I have been shocked to hear young people today say to me that Christianity is just an extension of ancient pagan religions.
There was a baby born and placed in a manger. He came to be the Savior of all mankind. The wise men came to see this young child and bring Him gifts. But not on December 25th, the ancient accepted date of the birth of Mithra. The Bible does not instruct us to celebrate the Savior's birth or even record the date of it. If a person from the New Testament Church could suddenly walk our streets, would they recognize Christmas as Christian? Or would they see it as the same celebration the pagans around them celebrated in the ancient Roman empire?
Unless we are willing to stand up and say that we will have no part with these ancient practices—which are not found in the Bible as part of the worship by God's people—then could we be part of the problem? Do we really think Christ is pleased to have His birthday celebrated on the accepted birth date of a god created in the imaginations of men? With the readily available knowledge on the Internet, we can no longer claim ignorance to the origins.
Christmas became accepted in churches as a means to bring people to Christ. The churches were losing ground to this tradition, and a concerted effort was made to make it mainstream, and tone it down from the wild revelry for which it was known. Maybe when the places that were supposed to be holy buildings of worship opened their doors to this celebration, they ceased to be a place to worship the holy God and became a place to worship Mithra? Have we ever questioned that? Our youth have.
Consider that when we lie to children from a very young age about Santa and a bunny that lays eggs, we could be setting them up to question all of it. That seems to be the reality of our day and time.
People don't have to claim Christianity to celebrate Christmas, as it is mostly secular anyway. Churches have tried for over 100 years to incorporate it into religious services and make Jesus "the reason for the season," but He never was part of this celebration. It predates Christianity. It comes from traditions that God told Israel over and over to stay away from. We don't have to dig too deep to find that the religious founders of our country tried to ban it. It was a raucous revelry that they saw as pagan. Slowly, just as happened in ancient Israel, pagan traditions have crept into our worship of God.
Our youth are not stupid. Many are turning to outright pagan traditions, which they see as very similar to what they have been taught in church, but as more honest. They do not have to try to live a double standard, but can openly be pagan. It is old and familiar, and Yule is not too different from what they were raised doing.
How honest with ourselves are we about the paganism that has crept in and taken over mainstream religion? If we are in denial, the thought that we are practicing paganism will make us angry.
If we are deeply seeking the true Christianity that Christ and the apostles brought, we will be ashamed to have continued in this deception.
Do we want God to bless America? We must put away idolatrous worship. God cannot and will not bless a country that wholeheartedly seeks after other gods. Fewer than 10 percent of our people reject these holidays and see them for what they really are: paganism with a cloak of Christianity to hide the evil. These practices were celebrated and condemned long before Christ came to earth, and we see a generation now rejecting Christianity because they see it as a continuation.
"For the shepherds have become dull-hearted, and have not sought the Lord; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered" (Jeremiah 10:21).
If you are interested in becoming part of the solution, you may want to read our booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe? to see what days God did set apart as holy. You may have never heard of most of them, but they are right there in your Bible.