If the views my wife and I have about television, public schools, vaccinations, and Easter wasn’t enough to drive friends and family crazy, our latest decision certainly will. (I also suspect that this will ruffle a few feathers on DefCon as well.)
After thoughtful deliberation we have decided to forego celebrating Christmas this year (and every year hereafter) for two main reasons, one being obvious and the other not so obvious.
No, my wife and I have not lost our minds.
No, we have not become Jehovah’s Witnesses.
No, we aren’t trying to take fun away from our children.
I have always loved Christmas. I could often be heard singing Christmas carols all year long. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year with all the decorations, food, family, memories, and nostalgia. So my decision to essentially cancel Christmas was not an easy one.
Please hear me out before coming to any conclusions or casting dispersions upon our decision. In the end you may still not agree with us, but at least you’ll understand our reasoning.
II. How it began:
This all started last year when I was reading the comment thread on this post. All of those leaving comments for and against celebrating Christmas made some really good points and it prompted me to really ponder the subject.
My conclusion to forego Christmas stemmed from those comments and became reason number one. Reason number two has been brewing in my mind for the past several years.
III. A little back story:
I am a Christian; a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. One who trusts in Him and the grace God displayed in the shed blood of His Son who willingly offered Himself as a propitiatory sacrifice on my behalf to absorb the wrath of the Father that I justly deserved, not only for the sins I’ve committed, but also for the sins I inherited from Adam (Romans 5:12-14).
Because of this, I desire to please my Master, my Lord, my God, and my Savior with how I live my life (John 14:15) because I’m no longer mine, but I’ve been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Do I always please Him in my life? Absolutely not. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit it, but in my everyday life I probably bring Him far more disgrace and dishonor than I do glory. However, I strive to follow His commands, I hate my sin, and I want to be more like Him—not in the hopes of gaining His approval or meriting His favor (Christ already met those requirements on my behalf since I never could)—but it’s because I love Him for dying for me while I was yet a miserable, wretched sinner (Romans 5:6-8).
So, when I discover things in my life that may not be honoring to the One I seek to honor, obey, and glorify (John 15:14), then I must make a decision of whom I will serve (Joshua 24:15). I will decide to serve either myself or the One who bought me with a price and owns me (1 Corinthians 7:23). Choosing the latter is rarely easy, usually difficult, often agonizing, but always wise, prudent, and right.
It’s for this reason—that I desire to please the One who purchased me with His precious blood (1 Peter 1:18-19) and not because of legalism—that I feel I can no longer, in good conscience, celebrate the holiday known as Christmas. And what follows are my two reasons why.
IV. Reason 1 – The Origins:
There’s no debating that Roman Catholic traditions and pagan practices are rife throughout the holiday of Christmas. Everything from the name of the holiday to the Yule log, for instance, has more to do with false religions than with Christianity. Romanism and paganism are rampant in this supposedly Christian holiday.
Now I’m not unrealistic. I understand that we cannot escape the presence of false religion in our daily lives; even the planets in our solar system and days of the week are named after pagan gods. As long as we live in a fallen world there will be pagan influences all around us. It’s when we intentionally infuse false religions with Christianity and attempt to call it “good” that a problem arises. We’re no longer living in the world while not being a part of it, we’re now mixing light and dark; a practice strictly forbidden by Scripture.
The Bible permits us to eat food sacrificed to idols (1 Corinthians 8:1-13) but would not permit us to partake in pagan practices and incorporate them into the Christian’s life and practice (Ephesians 5:11).
My coming to terms with the origins of Christmas was a jagged pill for me to swallow and left me at a loss as to how I—with this knowledge—could justify partaking in such a celebration, regardless of how much my flesh yearns to once again welcome the warmth, fun, nostalgia, and sentimentalism that comes with the season.
Although many people who refrain from celebrating Christmas do so because of its pagan and Romanist origins, my wife and I have an additional concern. This second reason for saying “no” to Christmas is not so obvious nor is it discussed much when debating this issue. In fact, in the post I referred to above, this second reason was never mentioned by any of those leaving comments.