I thought that I was finished exploring Christmas in light of scripture, and then I came across a three part series on Sermon Audio. Of course, I don’t agree with everything discussed in these messages, but as a whole they bring up some great points. I’m sharing them below.
Christmass Condemned by Christ Part 1
Christmass Condemned by Christ Part 2
Christmass Condemned by Christ Part 3
After listening to Part 3 of this sermon series, I began to see that (although unknowingly), when we celebrate Christmas, we actually are questioning the sufficiency of scripture. Christmas is not found in scripture anywhere. Now before you call me a hyper-literalist, please hear me out. In Leviticus 23, the LORD appointed the festivals/feasts that His people were to observe before Christ came to earth. God Himself appointed His Holy Days. He did not leave this up to the authorization of man.
We do not have liberty in Christ to create our own feasts/festivals/Holy Days as if we were God. (Christmas was created as a sacred celebration in the Roman Catholic Church. Sacred celebrations are up to God alone to ordain).
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
Jesus is now our high priest. Has He authorized the celebration of Christmas? No. He alone has the right to do so. When we celebrate Christmas, are we saying that God’s Word isn’t enough?
From man’s fall in Eden, Satan and man have distorted this earth. Did the New Testament church institute Christmas? No. The corrupt Roman Catholic church did.
The sufficiency of Christ and His Word to rule us in matters of faith and worship is at stake if we celebrate Christmas. To celebrate Christmas is to directly attack the sufficiency of Christ and His Word. It is to make ourselves wiser than God.
Okay, now onto how our family plans on celebrating (or not celebrating) this coming holiday season.
I love the decorations and festivities of the Christmas season. At the beginning of my study, I was wondering Will I need to give that up in order to be pleasing to Christ? I don’t think necessarily so.
Although in scripture we are not told to remember Christ’s “birth”, we are commanded to remember His death and ascension. It is through the cross that we have hope in eternal life! This should be in our minds always. While praying as to how our family can remember Christ’s sacrifice during the winter season, and I was lead to Isaiah 1:16-18:
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil, Learn to do good;
Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Through they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”
Praise God that Christ has come and washed our sins as white as snow! These verses will be key in our home over the next few months as we worship our Lord and Savior, and remember His sacrifice. They will become the memory verse in our homeschool, and I plan on designing a pretty printable with this verse on it to highlight our décor.
As far as decorations go? We will be decorating for winter, just as I do for fall. The color white and snow will be our theme. Snowflakes, snowmen, woodland animals, etc. will be my focus.
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I will make the place of My feet glorious.
We will decorate with white lights as well, since Jesus is the light of the world. Basically, when I look at a decoration, I will think, is this something that I can leave out all winter? If the answer is yes, it stays, if the answer is no, it goes. (No traditional Christmas decorations, stockings, Santa Clause, Merry Christmas signs, Happy Birthday Jesus signs, etc.) No presents under the tree either.
Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God And have scattered your favors to the foreign gods under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,‘ declares the Lord.
Any winter decorations I have will stay in place until March!
What about presents?
I honestly researched different holidays around this time frame so that we could possibly still participate in some manner, ha! The thought of not giving my children anything on Christmas used to hurt my heart.
This year, we are celebrating the Biblical Feasts without giving any thought to Christmas. Hooray!
In matters of faith and worship, I believe wholeheartedly that man should not decide what is best without the direct teaching of scripture. Christmas is a matter of faith and worship. But what if we “divorced” the holiday customs from Christ…would that be okay?
Celebrating Holiday Customs without Calling It “Christmas”
Honestly, this was my first thought when conviction really set in. I believe that this can be done to an extent, but the line can get blurry as to what is acceptable, and what isn’t. My main problem with this holiday is the taking of pagan/idol worshipping customs and putting Christ’s name on them. I believe that most of the customs can be done with a clear conscience since they have long lost their pagan connotations. A few things that I would definitely advise against would be:
The concept of “Santa Clause” has evolved from many different cultures throughout time. The roots of Santa are not only grounded in Saint Nicholas as you might have heard in the past.
I would also like to touch on another one of Santa’s names, Kris Kringle. For example, Santa sings these words in the well-loved classic, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
“Jingle, jingle, jingle. You can hear those sleigh bells ring. I am old Kris Kringle. I’m the king of jingling.”
The name Kris Kringle is derived from the word Christkind, who is Austrian and German gift-giver, and means “Christ Child.” I find this to be blasphemous to our Lord and Savior’s name. Kris Kringle is also the main character’s name in the film, Miracle on 34th Street.
If you tell your children that there is in fact a “Santa Clause,” you are being dishonest. No matter if you are playing “Santa” in good fun, it is being deceitful, which the Lord commands us not to be. Also, if you say that Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are real, why should they believe you when you tell them that Jesus Christ is real?
Please be mindful of Christmas Carols that do not teach the truth of our Savior’s birth. For example in The First Noel, it is stated that shepherds were keeping their sheep, “on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.” Is this scriptural? No. What about the songs that talks about three wise men? Scripture talks about three gifts, but never mentions how many magi gave them.
Friends, this is how human tradition gets entangled with scriptural truth.
We are taking the stance that in all things, we should glorify God.
…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
I hope and pray that this series has been a blessing to you. If this is the only post you have read about this topic and are feeling some conviction, please take the time to read the other posts noted at the beginning of this one. I might share some winter homeschooling resources with you all before too long. Also, there is an article which I’ve been sent many times over the last few weeks as to why the celebration of Christmas is good. If I find the time I would love to dive into the article, and share why I believe most of it isn’t about seeking God’s truth.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
We must worship Him in truth, and not according to human tradition.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
32 thoughts on “The Sufficiency of Scripture and What Next? Part 5 of our Christmas Series”
I think for us, dealing with extended family expectations (all of whom attend church) about what Christmas celebrations entail in terms of gift giving, etc, would be the trickiest if we were to change things in our family. The only times that my mother-in-law gives gifts to her grandchildren are Christmas and their birthdays – and there are 5 other children as well as ours on that side of the family. Also, every second year my husband’s two brothers go away to stay with their in-laws so we have our family gathering on another day either just before or around New Year – BUT we still have to have a meal with my husband’s parents on Christmas Day as well because apparently you can’t NOT do something on December 25!
I have already purchased all of the gifts for my children and nieces and nephews so we will continue with that aspect for this year at least. My children are only 4 and 2, And I tell them that Santa is a game some people play at Christmas and that their presents come from mummy and daddy. I encourage them to think more about giving than receiving because God sent his Son as the greatest gift ever. I will most likely scale back on decorations, giving consideration to what might be pagan.
I should mention that we live in Australia, and it either irritates or amuses me (depending on my mood!) that there are snowflakes and snowmen everywhere in the shopping centres and Christmas cards even though it’s stinking hot! We enjoy our long Summer school holidays in Australia beginning mid-December and extending through til the end of January, so for many Australians Christmastime is synonymous with swimming and family beach holidays. Supermarkets tend to advertise fresh seafood and salads for Christmas fare alongside the traditional turkey and fruit cakes. We are a very multicultural and increasingly secular society here in Sydney and even our Muslim neighbours’ children seem to be given presents from Santa.
So, after all of my confused random thoughts about Christmas, any ideas for a Summer celebration?
Oh my, I’m not sure if I would be very good at thinking of any ideas for Summer celebrations! 🙂 We have the fourth of July here in the U.S., but of course that wouldn’t apply to you. Blessings to you as you discern what is best for your family!
I do find it ironic you choose to not celebrate Christmas, but yet want to support Disney World with all the characters, and prince and princesses, and not to mention all their anti-God propaganda.
Please do share why you do support them.
Sure thing. 🙂 First of all I’m not sure why it’s ironic. My main problem with Christmas is that my Lord and Savior’s name is attached to a holiday with pagan origins and traditions. …take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods…Deuteronomy 12:30-31 The Lord does not want to be worshipped the same way that pagans have worshipped their gods, and I believe Christmas does just that. Also, I believe that in matters of faith and worship, the Bible is our only authoritative guide. Christmas falls into this category.
Disney World has absolutely nothing to do with matters of faith and worship. I do not find anything wrong with characters, princes and princesses, etc. in general. They are not idols to our family. I’m not sure of the anti-God propaganda that you are speaking of. Honestly, the whole world is anti-God, and our family cannot just live under a rock. I am aware of a family planning film they put out in the 70s that I do not approve of, and I know they host an annual homosexual day. Our family would not visit Disney World during this time.
If I find a problem with a Disney film, I remove it. If I feel conviction to remove all things Disney from our household I would definitely do so. For example, I began to feel conviction about The Princess and the Frog due to the voodoo themes involved, so I removed that film from our home. We do not watch any of the teen/tween Disney films or shows, and I dislike princess movies with feminist or disobedient themes where there are not clear consequences for actions. That being said, I have no problem with say, Winnie the Pooh, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, Toy Story, most of the princess movies, etc. Michelle Duggar, who I would say is more strict than our family with media, wrote an entire blog post on their family watching Bambi for movie night, which is a Disney film. http://www.duggarfamily.com/content/home/32954/michelle_duggar_on_life_death_and_the_bambi_problem
Although there is only one true God, and I believe that individuals and families are at different points in their walk with the Lord and in the sanctification process. I did not write these posts to be condemning, but to lay out something that the Lord has spoken to me about. I hope that it is a help to those who are seeking truth on this topic. Maybe the Lord has not lead me to conviction concerning Disney World, but it is to come soon. I really do not know. At this time however, my family can visit Disney World with a clear conscience, and I don’t believe it is dishonoring to God to do so.
Okay I can respect that. For one they have gay parades down Main Street. They also have “gay days”. Where they invite homosexuals to the park and they are also given discounts to local hotels. And Walt Disney himself worked to keep any Jewish people out of the park.
Walt Disney was also a 33 degree freemason. Most of his films have various symbols of freemasonry/satanic occult and there are many hidden sexual symbolic messages in most of if not all movies not to mention sorcery and magic. Which the bible does warn about having any involvement in. I know it is kids movies and it may be thought of as harmless fun…… I used to think this myself btw. But, the holy spirit guided me with the truth about Disney as well and what purpose it really is trying to serve… To get our kids to rebel against Yahweh and join the anti messiah culture of drugs, sex, rock and roll and witch craft. Praise Yah that he spoke to me about this and I with my kids help got rid of our Disney movies and memorabilia. Also one has to admit that Disney does try to get our kids to idolize characters.
I really think you could be spending your time and energy on something more important than this. You don’t have to celebrate anything like the ‘world’ does but you can celebrate in your own way honoring God. We’re to be a light and when I come across stuff like this it just disappoints me…someone who does not know God will not benefit from your stand…they will only think you are weird and want nothing to do with you or your God. Just love people. Love God. Let your light shine. Stop worrying about things that will pass away and focus on eternal. Your kids will benefit from that more then anything else you could ever do, say or think.
I’m sorry that you feel that way, and of course you are entitled to your own opinion. As for me and my house, we believe that when Jesus said that God must be worshipped in truth, He meant it. (John 4:24) I wouldn’t have written about this topic if the Lord hadn’t have laid it on my heart. Believe me, I didn’t want to! As Christians, we are not called to look like the world, or other Christians, but to look to Christ in all things. Blessings to you!
I celebrate Christmas honoring and loving God. He knows my heart. Me and my house also believe what Jesus said. Let’s look at that whole passage….“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”
The truth is people are going to hell and everyday we come into contact with them. How best can we show them Christ?
I just felt really disappointed when I read parts of your blog. Stuff like this is what I battle when I try to share Jesus with my lost friends and neighbors. The lost really think that Christians are weirdos. People are going to hell. HELL – eternity. You’re worried about the world and how it can influence you and you’re family but are you really then trusting God when you totally separate yourself from it? We are not to be the same as the world but we are supposed to be part of it and a light in it. That is what Jesus did. Jesus would be on the street with the homeless and prostitutes. If we’re only hanging around other Christians how can we shine? Do we just ‘out do’ each other as to who is following scripture the best?
I am not looking to the world, or other Christians, I am looking to Christ and in Him I have and experience freedom, forgiveness, acceptance, love, peace, healing and so much more. I don’t need to worry about Christmas and it’s origins. I am celebrating the King of Kings! I am celebrating the Prince of Peace! I do this ALL year…but I LOVE that in spite of what the world is doing I can let my light shine at Christmas time that much brighter.
Elly, let me just ask you this. Are you honoring God the way He would like to be honored, or the way you would like to honor Him? There is a difference. I’m not trying to get into a deep theological discussion here, but if the Lord lays something on my heart I will share it. This was laid on my heart, and I hope and pray Jesus is all over it! Jesus is my everything. You seem afraid that Christianity might look “weird” to non-Christians, and therefore we must conform to look like the lost…to me that is not how we are to live. We must remember that our hearts are deceitful, and we must look to God’s Word, His truth when we live our lives. As far as the lost…I believe that God is completely sovereign in everything, including man’s salvation. I believe that the Bible says that He chose a people in Christ before the world began! I find such peace in this, that He has got everything under control. Now missions and reaching the lost is so very important, because “how will they know if they don’t hear?” God’s plan to bring His chosen to Him is through the preaching and sharing of His Word. If you are not familiar with reformed theology, you might not understand my stance, and that’s okay. Maybe through this post, someone will see the “Faith in Jesus Christ” link above, and they will be lead to Christ through that if God wills. I don’t know. But I do know that I needed to write this out for those who are seeking answers concerning Christmas, and I don’t feel like it was a waste of my time. Blessings to you and your family!
I am honoring Him the way he should and deserves to be honored. I don’t deserve honor on my own merit but only because of Christ in me. I feel that anything to be glorified is all due to God and that’s who gets any credit for stuff in my life. I am a very simple person. I don’t know a lot of theology but I trust in God daily with my life and His plan for it. I stumble and I suffer trials and temptations but in the end God is with me and He makes a way. He is everything. That’s I guess how I live my life. I don’t love Him and do as much as I should at times and that is were I fail. He deserves so much more then I could fathom but I do believe He is pleased with me. I feel that and know that in my heart. For whatever reason I actually think God led me to your blog and maybe how I think is something God wants someone to consider. You have put a lot of effort into everything you do and you do it well. I believe that if you feel that God laid this on your heart then you should be obedient and do it not matter who says what – including me. I don’t know you but I know you are my sister in Christ and I am happy for that. I pray that God Bless you and the words you share with people. I really do believe that missions and reaching the lost is something we all must do. Reading Shanon’s response I couldn’t agree with her more. I’m not desiring to look like the world. I am desiring to be a light in a dark place…a very dark place. I can’t do that on my own but only with Christ. It’s God’s desire that we all come to Him. He doesn’t want anyone to perish and yes God is sovereign.
I’m sorry Nicole if I said things harshly. If you are led to this then I should not say you are wasting your time. I was wrong to make that statement. I am sad though that people get lost in all this stuff period. I don’t believe in elaborate gift giving and buy into what the world does and I’m not so sensitive to the lost that I don’t make a stand on what the Lord leads me to either. I believe that what’s right is right. Sin is sin. I do stand firm on what I believe. I don’t believe watering down my values is possible or right. I plan on leaving my children with a Godly heritage. I just place a high value on doing that all in love. I have to continually put myself in check though. I don’t know it all. I’m learning more everyday.
This is my background…I grew up in a Christian home, I did all the right things but my family suffered financial hardships in my late teens. My father, a Godly man, was also at very rare times verbally abusive which growing up confused me a lot but I knew God and I knew this wasn’t right. Later when I was married and had my first son he was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer. I won’t go into the details but I had a lot of talks with God and He brought me to and through things I could never imagine. In the end we were told my son would die. God led me to not accept that and never give up. I’m happy to say that God did heal my son and he is an amazing young man. Not because of what doctors did or what I did…but I was obedient to what He called me to and I let Him take control of the situation and He graciously healed my son. So I understand your convictions. Shortly after I took me stand for Christ in a stronger way my husband left me. I was devastated but eventually I knew in my heart that it was because my husband wasn’t ready to live his life for Christ and Satan was trying to destroy him and our family. Those years were hard. Without going into too much God led me to stand for my marriage and pray for my husband. I didn’t always want to, in fact I begged that the Lord would release me from this but I only had peace when I obeyed. My husband came back to the Lord 4 years later and eventually we reconciled. I was ridiculed and mocked by those closest to me because I believed God called me to pray for my husband and restoration but I did it because God impressed it upon my heart to do so. Being obedient to Him is far more important then what anyone else thinks. I am not called to serve man but to serve God. I am benefiting from being obedient, in the process I experienced great peace and love and now I am benefiting by seeing my husband serving Christ and living his life for Him. So that’s were I am coming from. I truly am sorry I said you’re wasting your time and I believe God is teaching me something through this all. Keep following Him and being obedient. I will keep doing the same. Bless you.
Blessings to you and your family as well!
Thank you so much for your kind words Elly!
Ah, this position makes me sad. Even if we choose not to stop celebrating Christmas, I certainly respect Nicole more for her stance. We can all be accused of being hypocrites by the world and taking a hard stand such as this one really reduces hypocrisy in my opinion. Christians aren’t doing enough HARD things at all anymore, and we look like the world. How will that will over the world, when we are just like them? (I write all this knowing we will still being some Christmas things this year but out of respect for those make themselves more above reproach than I do in this area). Secondly though, Christians should be proclaiming the gospel daily. Choosing to abstain in what the world is already doing for one day does not diminish the gospel at all.
Thanks Shannon. I believe I share much of what you think. Please see my response to Nicole. Blessings to you
Hesitantly, I searched out your blog for this post 😉 It has been hard and convicting but I thank you for your series and your time involved. I would be lying if I said I should pray about it; no one should pray about something they already know is hard. I think the hardest things for me is telling our families that meet on Christmas Day and gift giving to them all and by them all. Honestly, we come home each year, ONE DAY of the year, with more presents for our children than they get the rest of the year. That’s just silly. I don’t even know how to briefly explain to people our convictions on this matter without getting too preachy but still “defending” (for lack of a better word) our convictions.
Off topic but just yesterday I saw an AP story about how Thanksgiving is being taken over because of Christmas shopping. The story summarized that it is not happening on Christmas day because that day is still considered sacred; that is the word they used. I actually laughed out loud as I thought the only reason people don’t shop on Christmas is because we have to open all those gifts we bought and we’re out of $!
Thank you for sharing! Your last sentence is so very true, ha!
Oops! I said “no one should pray about something they already know is hard”. Ha, well that is all I pray about almost :). I meant to say someone should not pray about something they already know is WRONG. Oops. I was trying to say we don’t need God’s guidance in an area He has already convicted, we just need to act.
Thank you so much for your articles on the origins of Christmas. My husband and I stopped celebrating two years ago. It was so hard that first year, but we felt it was what God revealed to us through His word. There is no Biblical basis for it and the traditions of man exemplify the mixing of the holy with the profane. We now enjoy the freedom of not participating and as God promised the truth has set us free. Thank you again for your insight and your time.
My husband and I have gone back and forth about this (and Easter, and All Saint’s Day, etc) for years, and usually can’t come to an agreement about what to do or how to approach them. Thank you for providing the links to the sermons – I’m hoping to listen to them this week and maybe share them with my husband.
I appreciate what you’ve shared, and think it is a necessary idea for each believer to confront in the light of God’s Word.
Thanks again! I found you through the Living Proverbs 31 link-up 🙂
Thank you for sharing these posts. I have (without outside influence), felt conviction about Christmas, and other holidays, over the last few years. For myself, on many issues, I’ve realized that the only way to settle the truth in my heart and mind is to go to God’s Word, and ask Him to show me His truth there. After all, it’s the Living Word. Also, I’ve discovered that having God’s world view is absolutely critical. If we are to become like Him, that seems a good place to start when considering how we should conduct ourselves; not to be “good”, because we can’t, but because I want to be like my Father who is good and gave everything for my sin and set me free to obey and be sanctified. It’s a struggle to not conform, especially when many of my Christian brothers and sisters are living like the rest of the world (no condemnation, but grace to you! I’m just beginning to see the value of examining my intent in all things in light of what God has to say and the gracious gift that God’s given to me to desire to see Him glorified above ALL else). It seems that when, by His grace and power, I’m able to obey in faith and love for Him, that this is a sacrifice of my flesh that He will accept as worship. Does that make sense? I know that certain things won’t last forever, but worship will. There will be no Christmas in Heaven, to be certain. I tread carefully in these things, because I don’t want to be legalistic, and I don’t want to condemn anyone; conviction from God will be what changes hearts. I know that your posts are not intended to change hearts, as I trust you believe that only the Spirit of God has the power to do any good thing in us! But, as you carefully present His truth, I also want to live in a way that does just that…and when He appoints the right time to share what He’s teaching me, I certainly hope I’ll be obedient to do just that! Anyway, I’m encouraged and find these posts helpful. It’s a real struggle in our family, as we are already so “different” and I worry we’re perceived as judgmental rather than loving when we abstain from certain things. I get concerned that our kids will be discouraged and not find the Lord. On that same note, I don’t want to indulge the fleshly desires of my children (or myself) and say that they’re God approved desires, and that desiring to fit in more than conform to God’s standards is acceptable, because that won’t save them! I think that a major part of the answer to many of the issues of whether or not abstaining from the celebration of Christmas is doing more harm than good is to love, love, love the sinner all year long! If we are busy doing that work, and loving and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ, He will be faithful to redeem what’s lost and set captives free, to refine and sanctify each of His children, apart from our human effort. In fact, whether we are faithful to love them or not, He will be and He will still save the sinner and refine His children. But, I can’t be His child and not give up my life for His purposes. Love covers a multitude of sin, and we as Christians still sin, so we cannot neglect the loving! How great is His faithfulness and forgiveness! Sorry for going on and on! I guess that there’s a lot wrapped up in the celebration of Christmas for my family. I praise God that He does these works in each of us, in different ways and to different degrees, refining us and making us a useful and working body of believers that He will use to bring glory to His name. What a gift, and we should see our place as His dear children as something to be regarded with sincere reverence for how great and Holy He is, and how gracious and loving He is to have made a way through tremendous sacrifice to restore us to God-honoring use!
Thanks for your kind and thoughtful words Megan, your thoughts are what I feel in my heart too, and they are so eloquently put.
Thank you for being bold in Christ! This year, I have come under conviction about gift giving at Christmas. I have always questioned the theology of celebrating Christmas, but just “went with it.” Please pray for your readers! Repenting and changing when conviction come is hard, especially when it goes against what everyone expects and is used to doing. I didn’t have time to read the previous posts, but I plan to go back and do so. (Homeschool lessons must get done!) Thank you!
Not everyone has the same convictions. What’s right (or wrong) for one is not necessarily wrong for another.
We will continue to celebrate OUR Savior’s birth until he returns.
Danielle, I re-read my comment, and no where did I say that we all had the same convictions. We must, however, be careful to only rely on the Holy Spirit to convict us – our moral compass. What is right and wrong in the Holy Word of God IS what is right and wrong for everyone.
Whether or not to celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday) is not in the Bible. So not everyone has the same convictions. Just as some people are convicted to wear only skirts.
Wow, Nicole you seem to have done a lot of thinking and research on this topic. I commend you on that. It takes a lot of courage to write about your convictions. But I also have convictions about Christmas as a Catholic Christian. Christmas is not just a day on the calendar-it is a season to be celebrated. In the Catholic church the season of Christmas is preceded with the Advent season-a penitential season. This is a time we mourn our fallen nature and look for our Savior-not as a baby but as the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lord at the end of time. We prepare out hearts to receive Him. When the world is the darkest Christ came into this world as a Light to show us the way-first as an infant child and now as our Savior. The customs and festivities around Christmas are celebrated differently in other cultures. Unfortunately much commercialism has taken over the season I could do without a lot of that but I not stop celebrating our Savior-on December 25th and all year round. (Just a note-Christmas is not a sacrament-there are 7 sacraments and Christmas is not one of them.)
I may not have come at the same conclusion, as I mentioned you why in a comment on the third article, but I truly appreciate your serie, the reflections it brings and that as christians we can intelligently talk and debate on ways to best honor our God. It was a pleasure to read you! Thank you!
I’ll be honest. When I read your first blog about this issue I thought you were turning legalistic and maybe a smidge crazy or arrogant. However, after reading this series I will say you have brought up some interesting points. And after hearing how you will actually be celebrating, I think you sound reasonable and not arrogant. I do not agree with you 100% but it has given me something to think about. I hope you have a joyful winter season with these new traditions and wish you the best.
Thank you for the kind words, Jessica! Blessings to you!
Thank you so much for your wonderful, thoughtful, insightful and scripture filled series. We have come to the same convictions as of last year. But this year I was starting to waver. We don’t realize how steeped we are into our “traditions” that make us feel SO good (how self-focused we can be!). But you brought out a few things that we hadn’t even thought of. Thank you! Now I do have one question, although I LOVE the idea of bringing a Tree back into our home, what about the pagan traditions associated with the evergreen free (I believe it represents fertility of a god?). Just wondering your thoughts on that?
I hope and pray that more Christians began to let go of this “holiday” so we truly can be set apart in unity. Blessings to you for your blog-Love it (as a Reformed mommy of 6 so far, as well!:0)
Hello Sarah! I’m going to share what my thoughts are concerning trees below (which are my thoughts at this time…there have been many a times in my Christian walk where I have changed something and felt peace about it, only to have the Holy Spirit work on me some more later). 🙂
My opinion…Trees have been used to worship idols in the past, and therefore God would not want us to worship Him with them.
…take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods…
Therefore I do not believe trees have any place in the worship of God (Christmas…which as you know I don’t consider to be true worship, but others do use trees to “symbolize” the attributes of God. I don’t believe this is appropriate). If I was to put a tree up, and then take it down after December 25th, then I would be doing so to “celebrate” Christmas in my eyes. Any winter decoration that I include in my home (including trees) are staying up until spring.
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul discusses eating meat that was an offering to idols. (Which to me, kind of parallels trees being used to worship idols). He says that there isn’t a problem eating the meat (since the idol isn’t real), unless in doing so you become a stumbling block to other believers. I believe that this can be applied to trees in our home as well (since we are not offering it to an idol). We would never want the tree to be a stumbling block however. In our home, we do not usually host gatherings around Christmas, but if we did, the tree might be a stumbling block to others since most people associate it with Christmas. In that case, it might be a good idea not to put one up to make sure we are not giving the impression that we celebrate Christmas. On the other hand, my son’s birthday is in February. When guests arrive and see a tree in our home, they might have some questions, which would open the door to conversation about why we use the tree in our winter décor and do not celebrate Christmas.
I was careful to only decorate the trees with items such as snowflakes and woodland animals. I have 2-3 tubs of decorations and ornaments that I did not use, because they either said “Christmas,” or were definitely “Christmas” themed. I put a few crosses on the trees, and I am contemplating taking them down as well, since the Lord doesn’t want to be worshipped the way other gods have been worshipped, and what am I doing if I hang a cross on an evergreen tree? I’m really not trying to be legalistic about this, I’m just trying to seek God’s best.
Finally, while I was contemplating trees, I discovered this verse:
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I will make the place of My feet glorious.
The Lord is speaking of evergreen trees beautifying His sanctuary. If I hadn’t read this, I might have gotten rid of the trees all together since they have been used in idol worship in the past. But this reminded me that the Lord made the trees, finds them beautiful, and speaks of them adorning His sanctuary so they can’t be bad in and of themselves. Now, He doesn’t talk about decorating the trees in any manner (which I have done), but at this time I have a clear conscience with the decorations I added to them, and I prayed about what I might add before I decorated them. As I said at the beginning of this comment, that might change if the Holy Spirit further works on my heart. 🙂
Sorry that this was so long! Blessings to you!