CHRISTMAS AND JESUS DON'T MIX - JESUS IS NOT THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
by Pastor Jeff Sherk (Originally published December 2007)
It's surprising how many people actually believe that December 25th is Jesus/Yahshua's birthday. The fact is, that the Christmas celebration was instituted by the Catholic church in the 4th century in order to entice pagan Romans to convert to Christianity without losing their own winter solstice celebrations (Natalis Solis Invicti & Saturnalia). The celebration of the winter solstice (on Dec 25th) also has significant pagan roots in multiple other ancient religions, and there are a multitude of gods that have their birthday on this day (eg: Ishtar, Mithra & Yule just to name a few).
Some quick facts about Jesus' birthday: - Although Scripture does not specifically tell us when He was borm, it can be inferred He was born sometime in September/October around the fall Feasts of the LORD, most likely on the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah). - Only the shepherds attended His birth. The wise men did not arrive until almost two years later, where they found the 'young child' in a 'house' (Matt 2:11). - There were NOT three wise men... scripture does not tell us how many there were, only that they brought sacrifices and worshiped Him (Matt 2:11). I suppose there could have been three, but really there could have been only two or there could have been hundreds of them. – The disciples never asked Jesus when His birthday was and never made any effort to celebrate it. – God does not command us to celebrate His birthday, but does command us to celebrate His Feasts (Lev 23).
With the birthday stuff aside, let's get to the real point of this article, by posing a question:
"Is it okay to make Christmas all about Jesus, even though it's an obvious grafting in of pagan worship, pagan traditions and is not even His birthday?"
I will answer 'No, it's not okay!', and let Scripture back me up:
First of all, Scripture warns us about certain traditions that cause us to reject God, make His Word of no effect, and are contrary to Christ:
Mark 7:9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition."
Mark 7:13 "...making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."
Col 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Second, there are some very clear warnings about how NOT to worship God:
Deut 12:4 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in their [pagan] way."
Deut 12:8 "You shall not at all do as we are doing here today— every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes—"
Deut 18:9 "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."
Jer 10:2-4 (Hint: this is about Christmas trees) 2 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. 3 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 ax. 4 They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple.
Third, since Christmas is not really Jesus' birthday, then it is a lie to promote it as such. Isn't the whole point of Christianity to be about the truth?
2 Thessolonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means;
2 Thessolonians 2:11-12 And for this reason God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He 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
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
And lastly, God has given us an example of what happens when we do things our way and make up our own celebrations outside of the Feasts that He declared (see Lev 23):
2 Timothy 3:2 For men will be lovers of themselves...
1 Kings 12:32-33 32 Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.
You'll notice in the above passage, that Jeroboam devised this feast "out of his own heart", and in 2 Kings 10:31 we see that this "sin of Jeroboam" caused the whole nation of Israel to sin.
So let's summarize: - Their are traditions of men that are contrary to Christ and the Word of God. - God tells us not to worship the way the pagans do, and in fact calls what they did 'abominations'. - We are supposed to be promoters of truth, not of lies. - Jeroboam caused the whole nation of Isral to sin by making up his own day to worship the LORD.
Clearly, Christmas falls into all of the above categories, and God does not look at it as a special day in honor of Him, but instead sees it as a mixing in of pagan traditions which negates His Word (negates Jesus), and in fact is an abomination in His eyes. Christmas and Jesus don't mix!