Abandon Christmas? You're going to divide the church!!
9 min Read:
"Pastor! I found out that Christmas is littered with pagan roots and practices! Christians need to know about this!! We have to warn them!" I frantically proclaimed to my trusted minister...
I had just had a recent experience with a fraternal organization I'd rather not name that sent me on the tailspin of my life. In a private meeting, I had become privy to the intentionally pagan practices blended into the holiday that the world unquestionably celebrates yearly as Christmas. This exposure stirred me to test Christmas to the Holy Word of God. It was not hard to find the true roots of how and why Christians celebrate Christmas alongside Atheists and other nonbelievers throughout the world. Even more eye opening, was the fact that Hindu's, Wiccans, and many others revere December 25th to be an important and honored time for their own celebrations. My initial reaction: How do Christians not know that they are worshiping Jesus in the same way and during the same time as other gods are worshiped?? Jesus isn't even born in December!
They must be warned!
Never before had I ever even questioned the celebration of Christmas. I mean, who would need to? Who would even think to question it? Every Christian church around the world honors Jesus' birth on Christmas day! There seemed to be no question that this was the right thing to do as a believer. We are celebrating the birth of our Messiah for crying out loud! Granted, I was a fairly new Christian, but I had been celebrating Christmas since I was a child! Never had I heard any Christians question Christmas. It was known to be a Christian holiday and it was always practiced as a Christian holiday. Why question it?
Besides, I loved Christmas! Everything about Christmas was exciting! From decorating to presents, food to family get-togethers, and traditions to new experiences, Christmas was the most fun time of the year!! I wasn't going to question that anyways! I couldn't imagine missing out on the fun festivities!
At the time, if anyone had even challenged this joyous time of year, and especially if one questioned its validity and honor of Christ, I may have easily laughed and shrugged their concerns aside!! There was no way that such a joyous and happy time of year was a bad thing. Besides, it's all about Jesus! Right?
Wrong. I was wrong. WAY WRONG.
Practically the only thing that Christmas has to do with Jesus, is the mere fact that we shoved Jesus into it.
I know. I was just as shocked and appalled at such a perspective. How dare anyone speak in such away about Jesus' birthday! The fact is, history speaks for itself. If one was to dedicate even a short amount of time to diligent study, they would come to the same conclusion. From Christmas trees to the yule log, from presents under the tree to decking the halls with bells of holly, and from Santa to his cute little elves, it all came from the worship practices of other gods. Almost everything in our Christmas celebrations are traditions and practices that were used and are still used today to worship other gods—and they have been stolen to worship the one true Elohim (God) and his precious Son Yeshua (Jesus). This shook me to say the very least.
At this point in my faith, I had come to learn that our Creator was to be set-apart (Holy). He wants nothing to do with the worship practices of other gods. In fact, he proclaimed to his people to destroy their practices and learn not their ways!
These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that Yehovah, the Elohim of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. You shall not worship Yehovah your Elohim in that way. Deuteronomy 12:1-4
This single piece of Holy Scripture is all that one needs to glean a sound understanding of our Creator's nature and position regarding worship practices of other nations. He hates them. He hates them with all his being. He wants nothing to do with them. Even more so, he wants their ways and their names destroyed and marked off the face of the earth!
"You shall NOT worship Yehovah your God in that way."
There is no room for question. Scripture is clear. If one is serious about finding out how our heavenly Father feels about using any other form of worship not set-apart by Him, they can find the answer in scripture. Believers are only to worship Yehovah in the way he has commanded us. We are not to worship him in any way that any other person worships their gods.
It does not matter what it means to us, it only matters what it means to him.
With this scriptural understanding already implanted by my personal studies and the detailed sermons I had been exposed to, there was no doubt that I had to warn my Pastor and friends about the details of Christmas. They would want to know and would know what to do about it!
"Sean Sean Sean, relax. I know about this. You do not need to worry. Christmas has been redeemed by the blood of Christ." My Pastor happily replied. "What? Redeemed? What do you mean?" I questioned...
My Pastor already knew about this?? I didn't understand. This did not make any sense. If my Pastor already knew that Christmas was stuffed with pagan things, then why are we still using them to worship our Messiah? I had heard him preach sound sermons that clearly taught the church not to worship God the way the heathens did. My Pastor was a sound preacher and preached straight from the Word! But, the scripture is clear! How would he know about this and condone it instead of condemning it? This did not make any sense to me.
After calming me down, he detailed his perspective—but it was not good enough for me. It did not seem to align with what scripture declares. I had been visiting differing churches of different denominations with my friends and colleagues on my search for truth, so I was definitely not going to stop with one opinion. Pastor after Pastor, and perspective after perspective, there was a theme that stood out. They all knew about Christmas' pagan roots! I was shocked more and more each time! How could they all know yet still celebrate Christmas? It just did not make sense to me...at first.
I was not the only one to have brought this to their attention. In fact, many of them learned about this in seminary, which I later did myself. They all defended the practice of Christmas and spoke of the thousands they had seen come to Christ during this time of the year. They all gave similar reasons for why Christians should continue to celebrate the holiday. A common theme stood out among their responses:
Yes, Most Pastors know that Christmas has deep pagan roots and that most of the traditions come from and mimic practices pagan and other religious groups utilize to worship their false gods.
However, many believe what Christ did on the cross has redeemed Christmas, "because he has redeemed all things!" In essence, Christmas had been redeemed by the blood of Christ. His blood has allowed us to redeem and sanctify these practices and honor him. "Besides, Christ is what Christmas is all about!"
But all the defenses in the world couldn't make me start celebrating Christmas again. Scripture is clear. We are not supposed to worship our Father the way the other nations do! All their answers could not keep me from honoring scripture... except one. They each made one extremely vital point that would in fact stop me dead in my tracks.
"If you teach this and endeavor to get Christians to stop celebrating Christmas, you will divide the church. You will lead people away from Jesus. Even though Christmas is rooted in pagan practices, do you want to divide the church and push away believers over something that Christ's blood redeems us for?"
I did not want to divide the church. I by no means wanted to turn people away from the truth—I did not want to turn people away from Jesus Christ! Besides, I had already endured enough flack from my friends and family. They were very angry when I even mentioned that Christmas should not be celebrated. I could tell that this perspective would affect my relationships. Who wants that?? I love my friends and family! So it was easy for me at that time to accept what I considered wise council: Do not divide the church.
I turned to our heavenly Father with this prayer—and I will never forget it. I prayed, "Heavenly Father, I know that you instruct us to listen to wise council. And I recognize that my pastors know much more about the Word than I do. So, I will drop the idea that Christmas should not be celebrated by believers. My friends and family are already upset with me about even bringing it up. More importantly, I do not want to divide the church or go against you. So, I will drop it... However, if I am wrong to drop it, make it known and make it obvious to me. If you really do not want your people to celebrate Christmas, please let me know. Please continue to lead me in truth and in your perfect Word..."
So I dropped it. I even went off to Bible College without really thinking any more about it. Any time it came back up, I brushed it aside and suppressed it. I told God where I stood with it, and I definitely did not want to hurt my relationships with friends and family. They mean the most to me. Of course, by no means did I ever want to become unpopular or disliked by anyone, friend or acquaintance.
So I dropped it and it fell off my radar.
It wasn't until I became deeper and stronger in the Word when I was off at "Bible College" that our Father brought this topic back into focus. It wasn't until I was completely consumed with the Word that our Heavenly Father brought the truth of Christmas back into my life. He made it crystal clear:
You shall NOT worship Yehovah your God in that way.
And he also made something else transparent:
HE is the one that will send his servants to divide the wheat from the chaff, his children from the children of the devil. I was not to hold back truth in fear that it would divide his body. Those that had eyes to see and ears to hear would search the scriptures for the truth themselves. I was only to be concerned with trumpeting his truth founded in his perfect Word. He gave me eyes to see that the real fear that kept people from giving up Christmas to honor God, was rooted in Pastors losing supporting members of the church. Their fear was rooted in a church split, or even worse, the fear that a person would forsake Messiah. But they forget one important thing!
The truth cannot divide a sincerely committed believer or separate them from the Most High! He is Truth! Scripture tells us that the truth is what sets us free!
The reality is, if truth caused someone to walk away from Messiah, were they really a part of God's family to begin with? If someone pushed aside Jesus because a fellow brother or sister encouraged them to test their faith and search the scriptures to ensure that their worship practices aligned with what the Father commanded, did they really love Yeshua to begin with?
Bottom line: If a believer turned away because our Creator taught us not to worship him the same way that others worship their worthless gods... were they even striving to walk in the ways of Messiah?
Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:28-32
Truth no doubt has set me free. Once I started walking boldly in truth, I became more free in Christ. And the truth of his perfect Word has brought me closer than I could ever imagine to my Creator. I quickly discovered that our Father had already given us joyful times of the year and feasts, and they were actually commanded to be celebrated. Yes, our creator commands us to have a good time! However, He has always wanted that joy to be spent with Him in the ways and days that He gave us Himself.
This was just the beginning that opened my eyes to the complete Word of the Most High! Christmas was not what I thought it to be, and I soon came to the realization that I had one choice:
Would I follow the Most High?
Would I fear man and continue practicing things scripture clearly spoke highly against?
I chose to fear God and put Christmas to the test, searching the scriptures to see what they said on the issue.
Scripture is clear, believers should in no way shape or form celebrate Christmas.
But why do all the churches and church pastors continue to revere Christmas?? It became clear: they did not want to divide their church. Mankind is very attached to their traditions. If any pastor, and many have, spoke against Christmas and taught others to obey scripture and walk away from it, they would lose their tithing parishioners. That's the real truth. Many preachers have no problem standing their ground on other biblical issues that push people out of the church, but Christmas is different. It's too obvious what would happen if a Pastor spoke out against Christmas. Just think about how you are feeling right now about this very blog.
The real question to all believers is simple: Have you tested Christmas to the whole of scripture? How does our Creator feel about it? After all, we are striving to please Him, right?
Stay tuned as we will turn to Exodus 32 to see how the Golden Calf is an exact example of why believers should not celebrate Christmas. I guarantee that most of you missed the very same key detail that I too overlooked when I studied this passage. Until next time, be strong in the faith, search the perfect Word diligently, and may we all strive to walk in the same image of our Messiah!
Sean is a former Atheist who was finally awoken to the reality of our Creator—which lead him to the one place he thought he would never step foot: “Bible College.” During his studies, our Heavenly Father flipped his Christian worldview upside down in order to reveal the Whole truth of His perfect Word. As a follower of Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus), Sean encourages believers to deepen their faith, seek the truth, test everything, and be willing to walk in the true image they were created: the image of the Most High and his flawless son.