Christmas and Christians

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Christmas and Christians

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There has been an uproar in recent months over various stores not putting up decorated trees, coffee cups that don't have a Christmas theme, and public employees no longer saying things like “Merry Christmas.” People rant on social media, write scathing e-mails to companies and even ask people to boycott businesses, but is all this fuss based on anything important to Christians?

While not wanting Christ to be forgotten is a great thing to fight for, we must do it appropriately. We must follow what God and Christ said They want, not what makes us happy.

Due to hundreds of years of tradition, people believe that Christmas is all about Christ. They even make comments about “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” but other than the name of Christ being inserted into the title, there is no basis for saying the day has anything to do with Him. Christmas is associated with a lot of things that bring people happiness and comfort: getting together with family, big meals, parties, decorating, shopping, gifts and travel. All these things give people warm and fuzzy feelings, so it's not surprising people don't want to give it up. But the argument that they do it “for Christ” just doesn't hold up.

The issue is that man's traditions do not make it okay. In fact, God couldn't care less about our traditions. He wants us to keep traditions He has established. Notice what it says in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 about keeping what is taught or read in the epistles: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” Do you understand the importance here? We are to stand by God's direct Word.

The Bible also states, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). And Jesus told the pharisees: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9).

You may argue that Thanksgiving falls into the same category because it is man's creation, but it does not. While Thanksgiving is a holiday devised by man, it was created in order to praise God. It was never based on anything else. Christmas was not created in order to praise or honor God. It was adopted and adapted from other worship of false gods and all the symbolism of the day comes from that pagan worship.

Adopted views

Authorities on the subject realize that Christ could not have been born on the 25th of December. That date was adopted because of various pre-Christian traditions associated with that date. (For more detail on the pagan worship of Christmas read: Christmas Before Christ?: The Holidays Origins Unmasked.) In the 17th century, the Christmas celebration was even banned by the Puritans who were so upset by it that the ban was enforced by an army.  

Over the years, more traditions or variations on the holiday sprang up. People adding traditions from their own cultures to the celebration. Many of these were later incorporated fully into the way people keep the day today. Yule logs, wreaths, gift exchanges, and other decorations were all taken from ancient religions. This was worship of what the Bible calls foreign gods.

While not wanting Christ to be forgotten is a great thing to fight for, we must do it appropriately. We must follow what God and Christ said They want, not what makes us happy. We cannot say it doesn't matter what we do as long as it's in praise of God and Christ. God does not want any part of a day originated for foreign gods. Would you like people to acknowledge your birth on your sister's birthday or your anniversary on some random day selected long before you were born? It would just be weird and wouldn't feel like you were cared about at all. Imagine how Christ feels when we do the same thing to Him. When we adapt days from idol or sun worship to honor Him, we are telling Him we don't care about His wishes at all.

Our faith is not “wrapped up” in green and red. It's not glistening with holly and glitter. It does not have the words “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” written on it. Our faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). It comes not from a shining star atop a tree, but from living as God would have us live and being a light to the world using Christ as our example.