Someone Writes Asking About Christmas
by Wayne Goforth
Hello Becky! I appreciate your good thoughts here, and certainly I am not trying to encourage you to go against your conscience (Romans 14) or to observe Christmas in any type of way. I simply want to explain why I believe as a Christian we have the liberty of celebrating a national holiday on December 25th if we so chose. My family has NEVER observed it as the birth of Jesus, in fact, I regularly preach against the religious observance of Christmas. Most likely, Jesus was born in October, but even if we knew the exact date, we are only authorized to remember His resurrection each first day of the week, and never His birth. Paul said in I Corinthians 11:26 "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." By the way, Jesus would not have been born in 00 AD, but rather 03 BC, because of a problem with our calendars that wasn't discovered for centuries.
Our family has never used religious emblems at Christmas in our home ... no stars nor angels. We have glass balls, tinsel, lights, etc. Most Christians I know observe it in this way: as a traditional, American, national, family holiday and nothing more. No religious songs, only Jingle Bells or Frosty the Snowman. If Christians do observe it in a religious fashion, Paul said they are wrong in the matter. In Galatians 4:10-11, the apostles said, "You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain."
Consider too, that the Jews also observed holidays that were not appointed by God, but were national holidays, like Purim (book of Esther) and Hanukah, which Jesus Himself seemed to have observed, John 10:22 (Hanukah is also called the Feast of Dedication, or the Festival of lights, celebrating the re-dedication of the temple after driving out the Syrian general Anticohus and cleansing it).
Christmas has become secularized, at least in our society, so it no longer holds its original pagan / Catholic / religious meaning that it once did.The Puritans outlawed Christmas observance in early America because it did then have such a connotation. The secularizing of this once religious holiday is seen by the fact that many atheists, agnostics and Jews do celebrate Christmas along with their own Hanukah. The biggest manufacturer of Christmas paper, Cleo-wrap, is owned by Jewish people in fact.
If we cannot observe it due to the fact that it did have a religious origin, then what else must we cut out? The names of every month is named for either a pagan deity or a pagan worshipping emperor. The planets too are named for Greek and Roman gods.
Consider also, that Paul said "If ye be circumcised, then Christ shall profit you nothing." (Galatians 5:2) Now, at one time circumcision had a religious significance, and still does to many. Does than mean we must not have babies circumcised? No, they do it for a DIFFERENT reason than we do. They do it for religious, we do it for social custom and ~maybe~ health (though the medical world is in disagreement about that one). So, if some do it religiously, and Paul SPECIFICALLY said if we do it we are cut off from Christ, why do we do it? Because we do it for a different -reason-. I observe December 25th for a different reason than some. They may religiously (and be wrong), but I as a family and national custom.
I can put a family observance of such under Romans 14, and do not wish to encourage you to observe it, only to help you understand why some of us do, including many gospel preachers, such as myself.
I thank you for being so interested in spiritual matters that you are willing to go against the tide of popular opinion.
God bless in your endeavors for Him,