Christmas or Winter Festival?
by John Rhinehart
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In the New Testament, religious celebrations are unheard of. All celebrations today are based on the traditions of men.
“For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.” Mk 7:8
We have no commands of Jesus, Holy Spirit or God to celebrate anything about Jesus (birth or death) other than the Lord’s Supper. Yet the traditions of men have made it so with Easter and Christmas.
The only thing that we are told to do in remembering Jesus is the Lord’s Supper:
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Lk 22:19,20 (By Jesus words)
“After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” 1Cor 11:25,26 (By Paul’s words)
The history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years. Many of our Christmas traditions were celebrated centuries before the Christ child was born. The 12 days of Christmas, the bright fires, the Yule log, the giving of gifts, carnivals (parades) with floats, carolers who sing while going from house to house, the holiday feasts, and the church processions can all be traced back to the early Mesopotamians to signify the celebration of Christmas.
The meaning of Christmas has always been and always will be a pagan festival and has nothing to do scripturally about Jesus the Christ. Jesus never instructed us to celebrate his birth.
Christmas today should be called “The Winter Festival” because it is actually a festival of merchants and customers selling and buying gifts in a winter atmosphere. It is commercialized with Santa Clause (who somehow relates to the Godhead—“He knows if you been naughty or not”) and Merchants selling to top products, toys, electronics etc. Therefore, it has very little to do with a religious holiday celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior which the Word of God does not instruct us to do.
So the Winter Fest with all its hype of sex, products and its daily feasts throughout the month, turns out not to be of love but of greed, strife and turmoil as we grumble over what someone gave us that we don’t want and how one is jealous over one and other. These actions fit the title Winter Fest better than Christmas.
Now there is much talk about Christmas in the political field as Christians fight to keep the word “Christmas” in all titles during this season. Now I ask, do we really want this title to be associated with our Lord and Savior? or to be associated between you and I? A title that is associated with sex; products, greed, strife and turmoil as we grumble over what someone gave us that we don’t want and how one is jealous over one and other? The word “Christmas” has no more meaning of Christ’s birth anymore than the name “Christian” does not have any God given associations. It’s just become a name and that’s all it is, a name that means nothing.
Again, those in the political arena who are fighting to keep “Christ” in Christmas should go back and read the Word of God to see if this is a God given act for all to obey. Is it worth all this time, money and energy to fight for a so-called cause that we are not instructed to do so from the Word of God? Paul in the book of Romans said it correctly,
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.” Rom 14:5,6
We should not and cannot force pagans and fellow believers in the Lord to be forced to believe as you and I do on this topic of Christmas. It really has no place in the life of a believer.
Several years ago had come to the conclusion that Christmas has nothing to do with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and have continually called it for what it really is, “The Winter Festival.” Thus, by doing this it does not make me less of a believer because I will not follow the traditions of men. Or if by forcing “Christmas” back into the holidays, will make this nation a god-fearing nation and its people better citizens. And if my fellow brethrens in the Lord are in a political fight to keep Christ in Christmas, then I will “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:26)
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Thank you. I do appreciate that someone else actually considers that "Christmas" has roots that are NOT born in Christianity! Too bad we do not consider the historical fact of where our "holy-days" came from. Alas, I think we do not want to consider them too much. While there is nothing wrong with buying gifts for people, putting change in the bell ringers pot, and decorating in traditional "christmas" colors. That does not mean that it is in any way celebrating Christ's birth! If we were to truly celebrate Christ's birth we would probably want to do things the way Jesus said to do them. For example Jesus said if we have a feast to invite those who are poor and lame so that they can not pay you back. Perhaps clothe the naked or visit the infirmed... oh yes, we should be doing those things ALL THE TIME!!!!! So I guess we should be "CELEBRATING" the Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ EVERYDAY!! By our very lives, our very words, our prayers and our year around giving spirit! Thanks again!
The only thing I know is that the Bible says the spirit of the law is freedom, but the letter of the law is bondage. The spirit of my Christmas cheer is remembering Jesus' birth. God didn't tell us to go to church on Sunday and Wednesday either--that was man's idea. God rested on the seventh day--Saturday. But as tradition Christians go on Sunday. I worship Jesus at Christmas, and I don't think He'll turn me down because it's not the right day. This is just my opinion, no one has to agree :-), but I don't think God is a hair spliter, man on the other hand. . .