Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christ and Christmas - A Biblical Perspective - Part II

It is quite clear, the facts are indisputable – the origins of what we call “Christmas” are from both pagan and apostate sources.  Ironies of ironies – the most “holy” day (holiday) in so-called “Christendom” is Christmas (“Christ-Mass”), a celebration unauthorized by Christ in the New Testament while clear instructions Christ gave “in remembrance of me” are the most IGNORED in our society!  The more things change, the more they stay the same – “there is nothing new under the sun,” people embrace SPECULATION and ignore REVELATION! Having said that, almost no one alive today associates Christmas with its REAL history.  Instead, over the centuries, the meaning of “Christmas” has morphed into something quite positive – CULTURALLY.  Though concocting some kind of “Christmas Service” in a congregational setting would be a flagrant addition to God’s inspired Word, the celebration of this holiday in America is generally a very positive thing - CULTURALLY.

Who can deny Christmas brings happiness and glee to the children?  Who can deny that Christmas has inspired some of the most beautiful music ever composed such as Handel’s Messiah?  Who can not be inspired by “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or entertained by “A Christmas Story?”  Who cannot be moved by Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol?”  Who cannot bring up multiple wonderful memories of Christmas’ past?  Who can deny the delight of seeing a relatives eyes light up when opening a special gift?  Who can deny the warmth of hearth and family this time of year?  Who can deny the excitement of choosing and putting up the Christmas tree?  Who can deny that the many kindnesses extended to one another around Christmas are not a very good thing?  Who can deny that Christmas is uniquely American?!  Who can deny that we all wish for a white Christmas every year?  Who can deny that it is a very good thing that more people are open to discuss Jesus Christ around Christmas than at any other time of the year?

I’ll admit it – I LOVE Christmas and celebrate it with gusto!  I do not celebrate Christmas, though, as a matter of faith.  I don’t believe for a minute that Christ was born on December 25 or, if he was, that it would matter in any way.  Why?  Christ did not command such a celebration, in fact He never even mentioned it!  The Apostles did not celebrate it nor did they ever mention it!  In fact Christmas was not celebrated at all until over 400 years AFTER Christ!  I celebrate Christmas because it is so American and I am an American by the grace of God!  I also, with the same enthusiasm, celebrate both the 4th of July and Thanksgiving.  Why?  Simply this, Christmas, the 4th of July and Thanksgiving are “as American as apple pie and George Washington!”

Finally, I celebrate Christmas because I, as an individual, am free to do so in Christ!  In Romans 14.5, Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes it very clear that Christians are free to celebrate “special days” as long as they don’t judge other Christians who don’t and don’t attempt to impose their views on other Christians – either for or against such celebrations.  “One person considers a certain day as more sacred than other days, while another person considers every day alike. Let each be fully persuaded in his own mind. He who regards a day highly does so for the Lord…” (The Everlasting Gospel translation (EGT) by bro. Hugo McCordThe single caveat, one must do all things with a clear conscience before God, “for anything not of conviction is sin.” (Romans 14.23.b EGT)

NOTE: Wren Building photo courtesy: The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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