Celebrating Christmas while focusing on Christ OK?
Many of you know that Christmas celebrations long pre-date the actual birth of Christ and that much of what is included in Christmas celebrations clearly go back to paganism. I mean things like yule logs, wreaths, Christmas trees, mistletoe customs, partying at winter solstice, and on and on. Any quick Google search into the pagan roots of Christmas will confirm what I say.
On top of that, there’s no way Messiah was born on Dec 25, in the dead of winter, in the rainy season in Jerusalem-Bethlehem. If the DATE of his birth was so important, why are we not told what the date is? And why do 2 gospel accounts completely ignore the details of his birth? And why is there no mention in the book of Acts or any of the epistles telling us about the great Christmas celebrations of the early church? Because they didn’t have them.
And so I don’t celebrate Christmas, Easter and so on. I DO believe and am SO grateful for the birth of my Savior though. But I do not participate in the pagan history of Christmas!
So here’s the point of today’s blog: “But what if, in our home, we keep Jesus as the Reason for the Season? What if we sing praises to him, and worship HIM, and not put as much emphasis on the pagan symbols? Would that be alright then with God?”
The answer is – if you understand the truth, the truth will set you free – and the truth is God’s word. So let’s see what God’s word has to say about worshipping HIM in the way that pagans have worshipped their gods.
First of all, remember the gold calf story? What you might not have realized is that Aaron told the Israelites that as they worshipped that gold calf, they really were to do their worship to YHVH, to “the LORD”. Did you realize that? Here it is below. But did God accept that? Or did that not in fact make him even MORE furious that they put HIS Holy, Set-apart, hallowed name on to a golden calf?!!
READ EXODUS 32 FOR YOURSELF and tell me what God thinks!
Exodus 32:5-8 – “So when Aaron saw it [the gold calf], he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow is a feast to YHVH (the LORD)." 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
7 And YHVH (the LORD) said to Moses, "Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
Now if much of Christmas tradition is rooted in paganism – and then given a Christian re-label, does it matter?
Here’s more of what GOD says:
Click on “Continue reading” to finish the other clear statements from God about how he feels about worshiping him through pagan customs.
Deuteronomy 12:29-32 "When YHVH your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do NOT inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.'
31 You shall NOT worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
Remember God likes to be worshiped in spirit and truth. If God got upset when people offered to sacrifice to Him a sick lamb (Malachi 1:8), why would some feel they can put God’s sacred and holy name on to pagan festivities when He clearly said He hates what the pagans are doing and doesn’t want us worshiping HIM in the way the pagans worshiped their gods?
This is why I adore my Savior – but I don’t exchange Christmas gifts. This is why I believe in the virgin birth, the story of the shepherds and the wise men and the angelic visions – but why we do not have a Christmas tree. And don’t forget, many who have a tree in their home don’t even believe in, or worship, the Christ!
Leviticus 18:1-3 “Then YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'I am YHVH your God. 3 According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances”
So would it appease God – or make Him even angrier, if we put His sacred name on to pagan customs and then call it a celebration to the birth of Jesus, which didn’t even happen in December! Does “christening” a pagan celebration make it right?
You’ll find as you study that December 25 was commonly celebrated as part of the Winter solstice, to celebrate the lengthening days, to be festive that the Sun god was winning over darkness once again. (December 21 is the shortest day of the year). The licentious and sex-filled Roman Saturnalia parties and orgies at this time, to the pagan no-god Saturn, were well established before Jesus was even born!
Even in the New Testament – here’s what God says:
1 Corinthians 10:18-22 “Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”
Paul could also be quoting from Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17 and other places.
I just think it’s a very serious thing to take a very pagan practice and ascribe to it now the worship of the Son of God’s birthday, which celebration is nowhere taught, advocated or condoned by the Bible.
You and I just can’t casually mix-and-match truth and error as we see fit and think it pleases God. We just can’t partake of the Lord’s table and at the same time bring in customs that came from the worship of false gods – to Baal, to Thor, to Saturn (the Saturnalia for example), etc. I know 95% or more of preachers out there would not agree with me, but I stand on what God’s word says, not what is popular.
I know many ministers who DO believe as I do, but even they don’t speak out on this much, as they do not wish to offend their readers. But I’d rather focus on not offending God – and preach the truth.