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(A synopsis of the Christmas issue)
Go to any public library and obtain any book that covers the history of Christmas and you will quickly find the following:
The first Christmas was not celebrated until the 4th century A. D. when the Catholic church of that time accommodated the pagan practices of their day. The merrymaking, exchanging of gifts, etc. came from the festival of Saturnalia (a festival to the god, Saturn) and the date, December 25, was an adaptation of the birthday of Mithra (the sun god). Therefore, instead of calling these practices evil and opposing them (idolatry, false religion, and worship of false gods), the Catholic church fabricated and proclaimed that Jesus was born on December 25 (there is absolutely no known truth in this), and the festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra were now going to be celebrated as the birthday of Christ.
So what! Who cares if this is the background of Christmas? What difference does it make? When we celebrate Christmas, we don't even think of such things. True, but understanding its history can help us understand our present situation.
Did the Catholic church of the 4th century, in adapting ( "Christianizing" ) the pagan practices of their day, obey the following commands of God? No, they did not.
1 Corinthians 10:14 & 19-20: ". . . flee from idolatry." "What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons."
1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (they turned from idols); 5:22: "Abstain from every form of evil." See also Acts 14:8-15.
1 John 5:21: ". . . keep yourselves from idols."
Romans 12:9: "Abhor what is evil."
Ephesians 5:8-11: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.";
1 Peter 3:11: (Turn away from evil.)
3 John 11: ". . . do not imitate what is evil,"
The Catholic church of the 4th century did not oppose the evil idolatry of its day, but they actually participated in it by giving them new names. Was this pleasing in the sight of God? Not at all! What about today? Should Christians participate in Christmas? Should they do as the 4th century Catholic church did (take a pagan holiday and "Christianize" it)?
As we face this issue, it must be understood that we have inherited 1600 years of deceit. The idea that Jesus was born on December 25 is made up (no man on earth knows when He was born ). AlI the practices that surround it (giving gifts, Christmas trees, etc.) are all rooted in pagan practices of the past and have absolutely no Biblical foundation whatsoever. Therefore, the celebration of Christ's birth (Christmas) and the way it is celebrated are not found anywhere in the Bible, and everything about it (the date and manner of celebration) is not from God. What is not from God, and is of a spiritual nature, is from the domain of the Devil (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:9; John 8:44).
From the first Christmas to the present day, Christmas has always been associated with idolatry and wicked superstitious customs (in the past, Mithra, the sun god; today, Santa Claus, magic, sorcery, the god of materialism). Is this something the Christ of Scripture would associate Himself with? Certainly not!
Christ is Holy. What does it mean to be holy? Literally, it means to be "set apart", or "separate". Jesus Christ refused to line Himself up with the religion of His day ("the right one", Judaism and their practices, the Pharisees, etc.). How much more would He refuse to line Himself up with Santa Claus (a make-believe false god, "He knows when you've been bad or good."), and all the trappings of this "Christ-mass".
In fact, the word "Christmas" comes from the blasphemous term "Christ" and " mass". The mass comes from the Catholic church where they teach that the bread and juice of Communion (the Eucharist) actually turns into the literal body and blood of Jesus (transubstantiation), and Christ is sacrificed (offered up) again at each mass (this goes directly against Hebrews 9:27-28 and 10:1 1-18). The very term itself "Christmas" actually degrades our Lord.
Furthermore, the Christ portrayed in Christmas is not the Christ described in the Bible. This "Christ-child" of Christmas is adored (loved, worshiped) by the world. Most everybody loves this "Christ-child". The Christ of holy writ is hated by the world. They crucified Him, often opposed Him, and Jesus said Himself that they hated Him (John 15:18, 24-25); and they still hate Him today. Nothing has changed.
There are many false Christs in the world today. Mormons have their definition of who Christ is. The Jehovah Witnesses have their Christ. The Unitarians have their Christ. The Catholics have their Christ. And, Christmas (which traditionally is a Catholic Christ) has its Christ. Even when Christ was a babe, this prophecy was made concerning Him, ". . . a sign which will be spoken against . . ." (Luke 2:34). Do people speak against this Christ of Christmas? For the most part, no.
What's wrong with celebrating Christmas just simply and solely as a celebration of Christ's birth? The error comes to light and is seen when we realize that a celebration of Christ's birth is a form of worship. Everything surrounding Christmas is not from God's Word. And when it comes to worship, God has said, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24)
For the Christian who wants to serve God and please Him in every way (Colossians 1 :10; Ephesians 5:10), what has God called us to? He has called us to live holy lives, separate and distinct from this present evil age (see 1 Peter 1:13-16; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 7:1; Psalm 94:16; Romans 12:1-2). As He exhorts us to "Abhor what is evil" (Romans 12:9), as we endeavor to be unstained from the world (James 1:27), and as we pursue holiness ("without which no one will see the Lord", Hebrews 12:14), we are not only to refuse to celebrate Christmas, but we are actually to hate it (Psalm 119:104, 128), expose it for what it really is (a pagan holiday, Ephesians 5:11), and oppose it altogether, calling out to this lost world that God is Holy! That they had better repent from their wicked ways (Isaiah 55:6-7), for judgment is surely coming. The wrath of God does not slumber (Luke 3:7, Romans 1:18, 2 Peter 2:3), and the fire of His fury is on its way (Isaiah 66:15-16, 2 Thessalonians 1 :7-9). This was and is the message of the true Christ, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17).
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