The true meaning of Christmas

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Christmas, Holidays, Me and people, Santa
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Upon reading and watching countless blogs, debates and testimonies, I am of the conviction that Christianity has lost effect in our society, among other reasons, due to a loss of credibility. We Christians sometimes fight so adamantly for the right to say “Merry Christmas” or display a nativity set or set up a Christmas tree in the public square or defending a specific point of view that, in the fight, we lose sight of what really matters and destroy with our actions the very message we claim to defend.

The true history of Christmas
Let’s start with being intellectually, historically and Biblically honest. Christmas –at least the way we broadly observe it today, is not Biblical. (please don’t stop reading, there is a good end to this). Yes, it is true. Christmas the way we know it is not commanded. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to celebrate Jesus’ birthday or to have a nativity set or to have a tree full of ornaments or to give gifts on December 25th. God never told us to fight for Christmas to defend and preserve the right for Christmas traditions. In fact, it is a well documented true, both Biblically and historically, that all of these activities of Christmas are based on pagan (non-Christian) traditions and predate Christianity. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, a variety of cultures were erecting trees and giving gifts in honor of their own gods and idols. In fact, most likely Jesus wasn’t even born in December. Jesus’ birth most likely happened towards the end of September. So, just to be clear, when we fight for all of these things, we need to understand, we are not fighting God’s fight but our own. Just to make it worse, some historians argue that the Puritans and some of the first Christians in our land contended that Christians should not even be involved in these activities as it is clear that The Bible condemns and forbids idolatry and pagan-like rituals. Acknowledging these facts may be a good start to gaining credibility in presenting our case for Christ.

My reason for this season
But even if you observe some of these traditions, like I do, whether you like having a tree or a nativity set of doing Santa, please keep this in mind: while it is true that this country was founded in Judeo-Christian principles and we have the right to say “Merry CHRISTmas!”, not many people -that I know of, have come to the saving knowledge of salvation through Christ because we responded to their “Happy holidays” greeting with our very emphatic “Merry CHRISTmas!”

How many people do you know who got saved by a forced nativity set in a public square? Is it possible that, by being less dogmatic about what we want about Christmas (which we concluded is not God’s idea anyway), and more ‘respectful and cordial to their desires and objections, that we may be able to engage in a friendly conversation that potentially can lead us to share why we believe what we believe? –not about a tree but about the cross?

Is it possible that switching from ‘defending our rights for Christmas’ to ‘taking advantage of opportunities to introduce our savior”, may be more in line with what God wants from us during this and all seasons? (“…go therefore and make disciples…”)

I could very well be wrong, but I wonder, since we want so much to make Jesus happy on His Birthday, if we would do better by not fighting our fights but His, by taking every single opportunity we have to tell others -not about Christmas stuff, but about Christ –this and all seasons.

When the goal of telling the truth about Christ is clouded by our dogmatic ‘Christmas truths’, we may, just may be missing the whole point of the opportunity this season brings.

  1. Scott says:

    Luis, I think this is your best post to-date…. thanks for the honest and accurate analysis. It is very convicting to me.

  2. Angela says:

    Just for fun: Jeremiah 10:3 The Message (MSG)

    The religion of these peoples is nothing but smoke. An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down, then shaped by a woodsman’s ax.

    (JUST FOR FUN!!!)

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