Skip to comments.Is Christmas Pagan? No! It's time to learn some real history....
Posted on 12/23/2012 1:28:36 PM PST by Salvation
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What you are doing is using multiple Bible translations ~ all by yourself. You need to get together with another person to do that ~ and there are many others who've been through that who have been taught to read Scripture the way Jesus said to do it.
Which we do, every year, at Easter. I see no reason NOT to celebrate His Birth, because he had to be born, in order to die, so while his Death Redeemed us, His birth made that possible.
I don't remember reading anything about that. I DO remember reading that the shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night. Wouldn't shepherds always do that, if their flocks are out grazing, and didn't make it back home before dark? He would watch over them to keep predators away. They wouldn't necessarily be calving.
So where is it recorded anywhere in scripture where Jesus commemorated His birth, or where the Apostles or First Century Church ever commemorated it if celebrating His birth is so important?
The ONLY event that Jesus celebrated and admonished His disciples to commemorate each year, was His death. His birth gives us absolutely NO SALVATION from the penalty of sin which is death.
Only His blood sacrifice - His death - is of primary importance for commemorating according to the Gospels and the Letters of the Apostles.
And while you may see no reason not to celebrate His birthday - there is a scripture to keep in mind when one decides to reason things of God for themselves apart from the bible:
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. - Proverbs 14:12 & Proverbs 16:25
Nope. It is perfectly obvious a great many common Christmas and other Christian customs are of originally pagan origin.
The relevant question is whether the customs were sanctified or the Church was corrupted by this adoption.
What? The early Christians were supposed to like, lie low during Saturnalia? Besides, before the Emperor Constantine joined up, he was a follower of the Cult of Mithra, the Bull God, which was very popular throughout the empire, especially with the military. Mithra's birthday was ... you guessed it ... like right around now.
The Christianity of Western Europe was Roman Catholicism. Notice that word "Roman?" The Pope is the "Pontifex Maximus." Julius Caesar held the same title. So what? It would be incredibly naïve for any Christian of whatever denomination to think that this classical heritage counts for naught.
Christianity is our living link to the wonders of ancient civilizations. Deal with it, anti-papists!
it’s funny, i spent Christmas Eve at a Presbyterian service in Philadelphia. there was a huge decorated Christmas tree in the church, but i don’t recall anyone worshipping it or the “god” thor! the worshippers didn’t seem to believe they were taking part in a pagan service. i suppose at the end of the service, when we all held lit candles and sang silent night in the darkened church, this was also pagan? surely pagans sang songs to the “gods”, no?
surely pagans must have lit candles in their worship of their “gods”, no?
i am not “pretending pious holiness”, i defend the historical, orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Faith from attacks of atheists, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists and those who think they are Christian, but will attack and defame the Church will all kinds of falsehoods. a prime example is accusing those who choose to celebrate the birth of Christ, commonly known as Christmas, as having pagan roots. but, any stick to attack the Church, right?
OK, so you think we shouldn't celebrate Christmas because there is nothing in Scripture that mentions the Apostles celebrating it? If that's the case, where in Scriptures do we read of the Apostles commemorating Jesus's Death and Resurrection? Yes, they preach Christ Crucified and Risen, but did they have any celebrations surrounding it? If not, then are our celebrations of Easter also 'extra Scriptural'?
Christmas commemorates the Birth of our Redeemer. The Apostles probably never thought about celebrating Jesus's Birth; they were too intent on distributing His Message to the world. After the Gospel writers included the story of Jesus's birth, those who read it began to consider celebrating it, so that naturally WOULD have been well after His Death, and not included in the Scriptures.
Because I want to live not by bread alone, but by every Word of God - since the tradition of Christmas is not found anywhere in Scripture (but has deep roots in paganism) - I do not observe the tradition.
If that's the case, where in Scriptures do we read of the Apostles commemorating Jesus's Death and Resurrection?
You read of the commemoration, and Jesus' admonition to commemorate His death at the Passover - because Jesus had to LITERALLY become mankind's Passover sacrifice.
I Corinthians 11:23-26 gives Christians specific instructions and understanding of the Passover pointing to Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul explains why proclaiming the Lord's DEATH is the only biblical instruction of commemoration regarding Jesus.
but did they have any celebrations surrounding it? If not, then are our celebrations of Easter also 'extra Scriptural'?
Yes. Easter is a tradition grafted into the church almost 3 centuries after Jesus' Resurrection. There is no record of commemoration in the New Testament of a feast or commemoration of the Resurrection until around the 300's A.D.
Up until then, the Christian church commemorated the Lord's Death at Passover - until the Roman church at the council of Nicea outlawed the practice and adopted Easter to replace it. That's historical fact.
Christmas commemorates the Birth of our Redeemer.
So declared the church some 3 centuries after the Ascension of Jesus, with no evidence or record or mention of His mother, father, or disciples ever commemorating it, much less WHEN.
The Apostles probably never thought about celebrating Jesus's Birth; they were too intent on distributing His Message to the world. After the Gospel writers included the story of Jesus's birth, those who read it began to consider celebrating it, so that naturally WOULD have been well after His Death, and not included in the Scriptures.
Your logical progression serves you well if you never knew or understood the history of how the tradition was grafted into the church and the faith. I marvel however at the lack of understanding of WHY the account of Jesus' birth was included in the Gospels.
It was NOT for the purpose of commemorating a birthday. Certainly scripture gives no indication that ANY messenger of God, including Noah, Abraham or Moses had dates given in which Israel commemorated their births.
The account of Jesus' birth is NECESSARY to illustrate that He is the Messiah, just as much as the account of His death is. The difference is that Paul tells us to proclaim Jesus' death, but there is NO biblical evidence or admonition to proclaim His birth. That is simply a man-made construct due the combining of pagan traditions that replaced the god that was worshipped with Jesus, while the traditions itself remained unchanged.
I therefore do not observe those traditions. I recall God's absolute anger at Ancient Israel whenever His people combined the worship God laid out in scripture, with the traditions of the Canaanite nations that surrounded them. I believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever and does not change. In fact I believe Jesus WAS the God of the Old Testament that spoke to Moses and the patriarchs band laid down the Law and the Commandments (John 1:1-3. 14)
“Evergreens-pagan....” symbolism of being green and surviving all year long, symbol of eternity...
“Yule-pagan...” earliest symbol of Jesus being a sun and associated with warmth, and a fire with a long-lasting log being associated with warmth, too much of a stretch eh?
“lights and fires-pagan...” because Jews didn’t light candles or use fires...
“Date of solstice-pagan...” because Jews didn’t celebrate anything around the same time that they would have liked to bring into their new faith...
“Christmas tree and wreath-pagan...” Christmas tree again having symbolism of life, and according to Martin Luther the lights on it being symbolic of the beauty of the stars and God’s creations.... the wreath being in a circle, again a symbol of eternity and god with no beginning and end...
You really bought into the idea that there’s no other explanation than “pagan.” School system and History channel at work. Reality? Symbols are only symbolic according to what you prescribe to them. For instance, an early symbol of Christ and Christians was the pentagram. But because of recent rewriting of history, that symbol has been stolen and rewritten as belonging to a religion that didn’t even exist 100 years ago. Let it go.
As far as when Christ was born... ever celebrate President’s Day growing up instead of every President’s birthday? Yeah, history seems to point towards Spring for His birth and His death. (Why would anyone do a census in winter when it was harder to travel?) However, again looking at Jewish Christians (which would have been the majority when Christianity was starting...) wouldn’t it have made sense to replace one festival of lights with another festival of lights to commemorate Christ coming into their lives?
Giving gifts to others is a way to give to Christ. “When you do it to the least of these my brethren you do it unto me...” etc.
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