Is Celebrating Christmas Pagan?

Tis the season again,  and again I encounter some Christians that believe it is “pagan” to celebrate the day,  usually because of scripture taken out of context or non-valid reasoning.  They usually quote Jer. 10: 1-5 which admonished the early Jews not to “learn the way of the heathen”!  It goes on to describe one of their practices which was to cut down a tree,  bring it into the house, nail it to the floor and decorate it with gold and silver.  So we need to ask ourselves why the heathen did this!  The answer is because the tree was a God to them.  They worshipped the tree.  He makes his point about why he is writing this in the last part of verse 5 – “Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good“. He is saying the tree is not a God; it can’t do evil or good.  It’s just a tree.  The object of his message was not to make other Gods like the heathen.  That admonition is just as valid today!

So is having a Christmas tree pagan?  Only if you consider it an object of worship that replaces the true God of the Bible.  I think you would be hard pressed to find any Christian that regards the Christmas tree as his god . . . or even among unbelievers.

Christmas is not mentioned as a day to remember in scripture,  but that does not make it wrong to do so. As Billy Graham explained, “The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology” explains that the earliest Christians did not have a time when they regularly observed Christ’s birth. However, by the late fourth century it was generally celebrated in churches. December 25 became recognized as Christmas day because it provided a Christian alternative to pagan festivals related to the Roman god Saturn and the winter solstice”.  Read article

Another weak argument given for not celebrating Christmas and the birth of the Messiah is because we don’t know the exact date it occurred.  So what!  Where is it written that a remembrance must be on the specific date it occurred?  Christians use the occasion to remember the greatest blessing that God has bestowed upon His creation,  with the birth of the redeemer,  second only to His sacrificial death,  and that will be the focus of another article when the time come.

The adornments of the occasion are meant to magnify the Lord and draw us closer to him.  The giving of gifts,  the Christmas hymns,  the lights,  festive meals,  worship services,  etc. are all about Jesus and what He came to do for us.  Col.  3:17 tells us, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”.  That is what we do when Christians celebrate Christmas.

I think the Apostle Paul said it best,  because arguments about celebrating occasions and festivals were an issues back then too.  He said “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind”. Romans 14:  5-6, One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks”.

Christian need to separate the spiritual from the secular,  and keep the spiritual as their focus.  It is not about Santa Claus,  flying reindeer, elves and talking snowmen.  It is about the coming of the Son of God in human form.

Everyone if free to celebrate Christmas of not celebrate it,  but I think those that choose not to are on very shaky doctrinal claiming it is a pagan holiday,  and judging other who celebrate Christmas as being pagan.  They are on very thin ice.

For over 1600 years,  Believers all over the world have honored the Christmas occasion with remembering the coming of the Christ child that would forever change human history.  I believe that they were full aways of the argument raise by a few today,  and discarded and nonsense,  as we should today!

Joy to the world,  the King has come!

Pastor Ron