For some suggestions on how you can help end slavery and human trafficking, please click here.
For some suggestions on how you can help end slavery and human trafficking, please click here.
In 1847 an unnamed parish priest sent an unusual request to Placide Cappeau, the commissioner of wines in a small French town: “You are well known for your poems. Would you consider writing a poem for our Christmas mass?” Cappeau was both intrigued and honored, and he soon penned an essay called Cantique de Noel.
Cappeau felt that his poem was more worthy of a song, than just merely a poem, so he turned to his friend Adolphe Adams. Adams was a classically trained musician, but he was also a Jew. Adams said to Cappeau, “You’re asking me to write a melody for a poem that celebrates a man I do not view as the Son of God, and a poem that celebrates a day I do not celebrate?” But because his friend Cappeau had requested it, he gave it his best effort. Three weeks later, Cantique de Noel was first heard for the first at the Christmas Eve midnight mass.
Cantique de Noel quickly became popular throughout France. But when it was discovered that the lyricist Cappeau had left the church to become a socialist, and the musical composer Adams was a Jew, the Catholic Church banned the song from being sung in any of its churches. Still the song grew in popularity.
During the build-up to the American Civil War, an abolitionist named John Dwight was especially moved by a line in Cantique de Noel: “Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease.” Dwight published his version of Cantique de Noel in his abolitionist magazine with the new title O Holy Night. The song quickly caught on in America.
The opening words of O Holy Night speak to our hearts today, as much as they did to those present at the First Advent—long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. To pine for something means to long painfully for something just out of our reach. It’s what the psalmist in ancient Israel capture too when he wrote, My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God (Psalm 84:2). There is a longing in all of us to know the Lord!
That’s why Christ’s First Advent is such a blessed, joyous event! In the second stanza we sing—In all our trials born to be our Friend; He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger. Indeed the writer of Hebrews tells us why Jesus was born as a human (Hebrews 2:14-18), and why we can approach him confidently (4:15-16).
Christ’s Incarnation allows us to put our faith in Him. When we do, we experience the Atonement. I like to remember this word by saying it at-onement. In other words, the Heavenly Father now sees us at-onement with His Son—when He looks at us, He sees Jesus. That’s why God forgets our forgiven sins (Hebrews 8:12)!
Then the third stanza of O Holy Night begins to tells us how we live out the at-onement every day by loving one another, enjoying His peace, living free and helping others get free too, singing joyfully to God day after night after day after night!
The First Advent was a holy night. But because Christ’s Atonement it makes us holy. So all our nights are O holy nights, and all our days O holy days, and all our work O holy work, and all our relationships O holy relationships!
Christ’s First Advent changes EVERYTHING for those who put their faith in Him. Is that you? Are you living in Christ’s at-onement? If not, you can be today by simply asking Him to come into your life.
You can check out some of the other Christmas carols we have looked at here. And check out the video of this message too—
Planned Parenthood continues to lie about their work, claiming they don’t modify abortion procedures at all. Here they are—yet again!—caught on video telling us how they treat living human beings!
Here is a great video from Stand To Reason explaining why abortion is unjust discrimination—
Murray Vassar shares 4 pro-abortion arguments that sound like historic pro-slavery arguments.
This undercover video shows that abortion providers know that they are killing a human being, but they just don’t want us to know that they know.
If you are as concerned about the devastation abortion is causing in our country as I am, you will find Father Frank Pavone’s book, Abolishing Abortion, as helpful as I did. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are the first set of quotes I wanted to share with you from this book. Unless otherwise noted, the quotes are from Father Pavone.
“First among the ‘unalienable rights’ the signers pledged to protect was ‘life.’ Legalized abortion clearly violates the principles they risked all for. It is not simply a ‘bad policy’ or an ‘unjust law,’ but rather, it marks the dissolution of this nation’s most fundamental contract with its citizens.”
“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not caused for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen—but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.” —William Lloyd Garrison, speaking of slavery
“We do not look for a utopia. We look for Christ to come again. But while looking for Him to come again, we do not wait passively. We wait actively. … As we wait actively, we must also remind ourselves to act judiciously. Passion does not preclude good judgment and a measure of reserve.”
“Democracy cannot be value-neutral. It cannot fail to ascertain that there are certain things that are good, certain things that are right. … A fundamental right is a human right without which we cannot express our humanity. … To deprive a person of life is to deprive that person of liberty. It stands to reason, literally, that the very right to life has to be respected and protected. Life is an even more fundamental right then freedom. The Declaration of Independence confirmed the same—‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ in that order. The state reinforces what the Church teaches. To hold the state accountable for protecting those fundamental rights has nothing to do with imposing religious beliefs and everything to do with reason.”
“We always start with the dignity of the human person, realizing that human rights and dignity don’t come from government and can’t be taken away by government. If elected officials were the ones who decided whether people have their human rights, those wouldn’t be human rights anymore. Human rights belong to humans because they are human, not because Congress decided to grant those rights. Therefore, we can rightly exclude no one from our service, our care, our protection.”
“When a government says that some people don’t have to be protected, that is the stuff of which genocides are made. So when you hear a citizen or a candidate or a public servant or a congressman or a senator or a president or anybody say, ‘I think Roe was a good idea,’ he is not just telling you what he thinks about a medical procedure. He is telling you what he thinks about the authority of government: what kind of government he believes we have, and what kind of government he believes we ought to have.”
“The root of modern totalitarianism is to be found in the denial of the transcendent dignity of the human person who, as the visible image of the invisible God, is therefore by his very nature the subject of rights which no one may violate—no individual, group, class, nation or State. Not even the majority of a social body may violate these rights, by going against the minority, by isolating, oppressing, or exploiting it, or by attempting to annihilate it.” —Pope John Paul II, The Splendor Of Truth (1993)
“Human rights are not granted by political systems. They are ‘pre-political.’ They exist before government and, in fact, must be honored, served, and secured by government, not because the leaders of government say so, but because all failure to do so undermines the very purpose of government.”
“Many people are very, very concerned with children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger, and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child—what is left for me to kill you and you kill me—there is nothing between.” —Mother Theresa, in her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech of December 11, 1979
“Many friends asked me, ‘What is our first spiritual duty regarding the abortion issue?’ They think I’m going to answer, ‘Prayer.’ But actually, the answer is repentance. The first step in abolishing abortion is to examine our own hearts and to repent of the role we each have played in allowing this holocaust to happen.”
“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” —Elie Weisel
More quotes from this outstanding book coming soon….
Here are some reasons they might be making this move…
1. Internet pornography is easier to access, cheaper to produce, and much more titillating than purchasing a magazine with pictures taken of professional models by professional photographers.
The New York Times said, “For a generation of American men, reading Playboy was a cultural rite, an illicit thrill consumed by flashlight. Now every teenage boy has an Internet-connected phone instead. Pornographic magazines, even those as storied as Playboy, have lost their shock value, their commercial value and their cultural relevance.”
So basically internet pornography is putting a pornographic magazine on the ropes, because internet-produced porn is largely fueled by sex slaves.
2. Our porn-saturated society is no longer turned-on by the so-called “soft porn” that Playboy produced.
In their press release, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders said, “The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, bears almost no resemblance to today. We are more free to express ourselves politically, sexually and culturally today…” (emphasis added). In another interview, Mr. Flanders said that nudity is “just passé at this juncture.” Nothing to see here!
So we now need to “express ourselves” more graphically in order to get the same sexual high than the generation before us.
3. Making Playboy a “PG-13” magazine helps legitimize the product.
The magazine will still feature pin-up centerfolds, but that doesn’t do anything to help with the objectification of women. In fact, it makes it worse. Making Playboy “safe for work” makes ogling scantily-clad women “acceptable” and “normal” for anyone who wants to lust.
Make no mistake about it, this is a plain-and-simple business move for Playboy. This does nothing to protect our society from the ravages of lust and pornography.
Speaking of which: if you struggle with lust or porn, here is a great resource to help you break free.