It’s that time of year again! Christmas is a hugely popular holiday celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. Did you know in the 17th century Christmas was actually outlawed in England and some parts of the American colonies because of its unbiblical and pagan origins. They knew something most people today have forgotten or have never known.
So, it’s not surprising that I get some pretty shocked looks when I tell people I don’t celebrate Christmas. That’s pretty unusual for anyone, much less someone who was born Christian and been an ordained minister. It is absolutely true, without revelation people perish (Proverbs 29:18). And also the bible reminds us that those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14). Now question to ask: Are you led by the Spirit of God to observe Christmas? Why would anyone not want to celebrate Christmas like nearly everybody else? Are there valid reasons for not participating in all the holiday hoopla? Here are my top 7 reasons.
1. Jesus wasn’t born on or near December 25.
Surprising but true? I mean, there’s no excuse for you to be with the ability to research at your fingertips. Just a simple Google search, “Was Jesus born on December 25” would prove the falsity of his so-called birth date. The gospel of Luke 1:28-38 shows clearly when God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary.
Remember those shepherds who were “living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night”? (Luke 2:8). December weather around Bethlehem is often miserably cold, wet, and rainy. No shepherd in his right mind would have kept his flocks outside at night at that time of year!
Also, Luke 2:1-4 tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because His parents came to that town to register in a Roman census. The Romans were well known as highly efficient administrators. It would have made no sense to have conducted a census in the dead of winter when temperatures often dropped below freezing and traveling was difficult due to poor road conditions. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating!
2. Christmas is nowhere mentioned in the Bible.
The word Christmas entered the English language originally as Christes maesse, meaning “Christ’s mass” or “festival of Christ” in Old English. After the Roman Emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity in 312 AD and sanctioned Christianity, church leaders made efforts to appropriate the winter-solstice holidays (god Saturn, the god of agriculture and Mithra-Persian god of light) and thereby achieve a more seamless conversion to Christianity for the emperor’s subjects.
It is rather obvious, but most people never give it a second thought. The books of the New Testament cover 30+ years of Jesus Christ’s life, then another 30+ years of the early Church following His death and resurrection, but nowhere do we find any hint of a Christmas celebration or anything remotely like it.
Yes, the Bible does give us quite a few details of His birth the angelic appearance to Mary and then Joseph, the conditions surrounding His birth in Bethlehem. But nowhere in the Bible is there any record of anyone observing Christmas or any hint that God the Father or Jesus Christ expects us to do so. On contrary, Jesus Christ ordered us to remember Him every time we share the supper of the Lord and the Holy Communion (Luke 22:19).
3. The Christmas holiday is largely a recycled pagan celebration.
Again, surprising but true! Read it for yourself in just about any encyclopedia. Consider the customs associated with Christmas. What do decorated evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe, yule logs, a jolly plump man in a fur-lined red suit, sleighs, and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ?
None of these things have anything to do with Him, but they have a lot to do with ancient pagan festivals. And what about this date of Dec. 25? How did it come to be assigned as the supposed date of Jesus Christ’s birth? Historians Gerard and Patricia Del Re explain:
“The tradition of celebrating December 25 as Christ’s birthday came to the Romans from Persia. Mithra, the Persian god of light and sacred contracts, was born out of a rock on December 25. Rome was famous for its flirtations with strange gods and cults, and in the third century, the unchristian emperor Aurelian established the festival of Dies Invicti Solis, the Day of the Invincible Sun, on December 25.
“Mithra was an embodiment of the sun, so this period of its rebirth was a major day in Mithraism, which had become Rome’s latest official religion. It is believed that the emperor Constantine adhered to Mithraism up to the time of his conversion to Christianity. He was probably instrumental in seeing that the major feast of his old religion was carried over to his new faith” (The Christmas Almanac, 1979, p. 17). Dec. 25 was chosen because it was already a popular pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god! Similarly, virtually all of the customs associated with Christmas are recycled from ancient pagan festivals honoring other gods until today.
4. God condemns using pagan customs to worship Him.
God gives specific instruction about using pagan practices to worship Him the exact thing Christmas does! Notice what He says in Deuteronomy 12:30-32: “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. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it”.
And lest some think this is simply an Old Testament command that no longer applies, the apostle Paul makes the same point in 2 Corinthians 6, where he addresses whether unbiblical religious customs and practices have any place in the worship of God’s people:
“What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial (the devil?) Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.
“Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.’ Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Corinthians 7:1).
5. God warns us about the Christmas Tree as a pagan tradition.
The bible warns us in Jeremiah 10:1-4 “Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus, says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an ax by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move”. According to History, the Roman celebration was later added other winter-solstice rituals observed by various pagan groups, such as the lighting of the Yule log and decorations with evergreens by Germanic tribes
Is it not how the Christmas tree is decorated in many Christian houses, churches, offices, and cities? Now Christians substitute Jesus Christ for pagan celebrations of the god Saturn and god Mithra on Dec,25, and many church leaders and Christians around the world continue to accept and partake and observe this cult and pagan rituals.
6. Christmas is worshipping God in vain.
God in His Word sets out many choices for us. Will we do things His way or our own? Will we worship Him as He tells us to, or expect Him to honor whatever religious practices we choose regardless of what His Word says?
It’s always good to ask the question, What would Jesus do? The answer, from the Scriptures, is quite clear as to what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t allow His followers the option of adopting pagan practices in their worship. Since Christmas is a jumble of ancient pagan customs invented by men, and a holiday found nowhere in the Bible, does God honor or accept such worship?
Jesus provides the answer in His stern rebuke of the religious teachers of His day, men who had substituted human traditions and teachings for God’s divine truths and commands: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites. ‘in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).
7. You can’t put Christ back into something He was never in.
Some people admit the many problems with Christmas. But rather than face up to those problems, some assert that we should “put Christ in Christmas instead.” However, it’s impossible to “put Christ back in Christmas” since He never was in Christmas in the first place! He never so much as heard the word “Christmas” during His lifetime on earth, nor did His apostles after Him.
You can search the Bible cover to cover but you won’t find the words “Christmas,” “Christmas tree,” “mistletoe,” “holly,” “Santa Claus” or “flying reindeer.” Putting Christ back in Christmas may sound like a nice sentiment, but it’s really only a misguided effort to try to justify a long-standing human tradition rather than what the Bible tells us we should do.
If you didn’t know, now you know it’s not even Jesus’ true birth date. And even though you know all of this, I can still hear you justifying your celebration of Christmas. I can hear you denying the reasons you should boycott. I can hear you saying, “But our great grandfather…” Ok, and? That’s tradition. Should you not value truth over tradition?