Merry Christmas (according to The Way International)

If you come across someone who says “Merry Christmas” to you today, Sept. 11, rest assured that this person isn’t celebrating the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in our history.

Years before 9/11 became synonymous with terror and mourning, followers of The Way International celebrated it as Jesus’ actual birthday.

JCOPSThe Way’s founder, Victor Paul Wierwille, outlined his reasoning in his 1982 book Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed, available on Amazon.com for a price so ridiculously high (as of this writing) that the only recommendation I have is to respond with laughter.

Now, a quick Google search will reveal that other groups have come to the same conclusion, so I’m not going to examine their sources to try to trace them back to Wierwille. Besides, it’s probably easier to trace them to Wierwille’s source, Ernest L. Martin, whose book is far more ridiculously priced on Amazon. Martin was part of a different cult, The Worldwide Church of God, before that group went mainstream.

Martin’s book, The Birth of Christ Recalculated, was published in 1980, and Wierwille cites him as a source. This was a new thing for Wierwille, as his previous books lifted passages from other sources wholesale without attribution. It helps to understand that Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed was written by a committee under Wierwille’s supervision, with Wierwille taking credit and responsibility for the contents. The contributors to Wierwille’s book were scrupulous in adhering to publishing standards regarding plagiarism in a way that Wierwille previously had not been.

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