To celebrate or not to celebrate

Here are a few links to interesting articles about Christmas.

This one discusses why December 25 was chosen as the date for Christmas.  It leans against the belief that Constantine started it.

This article is an excerpt from a recent book by Doug Wilson on how our celebration of Christmas displays the grace of God.

The last one is not for those with sensitive skin.  James Jordan explains why we should not eat Chinese food (yes it relates to the topic).

Enjoy!

2 Comments

  1. Ryan Poe says:

    Contrary to what I said yesterday, I’ll try to keep the ad hominems in this rebuttal at a minimum. 😉

    I honestly don’t care when Christmas is celebrated. Any day is a good day to worship the King of Kings. Whatever the reasoning, the Catholic Encyclopedia makes clear that the holiday became widespread because of the solar feast Natalis Invicti. And that proximity, as almost all historians agree, gave rise to several odd customs, including Christmas trees.

    But enough of the boring history lesson. My point is that many of the customs associated with Christmas have nothing to do with Christ, and a lot to do with anti-Christ worship. If this is the case, and most people would agree that it is, I think we should take a hard look at Christmas. As Wilson put it, “… the unexamined holiday is not worth celebrating.”

    Think about Jeremiah 10:2. What exactly does “Learn not the way of the heathen” mean for us in the context of idolatry? We know idols have no inherent goodness or evil (10:5), but still God tells us to flee idolatry (1 Cor. 10:14). I think Paul answers this question perfectly in 1 Cor. 8:9. It’s not wrong to eat meat used in idol worship. But it is wrong if our example will sooth the consciences of the ungodly in their sins.

    Applying that, maybe it’s not wrong to have a Christmas tree, but do we really want to participate in a tradition that takes the emphasis off of Christ? It seems to me that the better reaction would be to purge a Christian celebration of anything that doesn’t glorify Christ. And that’s the example we have in Deut. 12:2 and 2 Chr. 34:3.

    If we truly believe that we’re reclaiming the world for Christ, let’s do that. Let’s tear down any of our customs that have carried over from idol worship instead of pretending Christ wants to be celebrated with the leftovers of idolatry. Let’s stop fueling the rampant consumerism of our society, stop telling our kids Santa exists, and stop cluttering the celebration of the advent of our savior with silly customs that take attention off of Christ.

    Harsh, I know. But hey – that’s what grinches are for.

  2. Ryan Poe says:

    Correction: I mistakenly said 1 Cor. 8:9 was speaking of the “ungodly.” Rather, the passage is speaking of children of God who are weak in knowledge. We’re not to eat meat sacrificed to idols if it will cause a brother to fall back into their old sins, is the meaning.

    But I think the verse still applies. If having a Christmas tree would encourage weaker brethren to continue emphasizing traditions instead of their savior, as I think it generally would, it would be better not to have the trees at all. The same can be said of any of the other Xmas traditions.

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