Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Wise Men Seek Truth

Christmas often has a tendency to bring out both the good and the bad in  people in a very general sense.

There is of course, the hustle and bustle of shopping, people neglecting the true meaning and focusing on the commercialization factor and of course food is a major focus in which all of us tend to enter into the sin of gluttony if not careful.

Christmas also has a tendency to bring out a variety of emotion in people. We all claim it is “The most wonderful time of the year”, that we are happy, excited and draw closer to our faith in Christ as we remember the story of His amazing birth.

Unfortunately for some it is a time of sadness and depression as memories pop up of family and friends and often the absence thereof.

Christmas also brings out a variety of opinion among Christians in the near extreme. Everything from when and where Jesus was actually born to the great “manger controversy” (i.e. was it an actual stable or a cave).

Preachers, pastors, theologians and religious writers (such as yours truly) all come out of the wood work with their predictive thoughts and opinions on Christmas.

One of the most controversial topics is the “Brightest Star” in the sky, how it moved to shine over the place where the Christ child was and the “Wise men” from the east who followed the star.

It is this topic that nearly every preacher,pastor and theologian dance around. We all know who the “wise men” really were and we know why the Brightest star was so important as well as the time of year and even why the Bible sees this as a significant event in the story of the birth of Jesus.

These “Wise men” were ASTROLOGERS. They practiced astrology and consulted the stars and position and alignment of the planets in an attempt to seek out the knowledge and will of God. That, by the way is not opinion but fact.

It’s too bad that so many pastors and preachers run to the pulpit with such unqualified opinion and condemnation and include astrology within the realm of the demonic, divination and black magic. It is not. At least that was not its original intent.

Too many well intentioned pastor/preachers substitute their uninformed and uneducated opinion for proclamation. They see “putting down” easier than raising up; raising up the name of Jesus.

Not only were the wise men who sought Jesus astrologers but so were most of the Old Testament prophets. Moses himself was raised among Egyptian astrologers and was very familiar with their “wise men”. This is partly why he and his brother Aaron were so enabled by God to perform miracles in front of his adoptive brother Pharaoh and Pharaoh's “Wise men”.

Many of the later Levitical priestly practices were simply carry overs from Egyptian priest astrologers and were astrological in nature.
The late great Presbyterian Pastor/Theologian, Dr. D. James Kennedy who pastored the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and author of the highly recognized church growth program, “Evangelism Explosion”, proclaimed with great detail in his book, “The Real Meaning of the Zodiac” that the gospel is actually proclaimed in the stars of the Zodiac.This is an amazing book and having known the late pastor, it was a thrill to hear him address this topic with such confidence and assurance.

We need to remember that the written Bible wasn’t even available to most people until seventy years after the birth of Christ so how else would these “wise men” even have known of the coming of the birth of Christ or prediction of the coming of the Messiah apart from looking to the sky. This would be especially true of non-Hebrew people of which these wise men most certainly were.

These wise men were from the east.  Most theologians and historians agree, they were from areas like Persia (modern day Iran), India and possibly even China.  All of which at that time practiced some form of Zodiac belief. The Chinese Zodiac is still practiced by many today. What better way would God have had to proclaim the coming of His only son to save all of human kind than through His creation, the stars. Everyone can look up anywhere on the planet and see the stars and the planets.

The stars, the sky, the heavens are important to God and the Bible. The angels or (messengers of God) appeared as a “heavenly host” to the shepherds while tending their flocks.  Jesus ascended into heaven and the angels attending to His ascension, told the disciples as they looked on that this same Jesus would return in the same manner He left. He will come again down from the heavens.

It was a light from heaven in which Jesus appeared to Saul later to be called  the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus.

It is fear rather than fact which often tends to keep us as Christians from accepting the facts concerning Biblical truth.

So often Christians state boldly that “If the Bible says it and I believe it, that settles it”. True as that statement might be, if the Bible says something and we still don’t believe it or just pretend it isn’t there such as this situation with the wise men being astrologers, then the matter is not settled and we fool ourselves..

As we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus, let’s remember that He is the truth and anything less than our acceptance and proclamation of all that is true is denial of who He is and why He came.

Let us proclaim the truth that Jesus is the Christ and that He is the way, the truth and the life.
May we be willing to put forth as much effort in proclaiming that truth to the world as the wise men were in pursuing the star in search of the Savior.

Merry Christmas to one and all. Keep looking UP.

 ©Copyright 2011 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III and One Outlaw's Opinion


Drtruthman said...

My latest article on the truth about the wise men, who they were and why they were following the star. Please click the FB, Twitter and +1 buttons to share and click on COMMENTS to post a comment. Please follow if you have not done so. Your support and feed back is most appreciated.

Deborah Brooks-Langford said...

Dr. Lee this is very beautiful.. I love the video.. This really puts me in the mood for Christmas.. You are very wise.. thank you for writing this.. I really enjoyed it..

Drtruthman said...

Thank you for your comment Debbie. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and leave such a thoughtful comment. I am glad you enjoyed the video. I felt blessed to find the Lynn Cooper video. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

"written Bible wasn’t even available to most people until seventy years after the birth of Christ" ~ I found this astounding, Dr. Lee. Everytime I read one of your articles, I learn something new. Maybe I knew this a long time ago, but had forgotten. Anyway, very interesting Article. I understand how back in the day, Astrology must have been viewed upon as "black magic." But you are so right.....the Heavens, the Stars, the Cosmos, play a big role in the Bible and have many inferences. Surely those Wise Men had to follow that beautiul Bright Star to know someting special just happened to Mankind. What a beautiful Story to be reminded of this time of year, when yes, the commercialization of Christmas takes the true gift out of the prize.

Lee Outlaw said...

Thank you Susan for such a thoughtful and well stated comment. Yes, although there was "oral tradition" of the stories being handed down as well as excerpts of the OT circulated in various formats the basic Bible as we know was not actually written down until 70 AD in all places but Alexandria Egypt and all in Koine' Greek known as the Septuigent or 70 Books. Yes, 4 more than we have today.

Deborah Brooks-Langford said...

This is still so beautiful.., the love you have for Our Lord is so commending. God Bless you my sweet friend.