There are many misconceptions about Christmas, and naturally a lot of confusion. For example:
1. The actual date is not known.
2. The wise men were not present at the birth of Christ. They didn’t come until about two years later.
3. Christmas was not a time of universal joy and peace. Other than Joseph and Mary the shepherds were the only people celebrating the event.
4. We are not commanded to observe Christmas! No where does the Bible tell us that we are to celebrate the birth of Christ. We are commanded to remember His death and resurrection, but not His birth. It was Rome that took a major pagan festival, which celebrated the rebirth of the sun god on Dec. 25, and made it Christmas–“Christ’s Mass”. Most people don’t realize that the Pilgrims and early settlers in New England refused to celebrate Christmas. They even passed laws against it. In 1910 the “Texas Baptist Standard” ( a Southern Baptist publication) printed an article presenting reasons why Baptist should not observe Christmas. No wonder people are confused.
Now, before I go to my next point, I want to say that if a person chooses not to observe Christmas he has every right to do so and we have no right to criticize him. Refusing to observe Christmas does not make you a bad or less spiritual person– and observing it does not make you better. Over the years I’ve had good preacher friends who strongly opposed observing Christmas, and I do not think more or less of them for doing so. But I do take offense at them trying to impose their personal preferences upon me and others as though they were commandments from God. If you don’t want to observe Christmas don’t, but don’t demand that everyone else does as you do.
5. The Bible does not tell us that we shouldn’t celebrate the birth of Christ. Some who oppose the observance of Christmas seem to think that this is so. They aren’t content to ignore Christmas, they are on a crusade to persuade everybody else to do the same. They leave the impression that we are scripturally obligated to not celebrate our Savior’s birth. But if we must find a command to justify everything we do we will have to make a lot of changes. The fact of the matter is that God has given us the liberty to do as we please unless it violates some command or principle of the Bible. We don’t have to have a verse from the Bible telling us what time we should assemble on Sunday or whether or not we ought to have Sunday School classes, etc. When it comes to Christmas, I believe there are more good reasons to celebrate the birth of Christ than there are to not do so. Here’s some things that come to mind:
I. IT GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO GLORIFY GOD
1 Cor. 19:31 says, “ Whether therefore ye eat , or drink , or whatsoever ye do , do all to the glory of God.” What can be wrong with setting aside a day to thank God for sending His Son and our Savior as He promised? Whether we do it everyday or any day is our choice to make as far as I can tell.
II. CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS GIVES US A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO PREACH THE GOSPEL
If the apostles went to the Jewish synagogues and other places to preach Christ, why shouldn’t we use Christmas as a contact point to tell others about Christ? While Christ is already on people’s mind would that not be a good time to expound upon His person and work. What is gained by ignoring the opportunity?
III. CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS IS MORE HELPFUL THAN HARMFUL
Refusing to celebrate Christmas would tend to be more offensive than if we did. It is true that there are certain things that we should do even if it offends others, but this isn’t one of them. This is a matter of custom, a custom that does not violate scriptural principles and , if I understand what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 9:19-23 we are not to offend in these areas. Be honest– do you think others will think more highly of you because you refuse to celebrate Christmas? I strongly suspect that your criticism of Christmas would do more harm than good. What is to be gained from that?
IV. CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS GIVES US AN OPPORTUNITY TO DRAW CLOSER TO ONE ANOTHER
We’ve got more than enough things dividing us. We need everything we can get to draw family and friends together. Christmas sure beats the “Superbowl”.
V. CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS REMINDS US OF GOD’S GREATNESS
The birth of Christ is a remarkable story, reminding us of God’s great wisdom, power, and love. It should be a source of great joy and encouragement. In times like these we need that!