The Christmas Tradition

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The Christmas Tradition

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Christmas holiday traditions are cherished because they bring families together, but was Jesus Christ really born on December 25th or in the winter season?

Many admit that Jesus may not have been born during this time, but believe it is okay to observe Christmas to honor Him anyway. After all, it is a time of giving and joy. Doesn't that show God is pleased with the celebration? Does it really make any difference? Is Christmas biblical? Does it really please God?

Jesus said, “Your [that is, God's] word is truth (John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
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).”  Christmas is a sentimental time, indeed, but in reality, the “truth” of Christmas is that it is mostly about perpetuating non-biblical myths and idols such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus, elves and flying reindeer - the real heroes of Christmas.  It's also more about selling merchandize than it is about honoring Jesus Christ or promoting peace on earth.

Is it any wonder that to non-Christians and atheists, the myths, legends, idols and customs of Christmas, taught and observed by traditional Christianity, are seen as evidence that Christianity is nothing but lies? Christmas is based on superstitious beliefs and fables, which discredit Jesus Christ, God, the Bible and the truth. James, the apostle and half-brother of Jesus Christ, wrote: “...do not boast and lie against the truth (James 3:14 James 3:14But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
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).” Such rejoicing or glorying in pagan non-biblical Christmas traditions is apart from and against (that is, in opposition to) the plain teaching of the Word of God.

The observance of Christ's birth was ordained and popularized by the Roman Catholic church to “Christianize” the pagan winter festivals of the Saturnalia and Brumalia, which honored the pagan sun god, in order to facilitate the conversion of pagans into the Roman Catholic church. This took place in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D. (After Jesus - The Triumph of Christianity, Reader's Digest, pp 190, 215, 239; Halley's Bible Handbook, 23rd ed., Paganization of the Church p. 867; Unger's Bible Handbook, 1966, p. 516)

Why, then, do many who claim to be Christians, followers or disciples of Jesus Christ, keep and teach pagan traditions instead of the biblical truth?

What is the truth?

The Scriptures admonish Christians to, “Test all things; hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21 1 Thessalonians 5:21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
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).” Jesus said to His disciples, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32 John 8:31-32 [31] Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; [32] And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
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, NKJV).” However many would argue that gift-giving is a tradition honoring Christ because he said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35 Acts 20:35I have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
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),” and also, “Give, and it will be given to you... For with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38 Luke 6:38Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete with it shall be measured to you again.
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).”

Giving is a principle for all times, but it is not an excuse for people to keep pagan customs. But merchants use Christmas as a means of making money, not to promote strong religious beliefs or truth about Christ, and Christmas sales make the difference between profit and loss for many businesses. We have a biblical example of delinquent commercialism in the bible where merchants actually prevented the Apostle Paul from preaching the truth about Jesus Christ. Merchants and craftsmen in Ephesus, who made great profits making shrines to the goddess Diana, were greatly upset and created an uproar against the apostle Paul's preaching against idol worship in Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41 Acts 19:23-41 [23] And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. [24] For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain to the craftsmen; [25] Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, you know that by this craft we have our wealth. [26] Moreover you see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: [27] So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nothing; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships. [28] And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. [29] And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre. [30] And when Paul would have entered in to the people, the disciples suffered him not. [31] And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent to him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre. [32] Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused: and the more part knew not why they were come together. [33] And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defense to the people. [34] But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. [35] And when the town cleark had appeased the people, he said, You men of Ephesus, what man is there that knows not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter? [36] Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly. [37] For you have brought here these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess. [38] Why if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them accuse one another. [39] But if you inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. [40] For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse. [41] And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.
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). Imagine the potential uproar from merchants today if all people were taught the truth about Christmas!

When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?"  Jesus answered, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition (Matthew 15:3 Matthew 15:3But he answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
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)?”  He had warned His disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15 Matthew 7:15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
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).”

Jesus did not change or reject the commandments of God. However He did say to His disciples and those religious leaders who persecuted and sought to kill Him:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven.  For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:17-20 Matthew 5:17-20 [17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. [18] For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. [19] Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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).”

Jesus warned His disciples: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name...and will deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5 Matthew 24:4-5 [4] And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
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).”

Clearly the traditions and myths of Christmas do not honor Jesus Christ, but rather deceive the world about Christ and what Christ emphasized as important especially little children who learn to believe in the fantasies of idols and false gods like the mythical Santa. Adults rush to merchants for must-have gifts to give to children. Yet, they are all given for a lie. What part of this sounds anything like the lessons God and Christ teach? Do you read anywhere in the Bible that it is right to lie, deceive, or substitute mythical creatures for the teachings of God?

Christmas observance is fairly new in the United States.

“In Early America, many Protestants rejected the celebration of Christmas on the grounds that there was no biblical sanction for December 25 as the date of Jesus’ birth and because of the pagan origins of many of its traditions.  It’s common knowledge that Christmas and its customs have nothing to do with the Bible... The theological question is quite simple: Is it acceptable to God for humans to choose to worship Him by adopting paganism’s most popular celebrations and calling them Christian?” (“American Christians new to holiday” by Tom Breen, Associated Press - The Columbian, p. D6, Dec. 15, 2007).

Breen also cites Bruce Forbes in his book, “Christmas: A Candid History,”  saying that Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, Methodists and Congregationalists either ignored the holiday or actively discouraged it until the late 19th century, even making the holiday illegal in colonial New England, punishable by fine for celebrating it.

Christmas is only part of Satan's great deception, part of a counterfeit “Christianity” propagated through a system of commercialism. Ultimately, we all make a choice; do we keep this holiday that has no basis in biblical truth or do we submit to the biblical truth about how God the Father would have us worship Him and His Son, Jesus the Christ?

For more information on misrepresented holidays, read the free Bible study aid Holidays or Holy Days – Does It Matter Which Days You Observe?