Is it Wrong to Celebrate Christmas?
by David J. Stewart
There are many varying opinions concerning the celebration of Christmas. Some religions, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, teach that it is a sin to observe Christmas at all. Is it a sin to celebrate Jesus' birthday? What about Santa Claus? What about Christmas trees? I'd like to share with you some practical thoughts concerning the Christmas holiday, with the Scriptures in mind.
First, may I say that I think God despises the modern idea of Christmas. The greedy business world has commercialized Christmas into a time of making billions-of-dollars. Christmas is not about buying, giving and receiving. It's not even about giving to the poor. It's about God giving us the gift of eternal life, at the expense of the life and blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Thus, we celebrate Christ's birth into the world. To make Christmas anything less is wrong! It is sinful to exploit the name of Jesus at Christmas-time to make a buck. Sadly, this is all too common nowadays.
Celebration of Christmas Not Mentioned in Bible
Christmas is not mentioned in the Bible. There is NO command for believers to observe or celebrate Jesus' birthday. It is a matter of personal choice. I think it is acceptable to observe Christmas; or not to observe Christmas. There is nothing in the Word of God which requires a Christian to observe Christmas, or Easter for that fact.
I personally do not believe it is sinful to celebrate Christmas, to a degree, anymore than it would be sinful to celebrate the birthday of a family member. I think it is appropriate to celebrate the Lord's birthday for those who choose to do so.
This raises several related questions:
- What about Santa Claus? — Santa Claus is a Satanic imposter, designed by wicked people to steer children away from the Lord Jesus Christ. Santa is a fictional character who is given the powers of being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. This is blasphemy against God (Jesus Christ), Who is the ONLY One Who possess such divine qualities. No parent should ever deceive their child to believe in Santa. Not coincidentally, "Santa" rearranged spells S-A-T-A-N. Santa Claus is of the Devil. Christian parents should teach their children the honest truth, i.e., Santa Claus is a demonic hoax, intended by unsaved heathens to keep children from coming to Christ.
- What about Christmas tress? — I think Christmas trees are appropriate. I realize that the Babylonians decorated and worshipped trees in Jeremiah 10:1-15; but the context of this Scripture passage is IDOLS, i.e., trees cut into the form of an idol and then decorated. It is ridiculous to allege that anyone with a Christmas tree in their home is practicing idolatry. Is it sinful to grow plants indoors to brighten one's home? Of course not! We enjoy the same sun, moon and stars that the Babylonians worshipped (Jeremiah 78:2). Certainly it is not wrong to enjoy the warmth of the sun, or to admire God's beauty of creation. Placing some decorations upon a tree to brighten one's home is not sinful. The clear meaning of Jeremiah 10:2, i.e., "Learn not the way of the heathen," is a prohibition against astrology and idols. I don't know anyone who worships or fears their Christmas tree. I think it is perfectly acceptable to hang Christmas lights, ornaments, and to decorate one's home with a pretty Christmas tree. Again, this is a matter of personal choice. We must be careful not to judge one another in areas where the Bible is silent.
According to retired FBI agent Gary Aldrich, in his book, Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House, pg. 105-106, when First Lady Hillary Clinton was in charge of the White House Christmas tree, her idea of festive ornaments included crack pipes, condoms and various sex toys. This is certainly bizarre.
What if Jesus' birthday is not in December? — Most theologians agree that Jesus was NOT born in December. Truthfully, no one knows for sure when Jesus was born. Thus, one should not be dogmatic on this issue.
A person whose birthday is on February 29th only has a birthday once every 4 years (leap year). It certainly wouldn't be wrong for such a person to celebrate their birthday on a different date. Likewise, I see no harm in celebrating Jesus' birthday on December 25th, even if His actual birthday rests in a different month and date. I think it is a wonderful thing to celebrate the birth of the Savior, God's gift to mankind.
I think it's safe to say that all Christians observe "Good Friday," but a simple math calculation reveals that there are only 2-days between Good Friday and Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead. Obviously Jesus had to die on a Thursday; NOT Friday. 1st Corinthians 15:4 teaches that Christ "rose again the third day." Howbeit, I don't think it is sinful to observe the Lord's crucifixion on a Friday. Howbeit, the Bible does NOT command us to recognize Good Friday at all. Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper as a time of REMEMBRANCE when He gave His body and shed His blood for our sins. The Bible does NOT instruct us to observe ANY holidays.
- Doesn't Christmas have pagan origins? — Yes, but so did Easter, the names of the week, and many other things we accept today. Every Easter, Christians all across America come to Sunday services to celebrate the Lord's resurrection from the Dead. Although Easter began as a pagan holiday, Christians today celebrate the holiday in an entirely different manner. Other than the term "Easter," there are no similarities with the worship of the fertility goddess, Semiramis.
Certainly Halloween is a demonic holiday, and should be avoided by all Christians, except as an opportunity to pass out Gospel tracts to the lost.
Although "Christ Mass," or "Mass of Christ," is purported to have it's origin in the Catholic Church, the Catholic Encyclopedia states otherwise...
"Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church . . . The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." "Pagan customs centering around the January calends [the pagan calendar] gravitated to Christmas."
SOURCE: Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 ed., article: "Christmas."
- What about December 25th? — No one prior to 335 AD celebrated the birthday of Jesus. The word "Christmas" (Christ + Mass) was first used in 1038 AD. Before 335 AD, the pagan cult of Mithra, the Iranian "god of light," had long celebrated December 25 as Mithra’s birthday. December 21, being the winter solace, marked the beginning of days with increasing amount of light, hence December 25 celebrated Mithra’s triumph over darkness. Because the pagan festival that celebrated Mithra’s birthday was so popular, the Roman Catholic Church adopted the day, but changed the meaning from the birthday of Mithra, the "god of light," to Christ’s birthday, God the son, "light of the world." The old meaning of December 25 was connected with Mithra’s triumph over physical darkness. The new meaning celebrated Jesus' triumph over spiritual darkness. Eventually Christmas became dominant, the Mithra cult went extinct and today this origin is not widely known among Roman Catholics. None of the apostles or the early church celebrated the birthday of Jesus.
- What about Christmas carols? — There are many wonderful Gospel hymns which have been written to worship Jesus at Christmas time; such as, Silent Night, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem, Joy To The World, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, Noel, et cetera. I think it would be a mistake to overlook Christmas entirely, and miss out on the opportunity to witness to the lost during the emotional Christmas season. Many hearts have been turned to the Lord during the Christmas holiday as a result of the Gospel-centered carols.
Suicide rates are higher at Christmas time, because most people's reality cannot live up to the bigger-than-life image which Christmas portrays. However, in Christ Jesus there is hope, a better life, and a brighter future.
- What about Christmas parties? — I think it is a bad idea to go to ANY parties, whether it be a company party or a party at a friend's house, unless you are certain that there will be no worldliness and booze at the party. Most often, there is alcohol, dirty-dancing, immodestly dressed women, worldly music, and Christ is not celebrated at all. I think a get-together with fellow church members, at the church, would be appropriate. I have never attended any company Christmas parties, because of all the horrible things I've heard from co-workers who went to them. A Christian has no business being in an environment of lust, booze, Rock music, and worldliness.
If you feel that Christmas is a pagan holiday, and shouldn't be celebrated, then don't. But if other believers think it's acceptable, don't judge them. It is clear that there are two ways to celebrate Christmas:
- The Worldly Way — Santa Claus, Rudolph the Reindeer, the north pole, elves, Frosty the Snowman, secular songs about Christmas, booze, parties, Rock music, buying and giving gifts, et cetera.
- The Christian Way — Jesus Christ, Christmas carols, soulwinning, a nativity scene, helping the poor in Jesus' name, et cetera.
Opponents of Christmas, condemn Christians who celebrate Christmas on the basis of the world's way of observing Christmas. This is not fair. Christians certainly may observe Christmas time by honoring the Lord through soulwinning, helping the poor, singing Gospel hymns, and drawing closer to the Lord in the Scriptures.
I knew a Christian man who became enraged with anger, when he found out that pumpkins were being given away as a promotion, to get kids into a local church on Halloween. That rascal never won anyone to the Lord; yet he criticized a church for using pumpkins to attract children into Sunday School. I say "shut up!" If a church can get kids into church by giving away goldfish, having contests, or putting a cow up on the roof, then so be it. Why should the Devil's crowd be the only one's to use promotions? The unsaved business world uses promotions all the time, as a marketing tool to make more money. Certainly, it is wise to use whatever means available (morally speaking) to encourage children and their parents to come to Church to hear the Word of God. Thus, I think it is appropriate for churches to make big of Christmas, and use it as an opportunity to win the loss to Christ (Proverb 11:30).
Some people hate Christmas because it is a happy time, and something tragic (such as the death of a child) has happened in their life. There's an empty spot by the Christmas tree. I understand completely. Such a grieving person has every right to grieve. The answer is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this sin-cursed world at Christmas-time, and tell them... "You need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS." When I am discouraged, I go soulwinning.
I am as disgusted with the commercialization of Christmas as is anyone else. It's tragic. I don't think Christian's ought to spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts, because this is what the greedy retailers want. Christmas is largely exploited. I sincerely think God hates Christmas, because of the way the world celebrates it; however, I am also confident that God is pleased with those few believers who genuinely celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world.
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!