should-christians-celebrate-christmas

Question

Please give me your opinion about Christmas. I’m an evangelical Christian and for a few years have had a  very heavy heart about this “feast”. I’ve studied nimrod and his wife/mother, Saturnalia, Nicolaitans, Baal, the Roman empire, Jeremiah 10, Revelation, and none of it eases my mind about celebrating. My problem is my family enjoys it so much. But I’m truly worried.

Answer

Of course what is being asked here is whether Christians should join in the secular festivities that surround the celebration of the birth of our Lord.  The more commercial and secular Christmas becomes, the more this question is raised. 

As Christians, we know that many of the traditions originated from pagan practices. The passage in Jeremiah 10:1-16 is thought to have given origin to the practice of cutting down trees, bringing them into the home and decorating them.  But when this passage is carefully read and discerned, we see that the Lord was warning against participating in the pagan practice of cutting down a tree and then adorning it…BECAUSE they were worshipping such things:

Jeremiah 10:3-4…For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple..

The Lord’s warning is  quick and judging:

Jeremiah 10:11  Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”

While this might seem to suggest that we should not have Christmas trees, let’s understand that Christmas trees are not brought into our homes as an idol to worship. They are simply a decoration of the season.  We should also remember that God created evergreen trees and everything that God creates is good.  So it really comes down to the question, what we do with the things that God creates? As Christians, we can look at the twinkling lights on Christmas trees and be reminded of the Light that has come into the world.  We can look at the beautiful ornaments and enjoy the beauty of all things created.  And of course, the gifts beneath the tree should remind us of the greatest Christmas gift of all…the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ as a baby born in a manger.

Holiday Activities

It is also well known that the timing of Christmas was determined by pagan festivals.  If we were to more accurately celebrate the birth of Christ it would most likely be in the fall around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.  There are many passages and verses in the Bible that substantiate that timing.  (Read Was Jesus born in September? and Should we celebrate Jesus’ birthday in September?)

So, the question remains, is it wrong to celebrate on December 25th? 

Let’s first note that there’s nothing in the Bible that tells us we should celebrate the birth of Christ. We are told to remember His death, but not His birth.  However, there is also nothing in the Bible that says we should not remember His humble incarnation.

Since the Bible is silent about memorializing the birth of Jesus, we need to ask ourselves, what does God really care about?   That answer is clear.  He cares about our hearts.  If our purpose in celebrating the birth of Jesus is to remember the amazing gift we have been given, the gift of God sending His Son into the world to live among us and then to die for us and open the way to eternal life with God, then celebrating Christmas can be a wonderful time of praise, worship, and thanksgiving. 

The same is true about how we celebrate.  If the activities and decorations do not in any way dishonor the Lord, then there is nothing wrong with them. In fact, many Christmas celebrations honor God.  As Christians, we should actively try to create activities and display decorations that magnify the Lord and cause us to remember and worship our wonderful God.

Ultimately whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision.  If you decide to celebrate Christmas….just remember to keep it Christ-centered — just as every day is meant to be!

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