Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

A Facebook friend wrote to me concerning the question whether Christians should celebrate Christmas. This person wrote to me:

“I already have strong convictions, but I wonder what you think?”

This person’s identity has been withheld for [add your own reason here] reason.

I responded with what follows.

xmastreeI used to think that we shouldn't celebrate Christmas for basically 3 reasons:
1. The Bible does not command us to do so.

2. The modern idea of santa will teach kids fairy tales and they may not later believe in Jesus Christ thinking it to be more fairy tales that their parents lied about.

3. I believed that Christmas was a pagan ritual coming from the pagans and we have no business doing that.

I have since changed my mind:
1. Just because the Bible does not command us to celebrate something does not mean that we may not. If that were the case, then we shouldn't celebrate personal birthdays, or even the new year, or other anniversaries.

2. I grew up with the whole santa thing, and so did my wife’s family and many others. People that claim not to have believed in Christ because of the santa "deception" are very few and far between. It is a case of mixing categories here, since santa obviously is a fictitious person, whereas Christ and the events surrounding His birth, life and death have been historically verified.

3. Alexander Hyslop wrote a book in which he claimed that everything the Catholic church did, from Easter to Christmas and everything in between were taken from pagan rituals. However, it has been debunked. This whole teaching has been exposed and overturned. You can see that at "Hislop's 'Babylonian Mystery Religion' Teaching Exposed and Overturned." I used to believe all of this stuff very fervently. I even bought Hyslop's book and took it all in hook, line and sinker.

So, in the end, I believe that we may celebrate Christmas. The way Christians celebrate Christmas is not wrong or anti-Scripture, since Scripture says nothing about the celebration. In the end, this is not what all Christians should or should not do, but what each Christian's conscience allows them. On the issue of conscience, you can read my blog post called "South African Halaal Scam." So, whether we do or don't celebrate Christmas is not a matter of law, but a matter of conscience.

John MacArthur says:

"Regardless of the pagan background of so many December traditions, and whether or not Jesus was born on December 25th, our goal is still to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Christ of Christmas. The light of the world has come. And the Christmas season and celebration presents the church with a wonderful opportunity to preach the good news--that men can be made righteous and have peace with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ."

Also see:

Obviously, the response above is not a complete, in-depth treatise of the subject, but it is at least something to consider. And, I thought that this could be helpful to others who may have the same question in mind every Christmas time.

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