I’m quite aware of the fact that writing this study about the most popular Holiday of the year is not the best way to be popular—especially during this time of year.

"What’s the matter, preacher man, you playing Dr.Killjoy? Are you a party basher? You think you’re too good to celebrate the birth of the greatest man who ever lived? Everybody’s doing it, man! The whole country's doing it. And here you are, you and other fanatical crazies like yourself, all of you holding out because of a few minor technicalities. O.k., so Christmas is pagan in origin, so what? So Dec. 25th isn't the birthday of Christ, and the apostles and early Chrisians didn't celebrate His birth. No one is arguing with you about that. But so what? Who cares? What difference does it make? Look, this is the one time of the year when our children have more fun than any other, and when more people are talking about Jesus! That’s right, they’re talking about our Jesus. And then there's all those terrific Christmas concerts and Christmas carols, and happy faces and happy reunions, and gifts, and great food and all that sort of thing. But what do you and those other social misfits like yourself want to do? Nothing. That’s right, nothing—unless it’s to sit back and criticize the rest of us. You want my opinion? I think you're a bunch of self-righteous, nit-picking, Bible quoting, fault-finding Scrooges, all of you! Bury Scrooge, brother, turn up the music, put a smile on your face and join the crowd. It's time to accelerate to celebrate! Here, have a tree! Dress it up!"

"So what......Who cares......What does it matter?" Isn't that where the problem really lies? Few professing Christians that I know are concerned enough about this Holiday to even find out if it does matters. In a response to this alarming apathy, I have drawn up what I believe are ten sound Biblical reasons why it does matter, deeply and eternally.

THE WORD OF GOD, we're told, "throughly furnishes" the believer "unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16-17. Since it does not furnish us to celebrate the birthday of Christ, how can it be a "good work" — or how can it please God? Heb. 11:6 tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please Him." The source of faith? "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. i.e., faith is simply taking God at His Word. We’re told that "the just shall live by faith....we walk by faith, not by sight. Luke 6:46; Rom. 10:17; Gal. 3:11; 2 Cor. 5:7.

2. TRADITIONS OF MEN vs. THE BIBLE. : It is no secret that the day of Christ's birth is not recorded in the Bible, neither are we told how many wise men there were, nor do the Scriptures record that they were Kings of the Orient, or that the star came and stood over the manger where the Christ child lay. Yet these and other legends have become so engrained in the public conscience that they are annually presented as fact in songs, pageants, plays, books, radio and t.v. In these, and other stories, tradition has replaced the Bible. But God says, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the TRADITION OF MEN....." Col. 2:8. (emphasis added)

The power of tradition to shackle and control the minds of those who come to worship at its shrine, is never more evident than at this time of year when sleigh-bells, Rudy the red-nosed reindeer, Santa Clauses, Christmas trees, lights and gifts, manger scenes and tinseled, starlit window dressing, dominate malls and downtown shopping centers.

3. THE MONEY CHANGERS: Regardless of their religious persuasions, businessmen all over America join hands in sweet accord to make merchandise of the birthday of Christ. Some can't even wait until Thanksgiving to begin their "Chri$tma$ adverti$ing. But it isn't long before the ring of sleigh bells and cash registers drown out the sounds of thanksgiving—and the gift-rush is on. Merchants brace themselves for a lucrative touchdown as crowds overflow their stores.

"HIGHLY ESTEEMED": Christ said, "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15 Christian friend, do you know of any other day of the year that is more highly esteemed in America, and in many other countries, than this farce called "CHRISTMAS"?


5. THE ORIGIN OF YULETIDE:  Encyclopedia Americana—Vol. 6; page 623 "Christmas, derived from the medieval Christes Masse, the Mass of Christ, the feast commemorating the birth of Jesus, observed by the Western [Roman Catholic] Church annually on the 25th of December.....In the 5th century, the church ordered the birth of the Savior to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol (the sun) as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed. The holly, the mistletoe, the yule log, the wassail bowl are RELICS OF PRE-CHRISTIAN TIMES." (emphasis added)

Encyclopedia Britannica—14th edition, vol. 5; p. 642— "Christmas Customs are an evolution from times that long antedated the Christian perioda descent from seasonal, pagan, religious and national practices, hedged about with legend and tradition. Their seasonal connections with the pagan feasts of the winter solstice relate them to the beginning of time." (emphsis added)


6. THE WORD "CHRISTMAS" is derived from the contraction of two words, "CHRIST" and "MASS." the Christes masse, or the Mass of Christ. What is the MASS? Roman Catholicism teaches that it is one of many essential steps to salvation. In the celebration of the offering of Christ in the Mass, we're expected to believe that the priest, by the "miracle of transubstantiation," turns the bread and wine into the actual physical body and blood of Jesus Christ, (under the appearance of bread and wine) which are then offered as a daily sacrifice of Christ for remission of sins and the ultimate salvation of its members.

Hebrews 10:12 & 26, however, disagrees. Rome's own Confraternity Douay Version of the Bible tells us that because Christ "OFFERED ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS.....THERE REMAINS NO LONGER A SACRIFICE FOR SINS." This truth is confirmed in Hebrews 7:27, where we read that Christ offered Himself for sins "ONCE FOR ALL." Strange that Rome's clearly expressed purpose for the Mass is diametrically opposed by her very own version of the Bible!


7. THE "CHRISTMAS TREE," as we know it today, has descended from a long line of trees used for centuries by pagans in the idolatrous worship of their gods, carved from trees.

In communicating with Israel about this matter, God said, "Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen.....for the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest.....they deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not, They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not; they must needs be borne, because they cannot go...." Jeremiah 210:21-5. Does this not have a familiar ring to it?


Footnote: God says of trees, "Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil; Neiher also is it in them to do good." What most Christians fail to realize is that behind the use of the tree is a force, a power, an authority of evil that perpetuates the annual practice of cutting a tree out of the forest, decorating it with silver and gold and angels and stars, bells, animals, lights and snow. Read 1 Cor. 11:20 in context. Demons, who are referred to by the apostle Paul as "principalities and powers, [as] the rulers of the darkness of this world" are behind every religious event, celebration, holiday and custom not authorized by the Word of God. Read Eph. 6:12 with 1 Cor. 10:19-20 thoughtfully.. Paul concludes, "....and I would not that ye should have fellowship with demons."


Today, the tree remains as popular as ever, both with the majority of believers and unbelievers alike. Thus the words of the Lord Jesus to the Scribes and Pharisees are as applicable to this present generation as they were in His day: "Ye [have] made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition full well ye reject the commandment of God that ye may keep your own tradition." Matt. 15:6; Mark 7. Again note this warning in Col. 2:8: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men.... and not after Christ."


8. EXCUSES: "Hey, brother, everybody's celebrating the birthday of Christ, why aren't you?" Because, says God, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." Exod. 23:2 "Well, I can't see that it hurts anything." God says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Sin hurts. "But it gives our children a lot of pleasure." You mean it gives you a lot of pleasure. "Just the same, it reminds unbelievers of the birthday of Christ and makes it easier to reach them for Christ." Romans 3:8 asks, "Shall we do evil, that good may come"? "But think how the poor and homeless are cared for this time of year, that counts for something doesn’t it?" God says, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice."1 Sam. 15:22. Incidentally, friend, who cares for the poor and homeless AFTER "Christmas"? Will their needs be any less in January or February? Where will the so-called "spirit of Christmas" have gone during the two coldest months of the year? For most, it will have ceased to exist till next December. That alone should speak volumes!


9. "SANTA CLAUS" — A harmless legend? Once your child has been shockingly disillusioned regarding "Santa," he may find it very difficult to be-lieve the gospel. You lied to him about big-hearted "Santa"— who you know does not exist—now he may secretly distrust you concerning his need for Christ— who you know does exist! And, rest assured, friend, the enemy of our souls will do all he can to fan the flames of disbelief in your child.

Dr. Paul Popenoe, in one of his columns entitled, "Your Family and You," once wrote that, "Parents should not lie to their children," He then quoted Dr. Brock Chisholm, former director of the World Health Organization, who said, "Among all the lies that parents commonly tell their children, I believe the highly organized one about Santa Claus is the most destructive.

Think about it, parent. During his most formative years (1-7) you repeatedly impressed on your child, "If you want gifts from Santa you gotta’ be good." A few years later, in order to win him over to Christ, you share the gospel. But, to be saved from the guilt and penalty of sin, your youngster must now realize that he is NOT good, that, "...all have sinned and come short of the glory of God... [that]..."there is none that doeth good, no not one." Rom. 3:23; Rom. 3:10-12.

First you taught him to "be good and do good" to deserve Santa’s gifts, now you’re telling him, "there is none good." How these mixed signals impact your youngster may be crucial to his acceptance of the gospel. I would humbly suggest that as you work with him, you first admit where you sinned in lying to him about how he must "be good and do good" in order to receive gifts from a fake Santa Claus. Then build on that confession. And pray God that He will overrule your folly by helping your son, early on, to truly understand his lost condition. If we are all basically good, who needs a Savior? But the Lord Jesus said, "They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous [those who believe they are "good enough"] but sinners [members of Adam's family who realize their lost and sinful state] to repentance." (emphasis added) Mk. 2:17


10. CHRIST'S BIRTHDAY:  If your family held a birthday party for you today, friend, who would receive the gifts? Would your kinfolk exchange gifts with one another while inviting you to merely blow out the candles? How absurd! Yet friends and foes of Christ, alike, give gifts to one another and tell us they are celebrating His birth. How totally and sinfully inappropriate!


THE CHOICE IS OURS: Dear reader, shall we obey the Word of God and quit learning "the way of the heathen," or shall we go on blinding ourselves to the sober warnings of the Bible and observe again with a Christ-rejecting, Christ-hating world, a holiday fraught with paganism, debauchery, legends, traditions and vain customs of men? Shall we turn from religious traditions because God commands it, or shall we again join unbelievers in celebrating a program that is largely characterized by religious festivities, lying to children, drunkenness, gluttony, revellings, immorality, drug-abuse, a dramatic rise in car accidents, murders, suicides, depression, and the list goes on and on.

May God help us who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, to be like David of old who said, "Therefore, I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; AND I HATE EVERY FALSE WAY." (emphasis added) Psa. 119:128. Oh, Christian friend, let's truly despise the things that God despises and cleave to those things that Scripturally honor His Son. And may we not fear to take an unflinching, uncompromising stand alongside the risen Christ during this day of His rejection! As unpopular as that may be, we'll be glad in eternity that we did!

CAN YOU ANSWER THIS QUESTION? Why is it that the world loves the the babe in the manger but hates, despises and rejects the man on the cross? Was He not as meek and lowly when He died for our sins as when He was an infant? Of course, but Christ said, "they hated me without a cause." John 15:25 with Matt. 11:28-30 

Bob Thompson

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11:28-30 (emphasis added)

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