To Christmas, or Not to Christmas, That is the Question
December 25th, observed as Christmas Day in much of the world, is not the day that corresponds to the birth of Jesus & neither is Christmas Day a biblical celebration & it was never a day celebrated by the first days Church.
Christmas, meaning coming of Christ, was first observed in 336 AD when Pope Julius I of the Roman Church chose to replace the pagan winter solstice feast in honour of Mithra, the “Unconquered Sun” with a new feast celebrating the birthday of the “Sun of Righteousness.” This was part of the anti-semitic, antiChrist intervention in the mid 300’s associated with the Roman Emperor, Constantine, who brought in laws forbidding Jews & Gentiles to meet together & who brought in a pagan feast called Easter to stop Jews & Gentiles from celebrating Passover together.
December 25th was chosen as the date for this new feast called Christmas. The reason for choosing this date was that in ancient times, there were many pagan religions in the Middle East & they all had their own deity or multiple deities – their own gods & goddesses. For reasons associated with the change of the season, December 25th came to be recognised as the birth date of most of these pagan gods, several of whom had life events similar to Jesus. Some of these gods were considered to have had a virgin birth, they had attempts made on their lives, some had a group of twelve disciples associated with them, some had supposedly died & had been resurrected & some had descended into Hades. Jesus was pitched in amongst these false gods & goddesses like Apollo, Attis, Baal, Bacchus, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Nimrod & others & Christ’s birth date was given as December 25th – the same as these false gods.
We choose not to celebrate Christmas but rather to worship God as we do every other Sunday – seeking to worship Him in Spirit & in truth. We know that December the 25th isn’t Christ’s birthday & that Christmas is pagan & false in it’s origin & intention. Therefore, to come together to worship God according to the traditions & times & practices associated with Christmas, singing hymns about the 25th of December being Christ’s birthday, would not be worship that is in Spirit & in truth. It would be a mixed message & it would not be sincere & true.
To me personally, it means that I can choose to give & receive presents. I can choose to sing some hymns, but I do so expressly knowing & understanding that I am NOT taking part in a true biblical celebration & that I ensure that I am NOT presenting this season to others as something that it isn’t. To me, Jesus is not the reason for the season (because the basis of this season is false), & to present that as the basis for celebrating Christmas as much of the world does & as much of the Church does, would be insincere & false.
God has set annual reminders in place of the significant events associated with His redemptive plan – such as the birth, the death, the resurrection & the second coming of Christ. My conviction is that to take note of those events that are founded in truth & in God’s Word, & worshipping God in celebration of those events according to His holy convocations & according to His timetable, would be worship in Spirit & in truth & it would be that which would be sincere & true.
Yes, the opportunity exists to present the gospel in truth in this season because there is at least an openness to God, at some level, but let us present the gospel in truth… not in falsehood & in known error. If we don’t present truth but instead present mixture, then the unsaved are happy to accept a baby in a manger, but not a Saviour who came to save them from their sins & who calls them to repentance & to lay down their lives for Him.
How we handle “Christmas” personally will vary from individual to individual & family to family. My hope is that as we take a stand for truth, lovingly & graciously (not boastfully), without imposing our convictions on others so as to “force them to comply to our thinking”, but rather that our attitude is that “as for me & my household, we have chosen……this path…..for these reasons” … may it be that sincerity & truth & grace will prevail. May it be that our families & loved ones see that truth according to God’s Word is important to us so that when we witness to them & when we share the Scriptures with them, they know that we are doing so from the standpoint of truth & according to a lifestyle that reflects biblical convictions & truth.
22 Dec 2016 / Peter Whitcombe / 1