Christmas or Christ-Mass

Christmas or Christ-Mass

For the vast majority of people the question is really no question at all. Is Christmas
Christian? „Of course it is! What could be more Christian than Christmas? Isn’t it Jesus’ birthday?”
For many others there has been an increasingly uncomfortableness with the celebration of
Christmas. There is an uneasy feeling that something is not quite right. And yet they keep telling
themselves, „Christmas is Jesus’ birthday – The world has corrupted Christmas, but undeneath
it’s still a wonderful holiday.” Yes, there is a sentimental appeal of the „holiday spirit.” There is a
certain charm about the season. No one with even a touch of sentimentality could escape a
twinge of nostalgia when there’s a feeling of „Christmas in the air.” What is the „true” meaning of
Christmas? Where did it come from? What does it stand for now? The real question is the nature
of the institution itself. We are so snowed under by a century of tradition and nostalgia that it’s
almost impossible for most people to look at the issue objectively. Look honestly at this institution
of Christmas and keep in mind that the Word of God is the only true and sufficient guide for the
child of God. Many say we need to put „Christ” back into „Christmas.” But Christ never wanted to
be part of a celebration of Christmas. The fact is that there is nothing Christian about Christmas,
either in its present observance or in its origin, Christmas is basically and essentially pagan. Who
is it that celebrates Christmas? The whole „civilized world” celebrates it. Millions who make no
profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who „despise and reject Him,” and millions more who
while claiming to be His followers, yet in works denying Him, join in the merry-making under the
pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Can we really believe that He whom the world
cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? „Thou shalt not
follow a multitude to do evil.” (Ex. 23:2). Whatever the world practices ought to be held in
suspicion by the believer in Christ, for „all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of
the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world,” (I John 2:16) „and we know
we are of God, and the world lieth in wickedness.” (I John 5:19). Sadly, too many Christians are
badly misled by men’s traditions and blind to the importance of receiving guidance only from
God’s Word, to take a godly stand against Christmas.
„Christmas” is a word which embodies an idea that is unknown in the Bible. To say that it
is biblical, is of private interpretation and the Bible is not for private interpretation. „Holy men
spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (II Pet 1:20,21). „All Scriptures is given by
inspiration of God.” (II Tim. 3:16). „Christmas” is excluded from all of Scripture. The apostle Paul
tells us „though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we
have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8). The Roman Catholic Church claims
authorship of choosing the name „Christ” to connect with their „mass.” The very idea of joining
Christ to the mass is an abomination. Christ came to earth to die once for sin, but according to
Roman Catholic teaching each mass is „a true sacrifice, in which the risen Christ becomes bodily
present on the altar as a victim who is offered anew by the church to God the Father as expiation
for the sins of men.” They re-crucify Christ at every celebration of the mass! Here we see that
Christ-mass is of human invention, therefore not scriptural nor spiritual. Christ-mass belongs to
that „other gospel,” for Paul knew nothing of linking Christ to a mass. And John makes clear the
consequences of adding to Scripture: „If any man add unto these things, God shall add unto him
the plagues that are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18).
There is no indication in the New Testament that the early Christians observed Christ-
mass at all. It can be shown in church history that for over 300 years after the birth of Christ,
Christians knew nothing of celebrating Christ-mass. It was only as the church began to drift from
apostolic doctrine and practice into corruption that Christ-mass began. The source of most of the
basic forms of paganism in the ancient world can be traced back to the Babylonian „mysteries”. In
the Old Testament Babylon stands as the epitome of everything that is godless and perverse. The
greatest indignation suffered by God’s people for their sins is to be carried off into Babylonian
captivity, into the heart of the heathen world. In the New Testament „Babylon” becomes Rome.
The Roman Empire embodies the pagan beliefs and practices of ancient Babylon and is seen as
the arch-enemy of God’s people. In 313 A.D. the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to become
a Christian and declared Christianity to be the offcial religion. His embracing of the Christian
Church proved detrimental to true Christianity. Constantine retained the traditional pagan titles,
and his coins still bear the figures and names of the old Roman gods. The church became „the
Roman Catholic Church” and its methods became compromise with paganism. Since then, the
Roman Catholic way of converting pagans to its style of worship has been to absorb them
gradually, along with their idolatrous observances. The church was content to swell in „converts”
by meeting paganism halfway. The Roman Catholic Church has continued the same approach
until this day. It can be seen particularly in Central and South America, were idols have simply
been replaced with statues of the saints. In the book of Revelation, the apostatizing church is
called „the great harlot” who is seated upon many waters, „with whom the kings of the earth have
committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her
fornication.” She was „a woman sitting on a scarlet colored beast full of names of blasphemy,
having seven heads and ten horns and the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colors, and
decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of
abominations and the filthiness of her fornication; and upon her forehead was a name writtern,
mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” And John says
that she was „drunken with the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” (Rev.
17:1-6). „Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not
of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4). The Roman Catholic Church did the very opposite. They
compromised with her and became contaminated with her corruption.
No one really knows the time of Christ’s birth and December 25th is a highly unlikely time.
However, at the time of the year that the days begin to lengthen again, the Babylonians celebrated
the victory of their Sun god. The Roman copy of this Babylonian custom was called Saturnalia, the
feast of the birth of Sol. For centuries it was an abomination to Christians. The celebration was an
orgy of pagan revelry. But the church, instead of standing firm against paganism, began to
compromise. It wanted to „help” weak young Christians who didn’t want to give up the fun and
merry-making surrounding the winter solstice. So the church said, „Go on with your fun and
celebration. Only now we’ll call it a celebration of the birth of the Son of God. Instead of losing
people to paganism, we’ll combine the two and gradually even win some of the pagans to profess
Christianity. Let’s not force men to choose between the two.” It was for this very reason that in
Calvin’s Geneva you could have been fined or imprisoned for celebrating Christ-mass. It was at
the request of the Westminster Assembly that the English Parliament in 1644 passed an act
forbidding the observance of Christ-mass, calling it a heathen holiday. The Westminster divines
said: „There is no day commanded in Scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord’s
day, which is the Christian sabbath. Festival-days vulgarly called ‘Holy-days;’ having no warrant in
the work of God, are not to be continued.” When the Puritans came to America they passed
similar laws. The early New Englanders worked steadily through December 25, 1620 in „studied
neglect” of the day. About 40 years later the General Court of Massachusetts decreed punishment
for those who kept the season: „…anyone who is found observing, by abstinence from labor,
feasting, or any other way, any such days as Christ-mass Day, shall pay for every such offense
five shillings.”
From ancient times trees have played an important role in pagan religion and were even
worshipped. Trees were used to ward off witches, evil spirits, and ghosts. In Egypt the palm tree
was prominent but in Rome it was the fir. Jeremiah warned the Old Testament people of God:
„Thus saith the Lord: ‘Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of the
heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one
cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with an ax. They deck it with
silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” (Jer. 10:2- 4).
Even the nativity scene, which some regard as the most „Christian” symbol of Christ-mass,
originated in paganism. Nearly every recorded form of pagan worship which is decended from the
Babylonian „mysteries” focuses on a mother and the birth of her child. Different cultures used
different names, but the concept is the same. In Babylon it was the worship of the queen of
heaven and her son Tammuz, the sun god, who was thought to be the incarnation of the sun. The
birth of the sun god took place at the winter Solstice. „Yule” was the Babylonian name for child or
infant, and „Yule Day” was celebrated long before Christ’s birth. The next time you see a manger
scene on a Christ-mass card, and Mary and Jesus have a halo around their heads, know that this
Roman Catholic concept is borrowed from the Babylonian „mysteries.” And remember that God
forbids any to make for himself „any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven
above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:4).

Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to commemorate the birth of our Lord. God the Father evidently deemed it unwise to make the date known to us. Hence it will always remain unknown and is not to be remembered and celebrated. Paul says „Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (II Cor. 5:16). Paul means that we are to know Christ spiritually and not according to the flesh, such as an infant, for this is of no value to us. But notice – we are commanded to remember His death, but no special day of the year is specified for
this. He said: „Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you, this DO in rememberance of me.”
(I Cor. 11:24). It is His death on the cross, His precious blood that paid for our sins, that we are
told to remember. And that is what the world tries to soft pedal. „The preaching of the cross is to
them that perish foolishness.” (I Cor. 1:18). To commemorate His death is scriptural. To
commerate his birth is non-scriptural, whether you choose any day or December 25th. We find no
salvation in the birth of our Lord; Salvation was only possible through His death. Our faith must be
in the cross, not in the birth. „God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ.” (Gal. 6:14).
By searching the Word of God, we find that the birth of Christ, the shepards, and the
wisemen have no connection to the day called Christ-mass. Christ-mass is a human invention, but
Christ came into the world to save sinners. It has no comparison. The wisemen from the Far East
came and gave their gifts to Jesus (or rather to His mother for Him), not to one another as is
being done today. This gift giving was not on His birthday, but a number of days afterwards. The
Christ-mass story is so greatly misconstrued and a mass of conglomeration has accumulated in
the minds of the people. Annually the Yuletide season is overflowed with literature and greeting
cards of untrue representations. We can observe pictures of Mary and Joseph in the stable and
three wisemen in their presence giving gifts. The Bible is silent as to how many wisemen there
actually were. Then we also see these Yuletide cards with the shepards out with their flocks and a
star in the distance. Again the Bible has nothing to mention of a star among the shepards.
The most notable birthday celebrations in the Bible are Pharoah’s and Herod’s.
Interestingly, they both are accompanied by murder! The most outstanding merry-making and gift-
sending part in the Bible is in Revelation 11: 10, where God’s two faithful witnesses are finally
slain and people rejoice and send gifts to each other because they no longer have to listen to
God’s message! Let the true Christian take his stand openly on the Lord’s side, by having nothing
to do with these festivities which are the inventions of modern Babylon. Oh, the parties and
revelries and debauchery that take place at this time of the year, supposedly in connection with
the birth of Jesus Christ. Drunkenness is more prevelant at this time than at any other. There are
more automobile accidents during the „holy-day season” than at any other time. All tied in with the
celebration of the Savior’s birth. „For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath
remembered her iniquities.” (Rev. 18:5). „Earnestly contend for the faith, which was once
delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3). „And have no fellowship with the unfruifful works of darkness,
but rather reprove them.” (Eph. 5:11).
But what about giving gifts? Isn’t that a nice way to remember the birth of our Lord?
Surely there is nothing un-Christian about giving to one another. But consider how perverted this
has become. ‘We spend money we don’t have to buy gifts people don’t need”. What a mockery
this has become. Could anyone seriously suggest that the merchandising we see in America
around December 25th is honoring to Jesus Christ, the One who lived a life of simplicity, humility
and self-denial, who condemned ostentation and self-indulgence, who taught us that „a man’s life
consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth?” (Luke 12:15). Yet people
who claim to be Christians spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on their Christ-masses.
At the same time they give little for the work of the gospel in our land or in the needy mission field.
Isn’t true Christian giving something that should take place the year round, out of a true heart of
love, and not from compulsion and with an expectation to receive in return? The greatest gift that
was ever given to the world was Jesus Christ Himself – NOT as a babe but as a sacrificed Lamb,
a crucified Savior in the redemptive work of salvation. This is by far the greater gift than his birth,
and the Lord God revealed a much greater concem in this redemption on the cross than as an
infant in a manger. The most essential part of our giving a gift is giving our all to Him in
consecration, holiness and service. How foolish and even embarrassing does our method of
giving look to the Lord Jesus? For instance, think of the inconsistency of us, giving Tom a gift
because it is Dick’s birthday. But that is the way we use Christ when this special pagan „holy-day”
comes. Think of the untold sum of the Lord’s money (See Haggai 2:8) that is being spent in
connection with the eating and over-eating of nuts and candies, roast turkey and dressing, and all
kinds of other goodies. Much of it results in headaches, stomach disorders and other ailments
which go with it. Gluttony is a sin. All this is outright heathendom and an insult to the Master. It has
no connection with the scriptural story of the Savior’s birth.
Some will argue for the „Keeping of Christ-mass” on the grounds of „giving the children a
good time.” But why do it under the cloak of honoring the Savior’s birth? Why is it necessary to
drag His holy name into what takes place at this season of carnal pleasure? Is this taking the little
ones with you out of Egypt, (See Ex. 10:8-10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly a mingling with
the present-day Egyptions in their „pleasures of sin for a season?” (Heb. 11:25). Scripture says,
„Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov.
22:6). Scripture commands God’s people to bring up their children „in the nurture and admonition
of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4). But, where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the children „a good
time?” Should we ever give the children „a good time” when we engage in anything upon which
we cannot fittingly ask the Lord’s blessing?
Or what about „Santa Claus?” Can anyone seriously deny that he represents the „real”
meaning of Christ-mass for the majority of Americans? What does he really stand for? Is he a
harmless, jolly, fat elf, or has he become an anti-christian symbol of greed, materialism,
selfishness – an expression of „something for nothing?” Parents who tell their children the Santa
Claus myth are endangering their credibility with their children. When they ask, „Can Santa Claus
really see through walls?” – what does one reply? Children need to know that they can trust
everything their parents tell them without question. How can they expect to teach children truths of
the gospel if parents confuse reality with myths? Everything the modern American pagan believes
about God is represented in Santa Claus. He is busily engaged in a nice, though rather
meaningless activity most of the year. He exists somewhere up north as a harmless, friendly old
man with a long white beard. He visits his people once a year, spending the other 364 days in
obscurity. A child may write to the North Pole, but the communication is strictly one way; Santa is
not involved with daily living. The way for a child to be acceptable in Santa’s sight is to be „good.”
Santa warns of the consequences of being „bad,” but his word really can’t be trusted. The child
knows he has not been perfect. Even though he feels a little anxiety, he remembers last year and
knows that no matter what Santa says or what the child does, in the end Santa will reward him.
Santa represents a god who threatens man with hell and judgment only to keep him in line in this
life, but who will accept all men in one way or another in the end. The Santa Claus myth builds an
un-biblical concept of God.

The world loves Christ-mass because Christ-mass promotes a sentimental picture of a baby in a
manger. Christ-mass keeps Jesus a baby. Jesus is misrepresented by Christ-mass. The Gospel
is misrepresented by Christ-mass. Christ-mass is the one time an ungodly person can safely be
religious. Most people like to do something religious every once in a while to ease their
consciences and convince themselves that they are really pretty good people after all. Christ-
mass affords them the perfect opportunity to do that. It’s perfectly safe for the most pagan person
to join in the Christmas spirit. You can have the Christ-mass spirit without having the Holy Spirit.
The very popularity of Christ-mass should cause the Christian to question it. Anyone and everyone
can celebrate Christ-mass without question. Outright pagans, nominal Christians, even Buddhists
join in the celebration. If in reality December 25th was a date set by God to remember the birth of
Jesus, you can be very sure that the world would have nothing to do with it. After all, God has
commanded the observance of one day in seven, a day when Christians celebrate the
resurrection of Christ, the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day – but does the world observe it? Of
course they do not. The world totally disregards it. In fact, most who call themselves Christian
don’t observe it the way the Bible commands it be observed! Shouldn’t the Christian be suspicious
of a celebration in which the whole sinful world can join without qualms? There are multitudes of
people who continually desecrate the Lord’s Day, but somehow have a great zeal about Christ-
Does any Christian imagine for a moment that when he shall stand before the Holy Lord,
that he will regret having lived „too strictly” on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His reproving
any of His own because they were „too extreme” in abstaining „from fleshly lusts, which war
against the soul?” (I Pet. 2:11). We may gain the good will and good word of the worldly
religionists today by our compromising on „little (?) points,” but shall we receive His smile of
approval on that Day? We should be more concerned about what He thinks, and less concerned
about what perishing mortals think. It is an easy thing to float with the tide of popular opinion; but it
takes much grace, diligently sought from God, to swim against it. Yet that is what the heir of
heaven is called on to do. We are to „be not conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2), to deny self,
take up the cross, and follow a rejected Christ. How sorely do we need to heed that word of the
Savior, „Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Rev.
3:11). Oh, that each of us may be able to truthfully say as with the Psalmist, „I have refrained my
feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy Word.” (Ps. 119:101).


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