We had such a lovely Thanksgiving this year. I think I enjoyed it even more because I wasn’t thinking about Christmas coming up next. Now that I know how wonderful it was last year, I am looking forward to the relaxed pace of December again this year. No baking frenzies, no gifts to buy, no programs to attend, no tree to find… to some it might sound like we are missing out, but we have so many wonderful Days to celebrate throughout the year! =)
I have had some questions and comments over the past year, so I thought I would write them here and answer them from Scripture or to the best of my ability
- Christmas is what we make it to be
SYNCRETISM – absorbing paganism
Adopting False religious beliefs.
“Christmas is a festival that has been added.
It is syncretism, blending a practice from paganism
into the stream of Christianity. Only the revelation
of God shows how He will be worshipped, and He will
NOT be served in imitation of other gods.
God’s way can NOT be “improved” by human sincerity.”
-Christmas, Syncretism and Presumption
by John W. Ritenbaugh; December 2001
- We as Christians have the freedom to do that because He has set us free from that bondage.
Is it bondage to have to obey the commandment regarding idolatry? There are three types of bondage that we have been set free from. The bondage of obeying man’s laws, the bondage of trying to attain salvation through works and the bondage of death that sin brings. God’s law/instruction/torah/teachings are never considered bondage in Scripture. None of these would give freedom to adopt pagan practices.
- Can’t a pagan holiday be cleansed?
- What defines a pagan holiday?
“Thus saith the Lord,
Learn NOT the way of the heathen…
for one cuts a tree out of the forest…
They deck it with silver and with gold..”
– Jeremiah 10:2-5
“Subtly…the old gods had entered their churches…
And they live still in the festivals of Christianity.”
-(Testament: The Bible and History,
Romer, 1988, pp. 230-31)
“That they offered sweet savours to their idols
under every green tree.”
– Ezekiel 6:13
- Can what is once called a pagan holiday ever change?
“Take heed to yourself that you are not
ensnared to follow them…and that you do not
inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did
these nations serve their gods? I also will
do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD
your God in that way; for every abomination
to the LORD which He hates they have done
to their gods…Whatever I command you,
be careful to observe it; you shall not
add to it nor take away from it.”
“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers.
How can light live with darkness?
What harmony can there be between Christ
and the Devil ?…Therefore, come out from them
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things…”
“And why do you break the command of God
for the sake of your tradition?
Thus you nullify the word of God
for the sake of your tradition.”
- Can we use it for outreach if we celebrate on the day and change some of the pagan parts?
“Formerly, when you did not know God,
you were slaves to those
who by nature are not “gods”.
But now that you know God–
or rather are known by God–
how is it that you are turning back
to those weak and miserable principles?
Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
You are observing special days and
months and seasons and years.
I fear for you, that somehow
I have wasted my efforts on you. ”
- How should a believer then celebrate the incarnation and resurrection?
“Christians of the first century did not celebrate
the festival honoring the birth of Jesus – for the same
reason they honored no other birthday anniversary.
It was the feeling at that time by all Christians
that the celebration of all birthdays (even the Lord’s)
was a custom of the pagans.”
– Dr. John C. McCollister’s
The Christian Book of Why
“…the real birthday of Christ is unknown.
December is the cold rainy season in Judea,
and a time when shepherds would NOT have been
in the fields of Bethlehem. Furthermore, the early
Christians did not celebrate birthdays…”
– Encyclopedia of Days;
The origins of Christmas
“the earliest Christians simply weren’t interested
in celebrating the Nativity…They ‘viewed birthday
celebrations as heathen’. The third-century church
father – Origen had declared it a sin to even think
of keeping Christ’s birthday ‘as though he were a
– December 23,1996 issue of
US News & World Report