Do Christians have any business celebrating Christmas?
As a Christian with atheist friends, I get exposed to some pretty interesting stuff. One reads incessantly, he one of the most intelligent and opinionated guys I know. He constantly posts his findings on Facebook to share with us. While reading his most recent discoveries, I was shown how many other religions and pagan cultures influenced what we call Christmas.
Apparently, we have taken this mashup of random elements and turned them into our Christian holiday. One list shows it like this…
Yule is the Scandinavian fertility god. Wreaths come from the Wiccans. Mistletoe is from the Druids. It also shows other Greek gods celebrating their birthdays and their children’s birthdays around December 25th.
Well, then there’s Christian friend, posting the timeline of the life of Christ including the interactions of His life with the Hebrew calendar of celebrations. Another saying there’s no reason to even celebrate Christian because it’s a purely pagan holiday. Another telling the whole pack to shut up and have a merry Christmas anyway.
Yes. These are my friends. Nerds, dorks and clowns… But all good men.
So, do we have any business celebrating this holiday or not? As Christians we claim to believe in, and live by, the bible. The inspired Word of God. Agreed? Well let’s see exactly what the bible says about Christians celebrating Christmas. Let’s find the one chapter in the bible that so many people want to rip out and pretend they didn’t see.
Romans 14. Yep. The entire chapter is Paul telling us to stop judging others for what they eat, drink or celebrate. We all make decisions about what matters to us. We all have life experiences the affect our desires and choices. Our desire for relationship often pulls us out of our comfort zone to experience new things. Some of us just want to celebrate Christmas because it irritates the ones who don’t.
I have a friend that refuses to even say the word. His religious group apparently doesn’t celebrate anything. No Christmas, birthdays or anniversaries. Nothing. The comedy is that his wife isn’t interested in his religion. She still does the birthday parties and celebrations. I don’t think he is amused.
For guys like that, do yourself a favor… Open that bible and look at a few things. Read Romans chapter 14 and use some common sense. Look at the Hebrew calendar, the founders of our faith, see how much they celebrate. Look at the teachings of Jesus. Look at how upset He got when the religious leaders oppressed the believers, telling them how to live. Making ridiculous demands that even God didn’t expect. He had some opinions about enforcing the traditions of men.
Then look at your own children. If your faith demands that you miss important life experiences with them, seriously reconsider it. Why would Jesus teach us to call God our Father, except to show us how critical our relationships are. We are called the bride. He is called the bridegroom. It’s all about relationships. God is love, He just wanted someone to love. It’s pretty simple stuff.
If your religion demands that you reject Christmas, you have my pity. If you don’t want to celebrate it, then don’t. If it offends you, stay in your house with the blinds closed from thanksgiving until New Years. It’s your choice. Have fun with that.
My opinion? Who cares? The birth of our savior deserves to be celebrated, regardless of the date. Stop getting so bogged down with the details that you miss that part.
Anything that can push us towards peace and joy is worth considering. Christmas is a season where folks take time to think of others, be generous, reconnect with family and generally enjoy life more than the rest of the year. Anything that does that doesn’t deserve to be overly criticized. Anything that gets men to spend more time and energy on their families can’t be all bad.
So, whether you celebrate it or not. Whether it offends you or not. Whether you are religious or not….