23 December 2021
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It is ok for Christians to celebrate

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

Every year at the same time, around Christmas, Christians struggle with this question; is it ok for us to celebrate Christmas?. It is the celebration of Christ’s birthday for some, so the answer would be a resounding yes. Others would argue Christ was not born on December 25 and Christmas has pagan roots, so the answer would be a resounding no. But what does the Bible say?

Paul, Jesus, and the Apostles all agree; it is wrong and sinful to worship Yehovah with man-made laws. (Matt 15:9) We are only allowed to worship Yehovah obeying His Torah (the written law of Moses) (John 4:24)

Even so, we never see Paul, Jesus, or the Apostle telling anyone to disband tradition. We even see Jesus celebrating Hanukkah (John 10:22) even though Hanukkah is not in the Torah (the law of Moses). Hanukkah is a pagan solstice festival captured by the Jews and made into a day of celebrating Yehovahs victory over paganism. Christmas is a pagan solstice festival captured by the Christians and made into a day commemorating Christianity’s victory over paganism. So if Jesus was ok with celebrating Hanukkah as a tradition, then we should be ok with celebrating Christmas as a tradition.

When does celebrating Christmas become sinful? It becomes sinful when tradition violates Torah, or you end up making tradition into a law.

It becomes sinful when you worship the Christmas tree by singing songs to it.
It becomes sinful when you make it into a law saying that you have to celebrate the birth of Christ to be a good Christian.
It becomes sinful when you make it into a law saying Christ was born on December 25.

Intellectually we all know we would never consciously do this because we know it would be legalism to rewrite the Bible, saying that Christ is born on December 25 and telling everyone they are not saved if they dont celebrate Christmas. Could you be guilty of doing this unconsciously?

Ask yourself what your knee-jerk reaction is if you encountered someone claiming to be Christian, but they did not have a Christmas tree, a Christmas dinner, decoration, or gifts?

Would you still see them as being a genuine follower of Christ?

What would be your initial reaction if circumstances made it impossible for you to buy a Christmas tree, gifts, a Christmas dinner, and decorate your house?

Would you still be able to enjoy the holidays and feel as if you had celebrated the birth of Christ?

It is my guess your first response is yes in both cases.

A few years ago, my intellectual response would have been yes, but I suddenly realized my emotional response had actually been a resounding no.

When I was a child, my parents celebrated Christmas the old-fashioned way with a tree, decorations, a lot of food, and many gifts. As I grew older and moved out on my own, circumstances made it impossible for me to continue celebrating Christmas their way. Even though I intellectually believed I was still a Christian celebrating the birth of Christ, and I would never openly question the salvation of someone who did not celebrate Christmas the way I was used to, emotionally, I felt as if I and everyone else who was not having a “Hallmark” Christmas was intentionally sinning against God. At times, not having a Christmas tree and almost no gifts or little to no decorations was depressing. But I was a typical man; I chose not to acknowledge my emotions because the alternative would have been to succumb to depression. I had people relying on me, so I never had the luxury of giving into depression. I had to suck it up and white-knuckle it through the holidays for their sake. So I was always able to create a good atmosphere for my family. Still, inside I felt as if I and everyone else who were not celebrating a Hallmark Christmas was intentionally sinning against God. I had become guilty of unconsciously making a tradition into law.

Ask yourself, what your knee-jerk reaction is if you encountered someone claiming to be Christian, but they did not have a Christmas tree, a Christmas dinner, decoration, or gifts?

Would you still see them as being a genuine follower of Christ?

What would be your initial reaction if circumstances made it impossible for you to buy a Christmas tree, gifts, a Christmas dinner, and decorate your house?

Would you still be able to enjoy the holidays and feel as if you had celebrated the birth of Christ?

This time I want you to look deep down inside your emotions for your emotional response to these two questions. If your emotional reaction is no on both questions, you are guilty of unconsciously making tradition into a law.

Dont make a tradition into a law because it would be legalism, and legalism is dangerous. But dont go in the opposite direction and disband all traditions making it sinful to celebrate Christmas as the birth of Christ. Decide to enjoy your traditions this holiday and make sure to worship our God Yehovah and our King Yeshua by obeying Torah, being reconciled to Yehovah by the cross.

Merry Christmas.