Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

On Celebrating Christmas

There are many different thoughts on celebrating Christmas, and I find it something that seems to bring conflict to many who follow Christ! While many believe that practicing what originally began as a pagan celebration is wrong, the fact is that Christians turned it into a day to celebrate the birth of Christ. Others find it wrong that we celebrate birth at all. The birthday was not something that was celebrated by early Jews.

We are not instructed in the Bible to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it is notable that the birth was noted in the Bible itself with the honoring of the baby by Angels declaring His birth, by Wise Men looking for Him and bringing gifts to celebrate His coming and recognizing the importance of His future Kingship. The gospels do not give us a date of His birth, and yet they do emphasize the importance of His birth. Without His birth, we have nothing. He had to come to earth as a human to fulfill the prophecy and give the sacrifice. It stands to reason that His birth is one of the most important days in history. And while we are also told to celebrate death over birth, without the birth, you can not have the death.

As for the fact that Christmas itself began as a pagan holiday, people ceased to associate the day with the worship of a pagan god and began to associate it with the birth of the Savior of the world. For ministry, is that not what we want? For people to disregard pagans and remember Christ’s coming?

One of the biggest problems with modern day followers of Christ is that all to often the celebration becomes more about themselves than it is about Christ. We don’t truly celebrate the birth of Jesus so much as we take the opportunity to party and feed our own desires, whether with food, friends, presents or other indulgences. Do we really spend enough time in reflection on the reason for His birth and thanksgiving for it?

While we may or may not agree on whether we should celebrate Christmas, I decided that I would include a few others thoughts on that very thing. God bless!

“Christmas now means that we mark, in Christian ways, the birth of Jesus Christ. I think the birth, death and resurrection of Christ are the most important events in human history. Not to mark them in some way, by way of special celebration, would be folly it seems to me.” From: Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? John Piper

Charles H. Spurgeon on Christmas from Founders Ministries Blog:

He had little patience with his Protestant brethren who made much of the day out of religious devotion. Yet, Spurgeon was far from a Scrooge. Nor did he think it some violation of Scripture to utilize the inevitable emphasis of the season to preach the incarnate Christ. So it is easy to find sermons on the birth of Christ that he preached around Christmas time.

In December of 1855 he preached on “The Incarnation and Birth of Christ” from Micah 5:2. His opening words were these:

THIS is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ. I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Savior Jesus Christ was born on that day and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred. However, I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas-days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt laboring people. Christmas-day is really a boon to us, particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus. We do not wish to be classed with those

“Who with more care keep holiday
The wrong, than others the right way.”

By Paul Ravenhill

300 years after Jesus’ death the church set December 25th as the day of commemoration and celebration of His birth.

Was Jesus born December 25th?… Possibly not!

Does the exact date matter? I don’t think so! Some people have a problem with December 25th because it was the date of the heathen celebration of the mid-winter festival. As Studdert-Kennedy (to whom I am indebted for his notes which lay the basis for this writing) has pointed out, for the heathen it was based in a time of dread
(dread of the winter cold which had taken the life from the trees and plants and
touched the waters and the fields with frost,
dread of the darkness which had taken over a greater portion of every day,
dread of the scarcity the uncertainty, the unrelenting attack of winter) from this fear was born the custom of lighting fires and burning logs to “warm up the sun” lest he flicker out and die and never rise again….. Read the rest at Christmas
By Paul Ravenhill

From Billy Graham

“I don’t think we ought to stop celebrating Christmas, but I do agree that we’ve lost sight of its true meaning. All too often, I’m afraid, we have left Christ out of Christmas, and yet (as the popular saying goes) He truly is “the reason for the season.”

Instead of focusing on what Christmas has become, however, let’s focus instead on what it can become for us, no matter what others do. Christmas celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, which set in motion the greatest event in human history. What better time to stop and reflect on what God did for us by sending His only Son into the world?

Why is Christmas important? It’s important first of all because it reminds us of our greatest need: to be forgiven of our sins and reconciled to the God who created us. If we could solve this need by ourselves, Christ wouldn’t have had to leave heaven’s glory and come to earth. But He did — because God loves us, and He wants us to know Him and spend eternity with Him.

Christmas reminds us too of what God has done for us. We could never save ourselves — but Christ came to save us by His death and resurrection. Make Christ the center of your Christmas this year — and then you’ll begin to understand the greatness of God’s gift to us that first Christmas. As the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23)”. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

From A.W. Pink:

 To you the Word of the Lord is, “Be THOU AN EXAMPLE of believers in word, in deportment, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). Is it not true that the most corrupt “churches” you know of, where almost every fundamental of the faith is denied, will have their “Christmas celebrations?” Will you imitate them? Are you consistent to protest against unscriptural methods of “raising money,” and then to sanction unscriptural “Christmas services?” Seek grace to firmly but lovingly set God’s truth on this subject before your people, and announce that you can have no part in following Pagan, Romish, and worldly customs.

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8 responses

  1. There is on one side what can be call : Culture… and Christmas Trees even if it were a Pagan Worship , who do we worship ? the Tree…nah..but it look nice and Christmas without all those light and so on.. It be sad. The Point is to put your worship to the right place. The rest is embellishment a Surrounding that should not affect our faith.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    • I agree Wil., God bless you my friend!

      December 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

  2. Very very well explained. Basically this is where I am at on this subject as well. Use it for the Lord’s glory and honor and turn what used to be paganism into an opportunity to witness of our Lord and Savior to those who are only open to the subject around the holidays. Lord bless you!

    December 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm

  3. Thank you Pastor Rob and God bless you!

    December 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

  4. This was so helpful, loopyloo! Thank you for taking the time and care and love to put a lot of our questions and struggles to rest! God bless you and yours!

    December 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    • You are most welcome Debbie and God bless you!

      December 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

  5. Satanists and Wiccans today, laugh at the Christians, for celebrating their own holly days. It makes witnessing to them, (and to the Jews for that matter, – they know it is a Catholic pagan custom,) almost impossible, because of this.

    THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS A DEMON. There are other demons under this main one. We have seen these demons and have felt them.

    God gives specific instruction about using pagan practices to worship Him— the exact thing Christmas does! Notice what He says in Deuteronomy 12:30-32: “. . . Do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way . . . Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it”
    And lest some think this is simply an Old Testament command that no longer applies, the apostle Paul makes the same point in 2 Corinthians 6, where he addresses whether unbiblical religious customs and practices have any place in the worship of God’s people:
    “What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial [the devil and/or demons]? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God . . . Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.’ Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 7:1). Rather than relabeling pagan customs as Christian, or allowing members of the Church to continue their old pagan practices, the apostle Paul told them in no uncertain terms to leave behind all these forms of worship and worship God in true holiness as He commands. Jesus likewise says His true followers “must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)—not revel in recycled pagan customs and symbolism.
    Since Christmas is a jumble of ancient pagan customs invented by men, and a holiday found nowhere in the Bible, does God honor or accept such worship?
    Jesus provides the answer in His stern rebuke of the religious teachers of His day, men who had substituted human traditions and teachings for God’s divine truths and commands: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites . . . ‘in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ . . . All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).
    It’s always good to ask the question, What would Jesus do? The answer, from the Scriptures, is quite clear as to what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t allow His followers the option of adopting pagan practices in their worship. He and the apostles plainly kept God’s Holy Days and festivals that we find recorded in Leviticus 23. They kept the Passover (1Corinthians 11:23-26). Scripture shows they also observed the Days of Unleavened Bread (Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). The New Testament Church itself was founded on the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), another biblical festival they clearly observed (Acts 20:16). They likewise kept the Day of Atonement (called “the Fast” in Acts 27:9) and the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2, 10). Christmas, meanwhile, is totally missing from the biblical record.

    December 11, 2013 at 11:38 am

    • You said “It makes witnessing to them, (and to the Jews for that matter, – they know it is a Catholic pagan custom,) almost impossible, because of this.” This is an interesting argument to make, especially as to the point of witnessing, since we are told that those with open ears will hear and heed the word and we are not relying on our word, but the Lords. During such a time as this when people gather together for what ever reason, what better time to witness. If they are asking, they are interested in hearing what the Lord’s message is. I they are decrying and mocking, they have already closed their ears and the message will not be accepted.
      1 Corinthians 10:19 “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
      20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
      21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
      22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
      23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
      26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
      27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
      28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
      29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
      30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
      31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
      There are so many things that modern man makes into idols that it would be impossible to avoid them all. The idols of today are games that people spend time that should go to the Lord, playing, or watching either in the stands or on some large scree television which they have sacrificed their time to pay for and spend more time in front of that they do in either God’s service or worship. The Christians who decided to use a day that was formally a pagan holiday, to give thanks to the Lord for sending a Savior who would take on our sins and sacrifice His life in order that we may have eternal life, did not worship the tree, nor do we in this time. Nor do we offer sacrifices unto it. We set aside a time to give thanks and worship the Lord, we offer a meal with thanks to the Creator for the abundance that He has given us.”30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
      31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
      It is interesting that you would use Mark 7:6-9 as a reason to not celebrate the birth of the Lord, especially since Jesus here is reprimanding the elders for hypocrisy, since they were emphasizing the law over the love of God. They were worrying about rules and doctrine and forgetting that what was important was the worship of God, and loving Him. As for John 4:24, “worship in spirit and truth”, Jesus is using the woman at the well to emphasize the importance of being filled with the “living water” and how important it is that we fill our hearts with Him. We are told to Glory in the Lord continually: 1Chronicles 16:9-11 King James Version (KJV)9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
      We are not limited to just the days that are considered Holy.
      In all that we do, we should give glory to God, in what we eat, if it is respected as part of God’s bounty and thanks given to Him for it, it is holy in His eyes. God bless you!

      December 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm