Christmas at N3C
At the end of every calendar year, I am so grateful for new people that have come to N3C throughout the year. If you are one who has come to N3C this year and found us to be your church home... Thank you for allowing us to serve you!
What about Christmas at N3C? The Christmas season always brings a few questions from those who attend weekly, especially those that have recently connected with us. So I am writing this blog today in order to help bring some understanding as to why Christmas at N3C looks different than most all of the Christian churches that you have known or maybe came from.
You may notice that there are not any wreaths, trees, boughs of holly, green & red decorations, or nativity scenes among the decor. Nor is there any caroling, cantata’s, candlelight, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service scheduled. You may be wondering, “Why? That is so odd for a Christian church.”
Let me try to simply begin to explain. One of our foundational core values as a church is that we always strive to be “Real”. To us, “Real” means that we will always be as genuine, true and authentic as possible, especially right down to every “nut and bolt” of the Word of God. As I have dedicated my life to God and to the people He sends our way, it is my life, my mission, and my job to preach the truth of His Word to the best of my ability, even if it goes against the traditions of man or the church at large. If I know that something is not accurate, I will not minister it as fact.
If you were to ask almost any minister as to when Jesus was actually born, they would probably tell you that no one really knows or they might admit that He was probably born at some other time of the year. Most would agree that He was not born December 25th. For me, knowing this, it did not set well after I was ordained, called to pastor and had promised to preach the uncompromised Word of God. I began the journey to study and find some answers. So, when the season turns to Christmas, there is a tension between my stand on the Word of God and the traditions of what society and culture demand.
You might say, “Ok pastor, what’s the big deal? So many other churches and preachers do it.” I cannot speak for them and will not judge them. If they can celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th in good conscience, then by all means do it with conviction. However, I cannot, in good conscience, stand before the people that God put under my trust and perpetuate an inaccuracy as though it were fact.
James, the brother of Jesus puts it this way, “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1, NLT) As a pastor, I take my responsibility to communicate the Word of God seriously. I do not want to get to heaven and stand in judgment before God for not obeying the convictions that He placed in me. Like Jesus, I will always buck the traditions of man for the sake of the accuracy of the Word of God. Many people applaud for my uncompromising stance... until it comes to Christmas.
I want to make this perfectly clear... I (We at N3C) do believe in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin girl, born in a stable in Bethlehem, laid in a manger, visited by shepherds and wise men of the east. We just do not hold to December 25 as being the day of this event and feel that emphasizing that date, as Jesus’ birth would compromise the Word of God.
For this stance, there have been people that will not come back to N3C. I have had people get angry with me, call me down as preaching heresy (during a church service), claim that we are a cult, and even say that we are not Christians. A pastor at a church in a nearby town even preached a 2-week series rebutting a teaching I did, all the while making fun of me and calling me “The Grinch” and “Scrooge” to entertain his congregation.
Here’s the bottom-line... If you are reading this as a faithful attender of N3C, I am grateful for you. I am humbled that God would find you and lead you to N3C. Thank you for trusting me to help lead you through life with God’s Word. I am not asking you to change your traditions or agree with mine. I simply want to help you understand why you see what you see or not see during this time of the year at N3C.
You came to N3C for a reason. You come back week after week for a reason. That reason goes far beyond a day, a season, a teaching, or even an opinion. You come because the Spirit of the Lord and the truth of His Word are spoken here. The Love of God is intentionally stirred into all that we do and everything we do we have you in mind.
You may be asking, “Pastor Darin do you know when Jesus was born?” Through a journey of study, I believe that I have a pretty good idea! In that, there is a time of year that my family and I and many of our staff acknowledge the birth of Jesus. I did a series of teachings a few years ago detailed from the Bible that include a timeline of when Jesus was born. The series is called “Holiday Teaching” You can pick up or order a copy in our bookstore or you can contact our office to get yours.
Thank you for taking the time to read this today. You all are amazing! Have a great Holiday Season!