CHRISTIAN VIEWPOINT: More blessed to give than to receive

IT IS more blessed to give than receive, but is it? What about Christmas, when people run up debts to buy the latest technology only to see the queues at customer services wanting refunds on Boxing Day, or those who see Christmas as the season for ‘what can I get’?

The Bible tells us that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’. I think He delights to see joyful children receiving shoe boxes containing their only Christmas presents; the lonely person receiving an unexpected card or visit; homeless people offered a Christmas dinner with hope for the future; the folk in financial distress helped by the food bank.

Two thousand years ago a teenager, Mary, risked her reputation by being willing to bear a son Jesus, the Saviour.

Her future husband Joseph risked his to care for them both.

Local shepherds risked their low-paid jobs, leaving their sheep to find the baby Messiah.

Months later, foreign astronomers risked Herod’s wrath to worship the baby with expensive gifts. All cheerful givers, no refunds available!

The greatest gift came from God himself when Jesus, the Son left his glory in Heaven, to be born into a humble family and eventually to die on a Cross, so ‘that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life’.

And before He went back to Heaven he promised believers ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you’.

What a gift. Enjoy your giving and receiving this Christmas.

 

J. Hedges

Heron Hill Free Church

Comments (6)

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9:36am Fri 6 Dec 13

kendal brat says...

To the Westmorland Gazette.

Is it not about time that you placed some caveats on this type of comment. The majority of adults these days recognise these promises and offerings paraded as fact for what they are, too good to be true, fables or half truths embellished into supernaturality by iron age ignorants for the purposes of comfort and control.

But children have a much more accepting disposition. They tend to believe things that sound beneficial to them. When you parade opinion as fact, as has been done in this piece, you could encourage children to believe something for which no evidence exists, for all the wrong reasons, despite the story's incredibility.

It would be much better if those whom you invite to comment on this section of your paper make it abundantly clear that much of what they are saying happened all those centuries ago has no grounding in fact, and is not supported by any corroborative evidential source. If they could just preface every unsubstantiated statement by something like "We in the church believe..." or "The Bible, a book which we believe to have been written by our god's own hand,says..." that would at least prevent young children from reading it as the inerrant truth, and being indoctrinated by what is extremely likely to be fictitious ancient woo-woo.

Contrary to popular Christian belief, this type of indoctrination is not harmless.
To the Westmorland Gazette. Is it not about time that you placed some caveats on this type of comment. The majority of adults these days recognise these promises and offerings paraded as fact for what they are, too good to be true, fables or half truths embellished into supernaturality by iron age ignorants for the purposes of comfort and control. But children have a much more accepting disposition. They tend to believe things that sound beneficial to them. When you parade opinion as fact, as has been done in this piece, you could encourage children to believe something for which no evidence exists, for all the wrong reasons, despite the story's incredibility. It would be much better if those whom you invite to comment on this section of your paper make it abundantly clear that much of what they are saying happened all those centuries ago has no grounding in fact, and is not supported by any corroborative evidential source. If they could just preface every unsubstantiated statement by something like "We in the church believe..." or "The Bible, a book which we believe to have been written by our god's own hand,says..." that would at least prevent young children from reading it as the inerrant truth, and being indoctrinated by what is extremely likely to be fictitious ancient woo-woo. Contrary to popular Christian belief, this type of indoctrination is not harmless. kendal brat

11:57am Fri 6 Dec 13

magical trevor says...

Not sure that comments like this (not yours Kendal Brat) have any place whatsoever on a newspaper web site. The whole point of a journalistic presence, in paper or virtual\web form, is to present fact....not fiction as this piece sadly parades before us. Very disappointed in the WG for allowing this to appear on its website.
Not sure that comments like this (not yours Kendal Brat) have any place whatsoever on a newspaper web site. The whole point of a journalistic presence, in paper or virtual\web form, is to present fact....not fiction as this piece sadly parades before us. Very disappointed in the WG for allowing this to appear on its website. magical trevor

2:56pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Kendmoor says...

Though not a Christian, I don't have a problem with it so much...but I think perhaps it'd be better placed under the "Opinion/Letters" section as it isn't news. I've seen a couple of these "articles" and it might be nice (if these letters have actually been requested by WG) to see other "viewpoints" once in a while, plenty of other religions out there...how about a Wiccan or Pagan viewpoint next? That'd be interested this yuletide!
Though not a Christian, I don't have a problem with it so much...but I think perhaps it'd be better placed under the "Opinion/Letters" section as it isn't news. I've seen a couple of these "articles" and it might be nice (if these letters have actually been requested by WG) to see other "viewpoints" once in a while, plenty of other religions out there...how about a Wiccan or Pagan viewpoint next? That'd be interested this yuletide! Kendmoor

4:01pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Kendmoor says...

*interesting

Reading back on the previous comments I should add to the point I made that I do agree with their central arguments, but the reason I don't have too much of a problem with it is that I honestly don't think that children are reading this.

If any children *are* really online reading a newspaper website, or are *actually* reading a newspaper (that genuinely makes me chuckle) they are, far more than likely, intelligent enough and old enough to know what Christianity is. It is up to us as "non-believer" parents to explain properly to our children that there are people out there that do believe things, even things that have no (or little) basis in fact and prescribe themselves to something called faith.

Hard pressed to get Christians talking the way you're saying it should be written as that seems to be the way they talk when preaching...
Will WG change anything? More than likely they'll shut off comments to the article and delete our posts! That's what they did with that broadband article when an error was pointed out! ;)
*interesting Reading back on the previous comments I should add to the point I made that I do agree with their central arguments, but the reason I don't have too much of a problem with it is that I honestly don't think that children are reading this. If any children *are* really online reading a newspaper website, or are *actually* reading a newspaper (that genuinely makes me chuckle) they are, far more than likely, intelligent enough and old enough to know what Christianity is. It is up to us as "non-believer" parents to explain properly to our children that there are people out there that do believe things, even things that have no (or little) basis in fact and prescribe themselves to something called faith. Hard pressed to get Christians talking the way you're saying it should be written as that seems to be the way they talk when preaching... Will WG change anything? More than likely they'll shut off comments to the article and delete our posts! That's what they did with that broadband article when an error was pointed out! ;) Kendmoor

8:54am Sat 7 Dec 13

KendalSmithy says...

The item is headed 'Christian Viewpoint'. Surely that's enough to suggest that it's Christ-based and is a point of view?
The item is headed 'Christian Viewpoint'. Surely that's enough to suggest that it's Christ-based and is a point of view? KendalSmithy

1:36pm Sat 7 Dec 13

kendal brat says...

Not really, Kendal Smithy. If you offer a viewpoint, ie an opinion, you base that opinion on fact.

The facts upon which Hedges opines are so ridiculously magical, supernatural, unsupported by any normal evidential route; and hotly contested by anyone indoctrinated into another religion, that they mustn't be touted as anything other than wishful notion.
Not really, Kendal Smithy. If you offer a viewpoint, ie an opinion, you base that opinion on fact. The facts upon which Hedges opines are so ridiculously magical, supernatural, unsupported by any normal evidential route; and hotly contested by anyone indoctrinated into another religion, that they mustn't be touted as anything other than wishful notion. kendal brat

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