Christmas: The Conception of Jesus Christ

From Filtering Out Christmas Notions, by By J. Grant Swank, Jr.:

*Here’s another twist to the modern Christmas Story that makes some the above statements irrelevant in a certain sense. It also makes moot the often repeated idea that “the Church” usurped a ‘pagan holiday’ to celebrate Christmas. Consider the following narrative regarding early church father, Tertullian, as a possible alternative to the modern narrative:

Early Church father, Tertullian, born in the second century around A.D. 150, also known as the “father of Latin theology;” reportedly was the first to develop the annual ‘Christian celebration’ that we now call Christmas. As noted above, Jesus’ actual birth date is not known. However, examining the circumstantial evidence in Scripture, Tertullian surmised that Jesus was born in late September or early October (this idea is still supported by many theologians today). But, Tertullian was actually more interested in the time of Mary’s inception of Christ by the Holy Spirit, i.e., the ‘Incarnation.’ So, in an attempt to figure out the time of the Incarnation, Tertullian counted backwards nine months from the time of Christ’s birth in late September to late December as being the time of Mary’s miraculous inception. Tertullian then designated December 25th as the date to celebrate the Incarnation and thus it began as such. But, very quickly, the celebration began to include the birth of Christ and the baby Jesus, which almost immediately became an endearing focus of the celebration. The annual Christian celebration soon changed from celebrating the Incarnation to celebrating the birth of the “baby Jesus” who would bring salvation to the world (although the date remained to be December 25). And so, as the birth of Jesus Christ is not the actual birth-date of the messiah,, it is according to Tertullian’s calculation’s, very close to Mary’s inception or miraculous Incarnation of the world’s savior, Jesus Christ.

It is reasonable that a Church father was more interested in the conception of Christ than His birth: since Jacob & Esau – and on through Exodus 21:22 (where accidentally killing the unborn is a punishable offense), the Psalms (esp. Psalm139) and Isaiah 44:2, it has been Biblical knowledge that the unborn are also humans to be protected.

God – unlike the solidly Darwinian Secularist State – values the lives of the small and the weak. So much so, that He chose to be incarnated as one of their number, long, long ago.

It can be historically demonstrated that Christian condemnation of the practice is integral to the religion. As Rushdoony wrote in his book The One and the Many (footnotes deleted: buy the book here):

The condemnation of abortion as murder was quickly in evidence in Christian circles. In a collection of rules and comments, we read, “Thou shalt not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten; for ‘everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed’ (Ex. 21:23, LXX).” Tertullian declared, “To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed.”


Basil of Caesaria in Cappadocia, in his Canons, held to the same requirement. Basil called abortion murder, and declared also, “That a woman being delivered of a child in a journey, and taking no care of it, shall be reputed guilty of murder.” In the Quinisext Council of 692, Canon XCI declared, “Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the penalty of murder.” Abortion was murder, suicide was murder, and self-mutilation was murder. Anyone who mutilat- ed himself was subjected to excommunication if a layman, and deposition as well if a clergyman. For the Christians, the only open question here was administrative: God’s law was final and absolute. A man’s life was not his own, nor his body, nor the life of his unborn child. To tamper with these things was to sin against God. It meant attempting to play God with life, and all life and all creation was subject to man only under God’s infallible word and law.




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