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What's Christian about Christmas?
By David Hill

Don't we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas? Isn't Christmas one of the Church's most holy feasts? Let's now have a closer look at the Christmas festival and we'll see whether it is Christian or not.

Is it the Birthday of Jesus Christ?

From the World Book Encyclopedia, Article - Christmas, "Scholars do not know the exact date of Christ's birth. For more than 300 years, people observed His birthday on various dates. In A.D. 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun."

The 25th of December, in the northern hemisphere is around the time of the winter solstice. At this time the days begin to grow longer and pagans believed it to be the birth of the solar cycle. It was never known as the day of Christ's birth, but was commonly known as the 'Natalis invicti solis' - the birth day of the unconquered sun.

How did the birthday of the sun become the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ?

From 'The Book of Days', Article - Christmas Day, "In the early ages of Christianity, its ministers frequently experienced the utmost difficulty in inducing the converts to refrain from indulging in the popular amusements which were so largely participated in by their pagan countrymen. Among others, the revelry and license which characterized the Saturnalia called for special animadversion. But at last, convinced partly of the inefficacy of such denunciations, and partly influenced by the idea that the spread of Christianity might thereby be advanced, the church endeavored to amalgamate, as it were, the old and new religions, and sought, by transferring the heathen ceremonies to the solemnities of the Christians festivals, to make them subservient to the cause of religion and piety. A compromise was thus effected between clergy and laity, though it must be admitted that it proved anything but a harmonious one, as we find a constant, though ineffectual, proscription by the ecclesiastical authorities of the favorite amusements of the people, including among others the sports and revelries at Christmas."

 

Where do Christmas-Style Celebrations Come From?

From Funk and Wagnell's New Encyclopaedia, Article - Christmas, "The origin of the festival is unknown. Scholars believe that it is derived in part from rites held by pre-Christian Germanic and Celtic peoples to celebrate the winter solstice. Christmas festivals, generally observed by Christians since the fourth century, incorporate pagan customs, such as the use of holly, mistletoe, Yule logs and wassail bowls."

Did the Disciples Keep Christmas?

The Bible does not even mention the word Christmas. There is no record in scripture of anyone celebrating the Lord's birthday. In fact, the Jewish historian Flavius Josepheus, who lived at the time of the apostles, tells us that Jews did not celebrate birthdays as this was considered to be contrary to the law. There are only two references to birthdays in the Bible. The first is found in Genesis 40:20 and refers to the birthday of the Egyptian Pharaoh. The second, in Mark 6:21 refers to the birthday of Herod the Idumean who, at his birthday feast had John the Baptist beheaded. The celebration of birthdays was not a Hebrew custom. This is obviously the reason why the exact date of Christ's birth remains unknown. It follows that the disciples of Christ did not celebrate their Master's birthday. They were however, commanded to commemorate the day of Christ's death. That date, the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, is known. Yet the Church has rejected this date in favor of the pagan spring festival of the goddess Ishtar. (Write for the free brochure "Easter or Passover?"

The Church has chosen to reject the commandments of God. It has chosen to base its worship of God on the practices of the heathen.

"And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you." -- Ezekiel 11:12

"When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. -- Deuteronomy 18:9

Thus says the LORD: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. 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 axe. They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple. -- Jeremiah 10:2-4

Throughout the history of the Church, righteous men and women have, at various times, spoken out against the idolatrous ways of the Church.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." -- 1 Corinthians 10:6-7

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. -- 1 Corinthians 10:14

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." -- 2 Corinthians 6:16-17

* In 1643, the English Parliament, influenced by puritanism, did away with the observance of Christmas by law.

* American colonists in the 1600's followed England's example passing various laws which forbade Christmas festivities.

* The Scottish Presbyterians influenced by the teachings of the Reformer John Knox, also dropped the observance of Christmas and other feasts of the Roman Church.

Just as the Church adopted 'the venerable day of the sun' (Sunday) in the place of the Holy Sabbath, so it adopted the sun god's birthday as a holy day. (Request the booklet "Why do some Baptists keep the Sabbath Day?") Christmas Day is not the birthday of Christ. It is the pagan birthday of the sun god. Most Christmas traditions come from pagan rituals and as such are an abomination to the Lord. The Bible has not appointed Christmas day as a Christian festival. This a festival wholly adopted from pagan worship, appointed by man, and does not honor the Almighty God.

"Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies; I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them." -- Isaiah 1:13-14


What's Christian about Christmas? Nothing!

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