----- Original Message -----
From: Dee Dee
Subject: Question - Is it wrong for Christians to celebrate Christmas?
Is it wrong for Christians to celebrate Christmas? What about the Christmas tree. I have been studying about the origins of Christmas and now I am concerned. I do not know if Christians should celebrate this holiday. Needless to say, my abstaining from this holiday would cause trouble in my family but, I do not want to celebrate this if I should not be doing so. Please advise ASAP.
Hi Dee Dee,
Thanks for your question. No, it is not wrong to celebrate Christmas simply because it is a holiday with roots in ancient paganism. The salient question today is whether it is your motive to worship paganism thru the Christmas holiday. Most people, such as your family, which may not be practicing Christians, still believe that Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth. So, if this is the general public consensus, then one cannot accurately allege that Christmas should be prohibited to the believer.
It would smack of legalism to use something extrapolated from archaic history, which is general ‘unknown’ to the vast majority of people as the grounds for present-day religious prohibitions. What would you be proving? Your family would look at you as religious fanatics and they would be hurt and disappointed. How would such caustic behavior further the cause of Christ? How does this type of Christmas boycott and related ostracizing reveal the love of God to your family and friends that have known you all your life?
Dee Dee, you and I know that the Bible says that an idol itself is nothing. Therefore, you are not offended by it. Don’t allow other Christians to shove their acidic legalism and self-righteous rules and regulations upon you. I can tell you from past experience that it will cause only hurt and pain, and will do nothing for the cause of the gospel except to alienate people from you. Just open the Christmas presents and have a nice day in Jesus Christ!
The apostle Paul used pagan holidays to his advantage, and instead of boycotting every pagan item in society, he found innovative and God-inspired ways to use whatever he could to share the gospel. In one passage Paul said ‘to the Jew, I became as a Jew, to the Gentile, as a Gentile… I become all things to all men in the hope that I may win some to Christ.’
& 1 Corinthians 10:24-27 Don't think only of your own good. Think of other Christians and what is best for them. 25 Here's what you should do. You may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace. Don't ask whether or not it was offered to idols, and then your conscience won't be bothered. 26 For "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." 27 If someone who isn't a Christian asks you home for dinner, go ahead; accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you and don't ask any questions about it. Your conscience should not be bothered by this. New Living Translation
& 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God. 32 Don't give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved. New Living Translation
Furthermore, Paul also wrote about the celebration of new moons and various other Sabbath days and ‘holy’ days. His conclusion was simply that each person be fully persuaded in his or her own heart to do what is right before God. Personally, I use the Christmas holiday as an opportunity to discuss the birth of Christ with those in my family who do not believe or practice faith in God thru Jesus Christ. Below are several more New Testament scripture passages that teach the same abiding principal of liberty in Christ, and doing all things for the sake of the gospel in spiritual liberty. Let the legalist get all upset and nasty; meanwhile, just enjoy God’s presence and be watchful for opportunities to serve others in Jesus’ name.
& Romans 14:4-6 Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another's household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand. 5 One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike [sacred]. Let everyone be fully convinced (satisfied) in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. Amplified Bible
& Galatians 4:10-12 You are trying to find favor with God by what you do or don't do on certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. I am afraid that all my hard work for you was worth nothing. 12 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles were — free from the law. You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. New Living Translation
& Galatians 4:31-5:1 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, obligated to the law. We are children of the free woman, acceptable to God because of our faith. 5:1 So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law. New Living Translation
& Galatians 5:3-6 I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the regulations in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace. 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. New Living Translation
& Galatians 5:13-16 For you have been called to live in freedom — not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. 16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. New Living Translation
& Colossians 2:16 So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new-moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. New Living Translation
& Colossians 2:18-19 Don't let anyone condemn you by insisting on self-denial. And don't let anyone say you must worship angels, even though they say they have had visions about this. These people claim to be so humble, but their sinful minds have made them proud. 19 But they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For we are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grow only as we get our nourishment and strength from God. New Living Translation
& Colossians 2:20-23 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world. So why do you keep on following rules of the world, such as, 21 "Don't handle, don't eat, don't touch." 22 Such rules are mere human teaching about things that are gone as soon as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline. But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thoughts and desires. New Living Translation
& Romans 14:13-15 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this — not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. New American Standard Bible
& 1 Corinthians 9:18-24 What then is my pay? It is the satisfaction I get from preaching the Good News without expense to anyone, never demanding my rights as a preacher. 19 This means I am not bound to obey people just because they pay me, yet I have become a servant of everyone so that I can bring them to Christ. 20 When I am with the Jews, I become one of them so that I can bring them to Christ. When I am with those who follow the Jewish laws, I do the same, even though I am not subject to the law, so that I can bring them to Christ. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not have the Jewish law, I fit in with them as much as I can. In this way, I gain their confidence and bring them to Christ. But I do not discard the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. 22 When I am with those who are oppressed, I share their oppression so that I might bring them to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. 23 I do all this to spread the Good News, and in doing so I enjoy its blessings. 24 Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. New Living Translation
It would be foolish and legalistic for you to boycott your family simply because of the pagan roots of Christmas. To them, if you did this, it would convince them NOT to have anything to do with faith in God thru Jesus. They would perceive your boycott as being mean-spirited and self-righteous. Don’t do that. Just be yourself, and ask God to help you use Christmas to talk about Jesus.
I hope this helps.
Love in Jesus,
Craigo (my nickname - for my friends)
1 Peter 3:15 Always be ready to give reasonable justification to anyone who asks you for an explanation of the hope that is within you, but do it considerately and courteously.