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T9851DP Is Christmas Christian?

Is Christmas Christian?

The True Meaning of Christmas

Is Christmas Christian?

This is the season when children are all tucked in bed and Santa Claus is on the roof or coming down the chimney. Chubby Old St. Nick is all in red or he's all in black, depending on whether or not he has slipped down the chimney. Yes, this is the time they call Christmas, a Christian holiday. But is Christmas Christian?

Let's take a good, hard look at these customs and traditions. Where did they come from? What is the real story of Christmas? Did you know that pagans observed Christmas day about 2,000 years before Jesus was even born? Yes, they had a decorated evergreen tree, gift giving and mistletoe.

Christmas is steeped in idolatrous rites and ceremonies. God punished Israel for becoming involved in such rites and said, "Learn not the way of the heathen." (Jeremiah 10:2).

Now that Halloween is over, stores everywhere display images of jolly fat men in red. Canned Yuletide music already pours over sound systems in stores. Artificial wreaths and tinsel garlands plaster walls or hang from ceilings. Visions of "green stuff" dance in merchants heads.

Most of them couldn't care less about serving Christ. But they love Christmas because it's so profitable. Have you ever thought about how merchants celebrate Christmas? Just sneak a look inside their stores on Christmas morning. You'll see them dancing around the cash register singing, "What a friend we have in Jesus!"

This is the Christmas season, a celebration supposedly honoring the birth of the Savior. But it isn't all "Peace on earth, good will to men." Recent statistics show that about 45 percent of all shoplifting occurs from October through December. Shoplifting accounts for about 16 billion dollars in store losses annually. Murders increase dramatically at the Christmas season, as do suicides.

Original Meaning of Christmas

Increasingly, articles in newspapers and magazines lament the over commercialization of a day they say has nearly lost its "original meaning." But, what was its original meaning? Do they know? How about you? Do you know? Where did the celebration of Christmas come from? Have you ever stopped long enough from frenzied gift buying to ask yourself why you spend yourself into debt at this time each year? Why do you observe Christmas?

If it is the celebration of the Savior's birth, then what on earth is Santa Claus doing in it? Maybe he was back there with the sheep herders and the kings that came to honor Him, I don't know. Just because the Bible doesn't mention it, maybe Santa was there, giving gifts with all the other wise men.

Why the Christmas tree? I wonder if Jesus had a Christmas tree in His stable. Then there are mistletoe, gift giving, holly wreaths, Yule logs, stockings, and eggnog. Do you think Mary and Joseph drank eggnog 2,000 years ago? Where did all these trappings come from that are so ingrained in the holiday celebration?

I wonder whose holiday it is. What do all these customs have to do with the Messiah's birth? Many of us, even as children, had a problem reconciling this question. I know I did, didn't you? Too often we drift along doing what everyone else is doing without ever asking ourselves, "WHY?" It is sometimes more comfortable not to ask too many questions for fear of what we may find. The truth can be disturbing you know.

Each year, newspapers carry articles about the rank heathen origins of Christmas customs. We smile and say, "How quaint," and continue kidding ourselves that we really are observing the Savior's birth.

If we would only open our Bibles, we would find that the word "Christmas" is nowhere within its pages. There isn't a single passage that tells us to observe the birth of Jesus. Shocking? Perhaps, but nevertheless, a fact.

Decorating the Tree

Now wait, isn't there something in Jeremiah about decking the tree with silver and gold? Let's take a look at Jeremiah 10:2-6 (written about 600 years before Christ).

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne; because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

What does that remind you of? It sounds like something everybody has today, doesn't it? In fact, you've probably had one in your living room. It's called a "Christmas tree." And it is exactly as defined in Jeremiah. And Almighty God says we are not to do as the heathens do. Since the Bible says decking the tree is a vain custom, we are not to learn of it. No, not if we are of Christ and His Kingdom.

Now God is quite jealous over how He is worshipped. When ancient Israel conquered the pagan nations around them, God told His people that the surrounding nations were being punished for their vile heathen worship. The barbarians indulged in every kind of perversion and idolatry imaginable. And God abhorred it.

These pagans cherished the very practices that provide the basis for modern Christmas customs, worshipping fertility and Sun gods and even sacrificing men and women to their deities. God warned Israel not to be entrapped by the practices of the pagans.

Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Deuteronomy 12:30

God specifically commanded Israel not to ask why the pagans worshipped as they did. Why they decorated their temples in such a way, or why they practiced certain feasts or orgies. Why? Because God knows human nature and man's desire to participate.

What happened? Israel did exactly what they were commanded not to do. They embraced pagan customs and mixed them with pure worship "And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines." And what happened next? They "forsook the LORD, and served not him." Check out Judges 10:6.

Now today's churches, which are corporations of the State, have incorporated pagan customs. Ever worshipped in one of their buildings around Christmas time? You'll see that they have fastened down a cut tree and decked it with silver and gold tinsel, just as described in Jeremiah. They have learned the way of the heathen.

I can remember when I was about 12 years old, going into the woods and cutting down trees for our family and others. And this was part of a church activity. We'd take the biggest one and put it in the Sanctuary, the Sanctuary of God. And then we'd deck it with silver tinsel and gold balls. The minister better not preach on Jeremiah 10 or Judges 10 or these heathen practices would be exposed.

Santa, Easter Bunny and Almighty God?

The church even sponsored Christmas parties. And who was the featured attraction? None other than Santa Claus. Ho. Ho. Ho. Someone is mingling the holy with the profane.

(They) "were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them." Psalm 106:35-36

You may argue, "Okay, so Christmas isn't in the Bible. But what's wrong with doing good to others at this time of year? What's so bad about giving myself and the kids some happiness?"

If there is no Creator in heaven, then it doesn't matter, right? Decorate the house with holly and mistletoe. Indulge in the customs and festivities of the season, which are derived from ancient fertility rites, idolatry and polytheism. You can have as good a time as the Babylonians who started the whole "holiday" that is now called Christmas.

But, don't kid yourself into thinking you are observing Christmas because of the birth of the Messiah. The name of the holiday and its declared purpose cannot hide the fact that its roots are firmly anchored in a winter festival of the pagans.

Now I ask you, is Almighty God like Santa? I fear for you if you believe that God is like Santa or the Easter Bunny. Do you know why? Santa and the Easter Bunny are lies. If you teach your children the lie of Santa and the Easter Bunny, won't that create doubt in their minds that God is also a lie? Think of the confusion in a child's mind. If Santa and the Easter Bunny are just myths, then God is probably not real either.

Early Christians Did not Celebrate

The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas. The Encyclopedia Americana, 1942 edition, volume 6, page 623, says: "Christmas was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first century of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons, rather than their birth. A feast was established in the memory of the birth of the Savior in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western church, Roman Catholic, ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol." (the sun god)

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 edition says, "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. For the first 300 years the religious writers were silent regarding the Christmas observance. And an Armenian writer of the eleventh century states that the Christmas festival was first celebrated in Constantinople in 373. In Egypt the western birthday festival was opposed during the early years of the fifth century but was celebrated in Alexandria as early as 432. In 1644, the English Puritans forbade any merriment or a religious service by Act of Parliament on the grounds that Christmas was a heathen festival. They were so opposed to its observance that they ordered a fast on December 25."

There is no official date for Jesus' birth – but in 354 A.D. the Bishop of Rome started observing the "Christmas Mass festival" on December 25. The date coincided with an established celebration of the Teutonic tribes in northern Europe, a time for rejoicing at the Sun's return to the earth after winter solstice. The festival for the Sun god, or Sol Invictus, was officially recognized by the emperor in 274 A.D.

By celebrating Jesus' birth during the season of pagan rituals, the Christian church grasped the opportunity to turn heathens from Sun worship to worshipping the Son of God. But because the customs associated with "Christ Mass" were originally pagan, the holiday was banned by the Puritans from 1642 to 1652. The official document condemned Christmas in the American colonies in 1659. The jolly season was outlawed.

In the nineteenth century, German and Irish immigrants brought to America the Christmas customs and traditions of their home countries and renewed the holiday's popularity. By 1836 Christmas was a legal holiday in Alabama and in most of the other States by the end of the 1800's. If Christmas is a secular holiday, it certainly isn't something Christians should celebrate. Either it is of the world, or it is of Christ. But it can't be both.

What about the images of Mary and baby Jesus? The universal mother and child theme has been passed down over the centuries through many different nations, starting with the Babylonian Semiramis. Many monuments in Babylon show her with a child in her arms. As the Babylonians dispersed throughout the known world, they carried their mother-child-deity worship with them. Not surprisingly, many nations were already worshipping a mother and child long before Jesus was born.

Jesus' Birthday

What day was Jesus the Christ born? Can a December 25th date be substantiated? It's an important question because this is the date it is traditionally celebrated.

Anyone who has attended Christmas plays at school or church has probably heard Luke 2:8 quoted. And here it is, "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." From the middle of November to the middle of April is the rainy season in Palestine. Shepherds, because of the cold and dampness, do not keep their sheep in the fields. They take them into sheepfolds at night.

Ezra 10:9 speaks of those in Jerusalem sitting outside in early December and trembling in the rain. Jesus considered the severity of the winter in Palestine when He said, "Pray that your flight be not in the winter." (Matthew 24:20)

Historians have long recognized that Jesus the Messiah was born in the autumn, not in the dead of winter. The sheep were still in the open fields. "It was an ancient custom among Jews of those days to send out the sheep in the fields and the deserts about the Passover, early spring, and bring them home at commencement at the first rain." (Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, Volume 5, page 370.)

Furthermore, at the time of the Savior's birth, Caesar Augustus was collecting taxes from Palestine. At Luke 2:1-5 each had to make a journey to "his own city to pay his taxes." Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. Requiring the people to make such journeys at the severest time of the year, in the dead of winter, could have sparked a revolt against the hated Roman Empire. The simplest and most logical policy would be to collect taxes after the fall harvest when storehouses were full and resistance would be the least.

How, then, did December 25 become connected with the birthday of the Messiah? Alexander Hislop, explains, "Long before the fourth century and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen at that precise time of the year in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven. It may fairly be presumed that in order to conciliate the heathen and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman church, giving it only the name of Christ." (Two Babylons page 93)

The Catholic Encyclopedia confirms the merger. "The well known solar feast of Natalis Invicti, the nativity of the unconquered sun, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date." (Volume 3, page 727)

We can't mix Christ with pagan holidays. In fact, it is quite an impossibility. Look at 1 Corinthians 10:20-21:

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's Table; and of the table of devils.

Origin of Gift Giving

"Daddy! Daddy! I want this toy, I want it now! Do I have to wait till Christmas?"

"Oh yes you do! You have to wait for that special day in which all you children will get presents, and you'll not get them from God, but you'll get them from Santa Claus. Yes, he's watching you and he knows if you've been naughty or nice.

"He is going to come charging down your chimney. If you've been naughty, he'll be sticking nothing but coal in your stocking. If you've been nice, you'll get lots of toys. And then you'll have lots of tears and disappointment because the toys start breaking in a couple days."

Our Heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts to his children. "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11) God gives a whole lot better gifts than Santa.

Santa Claus is surrounded by legends and stories. One legend tells how a Saint Nicholas bestowed dowries on three daughters of a poor man who was about to give them up to be prostitutes. He put three pieces of gold into their stockings. Others heard of it and hung their stockings and waited for the saint to fill them with gold or gifts. The name Santa Claus is merely an American corruption of the Dutch "Sant Nicolas."

As with nearly all the traditions of Christmas, Santa Claus has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. It is merely a tradition of men that ultimately is entwined with pagan beliefs. In millions of homes, children will be told that the gifts they received under the tree were from "Santa Claus."

Through this lie, they associate happiness and good things with a character of deception. In fact, if you rearrange the last letters of Santa you get "Satan." At the same time, the true Giver of blessings, the Heavenly Father, is ignored.

Think about it. When you ran to the tree on the morning of December 25th, and started grabbing up all your toys, how many of you thought about Jesus or Almighty God? No!!! You thought about Santa Claus!

Children are told to be good for the sake of Santa Claus.

The gift of God is not found under the Christmas tree. You'll never find it there. Let's take a look at Romans 6:23. "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

How ridiculous it would have been for the three wise men to bow before Jesus the Messiah, and turn around and start handing one another gifts. That is what is done every December 25th the world over. Is it the spirit of love and kindness that motivates modern day Christmas gift giving? Or is it rather the spirit of greed and indulgence?

"I'll give you a gift because you gave me one, or because I want a gift from you." The pressure is on to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But is that what God desires? "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:16

God loves a cheerful giver, not someone who gives because society, or the kingdoms of this world, requires it. Let's take a look at 2 Corinthians 9:7. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver."

If you search the Scriptures for a precedent in exchanging gifts, you'll find one example in Revelation 11:10. There is a little "Christmas party" in the book of Revelation. Someone is "making merry." God's two witnesses are killed on the streets of the holy city. The wicked are so happy to hear of their deaths that we read, "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another." That is how the unrighteous celebrate.

All the pagan mid-winter festivals include the exchanging of gifts. The earliest form is from Babylon, where on the anniversary of his death, Nimrod was to visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts thereon. Is this Santa's true identity? Gift giving at Christmas does not honor Christ. It is just one more pagan ritual.

Celebrating the Son or the Sun?

Let's take a look at some other Christmas symbols. All the festivities of the winter solstice have been absorbed into Christmas. The holly and the mistletoe come from the pagan Druidic ceremonies.

How about the gilding of the trees with balls? Did that come from Jesus? No way! It symbolizes the worship of the Sun. So, when you stare in admiration at the sparkling ornaments on the Christmas tree, you are participating in Sun worship.

And that is not "S-O-N" it is "S-U-N", the sun in the sky, something that God made. We need to worship the Creator, not the created things.

When you look at the nativity scenes, you'll see the wise men bowing before Jesus in the manger. Come on now, how well have you studied your Bible? The wise men didn't arrive until almost two years after Jesus' birth. By that time the young Jesus was walking around in a house. He wasn't lying in a manger. And today, we don't worship baby Jesus, we worship the risen Savior who is Lord of lords and King of kings.

Celebrating Birthdays

I find it rather difficult to celebrate the birth of anybody. For a Christian, our birth is to be born again in baptism, to put away the old. Our physical birth means absolutely nothing. Our Messiah's emphasis was on the baptism or the birthday of our rebirth and the death of the flesh man.

The Bible records two birthday celebrations. And both of them were not among the people of God. Each is among the heathen.

The first is Pharaoh's birthday party. Genesis 40:20-22:

And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand; but he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

And the other birthday is at Matthew 14:6-10:

But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger; And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.

What is interesting about both of these celebrations is that they involved murder. Are birthdays Christian? I don't know. I haven't practiced my earthly birthday for as far back as I can remember. When I was old enough to answer for myself, I said, "I want Jesus Christ. I want Him to be my King. I don't want the world and its false gods to be my king." We don't celebrate our own birthdays, let alone Jesus Christ's birthday!

We are to know no man after the flesh. Not even Jesus! Let us take a look at 2 Corinthians 5:16-17:

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

According to this scripture, we shouldn't be observing the birthday of Jesus Christ, no not at all. Because what is a birthday? It is a celebration of the flesh coming out of the mother's womb. Are we, as Christians, indulging in this pagan practice?

As far as celebrating Jesus' birth, this seems like the devil's scheme to get us worshipping the flesh of Jesus Christ, instead of knowing Him after the Spirit.

Jesus the Messiah said, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" and "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:3, 9)

Men's ways are vanity. What men exalt, the Heavenly Father detests. He says, "Love not the world. Neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him." (1 John 2:15.)

Tiny Babe or King of kings?

Is our Savior a tiny babe in his mother's arms? Or is He our King and ruler who sits on the right hand side of the Father?

Throughout all the kingdoms of the world, they keep our King in a cradle where He has no power or authority. They want Him to be just a helpless babe.

Let's take a look at Revelation 19:11-13, 16:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. . . And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

That's my King, I hope He's your Lord, too. Let's cut out all this Christmas garbage.

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