Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas...


Having several friends who share with me their reasons for their love of the holiday that comes every year on the 25th, I have decided to post 120 reasons I don't. Perhaps you've heard them before, perhaps not. But those who love the LORD Jesus Christ and want to serve and worship Him in spirit and in truth should be careful about this as about every other aspect of their Christian walk. We cannot let our feelings or tradition dictate what we believe and practice. We must base all we do simply on the pure Word, the oracles of God. Is it really about Jesus Christ? Are we as Christians called to observe Christ-Mass? Prayerfully consider each point in light of Scripture.

For those who don't celebrate, its always good to have a refresher on why we do what we do because the world is daily warring against us and we do not want to turn back from the truth. Lets walk therein it!

. . . the LORD condemns using pagan religious practices in His worship (Deut 12:29-31).
. . . the LORD condemns adding to or taking away from His commandments (Deut 12:32).
. . . the LORD condemns doing anything under green trees in His worship (Deut 12:1-4).
. . . the LORD condemns the heathen use of decorated trees at a solstice (Jeremiah 10:1-4).
. . . the LORD commands us to separate from and not touch pagan religion (II Cor 6:14-18).
. . . the LORD commands us to come out of Roman Catholicism and her sins (Rev 18:4).
. . . the LORD condemns turning to the left or right from His commandments (Deut 5:32-33).
. . . the LORD told the apostles to teach us to observe only His commandments (Matt 28:20).
. . . the LORD rejected David's worship for a small detail and killed Uzzah (II Sam 6:1-10).
. . . the LORD rejected and killed Nadab and Abihu for offering different fire (Lev 10:1-7).
. . . the LORD rejected Moses from seeing Canaan for a slight modification (Num 20:12).
. . . the LORD rejected Cain's worship simply for bringing an alternative sacrifice (Gen 4:7).
. . . the LORD rejected Saul forever for noble intentions in a modification (I Sam 15:22-23).
. . . the LORD rejected Uzziah and gave him facial leprosy for a new idea (II Chr 26:16-21).
. . . the LORD rejected and killed Ananias and his wife for fudging a large gift (Acts 5:1-11).
. . . the LORD requires reverence and godly fear in worship to avoid His fire (Heb 12:28-29).
. . . the LORD seeks true worshippers to worship Him in truth, not superstition (John 4:23-24).
. . . the LORD commands us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered (Jude 1:3).
. . . the LORD requires us to esteem all His precepts but to hate all other ideas (Ps 119:128).
. . . the LORD commands us to prove all things by Scripture and reject the bad (I Thes 5:21).
. . . the LORD expects us to be noble and search Scripture to know true worship (Acts 17:11).
. . . the LORD gave Scripture to perfect us, which does not mention Xmas (II Tim 3:16-17).
. . . the LORD curses any gospel different than Paul's, and he didn't preach xmas (Gal 1:8-9).
. . . the LORD condemns fellowship with men having only a form of godliness (II Tim 3:5).
. . . the LORD condemns loving pleasure more than God as perilous times (II Timothy 3:4).
. . . the LORD condemns anything different from His Word as dark ignorance (Isaiah 8:20).
. . . the LORD abominates anything popular with the world and esteemed by it (Luke 16:15).
. . . the LORD condemns friendship with the world as becoming His enemy (James 4:4).
. . . the LORD condemns traditions in His worship as evil and vain hypocrisy (Mark 7:5-13).
. . . the LORD hates the polluting of His glorious name with pagan idolatry (Ezekiel 20:39).
. . . the LORD condemns the superstitious idolatry and blasphemy of the Mass (I Cor 11:26).
. . . the LORD condemns bringing any item of false religion into our houses (Deut 7:25-26).
. . . the LORD commands us not to set up any image, which He hates (Deut 16:22; Ex 20:4-6).
. . . the LORD hates religion that goes under green trees (I Kings 14:23; Isaiah 57:5; Jer 3:6).
. . . the LORD condemns adopting any practices of the pagans around us (Leviticus 18:1-4).
. . . the LORD condemns sun worship (Deut 4:19; 17:3; II Kgs 23:5; Job 31:26-28; Eze 8:16).
. . . the LORD endorses only apostolic traditions, and they never celebrated it (II Thes 2:15).
. . . the LORD is honored by gifts to Him rather than a selfish exchange of gifts (Matt 2:11).
. . . the LORD teaches us to remember His death rather than His birth (Phil 3:10; I Cor 15:3).
. . . the LORD gave baptism and His supper to remember His death (Rom 6:3-5; I Co 11:26).
. . . the LORD resents the hatred of pagans who exchange gifts against His men (Rev 11:10).
. . . the LORD condemns "the spirit of Christmas" as another spirit He hates (II Cor 11:1-4).
. . . the LORD condemns a mother and child wearing halos as another jesus (II Cor 11:1-4).
. . . the LORD condemns a tradition glorifying sun worship as another gospel (II Co 11:1-4).
. . . the LORD loves us to give up dear things as proof of our love to Him (Matt 10:37-39).
. . . the LORD did not come to bring peace on earth but rather a dividing sword (Mat 10:34).
. . . the LORD blessed giving over receiving, but Xmas is selfish exchanging (Acts 20:35).
. . . the LORD calls Jewish holy days matters of liberty, but not pagan holidays (Col 2:16).
. . . the LORD calls Jewish holy days matters of liberty, but not pagan holidays (Rom 14:6).
. . . the LORD considers the birth of His Son worthy of honor rather than folly (Heb 1:6).
. . . the two chief New Testament ordinances - baptism and the Lord's supper - pertain to His death, not His birth.
. . . celebrating Christmas sincerely is identical to Jeroboam's two calves (I Kings 12:26-33).
. . . Aaron led Israel to worship the LORD with a golden calf to their judgment (Ex 32:1-5).
. . . it breaks the first commandment by having other gods - the sun god Mithra (Ex 20:3).
. . . it breaks the second commandment by having images - a Christmas tree (Ex 20:4-6).
. . . it breaks the third commandment by taking His name in vain - "Christmas" (Ex 20:7).
. . . it breaks the fifth commandment by promoting children's greed over parents (Ex 20:12).
. . . it breaks the tenth commandment by promoting covetousness to children (Ex 20:17).
. . . many Baptist martyrs gave their lives to oppose Catholic superstitions and traditions.
. . . it was a crime to observe Christmas in America, when our country truly feared God.
. . . it was a crime to observe Christmas in England, when that country truly feared God.
. . . all the God-hating, Christ-denying, and sin-loving pagans get excited about this day.
. . . Santa Claus is a pagan mockery of God the Father with white hair, grandfatherly image, eternal, lives in the North, unlimited resources, omniscient of children's behavior, omnipresent for a night, hears confessions, comes as a thief, blesses children, and distributes judgment for works.
. . . the name Christmas came from "Mass of Christ," and Christians hate the Catholic mass.
. . . every sincere birthday party honors the one born that day rather than all the mere guests.
. . . a gift exchange dictated by a calendar is not a message of love but a ritual of obligation.
. . . a gift exchange at the winter solstice was invented by pagans to celebrate the sun god.
. . . Christianity is giving gifts unexpected without obligation to reciprocate (Luke 14:12-14).
. . . secular encyclopedias will gladly tell you that Christmas came from pagan sun worship.
. . . the first state in our Bible-oriented country to make it a holiday was Alabama in 1836.
. . . a little drummer boy did not travel to the manger to play his drum for the infant Jesus.
. . . for the two centuries following the Pilgrims, Christians in America called it "popish."
. . . English parliament under Oliver Cromwell outlawed it in 1644 and punished violaters.
. . . loving Jesus Christ is keeping His commandments, not decorating a tree (John 14:15).
. . . you cannot do unto the LORD what the LORD has condemned (Deut 12:1-4; 12:29-32).
. . . Christmas is not a matter of liberty left up to our consciences and/or heart preferences.
. . . true followers of God will not follow a multitude or majority to false worship (Ex 23:2).
. . . Xmas is most adored by women, whom God calls silly and weak (II Tim 3:6; I Pet 3:7).
. . . a time of unbridled greed, covetousness, and materialism cannot honor Jesus Christ.
. . . this unique holy day in the Roman Catholic calendar is exalted by three profane masses.
. . . the world loves a jesus helpless in a manger, but God's Christ is the LORD and Judge.
. . . on Christmas Eve the Pope of Rome conducts a special mass seen by much of the earth.
. . . godly parents don't lie to their children about a Roman Catholic myth named Nicholas.
. . . the Bible is totally silent about using this day or any such celebration to honor Christ.
. . . the gospel according to Christmas tradition, cards, and plays corrupts the Bible facts.
. . . the Pilgrims in 1620, seeking to worship God in truth, formally banned the holiday.
. . . the Puritans in 1659, seeking to worship God in truth, set a 5 shillings fine for keeping it.
. . . the modern Christmas tree was not introduced to this country by Germans until 1821.
. . . Jesus was not born in December, for one-half year back from Passover is rather October.
. . . Jesus was not born in December, for shepherds did not stay in the fields during winter.
. . . Jesus was not born in December, for taxation would not have been in the dead of winter.
. . . Jesus was not born in December, for wise taxation would have been shortly after harvest.
. . . Jesus was not born in December, for careful calculation of the priest's courses exclude it.
. . . the Roman feast at the winter solstice was to the sun god Mithras from the Persians.
. . . the Roman, extended feast prior to the winter solstice was to Saturn, god of agriculture.
. . . so many consider Christmas a "sacred cow" and beyond questioning or condemning.
. . . our past lives suffice us for lusts, excess of wine, revellings, and banquetings (I Pet 4:3).
. . . Emperor Aurelian picked December 25 for this holiday in 274 to worship the sun god.
. . . pagan sun worshippers had a great festival to the sun at the winter solstice before Jesus.
. . . it would be wrong to have a golden calf with candles to worship the Lord our Strength.
. . . the public schools in Boston were still open for classes on December 25 as late as 1870.
. . . the "birthday of the invincible sun" (dies natalis Solis invicti) was this date in Rome.
. . . December 25 was chosen by being the date of the winter solstice in the Julian calendar.
. . . Satan uses this pagan feast to steal glory from the Son of God for ignorant sun worship.
. . . Christmas American-style is oppression of parents by greedy children (Isaiah 3:1-5, 12).
. . . Jesus promised that the majority are on the wrong road leading to death (Matt 7:13-14).
. . . Charles Spurgeon, the most popular Baptist minister, preached against it as late as 1871.
. . . all the unique customs of Christmas may be traced individually to pagan religious rites.
. . . Hindus, Jews, Mormons, Pagans, and other cults celebrate it while despising Jesus.
. . . using Scripture's silence to justify anything not expressly forbidden will lead to Coke and chips for the Lord's supper and ouija boards for difficult decisions.
. . . it creates the most foolish, hectic, stressful, guilt-ridden, and unproductive time of year.
. . . the LORD is a jealous God and will judge any playing with other gods (Ex 34:12-16).
. . . New Testament charity may accommodate weakness, but it cannot error (Romans 14:1).
. . . the moderation taught in the New Testament is temperance or self-discipline (Phil 4:5).
. . . it would be identical to offering incense to the brasen serpent of Moses (II Kings 18:4).
. . . the only day observed by the apostles was the Lord's day (Rev 1:10; Acts 20:7; I Cor 16:2).
. . . we choose to emulate Jacob, who put away family idols to worship God (Gen 35:1-5).
. . . we choose to emulate Jehu, who defiled Baal worship to please God (II Kings 10:26-28).
. . . we choose to emulate Josiah, who defiled all pagan worship to please God (II Kings 23:1-37).
. . . we choose to emulate Asa, who defiled his mother's favorite idol (II Chron 15:12-16).

6 comments:

  1. Brytni,
    Interesting post, it was very thought provoking. It's great to see another Christian so diligently searching out God's word and seeing what It has to say. That being said, I would like to respectfully disagree with your view that Christmas is unbiblical. Before I do, I just want to make it clear that I am not saying these things out of a spirit of contentiousness, but rather out of a desire to "rightly divide the word of God." I don't have time to address all 120 of your points ;), but I will try to tackle some that I felt were the "meat" of your argument.
    The first thing I'm going to address is the general lack of citations for many of your (non-Scriptural) points such as " a gift exchange at the winter solstice was invented by pagans to celebrate the sun god." (I'll be addressing that particular point later on; just using it as an example for now). I'm not saying that what you said was inaccurate, I would just appreciate outside corroboration.
    Onto your points.....
    You said "the LORD condemns doing anything under green trees in His worship (Deut 12:1-4), the LORD condemns the heathen use of decorated trees at a solstice (Jeremiah 10:1-4), the LORD hates religion that goes under green trees (I Kings 14:23; Isaiah 57:5; Jer 3:6). Obviously, these are jabs aimed at the Christmas tree. These are erroneous though for the following reasons: First, the points you made are irrelevant because all of your supporting Scriptures are references to the Old Covenant Ceremonial Law which was very clearly abrogated by Christ (see Matt 5:17-20, and 27:51) (Caveat: I know that the Moral law or Ten Commandments still applies to Believers as the standard of righteous living- I'm not arguing that). Secondly, your points do not apply because you seem to think that the Christmas tree is an object of worship when this is not the reality for the majority of Christians (and certainly non-believers). Saying that the Christmas tree is an object of worship is like saying the American flag that you put out for the fourth of July, or the turkey you eat on Thanksgiving day is an object of Worship. Thirdly, you do not have a historically accurate view of the Christmas Tree. Many Christians claim that the evergreen (Christmas) tree was worshiped by pagan Germanic tribes; however, this claim is ardently false. The pagan Germanic tribes worshiped a large oak tree; which Saint Boniface, who was witnessing to these tribes, cut down. He then used a small evergreen tree as an illustration of everlasting life. From this is where we get the tradition of the Christmas tree (see Fr. William P. Saunders “The Christmas Tree”, Straight Answers article in the Arlington Catholic Herald, available at http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/columns/williamsaunders/straightanswers/68.asp. and The Washington Post – The Mini Page, “O Tannenbaum*!”, December 6, 2009, SC5. For Boniface chopping the oak tree see Fr. John Laux, Church History – A Complete History of the Catholic Church to the Present Day (Rockford, IL: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1989), 221 & Warren H. Carroll, The Building of Christendom (Front Royal, VA: Christendom College Press, 1987), 276 for support).

    Please bear with me as I'm going to have to use more comments for my response.

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  2. Next, you said " the LORD commands us to come out of Roman Catholicism and her sins (Rev 18:4).
    First, I must say that this is a gross misapplication of Scripture compounded by the fact that you made no effort whatsoever to prove that that particular verse applies to Roman Catholicism. from the context of the passage, God was talking about calling His people out of the figurative Babylon. I'm no expert on eschatology, but this view that the Roman Catholic Church is the "Babylon" referred to in that verse is not consistent with any other eschatological view. If you are Postmilllenial, then "Babylon" refers to the Ancient Roman Empire, if you're Premillenial, then "Babylon" is some future One World Government, and finally if you're amillenial, then you don't have an opinion on the subject. I'm not sure where you get this view from, but I would like to see some other theologians who share it. I'm willing to stand to be corrected, but not until I see some outside corroboration.
    You also said: "the LORD gave Scripture to perfect us, which does not mention Xmas (II Tim 3:16-17) you also made a couple more points similar to this. First, this is an argument from silence which is a logical fallacy. I could use your very same argument and say "the LORD gave perfect Scripture to us, which does not mention cars so therefore we shouldn't drive cars." You are essentially doing the same when you say that God never expressly commanded Christmas. God didn't say a lot of things, that doesn't mean that they are bad just by virtue of the fact that they didn't make it into the Bible.
    One of your other points was "the LORD endorses only apostolic traditions, and they never celebrated it." If you know the history of the early Church, then you know that the apostles and first- third century Christians were put through extreme persecution and likely had a hard enough time gathering on the Sabbath, let alone Christmas or other holidays.
    Moreover, you also said " the LORD condemns sun worship." Well obviously yes, but can you explain how exactly is Christmas sun worship? If anything, I thought it was Son worship ;) (forgive my pun;). Also too, bear in mind that Christmas never falls on the Winter Solstice so how could the Christmas holiday be tied to pagan winter practices when all of those are tied to the Winter Solstice?
    Another point that you made was "Santa Claus is a pagan mockery of God the Father." This is ardently false as Santa Claus came from St. Nicholas who was a Godly man who believed so strongly that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man, that he went to the council of Nicaea and punched out Arius, a heretic who proclaimed otherwise. (see http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/my-kind-of-santa/). Granted, has the story gotten carried away, for sure. but to say that he's a mockery of God is a far stretch.
    Here are two other of your points that need to be addressed: "the LORD abominates anything popular with the world and esteemed by it (Luke 16:15)" and "all the God-hating, Christ-denying, and sin-loving pagans get excited about this day." As far as your first point goes, the context of the passage is Jesus condemning the pharisees for making a show of their piety. So to say that "all things that non-believers like are an abomination to God" is taking that passage grossly out of context. Moreover, there are plenty of benign things that many people enjoy like food, for example. Just because pagans like food, does that mean God abominates food? Certainly not. The second point I listed is first of all, a hasty generalization fallacy. Do you know every last single God-hating, Christ-denying, and sin-loving pagans out there? Do they all love Christmas? Really? In reality, there's not a Christmas that goes by without some atheist getting bent out of shape over a Nativity scene. So that argument really doesn't hold water.

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  3. Next, you make several points about the materialism surrounding Christmas. you said: "a time of unbridled greed, covetousness, and materialism cannot honor Jesus Christ." while certainly all the vices you mentioned are not honoring to Christ, it would be a hasty generalization (again) to say that all people who celebrate Christmas are greedy, covetous, and materialistic.
    Another point you make is: "Xmas is most adored by women, whom God calls silly and weak (II Tim 3:6; I Pet 3:7)" I am not prepared nor have the inclination to discuss the psychological and physiological differences between men and women. However, I will say that, the context of the passages you quoted were about being on guard against false teachers and male headship respectively. Also, how is it that you can make the claim that women like Christmas more? I'm a man, and I enjoy Christmas just as much as my female relatives do. Again, this is a hasty generalization fallacy.
    One of your final remarks said: "Christmas is not a matter of liberty left up to our consciences and/or heart preferences." Really? According to whom? Because here is what the Bible says, and I'm going to end with that, how does any of what you say line up with Romans 14:4-9 which says: "who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living."
    Again, thank you so much for such a thought-provoking post. May God bless you in your future endeavors.


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  4. Thank you Zach for your commentary... I would really like to go through and answer you... I get a delight from contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. I am not sure that it would, however, be the best place to do so here in the comments on a blog. I will contemplate that and decide whether to answer or not on here. I am not sure if you truly are curious about what I believe or if you are already convinced in your mind to celebrate... I do not want to waste your time or mine in a futile attempt to answer your comments. If you want me to I will... It is just hard to gauge.

    A couple of things I wondered when I read your comments and clicked on your link...
    1. Are you catholic?
    2. Do you know what a "generalization" is? Since that was a common complaint throughout your comments... I'll say here that exceptions to the general rule prove the rule...not make it obsolete :)
    3. Do you know what Romans 14 is about? its not pagan holidays.
    4. Jesus Christ did fulfill the law yes... He did not destroy it. Have you read Christ's own words? Do not teach men to disobey God's law. If He changed something... like fulfilling the Sabbath which was a shadow or type, He told us that He did so.


    "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-20

    anyways... these are a few preliminary thoughts I had while reading your comments, which I have, so far, read through 3 times. I do not want you to think I take things lightly, I do not. I appreciate honest responses from those who truly love and seek the LORD. So I thank you again for your comments. I don't believe you have commented before, so welcome to my blog... If you love the LORD Jesus Christ, independently fear and love Him and want to seek out the truth, then you have found a friend :)

    Have a good day!

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  5. Brytni,
    Thank you for your response. To answer your questions, I am not a Catholic I'm a reformed Christian and as such I am always open to correction from Scripture. Semper Reformanda, if you will. So if you are asking whether or not I'm dogmatic on this issue, let me assure you I'm not. I do know what a generalization is ;) the problem lies in it them not being accurate which makes them difficult to argue with and by nature impossible to prove. That's why I took issue. As far as Romans 14 goes, the main idea is about Christian liberty and not judging other Christians over minor issues. Paul in that instance was addressing a dispute where some believers were fine with buying/eating meat sacrificed to pagan idols whereas others were not. I was merely making the comparison between the meat sacrificed to pagan idols and supposed pagan holiday. What I did, As the Reformers would say, was simply " good and necessary consequence (that) may be deduced from Scripture." Finally, as far as Christ fulfilling the law, perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my writing. We have to remember that there are three types of laws in the Old Testament: the Moral law (10 Commandments), Ceremonial law, and the Civil or Sundry laws. The moral law and direct extrapolations from those (summarized in the 2 Great commands) still stands as the standard by which we know how to love God. However, the commands you listed were part of the ceremonial law which are pretty obviously abrogated through Christ. The same reason we don't sacrifice animals in worship, is the same reason why I said that the laws bout green things not to be used in worship are irrelevant. Does that make sense? If not, I would recommend looking at the Westminster Confession of Faith ch 19. If you don't want to discuss this on your blog any further that's fine; perhaps I could tag you in a post on g+? Anyway, thank you so much for your time and consideration.
    Best,
    Zach

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  6. Ah, a "reformer" :) I used to call myself that, so I know where you're coming from! I know the Westminster Confession, though I do not fully agree with it... We probably have a lot in common in terms of doctrine. I am kind of relieved about that since I am not out to offend or cause contentions, it could have been a sticky, personal thing to talk about the catholic church as Mystery Babylon the Great, which is what I believe and the Pope as the anti-Christ. You can tag me on google+ if you'd like... I just think this is an inconvenient form of conversation :)

    Thanks for getting back to me too. I have had quite the conversations in the past with people on this subject... I am not looking to debate, as I believe that to be a sin... But constructive, peaceful, conversations are okay :) even if in the end we do not agree. Thank you for the respectful and kind way you laid out your comments! I really appreciate that.

    You can see my on googe+ by clicking on my name above my comment :)

    In humility,
    Brytni Jade

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