Christmas in a Time of Apostasy

I was hoping just to post something light in honor of Christmas and then take a few days off but then I went to World Net Daily and saw an article that really got me upset.

‘Fairy tale’: Many pastors don’t believe Jesus born of virgin

More people might come to church if Christians would drop “fairy tale” tidbits like the Nativity story.

That’s the belief of a minister in Cairns Church in Milngavie, Scotland.

According to Scotland’s Herald, Rev. Andrew Frater wants Christians to “move on from the ‘fanciful, fairy tale’ Nativity story and ‘disentangle the truth from the tinsel.’”

The report said Frater believes telling the traditional story of the birth of Jesus “had the effect of keeping people with doubts about their faith away from the church, as the Nativity was too easily dismissed.”

Christian preacher nativity story just fairy tale

With the widespread rejection of a six-day creation in favor of evolution, it’s no wonder that the Virgin Birth of Christ should be so easily rejected. To reject one and hold to the other is a logical contradiction. What this also means is that once you reject Creation and the Virgin Birth, then you logically must also reject the Resurrection of Christ. Once you reject the Resurrection, then you are no longer a Christian.

Which brings us to the next part of the article.

According to a 1998 poll of 7,441 Protestant clergy in the U.S., the following ministers said they didn’t believe in the virgin birth:

• American Lutherans, 19 percent

• American Baptists, 34 percent

• Episcopalians, 44 percent

• Presbyterians, 49 percent

• Methodists, 60 percent

With so many clergy rejecting the authority of Scripture, is it any wonder that the Church is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the West? Wolves in sheep’s clothing are the norm in many denominations. If clergy are willing to publicly disclose their disbelief, it seems likely that others doubt but are afraid to say so. These statistics are gathered by religious Virgin Birth Surveys

I’m sure the heresy in these denominations has grown worst since 1998. Can you say “gay marriage”?

What is interesting on this website is that more regular people believe in the Virgin Birth than clergy by a wide margin.

Some ministers think they can deny the clear teaching on such core issues such as the Virgin Birth and Resurrection and be Christians but Scripture contradicts such nonsense.

The Virgin Birth is not optional; it is the core of the Incarnation. If God did not become man then there is no hope for us. Creation, the Virgin Birth and Resurrection are all core doctrines of the historic Christian Creeds.

The Biblical account is not ambiguous. The Virgin Birth is an historical fact. Here are some passages supporting this core doctrine:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew

1:18-25 emphasis added

Luke, a physician by train, wrote not only the Gospel bearing his name but also the book of Acts, begins his narrative by stating that he interviewed eye witnesses and investigated the facts to write his account of the life of Christ.

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.  Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Luke 1:1-4 emphasis added

Contrast this with Rev Frater, “For me, it’s time to travel beyond the literalists’ landscape; time to acknowledge that Luke and Matthew were not newspaper reporters. Although facts were for them significant, they were also secondary.”

So we have a choice, believe the written account of eyewitnesses or the rambling of a Scottish hypocrite who swore an oath of fidelity to a God he doesn’t believe in.
Like Matthew, Luke is not ambiguous.

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God.”  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 2:34-38 emphasis added

There are other mentions of the Virgin Birth in the Gospels that are beyond the scope of this article that create even more problems for Frater and other doubters.

Likewise the Resurrection is not an optional doctrine for Christians.

But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay. Acts 13:37

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 1 Corinthians 15:14

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:17

Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— Galatians 1:1

I would like to close this blog with some portions of the Athanasian Creed that are relevant to this topic. There are 44 lines to the complete Creed.

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

emphasis added