Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

12 Days of Christmas Correction – Hodgepodge Humbug

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 19, 2009


It’s me again – your official Christmas season downer.

In all these posts (this is number nine), the key to always keep in mind is that at the core, we should recognize that God sent His one and only, born of a virgin in a stable in an obscure desert town, announced by angels to shepherds so that He could bring the gift of life and salvation to a depraved human race that is truly lost and destined for eternity apart from God unless God stepped in, which is what happened that fateful night roughly 2012 years ago.

Everything else is fluff.

But traditions usually become bigger than life, and like many people, I do appreciate traditions until they veer off course and cloud the truth.  So once again, I need to step on the toes of traditions so that we might gain an understanding of what is real versus what is fanciful.

Traditions

As I noted in my previous post, even the name “Christmas” doesn’t reflect the celebration we claim.  Traditions tend to do that. In fact, you might be surprised to know that virtually every Christmas practice we celebrate today came from outside Christianity and many were celebrated before Jesus was even born.

One of the byproducts of combining church and state (as began in 313 with Constantine and the ‘Edict of Milan‘) is that worldly influences are injected into the waters of the church diluting truth with everything from paganism to half-truths to out-and-out lies.  I know that sounds strong, but the church tends to function much better when it’s being persecuted than when it is accepted by the world – but that is a discussion for another time.

Let’s look at some of the Christmas traditions:

December 25th

Jesus was not born on December 25th.  Luke 2:8 tells us that the shepherds are in the field at night keeping watch over their sheep.  Jewish tradition along with Scriptures (Ezra 10:9-13 and Song of Solomon 2:11) indicate that the winter is the rainy season and the sheep would not be in the fields – especially at night.  The time for the sheep spending the time in the pastures was from Passover (spring) to fall (Oct 15th).  However, the nighttime trips to the fields ended around September and the harvest.  This would put the time frame of the birth between Passover and September, far from the “December 25th” date.

December 25th was chosen by the Romans in 274 A.D. as a Winter Solstice celebration based on the previous week’s celebration of Saturnalia (the god of fire/sowing).  Later, after the “Christianization” of Rome, the date was chosen for the celebration of the birth of the Son of God. So a pagan holiday with it’s traditions became a “Christian” holiday.  Yet you know that the pagan traditions didn’t just stop but were simply migrated into the church.

This Winter Solstice celebration goes back all the way to Nimrod after the flood in Babylon.  The gods Molech, baal and others were celebrated at this time of year for the death and rebirth of the sun.  In the celebrations, countless human sacrifices were performed.  From the despicable acts of man to the drunken orgies and celebrations of the Romans, this season never really had a righteous past.

Other Traditions

Pagan traditions that came from these celebrations included cutting down trees, bringing them in the house and decorating them, decorating the outside of houses with wreaths, garland and lights, yule logs and giving gifts.  The tree decorating even goes back as far as the time of Jeremiah when trees were cut down, decorated and worshiped.

I have merely scratched the surface because it is very easy to really cast a lot of questions on the celebrations during this time of year.  So much of it is based in worldly traditions, misinterpreted scriptures and traditions.  I doubt that most people celebrating Christmas have much of a clue of what the origins of most of the traditions in which they partake.

Final Thought

I am not one of those people that like to harp on something like this and tell you that you are partaking in pagan idolatry and violating Scripture.  I don’t think that is what this season is about. It just doesn’t have much to do with God, that’s all.

I don’t want to be a humbugger in the hodgepodge of Christmas. Sure the season is about peace, love, joy, happiness, giving and family.  No doubt; these are all good things.  I am all for celebrating with loved ones, giving gifts and decorating.  My point in this is to separate fact from fiction.  To help you understand that when you are giving gifts, you aren’t celebrating Jesus birth.  When you are decorating your house or tree, you aren’t worshiping God.  In fact, the Bible never tells us to celebrate Jesus’ birth, but we are to remember his death.  Because if he didn’t come to die, his birth is meaningless.

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