The Truth Concerning the Christ Mass
This is such an emotional subject because of the nature of the Christmas season. Personally, I saw the light on the subject of Christmas about 10 years ago. I have gone through the struggles of angry family members questioning my sanity regarding this subject. I have experienced the loss of the joy one gets from reminiscing about the good family times I had as a child. All of those memories; the music, the anxious anticipation of the coming gifts, the family visits, the snow and lights etc. I mean, who doesn’t love Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”? That is a classic.
So as I write this, I can empathize with those that struggle with the idea of not having a Christmas in their life. However, those emotions will cloud one’s judgment when regarding a subject such as the truth. How can something so fun be wrong? How can family time be so wrong? How can thinking of others and giving gifts to one another be evil? Well, those things are not evil. Not doing Christmas has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of those things such as fun, family, and gifts. Not doing Christmas is about representing the truth. This is the crux of the issue. Traditions, evil or good connotations of the pagan rites in today’s society, the usefulness of Christmas in evangelism or personal devotion to Jesus Christ, are not the issue. The issue is the truth. The truth is something that we all can agree is important to God. So this is what we will be emphasizing.
This article is a response to another article published at bible.org.
The article proposes that Christians should have no issues with celebrating Christmas. It is a really well done article. The writing style and grammar are flawless; something that I more than likely will be unable to match. I understood the author to be sincere in his approach to the subject matter. I have no doubt that this man has nothing but good intentions. I say this so that the reader will understand that I am not attacking the author, but rather the conclusions given by that author on this particular subject.
Now, on to the matter at hand, which is the truth regarding the Christian and Christmas. I will begin by adding some remarks about something that is usually not addressed when confronting Christmas. The point is usually argued from a man- centered paradigm or point of view. It seems that the Christians who support Christmas never wonder what God thinks about it. The only thing that seems to be addressed is whether or not- in the sight of men here on earth-it is right or wrong to give gifts or have Yule logs or mistletoe or Santa Claus. It is rather telling to me that the point of view of God is rarely, if ever, approached regarding this.
It seems that Christians are only looking for something that is sin or not sin, when in reality, some things require discernment. Some things are better to do or avoid than other things, even if neither of them is sin. To determine this, one would need some discernment to know what those things are. Why are we always looking for God to tell us we cannot do something, when maybe we should approach that something by asking God if we should do it? Arguing a point by asking where God says we shouldn’t do something still doesn’t validate whether we should. For example, I have never told my children not to dismantle the engine of my car. If I wake up one day and my engine is in pieces in the driveway, do you think I would entertain an excuse that I never said that they couldn’t do that? Does not discernment tell us that my children should have asked if they could dismantle my engine before they did so? So an argument based on the absence of forbiddance is not a tacit approval for allowance. That wouldn’t work in your household, so why do we seem to think that this logic would fly with God? But I digress. Just because the Bible doesn’t tell us verbatim not to be involved with Christmas does not mean that we should.
So how can we know what is right? When regarding any subject, if there are two opposing views that seem harmless on their face (doing Christmas and not doing it), is there any way to discern which side is the safer or more appropriate of the two? The answer to this is yes. As with anything that we do or not do, we should examine it with truth. Is one side true and the other not? If one side is clearly not true, and one side is simply ambiguous, which side do you think God would have us line up? Would God want us to line up with a certain falsehood? I think the answer is obvious. God never wants us to line up with lies. I shouldn’t even have to develop this point to a Christian, but because this is such a touchy subject, I will highlight the importance God puts on the truth.
Jesus said in John 14:6 that he is “the way, the TRUTH, and the life”. Jesus himself is identified as truth. God is all about the truth. Jesus said that the word of God was truth in John 17.
John 17:17-19 ¶ Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
As we read above we learn that Jesus asks the Father to sanctify (set apart) his people by truth and that the truth is God’s word. Jesus reiterates this point when he says that he set himself apart (sanctified) for the sake of those that are his people and then he prays that the Father would set his people apart through the truth. It is simple to see what separates the Christian from the world. It is the TRUTH. This is the heart of the Christmas issue. Is Christmas true? Was Jesus born on December 25th? Do we know with any certainty when he was born? If we do know when Jesus was born, or at the least, if we can know when he wasn’t born, should we partake in a blatant lie as children of truth? This is what makes this subject of Christmas more than what it is portrayed to be. It is a little bit bigger than the pagan roots, or negative and positive connotations. It is as big as the truth. If we are to separate ourselves by standing for, and being about the truth, then what are we doing aligning ourselves with lies?
Who is the father of lies? We find the answer to that question in John 8. First, Jesus makes a statement about truth.
John 8:31-32 ¶ Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Then Jesus upbraids the Jews with some very harsh words. Notice how Jesus differentiates himself from them by comparing truth with lies.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 ¶ Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Jesus clearly points out that an obvious distinction between his disciples and the world is at that line drawn by the truth. Of course, there is more to it than this in its entirety, but anyone can see that lining up with lies lines us up with the devil. It is as simple as that.
So, was Jesus born on December 25th? The answer is no he wasn’t. He wasn’t born then and we can know this with all certainty. How can you say that, you may ask? I can say that because I have read my Bible. It is amazing how many Christians have never really searched this subject out. There are various reasons, but my experience tells me that one powerful reason is because they always thought they knew when he was born because of Christmas. It never dawned on them to question it. If one doesn’t question something, he will never investigate it.
There has been a lot of information out there concerning what the Bible says regarding the time of Jesus’ birth. I will not attempt to break it down exhaustively in this piece. If one really wanted to have it broken down point by point, then the information is available. I will share the basics of it though.
[ FOR MORE INFO CONCERNING THE TIME OF JESUS’ BIRTH,SEE THESE: http://biblelight.net/sukkoth.htm and http://cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/568/When-Was-Jesus-Born.htm ].
The key to knowing when Jesus was born centers on Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. The account of Zacharias and his priestly service is found in the gospel of Luke. In Luke 1:5 we learn that Zacharias was of the course of Abijah. This is a description of the family that Zacharias is descended from. King David appointed the courses (the turns or order of the ministration) to ensure that the priestly work was evenly divided so as not to burden one family over another.
1Ch 24:1 ¶ Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office.
3 And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service.
4 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers.
5 Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar.
6 And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar.
7 Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,
8 The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,
9 The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin,
10 The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
11 The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah,
12 The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,
13 The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
14 The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,
15 The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses,
16 The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel,
17 The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul,
18 The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah.
19 These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.
As we have read above, the course of Abijah was the eighth course. This means that Zacharias was following in the footsteps of the sons of Abijah in performing the eighth course. As you also notice, there are 24 courses. Each course consisted of one week, twice a year. The courses started in the first month (this principle is outlined in 1Chron. 27). So the first course would begin in the first month first week and each week the next course would take its turn. There were also 3 main feasts per year upon which the whole congregation of Israel came to the Temple in Jerusalem. These 3 feasts were the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles (see Leviticus 23 for this). On these 3 weeks, the whole priesthood would minister. In the case of Zacharias then, during the eighth course, it would have been the tenth week of the year because Passover and Pentecost were observed since the first of the year. The Hebrew calendar begins with the first month of Nisan which is right around the beginning of April. The Hebrew calendar was a lunar calendar as opposed to our current solar calendar and this explains the difference between the calendars. This also explains why Easter is never on the same date every year. It is supposed to be the first Sunday after Passover (which is when Jesus was crucified). Passover is determined by the Hebrew calendar and thus you have fluctuating dates regarding Easter.
Anyway, Zacharias is performing the course of Abijah on the tenth week of the Hebrew year (ten weeks after early April). In Luke we learn that Zacharias was told that his wife Elisabeth would conceive John the Baptist. So after John goes home from his priestly duties, it is late June when Elisabeth conceives. Next, we learn that the angel Gabriel visits a virgin girl named Mary. He tells her that she would conceive Jesus. Mary was the cousin of Elisabeth, so Mary runs to Elisabeth’s house to share the good news. When Mary is given the news of her conception by Gabriel, we learn that Elisabeth is six months pregnant.
Lu 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Since Elisabeth conceived in late June, six months later gets us to late December (see late December is not irrelevant because this is when Jesus was conceived, but it is not when he was born). Nine months later, Jesus would be born. This is late September; right around the feast of Tabernacles. (Disclaimer: I believe Jesus was born on the feast of Tabernacles because Jesus fulfilled so much scripture in his life- died on Passover, went to hell on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and rose on the Feast of Firstfruits. Therefore it makes no sense to me that Jesus would be born at just any meaningless time on the calendar. Is this because Jesus is God tabernacling in the flesh maybe?). Nonetheless, Jesus was born in late September. This is corroborated by the fact the shepherds were close by, the fact that Caesar Augustus decided to tax the population at that time and this is why Joseph and Mary were traveling to Bethlehem in the first place. Does a king tax people in the winter time when this is the time when they have less to give than any other time of the year? Does a king require his people to travel in the winter- especially across mountains? That just makes no sense. The best time to tax would be right after the harvest. That would be when? Oh, September you say? Hmmmm. What a coincidence.
There is also the idea that every preacher would agree that Jesus’ earthly ministry spanned 3 and a half years. We also know that it was right around the time of Jesus’ birthday that John the Bapist baptized Jesus to mark the beginning of his ministry.
Lu 3:21 ¶ Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
We know he died at Passover (early April) so Jesus’ 30th birthday would have been 3 and a half years before he died. When would this be? You guessed it- September. December is not even an option. So without having been exhaustive regarding this, we have basically laid out proof that Jesus was not born in December let alone on the 25th. If for some reason one wanted to guess that Zacharias may have been performing the course of Abijah on its second cycle of the year rather than the first, you would have a March birth date and not December. So we can conclusively say that Jesus was not born on December 25th. That is a lie. It is not the truth. We do know when Jesus was born so how is it we can line up with a lie again? Aren’t we supposed to line up and set ourselves apart from the world by lining up with truth? Yes we are. It seems that this is not as important for most Christians, but that is not the question again. The question is whether or not the truth is important to God and whether we can be pleasing God by perpetuating a lie.
Having now explained the truth of the matter, let us go on to address the arguments laid out on the bible.org piece which encourages Christians and comforts the Christians in living and exercising a lie in the sight of God, the Devil, angels, devils and men.
The author of the bible.org article points out the arguments he is familiar with as put forth by other Christians arguing against Christmas. He does a good job of framing the argument and then attempting to dismantle that argument. Unfortunately for his point of view, he doesn’t paint the whole picture. What he does is point out some of the obviously weaker arguments against Christmas, or he paints the picture as he wants the reader to see it so that he can dismantle the argument and thus eliminates the reasons for being against Christmas. This then gives the Christian the comfort to continue doing Christmas because, after all, the arguments against Christmas are defeated. This is called a “strawman” argument. The author is not being deceptive I do not think, but I will simply say that he may have never encountered the Biblical reasons for arguing against Christmas.
It is admitted that most anti-Christmas Christians fall into the trap of arguing solely upon the pagan roots of Christmas. While these things are true, they are not the main argument against Christmas. They are simply added evidence to the overall evilness of Christmas. So the author of the article does well in arguing against some of the more popular arguments against Christmas. However, those arguments are given too much weight on this issue. If we could just leave them for what they are (corroborating evidence) and put the emphasis on the greater argument regarding truth, then it will be very hard for the author or reader to defend Christmas.
For the reader to understand what is to follow, you must understand that the author of the bible.org article explains the anti-Christmas argument first, and then attempts to refute that argument.
The first argument he addresses is that of Christmas being too materialistic. If anyone argues against Christmas on that point, he has no argument as the author clearly points out. But as I said, he throws himself a few softballs over the plate so that he can hit them out of the park with ease. This point has no bearing on this issue.
Argument 2 is dealing with the absence of scripture authorizing Christmas. He is correct in his assertion that this principle could lead to what he calls “hyperliteralism”. Unfortunately, it would be hard to imagine that lying about a factual point in the life of Jesus on a yearly basis in the face of a lost world and impressionable children as well as in the eyes of Jesus himself, the Father, and angels who know the truth of the matter because they were present at Jesus’ birth as being “hyperliteral”. I would prefer it be called truthful. The truth is never “hyper” anything. It is the truth. That is what keeps getting missed in this whole thing.
Argument 3 deals with scripture forbidding Christmas. It deals with Colossians 2:16-17. The author is correct in his exegesis of this text. I will not disagree. However, I have never heard anyone argue against Christmas using this verse and I have come firmly to believe it is wrong to celebrate Christmas without the use of these verses. Colossians 2 is a weak argument indeed. The author obviously has heard this argument posed by the anti-Christmas crowd, and he exposes that argument for what it is which is baseless. I agree with that. However, these verses are not needed to understand that Christmas is wrong. So defeating that argument only exposes a bad exegesis of Col 2, but it also has no bearing upon this issue as well.
However, he includes some faulty logic at the end of his point.
He says: “Colossians 2:16 and 17 in no way forbids believers from commemorating something such as the birth of Christ if it is done out of love, devotion, and the joy the season gives when used as a way of focusing on the Savior and not as a religious duty. The issue is not the observance, but the reason, the attitudes and the spirit in which it is done.”
He seems to think that it is fine to celebrate the birth of Christ if the manner in which it is done matches his description above. Let us see if this logic holds up. What if we decided to celebrate the resurrection of Christ as if he was dead for 5 days and not 3? What if we did it with a good attitude and spirit? Would that make it good? Do the reason, attitude, and spirit make a 5 day death true? No it does not. These things have no bearing on truth. If we can remember that, then it doesn’t matter what the reason, attitude, and spirit in which something is done is. Truth is truth. Funny how clear we can understand this principle when examined in the light of something upon which all Christians agree. Many religious people have good reasons, attitudes, and spirit behind their message, but if what they preach isn’t true, it is just as deadly as blatant evil. The false gospel of many well meaning Mormons isn’t made true or good because of their motives and attitudes. Pretty simple isn’t it? So simple it is hard to accept its simplicity if one desperately wants to cling to what feels good instead of truth.
The author also goes on to point out that there is nothing wrong with commemorating the birth of Christ. He is correct on this as well. But why lie about it? Why not commemorate it when it is true? Shouldn’t we line up with truth?
Argument 4 is about the claim that the roots of Christmas are pagan. The author quotes an encyclopedia which gives a glowing background about the absorbing of paganism by Christians into the Christian church for Christian principles (with Christmas being the main focus). What am I missing here? Does the Bible teach that Christians are supposed to assimilate pagan practices into Christianity in order to Christianize them? Or does the Bible teach that we should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness? (Eph 5:11).
This makes no sense in light of scripture. Does this mean we should find a way to Chritianize Mecca and the Kaaba? (This is the Muslim practice of the Haj. It is where they go to the city of Mecca and throw stones at the devil). We could call it the “Resist the Devil and He Will Flee From You” Festival. That way we can go to the Kaaba and throw stones at the devil. After a while, all the Muslims will be Christians because they do the same things Christians do.
Wait!!! Is it possible that the opposite would be true? If we did that, wouldn’t it be the paganization of Christianity, but it would be called Christianity because the majority of the Christians have become paganized?
What about the pentagram? Maybe we could just say that it is no longer a goat head representing the devil but is now just a symbol representing the star of Bethlehem. Yeah, that’s it. We could absorb these pagan things and make them Christian. We have no need of avoiding pentagrams. Let us all begin wearing pentagrams at Christmas time so that we can tell people about the star of Bethlehem and give them the gospel. Would you buy into that movement? Of course you wouldn’t, but it is the same logic as posited by the author of that article.
The article then discusses “Issues facing us today”. That section of the article is divided into 5 sub-points. The first sub-point defends Christmas by pointing out that the negative connotations of the former pagan rites and customs are no longer there.
The first example given of this is the names of the days of the week. It is pointed out that the names of the days were once upon a time associated with pagan gods. It is posited that since that pagan notion of false gods is no longer associated with the days of the week, that this makes it acceptable to us as Christians. This is done to prove that just because something has pagan roots it doesn’t mean that it is a negative thing today. Unfortunately, I thought we were talking about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the day of his birth.
The names of the days of the week are names of former pagan gods. But the days of the week were never a feast celebrating those gods. The only relation is the name. So how does a day of the week named after a pagan god (of which none of us has power to change), correlate to an active, voluntary celebration of the birth of Christ in which the same items of pagan worship (trees, Yule logs, mistletoe) are used? That is bad and faulty logic at best. That is a classic case of comparing apples to oranges. Christmas is done voluntarily, while the days of the week are what they are and neither you nor I have the power to do anything about that. One requires an active choice to participate in while the other is imposed upon everyone. There is no correlation between the two at all. I hear this type of argument given every year, and it is all I can do to not roll my eyes at the poor logic that this entails. But that argument seems to work in convincing others that celebrating Christmas is okay because the names of the week have pagan roots too. How does this fly with otherwise intelligent people? It is a readily accepted argument because they are not really examining the validity of the argument as much as they are clinging to anything that justifies what they are doing.
Since the main point has to do with the removal of the negative connotation to those formerly pagan things, let me ask this. If things are acceptable because they no longer carry a negative connotation to them, then would they be wrong if they did? The author admits as much when he says “If one observed the days of the week or the Christmas season with their ancient associations in mind, certainly it would be wrong.” This leads me to another question. If these pagan things were absorbed into the Christian church and made to have Christian connotations, wouldn’t there necessarily have been a time when they did carry a negative connotation when first practiced by the Christians who were in the beginning of absorbing them? Wouldn’t there have been the first Christians to utilize a Yule log at Christmas in a culture that only knew the Yule log to be pagan? Well of course this is true because each of these traditions needed a beginning. There is no way around it. In order to change the connotation, a negative must have been used for a positive for the first time. The connotation would naturally be negative at the beginning and then gradually as more people exercise the new Christian use of that pagan thing the connotation changes to a positive. So while it may be true today that the negative connotation is gone, it wasn’t always the case. Therefore, even according to the admission of the author of the article, there were Christians doing wrong at the beginning of the incorporation of pagan rites into a Christian connotation. Therefore, the whole foundation of the new connotation is rebellion. The root is rotten, and the modern acceptance of such is in reality a celebration of the rebellion of the first Christians that once utilized clearly pagan rituals at a time that those rituals and rites still carried their pagan connotation. So basically, this argument is a nice attempt at explaining it away, but it does not do so factually or logically.
For a Biblical example of my point we will look at the prayers of the heathen Jesus mentions in Matthew 6.
Mt 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
We clearly see that Jesus gives us a warning against the practices of the pagans. The practice in question was praying with vain repetitions, supposing that they would be heard by their gods through much speaking. This has a negative connotation at the time of Christ. However, since one billion Christians (Catholics, the same “Christians” that changed the connotation of the Yule log, tree, and mistletoe etc) pray with vain repetitions in the modern world, there is no longer a negative connotation to such practices. Should we begin to pray with vain repetitions using this liberty we have in Christ? According to the other author’s logic, that should be an acceptable practice for us because the connotation of vain repetitive prayers is now a good one. Of course you would conclude this to be wrong to do because the connotation of a word does not alter its value as truth or not. We should always hold to the truth no matter what the connotation of a word is.
Furthermore, the author paints his own new connotation of the evergreen tree as a symbol of everlasting life. While this is true about an evergreen tree staying green even when all the other trees around it lose their leaves and go “dead” until spring, the author has failed to point out the obvious fact that cutting down the evergreen tree kills it. An evergreen tree in nature may be a symbol of everlasting life, but it is comical to think that a cut down and dying tree is a symbol of anything but something cut off at the root and removed from life. So his description of the evergreen tree in relation to Christmas is quite lacking in logic and packed with comedy.
He also points out that gift giving can remind us of the gift of God which is Jesus Christ, but it could also be a reminder of the two witnesses being executed at Christmas during the tribulation.
Re 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
So it sounds like a nice illustration on the one hand, but it could be a negative one as well. These are nothing more than further attempts at justifying the celebrating of lies.
The author also states that “We can use it (Christmas) as a time to demonstrate love for others in a special way, and to be together as a family like we do on Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, or New Years.” Again, this is a nice try except for the obvious flaws in logic. Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, and New Years are not days which are exclusively portraying the Lord Jesus Christ to the world. Christmas is, and that is what makes it different. If Jesus had nothing to do with Christmas (a silly notion because “Christ” is in the name), this might make more sense. At least it would no longer be untrue.
The author’s second sub-point regarding issues facing us today, concerns the scripture and its relation to Christmas. I found this interesting that he titled it in such a way because he proceeds to explain that the Bible is silent about it. He points out that since it is silent we have liberty to celebrate it. (See my illustration above about the dismantling of my engine.) Would this mean that since the Bible doesn’t mention the pentagram that we could celebrate it? No it does not. Some things just take common sense. As I have pointed out numerous times (because it is so important regarding this issue), it is hard to imagine that God has given us the liberty to spread a lie about his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you imagine that kind of liberty? Unfortunately, some will answer yes.
In the fourth point we get more explanation about the roots of some of the practices and customs of Christmas. Again, I will agree that too much is made of the pagan roots by the anti-Christmas crowd, so I can understand why the author went overboard to dismiss that line of argument. But as I have pointed out in this piece, that is not a main argument against Christmas but only corroborating evidence if it is even relevant as evidence at all. The truth argument is the best one, and it needs to be hammered home.
His fifth sub-point gives us some further points to ponder.
He mentions doubting. He says if one doubts, then do away with Christmas. That is good advice. However, there is no need to doubt when we know for a fact when Jesus was born. That will not only remove all doubt, but will encourage the Christian to stand for truth even if it brings him the scorn of the religious community who are entangled in the emotionalism of the season at the expense of the truth.
He mentions getting rid of traditional elements of Christmas and to simply reflect upon Christ without them. This is also good advice. However, we can and should do that all year round which makes the whole Christmas thing irrelevant altogether from this point of view.
He mentions keeping the traditions but divorcing religious tones from them. However, he nullifies his own point by then asking the reader to remember Christ through carols and reading the Christmas story. That is an interesting suggestion to me because if one were to read the “Christmas” story from the Bible, putting all of its elements together, you would end up eliminating Christmas from your life because you would know when Jesus was born and thus see Christmas for the untruth that it is. Also, this is more evidence that Christians are too busy reading stories about Christmas instead of reading the Bible.
Argument 5 is the heart of the matter. It deals with the uncertainty of the timing of Jesus’ birth. To read the Bible and still come away with this position is to dismiss what we have pointed out already. We have sufficient evidence to know when he was born (Feast of Tabernacles) and more than enough to know for sure when he wasn’t born (Dec 25). So it seems that the ones who are uncertain about the date of Jesus’ birth are the ones with a vested interest in staying ignorant of this fact in order that they can use their ignorance to justify celebrating Christmas. This argument is simply proof of that ignorance. This is why we are trying our best to go against the mob mentality and against the grain of majority- thinking on this issue by teaching the truth regarding Jesus’ birth. (Some of us understand that the Emperor does not really have on new clothes).
Some of the evidence that is used to support the December 25th date of the birth of Jesus is citing men such as Hippolytus, Chrysostom, and another author named Hoehner. This is all fine and good, but this does nothing but support the idea that people have been wrong for a long time. If we would simply cite the author of the Bible (God) than we would know that it isn’t December 25th. All that has been established by the author of that article is that “tradition” says that December 25th is the birth date of Jesus. I am not arguing nor is any anti-Christmas proponent arguing when the “traditional” date is. What we are arguing is the ACTUAL date of his birth. So why appeal to tradition when one wants the truth? I usually go to the Bible for that. Don’t you?
Argument 6 has to do with the time of the wise men and their arrival. This point is meaningless in this discussion. It has no bearing on the date of Christ’s birth one way or another.
Argument 7 has to do with the Christ mass. This is an attempt at explaining away the fact that Christmas is an invention of Rome. Where do you think the traditions of Christianity come from? A bible believing Christian isn’t losing any sleep over the traditions of men. However, isn’t it strange what bedfellows Christians have at Christmas? I notice it every year. The same people who believe and promote heresies all year long all of a sudden are fellow champions of Christ in December. Do you not think that God, the Devil and the heavenly host notice this too?
Argument 8 is about Santa Claus. I don’t think Santa even needs to be addressed. I think even Christmas-celebrating Christians see through that nonsense. At least I hope they do. There is plenty of information out there exposing the evils of Santa.
The author concludes his article by stating that there are all kinds of doubtful things concerning Christmas so the individual Christian needs to make up his own mind. That is just plain dangerous. The fact that Jesus wasn’t born on Dec 25th, is all one needs to know that they shouldn’t be involved with Christmas. There is no doubt about that.
Now I will come to a conclusion regarding Christmas. The Bible puts the utmost importance on the truth. A Christian should never line up with lies. 1Corinthians 13 explains to us that real love rejoices in the truth. How can we say that we are going to lie to people while saying that we love them at the same time?
The Bible says in John 4:24 that the true worshippers of God must worship him in spirit and in TRUTH.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
How does one propose to worship Jesus in a lie? And then resist all attempts to awaken him out of his ignorance regarding the truth of this subject?
The Bible also says in Jeremiah 48:10 that those that do the work of the Lord deceitfully are cursed.
Jer 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully
How can one propose to witness for Jesus (doing the work of the Lord) and do so by lying to people about the birthday of Jesus? Isn’t that being deceitful? Well, I guess it would only be deceitful if the individual knew it wasn’t true in the first place. Unfortunately, I have encountered many Christians who are challenged by things concerning the time of Jesus’ birth- as is presented here- that they finally admit that they know he wasn’t born in December. But then they also will knowingly continue to lie to people because they are “using it to serve God” by evangelizing. That to me is a tragedy. One can still witness about Jesus during December by proclaiming the truth about Jesus and by backing up the truth by refusing to condone lies by not celebrating Christmas.
I said at the beginning of this piece that the children of God are supposed to be the children of the truth. Truth is supposed to be our calling card. It seems that the use of Christmas in evangelistic efforts becomes one of the justifying reasons for Christmas. However, since most Christians are not talking to the public at large on a regular basis, they are unaware of how they are viewed by non-Christians. What I mean by non-Christians here are those people who do not claim to believe in Jesus at all. So I am talking about the non religious. These people marvel at Christians every year at Christmas time and just chuckle at them. They do so because they are aware of the mythology that is involved with Christmas. They understand the pagan roots etc and thus laugh at the notion that Christianity is anything more than rewrapped paganism. When I get a chance to talk to these folks, I agree with them that Christmas is nothing more than rewrapped paganism and this opens doors with these folks. They at least respect that I do not have my head in the sand regarding Christmas. Every year Christians are making a mockery of Christianity in the eyes of a large portion of the population. Refusing to fall prey to the seductive nature of the Christmas season has made witnessing very powerful. So I can counter the “evangelism” line of argument in favor of Christmas for an “evangelism” line of argument against Christmas. At least one can be sure that he has the truth in his favor. There is nowhere for the learned man to run when he encounters a Christian who isn’t led blindly by the Christian mob-mentality regarding Christmas. The truth is very powerful, and it truly can make you free.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
By Pastor David Ickes
Gateway Anabaptist Church