Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
As you know, I love to think. God gave us these brains, so we might as well use them while we are down here! When I’m challenged by new information, I sit back, take it in, think about it, and let my wheels start turning.
A Christmas Letter
A friend of the ministry, Steve, sent me an email that got me thinking. I don’t mind when someone speaks their mind clearly and directly. Usually, it means they have given a lot of thought to what they think and why. Perhaps, you will do the same. Here is what he wrote:
Letter to Friends and Family,
What follows are portions of a letter I have shared with my family and friends over the years to remind them that not all Bible believing Christians celebrate Christmas, and that Christmas is actually a pagan celebration that has nothing to do with Jesus Christ:Christmas is not a Bible doctrine. There is nothing in Scripture that tells us to celebrate Christmas. If Christ had wanted us to celebrate His birthday, He would have told us when to celebrate and how to celebrate it. But Christ never told anyone to celebrate His birthday. That is why the apostles and the early church never celebrated Christ’s birth.
1. Christ was not born on December 25th. Luke 2:7,8, and 15 shows that the shepherds were in the fields taking care of their flocks on the night Jesus was born. It is a well-known fact that December falls in the middle of the rainy season in Palestine, and sheep were kept in the fold at that time of year; not in the field, thus pointing us away from December as the month of Christ’s birth. In addition, no one knows the exact day when Jesus was born, but in all probability, he was born in late September or early October. His earthly ministry lasted 3½ years, and ended when he was crucified on the 14th of Nisan, which corresponds to our April (see John 19:31; Leviticus 23:5). Back this up 3 ½ years to Christ’s 30th birthday and we come to the period of late September to early October.
2. Origin of Christmas. The origin of Christmas is pagan and started with the sun worshippers. Thousands of years before Jesus was born, the heathen in every country observed 25th December as the birth of the sun god named Tammuz. The sun god’s mother was worshiped as the queen of heaven (see Jeremiah chapters 17 & 44). It is plain to see that Christmas is a pagan holiday that came out of pagan Babylon. Born-again believers should have nothing to do with it.
3. Christmas is a Catholic holiday; not a Christian holiday. The Catholics got Christmas from the pagans. The encyclopedia Britannica says: “Christmas (i.e., the mass of Christ) was not among the earliest festivals of the church.” The word “Christmas” itself means the mass of Christ. Mass is an unscriptural observance where a wafer supposedly becomes the actual body of Jesus Christ. Mass is actually a pagan concept. It interesting that Christians say, “Merry Christmas,” never realizing that they are actually mixing the holy Name of Christ with a pagan holiday. Ezekiel 20:39 shares that the Lord says, “…pollute ye my holy name no more….”
4. Unscriptural traditions. The exchanging of gifts, the tree, the singing of carols, and santa (Satan) claus are all pagan origins that crept into the church in the 4th century.
5. Our national ancestors, the Puritans, condemned Christmas. The Puritans interpreted the Bible literally and found nothing in the Scriptures directing them to observe Christ’s birthday. In 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared Christmas illegal and levied a fine for observing it.
Above are just a few reasons why I do not celebrate this pagan holiday. Let me end by asking you to consider the following list of scriptures: Ezekiel 20:39; 1 John 2:15; Luke 16:15; Matthew 2:16 (Christ was nearly two years old when the wise men visited Him); Colossians 3:9 (what about the santa claus lie?); Ephesians 4:25; Rev 11 (all; in particularly verse 7); Ephesians 5:11; Jeremiah 10:2-4,8 (sounds like a certain type tree); Galatians 4:10,11; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Deuteronomy 12:29-31; Matthew 15:9; and Mark 7:7-9.
The Holiday Spirit
Christmas has always been one of those interesting holidays. As kids, we seemed to love it because we received gifts on that day. As teens, we seemed to love it because we had days off from school! As adults, we seem to love it because we tend to have good times with family. But is Christmas Day really the celebration of the birth of Jesus?
I think one can make the holiday a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but I can also celebrate His birth every other day of the year. Was He really born on December 25th, and if so, should we celebrate that event?
I grew up Catholic as a child, so I remember going to Mass, either on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. Sometimes, we attended midnight Mass, which was kind of a fun way to stay up late! But, did any of those observances really revolve around Jesus? Or, did we just kind of plaster Jesus onto them, like we do for so many other things in this world? When we are given another week to live in life, exactly how do we thank Jesus for it? Maybe go to church? Maybe read our Bibles? Maybe share our faith? We might have plastered a little bit of Jesus on the previous week of our life, but was it really all about Him?
In checking out the timing of Jesus’ birth, I decided to go online and search it out for myself. One article on the Got Questions website was interesting. If you want to check it out, remember to QEQE. Got Questions is a Calvinist website, so keep your guards up! https://www.gotquestions.org/was-Jesus-born-in-September.html The article does a great job adding to Steve’s comments about the shepherds in the fields at night. And, since we’ve heard so many opinions about this event, we decided to contact an archaeologist living in Israel about whether or not shepherds are in the fields in December. He said yes, they are. Then he explained that the winter rains provide the most grass for the lambing season.
Another thing to keep in mind with paganism is that it morphs and conforms to other expressions of paganism from one culture to another and from one century to another. That helps explain why there are so many different names for sun gods, fertility gods, and queens of heaven as documented throughout history. And, as Steve notes, they all had their beginning in Babylon.
If you want to learn more about Tammuz, read Jeremiah 44 and Ezekiel 8. Then you might want to check out another article we found on Got Questions about this historical figure. Remember, guards up. https://www.gotquestions.org/who-Tammuz.html
One thing that has made me think more about Christmas, as I have become older, is the exchanging of gifts. As I’ve thought about it, I’m having a hard time seeing the point. We are just getting gifts for people. Shouldn’t giving to others be our mindset throughout the whole year? I blessed someone with their gas today. They were so, so grateful. Can’t I do that every day of the year, or can I only do that during one time of the year? Also, when it’s someone’s birthday, don’t we usually get a gift for the one having the birthday? Why are we exchanging gifts with one another, if it is really the birth of Jesus?
And one more thing that made me wrestle with this practice is a verse I read:
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
When the two prophets are killed, people will be giving gifts to one another to celebrate their deaths. Really? Yes, really. Think about when we tend to give gifts in our world? Typically, it is on someone’s birthday, at Christmas, or for a celebration of some sort. Interestingly, when a Muslim terrorist attack occurs, you can watch footage of Muslim enclaves where they celebrate those deaths by walking around and giving sweets and desserts to one another.
Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
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.
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.
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
I have seen these verses about trees and decking out trees before. Some people think that Jeremiah 10:1-16 is actually about worshipping the trees as gods or what they fashioned from the trees as gods. We get into trouble whenever we worship a false god who can do nothing for us.
When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
It is just easy to fall into the traditions of men. We can all do it. But we have to be careful. It is easy to turn the things of this world into gods. What we want to do instead is pass down to our families the traditions of God and not the traditions of men.
But we can use this holiday as a springboard to talk about eternal matters, and we should. Sometimes, I will just ask people, “Do you know what this holiday (or Christmas holiday) is supposed to be about?” I even had an atheist tell me one time: “Yes, the birth of Jesus!” And then I just took it from there.
What are the real keys regarding the birth of Jesus? Was He born of a virgin? Did He come from the line of David? Was He sinless? Did He fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning His birth? And, of course, we have a resounding YES to all of those questions!!
We should celebrate His virgin birth every day. We should celebrate His death on the cross every day. And we should celebrate His resurrection every day!
These are just some thoughts. I like to think, and you should, too!
Remember to QEQE all the days of your life!
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Might just be a great day to go and tell someone about Emmanuel. And not the Macron one!
As my friend Zach, who is now enjoying Jesus face to face at this moment, used to say, “Your present isn’t under the tree, your Present is on the tree!”
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S. Lots of false Christs out and about today. Make sure you choose the One who was born of a virgin, died on the cross for your sins, and rose from the dead three days later!