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Posted: Dec 30 2008, 08:22 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 30-December 08
Christmas: Is It Okay Today?
The general answer I always get on my Christmas beliefs is that it doesn't matter; as long as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, it's good. Or another common answer is that none of the Old Testament rules apply to anyone anymore because Jesus came and removed those from us. Basically, we need to answer this question first: does God ever change? The answer, of course, is no. He's the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This answer alone should have us looking at a question like, "If God doesn't change, then how could His eternal Word change?". This is very important to the topic of Christmas. After reading the history, we'll go into this question and if it is 'Ok' today.
Christmas: The History
History has shown us time and time again that this world hates the Jews and constantly tries to destroy them. During the first century, the Jews were the ones gathering the Gentiles (not too hard to believe; Jesus and all of His disciples were Jews). They were bringing them out of paganism and telling them the one true way for salvation and how to act. As a matter of fact, to learn the true way the early Christians held the church is to read the entire book of Acts. It's the true history of the church, from the start. To convert over the Gentiles, the Pharisees and the council made rules for the Gentiles to begin there transformation. Paul gives us warnings, as well as John, James, Peter, etc.. Anyway, the point is to show you that the Jews (and Gentiles alike) were originally gathering the Gentiles out of exile to restore God's kingdom (Ezekiel 37:19) for the second coming, known to many as the time when Jesus comes back as the King. Keep this in mind for later.
The history of Christmas comes from several, several different pagan things, but all relate to one god: Sol, the Syrian god. Today, we just call this silly god 'the sun'. I'm going to give a brief lesson on this subject, as you can easily just open an encyclopedia to read more about the Christmas origins. Sol was a very popular god among the Romans (and several other countries). The day December 25th is actually called the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or the 'day of the undefeated sun'. On this day, some of the celebrations that went on were gift exchanges, eating of all sorts of foods, making of cookies and such, well, you can get the picture. Christmas (or Christ Mass as it was originally called after it's 'transformation') wasn't brought into effect until around 350 AD. Christianity was growing in popularity, and so the Romans and Greeks wanted a piece of their life. Or did they?
Let's look at how we grew to adopt a pagan holiday and 'Christianize' it (which according to the NT, things without a soul cannot be saved). In 70 AD, the destruction of the Temple came about. In 135 AD, there began a persecution of anyone who was a Jew or Gentile that kept with their biblical roots. Just look up the Jewish Tax around this time. With this in place, we can see that slowly, the church was trying to break away from the roots of God's word, even adapting new days of worship and becoming acceptable to ungodly traditions. Look up these guys: Ignatius and Constantine. Constantine alone said he wanted to rid the world of the Jews and their traditions. Did he succeed? Constantine was considered a Christian Roman Emperor, who kept his pagan title of Pontifex Maximus. Under his Council of Nicea/Iaodicea, he began to do exactly what he said he wanted to do. We adopted Easter, the pagan worship of Ishar (goddess of heaven, goddess of fertility... hello, Easter bunny) as a 'Christian' holiday. We adopted Sunday sabbath, which the name came from the worship of Sol, the same god of Christmas. So did we begat Christ Mass, now know as Christmas, through Christ? We adopted this ritual, changing the 'Sun god' to the 'Son God'. Jesus was the 'undefeated Son' now, instead of Sol. Many early confused Greeks and such thought of Jesus as the God of the gods.
The question is: are the roots of our 'Lord's birth' at all... holy?
This is just some miscellaneous things that go along with the other history. It's important to know more about the roots of the holiday and what was going on back in that time (ie: the removal of anything 'Jewish') that we just adopted pagan rituals. So, some more brief history behind Christmas.
The Christmas tree was probably brought back from the dead in Germany with their love for the evergreen, a tree that brings life, according to many pagan cultures. It wasn't really until the 1900s the Christmas tree was brought onto as a more Western/American tradition. In 1856, it was the first time President Franklin Pierce decided to put one into the White House. So why was it not as popular when the original forefathers came to start this country, or with the Pilgrims? Well, actually, even the original Protestants and Puritans thought Christmas was a wicked pagan holiday. They never accepted it. As a matter of fact, Christmas was banned in several states. How could a new Christian nation ban the celebration of the birth of the Messiah? Could it be that Christmas was controversial, because of all of it's pagan roots? Some of the original newspapers after Christmas was adopted called Christmas the most wicked time of year, with gluttony, greed, and depression. Today, there's more suicides around the time than other holidays. Yet, something as 'holy' as Christmas is taught in the church to be something great and sacred. If something is as sacred as Christmas, wouldn't it be written in the bible like the other holidays?
What Does the Bible Say About Holidays & Customs?
I'm sure the question in the mind would be: "Ok, so? We sanctified Christmas, so it's clean. All those rules in the Old Testament don't apply.". To start, I'd rather stick with what the New Testament has to say. I'll give the verses (please, go read them) and the brief summary, then you do the math.
In Revelations 18:4, we're told to come out of her (Babylon's) lies. Who is Babylon? Biblically, a generic term for anything outside of God's Kingdom. America is a type of Babylon. What lies? How many can I name? Look at the church, it's full of replacement theologies, Halloween celebrations decorated as 'Fall festivals', and greed. This same church tells us what is holy and what is not. But again, ask the question: do I follow religion or Jesus?
Matthew 10:37, Jesus tells us those who love family more than Him is not worthy of Him. If you see some light in the 'Christmas' lies, but are scared of what your family thinks, then you are putting family before God...literally. 1 Corinthians 11:1 & 1 Peter 1:15-16 says to be just like Jesus (WWJD). Did Jesus take a pagan holiday and turn them into His birthday? No. Did Jesus celebrate Easter? No. Did Jesus celebrate the feast from Leviticus? Yes, all of them. Why do we, as the church, ignore those days God gave and make up our own?
1 Corinthians 12:2, 1 Thess 1:7-9 tells us that the Gentiles were turning from all their idols to serve God. Is Christmas about idols? We may not serve the idols, but it is infested with them. The Yule log, the tree, the stars... they're all 'Christianized' idols. Think about it. Christian idols. It's the most oxymoron statement in the world. At least, in the biblical world. Would you have a Buddah statue in the house even if you didn't worship it? No, because it's a false god. These trees and such used to be pagan god symbols, but somehow that's acceptable?
One of the reason we celebrate this day is because of the traditions. A family in Jerusalem probably could care less about this holiday since they haven't followed it. I know this year, the more Christmas is shown, the more I know I'm personally going to miss some of it (mainly, the gifts). I have seen more and more Christians waking up to Christmas, and all of them, their first time not celebrating and celebrating the biblical feast, not man made holidays, are hard on them. My family is pretty upset with me, but I look to a higher power.
As far as traditions, we have a few verses to help guide us as Christians. In Mark 7:5-9, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees about a tradition they have and throwing it in Jesus' face like it was a commandment from God. Basically, Jesus answers the Pharisees that their traditions should never interfere with what God has given. The Pharisees were talking about a tradition in Judaism about washing ones hands before meals, which isn't even a bad tradition. The sin was them judging for not obeying man's law of washing hands. Now, if Jesus was that upset over them keeping a tradition that isn't even a bad tradition, imagine the anger He must feel when we sees the people He died for taking up man made traditions and calling them 'of God'. Another verse on traditions is in Col 2:8, which states to not trick yourself into believing the lies of the world and their traditions. That's exactly what some of you will do after reading this. Ignore this, call it trash. Finally, one of the most powerful verses that is written about traditions is in 1 Timothy 4:7 and 2 Timothy 4:3-4, where Paul talks about people people ignoring the truth and continuing in the 'wives' fables'. The entire original story of Christmas is a giant fable. This holiday we Christianized has always been around. Could Paul have been talking about some of these festivals?
1 John 4:1 says to test the spirits of things. We are told how to test the spirits, but we thinks it's our 'sixth sense' with the Holy Spirit that allows us to test them. Biblically, we test spirits by checking into things, rightly dividing things with the Holy Spirit, of course. Seriously, the verse alone tells you to look into the things you do. If we look into what Christmas was originally about, do we see anything of God in it? Instead, we find racism and hatred to bring forth a pagan holiday into our religion. It's pretty disgusting to me.
Going back to traditions, there's a verse where a new convert is told to drop everything if he's to continue his walk with Christ (Acts 19:24+).A blacksmith is making idols for a certain holiday. He says it would be too hard to not celebrate this day and make things on this day since it's the busiest time of the year (hmmm...) and he won't be able to make it without it. It's funny because in history, Christmas was celebrated during this time as another holiday and was a really busy holiday for gift giving (thanks to the god of Saturn). Corporate leaders around American call Christmas the busiest time of year. In fact, this is the time they make the most money. As we've seen, Paul went around into these Roman and Greek areas. Could they be referring to the original 'Christmas' holiday of the worship of Sol?
To sum up everything with the New Testament before I give a few great Old Testament Scriptures, we look again to Paul's writings. In Romans 12:2, he tells us the we should be refrained from the world and reformed in the Spirit. Paul is a very, very deep writer. I'd actually tell people to stay away from his writings until you really know what he's talking about (2 Peter 3 talks about this... he's a good but confusing writer to those who are untaught in the roots). However, there are things you can pull from his letters that make perfect sense. Remember, Paul was a Pharisee and he had a deep Jewish background, meaning he was very familiar with Judaism and wrote things that are hard for people just to understand. In other words, he was deep and wrote with deep meanings! My favorite verse that just basically proves, through the New Testament, that Christmas is not something for followers of Christ, comes from Romans 11:16. It flat out says the roots (origins) of something we do should be clean (not plagued with paganism). I don't know how you argue for Christmas with that verse.
Now, who would be planting seeds into our church? Who would come as an angel of light to lead us away from God with such a 'good' holiday? A holiday that puts millions of families in debt each year? The spirit of the Antichrist is a good answer. In Daniel 7:25, the Antichrist (or his spirit) will begin to change the customs, laws, and festivals (holidays) that God already gave. Our church has taken any holiday that God gave us and labeled them of old or Jewish. Wow, how dead on Daniel 7:25 is. But now for some fun, Old Testament verses.
Deut 12:29-32: Do not worship God how the pagans do!
Deut 13:6-8: Even if family is following something, don't do it!
Jeremiah 7:17-19: A holiday for the goddess of heaven (this is another holiday known as Easter but it still has a lot of useful information about holidays and God)
Jeremiah 10:1-5: This is so obviously a Christmas tree. Now, you'll notice, it says the 'House of Israel'. I've done months and months of studies over this house. Guess who this house is: Christianity and Judaism. This is for anyone that is of God. I dare anyone to say this isn't an old version of Christmas, right there in the bible. What's funny, is reading this, Christians will still claim, "Nah, not the same thing...".
When Do We Celebrate His Birth Then?
Easy answer: on Jesus' real birthday. Or how about everyday? Jesus obviously was not born on December 25. By looking into the Gospels (namely just looking at the birth written in Luke), you can easily see the birth was more than likely around Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. (For more information on this, please message me and I'll provide accurate notes that show you straight from Luke) What better way for Jesus, the Tabernacle inside us, to be born on the Feast of Tabernacles? This is around the middle of October. By reading the New Testament and Paul's letters about the unleaven bread of new for the festivals, we understand that we are to celebrate these days withe Jesus in mind. Throw a happy birthday to Jesus on His day, not just some day the original Catholics decided to pick. Not that all Catholics are bad, but are you following Jesus at that point, or a religion?