I wanted to post this article for any Christian readers who may be skeptical towards celebrating Christmas. This article is very informative. I have posted a few paragraphs. If you so choose to continue reading, a link for the whole article is available at the bottom of this post.An excerpt from this article… “I need to insert a caveat. My goal is not to bind anyone’s conscience regarding what we do with the twenty-fifth of December. Paul warns us against judging each other based on how we observe special days and festivals (Col. 2:16). My goal is to free consciences bound by misunderstandings. I believe Christians are free to celebrate Christmas. And if they are convinced the celebration will strengthen their love for God and for their fellowman, they should celebrate it. If they are not so convinced, they should feel free to leave it alone.” -Bryan Smith, Ph. D.
by Bryan Smith, Ph. D.
I love Christmas; I always have. But through the years, some of my dearest friends have held the holiday at arm’s length. They view the unconverted Ebenezer Scrooge as a sympathetic character, and they see his change of heart as a tragic turn of events. None of these friends, ironically, are unbelievers. In fact, they point to their faith in Christ as the main reason for not enjoying the season.
Their thesis goes something like this: Christmas is not a Christian holiday, and Christians should be suspicious of it—at the very least. The following are arguments often used to support the thesis.
First, Christmas focuses on an unimportant part of Christ’s life. If we make much of Christmas, we’re likely making little of Christ’s death and resurrection. Seen in this light, Christmas is a subtle tool of Satan, who uses the holiday to con people into thinking they’re honoring God while they avoid the gospel.
Second, Christmas is embraced by the ungodly in our culture. You know a person by the company he keeps, and Christmas has a long history of keeping company with the sort of people who would never darken the doors of our conservative churches. How holy is “O Holy Night” if Mariah Carey can sing it without compunction?
Third, Christ could not have been born on the twenty-fifth of December. We are told that when our Lord was born, “there were . . . shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). Since historians assure us that shepherds ventured out with their flocks only from April to October, a late-December birth for Christ is out of the question. And if Jesus was not born at this time, what really are we celebrating on December 25?
That question leads naturally to the final argument: Christmas has its roots not in the birth of our Lord but in pagan festivals. For the ancient Romans, the month of December was filled with series feasts related to Sol Invictus (“the unconquered sun”). The winter solstice was venerated by the Romans as a time to rejoice in the return of the sun to its heroic march over darkness and cold. The celebrations were also a time to reflect on a golden age of peace, justice, and equality.
Many of the Christmas customs observed today were common among the Romans during this time: giving gifts to children, lighting candles, and perhaps even decorating evergreen trees. So, say the critics, Christmas is not about the birth of Jesus but about preserving paganism.
The following paragraphs are my response to these arguments.