THE CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTMAS- INTRODUCTION
Santa Claus. Christmas trees. Exchanging gifts with people you really don’t care about or even know. Office parties which involve drinking and immorality. Is Christmas really Christian or pagan?
THE CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTMAS- Pagan Myths and Practices
The best arguments against Christmas are the pagan myths and practices that have attached themselves like so many barnacles to a ship. But just as you don’t abandon a ship simply because it’s got some barnacles on it, you don’t need to abandon Christmas because non-Christians abuse it.
THE CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTMAS- No Violation of Biblical Principles
The Bible neither commands nor condemns Christmas. Nor is there any biblical principle violated by the celebration of Christ’s birthday. Scripture clearly teaches that anything is permitted as long as it does not violate biblical principles, and as long as it is done in faith, with love, and in a manner that edifies (Rom. 13:10; 14:4-5, 23; 1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23; Col. 2:20-22).
THE CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTMAS- What Day WAS Jesus Born on?
Often we are told that celebrating Christ’s birthday on December 25th is very wrong, for two reasons. The first is that Christ was probably not even born on December 25th. That’s probably true, but so what? We don’t know on what day Jesus Christ was actually born, but what does it really matter? What matters is that we are commemorating the birth of the Savior of the world.
THE CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTMAS- Pagan Festivals
The second objection is more weighty — when Christmas was originally instituted, December 25th was a pagan festival which commemorated the birthday of a false god. While this is a historical fact, what is often overlooked by the church is its intent in choosing December 25th in the first place. The church was not Christianizing a pagan festival, but was establishing the celebration of the birth of Christ as a rival celebration. Today the world has all but forgotten about the pagan gods of Greece and Rome, but at least a billion people on planet earth today consider themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ.
THE CHRISTIAN AND CHRISTMAS- Conclusion
Well, over the next few days I’m going to be discussing what Christians should think of such traditional aspects of Christmas as Santa Claus and Christmas trees. But remember, there is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world, I think it’s great. On Christmas, that’s the CRI perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.