Should Christians celebrate Christmas? - 12/24/2004

Hi ! i have a quick question to ask about christmas if it's really something we have to celebrate as true believers of Jesus Christ.Am i doing God's will by participating with the parties,family gatherings ,gift giving and decoratings ?I am confused specially when the church that i attend to which is a christian non denomination church placed a christmas tree, lights and decorations right in front of the church where we worship Jesus.If it is a pagan thing why would they do that?my son too was surprised and confused.please we need help on these matter. thanks so much and more power to your works and may God strenghten you always.
gerry





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi Gerry. Thanks for writing. Are we, as Christians, required to celebrate Christmas? Certainly not. I know of some Christians who don't celebrate Christmas. At least, not in the traditional way. There is no biblical command to celebrate the birth of Christ, nor is there any biblical prohibition against doing so. This is solely a matter for each person to decide. It is true that some of the traditions of Christmas had parallels in paganism, but that does not necessarily transfer a pagan meaning or intent to those areas of the Christmas celebration. For example, a pagan religion in ancient Babylon taught of a "messiah" who was resurrected. This pagan legend sprung up centuries before the birth of Christ, but it does not negate the truthfulness of the gospel or the identity of the true Messiah. Similarities should not cause us to decree guilt by association. The selection of December 25th was largely to counter a popular pagan celebration. I see nothing wrong with that. It's akin to many churches holding Halloween alternatives for children on October 31st. I would much rather see December 25th remembered as a celebration of Christ's birth rather than a celebration of the Roman god Saturn.

Another person had written to us with a similar question, and I went into a little more detail on some of the history of Christmas. You can read that response here: http://contenderministries.org/mail/01112004pagan.php. To recap, the Christmas tree and a December 25th celebration has no pagan importance to Christians in the celebration of Christmas. Consequently, there is no sin in partaking in Christmas festivities. However, the choice is strictly up to each person to decide for himself or herself. What IS important is that we acknowledge with thankfulness the fact that God the Son took on the flesh and sacrificed Himself for us. We should be mindful of that regardless of the date or season. God bless!

In Christ,

Ben Rast
Contender Ministries