House churches, virgin births and cancelling Christmas…

housechurch

This made me chuckle. Via TallSkinnyKiwi.

And I found this gem of a post by Jeremy at Hacking Christianity about the virgin birth. Jeremy claims the debate on whether Mary was really a virgin or not is irrelevant:

It is true that the Creedal writers were affirming the Virgin Birth by calling Mary the Virgin Mary. But their belief that it happened mattered much less than that it happened to one particular person. It’s identifying that Jesus was born of this Mary, this woman, Mary the Virgin.

In the gnostic Gospel of James, it reads that when Mary was in the manger, there was a bright flash of light, and Jesus appeared next to her. Really.

Why? These heretics couldn’t stand the idea that Jesus was born of a woman.
Birth, it’s a messy time. Blood and water, pain and joy.
The real messiness of human life begins in the messiness of birth.

Jesus must have just appeared, wrapped in white cloths next to Mary, already potty-trained and never woke up crying at 4am.

To which the Creed says otherwise….Jesus is found in the messiness of life.

And for the Gnostics, with their soul/body dualism, birth was too messy a way for a dignified son of God to come into the world.Β  There’s no way Jesus, son of God, could be born of a woman.

Finally, I recently rediscovered a great post by Feminary about churches skimping on Christmas celebrations:

According to the closing churches, they are giving people the “day off” to be with their families, where, and I swear I’m not making this up, the real celebration of Christmas takes place. Christmas, if you didn’t realize, is about being around a tree (opening gifts and stuffing our faces) with family and loved ones.

Oh, shit, I thought it was about God becoming human. I must be so confused. Is that Hannukah, then?

This is one more way the Evangelical subculture has supplanted Christianity with American values. How on earth can one believe that our faith is about spending time with family rather than with God?

This makes me think. For me, I usually pay lipservice to the fact that Christmas is about Jesus, but in reality it’s more about family, board games, presents and bad TV. I wonder what I can do within my own context to refocus the day?

[EDIT] PS: Go read this article by Nadia Boltz-Webber. Now