Should Christians celebrate Christmas?
December 25th is celebrated every year as the birthday of Jesus Christ, and is considered as a holy day by many Christians around the world. There are many non-biblical customs associated with the celebration of this day today, including the Christmas tree, decorations, lights, the giving of presents and Santa Claus that are considered as of Pagan origins. Many religious scholars will argue that these traditions have taken away from the true meaning of the holiday, and some even argue that because of these festivities whether Christmas day could be called a religious holy day today. Christian Christmas keepers are frequently asked by the non-Christmas keepers to provide biblical proof why Christians should celebrate December 25th-Christmas day, as an approved holy day.
Moses and the Ten Commandments
There are many scholars today who are experts in Jewish Holy days; and are able to put forward the importance of keeping these Jewish days clearly, by providing sufficient biblical proof to back the information that is been provided.
However, these preachers should remember that in the Old Testament books of Moses, the Israelites were just taken out of bondage in Egypt. These Sabbath days were just being established, and there were lots of defenders of the old ways of worshiping among these newly freed people. The Passover is significant to the Jews, because it reminds them of the time when the spirit of death passed over the children of Israel houses with the blood on the door, and killed the firstborn of the Egyptians.
When Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of Ten Commandments, he actually broke the stones because the children of Israel went back to their old ways of worship in Egypt.
Mission of Paul to the Gentiles
In Paul's epistle to the Colossians, Paul tells the new Gentile converts that:
God hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son ( Colossians 1: 13 KJV).
Delivered from the power of darkness, meant that the religion of the Gentiles at the time, was not leading anywhere. Being translated into the Kingdom of his dear son, does not justify December 25th celebration, but it also give us a reason for not keeping the Passover. The Gentiles were never under the Jewish laws. Critics of Paul's mission will argue that the Jewish traditions were not done away with, and often misquote Colossians 2: 16 and 17.
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days; which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ (Colossians 2: 16 & 17 KJV)
The Galatian converts were also questioned about not observing the practice of circumcision. Paul's reply was:
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing; nor uncircumcision: but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6 KJV)
He also told the Galatians that
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith was come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3: 24-26 KJV).
God called Moses and Jesus called Paul, therefore we are no longer under the traditions of the Old Testament laws. Teachers against the celebration of Christmas and its traditions, often provide information about the Pagan origins of the Holy day, rather than acknowledge that they are actually convincing Gentiles to continue keeping the Jewish Sabbaths and customs.
Paul said in Romans:
I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise and to to the unwise. (Roman1:14 KJV)
At a church Christmas celebration parishioners were asked to describe Christmas traditions in their country. In Jamaica, the poinsettias change from green to red, sorrel is in bloom, the temperature becomes cooler and the Christmas breeze starts to blow. In the churches the altar color is changed for the season and Christmas carols are sung in the church services. This change in temperature and church practice, makes one aware that Christmas is in the air. Most people will tell you that the lights and decorations, Christmas tree, presents and Santa Claus distract from the true meaning of Christmas. However, it makes non-believers question the reason for the season, and give Christians a chance to tell about the savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the question that should be asked, is not whether Christians should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but shouldn't time be invested by biblical scholars to find out the real birthday of the Savior? Were there any days or rituals given to followers of Christ to continue practicing that are not found in the books of the laws and prophets? Are these rituals observed by Sabbath keepers today?