The Christmas season is an occasion that many use to commemorate the birth of Jesus. We hear such phrases as “Remember the reason for the season” and “Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.” This is the world’s holiday which derived from Catholicism, but what can we expect from those in God’s house?
The Christmas season used to be an occasion that brethren generally used to distinguish revealed and unrevealed religion. The Sunday before Christmas was frequently used to distinguish what the Bible teaches about the birth of Christ from the religious trappings that have grown up around it. Church bulletins featured articles on Christmas that taught why it was wrong to celebrate Christmas in a religious way. Brethren understood that they should not participate in the religious celebration of Christmas. Some discussed whether or not a Christian could exchange gifts on December 25th or have a Christmas tree. There were no special Christmas services or church sponsored Christmas parties.
But things have changed in God’s house with reference to the celebration of Christmas. Here are some of them: Most of our liberal brethren participate in the religious celebration of Christmas in their public worship. They have plays, choirs, and Christmas decorations in celebration of the Lord’s birth. Many congregations seem to have gotten too sophisticated to preach against the religious celebration of Christmas. They justify not preaching on the subject on the basis that it offends visitors who might attend at that time of the year. They castigate those who preach against the religious celebration of Christmas for being abrasive and confrontational. In the meantime, the rearing of a generation who has never heard these sermons has created a group who is asking, “What is wrong with setting aside a special day to commemorate the birth of Christ?” A larger number of brethren are allowing their children to participate in the choral presentations at school that feature songs teaching that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ.
What’s Wrong With the Religious Celebration of Christmas?
There is only one thing wrong with it. No Bible authority exists for the religious celebration of Christmas. Scripture teaches that one must have Bible authority for whatever he practices, in such texts as the following: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17). “Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that abides him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11). “And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another (1 Cor. 4:6).
The beloved John forewarns us by saying, “For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19). Peter commanded, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (very words) of God;…”Amen (1 Pet. 4:11).
The same thing is wrong with the religious observance of Christmas as is wrong with sprinkling for baptism, infant baptism, using mechanical instruments of music in worship, observing the Lord’s supper on any other day than Sunday, tithing, women preachers and teachers, etc.__ there is no new testament authority for the practice. In the absence of divine authority for the practice, one cannot walk by faith in observing Christmas religiously.
Until sound preachers begin to preach again what was once so commonly spoken not that many years ago, we can expect to have generations to come who do not know what is wrong with the religious observance of Christmas, Easter, and other unauthorized “holy days”. How long has it been since you heard any teaching on the subject? Have you ever heard a gospel sermon delivered in the church you attend which condemns the observance of Christmas? Well, if not, if you read this article, consider it your first.