A Real Christmas Carol by Pastor Tom Newton – DEC 17, 2014 LETTER TO THE EDITOR

pastor-tom-A-800x450As we approach another Christmas, I would like to reflect on Christmas before and after becoming a Christian.  For Christmas before becoming a Christian was a day; to most of us it meant very little.  This year, Christmas will come and go, and it may have little or no impact on your life.  Christmas to many is the most depressing time of the year.  Often, we live in the past, hoping Christmas will never end, thinking somehow life would be better, or have some meaning, if the Christmases when we were children could be  revisited.  Those are the best times to remember, we think.  But as quickly as the decorations go up, they are taken down and boxed away for another year; so likewise our hopes and memories of Christmas past are revived for a moment, but then we are forced to wake up and face life in a New Year ahead.  Not much has changed!  But I am here to write about myself, and not others: when it comes to Christmas, things have really changed since I have become a Christian.  How so?

You would think that after becoming a Christian a minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christmas would have even greater meaning, but in fact, it does not!  What was Christmas like before I became a Christian?  I must now pull down the box of Christmas past, and behold it is filled with many sad memories.  What made Christmas so bad?  Sin!  Are you surprised?

My Christmas pasts were not much different from any of yours, per se.  I remember the presents under the tree, the abundance of food, the time off from school.  I remember when the whole family gathered together—Wait, that’s not true, I don’t remember a time when we were all gathered together, for by then, Ma and Dad had already divorced because of Dad’s drunkenness.  My older brothers and sister could tell me about such times, but I don’t recall them.  Then my mother remarried, and my step-Dad moved in, which was not so bad, for he was a good man, a good provider, for a family of eight.  But Christmas did not change much.  It was still without Christ!

As years went by, the drunkenness continued, for my whole family were heavy drinkers.  But now I was old enough to enjoy and really get into the Christmas spirit.  Things had really changed by the time I got out of high school.  In what way?  For one, My Dad had died with a beer can in his hand, and my only sister was killed during my first year of college; they called it domestic violence.  It happened just after American Thanksgiving.  Christmas came that year as usual, but I can say one thing for sure, my poor mother was never the same.  An early Christmas present, huh?  It was sin that ruined Christmas–my sin, my parent’s sin, all the way back to Adam’s sin.  Enough of Christmas past!

What about Christmas present?  What has changed?  Christmas has not, but I have!  How so?  The light of the glorious gospel of Christ lit my sin-darkened heart.  That’s grace!  It is not true that wise men still seek Him, for the Word of God says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:10-11).  The Christ of the Bible found me in Los Angeles, California, trying to start a rock-n-roll band, deep in sin: in drugs, drunkenness, witchcraft and astrology, and immorality.  Christmas then was just another day to get high, to party, and to jam, but all that would change.  How so?

It was not Christmas that changed my life, nor pardoned my sins, nor gave me a new life.  It was knowing Christ–The Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World–by a miracle of grace!  When I think of the incarnation, the virgin birth, and the accounts of Christ’s birth as faithfully recorded in the Bible for all to read, I do not think of Christmas.  I think of God’s unspeakable gift given to humanity, in the person of His Eternal Son:  “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

No one really wants to talk about being a sinner and being in need of salvation at Christmas time.  It is “peace on earth, and good will towards men.”  Many say, “Christmas brings out the best in mankind.”  But, in fact, one must not forget that Christ was born to die, and to die at the hands of sinners.  Sinners like you and me!  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Christmas?  I can take it or leave it.  The observance of a day means nothing compared to knowing, loving and worshipping the True and Living God.  You might ask, “Preacher, why be such a grinch?”  You see it is not I that has stolen Christmas, but sin!  I hope you come to see this, and by God’s grace to call upon the only Name “under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

I ask you not to pity me, or feel sorry for me, as I have opened up my box of Christmas past before you all.  If all that you have is Christmas, and with it just a bunch of boxes of memories of Christmas past and that’s all, you are most miserable.  One’s future can only be changed as one comes to trust in the Christ of the Bible.  Not the Christ of Christmas past, present, or future, but in the risen, exalted Son of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ or Christmas?  Which one do you have?  Which one do you love and value more?  I pray, as I can say by God’s grace, “It is Christ and Christ alone.  He is my all and all.”  It is not what Christmas means to me it is what Christ means to me!

Best wishes during this holiday season to all of you from the Newton family, and from Calvary Baptist Church.

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  1. Author

    Jules you’re close to another vacation. I can’t moderate the many posts you make which contain statements of fact that could get us sued. So keep them short, on topic, and stop suggesting some of the wacky things you are trying to state as fact like which religion is responsible for all pedophilia!

  2. Put any spin on your BS you like, Newton. The fact remains that bigotry and threats are bigotry and threats no matter how you twist it. You are becoming infamous for spewing toxic bile. Name one legitimate religious leader in eastern Ontario who wants anything to do with you. Oh yes, I forgot. They all have it wrong and you are the only one who knows the “truth”.

  3. Larry Knight about the beast I am in agreement but about those Seven Hills it can be Rome or even Jerusalem. There is more than one beast Nero but another is coming which will be a person influenced by Satan who will have all the answers to the world’s problems. People will think that he is God and worship him. He will be known as the anti-Christ. Larry I am going to go to the site that you gave me. In my Catholic Bible at the back of this “cathechism type of Bible – the harlot refers to a false church” and for a mighty long time now I have been trying to figure out a lot of things and I have mentioned some things to you and to P.J. Robertson but Jamie would not let it through. Nothing hateful only truth. I know what it is but I will look at that site. Thank you.

  4. Larry I went to the site that you spoke about and it said 404 not found. Larry I know so much about my RC and other faiths and a lot of us were in debate on these articles where we were open and yes I agree with you. Jamie has me on a leash. ARF ARF ARF Jamie. Shucks! Larry and PJ I can say a lot but Jamie is in protection mode somewhere.

  5. Furtz -“Oh yes, I forgot. They all have it wrong and you are the only one who knows the “truth”.

    I never said that! I said that God’s Word is the only authorized source of divine “truth”. I have said, and will repeat, the Lord Jesus Christ is “the TRUTH”.

    Act 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.

    Act 17:31 “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead”.

  6. Well, Pastor, you stick to your knitting. I’ll keep trying to give my neighbour the benefit of the doubt–tough sledding when he knows all the answers and is full of it.

  7. “knitting”? & “he knows all the answers” – this one thing I do know; the Bible has all the answers for faith and practice, for this life and the next – 2Ti 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.

  8. PTN…the bible has all the answers?? But are they the right answers? Not for me and I’m presuming PJ Robertson, Furtz and others who don’t follow the bigotry and threats.

  9. Jamie we both know very well that pedophilia itself goes way back before Christianity or Catholicism was ever formed and back to the Pagan days and we both know that Pagan religion. It is some of the practices of the Ancient Phoenicians, the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient people of Iraq, Iran (Persia), etc. etc. etc. Not to mention the Ancient Caanonites. Baal and so many other Pagan practices. Jamie I can talk and talk and talk till the cows come home on this stuff. It is all part of Furtz “Dudeism” LOL LOL. ROLF! You would be the Dudeist Rabbi and this I would have to see with both of you with a long dress, long beards and stringing on some sort of oriental (Middle Eastern) type of guitar chanting one in English and another in Hebrew. LOL LOL. You have me laughing here Jamie.

  10. Jules, I would NEVER leave a child alone with someone who claims that they communicate with an imaginary god or spirit.

  11. Right, Hugger, at least speaking for myself: we take the Pastor seriously, and not as a complete waste of time, because,as an authority figure (like Stephen Harper) practising the politics of intolerance, division and fear, he and his “gospel” constitute a menace to civil society.

    At the same time, it is evidently a complete waste of time to debate him or Harper–to put it to them that their politics is in direct transgression of essential Christian teaching–because they are fixed in their opinion–in the Pastor’s case justifying his opinion with an arsenal of biblical passages written by highly political not to say fallible human beings–and deaf to anyone else’s.

  12. Exactly PJ. PM Harper was “born again” back in the eighties and subscribes to the same asinine branch of Christianity as Newton. This explains his disdain for science, democracy, and Canada. It also explains his contempt for those with different views and beliefs.

  13. Furtz I have no idea what you may or may not believe in and in the grand scheme it matters not. Your Prime Minister Harper has been a staunch defender of freedoms. Harper’s answer to radical Muslims has been clear and concise and has only been about defending your rights not only as a Canadian but more importantly as a human being. Attacking an individual so clearly defending your rights makes no sense at all. While I may find it hard to follow your reasoning at times because of the broken chain of logic I do acknowledge your right to an opinion. An opinion after all is never about what is right or wrong but merely a glimpse into your personal perception. Facts of course are a different thing altogether.

  14. David Oldham….Harper will defend your freedoms as long as they agree with his beliefs. Anyone who doesn’t follow his train of thought is thrown under the bus. There are many bodies under that bus.

  15. Are you serious David? Harper has muzzled scientists, attacked judges, nuclear regulators, auditors, and every one else who disagrees with him. Even his (our) elected caucus members are not permitted to speak in public without a pre-approved script. Harper has done more to stifle open and honest political discussion than any other PM in my lifetime. And this is why he will lose (I hope) the up coming election.

  16. I live in today and today I know that Harper has taken a position against terrorism that may keep me and the ones that I love free tomorrow. Not to minimize what may be important to anyone else but to me freedom is everything, it is the point of my existence.

  17. Interesting how freedom means different things to different people. To me it would be living in a non-secretive open democracy where diverse ideas and opinions are respected. This of course would be a description of hell to Stephen Harper and his followers. To them, freedom is the ability to fix elections, stifle debate, destroy dissenters, and subvert our democracy and parliamentary system at will.

  18. Given Harper’s track record, so well summarised by Hugger and Furtz, we should be under no illusions that he will seize on the Charlie Hebdo murders as an opportunity to harden his hard-line law and order agenda and further erode democracy in Canada.

  19. P.J. Robertson while I have respected comments and views of yours in the past your alignment with Hugger1 and Furtz and their recent comments you allude to makes me question your judgement and reasoning power. Should you not like Mr. Harpers brand of politics then merely exercise your democratic right to vote at the appropriate time. To suggest that Mr. Harper and his band of conservatives are threatening democracy is blatantly extremism. I ask you what freedom have you lost at the hands of the current government.

  20. So David, you’re okay with Harper’s party cheating on election expenses and directing non-supporters to non-existent polling stations? And that’s just scratching the surface.

  21. Now I’m being aligned with Furtz and PJ Robertson? I don’t know if I should be insulted or enjoy the compliment.

  22. If everyone agreed the world would be boring. I find I agree with a lot of people on here. But at the same time I can disagree with them just as much as I agree with them.

  23. Mr Oldham:”Facts are a different thing altogether.” Agreed. Harper’s suppression of democracy, as instanced by Furtz, is fact, on the record and common knowledge. Going by his track record, will his promised terrorism bill further erode our democracy? That’s my question. Anyone who doesn’t ask it is, in my judgment, a fool.

  24. PJ, Her Harper loves this terrorist activity. He’s depending on it to get reelected, and it just might work, along with robo-calls and the usual election cheating. Notice how he just rejigged Elections Canada so it can no longer properly investigate suspicious activity? He’s a cleaver rabbit!

  25. Should be Herr Harper, and clever wabbit.

  26. I hate to be paranoid, but I can see it coming that anyone critical of the Harper regime will soon be considered a threat to national security. We aren’t too far removed from Russia’s Putin dictatorship.

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