Dec 10

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To me, Christmas is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. Fond memories of yesteryears are kindled while today’s activities are making tomorrow’s memoirs. I watch again the television specials we had watched when my children were little – – as well as when I was little. I like going through the decorated streets and the decorated malls with the cheery music as gifts for my loved ones are sought. Then, the highlight of it all: being with my family to exchange gifts and enjoy sensational seasonal snacks. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy Christmas. But let me mention, I enjoy and observe Christmas as simply a holiday (like Thanksgiving)—not as a religious observance of the birth of Jesus. Why? Let me explain.
I, as well as a multitude of earnest Bible-believing people, participate in Christmas as a normal holiday and not as a religious observance of the birth of Christ simply because: it is an invention of man. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus teach it, nor did the apostles inaugurate it, nor did the church practice it. Furthermore, “There is no historical evidence that our Lord’s birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or early postapostolic times.” “According to authentic records, no church festival was held in celebration of Christ’s birth until the first half of the 4th century.” “The Christmas festival was probably the Christian transformation or regeneration of a series of kindred heathen festivals…” “The celebration of this day as Jesus’ birth date was probably influenced by pagan (unchristian) festivals held at that time [mid 4th century].” Thus, Christmas (as a religious observance of the birth of Jesus) is not from God but from man, 300 years later, and probably originated from paganism.
Now, since Christmas is not from God but from man, the words of Jesus in Matthew 21:25 are most crucial: “The baptism of John [the baptizer], whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” Jesus was making it clear: everything that men do in religion, they do so either by the authority of God or by the authority of man. In other words, did God tell John to do what he was doing, or did some men tell him to do it? If God told him to do it, then, in order to be pleasing to God, he must do it (Heb. 5:9). However, if man told him to do it (as a religious practice), then, if John did it, he and all those who took part with him “hath not God” (2 John 9; cf., Mat.15:9;5 Rev. 22:186).
Now, as in the words of Jesus, the question: “Christmas (as a religious observance of the birth of Christ), whence is it? from God, or man?” – – and we have already seen the answer.
Although I used to observe Christmas as a religious holiday, I do so no more. Has my enjoyment been dampened? Not at all. While I thoroughly enjoy the season, I am also following and pleasing God – – which makes me the happiest of all.
I am going to have a happy, enjoyable and merry Christmas. I sincerely hope you do too!

Gary Henson

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