What is Christmas? By: E. G. Cook

What is Christmas?
By: E. G. Cook
In the light of God’s Word, how can anything with a Christian name be popular
with the world? In John 7:7 Jesus said the world hates Him and in John 15:19 He
said the world hates His people. But in spite of all that everybody loves
Christmas. The vilest sinner in town will run over you, if necessary in order to
celebrate his Christmas. If you have any doubts as to whether the world loves
Christmas or not, just go into one of our large department stores, or Ten Cent
stores, during the last few frantic hours of Christmas shopping and see if the
sinners don’t elbow you just as quickly, and tackle you just as hard as the saints

As I meditated upon that question the thought came to me that if I would make a
feast everyone would love, I must give everyone what he wanted. If I wanted the
Orientals to come to my feast I would serve rice, if I wanted the Italians to be
there I would serve spaghetti, for the Russians I would be sure to serve plenty of
vodka. In other words, if I wanted everyone to come and enjoy my feast I must
give everyone what he wants. Then the thought came to me that maybe that is just
what has happened to Christmas. So I began to search the reference books to see
if that were true.

I had to go to the secular books because I was unable to find it in my Bible. It
was truly amazing what I found, and what you can find if you will only look for
it, concerning the most loved of all seasons of the year. According to the most
authentic sources available, and I will even throw in the Catholic reference works
because on this point they all agree, there never was a Christmas before the
middle of the fourth century, even in Rome. In Jerusalem, it was first observed in
the fifth century, and then we are told it caused rioting in the streets.

I searched through at least a dozen of the world’s leading reference works on the
subject and they all agree that no one knew the date of Christ’s birth, and some of
them say we cannot be sure as to the actual year in which He was born. But, in
order for the Catholic Church to have a big feast day, it was necessary for some
date to be set for His birthday. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia says that in
order for the shepherds to have been out that night with their flocks it would have
been necessary for His birth to have occurred sometime between March and
September. The Catholic Church, however, could not celebrate Christmas at that
time of the year as we shall see later. It must be in December whether there were
any shepherds and sheep out that night or not. It became really interesting when I
began searching for the reason why it must be in December.

First, however, let us consider some of the things which were put into Christmas
to make it so universally loved. In Babylon, that great heathen Chaldean city,
pagan religion reached its peak so far as ancient history was concerned. Here in
Babylon the queen of heaven and her son had their beginnings in the persons of
Semeramis and her son, Tammuz. When Belshazzar was slain (Daniel 5:30) and
the Chaldeans defeated by Dailus, the Mede, it seems the capital of the pagan
religious world was moved from Babylon to Pergamos. Later, at the death of
Attalus III, Phrygia was given to the Roman Empire in 133 B.C. The Babylonian
pagan worship was then removed to Rome where Semeramis and Tammuz
became Fortuna and Jupiter. This queen of heaven and her son became the very
heart of pagan, or idol worship throughout the world. They were called by
different names in different countries. In Egypt they were Isis and Osiris, in India
they were Isi and Iswara, in other parts of Asia they were Cybele and Plutus, but
they were all the same queen of heaven and her son. All of these were dumped
into Christmas under the new name of Mary and Jesus. This new name did not
affect the pagan people of the world too much, for no matter what you call a dish
of tender fried chicken it is still a very tasty dish.

I learned that the more religion the Catholic Church put into Christmas the more
popular it became. The world is a great lover of religion so long as the Christ of
Calvary and His shed blood are left out of it.

Now with all the ingredients in Christmas, it is time to look for the reason why
Christmas must be in December. Even back in ancient Babylon the birth of
Tammuz was celebrated in our December. The heathen sun worshipers
throughout the northern hemisphere all celebrated the rebirth of the sun at the
time of its turning back toward the North, that is about December 25. Tammuz,
Osiris, Iswara, Deoius, Plutus and Jupiter were all representatives of the sun in
their respective countries. These heathen people had been brought into the
Catholic Church, mainly through the efforts of Constantine the great. They were
still just as heathen as they were before they were incorporated into the Catholic
Church, and they were going to continue celebrating this great feast at this same
time. It did not matter too much what their god was called. It was still a
representative of their sacred god, the sun. But the time of their feast could not be
changed, because the sun starts on his return toward the North at only one time of
the year. Even old Satan, with the help of all his able efficient coworkers, could
not change that time. Therfore, Christmas had to be December 25, whether the
shepherds were out that night with their flocks or not.

As much as the head of the Catholic Church likes to boast of his God-like power
and authority, this was one time when he was completely helpless. He had
absolutely no choice in the matter. His problem was clear. If he wanted to make
good Catholics out of his host of heathens he must give their queen of heaven and
their god a Christian name. So Mary and Jesus had to be the name and December
25 had to be the date. Had Bishop Julian, I, been really and truly interested in
setting the real date of Christ’s birth the month of December would not have been
considered at all, because anyone who is at all familiar with the climatic
conditions which prevail in Palestine during the month of December would know
there were no shepherds and sheep out in the field at that time of the year.

With Christmas literally loaded down with the world’s religion it is easy to see
why the world loves Christmas, but we see people observing the feast who should
not be lured into the feast of the pagan gods. The Baptist themselves seem to be
trying to out-spend, out-shine and out-do the world in the world’s own feast. If
you ask why they are at this feast, some would unthinkingly say it is because
Mary and Jesus are in it. But that statement won’t stand when we turn the light of
God’s Word upon it. Jesus, himself, said the world hates Him, and He is not a liar.
So it is easy to see that if He were in Christmas that would completely ruin it for
the world. The world would care no more for Christmas than they do for the
church if Christ were really in it. If He could be put in it, I can just see Him
plaiting that whip again. When I see posters which read, „Let’s put Christ back in
Christmas,” I always think of the story of the boy from a backwoods family who
went away to college. Upon his return home he wanted to improve the family’s
grammer, so when his younger brother said pass the lasses, he said don’t say
lasses, say molasses. His brother retorted, how can I ask for mo’lasses when I ain’t
had no lasses? So how can we put Christ back in Christmas when He has never
been in it? Maybe we should let God tell us why we Baptist are so deeply in love
with Christmas. If we read Jeremiah 5:30-31 in our everday language it says, the
preachers preach false things and the priests run things their own way, and my
people love to have it so. The Baptist people run after false gods and false
religion connected with Christmas simply because they love it. Why do so many
preach false things concerning Christmas when they can find nothing in the Bible,
nor in authentic secular history to justify what they teach and preach?

With everybody, including the Baptist, partaking of Christmas, it was time to
give it that good old Christmas spirit. You know, that spirit that makes you feel
that it is perfectly all right for you to do things you could not afford to do at any
other time of the year. If the drunkard refused to drink on Christmas and the
harlot became virtuous for the day, we might be able to say this Christmas spirit
is the spirit of Christ. But it is an undeniable fact that untold thousands of people
drink at Christmas without any compunction of conscience who would not drink
at all any other time of the year. All manner of evil and Godprovoking things are
done at this season of the year because this is Christmas.

Do you believe it is the Spirit of Christ that causes thousands of people to line up
in the saloons of the land at Christmas time who would never go near them at any
other time? I know there are people who will say that is not the real Christmas
spirit, but I wonder if that is not just a weak effort on our part to try to justify our
participation in this ungodly thing called Christmas. Certainly it is not the Spirit
of Christ that gives us all that freedom at Christmas time, but rather it is the spirit
of Saturnalia. In ancient pagan Rome a week of feasting and merry-making was
observed in the latter part of December. During this feast everyone, even the
slaves, were permitted to do just as they pleased. Things like gambling, etc.,
which were prohibited at other times, were winked at during Saturnalia. This feast
was brought over from ancient pagan Rome by modern pagan Rome and dumped
into Christmas to give it that tangy flavor and make people look forward to it with
great anticipation.

As you recall, I stated in the beginning that I was unable to find Christmas in my
Bible, but after learning a little about this lovely season from other sources, I was
able to find quite a lot about it in my Bible. In Jeremiah 7:18 I found that even in
his day, some 600 years before Christ was born of the virgin Mary, the children
gathered wood, and the men kindled the fire, and women made cakes to the queen
of heaven, to provoke God to wrath. In Jeremiah 10:3-5 I learned that the customs
of the people in his day were vain because they went out in the woods with an ax,
cut down a tree, took a hammer and nails to fasten it upright, and then decorated
it with silver and gold. God said it was a vain custom, and vanity is one thing He
hates. I must confess that I have done the same thing many times except that I
used cheaper decorations. Christmas, like the groves in Israel, is so beautiful.
What could be more beautiful than a Christmas tree with all its decorations and
gifts? Surely nothing unless it were the original Christmas trees decorated with
silver and gold. But when I think of the beauty of Christmas, I am reminded of
the tabernacle. In Exodus 26 we read that all that the world saw was the skins of
animals, but on the inside it was overlaid with gold and had all manner of
beautiful curtains and hangings. The beauty of the tabernacle was hidden from the
world, but not so with Christmas. The beauty of Christmas is on the outside in
plain view of everyone, but on the inside are dead men’s bones. All manner of
drinking, debauchery and unclean living is covered over with the beautiful cloak
of Christmas. But in Revelation 17 and 18 we have a ghastly picture of the
Catholic Church, including her Christmas and fabulous Christmas trade, which
will cause all that weeping and wailing when it is finally cut off (Daniel 9:27),
and in Rev. 19:4 Christ says come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers
of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

It is not an easy thing to come out of her. No wants to be a kill-joy or an old
Scrooge. Many will say that Christmas has become a part of our American way of
life, and that is so true. It has become about as much a part of our way of life as
idolatry had in the Jew’s way of life in Israel and Judah, and if I remember
correctly it took the destruction of their country and the enslavement of the
Jewish people to tear them away from their idol gods.

If anyone has any evidence to justify our participation in Christmas, please let it
be known. I have searched in vain. I have heard about that one about it’s being
handed down to us by our fore-fathers, but it seems to me that would come under
the heading of commandments of men, and Jesus did not sound to complimentary
in Matthew 15:9 when He said, „In vain do they worship me, teaching for
doctrine the commandments of men.”

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