Christmas Controversy -- Easy to Prove and Resolve!
Christmas -- Is it what GOD wants?
For some who observed Christmas in the past – the observance and everything that surrounds it may still remain buried deep inside our emotional “history” — in our blood” so to speak. Certainly, there may still remain warm memories of:
- · Happy family moments of fireplaces, dinners, gift giving and special times.
- · Beautiful lights, decorated trees, and other holiday decorations.
- · Certainly some fantastic music.
- · Deeds of generosity and charity.
- · Abundant Special Foods, beverages, candies and delights
- · Fellowship of friends and families
- · Special places, happy memories, and special emotions often triggered again in us by this time of the year. Sights and sounds of our childhood.
Others who never observed the celebration – may wonder if they are somehow “missing something”.
I was catholic – there is nothing to compare to the pomp and circumstances of a full Christmas Midnight Mass. When I began to find the TRUTH of GOD’s word – Christmas was one of the more difficult things to set aside. But once I made a commitment to do so – I found that “It’s hold on me” began to weaken. The more I immersed myself in the WORD of GOD the more I felt it’s “grip” on my emotions loosen. The excitement of knowing GOD’s true plan for mankind easily began to “outstrip” the temporary nature of the message of the Christmas season and it’s non biblical customs that fall very short of showing the awesome power of a kingdom just about to appear on this earth. Actually, it works to distract people away from that truth. Here’s a list of the foundational reasons why I don’t observe Christmas.
· I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Christ was actually born in the Fall – probably around the 29th of September during the Feast of Tabernacles. There was no room at the inn for Joseph and Mary BECAUSE everyone had come to Jerusalem to keep the Feast. The Roman governors knew about the Feast and chose to use this assembly to their advantage to tax the people. This is very easy to prove and most credible theologians know this.
· There is ABSOLUTELY NO record of ANY of the Apostle or disciples EVER observing any kind of a celebration remotely similar to Christmas. Keep in mind that they were personally taught by Christ AFTER HIS RESURRECTION Paul too was personally taught by Jesus well after the resurrection. None of them kept it. Were they somehow “lacking” in the praise and worship of Christ? Paul said imitate me as I imitate Christ! 1Cor 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (The word follower is “mimitos” meaning Imitate)The Apostle Paul did not observe Christmas or anything remotely similar to it. There is no mention of it in any of the Christian record prior to 300 AD. No record of any of the Christian churches ever keeping anything in any way similar to what we know as Christmas.
· Christmas was created by a merging of the Catholic Churches ideas and Paganism on or about 440 AD
· GOD’s attitude about such things is very clear in the whole body of scripture that HE Hates things that “stand in the place of HIM” when it comes to observances of a religious nature. He says this in Jeremiah through the prophet: Jeremiah 10:2 “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, (It is not a matter only of what you worship – it’s a matter of doing what they do – learning and doing “their way”) and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.” V:3 “ For the customs of the people are vain: (It is not a matter only of what you worship – it’s a matter of not following “customs” that GOD despises) For one cutteth a tree out of the forest the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.” V:4 “They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not”
· The Pagan origins of Christmas are clear – YES they have “attached these things” to Christ – to worshipping HIM and to all that HIS coming to the earth as a human being means for us. BUT – is that what HE wants?
· The bible is very clear that GOD goes to great lengths to explain and even command observances which are according to HIS will. Surely – HE would have told the disciples and apostles about it if that is what HE wanted. Either HE did not – or they ignored HIM as they never observed anything like Christmas.
· Some feel it is OK because they believe the holiday “worships Christ” --- does it? Matt 15:8-9 says “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” V9 “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” -- where did this celebration come from?
· God is clear that when Israel did things that were NOT according to HIS specific directions when it came to worship – HE was “offended” Listen to what he says to them when Israel was into observing the customs and traditions the HE had Never given to them to observe: It shows how HE feels about it.
· Isaiah 1:12 “ When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? V13: Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. V14: Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. V15: And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”
· GOD considers that when we do things which “have the appearance” of worshipful observance we are committing adultery against HIM! Notice: Jeremiah 3:8 “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” Wow – did you get that – HE doesn't like it when we do the things the world does in the name of their brand of religion. Is Christmas part of a religious custom?
· In the commandments it is very clear where GOD stands on the subject:
· Exodus 20:2 “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Sin by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) V-3 You shall have no other gods before me. V-4 Thou (that’s saying that mankind is not the author of what and what is not to set up as part of an observance that claims to worship me) shall not make unto thee 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: V-5 Thou shall 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; V-6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. V-7 You shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
What is the history of Christmas?
The celebration of the holiday of Christmas is not a biblical concept at all. Nowhere in the Bible are we specifically given a date for Christ's birth. The season can be determined however and, from scripture, it is clear it is NOT in the beginning of winter. Nowhere in Scripture is there an account of a commemoration of the occasion of Christ's birth. Christmas was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed either by the apostles or in the apostolic church for at least the first 300 years of church history. Christmas first came into the “Christian community” about A.D. 440 when the Roman Catholic Church sought to incorporate the festival Saturnalia, which honored Saturn and the Roman celebration of Natialis Solis Invicti (birthday of the Unconquerable Sun), both of which were celebrated on December 25th. The early church, (with what seemed to be a good motive) did this in an attempt to get rid of the Pagan holiday, by declaring December 25th to be the day to celebrate the birthday of the Son of God. The Roman church justifies the date by explaining that the visit of the Magi was about this time setting up the custom of gift giving during this December 25th period drawn from Pagan origins.
Sometimes it is hard to go through this season when everyone around us is involved in a “festive universal celebration” of what appears, on the surface, to be wonderful and righteous and worshipful. But, we know that the world has been deceived (Revelation 12:9) by a powerful enemy that wants to take people’s focus away from the true worship of the true GOD! This season is one of his “master strokes” in that campaign. Yes – it can affect us – making us feel “left out” and “peculiar”. But, these things are all part of the TEST of our loyalty to HIM. It was never intended to be easy – this development of character. But GOD ALWAYS – rewards his people for their loyalty.
Certainly, I love GOD and Jesus Christ – I am very thankful that HE did what HE did and that the Father Gave Him to all of us. I want to sing at the top of my lungs – sometimes I do. I want to praise him – often I do. But, I also want HIM to be pleased with me and how I go about demonstrating my worship back to HIM. I am very sure that what the world is doing is clearly not what HE expects or even desires – even though they believe they are. I know that they don’t know their right hand from their left as GOD said to Jonah about the people of Nineveh. After all – HE did give us – everyone of us – them too – HIS only begotten son that we all might be saved and have eternal life. But – remember what HE saves us from. He saves us from the penalty for living according to a “way” that is not the “way” he has prescribed for us. Those lovely people out there – don’t know what we know about the truth of GOD’s word. I am not going to “beat them up” over this issue and I am not going to do things to hurt them. Sometimes it almost seems to me that the feeling of separation that we feel translates into animosity toward those in the world who do not yet know that what they are doing is not according to GOD’s will. Sometimes we say things we shouldn't and sometimes we cause hurt feelings when we needn't do that. Most likely, there was a day when we didn't know the whole truth on the matter either. We have a greater responsibility as the “Ambassadors of the Kingdom” in what we observe and how we react to the people of this world. The vast majority of the people out there simply aren't called to the truth of GOD’s word yet and have not yet been chosen. Their day will come and I do not plan to judge them or condemn them. God’s sacrifice was given for them just as it was given for me. They are also the potential children of GOD just as I am.
They have their holiday – but I can promise you it is just that – THEIR HOLIDAY. Despite what they think, the true GOD of the Bible has nothing to do with it. Are they worshiping a “false GOD” – perhaps they are – but they do not understand that this is so just yet – soon they will! If we see them as deceived yet sincere (in believing they are demonstrating their love to Jesus Christ), then it is more likely that on this issue they fall more realistically into the category of “ worshiping HIM in vain” as what they are doing was never given by GOD as an observance, celebration or anything like it – it came from the mind of man though inspired by unholy influences.
As all the lights and festivities “tug” on our emotions – for me , it just makes me “sad” because I realize how perfectly the world has been deceived by the false spirits of this world. I further realize that these things are being used to actually keep the people of the world from seeing the true KING of KINGS that they “claim” to be worshiping. That is why I do not observe Christmas. ~~~~~~~~~~~