Advertisements hit us with full force as the Christmas holiday season approaches each year, enticing us to buy a tree, or decorations and lights, or purchase cards to send to family and friends, and to buy gifts for everyone we know. Xmas songs are played as background music in stores. And many try to put back Christ in Christmas but to little avail.
The word Christmas we use to designate the day (in reality, the season) we focus on Christ's birth cannot be found anywhere in the Bible! It is a compound word created by the Catholic Church to designate the celebrating of Christ's birth with a mass.
The idea of celebrating this event is a concept foreign to the Gospel writers. From a Biblical perspective, his birth, let alone with celebrating it through a special season of celebration, is far less important than his death.
The clear non-Biblical origin of all the Christmas images and symbols used to celebrate the season are openly reported and discussed by the media. For example, one history site openly admits that the basis for the holiday dates well before Jesus' time. Holiday traditions can be traced all the way back to the early Mesopotamians.
Several popular reference sites on the Internet admit that many of the trappings of the season were borrowed from pre-Christian sources. These borrowed traditions included gift-giving, merrymaking and the use of lights from Roman pagan celebrations. The use of Yule logs as well as eating certain foods were borrowed from Teutonic feasts.
One history site, in an article about Christmas, stated that before the time of Jesus people thought that trees that were green for the entire year had a special meaning. Anciently, boughs made of evergreens were placed on windows and doors. Some believed that such boughs would keep away evil spirits like ghosts.
Alexander Hislop's book entitled "The Two Babylons" states that the Christmas tree was quite common in both the empires of Egypt and Rome. The Egyptians used a palm tree which represented to them their pagan savior Baal-Tamar. Romans used a fir tree which to them symbolized their god Baal-Berith.
Trimming the tree
In the book of Jeremiah we find a description of something that looks incredibly like a Christmas tree. It was used to aid in the worship of false gods!
The Lord said: Listen to me, you people of Israel. Don't follow the customs of those nations who become frightened when they see something strange happen in the sky. Their religion is worthless! They chop down a tree, carve the wood into an idol, cover it with silver and gold, and then nail it down so it won't fall over (Jeremiah 10:1 - 4).
Debate regarding whether a true Christmas tree is being discussed in Jeremiah misses the entire point of the passage. The point being made is God's view of using aids (known as idolatry) to either worship him or false gods. Verse 3 tells us he thinks that the religion, or efforts of those to try and worship something greater than themselves, is worthless!
Even those who have consciously attempted to include seemingly Biblical references to their Christmas season celebrations often have only part of the truth.
For example, many people think that the angels announcing Jesus birth shouted, "Peace on earth, good will to men." Unfortunately, the King James translation of the Greek was quite flawed. A more correct translation is, "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men of goodwill" (Luke 2:14, HBFV).
Our heavenly Father is still concerned about the details regarding people's behavior toward him, how they choose to worship him, what customs and ceremonies they use to do so and so on. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and still rejects the use of transformed paganism for the purpose of honoring him.
Reason for the Season
The real reason for the Christmas season is to confuse and deceive people about what the Bible teaches about Jesus' miraculous birth. Satan the devil has done a superb job of mixing a good amount of deception with a little bit of truth to produce a religious holiday that deceivingly appeals to both the head and heart.
Christmas, at its core, is a compilation of many man-made traditions (see Matthew 15:9) that masquerade as the truth. Now that you know the truth, what will you do about it?