|As in all our research within this site we try to give views that are Biblical sound. Each of us is accountable to God for our choices. You must desern through prayer and the Holy Spirits guidence.It is not in the word..Christmas but in the “heart of it all”…love. This ministry has written a “Christmas” story call Wise men and women still seek him. I invite you to visit the page, it is this sites statement about ‘Christmas”. [ It is found on the programs page]
Over the last two millennia, traditional Christianity has systematically laid aside the “feast days of the Lord” and established its own holidays. Christmas was established to enable pagan converts to come into church fellowship without forsaking their heathen customs and practices. Easter is a replacement for the biblical Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. Even the weekly Sabbath was abandoned in favor of Sunday, supposedly to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection (which, as we demonstrated earlier, did not take place on Sunday morning).
Although we should immediately recognize that overruling God’s instructions is dangerous behavior, let us consider, from the biblical record, whether such humanly designed inventions and alterations are acceptable worship to our Creator God.As creatures of habit, we can find ourselves following traditions that are contrary to God’s instructions. Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ pointed out that a devoutly religious group, the Pharisees, was in just such a situation. Christ told them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men … All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).Just proclaiming that something is Christian does not make it so. No matter what our traditions have been or what rationalizations our reasoning may employ, the Bible is clear that we must follow our Creator’s directions on His days and forms of worship.In Colossians 2:8 the apostle Paul warns, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”Similarly, one of the last messages in the Bible reveals this warning for people caught up in a great worldwide system that established itself in opposition to God: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).We have a choice. We can choose the feast days instituted by God or the holidays substituted by men. The choices we make affect our destiny and impact our relationship with our Creator.
Is Christmas a Sin?
Some Christians believe that Christians should not observe Christmas. Some object to the commercialism of the holiday; others object to its origins. In order to understand this subject, it is helpful to trace some of the history of Christmas avoidance, particularly its roots in Puritanism.The Puritans believed that the first-century church modeled a Christianity that modern Christians should copy. They attempted to base their faith and practice solely on the New Testament, and their position on Christmas reflected their commitment to practice a pure, scriptural form of Christianity. Puritans argued that God reserved to himself the determination of all proper forms of worship, and that he disapproved of any human innovations even innovations that celebrated the great events of salvation. The name Christmas also alienated many Puritans. Christmas meant “the mass of Christ.” The mass was despised as a Roman Catholic institution that undermined the Protestant concept of Christ, who offered himself once for all. The Puritans’ passionate avoidance of any practice that was associated with papal Rome caused them to overlook the fact that in many countries the name for the day had nothing to do with the Catholic mass, but focused instead on Jesus’ birth. The mass did not evolve into the form abhorred by Protestants until long after Christmas was widely observed. The two customs had separate, though interconnected, histories.As ardent Protestants, Puritans identified the embracing of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the early 300s as the starting point of the degeneration and corruption of the church. They believed the corruption of the church was brought on by the interweaving of the church with the pagan Roman state. To Puritans, Christmas was impure because it entered the Roman Church sometime in this period. No one knows the exact year or under what circumstances Roman Christians began to celebrate the birth of their Lord, but by the mid-300s, the practice was well established.No evidence exists that the Christian leaders who began this practice consciously wanted to compromise with paganism. They may simply have wanted to celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, modern scholars generally agree that the date they chose for Christmas was influenced by a pagan celebration on or about that same date honoring the “Invincible Sun.” Consequently, some customs unrelated to the birth of Jesus that commonly characterize modern Christmas celebrations were also present in pre-Christian pagan celebrations. This syncretistic character of most forms of Christmas celebration was enough for Puritans to avoid the holiday as a compromise with the pure exercise of Christian faith.
The New England culture was permeated with Puritan values. As late as 1847, no college in New England had a Christmas holiday. The fact that anti-Christmas sentiment exists among some groups originating in New England should not be surprising. However, there are today no churches that call themselves Puritans. Yet their theological descendants Presbyterians, Congregationalists and many Baptists remain. Gone, except among their most conservative offspring, is any concern about Christmas.
The central issue regarding Christmas observance is this: How much freedom do Christians have in the new covenant, either individually or as a church, to express their faith, worship and thanks toward Christ in forms not found in the Bible? Are Christians ever free to innovate in worship? May church leaders establish special days to celebrate the great acts of salvation?
Devout Christians sometimes confuse ancient forms with modern substance. “Once pagan, always pagan” is the way some people reason. They may admit the transforming power of Christ for people, they deny it for customs and traditions. Yet many of the practices God approved for ancient Israel had previously existed in paganism. Temples, priests, harvest festivals, music in worship, circumcision and tithing all had ancient pagan counterparts. God transformed these customs into a form of worship devoted to him. Even the sun, universally worshipped as a god by pagan cultures, God used to symbolize an aspect of the Christ (Malachi 4:2).
Jesus taught, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24). Too often, Puritan criticism of Christmas was based on outward appearances and a strong anti-Catholic perspective. When Israel added Hanukkah and Purim to its religious calendar events that celebrated God’s saving acts in Jewish history these were acceptable to God. So, too, was the addition of the synagogue itself and its traditions. Examples such as these have led many Christians to conclude that the church also has the freedom to add to its calendar festivals that celebrate God’s intervention in human affairs, such as the birth of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus.Unless we are to conclude that celebrating Christ’s arrival as God in the flesh is a bad thing, its celebration on what was once a pagan holiday is irrelevant. Christians who keep Christmas are not pagans. They do not worship nor regard pagan gods. They honor Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.It is true that certain customs attached to December 25 are practiced in a pagan spirit by many people. But a truly Christian observance of Christmas does not include drunkenness, fornication, carousing or any other conduct unworthy of saints. No one knows the exact date of Jesus’ birth. But this lack of knowledge does not diminish the value of celebrating his birth, any more than not knowing when Christ will return diminishes the value of celebrating his return. It is not a sin to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. After all, his entrance into the world was a cause of great rejoicing and celebration, because it made possible human reconciliation to God. At his birth people who loved God rejoiced in praise, and even the angels sang for joy (Luke 1:46-2:38). Love motivates many Christians to celebrate Christmas. They love their Savior and they love their families. Christmas provides an opportunity for them to express both. To harshly judge those who choose to practice their faith in this spirit of devotion conflicts with many New Testament principles. The fact that non-Christians or even some Christians celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday or in a profane way is not a reason to avoid Christmas any holiday can be misused. The problem is not the date, but the behavior, we should express love everyday. Some may choose not to celebrate, and we hope that Christians who celebrate Christmas and those who do not are both seeking to honor Jesus Christ (Romans 14:5-6).
| ROME…..the influence of pagan practices?
Pagan Holidays From Saturnalia to Christmas By: Minister Charles A. Johnson III Deuteronomy 12:29-32
29. When he destroys the nations in the land where you will live,
30. don’t follow their example in worshiping their gods. Do not ask, `How do these nations worship their gods?’ and then go and worship as they do!
31. You must not insult the Lord your God like that! These nations have done horrible things that he hates, all in the name of their religion. They have even roasted their sons and daughters in front of their gods.
32. Obey all the commandments I give you. Do not add to or subtract from them.
Jeremiah 10:1-5 (King James Version)
1 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel : 2 Thus saith 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. 3For 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 axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. It should be very clear from reading the above Sacred texts that our Lord God hates the religious customs of the heathen. The Lord God calls their religious practices abominations on many occasions throughout the Bible. God hates the religious worship of the heathen so much, that He commanded the children of Israel to purge the promised land of all traces of their religious worship when Israel came to take that land. The seven nations that the Lord droveout of the land of Canaan before Israel had to have their idolatrous religious systems completely destroyed. This included the destruction of their altars, the breaking down of their images, the burning of their graven images with fire, and the cutting down of their groves. (Sacred trees) This record is found in Deuteronomy 7:1-6.
The point here is that the Lord hates the religious customs of the heathen, and commanded His People not to adopt these practices in worship of the One True God. The Lord gave His commandments, and these were not to be added to. These were not to be taken from. As we all know this will of God is not always obeyed. Throughout history, this will of God was ignored.
That willful disobedience is very obvious when we examine Christmas celebration and its history. From the date selection of December 25, to the decorated trees, Santa Claus, the hanging of wreaths, mistletoe, gift giving, merry making, commercialism, drinking and wild parties (revelry), several of the songs and carols, the Yule log, the decoration lights, the holly, etc., Christmas celebration is the modern day incarnation of ancient sun worship. None of the above religious superstitions are found anywhere in your Bible.
This Bible study will prove that Christmas has pagan origins. This is a fact admitted by everyone who has ever studied the history of the holiday and studied the Bible. This minister will quote historical sources, sources from the Roman Catholic Church, and most important of all, quote the Bible, to prove that Christmas is a pagan holiday and all Spiritual Christians should abstain from pagan religious celebrations. They are the sin of idolatry.
Most Bible students already know that Christmas has pagan roots. They have read Jeremiah 10:1-5 and have seen a mirror of the Christmas tree condemned as a pagan custom in that text. They have read in the Old Testament about the pagan worship of the groves, groups of sacred trees planted around an altar, which were decorated to honor the gods they represented. Many of these know and still celebrate Christmas.
They do so because it is their opinion that there is nothing wrong with adopting pagan religious celebrations and christianizing them to worship God with. These believe that if they dont think that an idol is an idol in their own mind, then it is fine to bring that idol into the house, decorate it, sing songs about it, all the while praising God for the birth of Jesus!
What do we make of such warped logic, people of God? Well it is the effort of this Bible study to prove that the Church of Jesus Christ is to abstain from all pagan religious celebrations. The Bible will show you that we are not to christianize customs invented by the heathen to worship devils, and then use these same customs to worship the One True God. This is what God was trying to communicate to His People in Deut. 12:29-32.
CHRISTMAS IS AN INVENTION OF THE CATHOLICCHURCH
The first error in Christmas celebration has to do with the word Christmas itself. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the word Christmas is composed of two words, Christ and mass, and it is in fact a word for the holy day which is the celebration of the mass of Christ. Did you get that?
The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131.
(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Christmas, The origin of the word)
The word Christma itself is an attempt to join the Holy Name of Christ with mass, a false doctrine of the Catholic Church! Now maybe you can understand why I prefer to write X-mas instead of Christmas. The holy and the profane must be separated, as the Lord also says. The Name of Christ should never be attached to a false doctrine. His Name is holy!
An honest student of church history will admit that the Catholic Church made many compromises with the pagan religions of Rome. Christmas was only one of her unholy fusions, combining Bible Truth with Pagan lies and mysteries. The Scripture teaches that light has no fellowship with darkness.
The Catholic Church absorbed many of the Roman pagan religious holy days and festivals, such as the Saturnalia, into Christianity in the form of several new holy days for Christians to celebrate. It is admitted that these holy days (holidays) were not in the Bible. Nevertheless they were added.
There was the Roman Saturnalia, celebrated from December 17th to December 23rd, in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture and sowing. Then there was December 25th, the birthday of the sun god Mithras (Persian), or Sol Invictus (Roman). This holy day corresponded to the winter solstice on the Julian calendar. This feast was known as Natalis Invicti. Here is a quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia about this December 25th pagan feast.
Natalis InvictiThe well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.
(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Christmas, The origin of the date)
The pagan religious customs of the Roman Saturnalia are the origin of almost all of the traditional Christmas celebration. The date itself is taken from the sun gods birthday celebration on December 25. The Roman Catholic Church made this merger of religions, and out came this Christmas, a mixture of good and evil. Here are some sources on the historical development of Christmas and its relationship to the Roman Saturnalia.
In fact, the winter solstice or Brumalia, by now the feast of Mithras and the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus), had been associated with the birth of Jesus in 354 AD by Bishop Liberius of Rome. This move had been made to accommodate the new doctrine the new feast of Christs mass at the winter solstice was exported to Constantinople in 379 AD, and in 506 AD the Law Book of Alarich designated it as a public holiday. As we have seen, in the time of Constantine, the new faith of Christianity was taken to be similar to that of the Unconquered Sun, whose feast day, together with that of Mithras, was also at the winter solstice.
The name of Saturnalia died out, but its celebrations, such as decking houses with evergreens, giving presents and feasting, were attached to Christmas.
(A History of Pagan Europe, The Roman Empire, The Legacy, p. 76)
The Roman Saturnalia was one of the most popular holiday seasons in the history of the great empire. The businesses were closed and the schools let out in honor of this occasion. The legal courts let out and criminal punishments were postponed. Wars ceased for this season.
It was a time of merry making, and doing good deeds toward people. It was a time of gift giving. It was a time to visit friends. Reads a lot like the Christmas spirit of today, does it not? You can now see the true origin of the Christmas spirit. The Christmas spirit has its origin in paganism!
Though the Romans celebrated the Saturnalia festival annually for many years, eventually it was absorbed into Christianity as the Catholic holiday of Christmas. Many of the festivities and customs of the Roman Saturnalia, such as the celebrations, cheerfulness, lighting of the candles and giving of gifts, prove that Christmas is a pagan invention of the Catholic Church.