I just got done reading the article on your website about Christmas Traditions. How come the church does not stand up and say that they will no longer participate with the world in the celebration of Christmas? I found on another site (that I just happened to come across while looking for the origins of Christmas) an urgent message for Christians to not participate in the worship or tradition of Christmas. Can you please offer your views on this, and if you disagree, then why post an article like this?
That article is trying to expose the origins of Christmas traditions, so that Christians were made aware of what they were doing as we celebrated Christmas. We as Christians realized that we live in a fallen world, and that much of what is around us is pagan, or of pagan origin. Even the name "Sunday" is derived from the Latin "dies solis", "sun's day," the name of a pagan Roman holiday, yet we use that term all the time, evening referring to "Sunday worship" or "Sunday services"--now, we know that we do not worship the Sun, but are simply using a word from our society that happens to have pagan roots.
In Acts, the Apostle Paul boards a ship, and makes a statement, "After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux" [Acts 28:11]. These two gods, were suppose to be brothers who supposedly protected sailors. Obviously Paul knew that they were nothing but blocks of carved wood, and would have no effect on his journey. Yet he still boarded the ship despite that it had the false gods on it's bow.
Christmas is not Christ's birthday, nor are we ever commanded to honor or celebrate His birth. Yet our culture has chosen this as an annual holiday, and it becomes much like any other national holiday for the Christian. We do not sin by putting up Christmas trees, lights, buying presents, etc. We know the true meaning, and use this national celebration to share some truth about who Christ really is, and why His birth is significant to the human race. We are in no way honoring any pagan god by using the day or the props set apart for that. If a Christian chooses not to celebrate Christmas then that is fine, but if they do it is also fine.
I believe the second paragraph in the article tells Christians to be careful not to get "caught up" in the Christmas traditions and therefore offend God, like maybe Santa Claus (lying to your children), or making it too big of a celebration.
I just read an article by a pastor that may help clarify this even further:
The following is by Don Fortner-
"Without fail, at this time every year, I receive numerous letters, pamphlets, and tracts denouncing the evils of Christmas as a pagan religious holiday. I fully agree that no believer should ever observe pagan religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. We must never incorporate pagan customs into the worship of our God.
We must not observe any religious holiday. We should attach no spiritual, religious significance to any day. Yet, we do not need to act like super-pious religious idiots over a day that has absolutely no religious significance. I would never teach a child that such a thing as Santa Claus exist, or that Christ was born on Christmas day. But, as Paul said concerning idols, Santa Claus is nothing and Christmas is nothing.
Did you know that every DAY of the week, every PLANET in the universe, and many of the CARS we drive are named after pagan gods? Yet, we still call Sunday Sunday, Mars Mars, and a Saturn a Saturn. No one would ever dream of calling us pagans for doing so. We worship our God on Sunday, and would laugh at anyone who suggested that we observe the pagan Roman holiday called "Sun's Day" in doing so. If your car is a Saturn, use it for the glory of God; and laugh at anyone who thinks that you are worshipping the Roman god of agriculture by driving it.
We must not, and I trust do not, worship Christmas trees and lights, or even attach spiritual significance to Christmas day. However, I do suggest that we seize this opportunity afforded us by Divine providence to tell people who Christ is, why he came into this world, what he did, and how they may obtain his salvation. It is no accident that once every year every human being in the world is confronted with the fact that the Son of God assumed human flesh and came into the world to save men.
Certainly, no one can think that it is wrong for believers, during this season of the year, to express thanks and praise to God for his unspeakable gift, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is never wrong, but always right to think of him, speak of him, and sing his praise. Rather than not singing Watts' grand old hymn, Joy To The World, we ought to sing it year round.
While I loathe the religiosity of this holiday season, the silly plays, the idolatrous pictures and representations of Christ and the angels of God, and pretense of spirituality by people who have no interest in the glory of God, I am delighted for this season of the year (for any season) that brings families together, encourages kindness and good will, and promotes thoughtfulness of and generosity to others. It is perfectly all right to exchange gifts with and send cards to family and friends. (I cannot imagine a reason for anyone objecting to that!) But I suggest that each of us find a way to acknowledge and do something special for someone from whom we expect nothing, maybe even from someone from whom we expect abuse. "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:
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