Christmas in not a pagan and it is biblical!
by Shaila Touchton
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1. Celebration of Jesus' birth on the 25th of December is not idolatry: There are many Christians who do not celebrate Christmas even opposed to such celebrations just like those religious crowd during Jesus days. When Jesus was born, Babylonian wise men came from the East to worship the Savior. You would have thought that the religious leaders would have gone to see Jesus, but instead they informed Herod of the whereabouts of the little Baby Jesus so Jesus could be murdered. The religious leaders knew where Christ was to be born yet they did not go to see him. Isn't this just like the religious world today who oppose celebration of Christmas and who have declared war on Christmas? They claim the name of Christ, but their hearts are so far away from God.
Phil. 1:10 says that "For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives." There is clear instruction to Christians to stay away from those that distort the truth of the gospel resulting in splitting the unity of the church (Romans 16:17).
You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. (Exodus 23:2). Peter the Apostle states: But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies... (2 Peter 2:1). And of course, Jude4 also states: For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness.
However Jesus also never told us not to celebrate His birth. Paul specifically prohibits getting involved with the pagan festivals .Paganism is a worship or sacrifice offered to an idol to demons or false Gods. But Christmas is worshipping true God because Jesus Christ is a true God. 1 Timothy 3:16 says: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory. God tells us not to adopt the practices and lies of false religions (Jeremiah 10:2-3) like Halloween etc Satan is at constant work stealing the true meaning of Christmas and has been replaced as a Happy Holidays or calling chrismas as paganism. If we say that our Christmas has originated from pagan then what about the technology we have today all the modern facilities we have today. Is it all biblical or Are we following each and everything biblically in every area of our life in everything? We don't even question whether they are biblical or pagan and why do we have to question about the day reserved to praise, rejoicing and worship our Lord Jesus Christ?
Every society in which ever country they live have many man made holidays like Mother's Day, Father s day, labor day, black Friday , Martin Luther king, Columbus day, Valentine's Day etc etc to remember the event . They are all not biblical either and not mentioned in the scriptures either and we all have do not have any problem with that but we have a problem if there is a day set to worship our God our savior Jesus Christ? Christ is the mighty God, a Great God and Savoir, As King of kings and Lord of lords which says in scriptures.
2.Confusions of Christmas: 25th of December has been set aside to honor And glorify Jesus Christ .Satan has deceived and created many confusions among people regarding Christmas has perverted Christmas day as a pagan day . We do not need to compare everything with dates and question about each and every dates and timings such as when the 10 commandments was given? When Christ was conceived? when God spoke to people which day which time? Nowhere in the Bible has given dates for early events like Creation, the flood and the exodus from Egypt. It is not necessary that we must and ought to know all dates in order to celebrate Christ. It's irrelevant. If God wanted us to know the exact date and time I am sure He could have told us plainly.
Jesus says that Satan "was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44). We must remember what Gods says: You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you. (Deuteronomy 6:14). That means we are not to worship false Gods but there is nothing wrong in worshipping Jesus Christ. Is there any verse for not worshiping for our Lord Jesus Christ ? Jesus Christ was God's Christmas Gift. Romans 8:32 states, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, With deep gratitude for this Gift, the apostle wrote, " Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15).
3.Christmas is not associated with pagan sun worship: Most of them accuse that Christmas has the roots of pagan worship associated with birth of the Sun god, Mirtha and many non Christians and pagans worship the sun God. We do not need to compare and think like pagan. Even though the 25th December also celebrated by pagans and might have pagan roots but we as a Christians also celebrate the same day as birth of our saviour so we have biblical roots of celebration. Let the pagan celebrate in pagan way and we Christians celebrate in Christ's way. We have to make every attempt to Christianize the popular pagan celebrations. There are 2 types of the spirits- the holy spirit which is of God and Evil spirit- which is of demon. The Holy Spirit ALWAYS comes to us in Jesus' name. This is what John 14:26 says," But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you"
As a Christian believer we should not have split opinions on the same subject which is double minded which God says to avoid and we as believers do not have to think like the heathen. Just because the pagans celebrate their God on the same day its not necessary that we should also think and act like them. Our attitude should be Christian and we can celebrate our God Jesus Christ. And 25th of December is celebrated by the entire world in different ways. Every soul in the universe will ultimately bow on their knees before Jesus and confess Him as Lord (Philippians 2:10) Hebrews 13:8 declares, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
First of all, the birth of Christ is biblical, so one cannot make a case by calling Christmas non-biblical. Jesus Himself celebrated a holiday that corresponds to Christmas. Jesus celebrated Hanukkah (John 10:22)or also called as Feast of Dedication or festival of lights which is not in the Old Testament. As Christians, we can celebrate Hanukkah rededicate our lives to Christ and acknowledge Him as the perfect and true light of this world and to remember God's wonderful miracles. Hanukkah is celebrated even to this day by Jews and some Christians.
Christmas affords believers with a great opportunity to exalt Jesus Christ. The shepherds glorified and praised God for the birth of Jesus the Messiah. They rejoiced when the angels proclaimed that in Bethlehem was born a Savior, Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11). The babe laid in the manger that day is our Savior, the "Lord of lords and King of kings" (Matthew 1:21; Revelation 17:14).
We should take advantage of that openness to witness to them of the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. Christmas is chiefly about the promised Messiah who came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Christmas is wonderful opportunity to share this truth.
4.The Sun is a good symbol of Christ: December 25th was a pagan feast for pagans and holy feast for Christians which is called Natalis Invicti, which means "Birth of the Unconquered (Sun)," the Calendar also names the day as that of natus Christus in Betleem Iudeae: "Birth of Christ in Bethlehem Judea. The Nativity Scene calls our attention to the prediction in Micah 5:2-5 of the place of His coming - Bethlehem. The Sun represents the hope of Malachi 3:1 and 4:2 that the Sun of Righteousness would arise both as Judge and with healing in His wings. The Angels represents the fulfillment of the Prophetic hope as Jesus' Birth was announced to Joseph and Mary in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38.
Sun is not just related to pagan worship infact it is also related to biblical symbol as well. The sun represents Jesus, His gospel, and His righteousness. "The Lord God is a sun." Psalms 84:11. (Malachi 4:2.) Without Jesus there is no salvation (Acts 4:12). More than anything else, Jesus wants His church to overflow with His presence and glory. He created spiritual light. The purpose of the Heavens was to declare the "glory of God", to reveal the person and plan of the Creator, our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is described as the light of the world in John 8:12, John 9:5, Matthew 4:16, Matthew 17:2, John 3:19-20, John 12:35-36, John 12:46, Ephesians 5:14. Ironically the light of the world is sun. John 1:3-8 says "through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made". Without the Sun nothing would grow and we'd all be dead. So sun can be compared to Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ our life is dead.
Also we know that there is Biblical significance of Sun-day as the Lord's day. Some of them are After Pentecost Christians met on Sunday(Acts 20:7), Jesus was raised from the dead on Sunday( Mk 16:9; Lk 24:1,13,21), The Holy Spirit first fell upon the disciples on a Sunday( Acts 2:1-4). We do not have to think like the pagan world but we can think biblically. God did not create sun just for pagans but for everyone. Here I am not saying that we should worship sun but we have to worship Jesus Christ directly. Sun is only the comparison and biblical symbol. We need to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor(Luke 4:19)
5. Reason for celebration of Christmas: Christmas is Honoring of Christ's Birth. a Time to Witness for Christ and Share the Gospel, to remember the prophet's pronouncements of the birth of Jesus Christ. To Fulfillment of prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, for the salvation of all believers. Christmas is to be celebrated because the Savior of the world was born, walked among us, and showed us the way to salvation and a personal relationship with God. He paid the price for us and set us free from our slavery to sin.
Jesus Christ became the author of eternal salvation, Eternal God and Creator, He is the First and last, the Beginning and the End, the alpha and omega, He is same yesterday, today, and forever.
6. Christmas has spiritual significance: The nativity stories, forming the basis of the celebration of Christmas, are recorded in the scripture. The date of Christmas was chosen primarily for Christian reasons, as opposed to so-called pagan reasons. The word Christmas comes from the Latin word [cristes maesse] which means, "the Mass of Christ." Christians choose to remember this glorious moment yearly by a special celebration in prayer, commemorative decorations, placing stars and lights on a tree, and indulging in the spirit of giving. It only symbolizes the important birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ and all these decorations etc commemorates certain people and events for the spiritual enhancement of believers. The Christian believers are aware that the decorations like light bulbs , Christmas tree and any other ornaments they use for Christmas are just pictures and idols and they do not worship them either but used only to fix attention on God and their worship is directed to God himself . Rom. 12:2 says "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out..."
Bells are played to ring out the joyous news, candles are lit to remind us that Christ is the Light of the world (John 1:4-9), a star is placed on the top of a Christmas tree to remember the Star of Bethlehem, and gifts are exchanged to remind us of the gifts of the Magi to Jesus, the greatest gift of God to mankind. There were three wise men because of the three gifts that were given: gold, incense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). The wise men were guided to look for the King of the Jews by a miraculous stellar event, the "Star of Bethlehem," which they called "His star" (Matthew 2:2). They consulted with King Herod in Jerusalem concerning the birth of Christ and were so directed to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:4-8). They followed God's guidance joyfully (Matthew 2:10). Their gifts for Jesus were costly, and they worshiped Him.
When we look at Christmas lights, we remember the Light of the world. The believer of Jesus Christ is the reflected light of the Lord Jesus. He is the light of the world and He said His followers are to be "light in the world" ( Eph. 5:8; John 12:35-36). Jesus said , "I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12). By claiming to be the Light of the World, Jesus is proclaiming that He is the living Lamp Stand that came down from heaven delivering men from darkness .We need to be a light to others that our good works should be visible to others so that the goodness of God is clearly seen. Jesus is the Light, the only light into the presence of God. You will no longer be walking in spiritual darkness if you will follow Him. The one who does not "follow" or believe in Christ still remains in darkness. In those days men carved wood idols and put faces and jewels in them and worshipped them. But if we can look upon that tree merely as a beacon to all, a symbol to signify to all the present, beauty, and joy in the birth of our Savior.
Also I wanted to make a point that Not all images are prohibited. After being given the commandment against idolatry the ancient Israelites were then commanded to create images used in worship services. Those included the cherubim near the mercy seat and the oxen of the sea of the sacrifice.( Exodus 25:18-20).
Christmas is an opportunity to witness to the unsaved who might not otherwise attend a gathering of believers. Christmas trees are not worshipped but used as a symbol of Jesus or a picture of the cross to remind us what the true meaning of Christmas is. The gifts are nothing but to remember the greatest gift our lord Jesus Christ .
7. True Christmas should be Christ centered: Christian believers should keep the hearts and minds in Christ to exhort one another in continuous prayer, Encouraging and uplifting those who are standing for truth and righteousness and cease and silence all murmurings against negative preaching of Christmas. Christmas should be approach with joy and thankfulness instead of hidden wrong motives like Herod wild drunken worldly parties, fornication, gamblings etc. Herod was also a person who was seeking after Jesus. He searched the Scriptures and claimed that he wanted to worship Christ but he had hidden motives.
Correct worship of God must be done "in spirit and truth," not in the light of humanly devised traditions. Right tradition is an important aspect of a godly life, as the apostle Paul testified: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught" (2 Thessalonians 2:15). But Paul clearly did not mean that every human tradition was appropriate, because he later wrote to the Colossians2:8 "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ". But these verses merely condemn erroneous human traditions. He was not condemning all traditions. He condemned only those that made God's word void.
Paul says that much Christian teaching is to be found in the tradition which is handed down by word of mouth (2 Tim. 2:2).This oral teaching was accepted by Christians, just as they accepted the written teaching that came to them later. Jesus told his disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me" (Luke 10:16). The apostle praised those who followed Tradition: "I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you" (1 Cor. 11:2).
Jesus came to the world To take away sin (1 John 3:5), to destroy the devil's works (1 John 3:8), to serve (Matt. 20:28)and save the world (John 3:17; Luke 19:10), to preach the good news of the kingdom of God (Luke 4:43)and to testify to the truth (John 18:37), to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17) and to give life (John 10:10,28)
8.Jesus accepted worship: The Bible says that Jesus is God in flesh, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....and the word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1, 14); and, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Col. 2:9). Jesus, therefore, has two natures. He is both God and man. When Jesus Christ died on Cross his human nature died but not his divine nature.
There are many scriptures to show that Jesus was worshipped:
Some of them are Matthew 2:2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."
Matthew 2:11 "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him."
Matthew 14:33 "Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God."
Matthew 28:9 "And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, Rejoice! And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him."
Matthew 28:17 "And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted."
John 9:38 "Then he said, 'Lord, I believe!' And he worshiped Him."
Hebrews 1:6 "But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, "Let all the angels of God worship Him."
Acts 10:24-26 "On the day after that he entered into Caes* a* re'a. Cornelius, of course, was expecting them and had called together his relatives and intimate friends. As Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet and did obeisance to him. But Peter lifted him up, saying: "Rise; I myself am also a man."
Hebrews 1:6 "But when he again brings his First-born into the inhabited earth, he says: "And let all God's angels worship him."
Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created."
Revelation 5:11-14 "And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: 'The Lamb that was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.' And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: 'To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever' And the four living creatures went saying: 'Amen!' and the elders fell down and worshiped."
Conclusion: God's word says in Titus 3:9 that we need to avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because they are unprofitable and useless. Similarly in 1 Timothy 1:4 says not to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than God's ongoing purpose, which involves faith.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'no' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Tit 2:11-14)
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Pe 1:13).
"Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." (1 John 3:2-3). In a world steeped in mystery cults, the apostle Peter admonished believers to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have with gentleness and respect" (1 Pet. 3:15).
Don't be afraid to talk about your faith when the opportunity arises and be proud to celebrate Christmas!
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