While out and about in my neighbourhood recently, I'm already seeing signs of Christmas. Decorations and specialty foods are popping up in stores, commercials are on the telly, the Christmas frenzy starts early! But, have you ever stopped to think about where in fact Christmas comes from? Is Christmas a Bible teaching or simply another one of those man-made traditions? Let's see what the Bible actually says.
Nearly every religion claiming to be Christian views Christmas as the time of Jesus' birth and celebrates it accordingly. Interestingly, the Bible does not give the date of Jesus' birth nor does it say we should celebrate his birthday. McClintock and Strongs Cyclopedia states: "The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin." New Catholic Encyclopedia: "The true birth date of Christ is unknown." Encyclopedia of Early Christianity: "The exact date of Christ's birth is not known." What about Jesus? There is no record in the Bible of him ever celebrating his own birthday or anyone else's for that matter. He did, however, command his followers to commemorate his death. Notice what the Bible says at Luke 22:19*: "Also, he [Jesus] took a loaf, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them [disciples], saying: 'This means my body, which is to be given in your behalf. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.'"
So where does Christmas come from then? Consider these facts**:
- The World Book Encyclopedia - "The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus'] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone's birth to be a pagan custom."
- The Encyclopedia Americana - "Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts and the burning of candles." Encyclopedia Britannica "all work and business were suspended" during Saturnalia.
- According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, Europeans decorated their homes "with lights and evergreens of all kinds" to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits.
- The Encyclopedia Americana - "The Druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe in particular. The evergreen holly was worshipped as a promise of the sun's return."
- Encyclopedia Britannica - "Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity." One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of "placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays."
Some might still reason there's no harm in celebrating Christmas. Do you really think excessive frivolity, debauchery, drunkenness and revelry [common behavior associated with Christmas] honors Jehovah God or the ransom sacrifice of His Son, Jesus? God would never approve of customs that are rooted in paganism. 2 Corinthians 6:17* says: "'Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,' says Jehovah, 'and quit touching the unclean thing'"; "'and I will take you in.'" The point then is this - Christmas is unclean. If you want your worship to be approved by Jehovah God, you must worship Him in the way He approves, in spirit and in truth, completely free from disgusting, man-made customs. (Amos 5:21, 23; John 4:23, 24*)
*New World Translation Bible (2013) available to read/download free hereP.S. Don't forget to share if you like this post.
**Article originally found here
**Article originally found here
See you next time!