We hear the saying each Christmas that we need to "Put Christ back into Christmas." But was Christ truly ever in Christmas to begin with? I know this will be a writing that will bring about some critics and naysayers, but as Yahweh God has been convicting me to follow the teachings of His Word in order to fully receive the blessings He has for my life, it has required me to honestly look at the very traditions that I thought all of my life were rooted in Christianity... but weren't. Traditions that I welcomed and took part in every year. Traditions that I had grown to love. Traditions that still bring up sweet memories and delicious smells. Christmas is one of those traditions.
Now before I go any further, I want to ask that you do your own study and seek Yahweh in these matters for yourself. Don't simply take my word for it. Study. Seek truth. Seriously take this matter before the Father. For me, to honor Yahweh is more important than a family or church tradition. I simply want to live the truth.
As familiar as the Christmas custom is in America today, it may come as a surprise to you that this was not always the case. In fact, until the early to middle part of the 19th century, Christmas was never officially recognized. On the contrary, Christmas was looked upon as a superstitious holiday to be avoided. It was considered to have no place in a society founded on Christian principles.
The pilgrims themselves, who came to America in the 1600's, did not celebrate Christmas because they considered it an "invention" of the Roman Catholic Church and not of God. Spurgeon himself spoke against the observance of this day:
"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority." (Sermon on Dec. 24, 1871) "When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas, Whitsuntide, and other Popish festivals was ever instituted by a divine statute, we also will attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men, as to observe the ordinances of the Lord. We ask concerning every rite and rubric, "Is this a law of the God of Jacob?" and if it be not clearly so, it is of no authority with us, who walk in Christian liberty. (Treasury of David on Psalm 81:4)"One thing I always found intriguing was that Yahweh never recorded the exact birthday of anyone in the Bible. Not Abraham, Moses, David, Yeshua (Jesus)... no one. Their births were mentioned, but never recorded with a specific date for celebration. Their deaths, on the other hand, were specifically noted. Why? According to the Hebraic way of life, your birth was not very significant. It was the way you lived your life that was filled with significance. Your death was a way to honor the impact you made on the world. Solomon even said, "The day of death is better than the day of one's birth." (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
If we look back at history, Christmas was actually originally the birthday of the sun god Baal, not the Son of God, Yeshua. It was celebrated well before Jesus was even born at a time of the year when the days were short and the sun appeared to be leaving the people. The people worshipped the sun and as the sun became more and more distant, the fear of the people was that it would never return, so they held a festival at this time in honor of the sun to bring it back.
In the 4th century, after the Messiah's death and resurrection, the Roman church decidedly changed this winter festival that honored the birth of the sun god to the birthday of Yeshua in order to keep the pagans happy so they would remain a part of the church, and so the church would continue to grow in number. Instead of the Christian leaders REMOVING the pagan customs as commanded by God to do, they ADOPTED them and simply changed the names of who was being celebrated. This allowed the people who practiced these customs to continue on in their idolatry and wickedness rather than truly submitting their lives and hearts to Yahweh.
I find it very strange that a day never mentioned or sanctioned in the Bible should become the biggest Christian holiday of the entire year. A day never celebrated by Yeshua, or His apostles, or even the early New Testament Church.
My opinion on this subject is one thing, but what does Yahweh say about all this? Is it alright with Yahweh for us to take pagan customs and traditions and call them "Christian?" Is is okay to merge the pagan practices with the truth of Yahweh? Malachi tells us that "God does not change" (Malachi 3:8). In Psalms is says, "His laws and commandments are eternal" (Psalm 111:7-8). So if Yahweh doesn't change and His laws and commands are eternal, what does Yahweh say about pagan practices?
"I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws, and be careful to follow my decrees" (Leviticus 18:2-4).
"...Be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.' You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates" (Deuteronomy 12:29-31).
Because of pagan idolatrous practices, Yahweh cast the Canaanites out of the Promised Land. They were worshippers of Baal, Nimrod, Tammuz, the sun god. They worshipped the evergreen tree, and used it as a symbol of their god. They observed December 25th in worship of the sun and their sun god divinity.
"Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled, so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants... Anyone who does any of these detestable things, such persons must be cut off from their people. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 18:24-30).
Christmas is pagan at its very root and Yahweh warns us about taking any pagan practice as our own. I believe that most people know of its pagan origin, they simply don't see anything wrong with continuing on in those practices. After all, they are honoring Yeshua, not Tammuz or Baal or Nimrod.
And I simply ask that you take this matter humbly before Yahweh and seek Him for yourself in what you should do. Christmas is a VERY emotional issue. The man-made traditions associated with it are entrenched in many hearts and minds, making it a very difficult topic to discuss. As a Christian, to choose to not celebrate Christmas is met with some very strange responses from people... some openly accept your choice, some offer only ridicule and slander, some attempt to prove you wrong, and even some will turn their backs on you as if you've abandoned your faith. But I believe Yahweh's Word to be absolute truth and I believe I'm honoring Him by destroying the pagan practices in my life, and in doing so I have opened myself for His blessings to flow freely. If Yahweh hates pagan worship and practices, then so do I. For me, I've decided to step out of the traditions of man and follow Yahweh. I continue to honor the Messiah's birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection every day of my life.
Watch the following videos if you would like a deeper understanding into this topic. It does a great job explaining what I have been talking about in this post.