Why does Christianity celebrate Christmas, and place so much emphasis on the birth of Yeshua (Jesus) and the nativity scene? Then you have all the gift giving, money spending, Santa Claus, Christmas trees and decorations about which the Scriptures say nothing.
The prophet Isaiah wrote:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of Y’Hovah (the LORD) of hosts will accomplish this."
Is 9:6-7 NASB
The emphasis here is not on the celebration of Yeshua’s birth, but that the importance of His coming the first time was to point to His coming the second time. The emphasis is on who the Messiah is, and who He will come as, and His millennial kingdom reign on the throne of David forever.
Read Luke chapter 2. This also speaks nothing about the celebration of Yeshua’s birth, or even the date of His birth. This passage speaks of the reason for His coming to be Saviour. He was to be set apart according to the Law; to be given the Name Yehoshua as foretold by the angel (v21), meaning ‘Y’Hovah is salvation’. It spells out his future ministry and purpose in coming.
Where in the Scriptures are we told to celebrate the birth of Yeshua? We’re not!
Why does Protestant Christianity celebrate Yeshua’s birth at all, let alone on the same day that the Roman Empire celebrated the birth of their Sun God?
Then the Pope and his Christian Church, joined forces with Rome and together became the Holy Roman Empire, but we do not have to follow blindly on with them.
They did it to get the heathen or pagans to join their Church. So they celebrated the same festival to the same sun god on the day of his supposed birth, but changed the name of this pagan god to Jesus.
Where does the name Christmas come from? It comes from Roman Catholocism and means “Christ’s Mass” or “the Mass of Christ”.
Christmas is based on or calculated on the winter solstice, when the sun is at its lowest point and on the turn toward the spring.
This was the day paganism celebrated the rebirth of the sun and commemorated it as the birth day of the sun god, the divine child. This winter festival was very important for all the sun-worshipping cultures. Each culture had their own name for their sun god.
December the 25th in 274AD was set by the Roman Emperor Aurelion as the birthday of the unconquered sun. This was not the birthday of Yeshua the Son God, as believed by so many Christians. Around 50 – 60 years after that the Church of Rome established the commemoration of the birthday of Jesus Christ as the sun of righteousness on the same date. (See Encyclopedia Britannica) Christianity was becoming paganized!
The Roman Catholic Church chose many pagan religious dates and festivals for their Holy Days. They then changed the names of other pagan gods to names and events found in the Bible, such as the unbiblical “Easter” celebration of Jesus, which is based on the pagan goddess Ishtar or Eastra, Mary, Saint Peter the first Pope, Saint Paul, Saint John among many others they pray to and worship in order to get the pagans to join the church.
What about the commercialisation of Christmas?
When big business and the retail and commercial world join forces with the Church and its traditions, doesn’t that sound loud “warning bells”?
Christmas bells, Santa’s sleigh bells and church bells all ringing as one should be “warning bells” to all of Christianity.
Especially with all the warnings in Scripture about cozying up to the world. The whole business, financial and retail world has joined wholeheartedly with Christianity so as to make a lot of money out of Christian tradition at the expense of citizen Joe and Jane’s expense.
And the church and the world are good at making you feel guilty if you don’t join in.
Even the people and families who are living on Struggle Street and close to poverty are forced by the big commercial companies to spend money they don’t have. The credit card debt, and borrowed money that can’t be repaid because of Christmas is huge.
Many a family is broken and ravaged by this “exciting”, high pressure season of false hope and happiness. Christianity has much to answer for!
Christmas holidays are about extending the retail economy, keeping the big sales going and the travelling season as long as possible. It’s all about the money!
Then you have the messages of deception, that says it’s all about family reunion and get togethers. How many broken marriages and families with sibling rivalries and hatred are resolved at Christmas?
Not as many as are put under stress and matters often made worse. We need to read the Scriptures as to how families are to live, relate, and bring up children in God’s way and truth.
Christmas and New Years Eve in this world, and too often among Christians, is as much about parties, drunkenness, carousing, immorality and idolatry (i.e. worshipping the gods and ideals and lifestyles of this world) as anything else.
Do you think that celebrating a festival called Christmas as the birth of Jesus, based on a pagan festival is pleasing to God? I can assure you it isn’t.
Do you think celebrating Christmas and the pagan festival Easter will get you into the Kingdom of Heaven? No, it will more likely keep you out.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’”
Matthew 7:21-23 NASB
How many Christians go to Church only about twice a year, at Christmas and Easter? Why? Because they think it will give them favour with God when they die and therefore go to heaven. But it won’t, no matter how often we go to church.
The observance of the 25th of December was a pagan observance long before the tradition of the birth of Jesus as “Christ's Mass” was attached to it by the Roman Catholic Church.
Roman Catholicism is also the birth place of Christianity. These early pagan festivals also included gift giving, decorating fir trees, holly, mistletoe, parties, and the celebration of their gods. They just added Jesus and the nativity scene to the list and joined in, hoping to get people into their churches.
When Christians attend their next Carols by Candlelight, cheering and applauding so many of this worlds’ entertainers who neither believe in God or follow Jesus Christ, who live lives blasphemous to His Word, what do you think God is thinking?
Christmas Carols and a Christian Father Christmas is not God’s idea of obedience to Him and His word. And what of Christian Radio Stations raising funds to give gifts to the poor?
I spent two weeks in Victoria, and the Christian Radio Stations spent all day for days on end getting people to donate $200 for a family or multiples of $200, to buy Christmas presents for poor families. The targets for how much money to raise every day were high and the pressure to participate even higher. The comments of some announcers were about how Jesus was born on the 25th of December and we need to celebrate His birthday, and other incorrect and unbiblical comments.
When Christianity becomes one with the commercialism of the world and see its “spiritual” tradition as compatible with the world exploiting its message for financial gain, the Church has really lost its way and purpose. Where is Protestantism’s mantra of the Bible and nothing but the Bible gone?
Helping the poor and needy is good, commendable and Godly any time of the year, but it is a very sad reason for the Church to justify the celebration of Christmas. If the world wants your Christmas, then give it to them, for helping the world to celebrate Christmas is not part of the will of God.
The Kingdom of God is at stake.
Deuteronomy 12:28-32 stands as true today as the day it was written, as does all Scripture, and all Christianity will be judged on the basis of it:
“Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.
When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not enquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?
You shall not worship the LORD your God in this way, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Everything I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.”
Yeshua Himself tells us in Matthew 15:3-9.
“Why do you yourselves transgress the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions? ...And by this you invalidate the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
‘This people honours Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. In vain they do worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”
Read Malachi 3:6-7, Hebrews 13:8 and Revelation 22:18-19 re the unchangeable nature of God and His word or commandments.
God Himself in His Word tells us what we are to celebrate, how we are to celebrate, when we are to celebrate and why we are to celebrate. (See Leviticus 23)
When Roman Catholicism became the official religion of the Roman Empire and called it Christianity, then paganism and idolatry formed the basis for the new traditions of men called Christmas and Easter, as well as the foundation for many other Christian doctrines, beliefs and Holy Days.
Again its recorded of Yeshua in Luke 6:46-49, saying:
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?”
Yeshua challenges us to come out of this Babylonian expression of evil in Revelation 18:4-6:
“Come out of her My people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues! For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Pay her back just as she has paid out and give her back double for her deeds. In the cup she has mixed – mix a double dose for her.”
(See Jeremiah 50:8; 51:6-7)
Will we listen to the heart cry of our Heavenly Father and His Son Yeshua, and honour what He asks of us? Christmas is not God’s idea of how to celebrate Yeshua’s first coming, that’s called Passover! These things keep us from celebrating the true Festivals He requires of us.
If this article has offended anyone, then I apologise sincerely. It was not intended to offend, but to challenge, and to get people to look into the teachings of Scripture, and church history for themselves. Study God’s Word from cover to cover, and do not just accept what is preached over the pulpits of Christendom as being the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
~ John Pike