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Christmas and Paganism Part 4: Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

“Brethren, keep diligently feast-days, and truly in the first place the day of Christ’s birth.” -Clement of Rome, 98 A.D.

We have covered all the myths that slander the celebration of Jesus’ birth in December, debunking them with clear historical evidence and Scholarly sources. We have proven that December 25th is completely Christian in origin and unrelated historically to any ancient pagan festival or deity. We further demonstrated with early Church writings that Constantine and the Roman Catholic Church did not initiate the first celebrations of Jesus’ birthday. Nor did either borrow the date of December 25th for the Nativity from any outside sources. Having said that, the only hope left for those who hate Christmas is to claim that we are not commanded to keep Jesus’ birthday. And while there is not a direct command to keep Jesus’ birthday in the Bible, the Bible does provide proof that His birth was celebrated:

Luke 2:13-20:And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go then to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled about the things spoken by the shepherds to them. 19 But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was spoken to them.

Here we have clear evidence from the Bible of the great joy and amazement at the birth of Jesus. Not only did the shepherds praise God for Jesus’ birth, but “a multitude of heavenly host” praised God as well.  So the question is, if the angels knew how important the birth of Christ was and praised God celebrating it, why shouldn’t we? Although this is not a direct command, it is the perfect example of not only the importance of Jesus’ birth, but that it is not unbiblical to keep it. After all God did not condemn the angels for praising Him and celebrating the Nativity. Why would He condemn us for being thankful for the birth of His only Son?

Furthermore,  even if Christmas has some pagan trimmings, (Yule Logs or Santa Claus) in reality God is greater than paganism. We know who the one, true God is and direct our praise during Christmas to Him. The pagans on the other hand would worship false deities. Some did not know of the one true God, while others did and mixed worship of God with the worship of multiple other idols and deities. Either way, God’s problem with what we deem as paganism seems to be if the worship was evil, grotesque, and that the worship was forsaking Him or He was intermingled with false deities. With Christmas some may actually obsess and place the holiday above God, but true Christians do not. We keep the holiday for Christ alone.

Commercialism and Santa Claus are not part of Christmas but modern additions that distract from the true meaning. I have no problem with Christmas trees as they are symbolic of Christ. Nor with the story of St. Nicholas as he was a real person of the early Church. However, Santa is a lie who has stolen the limelight and directed the attention of our children from Christ to reindeer and the North Pole. But still even with these things many Christians do not participate in them and direct the fullness of the season to Christ. This is nothing like paganism which had little if any idea of the one true God and directed their worship to Him alone.

Conclusion

The bottom line is modern critics of Christmas base their opinions on nothing more than myths that are easily debunked once one digs into history. Christians need to investigate for themselves before buying into the anti-Christian lies. The truth is, Satan hates Christmas. This is why this holiday has become commercialized. This is why the lie of Santa Claus has been fed to our kids. And this is why atheists and sadly even those who say they are Christian dislike this holy day with so much venom and hatred. Christmas has been kept by Christians since the early Church. Christians need to reclaim this holy time for Christ and continue celebrating out heritage handed down to us by others of His body.

Part 1: December 25th was not an ancient pagan holiday
Part 2: Jesus’ Death, Christmas and the Early Church
Part 3: The Winter Birth
Part 4: Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

For more information on the historicity of Christmas as a Christian celebration and Scholarship proving it to have no pagan connections please see:
Biblical Archaeology – How December 25th became Christmas
Answering Islam – Christmas: Pagan Festival or Christian Celebration? by Dr Anthony McRoy
Mere Christian – How the Pagans Stole Christmas!

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