Are You Wrong About Christmas



          Most everybody’s mind is now on the holiday season.
There are plays, concerts, and a lot of shopping. Does the
modern day celebration of Christmas even resemble what it
once was? More importantly, does the word of God have
anything to say about the holiday known as Christmas? In
fact, the Bible has much to say about it. So much so that
one may wonder how Christians can acknowledge
Christmas as anything but a secular holiday of family
gatherings and gift giving. This lesson will focus on what
God has to say about this subject of Christmas and some
misconceptions that people have about it.

         First of all, God has commanded that we have
authority from Him for everything we do in religion or
otherwise: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to
God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). So
if we were to celebrate Christmas has a religious
holiday, then God would have authorized such. But
to most people’s surprise, our Father has not given
that authorization. In fact, Christmas is not even
mentioned in the Bible. There are several passages
within the pages of the Bible that show God’s displeasure
with His children assuming they honor and worship
Him in any fashion they choose. Nadab and Abihu
thought they could worship God in a manner that He
did not authorize and they were killed for their action (Leviticus 10:1-3).

         Besides the fact that God does not authorize
celebrating Christmas, the world as a whole has several
misconceptions about the events that are associated
with it. For instance, the day on which Christmas is
celebrated was very likely not the actual day of Christ’s
birth. For the Northern Hemisphere at least, the 25th of
December falls in the wintertime. The Bible tells us that
at the time of Jesus’ birth there were “shepherds abiding
in the field,  keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8).
Shepherds would not be out with their sheep in the wintertime.
Another error in belief is in how people portray the “nativity”
scene. Usually the setup includes a Joseph and Mary, a baby
Jesus in a manger, some animals gathered around and three
wise men. The first thing wrong with this scene is that Jesus
was no longer in a manger by the time the wise men got to
where He was. According to Matthew 2:9-11, Jesus was
in a “house” with His earthly parents. Also the fact that three
wise men are normally portrayed in the scene is not necessarily
accurate. The Bible only speaks of “wise men” and not
specifically three. Don’t we assume there were three because
scripture mentions the three gifts that were given (Matt. 2:11)?

         The last point to be made is the historical celebration of
Christmas. Unknown to the early church, Christmas was not
even celebrated till around the 5th century. The following bit
of information was gleaned from internet sites on the history
of Christmas: “The name "Christmas" derives from "Christes
Masse," a medieval way of saying the Mass of Christ. Indeed,
this mass is probably one of the most observed ceremonies in
the whole year. Such a celebration in the past was not considered
by the Christian church until the 5th century.” Christmas, as a
holiday, was started by the Roman Catholic church hence the
name “Christ – Mass”.

         The holiday season is a marvelous time of year. Most
everyone becomes more generous in their giving and caring
for those in need. Families get together and enjoy each
other’s company and exchange gifts. Is there something
wrong with this? Of course not, unless we attach a religious
meaning to it. God is indeed a loving God but He is also a
God of vengeance. He indeed punishes those who are
arrogant enough to believe they know, apart from His word,
what will please Him. Let us all enjoy this time of year. Let
us all give to those in need. But let us not assume to celebrate
something that God has not authorized us to celebrate. Make
this a time of celebrating family and our abundance, not the
birth of Christ.
 

In Christ, Steve Preston


 
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