Arhive pe categorii: Christmas

Christmas and Romans 14:5-6a

Christmas and Romans 14:5-6a

by Joe Garnett

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it

Romans 14:5-6a

Proponents of Christmas often appeal to these verses1 to defend their celebration2 of this pagan holy day. At first glance this scripture appears to support their position. But the Bible student should look closer, determining the context and whether this passage can have application to the syncretistic festival of Christmas.

Most commentators teach that Romans 14 deals with Christian liberty. It does, by way of interpretation, only narrowly. By way of interpretation merely two problems are covered, that of whether or not to eat certain meats and whether or not to observe certain days. With regard to Christmas, it is needful that we deal only with the observing of days.

The disputes in this passage take place not because there are simply differences of opinions. The disputes arise because some in the church are weak (immature) and others are strong (mature). This is important to keep in mind because in time one should expect the problem to be solved by the immature becoming mature. (Of course we understand that there might be others coming into the church continually with the same problem, thus protracting the dilemma for some time).

The goal of Biblical instruction is to make the saint a mature person in Jesus Christ (Col. 1:28). Thus in regard to this passage, we need to understand that if all the believers in the church had reached a certain degree of maturity, the problem would not have existed. The solution that Paul gives should be considered a temporary solution for these weak brothers and not a permanent one. (No one would disagree that Christians should always respect and love each other). We should expect these who are now weak to one day become strong as they reside under proper instruction.

The specific problem in verses 5-6a concerns the keeping of days. It appears that the majority of commentators understand the problem to arise from young Jewish converts to the Christian faith. These converts feel obligated to continue to observe Jewish holy days. This should not surprise us for these were proper days for them to observe prior to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have not at this time received the understanding that it is no longer necessary for them to observe these days under the new covenant. We find them in a transition period in which they are confused. If they were to not observe these days they would feel that they were not being obedient to God. They don’t have a grasp on the glorious truth that the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is complete and the days that they observe are only shadows of His fullness (Col. 2:17).

To summarize, I make these observations:

  • The dispute involves different understandings between weak and strong brothers in Christ.
  • The weak feel that they must observe the Jewish holy days as they were previously commanded to do.
  • The strong understand the completed work of Jesus Christ and the new covenant make these days obsolete.
  • These different understandings cause dissension.
  • The only possible solution at this time is for both groups to accept one another in love.
  • In time we should expect the weak to become mature after they have been instructed in the truth and come to an understanding of what Jesus Christ has accomplished.

This is believed to be the interpretation of this passage or its proper understanding. Thus we must expect anyone making application from this passage to keep this understanding in mind at all times.

This is the question which now comes before us: Is the Christian observance of Christmas protected by way of application in this passage? To determine this let us consider the circumstances involved in both cases and see if there are any likenesses.

Situation addressed in Romans 14

Situation of present day X-mass celebrants

The young Jewish believers observed a day.

Those who celebrate Christmas are celebrating a season and a festival. Although they claim to celebrate a day, their actions betray them. Long before the day arrives they will be putting up trees, shopping for presents (not for Jesus), building and placing creches, decorating with lights and other objects (many of occultic background), planning and going to parties and endlessly talking about these activities.

The Jewish converts were keeping days that they were previously obligated to observe. 

The Christmas celebration has never been sanctified by scripture. It is built upon the lie, which is acknowledged by most everyone, that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. Rather than having support from the word of God, it is man made religion which is condemned by Jesus (Matt. 15:9).

When the weak Jewish convert kept a day, there were disciplines that he performed. For instance, if he felt he needed to keep the sabbath, he had instruction from the scripture with regard to his activity (Deut. 5:12-14).

The celebrants of Christmas adhere to no spiritual disciplines. If they were to spend the day in the scripture with fasting and prayer they could at least be commended. However, the day will be spent by most in a festive atmosphere, eating, exchanging gifts and doing whatever they choose to do. These are the same „spiritual disciplines” that the pagans have done as this Babylonian festival evolved.

The observances of these young Jewish believers did not take place in the church. The day that the weak brother regarded, he regarded it unto the Lord. The observance that he performed he rendered without the presence of those who did not wish to take part in the observance. For certain observances he most likely went to the synagogue. The strong brother was not required to endure the observances of the weak.

The Christmas celebration takes place within the church as well as in the world. In most churches the celebration generally consumes the month of December with decorations in the church building, parties, programs and some emphasis in all the services. If there is one who does not desire to celebrate, he must choose between being absent or enduring the festival. 

The weak Jewish brother could be expected in time to mature and be released in conscience from observing obsolete holy days.

The celebrant of Christmas expects to continue in a syncretistic fable originating from Babylonian mystery religion on a day when the now glorified Son of God was not born. 

Thus, this writer concludes that Romans 14 does not exonerate the practice of Christmas from scriptural condemnation. The day that the weak Jewish convert observed was a day formally warranted by scripture with designated disciplines. It was observed outside the church without involving the strong.

The weak brother could be expected in time to mature in conscience and no longer feel obligated to observe it.

In contrast, the „day” the Christmas celebrant celebrates is a pagan originated festival of unknown duration having no basis in scripture nor God-ordained disciplines. It is celebrated in the church and considered immutable. Thus we see that there is no relationship between the two „holy” days.

The scripture condemns such practices as Christmas. Jeremiah 10:2,3 tell us to „learn not the way of the heathen” and that „the customs of the people are vain.” In Matthew 15:9 Jesus explains that men worship Him in vain, „teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” In Colossians 2:8 we are told to beware lest someone should spoil us „through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world.” I Timothy 1:4 instructs us to „neither give heed to fables … which minister questions.”

Jude 3 exhorts us to „earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The „faith” is the body of truth contained in the scripture. Matthew 28:20 reveals that what is to be taught and observed are „all things whatsoever I (Jesus) have commanded you.” Titus 2:1 commands us to „speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.”

Christmas is a deceitful Babylonian fable with assorted heathen traditions added through the centuries. You cannot mix it with Christianity and call it „worship in spirit and truth” any more than you can mix skunk manure with honey and call it a feast.

Christmas is not part of the faith for which we are to contend. It is not that which the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to observe. It is not sound doctrine. Christians should abhor it for the demonically inspired Babylonian myth that it is.

 

1Another verse often used by the proponent of Christmas is Colossians 2:16, „Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” They interpret this to mean that they can eat and drink what they want and celebrate any day they wish. However the context shows that evil men were demanding that the Christians keep certain laws. Paul instructs them that they do not have to adhere to these commands and that they shouldn’t. His instruction is not that they can keep a certain day, but that they are not obligated to do so by those who would make them.

 

2Celebrate has become a memorialized word in current Christianity. One celebrates Jesus, the Lord’s supper, Christmas, etc. The common biblical term iskeep with the idea of observe or do. I’m not sure whether these words should be interchangeable. The 1966 College Edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary makes some distinction. „Celebrate implies the marking of an occasion or event, especially a joyous one, with ceremony or festivity. Observe and the less formal keep suggest the respectful marking of a day or occasion in the prescribed or appropriate manner.” There may likely be other distinctions that have become clouded as our language degenerates. However, I have not done the homework to know for sure. But for the purposes of this paper, observe will be used to refer to the day found in scripture and celebrate will be used when referring to the festival of Christmas.

 

Leaving Christmas

Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas A personal testimony Raul Enyedi

 

Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas

A personal testimony

Raul Enyedi

I, too, as many others Christians, have been saddened and upset by the increasing secularization of the winter holidays, which, by every year that’s passing by, become more superficial, losing more and more of their traditional values.  The commercial seem to swallow up these values and use them only to increase profit.  I, too, as many others, once had a nostalgia and a longing for the old times when traditions were respected, when the Christmas day had such an emotional charge, more than any other day of the year.  I was among the voices that cried out: “Let’s bring Christ back into Christmas!”

I wanted Christ to be back into the center of the holiday and to receive once again the worship he received from the shepherds and the wise men.  And I was even one of those who insisted that Christmas was not about Santa, but about Christ.  The carols I was singing talked only about Christ.  I wanted, from all my heart, a truly Christian Christmas.  But I knew that in order to have that, I had to do everything according to the Scriptures and eliminate all that was contrary to it.  And so it was that I began my study, to find what the Bible really does say about Christmas.  Very early I found that the New Testament does not contain any commandment to observe the birth of Christ.  This was a bit odd, since in the Old Testament, when the Lord gave the Law to Israel, He gave them specific and detailed commandments to observe certain feasts or celebrations.

Not only have I found no specific commandment in the New Testament about observing the birth of Christ, but I found no exact date of his birth either.  After all my inquiry, I was able to find only an approximate period, sometime late September or early October.  There was no way Christ’s birth could take place at the end of December, because the shepherds did not keep their flocks out on the fields during this month (see Luke 2:8), and a census would have been impossible at that time, too, for the traveling conditions in Israel were very difficult in the midst of the rainy season (Luke 2:1-3).

My next discovery troubled me even more.  The Bible says nothing about the Christmas carols, the tree, the exchange of gifts, the special church programs and the preparing of rich tables in honor of the birth of the Savior.  There is no commandment and no example in the Bible for anything that we do at Christmas.  I asked myself, how can I have a Christian, scriptural Christmas when nothing that I do is found in the Bible?  How did we, Christians, come to observe a holiday not commanded by the Bible?  Why did we choose an obviously wrong date and customs that resemble with nothing in the Scripture?  And if everything that pertains to Christmas, things that I assumed to be Christian, do not come from the New Testament, where did they come from?  Oh, how great a surprise was the answer to the latter question…

All the encyclopedias I read showed me that the origin of the holiday is not biblical but pagan.  And they told me all the books about myths and history of religions.  The Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic sources openly confessed the pagan origins of Christmas.  And so I learned that the ancient pagan nations had a great festival dedicated to the birth of the sun god, which had different names, according to the different languages.  The Egyptians called him Osiris, the Babylonians Tammuz, the Persians Mythra and the Romans Saturn, and gave him the title Sol Invictis, the Unconquered Sun.  It was the same god everywhere, only the names differed.  All these pagan nations celebrated the birth of the sun god in the winter time, just after the solstice (December 21st), because that’s when the day starts increasing again.  The romans celebrated the Saturnalia during this time, the holiday dedicated to Saturn.  During this time, there was an excess of eating, drinking and all sorts of orgies, a merry time for pagans.  And December 25th was the climax of pagan “spirituality.”  The Christmas carols are also directly connected to this pagan holiday.  The Romans called them calendae.  Groups of people went from house to house, wishing luck, happiness and fertility to their hosts.  The Christmas tree is also an ancient pagan symbol.  And so is the Christmas exchange of gifts, which the pagan Romans called sigillaria, during which the children were given gifts of small figurines of clay or wax.

How did we Christians come to observe a holiday not commanded by the Bible: a holiday pagan to its very core?  History tells us that Christians decided to celebrate Christmas after they began to depart from the Scriptures and started giving their own laws and rules.  After the time of Constantine the Great, ruler of the Roman Empire from AD 306 to 337, when Christianity became the official religion of the Empire, making a lethal compromise with the State, multitudes of pagans were “Christened,” while still devoted to their own gods.  Not being able to separate them from their idols, the Church decided to keep the pagan date and customs, but give them Christian names.  John Chrysostom (AD 347-407), among many others, associated the pagan holiday with the name of Christ.  Says he: But they call it the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered.  Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord…?  Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice.”  Such was the way in which the Christenized pagans were kept satisfied.  For it did not matter to them by what name their god was called, as long as they could keep their pagan worship customs.  They did not worship Jesus Christ, but they worshiped the sun god, whom they could also call Jesus Christ.

Upon finding these troubling things, I started asking others why we keep this holiday, why at a pagan date with pagan customs, hoping to find some light in their answers.  When I asked: “Why do we observe Christmas?,” I received many answers, some even childish.  I will only mention the answers that made me think and ponder.

1. It is a good thing to set a day or two apart to remember that Jesus was born to bring salvation to mankind.  I was not satisfied by this answer, because I asked myself: who decides what is good for me as a Christian?  God or men?  I believe that God, my Father, knows better than anyone what is good and what is bad for me.  He is a good Father, and wants the best for me.  And he told me in the Scriptures what is good.  Now, if the Bible does not tell me that we need to have a holiday honoring the birth of the Lord, this means that I do not need such a holiday for my spiritual welfare.  I ask all those who tell me that it is good to have such a holiday: Do you think that God hid or refused to reveal something good for us?  If Christmas is something good, and God did not tell us about it, it means that He hid something good for us.  This monstrous idea is nothing but the same seed of doubt planted by Satan in Eve’s heart, suggesting to her that God does not want our good completely, but keeps something good from us.  If Christmas would be good or necessary, our Lord and His apostles would definitely have taught us to observe it.  Apostle Paul told the elders of the church in Ephesus: “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you… For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:20, 27).  But Paul does not teach anything about Christmas. Why is that?  Because Christmas is not profitable to us.  To deny this is to deny the apostle’s sincerity, and even worse, God’s sincerity.

2. “We need a special day to remember Christ’s birth.  It does not matter what day, and December 25th is just as good as any other day.”  I can’t help but wonder then, if we are so honest in our desire to pay our homage to the birth of our Savior, why didn’t we choose a date that is closer to the time when He was born (end of September, beginning of October)?  Why was December 25th chosen, from all the days of the year, knowing that it is the most pagan of all?  Is it just a coincidence?  I don’t think so!

3. “What is not explicitly and implicitly forbidden in the Scriptures, is allowed.  The Bible neither approves nor disapproves of such a holiday, therefore it is up to us.”  Could we possibly understand the silence of the Scripture as being permissive in such a case?  Or rather its silence is the strongest argument against observing the holiday?  Let us remember that all the Christmas customs that we have today also existed in the time of Christ and the apostles: Not with the Christians, however, but with the pagans!!!  The date, the celebration of the birth, the carols, the tree, the gifts, the rich tables and many other details related to the feast existed in the time our Lord walked on this earth.  Did He identify Himself with any of these?  Did He commission His apostles to go to the pagans and teach them that He is the Unconquered Sun celebrated by them: that the Christmas tree represents Him?  The answer is an obvious and absolute NO!  All the analogies between Christ and this holiday were made much later, by “Christians” who thought that they can change and improve the Bible and who were looking for excuses for their desertion from the boundaries of the Scripture!

The feast of the Nativity cannot be dissociated from its pagan origin.  The Christian’s stubborn persistence in celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th, with carols, Christmas tree, gifts, a special service at the church and a festive table at home – just as the pagans celebrated their god – prove that we identified ourselves with the paganism and borrowed from it in our worship to the true God.  And in this respect, the Scripture is not silent at all, but repeatedly condemns the association of true with false worship, and teaches a complete separation from idols and their worship.  The identification with paganism, the borrowing of pagan gods or pagan models of worship is expressly condemned in the Bible, both in the Old and in the New Testament.

The Orthodox and the CatholicChurches openly admit their lack of concern in the fact that the holiday and its customs are pagan in origin, because they say these were made Christian and purified by the sanctifying power of the Church.  In their opinion, the Church has sanctifying power, which could be extended even upon paganism, which, once “christened,” can serve God.  This claim is false, unbiblical and illogical.  It is rejected by anyone who believes Sola Scriptura (The Scriptures as the final authority for all we believe and practice)!  No one faithful to the Scriptures can allow for the arrogance of such a claim.   How can we answer then to the fact that we try to dress up a pagan holiday in Christian clothes, changing only the name of the person adored?  The association with paganism in worship is not at all part of those things which the Bible neither approves nor condemns, but leave to us.  The Bible says: “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols… Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17).  This is totally true for Christmas!

4. “It is good to take advantage of the fact that the lost world is thinking about Christ and His birth in this time of year and preach Christ to them.”  But what kind of Christ do these people have and desire?  Isn’t it strange that the world hates Christ but loves Christmas?  Why is that?  Because they do not worship Christ!  They really worship the sun god which they have become accustomed to call Jesus Christ, and whom they called by lots of names before the fifth century.  But the world is not willing to accept the true Jesus Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth!  Our identification with them in this holiday does not help us to show them the true Jesus Christ, but rather it strengthens their conviction that we worship the same god as them, the one they falsely call Jesus.

5. “We should not judge anyone that observes Christmas, because ‘One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.  Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it’” (Romans 14:5-6).  The attempt to justify the adoption of a pagan holiday with this text is childish and it shows that people love this holiday so much that they will twist the Holy Scripture in order to excuse Christmas.  The text in Romans 14 does not speak about pagan holidays, but about the Old Testament feasts, which were commanded by the Lord to Israel.

6. Finally, when those whom I have asked admitted that there is no biblical foundation for Christmas, they usually asked in return: “But what is wrong with celebrating the birth of the Lord, because we worship the true Jesus, and it is Him we adore in our carols?  Even though the customs are pagan in origin, we changed them so that now Christ is in the center of the holiday.”  I asked myself the same thing.  When I ran out of arguments, this was the last question thrown in the battle, the last line of defense for Christmas.  My heart was desperately trying to hold fast to the feast, while upon my mind were working the convincing arguments of Scripture, logic and common sense.  And this is the conclusion I reached:

Observing this holiday is wrong and harmful because:

  1. It means to go beyond the Scriptures, to deny their authority, to doubt that God revealed in it everything that is good for me.  It means rejecting the Sola Scriptura!
  2. It identifies me with the lost world and not vice versa.  The nature of Christianity is such that when it is combined with paganism, the latter will never become Christian, but Christianity will always end up being pagan.
  3. The true worship is “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  The false worship is in the flesh and in error.  Is the Christmas worship “in truth,” when we sing and say and preach that Christ was born on December 25th, when we know He was not?  We lie in everything we do or say that associates the birth of Jesus Christ, directly or indirectly, with Christmas.  The Christ of the Bible was not born on December 25th!  Will God accept our worship if it is not in the truth, but is founded on a pagan lie?

I eventually surrendered to these arguments: they overwhelmed me.  More than 10 years have passed since I quit celebrating Christmas.  Some call me fanatic and narrow minded.  Others doubt that I am a good Christian or a Christian at all because I don’t observe Christmas.  However, I felt like I was set free.  I did not miss any spiritual blessing since I don’t believe in Christmas any more.  Quite the contrary.  Serving God far from paganism, in freedom and within the boundaries of the Scripture is a far better experience than trying to serve Him as men see fit.

Christmas is a pagan holiday.  Everything done at Christmas time is rooted in paganism.  Paganism is drastically condemned by the Bible and pagan worship is an abomination before the Lord.  But men want to keep it, thinking that they can get something good for us and pleasing to God from this pagan holiday.  They judge me for not observing Christmas and for testifying against it.  But judge for yourself whether it is right before God to obey men rather than God!

Comments on Christmas by Charles H. Spurgeon

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Comments on
Christmas
by Charles H. Spurgeon
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„We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First because we do not believe in any mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English: Secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there in no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day in not known. Probably the fact is that the „holy” days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Savior was born it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.
How absurd to think we could do it in the spirit of the world, with a Jack Frost clown, a deceptive worldly Santa Claus, and a mixed program of sacred truth with fun, deception and fiction. If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver, and recipient are all in the spirit of the world. The Catholics and high Church Episcopalians may have their Christmas one day in 365 but we have a Christ gift the entire year”. C. H. Spurgeon Dec. 24, 1871
„Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on. till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant was submerged under pagan superstition. That Christmas is a pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it in celebrated, prove its origin”.
„Those who follow the custom of observing Christmas, follow not the Bible, but pagan ceremonies”.
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Christmas Wreaths Wreaths

Christmas Wreaths
Wreaths

The wreaths were created in the same way the Christmas trees were created. For some it symbolizes the strength of life overcoming the forces of winter. Back in ancient Rome, people used decorative wreaths as a sign of victory. Some believe that this is where the hanging of wreaths on doors came from. Since these times, many wreaths have been made. Some are made for crafts, others for purely decoration, and yet others have more deeper meanings. Below are a couple examples.

Types of Wreaths Advent Wreaths

The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light. Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world. Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens with a fifth candle in the middle. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose, but four white candles or four violet candles can also be used. Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal– one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. A short prayer may accompany the lighting of each candle. The last candle is the middle candle. The lighting of this candle takes place on Christmas Eve. It represents Jesus Christ being born.

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
do.

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.”

CHRISTMAS OR THE SATURNALIA? By Milburn Cockrell

CHRISTMAS OR THE SATURNALIA?
By Milburn Cockrell
There is no command to celebrate the birth of Christ in the Bible. There is not one word in the Bible about Jesus Christ being born on December 25. According to Holy Scriptures, the most likely date would be in September, as many scholars concede. No verse in the Bible commands us to exchange gifts among ourselves on December 25. The wise men did not exchange gifts among themselves, but they gave gifts to Christ (Matt. 2:11).
I heard some person ask, “Then why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25? Where did this custom come from?”
I will let history give the answer. The Christmas celebration came from a pagan festival of ancient Rome called the Saturnalia.
My first quote is from History of the World by John Clark Ridpath. This is the man who wrote W. A. Jarrell a letter in which he said: “I should not readily admit there was a Baptist church as far back as A. D. 100, though without doubt there were Baptists then, as all Christians were then Baptists” (See Baptist Church Perpetuity, p. 59).
“The great festival of FLORA was celebrated by the women. It was given when the wheat fields were in bloom, and was conducted with much beautiful display peculiar to the season of flowers. But the most elaborate of all the celebrations of Rome was that of SATURN, held at the winter solstice, and afterwards extended so as to include the twenty-fifth of December.
“Saturn was regarded by the Romans as the god of that primitive peace which once held sway in the world before the age of devastation and war. In that pacific era all men held the same rank and had their enjoyments in common. It was fitting, therefore, that in the festival of Saturn–though the world had forgotten the old-time goodness–all men should be regarded as restored for a brief season to their primitive equality. So the great and the humble, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, were all given the license of a common freedom, a common immunity. The festival was called the Saturnalia. Labor ceased, public business was at an end, the courts were closed, the schools had holiday. Tables, laden with bounties, were spread on every hand, and at these all classes for the nonce sat down together. The master and the slave for the day were equals. It was a time of gift-giving and innocent abandonment. In the public shops every variety of present from the simplest to the most costly could be found. Fathers, mothers, kinspeople, friends, all hurried thither to purchase, according to their fancy, what things soever seemed most tasteful and appropriate as presents. The fair of Rome exhibited in plentiful profusion every variety of articles brought from every quarter of the world. There were knickknacks for the children, ornaments for the ladies, little trophies of the toilet, ornamental tapers in wax, and, indeed, whatever the fancy or caprice of Rome could well imagine or create. It was a season of mirth and jollity; of feasting and hilarity; of games and sports.” (Vol. II, pp. 743-744).
Next I call attention to the World Book Encyclopedia which is found in many Christian homes in America:
“SATURNALIA, sat er NA lih ah, was the name of an ancient Roman festival. The feast was given in honor of Saturn, the Roman harvest god. The festival began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. On the first day, public religious ceremonies took place, and sacrifices were offered to Saturn. On the second day, many families offered their own sacrifices of a young pig.
“The Saturnalia festival was a gay occasion. Schools observed holidays and all public business was halted. Courts of law closed their doors, and no criminals could be punished. Families held gatherings and elaborate banquets. Even Roman slaves were free to attend the festival.
“The last days of the festival were given over to visiting and exchanging presents. Some of the gifts were little clay images. They were called sigillaria, from the Latin word sigilla, which means small images. The last days of the festival were also called the sigillaria” (Vol. 15, p. 7234, 1956 edition).
Some contend that the Saturnalia ended on December 24th, but Ridpath says it included December 25. Please don’t forget December 24 is Christmas Eve.
The Encyclopedia Britannica has a good article in it among which you will find the following information: “The streets were infected with a Mardi Gras madness. . .the seasonal greeting io Saturnalia was heard everywhere; presents were freely exchanged. . . .The influence of the Saturnalia upon the celebrations of Christmas and the New Year has been direct. . .” (Vol. 19, pp. 1084, 1971 edition).
Some sincere Christians will say, “But we have Christianized this day for Christ. It is no longer a pagan celebration to the Roman god Saturn.” How can you Christianize a pagan day? Can you reform the Devil? Can we use heathen customs in the worship of Jehovah? What does the Bible say about this practice? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 12:29-31: “When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thy self that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God. . .”
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© Berea Baptist Church, Mantachie, Mississippi, U.S.A.

Christmas and the Scripture By Joe Garnett

Christmas and the Scripture
By Joe Garnett
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15).

Christians are to measure all things by the rule of scripture. Thus when we
consider Christmas we should not hesitate to test its authenticity by God’s word.
One who seeks to do this is immediately met with a quandary. Where do we find
this holy day in the Bible? What are our instructions with regard to this festival?
Where can we look for the authority for our involvement in the traditions intimate
with it? Are there commands of our Lord and the apostles concerning it, as there
are with the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper?

The scripture records the fact of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ in two of the
gospels. Other than these and the prophecies concerning it, there is no big
scriptural emphasis with regard to it. (Let it be understood that the incarnation
and the birth are not one and the same. The incarnation took place about nine
months prior to the birth). The one who would defend the festival of Christmas is
left with no biblical basis with respect to a date, instruction or authority for its
observance.

At this point the proponent of Christmas will often assert that the Bible in no
place commands us not to observe the holiday so we can do what we wish. The
opponent is chastened to show scripturally why he would deny the „liberty” of
others to do what they want to do. I believe those that bring pagan holidays,
feasts, myths, etc. into Christ’s Church are the ones that bear the burden of
scripturally defending their actions. However, there is biblical teaching that show
their error in participation of such religiosity.

Before proceeding further I wish to point out that Christmas is a „christianized”
pagan festival. It finds it origin in Babylonian mythology. The Roman festival of
Saturnalia was celebrated during the winter solstice. This festival was
incorporated into the evolving Roman Catholic religious system in its early days.
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There are those who will deny this, yet at the same time they cannot produce a
Biblical origin or even another historical one. It is not our purpose at this time to
deal with this aspect. The student is encouraged to read other sources. My first
suggestion would be The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop, published by
Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, New Jersey.

The Lord Jesus Christ once rebuked the religious leaders of His day saying, „But
in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”
(Matt. 15:9). The sinful nature of men often leads them into pseudo worship of
God in their own way and with their own devices. They believe they can add to or
modify that which God has revealed and present to Him something better that
will please him. However, God prefers obedience to His word rather than our
„sacrifices.”

Consider some selected portions from Deuteronomy 12 in which God instructed
His people Israel:

And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their
groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and
destroy the names of them out of that place (vs. 3)
Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man
whatsoever is right in his own eyes (vs. 8).
What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add
thereto, nor diminish from it (vs. 32).

The Lord God instructed his people to destroy all the items of heathen worship.
They were not to be incorporated into the worship of the one true God. This
instruction is seen also in the following portions of scripture:
The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: Thou shalt not
desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be
snared therein: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt
thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like
it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a
cursed thing (Deut. 7:25,26).

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the
second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of
the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for
all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of
Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel (II Kings 23:4).
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and
burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it
fifty thousand pieces of silver (Acts 19:19).

Thus we see that the accursed things were not to be saved and used in the service
of God or for other purposes. Proper disposal involved burning them with fire.
My belief is that these „cursed things” are identical with or related to what is
known today in the occult as „familiar objects.” These objects which come from
pagan and occult origins have evil spirits associated with them. For this reason
they have influence when anyone partakes of them in any fashion. Mature
Christians would never have a crystal ball, Ouija board or tarot cards in their
home. But they would have numerous other items associated with paganism.
These items have influence whether the item is there by ignorance or is known to
be occultic (even though the consequences of its presence is denied). I have seen
such items in various Christians homes, particularly at Christmas.

Let us turn our attention to verses 8 and 32 of Deuteronomy 12, cited above. We
understand that each man was not to do what he felt like doing. He was to
observe the command of the Lord, not adding to it or subtracting from it.
Nadab and Abihu did not understand this. There came a time when they „offered
strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not” (Lev. 10:1). The
result of their act was death by toasting when fire from the Lord consumed them.
Saul also missed this principle as demonstrated by two of his acts of rebellion.
First, he offered a burnt offering he was not to render (I Sam. 13:12). Secondly,
he was instructed to destroy the Amalakites and all that belonged to them.
However, he chose to spare „the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice
unto the Lord thy God” (I Sam. 15:15). How thoughtful of him. We might argue
that he was sincere. But sincerity is not the issue and the Lord desired obedience
and not a human initiated sacrifice using that which God had cursed.

Even David transgressed when he had the ark of God transported on a cart (II
Sam. 6:1-7). It was supposed to be carried using the rings and staves (Exo.
25:12-15). The Levites were to be the carriers (I Chron. 15:2, 13-15). After the
death of Uzzah David came to understand that „the Lord our God made a breach
upon us, for we sought him not after the due order” (I Chron. 15:13).
Don’t you think it is important that we refrain from doing what is right in our own
eyes and observe that which we are commanded, adding nothing and taking away
nothing? If you concur, you must understand that you cannot take a pagan holiday
cluttered with traditions and objects, incorporate it into biblical Christianity and
please God.

Having searched the scripture for Christmas, I believe that it is found most
prominently in the books of I & II Timothy and Titus. It is here that we are
instructed concerning fables (myths), vain babblings, oppositions of science
(knowledge) falsely so called, and foolish and unlearned questions.
Using these three books, I & II Timothy and Titus, let us take a ten point
true/false test concerning Christmas. Remember that Christmas has it origins in
Babylonian mythology, the early church did not acknowledge it, there is no date
given for Jesus’ birth and there are no commands or instructions for celebrating
such a festival. No cheating, you must look up the verses before answering.

QUESTIONS TRUE FALSE
I Tim. 1:4 – We are to give heed to Christmas, which ministers
many questions regarding the date of the birth of Christ, and the
traditions associated with it.
I Tim. 1:5 – Christmas is of faith unfeigned. It is genuine,
supported by the scripture.
I Tim. 1:10 – All that we practice with regard to Christmas is not
contrary to sound doctrine because the Bible is full of instructions
concerning it.
I Tim. 4:11 – Christmas is among the things that Paul told Timothy
(and others) to command and teach.
Christmas and the Scripture
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I Tim. 6:3 – When one promotes Christmas, he is teaching
according to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ and
proper doctrine.
II Tim. 1:13 – When Timothy was told to hold fast to the form of
sound words which Paul taught, this included Christmas.
II Tim. 2:15 – One who rightly divides the word of truth finds that
Christmas is the greatest Christian holy day, worthy of musical
productions, parties, candlelight services, etc.
II Tim. 2:23 – Christmas never engenders strife among believers
because of its unquestionable biblical support.
II Tim. 4:4 – Some people have believed and incorporated fables
into the church, but certainly this is not the case with us and our
celebration of Christmas.
Titus 2:1 – Because we are committed only to sound doctrine, we
should talk about and do Christmas year round.
Christmas is a fable. It is pagan and extra-biblical. One involved with it is
busying himself about past traditions. It does not represent factual truth. It is
deceptive, pretending to be something it is not.

Don’t learn the way of the heathen for their customs are vain (Jer. 10:2,3). Don’t
be spoiled „…through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after
the rudiments of the world…” (Col. 2:8) Refuse profane and old wives fables (I
Tim 4:7). Shun profane and vain babblings (II Tim. 2:16). Avoid foolish and
unlearned questions (II Tim. 2:23).

Do worship God in truth (John 4:24). Glory only in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ (Gal. 6:14). „Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21).
Hold fast the form of sound words, that is, the words of Scripture (II Tim. 1:13).
Rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15). Continue in the things which you
have learned and been assured of, that is, the truth of Holy Scripture (II Tim. 3:
14,15). Speak the things which become sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).

I call upon Christians to reject Christmas as well as other extra-biblical traditions
and pagan holidays. Earnestly contend NOT for this fable, but „for the faith
which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

Christmas and Romans 14:5-6a by Joe Garnett

Christmas and Romans 14:5-6a

by Joe Garnett
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One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it
Romans 14:5-6a
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Proponents of Christmas often appeal to these verses1 to defend their celebration2 of this pagan holy day. At first glance this scripture appears to support their position. But the Bible student should look closer, determining the context and whether this passage can have application to the syncretistic festival of Christmas.
Most commentators teach that Romans 14 deals with Christian liberty. It does, by way of interpretation, only narrowly. By way of interpretation merely two problems are covered, that of whether or not to eat certain meats and whether or not to observe certain days. With regard to Christmas, it is needful that we deal only with the observing of days.
The disputes in this passage take place not because there are simply differences of opinions. The disputes arise because some in the church are weak (immature) and others are strong (mature). This is important to keep in mind because in time one should expect the problem to be solved by the immature becoming mature. (Of course we understand that there might be others coming into the church continually with the same problem, thus protracting the dilemma for some time).
The goal of Biblical instruction is to make the saint a mature person in Jesus Christ (Col. 1:28). Thus in regard to this passage, we need to understand that if all the believers in the church had reached a certain degree of maturity, the problem would not have existed. The solution that Paul gives should be considered a temporary solution for these weak brothers and not a permanent one. (No one would disagree that Christians should always respect and love each other). We should expect these who are now weak to one day become strong as they reside under proper instruction.
The specific problem in verses 5-6a concerns the keeping of days. It appears that the majority of commentators understand the problem to arise from young Jewish converts to the Christian faith. These converts feel obligated to continue to observe Jewish holy days. This should not surprise us for these were proper days for them to observe prior to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have not at this time received the understanding that it is no longer necessary for them to observe these days under the new covenant. We find them in a transition period in which they are confused. If they were to not observe these days they would feel that they were not being obedient to God. They don’t have a grasp on the glorious truth that the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is complete and the days that they observe are only shadows of His fullness (Col. 2:17).
To summarize, I make these observations:
• The dispute involves different understandings between weak and strong brothers in Christ.
• The weak feel that they must observe the Jewish holy days as they were previously commanded to do.
• The strong understand the completed work of Jesus Christ and the new covenant make these days obsolete.
• These different understandings cause dissension.
• The only possible solution at this time is for both groups to accept one another in love.
• In time we should expect the weak to become mature after they have been instructed in the truth and come to an understanding of what Jesus Christ has accomplished.
This is believed to be the interpretation of this passage or its proper understanding. Thus we must expect anyone making application from this passage to keep this understanding in mind at all times.
This is the question which now comes before us: Is the Christian observance of Christmas protected by way of application in this passage? To determine this let us consider the circumstances involved in both cases and see if there are any likenesses.

Situation addressed in Romans 14 Situation of present day X-mass celebrants
The young Jewish believers observed a day. Those who celebrate Christmas are celebrating a season and a festival. Although they claim to celebrate a day, their actions betray them. Long before the day arrives they will be putting up trees, shopping for presents (not for Jesus), building and placing creches, decorating with lights and other objects (many of occultic background), planning and going to parties and endlessly talking about these activities.
The Jewish converts were keeping days that they were previously obligated to observe. The Christmas celebration has never been sanctified by scripture. It is built upon the lie, which is acknowledged by most everyone, that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. Rather than having support from the word of God, it is man made religion which is condemned by Jesus (Matt. 15:9).
When the weak Jewish convert kept a day, there were disciplines that he performed. For instance, if he felt he needed to keep the sabbath, he had instruction from the scripture with regard to his activity (Deut. 5:12-14). The celebrants of Christmas adhere to no spiritual disciplines. If they were to spend the day in the scripture with fasting and prayer they could at least be commended. However, the day will be spent by most in a festive atmosphere, eating, exchanging gifts and doing whatever they choose to do. These are the same „spiritual disciplines” that the pagans have done as this Babylonian festival evolved.
The observances of these young Jewish believers did not take place in the church. The day that the weak brother regarded, he regarded it unto the Lord. The observance that he performed he rendered without the presence of those who did not wish to take part in the observance. For certain observances he most likely went to the synagogue. The strong brother was not required to endure the observances of the weak. The Christmas celebration takes place within the church as well as in the world. In most churches the celebration generally consumes the month of December with decorations in the church building, parties, programs and some emphasis in all the services. If there is one who does not desire to celebrate, he must choose between being absent or enduring the festival.
The weak Jewish brother could be expected in time to mature and be released in conscience from observing obsolete holy days. The celebrant of Christmas expects to continue in a syncretistic fable originating from Babylonian mystery religion on a day when the now glorified Son of God was not born.
Thus, this writer concludes that Romans 14 does not exonerate the practice of Christmas from scriptural condemnation. The day that the weak Jewish convert observed was a day formally warranted by scripture with designated disciplines. It was observed outside the church without involving the strong.
The weak brother could be expected in time to mature in conscience and no longer feel obligated to observe it.
In contrast, the „day” the Christmas celebrant celebrates is a pagan originated festival of unknown duration having no basis in scripture nor God-ordained disciplines. It is celebrated in the church and considered immutable. Thus we see that there is no relationship between the two „holy” days.
The scripture condemns such practices as Christmas. Jeremiah 10:2,3 tell us to „learn not the way of the heathen” and that „the customs of the people are vain.” In Matthew 15:9 Jesus explains that men worship Him in vain, „teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” In Colossians 2:8 we are told to beware lest someone should spoil us „through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world.” I Timothy 1:4 instructs us to „neither give heed to fables … which minister questions.”
Jude 3 exhorts us to „earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The „faith” is the body of truth contained in the scripture. Matthew 28:20 reveals that what is to be taught and observed are „all things whatsoever I (Jesus) have commanded you.” Titus 2:1 commands us to „speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.”
Christmas is a deceitful Babylonian fable with assorted heathen traditions added through the centuries. You cannot mix it with Christianity and call it „worship in spirit and truth” any more than you can mix skunk manure with honey and call it a feast.
Christmas is not part of the faith for which we are to contend. It is not that which the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to observe. It is not sound doctrine. Christians should abhor it for the demonically inspired Babylonian myth that it is.

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1Another verse often used by the proponent of Christmas is Colossians 2:16, „Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” They interpret this to mean that they can eat and drink what they want and celebrate any day they wish. However the context shows that evil men were demanding that the Christians keep certain laws. Paul instructs them that they do not have to adhere to these commands and that they shouldn’t. His instruction is not that they can keep a certain day, but that they are not obligated to do so by those who would make them.

2Celebrate has become a memorialized word in current Christianity. One celebrates Jesus, the Lord’s supper, Christmas, etc. The common biblical term is keep with the idea of observe or do. I’m not sure whether these words should be interchangeable. The 1966 College Edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary makes some distinction. „Celebrate implies the marking of an occasion or event, especially a joyous one, with ceremony or festivity. Observe and the less formal keep suggest the respectful marking of a day or occasion in the prescribed or appropriate manner.” There may likely be other distinctions that have become clouded as our language degenerates. However, I have not done the homework to know for sure. But for the purposes of this paper, observe will be used to refer to the day found in scripture and celebrate will be used when referring to the festival of Christmas.

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Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?

Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?
There is no Biblical warrant, precedent, nor precept for remembrance of the day of Christ’s birth as a day of special religious celebration. This is not to say that we shouldn’t remember Christ’s birth and its significance, but for religious commemorations or celebrations, we must have Biblical command or precedent! The fact of the matter is this – the early church did not celebrate Christ’s birth, but such celebration only came into the church with the „Christianization” of pagan rites as Catholicism was made the state religion by Constantine in the fourth century A.D. Since the Word of God does not support the tradition of Christmas, a Christian’s conscience ought not and must not be bound.

The following outline describes the origin of Christmas (with its associated pagan customs, symbols, and terminology), details the Scriptural support against celebrating Christmas, attempts to show that celebrating Christmas violates the spirit of every one of the ten commandments, attempts to demonstrate that celebrating Christmas does not fall in the realm of Christian liberty, and attempts to debunk eight of the major rationalizations Christians put forth for celebrating Christmas.

I. The Origin of Christmas

A. A Long Evolution – Christmas customs are an evolution from times long before the Christian period – a descent from seasonal, pagan, religious, and national practices, hedged about with legend and tradition. Their seasonal connections with the pagan feasts of the winter solstice relate them to ancient times, when many of the earth’s inhabitant’s were sun worshipers. As the superstitious pagans observed the sun gradually moving south in the heavens and the days growing shorter, they believed the sun was departing never to return. To encourage the sun’s return north (i.e., to give the winter sun god strength and to bring him back to life again), the sun gods were worshipped with elaborate rituals and ceremonies, including the building of great bonfires, decorating with great evergreen plants such as holly, ivy, and mistletoe, and making representations of summer birds as house decorations. The winter solstice, then, was the shortest day of the year, when the sun seemingly stood still in the southern sky. Observing the slowdown in the sun’s southward movement, and its stop, the heathen believed that their petitions to it had been successful. A time of unrestrained rejoicing broke out, with revelry, drinking, and gluttonous feasts. Then, when the pagans observed the sun moving again northward, and a week later were able to determine that the days were growing longer, a new year was proclaimed.

B. Not Among the Earliest Christian Festivals – Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. It was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed, neither by the apostles nor in the apostolic church – not for at least the first 300 years of church history! History reveals that about 440 A.D., the Church at Jerusalem commenced the celebration of Christmas, following the lead of Roman Catholicism (see I.C.). [It was sufficient for the early Christians that Jesus, their Lord and Savior, had been born. They praised God that Jesus Christ had, indeed, come in the flesh. The day and the time of His birth had no relevance to them, because Jesus was no longer physically on earth. He had returned to heaven. And it was the risen, exalted Christ whom they looked to, and that by faith – not a babe laid in a manger. Jesus Christ is no longer a baby; no longer the „Christ-child,” but the exalted Lord of all. And He does NOT somehow return to earth as a baby every year at Christmas-time – though this is the impression given even in certain hymns sung in Protestant services.]

C. The Role of Religion in Ancient Rome – Seemingly forgotten is the essential role religion played in the world of ancient Rome. But the Emperor Constantine understood. By giving official status to Christianity, he brought internal peace to the Empire. A brilliant military commander, he also had the genius to recognize that after declaring Christianity the „state” religion (Constantine forced all the pagans of his empire to be baptized into the Roman Church), there was need for true union between paganism and Christianity. The corrupt Roman Church was full of pagans now masquerading as Christians, all of which had to be pacified. What better way than to „Christianize” their pagan idolatries. Thus, the Babylonian mystery religions were introduced by Constantine beginning in 313 A.D. (and established a foothold with the holding of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.). The Constantine-led Roman Church was more than willing to adapt and adopt pagan practices in order to make Christianity palatable to the heathen. Constantine used religion as a political tool, totally devoid of any true spirituality:
• Pagan rituals and idols took on Christian names (e.g., Jesus Christ was presented as the Sun of Righteousness [Malachi 4:2] replacing the sun god, Sol Invictus ).
• Pagan holidays were reclassified as Christian holidays (holy-days).
• December 25th was the „Victory of the Sun-God” Festival in the pagan Babylonian world. In the ancient Roman Empire, the celebration can be traced back to the Roman festival Saturnalia, which honored Saturn, the harvest god, and Mithras, the god of light; both were celebrated during or shortly after the winter solstice (between the 17th and 23rd of December). To all ancient pagan civilizations, December 25th was the birthday of the gods – the time of year when the days began to lengthen and man was blessed with a „regeneration of nature.” Moreover, all of December 25th’s Babylonian and Roman festivals were characterized by 5-7 day celebration periods of unrestrained or orgiastic revelry and licentiousness.
December 25th was particularly important in the cult of Mithras, a popular deity in the Old Roman Empire. Robert Myers (a proponent for celebrating Christmas) in his book Celebrations says:
„Prior to the celebration of Christmas, December 25th in the Roman world was the Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun. This feast, which took place just after the winter solstice of the Julian calendar, was in honor of the Sun God, Mithras, originally a Persian deity whose cult penetrated the Roman world in the first century B.C. … Besides the Mithraic influence, other pagan forces were at work. From the seventeenth of December until the twenty-third, Romans celebrated the ancient feast of the Saturnalia. … It was commemorative of the Golden Age of Saturn, the god of sowing and husbandry.”
In order to make Christianity palatable to the heathen, the Roman Church simply took Saturnalia, adopted it into Christianity, and then eventually many of the associated pagan symbols, forms, customs, and traditions were reinterpreted (i.e., „Christianized”) in ways „acceptable” to Christian faith and practice. (In fact, in 375 A.D., the Church of Rome under Pope Julius I merely announced that the birth date of Christ had been „discovered” to be December 25th, and was accepted as such by the „faithful.” The festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras could now be celebrated as the birthday of Christ!) The pagans flocked into the Catholic places of worship, because they were still able to worship their old gods, but merely under different names. It mattered not to them whether they worshiped the Egyptian goddess mother and her child under the old names (Isis and Horus), or under the names of the „Virgin Mary” and the „Christ-child.” Either way, it was the same old idol-religion (cf. 1 Thes. 1:8-10; 5:22 – Paul says to turn from idols, not rename them and Christianize them). Roman Catholicism’s Christmas Day is nothing but „baptized” paganism, having come along much too late to be part of „the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

D. „Christianization” of Pagan Customs, Symbols, and Terminology – Christianity had to undergo a transformation so that pagan Rome could „convert” without giving up its old beliefs and rituals. The actual effect was to paganize official Christianity. „‘A compound religion had been manufactured, of which … Christianity furnished the nomenclature, and Paganism the doctrines and rights.’ The idolatry of the Roman world, though deposed from its ancient pre-eminence, had by no means been demolished. Instead of this, its pagan nakedness had been covered with the garb of a deformed Christianity” (W.E. Vine). Pagan customs involving vestments, candles, incense, images, and processions were all incorporated into church worship and continue today.

The following customs and traditions associated with Xmas all have pagan/heathen origins. („Xmas” is the more preferable form for the day, since it at least leaves the name of our Savior out of the heathen observance.) Naturally, Christians would not keep these customs for such evil and perverse reasons, but the fact of their origins remain – „the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:3), and should thereby be carefully considered by all who know and love the Lord:
1. The blasphemous „Christ’s Mass” shortened to „Christ-mas” – The Roman Catholic „Christ’s Mass” is a special mass performed in celebration of Christ’s birth. In this mass, Jesus is considered both the priest and the victim, represented by the Catholic priest who offers Him as a sacrifice each time the mass is performed. In offering this „sacrifice,” the priest believes he has the power to change the bread and the wine of the Communion into Jesus’ literal flesh and blood, requiring the people to worship these elements as they do God Himself. This is obviously a denial of the gospel, and thereby, a false gospel (a re-doing of the sacrifice for sin – Heb. 9:12, 24-26; 10:10,12,14). Yet, many who cry out all year long against the blasphemous Roman Catholic system, at year-end embrace Rome’s most blasphemous abomination of them all – Christmas!

2. Nativity Scenes (tainted with paganism) – Nearly every form of pagan worship descended from the Babylonian mysteries, which focus attention on the „mother-goddess” and the birth of her child. This was adapted to „Mary-Jesus” worship, which then easily accommodated the multitude of pagans „converted” to Christianity inside Constantine’s Roman Catholic Church. [If anyone were to erect statues (i.e., images) of Mary and Joseph by themselves, many within Protestant circles would cry „Idolatry!” But at Xmas time, an image of a little baby is placed with the images of Mary and Joseph, and it’s called a „nativity scene.” Somehow, the baby-idol „sanctifies” the scene, and it is no longer considered idolatry!] (cf. Exo. 20:4-5a; 32:1-5; 9-10a)

3. Christmas Tree – Evergreen trees, because of their ability to remain green through-out the winter season when most other forms of vegetation are dormant, have long symbolized immortality, fertility, sexual potency, and reproduction, and were often brought into homes and set up as idols.

The full mystical significance of the evergreen can only be understood when one considers the profound reverence the ancient pagans had for all natural phenomena – „To them, Nature was everywhere alive. Every fountain had its spirit, every mountain its deity, and every water, grove, and meadow, its supernatural association. The whispering of the trees … was the subtle speech of the gods who dwelt within” (W.M. Auld, Christmas Traditions). This is nothing but nature worship or Animism.

The custom of bringing the tree into the home and decorating it as is done today has legendarily been attributed to Martin Luther. In truth, the modern custom has been lost in obscurity, but almost every culture has some such tradition. For ages, evergreen trees would be brought into the house during the winter as magic symbols of luck and hope for a fruitful year to come, It may also be that the star with which many of today’s trees are topped did not originate as a representation of the star that the wise men followed, but rather a representation of the stars to which the ancient Chaldean astrologers looked for guidance.

The first decorating of an evergreen was done by pagans in honor of their god Adonis, who after being slain was brought to life by the serpent Aesculapius. The representation of the slain Adonis was a dead stump of a tree. Around this stump coiled the snake – Aesculapius, symbol of life restoring. From the roots of the dead tree, then comes forth another and different tree – an evergreen tree, symbolic to pagans of a god who cannot die! In Babylon, the evergreen tree came to represent the rebirth/reincarnation of Nimrod as his new son (Sun), Tammuz. In Egypt, this god was worshiped in a palm tree as Baal-Tamar. (Heathen people in the land of Canaan also adopted tree worship, calling it the Asherah – a tree with its branches cut off was carved into a phallic symbol.) The fir tree was worshiped in Rome as the same new-born god, named Baal-Berith, who was restored to life by the same serpent. A feast was held in honor of him on December 25th, observed as the day on which the god reappeared on earth – he had been killed, and was „reborn” on that day, victorious over death! It was called the „Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.” Thus, the annual custom of erecting and decorating evergreen trees was brought down to us through the centuries by the pagan Roman Catholic Church – the paganism of Tammuz and Baal, or the worship of the sun, mingled with the worship of Aesculapius the serpent. Whether erected in private homes or in churches, decorated or not, the evergreen tree is a glaring symbol of this false god.

4. Christmas Wreaths – In pagan mythology, evergreen means eternal life and a never-dying existence. Made from evergreens, Christmas wreaths were most frequently round, which symbolized the sun (just as do halos in most religious art). Hence, the round Xmas wreaths stand for an eternal sun, a never-dying or self-renewing sun. In addition, the round form can also relate to the sign of the female, which stands for the regeneration of life. Because of these pagan associations, the Christian church was initially hostile towards the use of wreaths and other evergreen derivatives. But in the same way it Christianized other pagan traditions, the church soon found a way to confer its own symbolic meanings. For example, the sharp pointed leaves of the „male” holly came to represent Christ’s crown of thorns and the red berries His blood, while the „female” ivy symbolized immortality (Sulgrave Manor, „A Tudor Christmas,” p. 6). Such wreaths now not only adorn churches at Christmas time, but are also appearing during the Easter season.

5. Mistletoe – The use of the mistletoe plant (which is poisonous to both man and animals) can be traced back to the ancient Druids. (The Druids were pagan Celtic priests who were considered magicians and wizards.) It represented the false „messiah,” considered by the Druids to be a divine branch that had dropped from heaven and grew upon a tree on earth. This is an obvious corruption of God’s prophetic Word concerning Christ, „the Man the Branch,” coming from heaven. The mistletoe symbolized the reconciliation between God and man. And since a kiss is the well known symbol of reconciliation, that is how „kissing under the mistletoe” became a custom – both were tokens of reconciliation. The mistletoe, being a sacred plant and a symbol of fertility, was also believed to contain certain magical powers, having been brought to earth from heaven by a mistle thrush carrying it in its toes (hence the name). It was once known as the „plant of peace,” and in ancient Scandinavia, enemies were reconciled under it (yet another reason why people came to „kiss under the mistletoe”). It was supposed to bring „good luck” and fertility, and even to protect the house in which it hung from witchcraft.

A kiss is also something which is, at times, associated with lust. So the practice of „kissing under the mistletoe” also had roots in the orgiastic celebrations in connection with the Celtic Midsummer Eve ceremony. At the time the mistletoe was gathered, the men would kiss each other as a display of their homosexuality. (The custom was later broadened to include both men and women.) Kissing under the mistletoe is also reminiscent of the temple prostitution and sexual license prolificating during Roman Saturnalia.

6. Santa Claus – Santa Claus or „Father Christmas” is a corruption of the Dutch „Sant Nikolaas.” („Saint Nicholas” was the 4th century Catholic bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, who gave treats to children; he was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, „regarded as a special friend and protector of children.” The red suit comes from the fact that Catholic bishops and cardinals in Italy wear red.) Santa Claus was also known as „Kriss Kringle,” a corruption of the German „Christ Kindl „– Christ Child. This has to be one of the most subtle of Satan’s blasphemies, yet most Christians are unaware of it.

Originally, the Santa Claus concept came from the pagan Egyptian god, Bes, a rotund, gnome-like personage who was the patron of little children. Bes was said to live at the North Pole, working year-round to produce toys for children who had been good and obedient to their parents. In Dutch, he was called „Sinter Klaas.” Dutch settlers brought the custom to America. In Holland and other European countries, the original Santa Claus was actually a grim personage who traversed the countryside, determined to find out who really had been „naughty or nice.” Those who had been acting up were summarily switched. The association of Santa Claus with snow, raindeer, and the North Pole suggests Scandinavian or Norse traditions of the Yuletide season. [In Babylonia, also, the stag (raindeer) was a symbol of the mighty one, Nimrod. The symbolism of antlers worn on the head of a noble leader would demonstrate his prowess as a hunter, and thereby, influence people to follow him.]

Santa is the blasphemous substitute for God! He is routinely given supernatural powers and divine attributes which only GOD has. Think about it. He is made out to be omniscient – he knows when every child sleeps, awakes, has been bad or good, and knows exactly what every child wants (cf. Psa. 139:1-4). He is made out to be omnipresent – on one night of the year he visits all the „good” children in the world and leaves them gifts, seemingly being everywhere at the same time. He is also made out to be omnipotent – he has the power to give to each child exactly what each one wants. Moreover, Santa Claus is made out to be a sovereign judge – he answers to no one and no one has authority over him, and when he „comes to town,” he comes with a full bag of rewards for those whose behavior has been acceptable in his eyes.

Santa Claus has become one of the most popular and widely accepted and unopposed myths ever to be successfully interwoven into the fabric and framework of Christianity. It is a fact that Christ was born, and that truth should greatly rejoice the heart of every Christian. But the Santa Claus myth distorts the truth of Christ’s birth by subtly blending truth with the myth of Santa Claus. When Christian parents lie to their children about Santa Claus, they are taking the attention of their children away from God and causing them to focus on a fat man in a red suit with god-like qualities. All of this teaches the child to believe that, just like Santa, God can be pleased with „good works,” done in order to earn His favor. Also, they teach that no matter how bad the child has been, he will still be rewarded by God – just as Santa never failed to bring gifts. Even in homes of professing Christians, Santa Claus has clearly displaced Jesus in the awareness and affections of children, becoming the undisputed spirit, symbol, and centerpiece of Christmas.

7. Christmas Eve – „Yule” is a Chaldean word meaning „infant.” Long before the coming of Christianity, the heathen Anglo-Saxons called the 25th of December „Yule day” – in other words, „infant day” or „child’s day” – the day they celebrated the birth of the false „messiah”! The night before „Yule day” was called „Mother night.” Today it is called „Christmas Eve.” And it wasn’t called „Mother night” after Mary, the mother of our Lord – „Mother night” was observed centuries before Jesus was born. Semiramis (Nimrod’s wife) was the inspiration for „Mother night,” and „Child’s day” was the supposed birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god!

8. Yule Log – The Yule log was considered by the ancient Celts a sacred log to be used in their religious festivals during the winter solstice; the fire provided promises of good luck and long life. Each year’s Yule log had to be selected in the forest on Christmas Eve by the family using it, and could not be bought, or the superstitions associated with it would not apply. In Babylonian paganism, the log placed in the fireplace represented the dead Nimrod, and the tree which appeared the next morning (which today is called the „Christmas tree”) was Nimrod alive again (reincarnated) in his new son (sun), Tammuz. (Still today in some places, the Yule log is placed in the fireplace on Christmas Eve, and the next morning there is a Christmas tree!)

Today’s Yule log tradition comes to us from Scandinavia, where the pagan sex-and-fertility god, Jule, was honored in a twelve-day celebration in December. A large, single log was kept with a fire against it for twelve days, and each day for twelve days a different sacrifice was offered. The period now counted as the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany was originally the twelve days of daily sacrifices offered to the Yule log. (What, then, are we really doing when we send „Yuletide greetings”? Are we really honoring Christ by sending greetings in the name of a Scandinavian fertility god? These are the same customs being practiced today as in ancient paganism! Only the names have changed.)

9. Candles – Candles were lit by the ancient Babylonians in honor of their god, and his altars had candles on them. And as is well known, candles are also a major part of the ritualism of Roman Catholicism, which adopted the custom from heathenism. Candles approached the Yule log in ritual importance. Like the Yule log, they had to be a gift, never a purchase, and were lighted and extinguished only by the head of the household. Such candles stood burning steadily in the middle of the table, never to be moved or snuffed, lest death follow. The Yule candle, wreathed in greenery, was to burn through Christmas night until the sun rose or the Christmas service began (Sulgrave Manor, „A Tudor Christmas,” p. 9). Obviously, candles should have no part in Christian worship, for nowhere in the New Testament is their use sanctioned.

10. Giving of Gifts – The tradition of exchanging gifts has nothing to do with a reenactment of the Magi giving gifts to Jesus, but has many superstitious, pagan origins instead. One prominent tradition was the Roman custom of exchanging food, trinkets, candles, or statutes of gods during the mid-winter Kalends (the first day of the month in the ancient Roman calendar). This custom was transferred to December 25th by the Roman Church in keeping with the Saturnalian festival and in celebration of the benevolent St. Nicholas. [Is it not the height of ridiculousness to claim that giving one another presents properly celebrates Jesus’ „birthday” (not that there is anything necessarily wrong in giving each other presents)? But what are we giving Him, if indeed we are specifically celebrating His incarnation?]

11. Christmas Goose – The „Christmas goose” and „Christmas cakes” were both used in the worship of the Babylonian „messiah.” The goose was considered to be sacred in many ancient lands, such as Rome, Asia Minor, India, and Chaldea. In Egypt, the goose was a symbol for a child, ready to die! In other words, a symbol of the pagan „messiah,” ready to give his life (supposedly) for the world. This is obviously a satanic mockery of the truth.

12. Christmas Ham – Hogs were slaughtered and the eating of the carcass was one of the central festivities of the Saturnalia. Each man would offer a pig as a sacrifice because superstition held that a boar had killed the sun deity Adonis. Hence, the tradition of the Christmas ham on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

13. Christmas Stocking – According to tradition, a poor widower of Myra, Turkey, had three daughters, for whom he could not provide a dowry. On Xmas-Eve, „Saint Nicholas” threw three bags of gold down the chimney, thereby saving the daughters from having to enter into prostitution. One bag rolled into a shoe, and the others fell into some stockings that had been hung to dry by the fire. Hence, the beginning of the tradition of the „Christmas stocking” or „boot.”

14. Christmas Cards – The first British Xmas card can be dated back to 1843. The first cards featured pictures of dead birds! Evidently, the popularity of hunting robin and wren on Christmas Day made the dead bird image an appropriate one for „holiday” cards. Often the text of the cards would also have a morbid tone. Later, the cards displayed dancing insects, playful children, pink-cheeked young women, and festively decorated Christmas trees. The first actual Xmas cards were really Valentine’s Day cards (with different messages) sent in December. Mass production of Xmas cards in the United States can be traced back to 1875. Initially, the manufacturers thought of Xmas cards as a sideline to their already successful business in playing cards. But the „tradition” of sending cards soon caught on, leading to a very profitable business by itself.

15. Christmas Carols – What do you suppose the reaction would be by a church’s leaders if its pastor were to propose that the following hymns be introduced into the church to commemorate the birth of Christ? After all, the tunes are quite lovely.
Hymn #1 – A hymn by a Unitarian (rejects the Trinity and full deity of Christ) minister that does not mention Jesus Christ and reflects the liberal social gospel the-ology of the 19th century.

Hymn #2 – A hymn by an American Episcopal priest, the fourth verse of which teaches Roman Catholic superstition about Christ coming to be born in people during the Advent season.

Hymn #3 – A song, the words by an Austrian Roman Catholic priest, the music by a Roman Catholic school teacher, containing the Roman Catholic superstition about halos emanating from holy people, with no gospel message.
Perhaps you would expect the church’s leaders to be very upset. It might surprise you to learn that they were upset when they suspected that the pastor might somehow prevent them from singing them. You see, those three hymns were already in the church’s hymnals! The pastor did not have to introduce them. The three theologically incorrect „Christmas carols” referred to above are It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Silent Night. (See the appendix for an evaluation of some of the most popular Xmas carols found in church hymnals today.)

E. European Xmas Traditions – In the early days of Christianity, as it moved north and west into Europe, many pagan celebrations were encountered. For example, in the late-6th century in England, the Angles and Saxons were found celebrating Yule. The Christian evangelists thought they would fail in any attempt to rival, suppress, or stamp out such long held customs, so they simply adopted popular dates for their own „special rituals and hallowed services.” In other words, it was easier to establish a festival celebrating the birth of Christ if it conveniently coincided with an existing popular feast day. In this way, the pagan peoples (albeit potential converts to Christianity), could continue with their usual celebrations at this time of year, but the reason for the merrymaking could be redefined and attributed to Christ’s birth rather than to any pagan rituals. As paganism eventually died out and Christianity became widespread, Christmas became increasingly more associated with its religious foundations than any others (Sulgrave Manor, „A Tudor Christmas,” p. 2).

It was left to the Puritans to denounce everything. For them, Christmas was rightfully part popish, part pagan, and was forbidden to be kept as a holiday or feast day. The attack began in 1644 when the Puritans controlled the Parliament; December 25th was changed to a Fast Day. By 1647, even the Fast Day was abolished as a relic of superstition, synonymous with the Church of Rome. No observation on December 25th was any longer permitted, but the day was to be observed as a normal market-day. Christmas was accurately depicted by such names as the Profane Man’s Ranting Day, the Superstitious Man’s Idol Day, the Papist’s Massing Day, the Old Heathen’s Feasting Day, the Multitude’s Idle Day, and Satan-that Adversary’s-Working Day. In those days, any Christmas celebrations would be broken up by troops, who would tear down decorations and arrest anyone holding a service. Some who celebrated it in Europe were also thrown into prison. Because of the riots that broke out following the banning of Christmas, the celebrations and revelry were restored in 1660 by King Charles II, a Catholic (Sulgrave Manor, „A Tudor Christmas,” p. 3).

F. American Xmas Traditions – America’s settlers (the „founding fathers” of so-called „Protestant America”) rightfully considered Christmas a „popish” holiday. In fact, it was only in the early 1800s that several founding members of the New York Historical Society „invented” Christmas. Before then, it was illegal in colonial Massachusetts to even take December 25th off work. Christmas was forbidden as „unseemly to ye spiritual welfare of ye community.” (It was banned in Massachusetts in 1659, and this law remained on the books for 22 years. In Boston, public schools stayed open on December 25th until as late as 1870!) It wasn’t until 1836 that any state declared Christmas a holiday (Alabama), and then there were no more state declarations until the Civil War. It was not until 1885 that all federal workers were given Christmas Day off. The so-called Xmas customs and traditions were later concocted more for commercial purposes than for religious.

Quoting from a 12/23/83 USA TODAY article about Christmas: „A broad element of English Christianity still considered Christmas celebration a pagan blasphemy. The Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Calvinists and other denominations brought this opposition to early New England and strong opposition to the holiday lasted in America until the middle of the 18th century.” Henry Ward Beecher, a Congregationalist, wrote in 1874 of his New England boyhood:
„To me Christmas is a foreign day, and I shall die so. When I was a boy I wondered what Christmas was. I knew there was such a time, because we had an Episcopal church in our town, and I saw them dressing it with evergreens, and wondered what they were taking the woods in the church for; but I got no satisfactory explanation. A little later I understood it was a Romish institution, kept by the Romish Church.”

II. Scriptural Support Against Celebrating Christmas – Unacceptable Worship

A. 2 Chron. 33:15-17 – The Israelites had kept the old pagan form (the high places of Baal), but had merely introduced the worship of God into that form – a refusal to let go of pagan worship forms (i.e., God was to be worshiped in the Temple, not on the high places). This was unacceptable worship because the right object of worship was mixed with wrong forms of worship; i.e., the mixing of godly worship with ungodly form. [Likewise, is not the celebration of Christmas the taking of a celebration established by pagans and for pagans, and then introducing the worship of Christ into that pagan form?]

B. Deut. 12:29-32 – God warned His people Israel to destroy all vestiges of pagan worship that they found in the „Promised Land.” Not only did God want to prevent His people from being enticed to worship false gods, but He specifically revealed that He did not want His people to worship Him in the same manner in which the heathen worshiped their gods. We know, therefore, that our Lord is displeased by practices which profess to honor Him, but which are copied from the tradition of false religions. The command here was to worship God only in His way, i.e., do only what God commands – not adding to God’s commands nor taking away from them. [Is not „putting Christ back into Christmas,” worshiping „the Lord your God their way”? Is there any command in the Bible to give special reverence to the Scriptural account of Christ’s birth more so than to any other Scripture, let alone even a suggestion to celebrate or commemorate His birth in any way whatsoever? God never intended for His people to be imitators of the pagan customs of the world, but has called us to be separate and set apart.]

C. Lev. 10:1,2 – Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to the Lord. [Is not the celebration of Christmas, with all its pagan symbols and forms, a „strange fire” unto the Lord, and is not this form of worship contrary to what God commands?]

D. 1 Sam. 15:1-3, 7-9, 21-23 – Saul disobeyed God’s prophet in order to worship God in his way. [Is not the celebration of Christmas one of man’s ways of worshiping Christ? There is certainly no Biblical command to offer worship in this manner.]

E. 2 Sam. 6:2-7 – David attempts to transport the ark on a „new cart” instead of using the rings and poles as the Law required (Exo. 25:12-15). Additionally, the „transporters” of the ark were not even authorized to carry it (1 Chron. 15:2, 13-15); i.e., the ark was not only transported in the wrong way, but was transported by the wrong people! [Is not the celebration of Christmas the wrong way (pagan forms and tradition) with the wrong people (the heathen of the world join right in with the professing Christians)?]

F. 1 Ki. 12:26-33 – In order to unify the northern ten tribes of Israel, ungodly King Jeroboam set up pagan idols, not in place of God, but as new focal points for directing worship to God. He even instituted a new festival on a new day; i.e., a new religious holiday of his own choosing. Even though the true God of Israel was still to be the object of worship in the new religious holiday, both the holiday and the worship were not authorized by God nor accepted by Him (1 Ki. 13:1-3; 15:29,30). Why? Because the concocted mixture of error with truth constituted false religion! [Is not the celebration of Christmas a religious holiday of man’s own choosing, replete with pagan symbols and forms, all under the guise (by sincere Christians at least) of worshiping the one true God and Savior? But does not this worship form and system still constitute false religion, and thereby, make it unacceptable to God? And besides, where in the Bible do Christians have the right to add a new holy day to the so-called Christian calendar, any more than King Jeroboam had the right to add a new holy day to God’s theocratic calendar?]

G. 1 Cor. 8:4-13; Rom. 14:1-13; 1 Cor. 10:14,18-21 – These passages concerning Christian liberty are discussed in more detail under Roman numeral IV. [Christian liberty can best be defined Biblically as „the freedom to engage in practices not prohibited by the Scriptures or denying oneself what is permitted (i.e., a moral choice of self-discipline) in order to be a more effective witness for God.” So the question must first be answered, „Is Christmas permitted?”] Briefly, some claim that Paul is teaching that the participation in pagan forms condemns no one, and therefore, participation in Christmas and its forms, even though arising out of pagan idolatry, is inconsequential. However, Paul nowhere approves participation in acts of idolatry, of which the participation in the pagan forms of Christmas comes dangerously close to doing. Instead, Paul is speaking of the liberty to continue in Jewish days of worship/festival that had been previously ordained under the Jewish law. There is certainly no liberty to bring outside pagan forms into the church’s worship services. Likewise, there is no liberty to Christianize Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days as special days.

Christians in the first century churches had the liberty to observe Old Testament holy days and feasts (days that had previously been revealed by God) if they were so immature as to do so. The weaker brother, Paul wrote, was at that time not to be censured for continuing to attach some importance to the Old Testament holy days, as a clear knowledge of their abolition in Christ was not yet given to him (the weaker brother). But to observe a pagan holy day is something this passage does not sanction. They certainly did not have the liberty to regard Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days (days that were invented by the devil) as special days. Again, that would have been idolatry, worldliness, and perhaps even a form of Satan worship on their part. Therefore, how can the observance of Christmas Day, or any other Babylonian/Roman Catholic holy day, be a matter of Christian liberty?

Yet when some of us refuse to regard the pagan holy days as special days, we are the ones often referred to as the „weaker brother” in this matter! Are we opposed to such days because we are „weak in faith”? Faith would be defined as believing what the Word of God says about a matter and acting upon it. It was by faith that we stopped regarding pagan holy days as special days. Would we be more mature Christians if we would start regarding such days again? It would certainly be much easier on us and our families.

III. Christmas and Violation of the Ten Commandments (reverse order)

A. Do Not Covet – Children learn to covet the gifts of others, to drool over the Christmas catalog, to drag their parents endlessly through toy stores, all in the name of „the Christmas spirit.”
B. Do Not Bear False Witness – „Jesus is the reason for the season!” is the Christian battle cry to „put Christ back in Christmas,” when in actuality, there is not only no Biblical warrant for Christmas, but its roots are in pagan worship systems. Nevertheless, professing Christians lie to their children about Santa Claus, the supernatural, sorcerous false „god” of Christmas, whose „gospel” is one of works salvation along with unconditional acceptance and rewards. Parents lie to their children for years about the god-like character of Santa Claus, in effect asking them to trust in a false god and a lie, and then don’t understand why later in life their children won’t believe and trust in the true God, Jesus Christ.

C. Do Not Steal – Christmas spending patterns could never stand the test of Biblical stewardship; i.e., Christians, in celebrating Christmas, „steal” the Lord’s resources by ignoring their proper use; lavishly spend these resources on worthless and useless trinkets (in many cases); and withhold resources from those in need, while at the same time claiming to never have enough money to buy good Christian books, pay for home schooling, or buy Bible helps for their children. (Christians could also be helping the spiritually needy by buying and giving them tracts, books, etc.) We „steal” from our families what they need and what we owe them in order to buy gifts for those who don’t need them.

D. Do Not Commit Adultery – At this „special” time of the year, lustful thoughts are actually encouraged; e.g., teens are allowed to go to parties and stay out later, thereby having temptations put in front of them that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Christmas parties for adults also encourage evil thoughts through the use of the mistletoe, etc. (According to Matt. 5, such thoughts constitute adultery. At the very least, spiritual adultery is encouraged by the „season.”)

E. Do Not Murder – Envy and hate of my brother (which, according to Matt. 5, is equal to murder) because he has more than me or because he receives a larger Christmas bonus than me, is encouraged at Christmas time. We also tend to spiritually sacrifice our children to the „god of Christmas” via greed, selfishness, etc.

F. Honor Father & Mother – Christmas gift-giving is not an honor to parents; the term „exchanging” gifts (i.e., giving in expectation of a return) is a dead give-away of the mockery associated with this tradition.

G. Remember the Sabbath & Keep It Holy – Although we recognize that the Lord’s Day is not the „Christian Sabbath,” clearly the Lord’s Day is to be kept for worship and observed as such. Yet when Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or the day after Christ-mas falls on a Sunday, most churches adjust the Lord’s Day to accommodate Christ-mas, usually by cancelling the regularly scheduled Sunday evening service. Most of its members are too busy or too tired to attend services anyway.

H. Do Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain – „Christ” and „mass” are two words that are totally opposite from one another, and to connect the two is to blaspheme the name of Christ. By taking a pagan celebration, „Christianizing” it, and calling it a celebration of the birth of Christ, is most certainly taking the Lord’s name in vain. (A good example of the willingness of the professing church to profane the name of the Lord would be the title of a popular children’s Christmas concert production – The Divine Ornament. Imagine, identifying our Lord with a pagan ornament to hang on a pagan tree! What insult! What blasphemy!) In addition, some professing Christians use religion („Christ’s birthday”) as a cloak to cover the evils of covetousness, idolatry, greed, immorality, etc. – all excuses to give vent to evil lusts.

I. Do Not Make Yourself Any Carved Image – Nativity scenes, „pictures” of Christ, Christmas cards with „pictures” of Jesus, etc., all violate this command. God has given us His Word, not images, to teach us about Christ (1 Pe. 1:23; Dt. 4:12, 15-19).

J. Have No Other gods Before Me – The „god of Christmas” is idolatrous! Looking to the Christmas season for happiness, joy, and fulfillment, rather than through a pure, personal, and Biblical relationship with Jesus Christ, is idolatry.

IV. Is a Christian’s Decision to Celebrate Christmas a Part of Christian Liberty?

A. Romans 14:1-13 – This passage is speaking of Jews who were observing the Old Testament Jewish holy days/festivals and dietary laws even though they were now believers in Christ; but they were also judging their Gentile brothers-in-the-Lord who did not observe the Jewish customs. Likewise, the Gentile Christians were judging their Jewish brothers who were seemingly caught-up in ceremonial law. Paul was thusly saying, „To you Gentile Christians – leave the Jewish Christians alone, because they are not violating any Scriptural commands by their actions (i.e.,it’s a „disputable” matter [doubtful or gray area] and not a moral issue). To you Jewish Christians – it’s okay for you to observe the Jewish festivals and dietary laws because they were given by God in the Old Testament, and thereby, are considered to be previously approved worship forms, but don’t judge your Gentile brothers because there is no Biblical command for either of you to continue to observe these things.” (Actually, it wasn’t „okay” [see IV.C. below], but Paul allowed it as an act of an immature/weaker brother [see II.G. above].) If a moral issue is involved (i.e., a practice that is covered in Scripture), then this passage and its application to Christian liberty (i.e., the freedom to engage in practices not prohibited by Scripture) would obviously not apply. And as brought out earlier in this report, the celebration of Christmas appears to be such a moral issue, because its celebration is not only not from God, but is from ancient paganism itself!

B. 1 Corinthians 8:4-13 – The Gentile Christians, who had been raised in an idolatrous system, were having a problem with the their Jewish brothers who were eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. (Apparently, this was the only „healthy” meat available.) Similar to the Romans 14 passage above, Paul says that eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols is not a moral issue, and thereby, is not prohibited. However, Paul does not say that it is okay to go into the pagan temple itself; in fact, in other passages (1 Cor 10:14, 18-21), Paul specifically prohibits getting involved with the pagan feasts. In other words, it’s not a moral issue to partake in the byproducts of a pagan religious system (note, however, that there is no indication here that the Jewish Christians were using the „idol meat” as part of their worship), but it is not okay to partake in the religious system itself (because the corrupt character of the participants would be harmful for believers). Rather, we must be separate from the worldly system (2 Cor 6:14-7:1). Therefore, when items (byproducts) associated with a pagan religious system not only develop religious associations of their own, but have been integrated into what would otherwise be true Christian worship (as the celebration of Christmas has clearly become in our culture), then we should pull away from them so that there is no confusion over our allegiances.

C. Galatians 4:9-10; Colossians 2:16-17 – Both these passages of Scripture refer to the Jewish holy days under Old Testament law. If Christians were not even to observe the Old Testament holy days – days which did have divine sanction, for a time – they certainly don’t have the liberty to observe pagan holy days!

D. James 4:11 – James is saying that Christians may only judge a brother on matters determined in God’s Word (i.e., moral issues). If a matter is not covered in the Word, then these are matters of Christian liberty (á la Rom. 14:1-13 and 1 Cor 8:4-13), and he who judges in these areas of Christian liberty is, in effect, judging and condemning the Word of God as being an imperfect standard to which the judge, thereby, refuses to submit. On the other hand, since we have clear Scriptural precept that condemns the things that go on around December 25th in the name of Christ, the celebration of Christmas does not appear to be a matter of liberty, but one of moral conduct.

V. The Right Response

A. Quench Not the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19-22) – Test all things against the Scripture and line-up beliefs and actions with what is true (i.e., do not treat with contempt the Word of God). If one is convinced that to celebrate Christmas is sin, then he and his family must not compromise with the world or the church by participating in any Christmas celebrations (Rom. 14:23).

B. Avoid Traps of the Devil:

1. Lack of Zeal – One who never considers why he does certain things, but he just does them because he always has or because his parents always have; one who acts on emotions rather than on facts.

2. Lack of Truth – One who does things for good reasons and right motives (i.e., plenty of zeal), but not in truth.

C. Realize that Christians Celebrating Christmas as the Day of Christ’s Birth Makes No More Sense than Adding Any of the Following Days as Special Days of Christian Celebration: – (Remember, the Bible’s focus on the birth of Christ is for the sole purpose of documenting his virgin birth, his incarnation, and the fulfillment of His prophetic Messiahship. Like the tongue-in-cheek suggestions below, one must also remember that there is no Biblical warrant, precedent, nor precept for the remembrance of the day of Christ’s birth as a day of special religious celebration.)

1. Baptism Celebration – Why not have three days of swimming parties in the summer in order to celebrate/symbolize Christ’s three days in the grave? We could even pick a time based upon our speculation of when John the Baptist baptized Jesus!

2. Ascension Celebration – Why not have one day set aside every year for hot-air balloon rides in order to celebrate Christ’s ascension to heaven?

3. Miracle Celebration – There is considerable Biblical focus on Jesus’ miracles (even more than on his birth), so why not have one day set aside every year to celebrate the first of Christ’s miracles? And since that was the turning of water into wine (Jn. 2), why not have „Christian” wine-tasting parties?!

D. Avoid the Rationalizations that:

1. „Christmas Provides a Festive Time to Share the Gospel” – One cannot take something condemned in God’s Word and „use it” to spread the Gospel; neither will God bless it to spread His Word. Unacceptable worship and the „mixing-in” of unholy/pagan forms is surely not the normal means through which God blesses the faithful. Satan works to blend together his system with God’s system, because when unacceptable worship (paganism) is blended with true worship (God’s truth), true worship is destroyed. In fact, any time one mixes pagan ideas and practices with the pure religion of Christ, it is condemned in Scripture as the heinous sin of idolatry! God has always detested taking those things dedicated to idols and using them to worship Him. [As a matter of fact, this „special time of the year” is probably more a hindrance to the receptiveness of the gospel message than a help. Much of the celebration observed by our contemporary society deludes people into assuming that God is pleased, when in reality, He is offended by false religion, pseudo-worship, and alien philosophies. The ecumenical spirit and a counterfeit „love” under the guise of „peace and goodwill among men,” more than likely dulls one’s sensitivity to his desperate need to repent of sin and be reconciled to a holy God.]

2. „Christmas is Merely the Honoring of Christ’s Birth” – Someone says, „I know Christmas is of pagan origin, but I still think it’s not wrong for a church to have a special time for honoring Christ’s birth.” But since when did Protestants believe that Christians have the right to add to the Bible? Is the church a legislative body? Are we to follow the Bible in our faith and practice, or the thinking of fallible men? If we have the right to add a special holy day to the Christian economy, then we can add 10,000 other things. Then we will be no better than the false cults and the Roman Catholics who follow heathen traditions! [Besides, celebrating Christ’s birth is a form of worship. But since Christmas is a lie, those who celebrate it are not worshiping in „spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24).]

3. „All I’m Doing is Putting Christ Back into Christmas” – The modern conservative cry to put Christ back into Christmas is absurd. As detailed earlier in this report, Jesus Christ was never in Christmas. It’s a lie to say He was. He has no part in a lie. When anyone takes the truth and mixes a lie with it, they no longer have the truth. They have changed the truth into a lie. Neither is it possible to take a lie and mix enough truth with it to change the lie into the truth. You still come out with a lie. One may say, „Well, I know it’s not the truth, but I’ll put Christ back in Christmas and glorify God in it then.” No, you won’t. Christ never was in Christmas. You cannot change a lie into the truth. It should in reality be called Baal-mass, Nimrod-mass, Tammuz-mass, Mithras-mass, or Mary-mass. Christ-mass is a lie. Why use a lie as a good time for a cardinal truth (the incarnation) of the Christian faith?

4. „I’m Using Christmas to Witness for Christ, Just Like the Apostle Paul Did” – Some say that all they are doing is taking the „truth” from Christmas (i.e., the incarnation of Christ) and „cultivating” it as the Apostle Paul did (Acts 17/Mars Hill), taking the opportunity of the season to witness to a lost world. This would be fine if these Christians were actually doing only as Paul did. Paul, in addressing the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill, proclaimed to them that their „unknown god” to whom they had erected an altar, was none other than „the God who made the world and all the things therein.” Paul was not intimidated by the pagan surroundings and symbolisms, nor did he berate the Greeks for their error, but merely showed them the truth of the gospel of Christ.

But do Christians really use the „opportunity presented by the season” in the same way as Paul used the opportunity of the pagan altar? Do Christians personally stand in front of their hometown public displays of Xmas (Nativity scenes, etc.) and preach the gospel? To paraphrase Paul, do they say: „Men of Indianapolis, I see that in every way you are very religious; what you worship as something unknown, I am going to proclaim to you”? Do they come out of the public schools where they have just attended their children’s Xmas programs and preach to the attendees about the true God who has been grossly misrepresented in the program they have just witnessed?

Hardly. Even to most of those who understand the true origin of Xmas, this „unique time of year” means inviting unbelievers into their homes to gather around the Xmas tree, to enjoy the beauty of the wreaths, absorb the heat from the Yule log, etc., reasoning that they are only using the pagan forms and the pagan festival season as an opportunity to witness. If Paul meant this in Acts 17, he would have met the people in the Athenian temple or in his or their homes, gathering around their idols that he had Christianized and was now using as a part of his worship. Most of the people who decorate their homes and churches with Xmas trees, holly wreaths, Nativity scenes, etc., all supposedly to be used as „opportunities” via „Xmas coffees,” neighborhood „grab bag” gift exchanges, Xmas concerts, etc., are thoroughly convinced that they’re doing God a service. And since they are not involved in the crass secular „commercialization” that the world revels in, but have instead „put Christ back in Xmas” (so to speak), they reason that all is Biblical and pleasing to God.

5. „It Doesn’t Mean Anything to Me” – Many Christians who routinely make a habit of picking-and-choosing which Biblical commands they will or will not obey, have likewise carried this practice over into a justification for celebrating Christmas. They claim, „but the Christmas tree, mistletoe, Santa Claus, etc., don’t mean anything pagan to me, so I’ll exercise my Christian liberty and partake in all of it.” Obviously, if one were to take such a cavalier approach to the physical world (i.e., „I can drink rat poison because I choose not to regard it as poison”), it would likely lead to a quick physical death. Why then do Christians think they can avoid spiritual harm by ignoring God’s spiritual warnings?

6. „The ‘Connection’ Has Been Broken” – There are those who clearly recognize the pagan nature of the various Christmas worship forms and practices. Nevertheless, many of these Christians claim that because of the long passage of time from their pagan inception to the present (6,000 years?), the „connection” to paganism has been sufficiently diminished to allow the adoption of these forms and practices into our Christian worship and celebration. While it may be true that most symbols have lost their original demonic meaning and significance in a modern society, it is strangely bizarre and ironic that Christendom seeks to commemorate Christ’s birth with the faded symbols of Satan. And even though some of God’s people may be naive and ignorant about the source of these things, surely God is not. Can such things please Him? And think about this – if it were possible to „disconnect” current practices from their pagan/occultic roots, why does Scripture not provide us any guidelines as to:
(a) how much time is necessary for the „neutralization”/disassociation process to occur; and
(b) which of the hundreds of ancient pagan rites would then be acceptable for adaptation into Christian worship (since some are obviously much more pagan/occultic than others)?
7. „There Are Hundreds of Other Items of Daily Life that Have a Pagan Origin” – It is said, „Such things as the wedding ring, certain clothing customs, the modern division of time into hours and minutes, the names of the days of the week, etc., all have pagan connections in their origins, so isn’t it a contradiction on your part to say that their meanings have sufficiently changed while Christmas’s meanings have not?” But we are not saying that their meanings have changed. The question is one of using things of pagan origin in our worship of Christ. So we would ask the question back, „Which of these pagan items do we focus on to celebrate the birth of Christ? Or which of these is ‘Christianized’ and brought into our weekly worship of, or our daily devotion to Christ, as you do with the pagan forms and traditions of Xmas?” The origin and meaning of a custom, tradition, or form does not take on significance unless it is somehow specifically incorporated into, or lined up with, our worship. As we have already detailed in the section on Christian liberty (Section IV.B.), these rings, clothing customs, etc. would be merely the byproducts of paganism, not paganism itself, and they have developed no religious connotations or associations of their own, as have the Xmas customs and traditions.

8. „Baptism (and Circumcision) Have Pagan Origins and God Still Gave Their Use in Scripture, So What’s Wrong With Using the Pagan Forms of Christmas?” – This argument is frequently made by pastors who say that to be consistent, those who would have us forbid the forms, symbols, and traditions of Christmas should also be calling for us to abandon believer’s baptism; i.e., shouldn’t the would-be banners of Christmas be saying, „Since the ancient mystery religions practiced forms of baptism, therefore baptism is a pagan custom and should be outlawed for the believer in Christ”? This is a strange argument for anyone to make, particularly a theologian (and, in our opinion, reveals a low view of Scriptural admonitions). If baptism were absent from the Bible, as using pagan forms and traditions to celebrate or commemorate Christ’s birthday are totally absent, there would then be no Biblical justification for baptism. But God has not commanded us to celebrate or commemorate Christ’s birth in any way. He has commanded us to baptize (Matt. 28:19).

E. Abstain From the Observance of Christmas – What, then, ought to be the Christian’s response to this and other pagan and Roman inventions? It cannot be denied that they are pagan pure and simple, from beginning to end. God gives us specific instructions in His Holy Word: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen … (Jer. 10:2). These words are perfectly clear. What rational options does a Bible believing Christian have?

VI. Conclusion

The very popularity of Christmas should cause the Christian to question it. Anyone and everyone can celebrate Christmas without question – outright pagans, nominal Christians, and even Buddhists and Hindus. If, in reality, December 25th were a date set by God to remember the birth of Jesus, there is no doubt that the world would have nothing to do with it. After all, God has commanded one day in seven – the Lord’s Day – to worship Him. Does the world observe it? Of course not. As expected, the world loves Christmas, but hates the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 15:18, 23-25). It shuns anything pertaining to true religion. Shouldn’t the Christian be just a little suspicious of a celebration in which the whole sinful world can join without qualms?

One way to test the Scripturalness of our practices is to reflect on what we would expect missionaries to teach new converts in a foreign culture. We assume that they would use the Bible as their guide book. If they could start new local churches without importing American culture encumbered with Roman Catholicism, liberal Protestantism, and crass commercialism, wouldn’t it be wonderful? Missionaries who have urged new converts to forsake all pagan superstitious relics have later been questioned about the apparent inconsistency of their own American Christmas customs. Nationals perceived them as idolatrous even though the missionaries were oblivious to that possibility!

When Christmas is exposed for what it really is, this angers people. It angers Protestant people! And there is reason why it does so. When the pagan celebration of Christmas is rooted up, and rejected, then what has become a Protestant tradition is, in effect, being rejected! And that is why people become angry. It began as a Roman Catholic holy day, and then it became a Protestant holy day. And if anyone dares show it up for what it really is, they face the wrath of the Protestant religious machine. And these days, that can be very ugly.

Christmas is a thoroughly pagan holiday – in its origin, in its trappings, and in all its traditions. Perhaps we should contemplate the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, delivered in a Lord’s Day sermon on December 24, 1871:
„We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because [it’s] not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. …

„It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, therefore superstition has fixed it; … Where is the method in the madness of the superstitious? Probably the fact is that the holy days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. … We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December. … regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.”
And from Dr. H.A. Ironside’s Lectures on the Book of Revelation (1920: p. 301):
„It is a lamentable fact that Babylon’s principles and practices are rapidly but surely pervading the churches that escaped from Rome at the time of the Reformation. We may see evidences of it in the wide use of high-sounding ecclesiastical titles, once unknown in the reformed churches, in the revival of holy days and church feasts such as Lent, Good Friday, Easter, and Christ’s Mass, or, as it is generally written, Christmas. … some of these festivals … when they are turned into church festivals, they certainly come under the condemnation of Galatians 4:9-11, where the Holy Spirit warns against the observance of days and months and times and seasons. All of them, and many more that might be added, are Babylonish in their origin, and were at one time linked with the Ashtoreth and Tammuz mystery-worship. It is through Rome that they have come down to us; and we do well to remember that Babylon is a mother, with daughters who are likely to partake of their mother’s characteristics …”
And, finally, from Alexander Hislop’s 1916 classic, The Two Babylons: Or the Papal Worship:
„Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That Christmas is a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin.”
We can summarize by saying that nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to commemorate the birth of our Lord, and God the Father evidently deemed it unwise to make the date known. Hence, it will always remain unknown and is not to be ceremoniously remembered and celebrated. (In fact, God has warned us about getting entangled with any special days [Gal. 4:10]). Notice though, that we are commanded to remember Him in His death (but no special day was specified for this either):
„Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; this DO in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:18,19; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
To commemorate His death is Scriptural. Any day of the year will do. To commemorate His birth is non-Scriptural, even extra-Scriptural (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Rev. 22:19), whether one chooses December 25th or any other day.
If God had desired us to remember Christ’s birthday, He could have left us the precise date. But if He had, He would have vindicated every astrologer in the past 2,000 years. In occult circles, the anniversary of a person’s birth is the most important metaphysical day of the year. The Bible recognizes no such significance. It is intriguing that there are only two birthday celebrations recorded in the entire Bible and they were both those of ungodly kings – and both resulted in an execution (Gen. 40:16-22 and Matt. 14:6-10/Mark 6:21-27)!

The Apostle Paul says: „But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross [not the manger] of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). By itself, we find no salvation in the birth of the Lord Jesus, for salvation was only made possible through His death (i.e., His shed blood) and resurrection. Our focus should be on the cross and our ascended Savior, not in a cradle.
Those who love Jesus should certainly rejoice that He was born and lived amongst us as a man. But if we truly want to glorify Him and bear testimony of who He is, we must stop marrying that blessed gift with the debauchery of paganism. If we want to honor His birth, let it be done as He would have done it: year-round unselfishly serving our fellow man as an unending act of love for our God. Let us put away all of the mixture of pagan customs and take up His mantle and His pure worship, and show the confused world that there is a difference.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY/SOURCES
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17. Spurlin, Ed. Where Is The Christ In Christmas. Voice in the Wilderness, Milford, NH, 11/92, 8pp.

18. Spurgeon, C.H. „Joy Born At Bethlehem,” A Sermon: Delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, December 24th, 1871. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, pp. 697-698.

19. Unknown. My Lord Has Not Told Me To Do It: The Christian and „Christmas. ” Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 4 pp.

20. Unknown. 10 Reasons Why Christmas Is Unscriptural. Chapel Library, Venice, FL, 8 pp.

21. (Vine, W.E.), Gospel Tract Publications. The Collected Writings of W.E. Vine, Volume 5. Glasgow, Scotland, 1986, pp. 436-439.

22. Willcock, Shaun. The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter. Bible Based Ministries, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 1992, 76 pp.

23. Wilson, Greg. Let’s Keep Christ Out of Xmas. Landmark Independent Baptist Church, Homestead, FL, 4 pp.

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-
mass.
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).

A MAN-MADE GOD By Milburn Cockrell

A MAN-MADE GOD
By Milburn Cockrell
„Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Ex. 20:3-5).
„Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I John 5:21).
The Holy Scriptures prohibit us from worshipping any man-made God. When you mention an idol most people think of a heathen bowing before some stone image in the jungle. But idolatry is putting any object in the place of God or before God. At this season I fear that many people are guilty of worshipping a man-made god, either knowingly or unknowingly. Santa Claus has become a God-substitute. Although people say they are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, it is a known fact that Santa Claus is mentioned more in most homes than Jesus Christ.
At this season of the year little children are told Santa Claus is coming to town. We see images of him with his white beard, dressed in a red suit, riding in his sleigh drawn by eight reindeer. Parents and grandparents say it would be wrong to rob little children of their belief in Santa Claus. The observant Christian can see that it is Santa Claus the myth, not Christ the reality, who is the center of attraction at this time of the year. Christmas could not survive without Santa Claus.
ORIGIN OF SANTA CLAUS
The origin of Santa Claus grew out of legends and superstitions of the ancient nations. The pagan German deities before the time of Christ were believed to come down the chimney to give rewards and punishments to people. They were gods of fire and solar gods, called hearth spirits. In China each year this fire god, dressed in a fiery red cap and jacket, traveled from the distant heavens to visit homes and distribute favors or punishments.
The image of Santa Claus in its more modern form began in the fourth century. A Roman Catholic bishop named Nicholas is said to have lived in what is now Turkey about 1,700 years ago. The World Book Encyclopedia says of St. Nicholas: „The beloved legend of Santa Claus, who brings gifts to all good children at Christmas time, is connected with Saint Nicholas, who was an actual person. . . .The stories about Saint Nicholas say that he lived during the A.D. 300’s. . . .One story is told that on three nights in a row he tossed bags of gold into the window of three girls who did not have the money for a dowry and so could not get married. This story may have started the custom of giving gifts at Christmas” (Vol. 12, p. 5680).
After Saint Nicholas died mothers told children that good Nicholas might visit them again at Christ’s mass. This idea supposed that this bishop had died and rose from the dead, for he could not have brought gifts after his death without rising from the dead. At first most European people celebrated December 6, the date of Saint Nicholas’ death, as a special holiday. As the years past the 6th of December gave place to December 25th. This is why Santa Claus is sometimes called even today Saint Nicholas. In Holland Christmas is still celebrated on December 6, the day of Saint Nicholas’ death.
Santa Claus has many different names in various countries of the world. Saint Nicholas in America is now called Santa Claus. The Dutch children shortened „Nicholas” to Claus,” and the Spanish influence in the Netherlands changed „Saint” to „Santa.” In Germany he is called Kris Kringle and in France Pere Noel (Father Christmas).
„In Holland St. Nicholas appeared, as he still does today, in the colorful regalia of a medieval bishop, including the red miter upon his head and the long cape draped from his shoulders. In America the miter and cape became the colorful cap and suit of our Santa Claus, both bright red and trimmed with fur. Instead of the serious mien of a bishop, he became a fat, jovial figure with white beard and ruddy nose and cheeks, a mixture of human and supernatural attributes” (Colliers Encyclopedia, Vol. 20, pp. 414-415).
Santa Claus in its modern form came from a poem in 1822 written by Clement C. Moore A Visit from St. Nicholas, which gives a picture of the saint as we know him today. But even this poem, which begins with the familiar line „`Twas the night before Christmas,” the name of Santa Claus does not appear. Thomas Nast, the cartoonist, gave the first picture of Santa Claus as he is imagined today in a cartoon, in 1863. Later his famous drawing Santa Claus and His Works, which appeared as a Christmas picture in Harper’s Weekly in 1866, showed Santa Claus in his workshop with his record of the good and bad deeds of all children. The drawing also showed the sleigh with reindeer, the pack of toys, the stockings hung at the fire-place, and the Christmas tree (See World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 15, pp. 7211-7212).
The modern Santa Claus myth originated with St. Nicholas, a Roman Catholic monk who is believed to have lived in the fourth century in what is now called Turkey about 1,700 years ago. After his death mothers told their children that though he was dead yet he lived again and would visit them on the night of the mass of Christ and give them gifts if they had been good. Although the name has changed sometimes from country to country, the myth is still being told unto this very day. In America Santa Claus is a mixture of human and supernatural attributes. In his sleigh drawn by eight reindeer he flies miraculously over the house tops of the world in one single night, leaving gifts to all.
SANTA CLAUS, AN ANTICHRIST
The average person would have us to believe that the Santa Claus myth is just clean, wholesome fun for little children. They say it is a thing to develop the imagination of children. But his is hardly the case. In truth Santa Claus is an antichrist, a God-substitute, a man-made god, a working of the spirit of iniquity. If you move the „n” in Santa” to the last „a” you have Satan.”
Consider the popular Christmas song that we hear at this time of the year:
You better watch out, you better not cry,
Better not pout, I’m telling you why–
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He’s making a list and checking it twice,
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice–
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He sees you when you’re sleeping,
He knows when you’re awake,
He knows if you’ve been bad or good–
So be good for goodness sake!

Oh! You better watch out, you better not cry,
Better not pout, I’m telling you why–
Santa Claus is coming to town!
If you will take the time to examine what is being said here about Santa Claus, you will see that he has the attributes of Jesus Christ. There is nothing in the universe like Christ. But Santa Claus is just as unique as Jesus Christ.
Christ is eternal (John 1:1-3). So is Santa Claus. He was never born and no one knows who his parents were. It would also seem that he has no end.
Christ is unchangeable (Heb. 13:8). Santa Claus has not aged in 1,700 years. He is no older now than when I was a little child. He still looks the same today as he did a hundred years ago.
Christ is omniscient (John 21:17). So is Santa Claus. The popular song says: „He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake, He knows if you’ve been bad or good. . .” Santa Claus can see all over the world, and he knows the good or bad conduct of little children.
Christ is omnipotent (Matt. 28:18), but so is Santa Claus. At Christmas time Santa can do anything. Poor parents may live in the slums and not have a dime to their name, but Santa Claus can bring their children almost any present. Nothing is too hard for him.
Christ is omnipresent (Matt. 28:20), but so is St. Nick. He can be in every department store in the city, on TV, in the supermarkets, on the street corners, in churches, at Christmas parties–all at the same time. On Christmas Eve he leaves the North Pole and travels over the whole world, going down everybody’s chimney, leaving gifts in just one single night!
Christ is sovereign (John 5:21). So is Santa. Who has authority over him? In what court can he be tried? To whom is he responsible? He is over all.
Christ is good (Acts 10:38). So is Santa Claus. He is very good to children who have behaved very well. He is the giver of good gifts to all at Christmas time.
Christ is righteous (I John 2:1). But Christ has nothing on Santa Claus, for Santa has no moral imperfections. Has he ever done any wrong to any person? Has he ever confessed his sins?
Christ is just (I Peter 3:18), but so is Santa Claus his mythical substitute. „You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why–Santa Claus is coming to town.” Santa is coming in the character of a judge to examine the conduct of little children. He is a rewarder and punisher like Christ. Boys and girls must live to please him if they want their stockings filled.
Christ is forgiving (Mark 2:10), but so is the imaginary Santa Claus. Although children are not always good, Santa still fills their stockings with candy and puts them presents under the Christmas tree. So Santa is forgiving just like Christ! Most children learn that you do not have to be good to get your present each Christmas.
This should be enough to convince any person that Santa Claus is a substitute for Jesus Christ. Saint Nicholas died, but after he died mothers told their children that good Nicholas might visit them again at the mass of Christ. This would have meant that Saint Nicholas rose from the dead–an imitation of the resurrection of Christ. The Bible says that Christ will come again to reward His servants as to their being good or bad (II Cor. 5:9-11; Rev. 22:11). Santa comes every year to reward the good and bad–a cheap imitation of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
SANTA CLAUS HARMFUL TO CHILDREN
Santa Claus is a lie. There is no such person. It is to be seriously doubted that the man Saint Nicholas ever existed. The Encyclopedia Britannica (Vol. 16, p. 477) says that „his existence is not attested by any historical document, so nothing certain is known of his life.” There is not now, nor has there ever been, a man who lives at the North Pole and works all year to make toys to give to children on Christmas Eve. There is no such thing as a man who rides in a sleigh up in the sky which is pulled by eight reindeer. Reindeer might pull a sleigh on the ground, but never in the air.
How sad that little children fight with their playmates to prove there is a Santa Claus and that mother and father are telling the truth. The Santa Claus myth is a system of perpetual lying to little children. Their little bright eyes ask with all seriousness: „Is there really a Santa Claus? Can Santa’s reindeer really fly? Does Rudolph have a red nose?” When parents answer these trusting little hearts in the affirmative they are lending their personal authority to a big lie! The lie becomes a truth to the child.
Should a Christian lie? The Bible answer is plain. Exodus 20:16 says: „Thou shalt not bear false witness.” God says of His people in Isaiah 63:8: „Surely they are my people, children that will not lie. . .” How can parents who lie to their children about Santa Claus fit this description? Ephesians 4:25 commands us to put „away lying.”
Parents punish their children for lying to them about things, but then they turn around and lie to the children about Santa Claus. How inconsistent and foolish. No wonder there is a generation gap! No wonder children grow up to believe Christ is a myth. Such lies destroy the child’s faith in his parents. He finds out that Santa, a man with God-like attributes, is a fake. He then thinks that Santa is for little kids and Christ is for big kids!
Henry Work, M.D., a Bethesda, Maryland, child psychiatrist and former chairman of the department of child psychiatry of UCLA, made some interesting comments about the Santa Claus lie: „Is it smart to use the image of an all-seeing, all-knowing Santa Claus to influence a child’s behavior? You know the line–`You’d better be good or Santa won’t leave any presents under the tree!’ It’s often used as an effective, if harsh, way to bring an unruly youngster back into line at this time of the year. The answer to the question is no” (Better Homes and Gardens, Dec. 1984, p. 45).
The Santa Claus lie destroys the child’s faith in his parents. It is quite a shock when he discovers his parents have been lying and laughing behind his back all these years. He was a fool for fighting to prove them right at school. Credibility is gone. Doubts and suspicions linger long in his mind. He begins to doubt what mom and dad have said about the Bible, God, morals, and his country! One little boy who had learned the truth about Santa Claus was heard to say to his classmate: „Now that I know that there is no Santa Claus I intend to check into this Jesus Christ thing also!”
This myth tends to teach children salvation by good works. The song says: „He’s making a list and checking it twice, Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.” This gives the impression to a child that the way of acceptance is being „nice.” This is not true. Salvation is in one trusting in the blood and righteousness of Christ. It is not any kind of good works performed by man. Santa Claus is just another form of Arminianism!
Santa Claus is preparing the way for the Antichrist. He is presently a Christ-substitute. The final Antichrist will be a man who will give gifts to all and solve all the problems of the world. He will promise to make every day one big Christmas for all (Rev. 11:9-10)! No wonder the world will gladly receive him and worship him!
Santa Claus is a false Christ. He should have no place in the homes and churches of real Christians. Don’t tell your children the Santa Claus lie. Tell them about Jesus Christ. Tell them to pay homage to the ever-living Christ born of a virgin, and forget the „visions of sugarplums” in your head! Tell them of how Christ shed His red blood for sinners, not about some fat man in a red suit who does not exist.
I wish to conclude this message by reading a letter that a young mother wrote to Santa Claus:

„Dear Santa Claus:
„You’ll probably be surprised to receive this letter from an adult. You may be even more surprised as you read it to find that the writer is neither a maiden aunt nor a disgruntled bachelor. I’m a young mother.
„It isn’t my intention, Santa, to hurt your feelings. You see, my family has paid tribute to you for many past Christmases: my husband and I when we were in our childhood; now our children who are 6, 4, and 2. They still care for you. How much they care has really proved a problem in recent years. It is threatening to happen again this holiday season.
„Our children worship you. They speak of you constantly. They watch diligently for your December 25 appearance. Can you tell us, Santa, what you have done to deserve this faithfulness from two generations? Can you promise any future consideration in exchange for past loyalties?
„During a family crisis, have you ever told us, „Lo, I am with you alway”? Were you ever with us during sorrow to comfort us with these words: „But your sorrow will be turned into joy”? And, Santa, there have been doubtful times. Where were you? We didn’t hear from you the calming message, „I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
„We have come to the conclusion that you have been even less than a friend should be. And we have been shortchanged. My three children have stood on a windy, cold mainstreet just to get a glimpse of your jolly face. They have written heartfelt yearly letters. They have gone to department stores to whisper in your ear. They have worked hard at being good in anticipation of your Christmas Eve visit. Yes, they’ve done all this–as their father and I did before them.
„But there’s going to be a change this Christmas. There isn’t going to be any Santa Claus worship in our home. We’ve decided to focus our attention and adoration on another Being–One who has stood by us the other 364 days this past year; One who has comforted us during the sorrowful and doubtful times–and yes, the times of crisis also.
Ít’s true that your name will probably be mentioned around our house, Santa. Old habits are hard to break abruptly. But Someone Else’s name will be mentioned much more often. The children will probably work just as hard at being good, but I hope they will do it for another inducement–one that will last the whole year long–to bring glory to Another’s name. That other One has given us so much more–and not just on Christmas Eve!
„You may call our family fickle, Santa, but we won’t mind. On this December 25, and all through the year, we want a Comforter, a Healer, a strengthening King. We don’t want a myth any longer.
„We’ve talked it over. This year we’ve decided to give tribute, honor, and worship to Someone who really deserves them–to the True Giver–Our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Farewell,
A Young Mother”

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