Family Life · Holidays

The Worldliness of Christmas…Part 4 of Our Christmas Series

In my last post, I shared some of the pagan roots of Christmas with y’all.  Really quickly, I would like to share my heart about this topic before I go any further.  I have always loved Christmas.  My goal here is not to be a scrooge, or to look down on families who do celebrate Christmas.  This is the first year that we plan on not celebrating!  The Lord has just laid this so heavily on my heart.  If I didn’t share about my findings on Christmas, I think I would be being disobedient to Him.

And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 10:22

Everyone will hate you because of me.

Luke 21:17

When Jesus walked this earth as a man, He gave a warning.  Actually, these verses are not so much of a warning as they are a fact.  As Christians, we are to expect hate from those who do not know Christ.  Jesus’ very name invokes fear and hatred from the ungodly.

From this truth, we can gather that the world will hate Christmas, if it is of Christ.  But that isn’t so.  Almost the entire world embraces this holiday.  They don’t just embrace “the holidays,” but the very word “Christmas”

Some folks might say that the world has distorted Christmas, like it does everything else.  “We must take it back!,” they say.  I believe that it is something else however.

Deep breath…

The world openly celebrates Christmas because it was never of Christ to begin with.  Christians, why do we continually try to “take something back” that was never ours.  Christmas was of the world from the start.

If the word Christmas, the holiday, Christmas, was of Christ, then the world would hate it.

This thought from A.W. Pink is definitely something to think about.

And WHO is it that celebrates “Christmas?” The whole “civilized world.” Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who “despise and reject Him,” and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on it’s lowest ground, we would ask, is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any true born again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? Verily, the customs of the people are VAIN; and it is written, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2).

Friends, it has taken me three years of the Holy Spirit slowly working on me for me to really embrace this fact.  Truly.  The Holy Spirit is a gentleman.  He is kind, gracious, and has been ever so patient with a sinner like me.  I’m ashamed to say this, but the first thought I had when contemplating not celebrating Christmas was, My poor children will miss out on so much fun!  I was not thinking about my Savior’s birth.  In actuality, we should be thinking on Christ always.  No special days of remembrance are needed.

Now on to a few questions.

If the Lord looks at our heart, and knows our heart’s motives, does it really matter if we celebrate or not?

In Deuteronomy 12, the Lord is warning His people about false gods.

…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

Friends, no matter what our intentions, the Lord very clearly states that He does not want to be worshipped in the same manner as pagans have worshipped their gods.  When we celebrate Christmas as a holiday (holy day) for Him, what are we doing?

No matter what our heart motives, the Lord wishes to be worshipped in truth.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We must worship Him in truth.  This scripture looks more like a command than a suggestion.  Is it true from scripture that Jesus’ “birthday” is December 25th, or is that a human tradition?  Even if it was true that our Lord was born on the 25th, is the way we “celebrate” truly worshipful to Him?

Aren’t your children going to be deprived?

This was initially my main concern about not celebrating.  When I thought about it further, I realized that I was simply buying into the world’s view of “deprived.”  It is so very easy to do!  If what we are doing is God’s Will, then there is no way that they can be deprived.  I am planning on adding a few gifts to our Thanksgiving celebration since I am so thankful for them.   Anything winter related is not off limits, so I will be working on some fun crafts and outside activities!

This season is a wonderful time of giving, regardless of pagan roots and idolatry that we no longer think of today.  Why give that up?

Honestly, as Christians, our loved ones and the less fortunate should be on our mind every single day.  We should find time throughout the year to be giving.  Instead we are taking cues from music, decorations, etc. to make us want to give.

But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

2 Corinthians 8:7

Even the names of the days of the week come from pagan roots and idols.  If Christians can call the first day, “Sunday,” then why shouldn’t they celebrate Christmas?

This is very true.  However, the days of the week do not have my Lord and Savior’s name attached to them.  I believe that the renaming of a pagan/idol worshipping festival with Christ’s name is a major problem.

If the world openly embraces a holiday as good, does that mean it is not of God?

I would say yes.  Please reread this post if you do not understand why I say that.

The Bible says, whatever you do, do so for the Lord.  As long as we are attributing the day to Him, celebrating is okay, right?

We should attribute all days to Him, including December 25th.  However, given the pagan history of the 25th, (remember, prior to the celebration of Christmas, December 25th in the Roman world was the Natalis-Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun, which in honor of the sun god Mithras), I do not think that we should celebrate a festival with Christ’s name on that exact day unless it was noted in scripture.

Also, I’ve had a few ladies mention our freedom, or liberty, in Christ, and how it pertains to Christmas.

Yes, we have liberty in Christ.  As Christians, we have liberty if scripture is silent.  Some may say that scripture is silent about say, smoking, so they can smoke.  However, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in  you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own;  you were bought  at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.

Although smoking isn’t specifically mentioned in scripture, from this verse we can learn that we should not smoke.  I think Christmas can be viewed in the same way.  Although scripture is silent about Christmas, we can take a look at scripture regarding idol worship, and how we are to turn from it (and not rename the worship for Christ) as we seek God’s will.

If you are anything like me, and enjoy celebrating Christmas, all of this information is a little depressing!  If you are feeling the Holy Spirit’s conviction, what’s next?  Believe me, I have asked the same question.  What is appropriate in the worship of Christ, and what isn’t?  Can man decide how to worship Christ without direct teaching from scripture?  Since the pagan roots of Christmas have “lost” their meaning for some time now, is there any harm in holiday celebrations if they are divorced from Christ?  Next, I will be sharing some ideas I have as to how our family can celebrate Christ, and His sacrifice (which is what we are told to remember in God’s Word) during the winter season.  Blessings to you and your family!

12 thoughts on “The Worldliness of Christmas…Part 4 of Our Christmas Series

  1. This has been one of the best series for me, thank you for your time and thorough search for biblical answers. Maybe you are writing to people like me who are already convinced and just needed back up, I am grateful that you have stepped out. Tara.

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  2. Your series has been interesting. We have several friends who do not celebrate Christmas for varying reasons. The commercialization is mind boggling. I was taught the Catholic church chose December 25th to celebrate the coming of the Son of God to the earth as they were converting the pagans to Christianity ( who had festivals to worship the sun to entice it to return to the earth as the sun was it’s farthest away),
    Something that has been on my heart for years is how our modern churches can take the worship service and fill it with rock and roll music (a term used to describe the movement of a car – as two people copulate in the back seat) and call it worship and praise music. Twisted logic to honor God. The pastors dress in black and have facial hair and hair styles as close to the latest cool rock and roll artist as possible. The church looks and sounds like the world. From the tiniest neighborhood church to the largest churches – there is a race to see who can tickle ears the best. Big screens cover the worship centers (no need to call them a sanctuary any more). Choir directors have been renamed “Praise and worship pastors”. Churches sell anything and everything. Some have book stores, coffee shops, gyms, etc. Did Jesus get a triffle upset with selling in the temple of God??? Our churches are commercialized. We have left the model Christ gave us for His church. TO keep the church pure with believers We are to go out and preach and teach. When someone makes a commitment to Christ, then they are brought into the body of believers and made disciples themselves. Instead todays churches are 90 % unbelievers who want ear tickling – but they pay the bills for the facilities and faculties . They out number the believers and they lead the culture of the church.

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  3. Hi Nicole! I’ve got to subscribe to your blog! I keep finding it through linkups (Modest Mom). I will admit, conviction is hard of course, maybe that’s why I haven’t subscribed yet (lol, if I don’t read it I can’t be convicted). But, as I shared in a previous post, this had been heavy on my husbands heart for a few years now. We do about 3 presents for the children, spending less $ each year, send out a Christmas card with the gospel in it, avoid Christmas decorations but do lots of winter ones just as I do lots of fall decorations. In all honesty, it has been hard for me to justify in my head why I celebrate Christmas at all when we don’t halloween at all. It is quite frankly because I like it and the wonder of it. Sigh…

    Your statement above about how the world loves it is incredibly convicting. Please, in your next post when you discuss what you do plan to do, share what you do about extended family especially. I have young nieces and nephews, with gift exchanges and all and of course Christmas gatherings. Will you be going to these? Please share.

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    1. Hi Shannon! I’m writing this series for me too…to keep myself accountable. I know that most likely next year my “flesh” will doubt my decision, and hopefully having all of this information in one place will make it easier for me. 🙂 Blessings to you!

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  4. Thank you for this series. I have been following it via Growing Home. Everything you are writing lines up exactly with what my husband and I have learned. This year is probably the “strictest” we are going to be regarding celebrating (or rather, NOT celebrating). We have not decided what we are going to be doing on Dec 25th, as my husband will not be working. We’ve talked about maybe just taking a family hike or spending time together as a family. Nothing fancy, no big feasts, no presents, just a quiet day together.

    There is a book online that we have been reading through that goes indepth into a lot of WHY Christian’s shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. http://www.xmasexposed.com is the link, I believe. It’s a long read but definitely worth considering.

    I have received lots of encouragement from your blog, which reminds me I need to subscribe before I forget again, haha! May God bless you and your family.

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  5. This was interesting to read and appreciate your desire to do what is right! I actually grew up in a Christian home not celebrating Christmas. When I first got married we didn’t either because of my feelings on it. Several years ago I realized that my husband wasn’t really happy with that arrangement however and so we did start to do something for the holiday. I didn’t ever want a tree (and we haven’t) and I hate the Santa lie and the commercialism so for us it has been a time to give a very limited amount of mostly homemade gifts within our immediate family and then a day to invite others over to share a meal and time together. That has worked for us and I have been okay with it. Sometimes I do wonder however if it would have been better if we stuck with the plan of no holiday at all.

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  6. I quit celebrating the worldly holiday of Christmas in 2007. I trashed the tree and all the ornaments, lights, etc. that even hinted at Christmas. I still decorate for the winter season but nothing to do with Christmas. I don’t feel it is even right to have a tree in the house. After all, trees don’t grow in a house anyway. I have a cedar tree in my back yard that I can admire the beauty of. If one is going to get completely away from Christmas, you have to do it all the way. You can’t pick and choose what you want to keep. Just like there are people who have a Jesus Menu. They pick and choose what commandments they want to keep. We are to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth and we are to do this every day of our lives. Not one day a year. God bless all.

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  7. It is such a blessing to rejoice in truth! Thank you for articulating so well the same questions I began asking many years ago. And, so thankful that He is faithful to not be angry with our questions but to answer them. I noticed that your article seemed to be asking questions as to what celebrations would be appropriate. Our family no longer celebrates Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Valentines day or St. Patrick’s day. Instead, we love celebrating the Biblical feast days! After all, the Lord calls them “His feast days!” There are many books and on-line resources to begin studying and celebrating His days in our homes. They shout loudly – I am the fulfillment and promise! They are: Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (His death and burial), First Fruits (His resurrection), Shavuot (Pentecost, the giving of His Word and Spirit), Feast of Trumpets (His return), the Day of Atonement (Rejoicing in His Atonement for us and the World), Feast of Booths (when most scholars believe He was born and a feast mentioned in Zechariah to be celebrated when He returns.) All of these are declared as eternal, forever, feasts. Each reveal layer after layer of truth throughout Scripture. Also, there are two more days mentioned in Scripture Purim (the feast of Esther) which celebrates the deliverance of the Jews in Persia and which teaches us to intercede, to trust in His providence, and boldly approach the throne; and Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication) this feast is mentioned several times throughout Scripture and Jesus’ celebrated it in John 10:10. In reality, our family is so busy celebrating so many life and truth filled Biblical day that the children often ask their friends why they aren’t celebrating God’s days! It is very possible that you have already discovered these joyful days of the Lord; but, if not, I thought I’d share. We serve a mighty God – who loves to throw beautiful parties!!

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