Q. My family and I have been growing in God’s Word so much since we have stopped relying solely on a one hour Sunday sermon and started reading the Bible for ourselves. In no small way, you and your website have played a key role in this. No longer do we just follow what the Pastor or other religious figure has to say without comparing it to God’s true word.
In doing so, we have become very confused in some of the old customs that we grew up with. You may have touched on this before, if so; I apologize. We used to be BIG Christmas-time people, enjoying all of the traditional customs. After reading Jeremiah 10:1-5 (King James Version), we are not even sure if we want to continue with the Christmas tree, let alone many of the other traditions like giving Santa Claus too much credit to our kids. We must admit that finding out that December 25th was not the actual birth date of Jesus really burst our bubble, although your piece entitled “What Really Happened at Christmas” helped us realize that celebrating the Light of the World being conceived would be just as important.
Our question is this: Do we still put up a Christmas tree, decorate it with silver and gold, etc. along with all the other customs and if not, why do so many churches still do this and most do not even teach the truth about Christ’s birth? I’m not saying they are hiding it, but shouldn’t things like this be at the forefront of their teaching?
A. Most of our holiday traditions, including the date itself, have come to us from the marriage of Pagan religions into Christianity during the time of the Roman Empire. And if you stop to think, the world’s view of Santa Claus pretty much describes God. All seeing, all knowing, everywhere at once, giver of gifts, and judge of mankind.
I suggested last year that we should give the entire holiday back to the Pagans and celebrate the Lord’s birthday in the early fall when it most likely occurred. The more aggressive non-believers become in not only trying to crash our party but in taking it away from us altogether, the more I think I’m on the right track.
But in the mean time I think we should follow our hearts, striving to avoid the pagan parts of the holiday and stressing the real reason for the Season. If a pagan tradition offends you omit it, and replace it with something that honors the Lord.
As for churches not teaching the truth about Christmas, I’m as puzzled as you are. I guess the replacement theology heritage that came down to us from the main line denominations mandates that it’s better to honor pagan traditions than to admit that our God is Jewish and chose Jewish holy days to accomplish His greatest acts of love.