“Christmas time” is almost here again. It comes rain or shine, with or without snow every year. Lights are already up in town and signs indicating that December 25 is not far off are to be found almost everywhere. No doubt you have already bought presents for your friends and loved ones. It’s the time of the year when radios are playing, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Many denominations are making announcements of their “Christmas program.” Since Christmas is practiced as a “religious” holiday, it is necessary that we make an investigation concerning this festive occasion.
Have you ever stopped and thought about the origin and history of Christmas? We are prone to take so many things for granted! Where did Christmas come from? Who authorized it? Many of us will quickly answer that it was ordained by God, and originated when Christ was born. But are you sure of this? Could you prove it from the Bible? Permit us to deal with some of the traditions which most of us have taken for granted, yet which have no foundation either in scripture or in history.
When Was Christ Born?
First is the idea that Christ was born on December 25, in the year 1 A.D. The exact year, the exact month, and the exact day in which Christ was born is uncertain. We cannot determine the exact year in which He was born, for it was 750 odd years after this event before our present method of measuring time came into existence. Dionysius Exiguus (who first proposed to date all events from the birth of Christ) made an error in his calculations. If his calculations be correct, then Herod the Great (who sought to kill Jesus) died four years before our Savior was born. His error is evident to all who believe the Bible to be the product of God. It can safely be said that Jesus was born between the year 7 B.C. and 4 B.C.
It is even more difficult to pinpoint the month. Every month of the year has been claimed at one time or another as the month in which the Christ child came into the world. The three most ardently contended for are December 25, January 6, and March 25. Today the Armenian church celebrates Christmas on January 10.
The “Three” Wisemen
How many wisemen followed the star to Bethlehem? Surprised to be asked such a simple question, you quickly answer, “Three.” But again, are you sure? Could you prove it? The Bible simply says, “Wisemen from the east came to, Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:21 ). The term “men” simply denotes more than one. There may have been two, and there could have been two-hundred. Again history is absolutely no help, for at different times, people have accepted different traditions concerning the number of these men. To contend for “three” is to blindly accept the assertions of the Roman church.
Where did the term “Christmas” come from? What does it mean? You may quickly respond that it simply designates the day on which Christ was born. Is this true? Even a casual observer will immediately spot the “Christ” in Christmas. What does “mas” mean ? Does it signify a birthday? Just what do we connect with Christ in this expression? The Catholic scholar, James Cardinal Gibbons, admits that the “mas” in Christmas is derived from the Catholic sacrifice of the mass; as it’s also true in Candelmas – a special Catholic mass celebrated early in February each year, and at which all candles to be used in religious services during the year are blessed. Christmas then literally means “Christ’s mass” or the “mass of Christ” and properly denotes a Catholic mass, said and performed in honor of Christ. Do you believe in Christmas, Christ’s mass or the mass of Christ? Christmas is purely a Catholic expression and spiritually conveys nothing at all to a simple New Testament Christian.
Do you tell your children about a little fat, jovial man who brings all sorts of wonderful things to good boy and girls? Does your home eagerly await the coming of Santa Claus? Who is this gent “Santa Claus”? Where did he come from? If you remember the poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” you no doubt remember the line, “In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.” Santa Claus and St. Nicholas are the same person. The English term “Santa Claus” is a corruption of the Dutch term for St. Nicholas, “Sinter Klass.”
“St. Nicholas was a real bishop who lived in the fourth century and became THE PATRON SAINT OF CHILDREN. In America, St. Nicholas not only became Santa Claus to little boys and girls, but the bishop’s robe was transformed into a warm red suit, and his visits were transferred to Christmas Eve.” When you honor Santa Claus, you honor a Catholic Saint! When you teach your child to look to St. Nicholas for presents, you teach that child to look to the Catholic PATRON SAINT OF CHILDREN for blessings! Shocking isn’t It?
Let’s Take “Christ” Out of Christmas
We invite you to draw aside the curtain of our garbled facts, weighed down with prejudice, that so long has concealed the truth on this subject from the average person. Beyond that curtain shines, undimmed, the following truths:
1. The year of Christ’s birth is unknown!
2. The day of Christ’s birth is unknown!
3. The observance of December 25 had its origin in heathenistic paganism.
4. December 25 was first declared to be the birthday of Christ in 354 J.D. when Liberius, bishop of Rome ORDERED that this day be adopted.
5. To accept December 25 as the birthday of Christ is to submit to a Catholic edict, and to bow to the authority of the church of Rome.
6. To contend for “three” wise men is again to blindly accept the assertions of the Roman church.
7. Christmas literally means “Christ’s mass” or the “Mass of Christ” and properly denotes a Catholic mass said and Performed in honor of Christ.
8. When you teach your child to look to Santa Claus or St. Nicholas for presents you teach that child to look to the Catholic PATRON SAINT OF CHILDREN for blessings.
Christmas is nothing more than a byproduct of the Catholic church which has been turned into a secular holiday. If you are truly a Christian, it is high time to take “Christ” OUT of Christmas!