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christmas, a biblical perspective

Introduction

Like a cage is full of birds (Jeremiah 5:27), so the "Christian" community is full of deceit (2 Timothy 4:3), and the Christmas celebration is just one small sampling of the deception of this age (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Christmas is a “holy” day for the ungodly Catholic church and a holiday for much of the world. It should be obvious that Santa Claus is a false god. “He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good.” Proverbs 15:3 says,

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Yet, they attribute such things to Santa.

Nevertheless, for the vast majority of those who claim to be Christians, Christmas is supposed to be a day set aside to worship Christ in remembrance of His birth. But, is this worship accepted by God? No.

I. A False Christ

The celebration of Christmas is supposed to be the celebration of Christ's birth, but this is a lie. The world is deceived (Revelation 12:9), "Christians" included. The world is “undiscerning” (Romans 1:31), "Christians" included. They do not know the times (Luke 18:8; 2 Timothy 3:1-5), nor the reality of the prevailing false Christianity around them (2 Timothy 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:2) and the false Jesuses espoused therein (Romans 1:18-23). The Jesus of Christmas is just one of the many false Christ's and false gods that prevail in the hearts of men (Romans 1:18-23).

The Christ of Christmas is loved by the world. It's quite evident as the world celebrates Christmas. You can hear about it as they sing about him at Christmas time. The Christmas songs are in their churches, in the speakers at the grocery stores (e.g. "Away in a Manger"), and in various public venues. They worship him with manger scenes, Christmas trees, give gifts to one another (“Merry Christmas”), and engulf themselves in the “spirit of Christmas.” The cities light up with great decorations, have Christmas parades, and people adorn their homes with lights and decor and statues. They say, “He is the reason for the season.” He is indeed, because he is of the world.

Jesus said to his disciples,

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. (John 15:19)

When you see a “Christ” that is celebrated by the world, you are looking at a Christ that is of the world. The world loves its own. And, when we say "world" we include the so-called "Christian" world, for they are of the world. And, if it is a “Christ” of the world, it is a “Christ” of the Devil, the ruler of the world (John 14:30; 1 John 5:19). The real Christ is not of the world (John 17:14). The Christ of Christmas is.

The world hates the true Christ (John 3:19-20), especially those in the correct religion (e.g. Luke 6:7). The world crucified Him when He was here last time (John 18-19), and they will war against Him when He returns (Revelation 19:11-21). They do not like Him or His ways. They are “haters of God" (Romans 1:30). That's one reason why they seek only rebellion (Proverbs 17:11). Christmas is just one small example of their deceptive rebellious ways.

So many are lead astray, deceived, and simple-minded (Proverbs 14:15) because the term “Christ” is used, and because the claim is made they are celebrating the virgin birth. But, just because the name “Jesus” or “Christ” is used, that doesn't mean it truly refers to the God of Scripture (the real Christ).

Paul spoke of “another Jesus” in 2 Corinthians 11:4. Jesus warned about false Christs in Matthew 24:24. There's a “Jesus” who was called “Justus” in Colossians 4:11 who is not the Savior. False preachers prophesy in the name of Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23). In the OT the golden calf was called “the Lord” or "Yahweh" (לַיהוָ֖ה Exodus 32:5). False prophets prophesied in the name of the real God, Yehvah (or Yahweh, יְהוָ֖ה e.g. 2 Chronicles 18:10-11). Just because a claim is made or a term is used, and it appears to be Biblical; that doesn't mean it's true.

Christmas is about a false Christ. The spirit of Christmas (or the Yuletide spirit) is about a false spirit. It is not the Holy Spirit of the real Biblical Christ. If it was, it would be holy (Revelation 3:7), “separate” from the world (Hebrews 7:26). But, it is not separate (holy) from the world, but engulfed in it, as the world, be it pagans, Catholics, different denominations, and “Christians” all over (who are of the devil, as in John 8:44), celebrate what is called the birth of Christ.

Thus, the Christ of Christmas is a demon. Although the claim is made that they are celebrating the birth of Christ, that is a lie. In the Word of God, when there is a false god, it is identified as a demon (see e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:20). The celebration of Christmas is, in truth, idolatry, the worship of a false god/christ. It is the celebration of a “Jesus” that was never born Savior of the world, never died on the cross for the sins of mankind, and never rose from the dead to live forevermore. He is an impostor that the world has gone after, and not surprisingly. Satan deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). He has done a good job via Christmas.

Christmas is traditionally Catholic which is a religion 1 Timothy 4 identifies as “giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). No surprise then, Christmas is a demonic celebration. It is no wonder the world is so into Christmas, as they are all, “Christians” and non-Christians alike, under “the power of Satan” (Acts 26:18).

II. Idolatry

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;

For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. (Jeremiah 10:3-4)

Do you see any similarity to the idolatry of the past and the idolatry of today?

Psalm 24 asks,

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? (Psalm 24:3)

The answer?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. (Psalm 24:4)

Most people don't realize how subtle and deceptive idolatry can be. For example, simply being covetous is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). A man who is not content with what he has, but wants more, is a covetous man (according to Hebrews 13:5) and is thus an idolator. That simple equation in the heart damns the soul. As it is written,

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)

When idolatry can be so deceptive and subtle, people ought to think a little more about what they are doing.

Though the Christ that is exalted at Christmas time appears to be the Christ of the Bible, he is actually an idol (a demon). Christmas is nothing God's children should be participating in. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:21)

Foolish men think they can (e.g. Zephaniah 1:5), but God says they cannot. He takes no rivals.8 Idolatry is to be fled (1 Corinthians 10:14), as the last verse in the book of first John says,

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21)

Idolaters go to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). It is no small matter.

Just as the Lord destroyed Nadab and Abihu, so He will burn forever any and all who heed not His warning and do not live a holy life (1 Peter 1:15-16). It's a matter of holy living before God and not following after the world in the worship of God (Romans 12:1-2). The world will lead you to hell. That's where they are going (Revelation 20:11-15).

God has called His people to "abhor what is evil" (Romans 12:9) "and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:8-11).

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17)

John MacArthur wrote in his booklet, Six Ways Satan Is Stealing Christmas,

If you've been missing the reality of Christmas in your life, know that if you receive the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in His name, Christmas will become real to you. (p. 20)

No doubt unwittingly (2 Timothy 3:13), MacArthur wants a demon to become real to people.

It is fascinating how Satan works and how crafty he is (Genesis 3:1). MacArthur's book is titled, Six Ways Satan Is Stealing Christmas, but it is not stealing to take what is already yours. But, that is what the enemy of your soul would have you believe. That is, that Christmas is somehow sanctified, but the commercialism and materialism (or whatever the argument might be) has corrupted the sanctity of this holiday. But, the reality is, it is simply corruption piled upon corruption. There is no godliness in it.

For the discerning eye (Proverbs 14:15b), when a false teacher like MacArthur (and so many others) argue for the “goodness” of Christmas, that, by itself, should cause a moment of pause and serious consideration that there might be poison in the Kool-Aid.

III. Not Commanded But Forbidden

Jesus said in John 4:24,

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

"The Lord of all the earth" (Joshua 3:11)1 requires, even demands (“must”),2 that we worship Him “in . . . truth.” He does not accept, He even rejects, those who do not do so, as it is written,

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.3(Revelation 22:13-15)

Christmas is a lie.

Foolish men, those who heed not Jesus' serious warning here in John 4:24; Revelation 22:13-15; and elsewhere (see below), think it no big deal to worship in the way they please (as in Isaiah 65:2 “according to their own thoughts,” and Matthew 15:8-9). But, God is not pleased with worship that is according to the thoughts of men (see below). Our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isaiah 55:6-9). And, if the Lord is not pleased, He becomes furious (e.g. Nahum 1:2)4 and serious trouble comes from the Almighty, as it is written:

Therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight." (Isaiah 65:12)

So will I choose their delusions,5 and bring their fears on them; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear; but they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight." (Isaiah 66:4)

As Isaiah makes clear, it is “evil” in God's eyes to do that ”in which” He does “not delight.” As should become evident, the “God of heaven and the God of the earth” (Genesis 24:3) does not delight in Christmas.

The Lord has not given us the freedom to worship Him any way we choose. Nadab and Abihu learned this the hard way, that God does not accept worship that is the invention of man.

Leviticus 10 records for us the utter destruction that can come from the Almighty when men worship Him in a way in “which He had not commanded them.”

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying:`By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.'" So Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:1-3)

Notice again the word “must.” As Jesus said,

those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

What's the problem here in Leviticus 10? Why is this worship rejected by the Almighty, and why did Nadab and Abihu get roasted? Because they worshiped Him in a manner in “which He had not commanded them.”

The “profane fire” in Leviticus 10:1 is more literally, “strange fire” (e.g. KJV).6 It was foreign to what God had commanded.

God does not change (Malachi 3:6). These things “were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4), and He explicitly commands,

Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:27)

This is how we “remove [our] foot from evil.” We follow His Word and go neither to the right or the left of what He says. He has commanded that we don't even think beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). He takes His worship very seriously. Jesus meant what He said (John 4:24).

Hebrews 13:9 says,

Do not be carried about with various and strange7 doctrines.

The celebration of Christmas isstrange” to the Word of God. It is foreign to holy writ. Paul warned,

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Christmas is a tradition of men. There is no Christmas celebration in the Bible, nor a holy day for the birth of Christ. God has explicitly warned us not to follow men and their ways (Colossians 2:8). He has specifically warned us not to follow after the world.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

How do we "prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God"? By not being "conformed to this world" and living a holy life.

Remember what the Lord said in Leviticus 10?

By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy.

1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2; 96:9 all command,

worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

It is not holy to follow after the practices of the world in the worship of God.

The Lord warned the Israelites in Deuteronomy 12 of this very thing.

These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. (Deuteronomy 12:1-4)

It's quite obvious the Lord did not want Israel to have anything to do with false gods or anything connected to them. He wanted such things destroyed. And, He specifically says, "You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things." Or, as the KJV has it (more literally),

Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God (Deuteronomy 12:4 KJV).

Do what? Worship God the way the pagans worship their gods, as Deuteronomy 12 ends with,

When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, "How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise." You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:29-32)

The Lord says, “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.” In what way? Like the “nations serve their gods.” In other words, God does not want to be worshiped like the false religions do their worship. He wants to be worshiped in accordance to His Word (Proverbs 13:13; 30:5-6; John 4:23).

Catholicism is a false religion. And, although historically Christmas comes from the Catholics, and historically the Catholics followed after the pagan idolatrous customs of their times in the celebration of Christmas, nevertheless, today this is one of the ways the Catholics worship their false Christ, via Christmas. It does not please God.

Likewise, Protestantism is a false religion. Historically, it's an offshoot of Catholicism, and even today Catholics and Protestants often reference the same false teachers of the past (e.g. Augustine, early church fathers, etc.). Christmas is just one example of the many false doctrines they have in common.

True worship, worship “in . . . truth,” comes from the dictates of His Holy Word, the Bible. Christmas is worship that follows the dictates of man in his false religion. It is the "tradition of men" (Colossians 2:8).

IV. Evil In and Of Itself?

December 25th is no more evil than any other day of the year. All the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Moreover, a pine tree is not an evil thing (Romans 14:14), nor decorative lights, the colors red and green, or a red and white suit with a long red and white beanie with a white ball on the end. There is nothing evil in and of itself (Romans 14:14).

In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul even goes so far as to say that an idol is nothing (1 Corinthians 8:4) and rhetorically says the same for what is sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 10:19. It is not that a wooden statue is evil in and of itself, or that meat that was sacrificed to an idol is evil in and of itself. The problem is the spiritual reality behind it. It is what it stands for, what it is about, that is the problem, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. (1Corinthians 10:19-20)

In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul says a believer with knowledge could actually sit down and eat in an idolatrous temple (1 Corinthians 8:4-10). Because, after all, an idol is nothing and what is sacrificed to it is nothing. It's just meat, and the idol is just wood (or stone, etc.). But, Paul doesn't stop there. In his mentioning of this "liberty," he warns against it.

But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. (1Corinthians 8:9-12)

Thus, Paul argues twice over against association with idolatry. First, even though the items themselves, in and of themselves, are not evil, if it appears you do associate with them, others might be emboldened to actually be involved with them and actually participate in idolatry (1 Corinthians 8:4-12). Second, Paul finally concludes to "flee from idolatry" (1 Corinthians 10:14), because of the spiritual reality behind it (demons, 1 Corinthians 10:21).

In and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with giving gifts or having a feast, but when it is done in the name of a false christ (idolatry), it is to be opposed (Romans 12:9). As the true Christ condemned the "Christians" of Pergamos and Thyatira for eating things in the name of an idol (Revelation 2:14, 20), so should we oppose that which is done in the name of this modern, yet deceptive, practice of idolatry called Christmas.

For more on the truth of God's Word and the utter corruption in the world, especially what is called “Christianity” today, please take a serious look (in the Spirit of Proverbs 2:1-6 & Acts 17:11) at our Statement of Faith, particularly the intro and first three points.

May the Lord direct you into His truth.

Endnotes

1Lord of all the earth” in the Hebrew is אֲד֖וֹן כָּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ ('adon kol-hâ'ârets). This same phrase in reference to the one and only true God is also found in Joshua 3:13 & Zechariah 6:5.

2The Greek word for “must” is δεῖ (dei) and it means exactly that, must. In other words, it means “It is necessary,” as the NKJV translates this same word in Acts 15:5.

3a lieψεῦδος (pseudos), KJV; NKJV. It can also be translated “falsehood” (e.g. ESV)

4God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; the LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; (Nahum 1:2). What is translated “furious” in this verse is in the Hebrew בַ֣עַל חֵמָ֑ה (ba`al ch'êmâh), more literally, “Lord” or “owner of fury.”

5So will I choose their delusions” - As in Isaiah, God has indeed chosen for the world to be deluded and deceived about Christmas, just as He will chose their demise and deception in the future (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

6strange fire אֵ֣שׁ זָרָ֔ה ('êsh zârâh) – In Exodus 30:9 the Lord forbids “strange incense” קְטֹ֥רֶת זָרָ֖ה (qetoret zârâh), but in Leviticus 10:1 (see also Numbers 3:4; 26:61) it is “strange fire.”

7strangeξέναις (xenais) feminine plural – used elsewhere in the masculine form for “stranger” (e.g. Matthew 25:32 ξένος) or “foreigners” (e.g. Acts 17:21 ξένοι) or in the neuter for “strange” (e.g. 1 Peter 4:12 ξένου).

8 Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 44:6; Hosea 13:4

Email Exchange On Christmas

Sent: Monday, April 28, 2014 8:14 PM
Subject: Questions about Christmas
 
Atruechurch,
 
Hello again.  Forgive me if I've missed something, but I have a few questions about your teaching on Christmas if you don't mind. 
 
1.  You wrote, "People celebrate Christmas, because they have been influenced by the wicked world around them." All people?  How do you know this?  (Catholicism notwithstanding of course). 
 
2.  You also wrote, "The world loves the Christ of Christmas."  This has not been my observation.  Most people I've observed in my life are made very uncomfortable at the very mention of the word "Christ" or "Jesus" or manger scenes or songs with the word "Christ" in them, and so forth, even at a Christmas celebrations (I don't celebrate Christmas, but most of my family and friends do).  I've observed that people generally love the tradition of exchanging gifts, but the vast majority of them do not seem to love the Christ of Christmas.  Am I wrong?
 
3.  If one rejects Catholic doctrines and simply decides to "celebrate the birth of Christ" and decides to do so on the 25th of December, (as most Americans have that day off of work) with the name Christmas on the day, is that wicked? 
 
4.  Citing Col. 2:8, are the "traditions of men" (Christmas) inherently wicked if in being observed they do not interfere with God's commands?  Like the tradition of saying "bless you" when someone sneezes?  Or saying "merry Christmas" on Dec. 25th?
 
5.  If someone arbitrarily picked a day to celebrate Pentecost and did so every year, would that be a wicked "tradition of men?"
 
6.  Are all Easter celebrations wicked?
 
7.  Is wearing green, Irish symbols on St. Patrick's day wicked if that person rejected Catholicism and its claims about "St. Patrick?"
 
8.  Would one putting up a Christmas tree and decorating it be wicked if he did not worship said tree by singing to it and so forth?
 
9.  I don't understand how one can universally declare Christmas celebrations wicked without judging someone based on a "religious festival" (Col. 2:16).  If that specific festival had inherently immoral practices therein (which I'm sure a lot do), then I believe the judgment should be on that particular practice rather than the holiday.  Am I wrong about this? 
 
Thanks again for listening (James 1:19) and replying to so many of my questions.  Your previous replies helped a lot.

-Brian

Sent: Sunday, May 4, 2014 8:03 AM
Subject: Re: Questions about Christmas
 
Thank you for the email.
 
Your questions remind me of a young teenage girl who once asked, “Is it wrong for me and my boyfriend to lie innocently naked together in bed?” In substance she was asking, “How close to sin can we get and still be ok?” You’re not ok, if you want to get close to sin (yet, supposedly not sin).
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;  (Proverbs 8:13)
not to cozy up next to it. As the Proverb exhorts the young man,
Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house (Proverbs 5:8).
The young man could argue that he is just wanting to talk to her and see what she is like, etc.. There’s nothing wrong with talking with her is there?
 
Just as youthful lusts are to be fled (2 Timothy 2:22 “flee”), so idolatry is to be fled (1 Corinthians 10:14 “flee”). Christmas is idolatry (both with Santa Claus and “Christ”).
 
1. Thank you for this question. It provoked me to change the wording in that paragraph. Here is what I changed it too.
The people in the world are wicked, every last one of them (Psalm 14), including “Christians.” The “prince of the power of the air” is working in every one of them (Ephesians 2:2), and when you see a religious holiday, a religious tradition of men, and form of worship that is not in the Word of God, “not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8), it is Satanic (1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9). It is that simple.
2. The “world” includes the “Christian” world, which is false and massive. They say there’s about a billion Catholics and about another billion Protestants (term loosely used), and Mormons (about 15 million) and other “Christian” sects. Moreover, the world is filled with hypocrites (“Christians” and non-Christians alike). They’ll celebrate a holiday which is about the birth of “Christ,” but then some will say they don’t believe in “Christ” (even though they celebrate the holiday). They celebrate a holiday (Christmas) about the coming of a false god (Santa Claus), but then say they don’t believe in Santa Claus. Therein is an example of Satan’s deception (Revelation 12:9), as they do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). Don’t be deceived by what’s coming out of their mouths (Romans 3:13) or even their actions. Ecclesiastes says,
People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them. (Ecclesiastes 9:1)
Such things are only discernable via the Word of God (Psalm 119:97-100).
 
A graphic illustration of this and the intense deceptive nature of man (which is more deceptive than anything else in existence, and desperately wicked, Jeremiah 17:9), is found in Jesus’ condemnation of the more Biblically minded (from what is written, e.g. Acts 23:8) religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees, and the condemnation of the scholars of His day, the scribes. He said to them,
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say,”If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. (Matthew 23:29-31)
Jesus unmasks the wickedness of their actions and exposes their evil murderous hearts, which, of course, was the exact opposite of their claim. How were they witnesses against themselves? Because they built the tombs and adorned the monuments of the godly. To men, their words and actions depict they loved the prophets and didn’t like that they were murdered. Jesus points out their actions actually condemn them and reveal the exact opposite of what they were saying. They too were murderers. They were into the deaths of godly men. [By the way, these Pharisees and scribes of yesterday are equivalent to the “Christian” leaders and scholars (theologians) of today. “Jewish” = “Christian” (Biblically) in the substance of the correct religion. Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22; Romans 2:28-29; 11; Galatians 3:8). There has always been, and ever will be, only one way (e.g. Romans 4:3; Hebrews 11:4; Revelation 22:14). And historically (Biblical history that is) within that one way there have been false believers from the beginning, beginning with the first recorded murderer, Cain (Genesis 4:3; 1 John 3:12; see also e.g. Psalm 78:34-37; Jeremiah 2:8; Matthew 7:21-23; etc.).]
 
Jesus likewise said to the lawyers,
Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. (Luke 11:47-48)
Again, what would appear to men as sympathetic of the deaths of the prophets, Christ reveals the reality was just the opposite. They actually hated the prophets and liked the fact that they were murdered. The building of the tombs proved it. We would have no such discernment apart from the Word of God (Psalm 119:104).
 
As Christ condemned the actions of these men, Christ will condemn those who involve themselves with Christmas, whatever their claim and whatever they appear to believe, just as He condemns those who “eat things sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:14, 20). Being involved with idolatry damns the soul (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “idolaters”). People can claim whatever they want, say whatever they want, and even act however they want. It doesn’t make it so. So, Paul says, “flee” (1 Corinthians 10:14). Fleeing does not equate to playing footsies with it.
 
3. Why would you do so? Because you are following after the ways of the world (whether you realize it or not), not because the Word of God has so compelled you.
 
4. a. With Christmas we are dealing with the religious “traditions of men.” Yes, those are inherently wicked, as they exist and are practiced in the suppression of truth (Romans 1:18). The very reason they exist is because they know about the real God, but hate Him, and have turned to idols, false gods (Romans 1:18-23), which includes religious traditions of men (Mark 7:6-7; John 8:44). Both Santa Claus and the “Christ” of Christmas are false gods, idols. They exist because they have turned their ears away from truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
b. If it was some religious tradition or old wives’ tale (1 Timothy 4:7), then it should be rejected. But, simply to bless is a Biblical concept (Matthew 5:44).
c. David said,
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names on my lips. (Psalm 16:4)
5. Yes. Pentecost was a holiday in which they worshiped God, and with it came specific commands, especially on the timing thereof. Pentecost is a transliteration of the Greek word πεντηκοστῆς (pentêkostês) found in Acts 2:1 (also only in Acts 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8). Πεντηκοστῆς (pentêkostês) is the feminine form of the word for “fifty.” In the Greek translation of the OT, the Septuagint (LXX), in Leviticus 25:10-11 it has πεντηκοστὸν (pentêkostov) for the “fiftieth” year. See Leviticus 23:16 LXX where πεντήκοντα (pentêkosta) is “fifty.” In Leviticus 23:15f fifty days (seven Sabbaths, seven weeks) were to be counted from the day the firstfruits were offered, and then a new grain offering was to be made. Deuteronomy 16:9-10 likewise notes seven weeks were to be counted “from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.” This same event is noted as the Feast of Weeks in Exodus 34:22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:16; and 2 Chronicles 8:13.
 
It clearly would have been sin for the Israelites to arbitrarily pick a day to celebrate Pentecost, for God specifically told them,
Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)
We are likewise commanded (Proverbs 4:27; Colossians 2:8). “Not according to Christ” in Colossians 2:8 equals, “not according to the Word of God.” Christ is the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). The Scripture (Galatians 3:8) and Jesus are One and the same (John 1:1, 14; 5:22; Hebrews 4:12-13). The Word of God (Scripture) was crucified on the cross (Colossians 2:14).
 
6. Yes, Easter is no different than Christmas when it comes to the worship of God (Proverbs 4:27; John 4:24; Colossians 2:8). Yet, everything the lost do is wicked (Proverbs 21:4c), because it is not in faith; “for whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23c). They seek only rebellion (Proverbs 17:11). They do not seek God (Romans 3:11).
 
7. Green is not an evil color on any day (Romans 14:14). But, the “saints” of Catholicism are false gods. They pray to their saints. Thus, it is idolatry (demonic). If it was named, “Satan’s Day,” I suspect you might not even ask; but there is no difference in reality. It is just a matter of terms being used. The one is obvious, the other deceptive.
 
8. Would one putting up a statue of Satan and decorating it be wicked if he did not worship said statue by singing to it and so forth?
 
I suggest you take a good look at how idols were dealt with by some godly men of the past. Moses burned the calf and ground it to powder (Exodus 32:20). That calf represented the true God (Exodus 32:1-5), but Moses destroyed it. Gideon destroyed his fathers altar of Baal and destroyed the wooden image via the command of God (Judges 6:25-27). Josiah went on a rampage destroying the idolatrous images and the things connected to them (2 Kings 23). Jehu, though yet a wicked man (2 Kings 10:29, 31), pleased God, in part, because he destroyed items connected to the worship of Baal (2 Kings 10:26-28). All of this reveals a godly hatred for such things. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13).
 
9. The things mentioned in Colossians 2:16 are identified in the next verse (vs. 17) as “a shadow of things to come.” It is a reference to the old covenant law, which Hebrews likewise says,
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. (Hebrews 10:1)

Therefore, the “festival” being spoken of in Colossians 2:16 is a reference to an OT festival. We have the freedom to celebrate those if we would like to (or not celebrate). Many of the early believers did celebrate them, as they were “zealous for the law” (Acts 21:20).

Sent: Sunday, May 4, 2014 10:14 PM
Subject: Re: Questions about Christmas
 
Thank you very much for your reply.  I've been meditating on the verses you mentioned (Psalm 1:2).  I'm not sure I completely understand the Lev. 10 concept; so if you' don't mind, I have a some follow-up questions with a qualifying anecdote.

My email reminded you of a teenage girl asking about lying naked with her boyfriend, but your reply reminded me of when I was told drinking alcohol was immoral because it is "closer to sin" than having no alcohol (I was told going into a bar was sinful for the same reason).  I fully agree that it is good to warn of the danger in any of these three examples and to encourage believers to "flee" (1 Tim 6:11) from "foolish and harmful desires" (6:9), but we're talking about something you claim God condemns as a sin in and of itself.  So I'm trying to determine exactly where "what is written" (1 Cor 4:6) ends and where "human rules" (Mark 7:7) begin.  That said:     

1.  We know Nadab & Abihu approached God in a way that did not regard him as holy.  Are you sure Nadab and Abihu's strange fire didn't violate some other command / precedent God had already given or command / precedent God would reveal further along in scripture?  Perhaps something having to do with fire or incense or specifically pertaining to the priesthood? 

2.  Are you sure that this is God's reaction to any form of worship he did not specifically command?  Or could it pertain specifically to sacrifices / offerings (ex. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:5)?
 
3.  It's been my understanding that believers are commanded to worship God every minute of the day in every action (1 Cor. 10:31).  If this is so, then how can someone do anything whatsoever God did not specifically command him to do without worshiping him in a "strange" (Lev. 10:1) way?  For example, God never commanded anyone to gamble, but you maintain that gambling is not a wicked practice.  How is gambling different than throwing a party on December 25th in recognition of the real Christ's birth (I haven't noticed you claiming birthday parties are wicked) if one were to do so in truth (if that is possible)?  Christmas tree, Santa Clause and antichrist worship notwithstanding of course.  
 

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20).

Sent: Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:06 PM
Subject: Re: Questions about Christmas
 
Thank you for the email. Because of your questions, I edited the article some and added a section at the end of the article addressing the “in and of itself” concern. So, thank you for the questions. You might want to see that section.
 
The timing of your questions is fascinating to me, and I am thankful to the Lord for them. Not long before you wrote, I had completely rewrote the Christmas article. I had originally written the article over twenty years ago, and had for quite some time wanted to rewrite it; and I finally did. Then moments later you wrote. I am always open to criticism (Proverbs 12:1) or pressing questions, so thanks.
 
“My email reminded you of a teenage girl asking about lying naked with her boyfriend, but your reply reminded me of when I was told drinking alcohol was immoral because it is "closer to sin" than having no alcohol (I was told going into a bar was sinful for the same reason).”
 
That advice was obviously against the Word. Jesus made and drank alcohol (John 2; Luke 7:33-34). Drinking alcohol is not sinful, and we are not told to flee it. We are actually encouraged to drink it (Deuteronomy 14:26; Ecclesiastes 9:7; 1 Timothy 5:23). Conversely, we are told to flee both sexual immorality and idolatry. That’s why the parallel is Biblical, as opposed to the unbiblical advice you were given.
 
“you claim God condemns as a sin in and of itself.”
 
Sexual immorality and idolatry God does indeed condemn as sin. It’s a matter of discerning the idolatry of Christmas. Most don’t see the false Christ of Catholicism or the false Christs in the churches, so they are no doubt blind to the false Jesus of Christmas. Nevertheless, you may want to see the section on idolatry again. I added some more to that touching on the deceptive nature of idolatry.
 
1. The closest thing to it I gave in a footnote mentioning the strange incense commanded against in Exodus 30:6. I don’t know how “which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1) and “you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32) could be any clearer, especially in that context where things were so specific; and Moses repeatedly told them to “be careful” to follow them (Deuteronomy 4:5-6; 5:1, 32 “right or left”; 6:2-3; 8:1; 11:32; 12:1, 32; 17:19; 26:16; 32:46).
 
2. In this context (worship in particular, see #3), for worship in the tabernacle and temple, yes, that couldn’t be clearer (Deuteronomy 12:32). For us today, it must be according to the Word (Proverbs 4:27; Colossians 2:8). Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit, that was their error (Acts 5:3).
,
3. As with gambling and other issues the Bible does not specifically address, if the Word does not condemn it, neither can we. As it is written, immediately after Paul’s warning about idolatry and demons,
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. (1 Corinthians 10:23; see also 1 Corinthians 6:12; Titus 1:15)
On the other hand, the worship of God is specifically addressed time and again, and indeed, for a true believer, their entire life is to the worship of God (Romans 14:7-8; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Hebrews 13:15); which was and is true both in the OT and NT (e.g. Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:30). But, just as there was specific commandments on worship in particular in the OT (like in the tabernacle and temple), so the NT has commandments specific to worship in particular. The issue of gambling is not particular to the worship of God. The Bible doesn’t even address it. Whereas, for example, prayer is particular to worship (Isaiah 44:17; 45:20; Psalm 17).
 
And with prayer, we are instructed to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Yet, Jesus, who is our perfect example to follow (1 Corinthians 11:1), ceased praying (Luke 11:1). And, we have times where the specific focus is prayer (e.g. Daniel 6:10). For example, the instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:4-16 are not at all times, but rather, when a man or a woman is praying (or prophesying). Likewise, there is worship that is all the time (Romans 12:1), and there is worship that is specifically focused (e.g. Psalm 95:6; 99:9).
 
For example, there is baptism (Mark 16:16), communion (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), and certain practices “in the house of God” (1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Corinthians 14:26-40). These are matters that are specific to the worship of God. The problem comes when we follow after the world in such things, when the particular focus is the worship of God, as in Deuteronomy 12:1-4, 29-32.
 
To rejoice that the Savior was born in the world is obviously not wrong (Psalm 119:162; Luke 2:13-14). Nevertheless, knowing the deceptive nature of man’s heart (Jeremiah 17:9), the easily influenced nature of man’s heart (Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33), and the utter lack of Scriptural compulsion to do so, how you would not be lying to yourself and others, claiming your party on December 25th was not following after the ways of the world (Romans 12:1-2), not imitating evil (3 John 11), and still consistent with fleeing (1 Corinthians 10:14), is beyond me. But, who am I. God knows “the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12-13) and he will reveal them to all, sooner or later (1 Timothy 5:24; Matthew 10:26). Those who go to heaven speak the truth in their heart (Psalm 15:2), and it’s never just one issue (Matthew 6:22-23; 2 Peter 3:16).
 
According to man’s history, that is the very kind of thing that gave birth to Christmas (Easter, etc.). The birthday of Mithra (the sun god) was December 25. The church took pagan idolatrous practices (Mithra the sun god, etc.) and attempted to sanctify them, gave them new names, etc.. That does not please God. Paul told the idolaters of his day to “turn from these useless things” (Acts 14:15; see also 1 Thessalonians 1:9). He didn’t tell them to give them new names, change a few things, and then continue in their celebrations. That’s the opposite of the message of Scripture.
 
Finally, with your December 25th party you would also risk breaching Paul’s concern in 1 Corinthians 8:10-12, giving the appearance of celebrating Christmas, and emboldening others to actually participate in the idolatry of Christmas, which would lead to hell (“perish” 1 Corinthians 8:11; Revelation 22:15 “practices a lie”).

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