Story to illustrate a point
The following fictional story will help explain some of the issues involved with holidays not condoned by the Bible.
The year is 1937 in Nazi Germany, and the churches are in trouble. The Lutheran Church is losing young members of the Luther League who want to join the more flamboyant Hitler Youth. The Adventists are failing in business because they are seen to outwardly resemble the Jews in their Sabbath observance. Not all the churches are faltering, however, since some church leaders are advocating a few changes.
Some of the ministers reason that, to win the young people back to Christ, the church needs to make a few minor modifications. For example, Hitler's birthday falls on April 20, and there are celebrations throughout Germany on that day. Since nobody knows when Jesus was born, they select April 20 as the day to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Also, by adding a few short nooks to the cross, it can now look strikingly like a swastika, only they will call it the cross of Christ.
The number of members coming back to church increases greatly with each change they make. Their families now march around the cross of Christ with their right arms fully extended to glorify the Lord. Sure, they look a lot like any other Nazi family down the street, but the church was now growing again. Celebrating the resurrection of the Lord will also happen to fall on the anniversary of the rise of the Third Reich. Needless to say, the churches which adapted to the new Germany thrive, while those that refuse to compromise are severely persecuted and scattered.
After the war, all of the customs and trappings of those days continue. Hundreds of years later people still celebrate the birth of Jesus on April 20. They set up the cross of Christ in their living room while the families extend their right hands to salute it.
It is a wonderful time. The children make little cookie people, the one's with the six-pointed star of Bethlehem on their chests, and bake them in their ovens. There is some mythology about the man with a funny mustache who knows if you've been naughty or nice, but mainly it is a religious holiday. Sometimes a lot of families get together and build a big bonfire. An honored family member carries the cross of Christ with all of its banners attached to the pole. Everyone marches around the bonfire to the tune of "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" while their right arms are fully extended to salute the cross and praise the Lord Jesus.
One day a man comes to church and tries to tell them about the origin of their holidays. They don't seem shocked at all. To them terms like Nazi, holocaust and Hitler are meaningless. It doesn't matter what happened centuries before anyway, because they are worshiping the Lord. Their memories of past celebrations of April 20 are filled with love and joy. Songs of gladness are sung as they bake the little cookie people in the ovens. Life is good, and the God of the Bible must be pleased. Then the man posed a question to them: What are God's Christmas memories?
What does GOD think about Christmas?
Would any Christian today doubt the need to tell the characters in the preceding story about the origins of THEIR Christmas? How would GOD feel about people choosing the birth of Adolph Hitler to represent the birth of His son? How would GOD feel about the day that symbolizes the resurrection of the Third Reich to represent Jesus' resurrection?
What do you suppose GOD would think about people symbolizing his Son's sacrifice on the cross with a swastika or a Nazi salute? What about the little cookie people with the six-pointed star of Bethlehem on their chests that were baked in the ovens? Wouldn't most people want to study to find out how that custom got started?
Surprisingly, those in this story would probably give the same responses as to why it is perfectly ACCEPTABLE to have THEIR Christmas on April 20 as those who today want to keep THEIR Christmas on December 25th:
"We've always had Christmas on that date, and, besides, it doesn't really matter what day you choose."
"It's good for the children."
"We try to keep the commercialism down and emphasize the birth of Jesus."
"God understands our hearts, and we get so much out of these days."
"We just put a little cross of Christ in our home, nothing fancy or elaborate."
"Mom would really be disappointed if we didn't appreciate all the work she put into this day."
Is there something WRONG?
Try as we might to convince them otherwise, these hypothetical people inhabit their own little universe in their minds. Every reason people give today to rationalize the celebration of December 25 would be thrown right back at them.
To those in the story, an April 20 Christmas is absolutely wonderful and almost magical in its beauty . . .
"and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" (2Corinthians 11:14).
To them the spirit of Christmas equates with the spirit of giving. To be against their Christmas is to be against giving, so there must be something wrong with you. They would be justified in their own minds to think you must not REALLY care about the needy.
So powerful would be the allure of the April 20 Christmas that even millions of atheists would put up the lights to join the party or put their daughter in the play. Try as you might, you could not convince them that all the Nazi origins of the day should keep them from celebrating it now.
In a Christian's life Jesus is REAL and has a DAILY impact on the decisions that are made. To most in this world Jesus is pictured either as a helpless baby in a manger during Christmas, or dead on a cross during Easter, or dwelling far, far away in a heavenly never-never land. To most He is a God of convenience but not someone you actually serve or seek advice from. "He must like this holiday because I do and my minister, who knows his Bible, gives his approval. Surely all of these churches couldn't be wrong." Or could they?
The appeal of Christmas to this world should set off warning flags to a true Christian. Jesus said,
"Enter through the narrow gate. For WIDE is the gate and BROAD is the road that leads to destruction, and MANY enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14, NKJV, emphasis throughout).
After warning about false prophets, Jesus also went on to say in verse 21:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY he who does the WILL of my Father who is in heaven."
A blend of the TRUE and the FALSE?
To the apostles, the will of God did not include Christmas or anything like it. This all came much later when the apostate church grew by blending in with the pagan Roman world. By placing the Lord's name on pagan practices, they deceived people into thinking they could keep their old ways and call it the Lord's will. Satan succeeded in deceiving virtually the whole world at that time into taking the broad way of doing things that are contrary to God's will (Revelation 12:9).
The will of God has to be the central point in how we worship Him. Jesus spoke about members of the religious community in His day who were in their own little universe and said they were worshiping Him, but all IN VAIN, because of their man-made traditions (Mark 7:7-8). In John 4:23-24 Jesus said that:
"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in TRUTH." (verses 23-24, NKJV).
Both those in the above story and those in the mainstream of modern Christianity don't understand that Christmas is a LIE or that Christ was NEVER in it. The mind of Christ won't mix righteousness with unrighteousness or light with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).
God has a memory. Those who are His want to honor and worship Him in truth. According to His Word, HOW we choose to do so is important to Him. God tells us NOT to learn the ways of the heathen (Jeremiah 10:2) or inquire about how pagan nations serve their gods.
"You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way" (Deuteronomy 12:31).
It is precisely because God has a memory that, based on the Bible, he does not celebrate Christmas.