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.
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 have liberty in Christ to eat meat. We have liberty in Christ to drive a car. We do not however, 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. Since the beginnings of the New Testament church, man and Satan have attempted to do the same thing. In our family, we try to look to the Apostolic church for our guide, because honestly, from that time forward the sinfulness of this earth has gotten in the way. 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. I do plan on having a bare tree in my home during winter.
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. After one year of not giving gifts to our kiddos, we did give gifts the next year, in a fun, holiday type environment without attributing it to Christ’s birth. 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. Although the pagan customs can be fun and harmless, if they do not scripturally glorify God is some way, we are staying away from them.
…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Trees are a beautiful creation that Lord speaks of decorating His sanctuary. Snow and gift giving are also biblical, so we are focusing these things during the winter months.
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.