Christmas: Yes or No?

charlie-brown-christmas

What is your view on Christmas or other holidays such as Easter? Personally, I don’t have a “stand” as in I am for it or against it. I am for Christ, and I hope that my love for Christ remains the fullest everyday, be it Christmas or not. But I am disappointed whenever some “Christians” chant the slogan of  “bring Christ back in Christmas”. I am also frustrated when some “Christians” mock other believers on celebrating this “pagan” holiday.

Participating or not in Christmas celebrations does not determine whether one is a Christian or not. Everyone has a different conscience. And I don’t want to lie: to say that I enjoy Christmas solely because it is a time that celebrates Christ’s birth is simply not true. I enjoy the time of Christmas also because of the beautiful decorations, the festive atmosphere, the Christmasy drinks, the time with family and friends, etc. It was the children Christmas songs that made me want to learn the piano. Nevertheless, to those who look down on the brothers and sisters who celebrate Christmas, I would love to share personally that I have experienced incredible power in Christmas corporate worships among churches. In these wonderful celebrations, Christ renewed my excitement for the birth of Christ, the very mystery of our God emptying Himself to take on the form of humanity. I was astonished in joy and overwhelmed in tears that I just wanted to kneel down and kept praising Him eternally. Truly, God moves without limit!

GotQuestion.org gives a very wise answer:

“As we have seen, there is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. At the same time, there is no biblical mandate to celebrate it, either. In the end, of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision. Whatever Christians decide to do regarding Christmas, their views should not be used as a club with which to beat down or denigrate those with opposing views, nor should either view be used as a badge of honor inducing pride over celebrating or not celebrating. As in all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5) and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas.”

“He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.” (Romans 14:6). Perhaps Christmas does have a pagan origin, but if this day can be sanctified and used for His kingdom, let it be done with His blessings. Neither one is the better way. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”(Romans 10:31). Christmas is not a matter of “right” or “wrong”. There is nothing legalistic about it. We should receive each other in love regardless of our decisions. Let all things be done for building up and for Him. I am sure many Christians exalt Christ wholeheartedly in Christmas. They don’t, like some may argue, celebrate Christmas to worship pagan Gods. John Piper also proposed some good points:

  1. Even though Christmas has a pagan roots doesn’t mean it’s “evil”. Our modern language also has pagan roots. Most of our days of the week grew out of pagan names. For example, “Sunday” comes from the Latin dies solis, meaning “sun’s day”: the name of a pagan Roman holiday; “Monday” comes from the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon monandaeg, “the moon’s day”. “Tuesday” was named after the Norse god Tyr. To stop using such words because of its pagan roots would be difficult.
  2. Our celebrations of birthdays, weddings, and Valentine’s Day, etc, all have pagan roots.  Valentine’s Day began as a pagan rite celebrated with drunkenness while sweets and flowers were given as sacrifices to the gods.

I have also encountered some strange condemnation from non-celebrating Christians on those who celebrate Christmas. For example, Jeremiah 10:1-16 were quoted to argue that Christmas trees are idolatry. I have yet to find a Christian today that worship Christmas trees with silver and gold as in the case of Jeremiah 10. I have also seen Christians who are enthusiastic about Chinese New Year, which is essentially filled with paganism and idol worship, and yet disgusted at Christmas. To me, this is plain hypocrisy.

As always, to God be the Glory. Let us live in the fullness of joy brought by his birth, salvation, and resurrection every single day!

 

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