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Reasons I Do Not Keep Christmas

 The Advocate of Truth
December 2011

 



Reason #1:  I am not a Catholic;

The very name “Christmas” (Christ’s mass or Mass of Christ) points to the source of Christendom where this holiday came about.  This season also venerates Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus), another apparent carry-over from Catholicism.  In this article, however, I am not advocating the keeping of Christmas by any religious group.

Reason #2:  I am not a pagan;

The date December 25 was the birthday of Tammuz who was worshiped as “the son of the sun.”   It has been recorded that, “The 25th of December, the day that was observed at Rome as the day when the victorious god reappeared on earth, was held at the ‘Natalis invicti solis’, The birthday of the unconquered sun.”

(Baptized Paganism; The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, pg. 98).  Later, this date (December 25th) was used to “honor” the birth of Jesus.

Pagan customs such as decorating evergreen trees were also incorporated into the Christmas season.  The Lord specifically warns His people not to learn heathen ways. Jeremiah 10:2-4 reads: “Thus said the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth 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.”

Reason #3: December 25th was not the day on which Christ was born;

This date first enters as Christs’ birthday “in the 4th century, in the West” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, pg. 491).  St. Luke 2:8 informs us: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”  This was the time of Jesus’ birth.  It has been recognized that December 25th, in Israel, is a cold time of the year.  These shepherds, therefore, would very unlikely have been out with their flock, “keeping watch…by night” on December 25th.  As we have seen above, December 25th was the birthday of Tammuz and then it began to be observed (incorrectly) as the birthday of Jesus.

Reason #4:  Christmas celebration does not honor the Lord;

The Christmas season is filled with commercialism, a time of year in which a tremendous emphasis is placed on buying, buying, buying!  Multitudes of people go into great debt purchasing things that they cannot afford because they believe it is expected of them.  Myriads of parties are celebrated with alcohol, and many lives are lost from drunk drivers smashing into vehicles and people.  Some might make the case that they keep this holiday by “putting Christ back into Christmas”.  But the problem here is that Christ was never in Christmas to begin with.  Much of the world celebrates some form of Christmas, and this is what one could infer from Bible texts such as Revelation 12:9 where we find that Satan, “…deceiveth the whole world…”


Reason #5:  The Bible nowhere commands us to observe Christmas;

Some might say that this is a flimsy argument since many believers observe other days without Bible sanction such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  There is a big difference, however, between keeping personal days and a holiday such as Christmas.  Many people, even non-christians, keep Christmas because they believe they must.  They feel they have no choice.  It is as binding upon them as if it was an edict from heaven.

Christmas has become so entrenched in many peoples’ thinking that to not observe it would be sacrilege.  It would be the same as denying Christ to them.  Families have become broken over a spouse who decides that he or she does not want to keep Christmas.

Those of us who do not celebrate this holiday may reflect back to a time when we told someone about our convictions.  The shocked look they may have given us indicates the complete lack of understanding on their part. “You don’t keep Christmas?” they may have blurted out.  “Aren’t you a Christian?”  God doesn’t expect us to keep Christmas, but man does.

This type of expectation, that a person must fulfill a traditional, man-made observance is of course, not Biblical.  Therefore, I wish to be free to concentrate my efforts on Scriptural “have tos’” like, Observing the Ten Commandants, the Law of the clean and unclean, the annual Lord’s Supper service are included in this list.   And just for the record, the Lord wants us to remember His death, rather than His birth.  Speaking about partaking of the Lord’s Supper, the Apostle Paul wrote, “ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1st Corinthians 11:26).  Ecclesiastes 7:1 reads: “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”


Elder David DeLong