Is Christmas Christian?
by Jim Jester
The answer to this question is found in a Biblical principle that most Christians have never heard of. It points to God’s feeling about the Christmas holiday not man’s feelings and opinions. It is also irrelevant as to what any man or woman thinks Christmas means to them. The question, is Christmas Christian, will be meaningless to the secular person who is celebrating “the Season;” but to the devout Christian whose purpose is to worship and honor God in this holiday format, it is of great concern.
The fact is that Emperor Constantine started the Roman Catholic Church and the Catholic Church started Christmas. The true Christians, who were faithful to the Bible, were driven underground (yes, literally into the caves and catacombs), and persecuted by the established church. Constantine had made persecution of Christians illegal, but it came anyway and has continued down through the ages.
The problem was that Constantine had made Christianity popular. How? Constantine was a follower of Mithras the Roman sun god; but for political purposes, he sought the support of the Christians. So, by making a law to forbid the persecution of Christians and forming a church complete with special holidays seemed too good to be true, at least to many of the not so devout Romans. The sun god, Mithras’, birthday happens to be December 25th. Sound familiar? Later, Christmas celebrations supplanted Mithras’ birthday because the church placed it among the pagan celebrations at that time. About ten years later, Christmas Day was acknowledged for the first time in official documents. About twelve years later, one of the first known Nativity celebrations occurred in 336 A.D. at the Church of Rome. In the year 350, Pope Julius I officially designated December 25 to celebrate Christ's birth. Pope Liberias instituted the Nativity feast in December of 353 (Catholic Encyclopedia).
But of course, it really was not the birthday of Jesus Christ. There is much evidence to the contrary. This same process happened with other holidays over the centuries. Therefore, these holidays do not qualify for Christian observance because they are not based upon the Bible. By no stretch of the imagination is Christmas a Christian holiday. The early Christian church never celebrated Christ’s birthday, nor did the Pilgrims when they came to America. In fact, they made its celebration illegal.
Now to the Biblical principle I alluded to at the beginning:
“And you shall know that I am the LORD: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you” (Ezekiel 11:12).
God plainly says here (and other places) that he was greatly displeased with His people following the manners (customs) of the heathen (non-Christian) peoples (races). He is more specific in other places:
“Thus said the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen…. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jeremiah 10:2-4).
God forbids the “way” and “manners” of the heathen. “Learn not the way of the heathen” should be indelibly printed into the minds of Christians.
Here is another verse that is virtually unknown to Christians.
“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgot the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves” (Judges 3:7).
“And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and worked wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger” (II Kings 17:10-11).
God had previously told His people,
“You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree” (Deuteronomy 12:2). “You shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire” (De. 7:5).
Like sheep we have always gone astray, but God expects us to repent (that’s correct our ways) before He can bless us. “Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God, and have scattered your ways to the strangers (heathen races) under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, said the LORD” (Jeremiah 3:13). “And his heart (King Jehoshaphat) was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah” (II Chronicles 17:6).
These trees, groves, hills and high places were not evil in and of themselves, but they were the places and symbols of heathen worship and God told us (Israel: His Christian people) to have nothing to do with these practices and customs. Is it not important what God thinks about these holidays? Or, is man’s opinion more important? Imagine God looking down upon us and seeing us worship Him and His Son in the exact way that the pagan sun worshippers honored their sun god. Wouldn’t He say to Himself, “Are my people crazy, I am not a sun god?”
- December 25 is not Jesus’ birthday. Evidence points to the fall.
- Even if it was Jesus’ birthday, we are not told in the Bible to remember His birth, only His death.
- What we think the holiday means is irrelevant compared to what God knows it means and what He has said about it.
- The pagan customs of Christmas have been going on for centuries, even before the birth of Christ (Since Christ is not in this day, I will X Him out).
- Xmas is an invention of the Catholic Church.
- Xmas has no covenant, therefore is universally open to all peoples.
- Xmas is an abomination to God because it is a reenactment of the massacre of Christ, and should be hated by all Christians.
- To observe Xmas as the birth of Christ is, in effect, adding Jesus to the long list of sun gods.
- Xmas violates the Law of God (“No other gods”; among others).
- Xmas is a lie and we are to be people of truth.
The evidence against Xmas is overwhelming in spite of the many good tidings celebrated with the winter solstice holiday. It is definitely not a Christian holiday or Holy Day, even though many good things are done for others on this day. However, even this is deceptive for the verse in the Bible about “peace on earth, goodwill towards men” is a mistranslation. It should be, “peace on earth towards men of goodwill.” The former seems to have an unconditional and universal appeal, but the later, and correct translation, has peace and goodwill conditioned by people of goodwill. This is only possible in a Christian society. It cannot be fulfilled in a multi-racial and multi-cultural mish-mash. To unconditionally love everybody is not only foolish, but also un-biblical. The crime rate of America can attest to this.
The customs of the winter solstice with trees and gift giving have gone on for centuries before Jesus Christ appeared. These things are pagan to the core. This alone is enough justification not to participate in Xmas. God warned us not to worship in the same way as the heathen worshipped their gods. As God has said, “Learn not the way of the heathen…. For the customs of the people are vain” (Jeremiah. 10:2).