Warning: The following post may be controversial and kind of lengthy. Please keep any comments kind 🙂
Today is Friday. That name comes from the pagan (Roman) goddess of love and beauty. Like everyone I have ever met, I refer to the days of the week by their pagan names:
Sunday (Roman sun god)
Monday (Roman moon god)
Tuesday (Roman god of war)
Wednesday (Roman god of trade and profit)
Thursday (Roman god of thunder)
and Saturday (Roman god of agriculture).
By referring to the work week as “Monday thru Friday,” am I worshipping pagan gods? By waking up Monday morning and going out into the world am I dishonoring my holy God? He does say “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Most people would answer those questions with a huge, “no!”
So, why do some Christians believe that by celebrating Christmas, a Christian holiday that falls on a day of pagan origin, I am worshipping idols and pagan gods? I’ll come back to this point.
Recently I was convicted and am no longer a fan of Halloween. That will be a post for another time.
Wait. You might be wondering, “So you don’t celebrate Halloween because of its pagan origins, but you celebrate Christmas? Hypocrite!” Read on.
I don’t think you or your child(ren) will spend eternity in Hell if you dress them up as a cute little teddy bear and take them trick-or-treating. Nor do I think you are a bad person if you give your child a piece of candy (or two…or ten.)
To me, there is just nothing redemptive in Halloween.
I don’t dislike Halloween simply because of its pagan roots. I dislike it because I see no good in it.
Christmas is different. I know Christ wasn’t born on December 25, or even in the winter season. However, it is always good to talk about and teach children about his birth and Christmas is a dedicated time for that. At Christmastime, people actually listen. Yes, Christmas becomes more commercialized every year, but I still believe it is a season of giving (for most people.)
Many Christians that take the anti-stance on Christmas use the following Bible verses to attempt to show that celebrating Christmas is wrong:
Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
The Bible often and consistently condemns idol worship. Anti-Christmas Christians use this verse in Jeremiah to attempt to show that it also condemns Christmas. The Israelites cut down trees and adorned them as shrines. This is a form of idol worship. The Bible clearly shows that this is wrong. Christians today decorate Christmas trees as home decor. If hanging ornaments on a green tree is idol worship, we also need to classify hanging pictures on our walls and placing decorative lamps in our homes as idol worship.
As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
At Christmastime we place presents under our tree. I have been told that in doing this, we are bowing to the tree in idol worship. I don’t really understand that one, so I’ll just ask this rhetorical question: When a man proposes on one knee to a woman, is he worshipping her? I just find this argument silly.
Most, if not all of the verses I have been given to explain why celebrating Christmas is wrong, simply condemn idol worship. Sure, you can turn Christmas into an idol, just as you can make TV and sports idols. But it is so easy to find so much good in Christmas!
So, where did all this come from? Why did I write all of this, aside from the fact that Christmas is drawing near?
It started with a devotional I studied yesterday, from ICR’s Days of Praise. It was titled, “What’s in a Name?” It referenced Daniel 1:7
Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
The Babylonians renamed Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, giving them pagan names.
If you didn’t read the substance of this post, and just scrolled to this point, please read this:
I’ll leave you with this final thought:
My favorite part of this devotion is when HMM says,
These godly young men no doubt bitterly resented these new names. Nevertheless, they did not make an overt issue of this matter, knowing they would forfeit their opportunity for a substantive spiritual witness if they took a belligerent stand on superficialities.
Convictions are good. You have them, I have them. If you feel that by celebrating Christmas you are dishonoring God, don’t do it, and I will just leave you off my Christmas card list this year. That’s fine. I don’t hate you. I know you won’t spend eternity in hell because you don’t celebrate Christmas, and I won’t spend eternity in hell because I do.
But let’s be careful, brothers and sisters.
The world is watching.