|"he was laid in a manger" (Lk. 2:7)|
Sadly, however, most people today who celebrate the season don't take what it means by heart. Worse, there are people out there who repudiate the celebration altogether, saying it is an evil tradition which is of pagan origin meant to worship Satan. These people I call the "anti-Christmas Gang." The gang offers three basic arguments against the tradition:
- We are told nowhere in the Bible to celebrate Christ's birth.
- The belief that Christ was born on December 25 is a myth. There is not a single concrete evidence that can prove Christ was born exactly on December 25. In fact, bible references points us to a different date which is most probably in the month of March.
- The feast of Nativity was placed by the early Christians in ancient Rome on December 25 to correspond with the official feast day of a prominent pagan god in Rome named Sol Invictus. Thus when you celebrate Christmas, you are actually worshiping Satan.
Based on these assertions, they conclude that those who celebrate Christmas are not really honoring Christ but the Devil. But is that true? Can they prove that objectively? We shall see.
First, they argue that the Bible never commands us to celebrate Christmas. But I ask, is there any prohibition in the Bible against it? or perhaps indications that it is sin to do so? How many times can we read Paul commemorating the birth of Christ in his letters (cf. Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:4-5; Php. 2:5-8), yet isn't this what Christmas is all about? The funny thing is most (if not all) of the anti-Christmas Gang would still celebrate their own birthdays and wedding anniversaries without even asking themselves if they were ever told by the Bible to do so!
Second, they say that December 25 is not really Christ's exact birth-date. But who cares? How is it a big deal? They could quote hundreds of references all day to prove their, but it won't make any sense to an objective person. I myself am convinced that nobody knows exactly the date when Christ was born, but this doesn't automatically mean it is ungodly to celebrate His birth on any chosen date. After all, we must commemorate Christ's birth everyday, aren't we?
Lastly, the gang have this old chestnut that the choice of Dec. 25 as the official birthday of Jesus Christ was influenced by the pagan celebration of the feast of 'sun god' named Sol Invictus. Now in fairness to these anti-Christmas folks, it is somehow true that the feast of Sol Invictus had something to do with the choice of December 25; yet again, it cannot be proven that the early Christians had chosen the date to purposely identify Christ with the pagan god. Their intent was most probably to divert attention away from idolatry to the worshiping of the True God (which is indeed an admirable tactic to propagate the Gospel), not to paganize Christianity. But whichever the case, it is still an invalid reason to insist it is sinful to celebrate Christmas just because it corresponds to a pagan feast. Otherwise, those who were born on December 25 are also sinning if they celebrate their birthdays on that cursed date!
Romans 14:4-6 (NIV): "Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers very day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God."
Peace out and Merry Christmas!