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 (Living Waters 1983 Volume 2)
The Truth About Christmas
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Paul Wong

I recently saw a bumper sticker which reads: "Keep Christ in Christmas." Deeply religious Christians all over the world are greatly concerned about the way Christmas is being celebrated nowadays.  They contend that, since Christmas is a Christian holiday, the Lord Jesus Christ should be the center of all the celebrations, Then, there are other groups of Christians in various countries who question whether Christians should celebrate Christmas and whether the Lord Jesus Christ was ever in Christmas at all.  What I shall present to you in this essay may not seem as a gift all wrapped up in tinsel or multi-colored paper, but it is the undeniable truth.

First of all, the word 'Christmas' cannot be found in the Holy Bible.  This word originated from the Roman Catholic Church.  It is a combination of the two words "Christ" and "Mass" The idea of Christmas was carried over to the Reformation and ProtestantChurches although they do not believe in the Catholic Mass.  It seems inconsistent for Christians to celebrate Christmas when they do not believe in the Mass at all.

Secondly, the Lord Jesus Christ never celebrated His own birthday.  His own family, relatives, friends, apostles and disciples did not celebrate His birthday.  One cannot find a single reference in the entire New Testament where the EarlyChurch ever celebrated Christmas.  According to church historians, Christmas was not celebrated during the first three centuries after the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Christians who are of the apostolic faith should follow the apostolic tradition of not celebrating Christmas.

Thirdly, nobody knows the exact date of the Lord Jesus Christ's birthday.  Does it ever occur to you that God may not want Christians to celebrate the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ?  If God had wanted us to celebrate Christ's birthday, would He not reveal the exact date to us?  He has constantly revealed the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath and He has commanded man to keep this day holy unto Him.  This is the Fourth Commandment.  The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded His disciples to remember His death by observing Holy Communion, but He was completely silent about remembering His birthday.  Should Christians do something which they are not told to do?  I don't think so.

Fourth, the date December 25th was a pagan holiday.  The Roman pagans were celebrating a week-long festival known as Saturnalia from December 17 through 24.  Immediately following this festival is the Brumalial the birth of the Unconquered Sun which falls on December 25.  Since the Roman pagans were fanatical sun worshippers, the Brumalia was considered one of their most important festivals.  In order to make the new Christian religion easily acceptable to the pagan converts, the Roman Catholic Church transferred the pagan festival to a Christian holiday by changing the worship of the sun-god Mithras to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  What does the Word of God say about mixing pagan worship with Christianity?

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 states, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?  And what accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever?  And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For you are the temple of the living God.  As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them.  I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

Furthermore, the pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1621 A.D. were Puritans who did not celebrate Christmas.  They were persecuted for their puritanic beliefs in England, so they set sail on the Mayflower with the hope that they could have religious freedom in America.  Wouldn't the pilgrim fathers be greatly disappointed if they knew that their puritanic teachings about keeping strictly to the Holy Bible would not be followed by Americans in the days to come.

There is an important truth about the Lord Jesus Christ which Christians must always remember.  Although Jesus came into this world as a man, He is actually the Almighty God.  Colossians 2:9 states, "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." He declared himself as God when He said, "I and My Father are One." (Jn 10:30) The Lord also claimed to have existed long before His birth.  In John 8:56-58 our Lord told His contemporaries, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am." When the Lord said, "I AM" He was proclaiming His self existence from eternity to eternity.  Hebrews 7:3 states that the Lord Jesus Christ has "neither beginning of days nor end of life." In Micah 5:2, there is a prophecy that, although Jesus Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, His "Goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Only God's creatures have birthdays.  Birth means the beginning of life.  The Bible states that the Lord Jesus Christ does not have a beginning of life.  His coming to this world is only a phase of His eternal existence.  Celebrating the Lord's birthday is to regard Him as an ordinary human being.  He is the One and only Eternal True God.