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"I don't think celebrating Christ's birth is necessarily wrong because the angels did celebrate it in Luke 2:13-14. However, God never commanded man to create a holiday around it."
Did you catch that? In my opinion, Jesus is NOT the reason for the Christmas season. Maybe you've never heard such a saying as this. Just keep reading. Please at least read through this entire article, even if you disagree. It will only take a few minutes, and I'm sure you'll still gain something from this! No matter your stance on this article, I also urge you to meditate on the Scriptures that are listed and any others you find regarding this topic. I want you to engage with God's Word and understand these things for yourself rather than simply taking my word for it! This might be the most controversial of all of the blog posts from LUMs that you may read, but I feel this topic is important and needs to be talked about. Are you ready?
If you're reading this, I am 99.99% sure that you celebrate Christmas. Who doesn't? Christmas is a holiday favorite for many people. This time of year is the most wonderful time of year. It's full of laughter, cheer, cold weather, gifts, and of course, hot cocoa! Christmas is probably the most celebrated holiday in the whole world. As wonderful as Christmas is, personally, I would prefer not to take part in celebrating it. "Christ"-mas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of our savior, but society has turned this into a holiday that revolves around materialism, gifts, and getting a few days off from work or school. The kicker is that hardly anyone advertises Jesus during Christmas. (Although, you really can't put a price on Him.) Christmas has almost nothing to do with Jesus.
Please don't misunderstand my point. My intent is not to be a negative nanny or put a damper in anyone's holiday spirit. Christmastime is a pretty wonderful time of year, but I simply want to make you aware of a practice that Christians may be participating in that may be more about our own desires than about God's. Below these images, I want to share with you three reasons why I prefer not to celebrate Christmas:
#1 - I think we can all see that Christmas has little to do with Christ.
It seems to me as if Christmas has been made into a mockery of who God is. This might sound extreme, but it's becoming more and more obvious that Jesus isn't really the reason for the season. Get this: Santa Claus has the attributes of God! He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, and he knows if you've been bad or good. Millions of kids around the world focus on pleasing Santa Claus during the year to receive all of their hearts' desires on Christmas morning. Christmas trees have nothing to do with Jesus. Neither do gifts, reindeer, sleighs, fancy lights, or any other items that are symbols of this holiday season. Where is our savior in all of this?
I don't believe it's okay to try to put Christ into Christmas when it's something he was never really in.
#2 - When did God ever ask or command Christians to celebrate his son's birth in the form of a holiday?
I don't think celebrating Christ's birth is necessarily wrong because the angels did celebrate it in Luke 2:13-14. However, God never commanded man to create a holiday around it. If God wanted us to do so, I think He would have made this pretty clear. Plus, Christmas wasn't celebrated by the early church. Celebrating Christ's birth in the form of Christmas, where we give gifts to each other is not Biblical.The birth of Jesus definitely matters, and we should definitely take a few moments to praise God for the fact that his Son came down from heaven to become flesh. Remember, though, that Christ's birth is not what saved us. His death saved us, and we are told to commemorate it every Sunday, rather than only a few times a year on holidays. Acts 20:7 explains that the Christians in the early church met weekly to take the Lord's supper. We are to do the same, and in doing so we are acknowledging, proclaiming, and remembering Christ’s sacrificial death. This is what God intended.
#3 - The focus is sometimes skewed to where it has become more about what we want than what God wants.
I know this has definitely been the case for me. When I was younger, all I cared about was waking up to beautifully wrapped gifts under our small, but fitting, Christmas tree on Christmas morning. I couldn't wait. I could have cared less about Jesus on Christmas. All I wanted was what I wanted. Around Christmastime my focus often shifts to myself, when it should be on others year round.
We give gifts to each other to show our Christmas spirit, but might I point out that this does not directly have anything to do with Christ. (Some people even give Christmas gifts only to receive some back.) Yes, the three wise men showered Jesus with gifts after he was born in Matthew 2:1-12, but these gifts were given to Jesus himself, and not to other people. Showering each other with gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus was never in God's plan.
Do you celebrate Christmas to get what you want?
Our intentions in worshiping and proclaiming God to the world can be good, but they are not always necessarily pleasing to Him. 1 Samuel 15:22 says, "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. We are called to be in the world, but not of it." In other words, obeying God and doing what he says is better and more pleasing to Him than any ritual, holiday, or ceremony that we think could be pleasing to Him. If God never asked us to celebrate something, this does not authorize us to do so. Deuteronomy 4:2 talks about not adding to or taking away from God's words. We must be careful not to do so in trying to justify certain things. Keep in mind this doesn't only apply to celebrating Christmas or Easter; it applies to a multitude of other things.
#4: God tells us not to worship or celebrate like the pagans.
I won't go in-depth on this topic because I would love for you to look at these Scriptures below on your own:
- Colossians 2:8
- Romans 12:2
- Jeremiah 10:1-5
- 1 John 2:15-17
Take a few minutes to read through these scriptures, and meditate on them today!
#5 - You don't have to worry about buying people gifts, which means you save money and time!
Who doesn't love to save money and/or time?
Whether you agree or disagree with me, I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this matter. Feel free to schedule a time to do a Bible study with me on my calendar. I'd love to study the Word with you and discuss this matter further!
I encourage you to think about what God really wants from you in this holiday season. Ask yourself, "Why do I celebrate Christmas?"
If you're curious about a little bit of the history of Christmas, check out this video below: