Why I Don't Do Christmas s
Some of my work colleagues were recently surprised to learn that I don't do Christmas. Here are ten good reasons why not.
My colleagues were shocked to discover a follower of Christ who does not celebrate what they perceive to be a major Christian festival. Because of their reaction, I have put to paper ten good reasons why I don't do Christmas.
When God created mankind, He had a purpose and plan in mind. He provided laws to guide us in the way we live. Christ Himself said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God'" (Luke 4:4). That word, the Bible, expounds and expands the law of God, which is summarized by Ten Commandments that form the basis for Christian living. The law defines how to worship God and relate to our fellow man.
Most people are under the impression that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, but religious scholars agree that Christ could not have been born in December. A little research in a reliable encyclopaedia will soon reveal the true origin of the celebration that takes place on 25 December. It is the pagan feast of die natalis Solis Invicti, the birth of the Invincible Sun. Not the birth of God's son - Jesus Christ, but the birth of the sun as it rises after the winter solstice. The festivities surrounding 25 December are mostly associated with sun worship, which is undeniably idolatry.
Gods and Images
First Commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). The first commandment tells us not to put any man or object in place of God. Anything substituted for God is an idol. Elsewhere the Bible says we are to hearken diligently to God's commandments, to walk in His way and to take heed that we do not turn aside and serve other gods, or worship them, “…if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.. …Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;” (Deuteronomy 11:13 and 16).
In the New Testament the Apostle Paul said that involvement with idolatry, would keep us out of God's Kingdom. He said we are not embrace idolatry, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21). In fact we are told to flee from it, “… flee from idolatry.” (I Corinthians 10:14).
Yet, from an early age, we incorporate 'Father Christmas' into our children's belief systems. This fictitious father figure is supposedly endowed with the power of judgement to determine if our children deserve reward or not. But the Bible says God is our judge, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22). He is the judge of all, “…to God the Judge of all,” (Hebrew 12:23). If God is our judge, why substitute a man in a red suit for Him in the minds of our children?
Second Commandment: "You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth" (Exodus 20:4). This instruction seems straight forward, yet every year during the festive season, huge floats are made in the image of Father Christmas for our children to follow in parades through the streets of our cities and towns. The Santa Claus logo has become a commercial icon used to promote a vast range of 'Santa' products. Because of their constant exposure to these images, our children learn to relate more to Santa than they do to God.
Third Commandment: "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). Our worship is in vain if we go contrary to God's instruction. At no time has God consecrated 25 December as a Holy Day or an event to be celebrated. Jesus Christ is part of the Godhead, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:8-9). And when we attach the name of one of the Godhead to a pagan festival we are using God's name in vain to follow the traditions of men..
Celebrating a pagan festival in the name of Christ [Christ-mass] is idolatry and is contrary to what God instructs – it is sin, or iniquity. When we are involved in sin, or iniquity our prayers fall on deaf ears, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Psalm 66:18). We become separated from God, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2).
Holy Days and Family
Fourth Commandment:"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8). Why adopt pagan celebrations when God has already given a set of Holy Days for us to observe? He not only consecrated the weekly Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, to remind us that He is our creator, He also sanctioned annual Holy Days to remind us of His plan of salvation. God called them His Sabbaths, “Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:3). And according to the prophet Zechariah, when Christ returns at the end of this age, He will restore God's festivals, “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16).
When God said to remember the Sabbath He intended that we continue observing His Sabbaths, not that we should replace them with days dedicated to false gods.
Fifth Commandment: "Honour your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12).It is obvious that family relationships are important to God. As Creator, His relationship with mankind is paternal, that is why He is called the Father. In a spiritual context, the term 'Father' is a religious title reserved for God alone: "call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). I don't think we should give such an important religious title to a man by calling him 'Father Christmas'.
Murder and Adultery
Sixth Commandment: "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). The Bible tells us that, "Sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). It incurs a penalty - "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). If we teach our children to keep traditions borrowed from idol worshippers in direct contravention of God's law then we are teaching them to sin. And because the penalty for sin is death, I don't wish to cause my children to die because of what I teach them.
Seventh Commandment: "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Ezekiel the prophet said that idolatry is the spiritual equivalent of adultery and involving our children in such practices is, in effect, sacrificing them to idols, "For they have committed adultery, and blood is upon their hands, they have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to me" (Ezekiel 23:37).
Stealing, Lying and Coveting
Eighth Commandment:"You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15). If we turn the minds of our children away from God, we not only rob God of our children, we rob our children of the blessings God bestows on those who obey Him?
Ninth Commandment: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour" (Exodus 20:16). To bear false witness is to lie. The stories about Father Christmas, his reindeer and elves, and how he comes down the chimney to leave presents, however quaint - are lies. Because I tell my children not to lie, I would be guilty of double standards if I lie to them about 'Father Christmas'.
Tenth Commandment: "You shall not covet" (Exodus 20:17). The word, covet means - to desire. While there is nothing wrong in having desire, there is a wrong type of desire that turns us from God.
The desire to take part and fit in with everyone else can be very powerful force. However powerful that desire is it is not right in the eyes of God to covet, or desire to do something that is iniquitous, “…and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:” (Colossians 3:5-6). It diverts our thoughts away from the things of God, “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalms 10:3-4).
For those colleagues of mine who were surprised to learn that I don't do Christmas, I have given ten reasons based on God's law. Clearly the celebration of a pagan festival, decked with pagan customs under a facade of Christ's name, blatantly contravenes all ten points of that law.
Because I want to please God in all aspects of my life as a Christian, I can't in all honesty do Christmas.