Responding To Holiday Greetings

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Hi D____,

That is something with which we all contend, and it is good for us to do so, because it teaches us never to “despise him who eats not,” and him who “esteems one day above another.”
Instead we should always be gracious and smile and  say ‘Thank you,” when we are greeted with a ‘Merry Christmas.” When asked if we had a good Christmas, or Thanksgiving or Easter or birthday or any other “day, month, time or year” (Gal 4:10), allow for the source of the question, and simply say ‘I had a good day, thank you for asking.’ This time of year we are often asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” My wife always smiles and says “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” Always be gracious, and never be condemning of those who are where we were only yesterday. At the same time we are never to give up our ‘meat’ for the ‘herbs’ given to Adam.

Gen 1:29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [ is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Gen 1:30  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Herbs are easy for the flesh to digest. Herbs do not require one to appears so very different from the masses. It is always easier to get along with the world when your spiritual diet is herbs. “He that is weak in the faith eats herbs.” But strong meat is not for any one who cannot “eat all things.”

Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Isa 28:9  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, [ and herbs] and drawn from the breasts.

There is no “reason of use” in continuing on in the traditions in which all of Babylon was reared. Continuing to “conform to this world” can hardly be considered to be “strong meat”. That is rather “esteeming on day above another” and “being in bondage to the weak and beggarly elements” of our former “bondage.”

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

And “bondage” is exactly what such unBiblical traditions are. Christ is our example. As such He “esteemed every day alike.” He went up to the feast late contrary to the traditions of His day,  and He “broke the sabbath” contrary to the traditions of His day.

Exo 12:16  And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
Exo 23:17  Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

Deu 16:16  Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

But Christ did not go up on the first day:

Joh 7:8  Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.
Joh 7:9  When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
Joh 7:10  But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
Joh 7:11  Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?
Joh 7:12  And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.
Joh 7:13  Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.
Joh 7:14  Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

Christ “esteemed every day alike” because it was He who believed He could “eat all things”, and it was He who was not “weak in the faith.”

Mat 12:1  At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
Mat 12:2  But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.

The law required Israel to prepare twice as much on the sixth day so there would be no work to be done on the sabbath. It was very clear.

Exo 16:5  And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

The “law of Moses” and the feasts of that law, were the traditions of His day, and Christ was called out of that, just as His elect are called to come out of the lies and Pagan traditions of our day. Here is Christ’ s example for us today.

Joh 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath [“esteemed every day alike”], but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Christ dared to ignore the traditions of His day.

Joh 5:16  And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

It is “He that is weak in the faith” who also “esteems one day above another,” and it is “he that eats not [ who judges him that eats… meat” (the meat of God’s Word.)

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Rom 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [ alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, [ As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in [ his] brother’s way.
Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that [ there is] nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him [ it is] unclean.
Rom 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Rom 14:18 For he that in these things serveth Christ [ is] acceptable to God, and approved of men.

A strong and mature brother will always tend to despise a weaker brother, and a weaker brother will always tend to judge a stronger brother. We are to resist these natural inclinations and remember that our God is sovereign, and it is He who has us each in our own appointed place in our spiritual walk with Him.
There is not one word in all of the writings of Christ, or any New Testament writer, which even as much as hints at the thought of giving up one’s meat and mature understanding and the ability to withstand persecutions and trials, for the milk and herbs of those who are “weak in the faith.”  We are never to despise our weaker brothers and sisters who have not yet be given to accept the things of Christ which bring on the hatred of this world. Those brothers and sisters are exactly where God has them, and they give God thanks that they are where they are. You and I give God thanks also. Let us not despise one another, and let us not judge one another. We are all mere vessels for God’s hands to mold and to make as He sees fit.
But it is given to few to be willing to go against traditions, as did Christ.
I hope this helps you to see that there is nothing wrong with being gracious to a brother who is not yet capable of “eating all things.”

Your brother in Christ,

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