If you are reading this article, it may be because you searched for something like "when was Jesus born?” or “Is December 25th Christ’s birthday?” At this time of year people ask these questions a lot. They go online and search, and a lot of them wind up at our site. We have a lot of material to answer those questions. The answer to the first is, “We don’t know the exact day, but it was not in December; most likely it was in the autumn months.” The answer to the second is a flat “No.”
The key to taking this big step is to find joy in God’s truth, and allow it to replace your emotional connections to Christmas.
Information about the origin of Christmas is readily available online. You can find that Dec. 25 was originally a date to celebrate the sun god in Roman times. End-of-the-year festivities were a big highlight for the Romans. Then as Christianity developed, it adopted this date as a compromise to make the church more palatable for the pagan population under its control. Adopting Dec. 25 as a date to celebrate Christ’s birth, when the Bible gives no date nor command to do so, was also part of a larger move away from the biblical festivals observed by the first-century Church—no one wanted to appear Jewish by keeping those festivals. So out with what the Bible said, in with what the people wanted. And people wanted what was familiar and what everyone else was doing. So the Saturnalia festival became Christmas.
Most people know this already. My colleagues and I talk about it on Beyond Today TV and in articles we write. We realize we are telling people nothing new by crying aloud, “Christmas is pagan!” People today do not care that Christmas is pagan. In many ways we are in a neo-pagan society. Religion is marginalized in popular culture and much of the media. Many desire to be “spiritual” rather than biblical. Believe me: There is a vast difference. What this means for many is that Christmas is not a religious holiday—it is a secular festival; a big, year-end party.
But for someone who is sincere, who desires to worship God in truth, there often arise questions like the ones I started with. What happens when you find the answer?
That's when you have to do something. You have to make a choice. You either make a change, or you ignore the answer and continue with the same lifestyle. Let’s face it. Giving up Christmas today is difficult. It's when your family gathers. Your children love it—you don’t want to take Christmas away from your children. You have the office party and the gift exchanges. How do you pull away from all of that?
How do you be “different?"
I admit it is difficult. I have not kept Christmas since I was 12 years old. I remember my mother making the decision to no longer observe the day. It was hard to explain to friends at school why I wasn't giving or getting gifts. It was hard to skip out on the class Christmas parties. But I did, and life went on. I adjusted.
The adjustment was easier for me because my mom also began to observe the biblical festivals. She was smart in doing this. You cannot create a vacuum in life just by not doing something. You have to do something else. With religious worship, you stop doing the wrong things and begin to do the right things. What I found was that the right things—God’s Holy Days—were better than Christmas, Easter and all the other holidays we observed before. It took some time to adjust, but I found that there is a lot more meaning in God’s truth than in the pagan festivals. But you have to keep God's holy days before you can fully appreciate what they offer, and that's why people often cannot take that big step across the wide chasm from error to truth.
The key to taking this big step is to find joy in God’s truth, and allow it to replace your emotional connections to Christmas. I know the emotional attachment is strong. I know it is difficult. But I also know what satisfying joy comes from worshiping God in spirit and in truth.
If you have read this far I can only say, you have a choice to make. This year why not make the choice to be honest—to be honest with God, to be honest with yourself. Make the choice to turn away from empty worship rooted in false teaching. Turn to God in truth and obey His teachings.