I watched a video recently that used a lot of Scripture to show that Christ couldn’t possibly be pleased by our celebrations of Easter and Christmas. The man narrating the video actually had compelling evidence. I always thought that people who propounded this idea were killjoys who didn’t believe in having liberty in Christ. But I don’t have my ears plugged. I’m not threatened by listening to people who believe the opposite of what I believe. I actually like it. That’s because I like thinking. And I want to grow. Stagnation is boring. And God is bigger than anything I could ever have in my mind. If I’m wrong, I want to know.
The fact that Spurgeon, Martin Luther, and the Puritans all believed the Christmas celebration was morally wrong is astonishing. I’ve read over a hundred of Spurgeon’s sermons, and I have grown spiritually through his writings for years. For one of my spiritual mentors to poo-poo Christmas causes me to pause for a moment.
So I actually gave it a chance. I listened. One of the Scriptures used was, “You shall not worship Me in this way,” referring to the golden calf that the Israelites worshiped, which supposedly represented the real God. The Israelites were worshiping the true God in the way that they felt like, with pagan junk. But God didn’t want to be worshiped that way. He was wounded. The Spirit of the Lord was upon Moses, and Moses (through the Spirit) was so furious about this that he smashed the precious 10 Commandments.
In other words, we shouldn’t do things just because we feel like doing them in a certain way. We shouldn’t do them because “our ancestors have always done it this way.” Throwing pagan junk into our worship of the Christ child at Christmas — why would that not wound the heart of God in the same way?
Then I had weird flashbacks from the religion classes I took in college. I studied all the major religions, and sometimes when I was reading for the religion classes, the Holy Spirit grieved in me. I felt a crushing pain in my chest and actually wept as I read some of the sacred writings of other cultures. One day when I was reading Ezekiel, I saw (in my mind) people wailing for Tammuz, and parents burning their children in fire to appease the gods. When God showed Ezekiel what the Jewish leaders were doing in the temple, God’s heart was grieved. God was hurting. My soul is often knit to the heart of God so closely that I feel what He feels. I was actually on the floor sobbing because of the spiritual pain I felt through the Spirit.
And this was the exact same Tammuz mentioned in the video, which is why I give it credence. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to do things in a pagan way. I just don’t. I don’t give a flip about what everyone else is doing. I want to please God. He is my master and Lord. Who the heck cares about anything else?”
The video went on to say that Christmas trees were Asherah poles or phallic symbols. After watching the video, I talked to my husband about it, and he burst out laughing that a Christmas tree could possibly be a phallic symbol. “That’s ludicrous,” he said. After speaking at length to my best friend Christie (who has studied God’s Word for over 30 years), this was her reaction, “Regarding a Christmas tree being an Asherah pole, that is non-sense. If you buy that, you have to agree that God scattered Asherah poles all over the mountains!”
My husband said that Christmas was actually a success story for Christianity because the nativity is at the center. People sing about Christ coming to earth. And we can proclaim the gospel this time of year because Christ is lifted up everywhere. I don’t think it’s a sin to give presents to each other. And who says a tree has to be evil? God made the fir tree. It’s God’s, not Satan’s.
My husband said that the other Scriptures mentioned applied to actual killing of children, fornication, and other idolatrous practices, none of which we observe.
The video went on to mention that celebrating Jewish traditions is much more biblical. I love the idea of celebrating Passover and other celebrations that Jesus, the Son of God, observed because the Jews had been commanded by God to observe them. God is not stupid. He must have had a reason for giving the command to celebrate these traditions.
On the other hand, we shouldn’t feel that Jewish traditions are a requirement for Christians. Paul was furious at Peter for putting the traditions of the Jews onto the new Christians. (Acts 15:10-11, 28-29) Paul knew that the Holy Spirit didn’t want Peter to do this, and a church council met in Jerusalem over it. Peter repented of his sin, and now we have freedom in Christ NOT to do Jewish traditions.
So what’s the final verdict? My husband and I are celebrating Christmas, because we celebrate the birth of our Redeemer. We focus our minds on Christ, and why He came to earth. We teach our children to honor Christ, and we magnify Him in our hearts as we sing the Christmas songs. And that’s what matters.
“One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord…” (Romans 14: 5-6)Tweet