Merry Christmyths

Merry Christmyths

Any time our culture talks about Jesus, God’s people have an open door to enrich the conversation about Jesus. As you know, during this holiday season, much will be said about Jesus that is inaccurate. These inaccuracies are not just spoken by the world, but by Christians as well. God’s own children, the “people of the Book,” even struggle to discern between fact and fiction concerning this pivotal, historical event. 

May I challenge you to a short quiz? The purpose of this quiz is not just an “I gotcha” Bible trivia game, but rather has a weighty purpose for you to consider at the end. Give it a try. See how well you do: 

  • True or False The Bible says the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph to inform him that Mary was with child. 
  • True or False The Bible says that three wise men came to to the manger to worship and give gifts to Jesus. 
  • True or False The Bible says that an unknown number of wise men came to the manger to worship Jesus. 
  • True or False The Bible says a bright star appeared in the sky and led the shepherds to the manger. 
  • True or False The Bible says a bright star appeared in the sky and led the wise men to the manger. 
  • True or False The Bible says the shepherds and the wise men were present on the night of Jesus’ birth. 
  • True or False The Bible says an innkeeper told Mary and Joseph that there was no room in the inn, thus Jesus was born in a manger. 

Okay, so how did you do? Did anyone get them all right? Did you get a passing grade? Well, if you answered any of the questions with a “True,” you were mistaken. Every statement is false for one reason or another. Open your Bible and check it for yourself. 

What I have discovered through the years is that it is surprisingly easy for us to believe as fact, what is in reality, fiction. Furthermore, this “fiction” is sometimes propagated by religion. How many church lawns and “Christmas” reenactments will portray a nativity scene that inaccurately portrays the biblical account? 

But now here’s the point of my article: This article really isn’t about “gotcha trivia,” surrounding the birth of Jesus. It has a much more important purpose that is this: If we can be misinformed about something as fundamental as the birth of Jesus, what’s to make us think we cannot be misled regarding other religious matters? 

Friends, make sure your faith is not based on what others have told you is true, but rather make sure your faith is based on what you know to be true from your own personal study. Let the “fiction” you see perpetuated on church lawns and in church pageants this holiday season be a reminder and a warning to you to do your own Bible study and to never be content with what others say. 

Furthermore, let this short quiz cause you to stop saying things like, “I don’t know how in the world, [such and such denomination] can believe that doctrine?” Sure you do! They are guilty of doing what we, ourselves sometimes do. We take someone else’s word for truth, and we are content to perpetuate what has been handed down to us. 

Maybe this little quiz will cause me to stop impugning the motives of the religious people with whom I disagree, and realize that they may love the Lord as much as we do, but have simply not done their research. May we be tools in God’s hands to help them better understand. Steve Higginbotham 

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