Some say we should not celebrate Christmas because the bible never tells us to, we don't know when Christ was really born and Christmas is modeled after old pagan celebrations. What do you think?
- Anthony from Warren, Oh.
Observe Christmas (Part 1)
I have heard most of the arguments over the years for not celebrating Christmas but I don't buy any of them. I believe it is both important and appropriate to remember that God actually came to earth and dwelt among us.
Setting aside a particular day of each year is a wonderful way to do that. The day that is chosen is not important as I see it. Who cares if Jesus was born in December or July? Knowing the actual day really brings nothing to the table because God would not be more honored and we would not be more reverent by knowing it.
You mention the argument some use about modeling after pagan celebrations. I believe it is accurate that the celebration of Christmas arose at a time when pagan holidays around December were prevalent and popular. It was very smart of the Church to counter such pagan practices in their own cultures; they were promoting the gospel in their own times with effectiveness. It worked! Christmas over the centuries became the prevalent celebration.
It seems that today there is a pagan culture that is trying to recover what was lost to them centuries ago. "Christmas" - at least in America - is struggling to survive. Twenty years ago Christians complained about the commercialization of Christmas but now there is another more insidious threat. God in any form is being stripped away and Christmas is a big target.
Christmas trees are being renamed "Holiday" trees; it's no longer "Christmas Break" at school but "Winter Break"; lyrics to Christmas carols are being rewritten to make them acceptable in children's programs; even saying "Merry Christmas" is not politically correct.
It is time for the church to rise up once again and figure out how to be relevant for our times. It is time for the church to present the gospel to our own generation in such a powerful way that there will be no one left in our vast country who objects to remembering that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14)