This excerpt was taken from S.A.L.T. – Sisters Abiding in Love and Truth, a quarterly newsletter for women, Vol. 4, Number 3, October - December 2000.
The History and Truth about Christmas
There is a way that seemeth right
It was approximately 20 years ago, only months after my husband and I had been newly ordained in ministry, that we were first approached with the question: Should Christians celebrate Christmas? Up until that point, it had never been a question in my mind --- for I assumed that all that I had been taught about Christmas was true.
I grew up in a religious family where we attended church regularly, and had been taught that Christians celebrated Christmas in remembrance of Jesus’ birthday but had we actually been told that Jesus was born on December 25th? I didn’t know for sure. What was the connection between Jesus and the Christmas tree, mistletoe, Santa Claus, and all of the other holiday traditions? I didn’t have a clue. So when the question arose, as proposed by a young college student in our newly formed campus ministry, we were not quite sure how to respond.
However, the Lord did lead him to share one passage of scripture that became a turning point. It was Jeremiah 10: 1-5. We were shocked at our discovery there. It was the perfect description of a Christmas tree, and God’s warning to His people: "learn not the way of the heathen"! Well, needless to say, that was the beginning of our quest to learn the history and truth about Christmas (and soon, the other holidays as well).
How did we proceed? It was actually quite simple. We discovered that most of the information we needed could be easily found in any common encyclopedia. We were amazed to find that the customs associated with the celebration of Christmas actually existed hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ! The decorating of the tree, mistletoe, holly berries, Yule logs, wreaths, gifts under the tree were all taken from various pagan practices that had nothing to do with Jesus or His birthday! They were ancient symbols used in reverence to pagan gods, hence, idolatry.
So once darkness (lies) was exposed, we had a decision to make. We could continue to walk in the lie, or you can hold fast to truth. The Word of God tells us that the truth shall make you free! But what if we chose to continue traditions based upon lies? Were we yet accountable to God? I asked the Lord, and this is how he explained it to me: "Pagans know their gods. Christians, likewise, must know their God." We must understand His nature, and His character. Jesus, the Son of God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 1:5). "The true worshippers" must worship Him in Spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23). We have the Word of God, which is truth, but if we choose not to obey the truth, then rather than being made free, we remain bound in darkness.
God does not like compromise. Rev. 3:15 states that He would rather that we were hot or cold, not lukewarm or compromising. From the beginning (Old Testament laws), God had commanded His people to be separate, and not follow the ways of the heathen. The world must be able to see that there is a difference.
Have you ever wondered why people all over the world, regardless of religion or nationality, celebrate Christmas in like fashion? It is satan’s nature to blend darkness and light, for he operates in the realm of deception. It was the early Catholic Church that altered pagan customs, disguised them, and brought them into the church to deceive the Christians.
History reveals that these pagan customs were not actually observed by the early Christians for the first two to three hundred years of church history.
The word "Christmas" originated from the Catholic Church’s "Christ-Mass". This would explain why "Christmas" is not found in the Bible, and neither is there any record of Jesus’ date of birth. The date, December 25th is actually the birthday of Baal, the ancient Babylonian "sun-god", later changed to "the Son of God", by the Catholic Church. Personally, it is my belief that there was purposely no mention of Jesus’ date of birth, because He wanted to place no emphasis on His flesh. He knew that men had the tendency to worship the creation, rather than the Creator.
Therefore, as the holiday season once again rapidly approaches, I would like to admonish all that call themselves "Christians" to study your traditions! Search the scriptures! We have no excuse! We are held accountable for we serve a "jealous God" who will no be mocked!
For me, the choice was an easy one, made 20 years ago, and well summed up in the following two verses "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12: 13,14