Many people are aware that popular holidays such as Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc. are not in the Bible and are actually pagan in origin. To many, however, such facts do not really matter. After all, they believe, THEY do not celebrate the holiday like the ancient Pagans. As long as Jesus' birth is rejoiced over, with a sprinkle of Santa Claus for the children, God will understand - won't he?
Did ANYONE in the New Testament celebrate the birth of Christ (Christmas)? The Biblical record is silent in this regard. Yet, people reason that God must accept Xmas because we have such good feelings about it. We cherish fond memories of the holiday, so God must have fond memories as well. Or does he? Are we sure? God's memories go way beyond our capabilities since He lives in eternity (Isaiah 57:15).
What if God's memories of Christmas included the noise of pagans who celebrate their idol with chanting or of the screams from those, his spiritual children known as Christians, being put to death? The Bible says the Eternal hears the voices of those martyred for His name crying under a heavenly altar asking that their deaths be avenged.
10. And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Revelation 6)
Story to illustrate a point
The following fictional story will help explain some of the issues involved with holidays not condoned by the Bible. Imagine it is Germany during the height of Nazism in 1937. Churches throughout the country are in trouble. Young people who go to church want to leave and join the Hitler Youth. Businesses that even SEEM to be Jewish because they observe a seventh-day Sabbath are failing.
Some ministers, however, believe that if they only make some minor changes here and there to how the church operates they will be able to survive what is happening in the country. For example, on April 20th of each year is Hitler's birthday, which many joyously celebrate. Since it is unclear exactly when Christ was born, some ministers and religious leaders choose April 20th as the time to commemorate Jesus' birth. They also figure out that if they take the cross, and add just a few bends to it, that it looks surprisingly similar to a swastika. They decide to refer to their new creation as Christ's cross.
With changes to the church comes growth in numbers. People soon find themselves holding their right arm ridged in front of them, at an upward angle, so that they can show they are giving God glory as they march around the cross. And, most people do not care that the commemoration of Jesus' resurrection has been moved to occur on the exact day when the glorious Third Reich was started. Churches which adopt the new ways Germany operates thrive while others are persecuted or even killed. The new practices are so popular that even years later many people are still found celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on the 20th of April.
One day, someone visits the church and does his best to try and inform the group about how their holidays originated. After hearing the explanation the people are not shocked. After all, in their minds terms like Hitler and Nazi are meaningless. Who cares, they think, how people many years ago worshipped whatever they thought was God. What matters is that what they do TODAY is for the worship and glory of God. Each person in the church has their own wonderful memories of April 20th with joy and warm feelings. Their trips down memory lane are abruptly interrupted when the man visiting the church asks them a profound question: What are God's Christmas memories?
What does GOD think?
How do you think God would react if people decided to commemorate yearly His Son's birth on the birthday of Hitler? How do you suppose the Eternal would feel if the day symbolizing the Reich's or the Nazi party's resurrection were used to symbolize the resurrection of Christ? Would God be pleased with his children if he saw them sincerely trying to honor the sacrifice of his son using a swastika? Wouldn't most want to study to find out how their customs "honoring" God and His Son got started?
In our fictionalized tale an April 20th Xmas seemed so wonderful and magical, filled with warm feelings and love.
14 And no wonder. Satan, their master, can disguise himself as an angel of light. (2Corinthians 11:14).
The Christmas spirit, to them, is the spirit of sharing and giving to others. Anyone who would even DARE to be opposed to such widely acceptable practices must mean something is terribly wrong with THEM. The allure and temptation to celebrate Christmas on April 20th, with its lights and music and festivities enjoyed even by those who know nothing of God, would be most powerful. You could try will all your might, but still fail, to convince most people that the Nazi origins of what they are doing should be a warning to them to not keep their holiday.
Blending truth and error
To the early New Testament church, God's perfect will did not mean they could celebrate holidays like Xmas. The later Universal Rome-based church, however, deceived the masses into believing they could hang on to their pagan traditions of worship but rename them as being God's will. Jesus warned, in no uncertain terms, that there would be those who would worship him IN VAIN.
"Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. 7. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men' (Mark 7:7-8)
People simply do not understand that to celebrate the holiday, with all its trappings, is a total LIE and that Christ can NEVER be put back in CHRISTmas since he was never there!
God's memories do not allow him to celebrate Christmas.