The Anti-Christmas Spirit

There is a growing movement to discredit Christian Christmas celebrations. This article explains why.

Thirty years ago, a young man raised in communism told one of my friends that most Americans were living in shacks without enough food. When my friend explained that wasn't true, this young man stubbornly refused to listen. He’d read a communist article about the United States, and he knew it was true. 

I regularly encounter this “I-read-an-article” stubbornness when it comes to false teachings. Christmas is one of many examples. Satan hates Jesus and hates the celebration of His birth. John 10:10 explains why. 

Satan has done his best to secularize and commercialize Christmas. He’s made it illegal in anti-Christian countries. 

Now, even though Satan is the inspiration behind pagan beliefs, he’s willing to associate Christmas with paganism to persuade Christians to stop celebrating it. This teaching is growing and causing division. 

I’ve done thorough research, reading some of the hundreds of articles connecting Christmas to paganism and reading the articles that refute this pagan connection. I wanted to know the full truth, not half-truths. 

Some people caught up in false teachings refuse to read anything that doesn’t support their view, just like the young man and millions of others who believed communist propaganda. 

But others of you "who have ears to hear" will listen, and that’s important, not simply for this issue, but for your faith in general (Matthew 11:15). I’m seeing a dangerous trend in Christian thinking: Christians hear a teaching and refuse to do further research. 

That’s how Satan takes us captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). Let’s refuse that "I-read-an-article" mentality.  See 2 Corinthians 11:3 and 1 Peter 5:8

If you have any questions about Christmas, and you are open to studying the full truth, you will find thorough resources below.  

There is a growing movement to discredit Christian Christmas celebrations. This article explains why.
Note: If we are aware of a Christian who is worshiping their Christmas tree or mimicking pagan ceremonies at Christmas, we should lovingly warn them. But claiming that those who celebrate Christ’s birth are involved in paganism is not biblical, honest, or loving. 

In addition, I’d ask those who choose not to celebrate Christmas if it has drawn you closer to the Lord and made you more loving and kind. I regularly encounter anti-Christmas Christians on social media and their rhetoric is neither loving nor gracious. It’s condemning, ad hominem, and proud. I’m sure they don’t represent all anti-Christmas Christians, but many of the anti-Christian websites/articles also have this arrogant tone to them. 
 

Article: Is Christmas a pagan holiday?  

Click the link above and read the full article. Excerpt from article: 

“The pagan origins of Christmas are far from certain. The winter solstice, often tied with Christmas, never falls on December 25. Likewise, Saturnalia, which has also been proposed an origin of Christmas, was never celebrated on December 25. Other Christmas symbols, such as trees and candles, may have had some pagan connotations, but these are so common in human experience that it can hardly be claimed that their use was ever exclusive to paganism… If what we know as Christmas originally started out as a pagan celebration, then it has been so successfully co-opted by Christians that any self-respecting pagan would be distressed at what Christians have done to it. Christmas celebrations are so completely the opposite of paganism that any suggested link between the two can be disregarded.” 
 

Article: What about Santa Claus?  

Click the link above and read the full article. Excerpt from article:

Although Santa Claus is a mythical figure, his creation is based in part on a great Christian man named Saint Nicholas of Myra, who lived in the 4th century. Nicholas was born to Christian parents who left him an inheritance when they died, which he distributed to the poor. He became a priest at a young age and was well-known for his compassion and generosity. He had a reputation for giving gifts anonymously, and he would throw bags of money into people’s homes (and sometimes down their chimneys) under the cover of night to avoid being spotted.” 

Article: Is calling Christmas “Xmas” an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas?  

Click the link above and read the full article. Excerpt from article: 

In Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the word for 'Christ' is Χριστός, which begins with the Greek letter that is essentially the same letter as the English letter X. So, originally, Xmas was simply an abbreviation of Christmas. No grand conspiracy to take Christ out of Christmas. Just an abbreviation.” 

Article: Was Jesus born on December 25th? 

Click the link above and read the full article. Excerpt from article: 

The truth is we simply don’t know the exact date of our Savior’s birth. In fact, we don’t even know for sure the year in which He was born. Scholars believe it was somewhere between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. One thing is clear: if God felt it was important for us to know the exact date of the Savior’s birth, He certainly would have told us in His Word. The Gospel of Luke gives very specific details about the event, even down to what the baby was wearing – 'swaddling clothes'—and where he slept—'in a manger' (Luke 2:12). These details are important because they speak of His nature and character, meek and lowly. But the exact date of His birth has no significance whatsoever, which may be why God chose not to mention it. 

Article: Should Christians celebrate birthdays?  

Click the link above and read the full article. Excerpt from article:

There is no prohibition against a Christian celebrating birthdays in Scripture, nor is there anything to indicate we are required to celebrate them. Scripturally speaking, a Christian’s celebrating a birthday is a non-issue. The Bible does mention two individuals celebrating birthdays: the Egyptian Pharaoh in Joseph’s time (Genesis 40:20) and King Herod in Jesus’ time (Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:21). Some point to these references as evidence that celebrating birthdays is wrong; since both men were non-believing individuals, their birthday celebrations are seen as some form of pagan ritual. However, that conclusion is not readily drawn from either passage. The Bible does not even hint that it was wrong for Pharaoh or Herod to celebrate his birthday. Neither does Scripture anywhere discourage a Christian from celebrating a birthday.

My note on this subject: All things can be used for good or evil depending on the intent of the heart: eating, sexual intimacy, friendships, etc. If we forbid things that have bad examples in Scripture, we are going to have a very long list of things to avoid. And we definitely have positive New Testament examples for celebrating special events: The father celebrated the return of the Prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Levi the tax collector threw a banquet for Jesus, and Jesus attended (Luke 5:29). 
 

There is a growing movement to discredit Christian Christmas celebrations. This article explains why.
Are Christmas trees pagan and condemned in Jeremiah 10?

Pagans pray to false gods, but that doesn’t make prayer evil. God created trees for our pleasure and enjoyment, and His Word is full of rich symbolism using trees. 

We call them "Christmas" trees—they don't have a pagan name, and we don't use them to mimic pagan rituals. If any aspect of the Christmas tree had pagan roots (which isn't verified), it lost that meaning hundreds of years ago.

People who oppose Christmas and Christmas trees usually claim the practice originated in the pagan festival of Saturnalia. However, if you study that festival carefully, you will find that they decorated trees outside with symbols of the sun god and only brought branches and greenery into their homes. In addition, this pagan holiday was celebrated on December 17th, not the 25th. 

Other people claim that Christmas mimics the holiday of Winter Solstice, which was called “the Yule” in Germanic countries. It’s true that they felt the evergreen tree was a symbol of life in the winter, but they didn’t cut trees down and bring them inside to decorate.

There is also a widely held belief that Martin Luther began the practice of decorating trees with candles at Christmas time. We can’t prove this Luther connection, nor can we prove the pagan connections.

Is it possible that the Christmas tree is loosely related to some pagan practice? It’s possible. Is it possible that the Christmas tree tradition originated with Luther? It's possible.

God created all things, including evergreen trees (Romans 11:36). Just because something is used by pagans, it doesn't mean it cannot be used for God. Pagans pray and sing but we don’t call singing and praying pagan practices. However, there are some pagan practices that Christians must avoid. See 3 Ways of Looking at Popular Pagan Practices.

We need to ask ourselves what the tree symbolizes for us when we put it in our living room. If a person associates it with its pagan roots, they are honoring God by not having a tree. If we associate it with its Christian roots, we are honoring God by having one.

See 6 Ways to Determine if a Scripture is Used Correctly.

This article addresses the false teaching that Jeremiah 10:2-5 condemns the use of Christmas trees.

These articles offer more details: 


Additional note: Can we only do things specifically mentioned in Scripture?

A reader wrote telling me that we should not celebrate Christmas because the early church did not celebrate it. However, Scripture doesn't record all that Christ did, so we can be sure it does not record everything the early church did (John 21:25). If we are supposed to limit ourselves to things specifically mentioned in Scripture, churches must meet in private homes or synagogues, they must only take up collections for missionaries and member needs, they cannot have youth programs, church secretaries, hymnals, a church nursery, devotional books, children's Sunday school classes, etc. In addition, if we follow this belief, we cannot be sure if Christians should be using modern inventions like air travel, the internet, and computers. The bottom line: Nowhere in Scripture are we told that we must only do things specifically mentioned in Scripture.

See also:

4 Misconceptions About Christmas

Christmas Confusion

Why Celebrate Christmas?


Bible Love Notes

4 comments:

  1. This is so well-thought out and thorough. And it is reasonable as well as biblically-compatible. There are many things we cannot know for sure about "origins" from so long ago. But the truth is, God still looks on the heart, and if something is not strictly forbidden for Christians, we can think it through before the Lord. The truth still remains that we must do all to the glory of God. Thanks, Gail.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn! I always appreciate your feedback and insights.

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  2. I don't have a problem celebrating the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if that was the focal point. The Lord showed me a dream that I was stumped over a few years ago. It was an inflate-able witch in the middle of my living room and it kept getting bigger, taking up space making things cramped, yet I was accommodating it. I told my godly friend about it and she said that I needed to keep asking the Lord for the interpretation. Yes, as I was reading through the major prophets I stumbled upon the text in the NKJV that described a tree being decorated with gold etc. Did I think that it was describing our KrissMass trees? No, but I immediately thought of my dream that I'd had many months before. I believe that the Lord showed me that we have been making an idol of our holiday trees; they take preeminence in our living rooms, we bow before it to put gifts under it much like the Israelites did when they fornicated under (repeatedly said by our LORD) "under every green tree". The Lord doesn't want us to do anything that the nations do, not to copy them in any way, nor try to sanitize their practices in order to reach them. Instead, he wants us to be set apart for Him, come out from among them and be separate, instead of joining in their rituals of questionable origins. We don't need to celebrate His birth as much as celebrate "why" He came; to be the Lamb of God that atones for the sin of the world; Saviour from our sins through His blood. We have been distracted by these Catholic observances when in reality there are the feasts of the Lord that we disregard and we don't see how Jesus, who was Jewish, fulfills them. Instead we've been taught by the "church" that "we are separate from the messianic jews/Jews and have our own religion". In reality, there is a perfectly good holiday right around the same time as the catholicMass one; it is Hanukkah. Jesus is the Servant (lamp in the center) of the Hanukkiah menorah. He is the Light of the world.

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    1. Hi Teresa,
      You have regularly commented on my posts about Christmas. I think you may have left 10 or more comments, repeating the same arguments. I have carefully answered all of your claims in detail on other devotions, so I encourage you to go back and read those answers. Or you can read the articles I’ve written.
      This article refutes all of your claims directly or through linked resources, but I’m pretty sure you don’t actually read the articles because you keep making the same claims.

      I thank you for not being rude like many who share your belief, but I don’t see a purpose in your repetitive comments. I have researched this thoroughly and my research shows your view to be inaccurate. Restating your view multiple times will not change the facts.

      But I want to make it clear that I respect your decision not to have a Christmas tree. We can make an idol of anything and when God reveals we are viewing something as an idol, we should do something about it. I think it is totally appropriate that you don’t have a Christmas tree, but most Christians do not view their tree as an idol and that is why God has not convicted most of us to get rid of our trees.

      But please don’t use the argument about Jeremiah 10 speaking about Christmas trees. That is clearly a false teaching which I fully explain in the article linked in this devotion (6 Ways to Determine if a Scripture is Used Correctly.)

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