THE TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS
It was early in the 4th century that Constantine, a Roman emperor who was converted to Christianity declared December 25th the birthday of Christ. Previously, December 25th was celebrated as the birth date of several heathen gods as well as the date on which the sun gained strength and the days began to get longer. The customs which are associated with Christmas were celebrated long before Christ was born for they were associated with the earlier pagan celebrations.
Christmas, otherwise know as “Christ Mass” was popularized so that it could take over from the popular pagan winter solstice celebrations. Some earlier Christians argued that it was impossible for shepherds to be out in the field in the winter. But the Christians of that time were interested in maintaining the celebrations the people observed, just substituting Christ’s birthday for that of some other pagan gods. So the Christians would go to church, then return home and celebrate “raucously” with lots of liquor and food.
One of the customs associated with Christmas is the decorated Christmas tree. This celebration dates back to the time when it was thought that during the winter solstice, the sun god became weak and ill. So people would bring in evergreen boughs and branches into their homes to protect them from evil. The greenness of the trees even during the winter season when every other trees had lost their leaves and were hibernating, represented everlasting life and the protection from evil.
Let us look at what the Lord says about this in His word through the prophet Jeremiah. In the 10th chapter verses 1-5 “Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel; Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
We see here that the Lord is not pleased with his people adopting the ways of the heathen. If He is our God we do not have to worry when the days get short or the nights get long. We do not need to worry when we do not see the sun. The sun is not our God. The Lord, the Creator of the earth is our God. He is in control of all of our lives and our situations so winter, spring or summer seasons do not worry us because we know the true and living God.
Any worship directed towards the true and living God should be established in His truth. It should not be steeped in pagan traditions. We must worship in spirit and in truth.