did not choose to reveal it. Early writers not only acknowledged ignorance of the date of Christ's birth, but also repudiated the idea of a special observance of his birth. "As late as 245 A.D. Origen ... repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ . . . Clement of Alexandria (ca.200 A.D.) mentions several speculations on the date of Christ's birth, and condemns them as superstitious. Some chronologists, he says, alleged the birth to have occurred in the 28th year of Augustus, on 25 Pachon (an Egyptian month); ie., May 20. Others assign it. to 24 or 25 Pharrnuth (April 19 or 20)." (Encyclopedia Brittanica).  

A consideration of the facts brings us to these important conclusions concerning the religious observance of Christmas, or any special ceremonies or observances surrounding the birthday of Christ:

1. We do not know the date of Christ's birth. God did not choose to reveal it. 

2. The celebration of Jesus' birth did not begin until several hundred years after the beginning of the church. 

3. The special religious observance of Christ's birth is the combination of Roman Catholic and pagan traditions and rituals. 

4. The Bible says nothing about such an observance, and it IS therefore unscriptural. 

All that we do, in word or deed, is to be done "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (CoI.3:17). "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom.14:23). "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rom.l0:17). Regardless of piety or sincerity involved, activities such as religious observance of Christmas or Easter are not authorized by God's word, and therefore are not pleasing to the Lord.


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