This excerpt was taken from Yavoh – He is Coming, a newsletter published by Lion and Lamb Ministries, Vol. 6, Number 12, December 2000.
Ho, Ho, Ho, and Merry Christmas
Jeremiah 10:3-5 – 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. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
I suspect that most Christians share the same thoughts I had when I observed Christmas. I never considered the Christmas tree to be an idol. Idols are things that you bow down to like the ancients did thinking they would receive blessings, but I never bowed down to the Christmas tree – except when I went to get the gifts from under it.
I observed Christmas primarily as a remembrance of the Lord’s birth, but then even beginning Bible students know that the actual birth was sometime in September near the actual Biblical holidays.
I knew that Christmas was a spiritual holiday and our thoughts should be for "Peace and goodwill toward all men." Of course, we observed all this by expressing our goodwill through materialistic gift giving and getting, attending parties, overeating and drinking alcoholic spirits.
I understood that Christmas was a man made tradition, but it was a good tradition and my family and children enjoyed it. I always expressed how we believed in only the Bible and didn’t follow the traditions of men like those Jews did. Of course, we knew that Christmas meant "Christ Mass" and that is was really a Catholic and Lutheran holiday. We weren’t Catholics or Lutherans by any stretch of the imagination, but we liked their traditions and allowed this one indiscretion in our strictly Biblical observance. Besides more people than just Catholics and Lutherans observed it. Even people who didn’t believe in God observed Christmas. That ought to tell you something!
I can understand the difficulty in stopping the observance of Christmas in a home and family. For your children, you would have to explain that Santa Claus and the reindeer are really made up stories based on some Catholic saint (which you don’t believe in). And then you would have to explain that misleading your children and raising false expectations is "okay" for Christmas but not for real life. For your extended family, you would have to explain your real faith in the Bible and the Biblical holidays, knowing that they would accuse you of believing in the God of Israel, a Jewish Bible, and becoming Jewish by believing in a Jewish Messiah. You would have to deal with some very difficult questions about you and what you really believe in. Then, you would find yourself in the uncomfortable position of trying to share love and truth in an atmosphere of hypocrisy.
I empathize with you brethren as you negotiate all these issues this season. As for me, I believe that you mean well and do want to choose the Lord’s way. But so that it is clear between us and there is no delusion, you don’t need to wish me a "Merry Christmas." I’m not Catholic nor Lutheran and on December 25th I won’t be worshiping the Roman sun god symbolized by a decorated fir tree.
Jesus is not the reason for the season; Christmas is a season looking for a reason.
[Christmas - Testimony I] [Christmas - Testimony II] [Christmas - Testimony III]