UnderGround Forums
 

HolyGround >> Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?


12/5/12 11:36 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3901
 
I am always amazed how some people think that the pagan origins of the Dec 25th date, and some of the Christmas traditions, invalidates the celebration of Christ's birth on Christmas. In fact, I recently got into it with some guy on the OG who assumed I was another dumb Christian ignorant of these facts simply because I said I appreciate "the religious meaning of Christmas." He simply couldn't believe that I could know those things and still think I was celebrating Christ's birth. I, of course, completely disagree. I think it is completely possible (and in fact, very good!) to celebrate Jesus' birth at Christmas.

I recently came across this article, and thought it does a decent job of answering the question why Christians should (or, at least, can) celebrate Christmas. It's not earth shattering or anything, but I thought it might provide a good starting point for this discussion.

http://bible.org/article/should-christians-celebrate-christmas

I fully expect there to be a variety of opinions here, and I'm interested to see what some of the rest of you think.
12/5/12 12:27 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
gord96
100 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 3/26/03
Posts: 14080
There is nothing really wrong with celebrating it. I think it's a Christian liberty. I personally prefer to celebrate the holidays, as just that, the holidays. I am one of those Christians who would like to see the Christ get taken out of Christmas.

So merry Xmas and Happy Holidays to all! :)
12/5/12 4:56 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
RoninBT
5 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 12/9/05
Posts: 78
One of the overarching themes of the bible, from Genesis to Revelations, is to not mix the holy and the profane. It is difficult to open your bible and not find some example of mixing. It is never portrayed in a good light, it never leads to good things and it never makes the Father happy. For these reasons I do not celebrate Christmas.
12/6/12 9:17 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3905
Interesting, Ronin. Though the bible certainly does deal with that subject from time to time, I wouldn't really consider it one of the major themes. In fact, there were several Kings in the OT that got the thumbs up for being a "good King" who still kept the high places and whatnot. Though, I guess you could argue those were not "mixing" since they were in different places.

Ha ha, gord. Not your typical response for sure! Anyway, I figure you were just being tongue and cheek with the "Xmas", but just in case... Xmas is simply an abbreviation for Christmas, the X being the greek letter Chi from Christos, and isn't "crossing the christ out of christmas" as so many believe.

This thread probably would have gotten more responses on the OG, but half of them would have been troll posts. lol So, thanks for checking it out, guys!
12/6/12 10:19 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
5pointer
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 11/22/04
Posts: 3244
I have struggled with this as well. Anyone I know who acts likes celebrating Christmas is heresy are the ppl who seem to hold strongly to the law, keep Saturday sabbath and whatnot. I have a few "friends" like this anyway. I would stop celebrating just bc its always such a hassle but my wife was raised a strict JW so she didnt celebrate anything until she accepted Christ for who He truly is, and now we have kids so she is all about it.
12/6/12 11:02 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
gord96
100 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 12/06/12 11:02 AM
Member Since: 3/26/03
Posts: 14081
I would stop celebrating just bc its always such a hassle


Haha! I agree. Christmas is like a storm coming and you know there is nothing you can do to stop it. It will arrive, and with it brings all sorts of chaos that I find don't really outweigh any of the positives.

I figure you were just being tongue and cheek with the "Xmas", but just in case... Xmas is simply an abbreviation for Christmas, the X being the greek letter Chi from Christos, and isn't "crossing the christ out of christmas" as so many believe


Yeah I was mostly being tongue and cheek. But you would be surprised how many Christians get offended when they see Xmas.

Anyone I know who acts likes celebrating Christmas is heresy are the ppl who seem to hold strongly to the law, keep Saturday sabbath and whatnot.


Yeah. I just shrug and carry on. You will get the hardcores on either side. The ones who think it is an abomination to celebrate it and then the ones who think it is an abomination not to. I myself am in the middle. Maybe if it was just a one day celebration now that would be ok, but I just can't stand the cultural materialism and vain charity that it brings out. Especially when Jesus was against both. Although I do like Christmas Carols.
12/6/12 5:06 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
RoninBT
5 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 12/9/05
Posts: 79
JudOwned:
I can appreciate how you could arrive at your current position and the last thing I want to do is beat somebody up for observing Christmas. It is also not my intention to convince anybody that I am right. I have been wrong more often than not.
It’s interesting how ten people can read a bible passage and all come to different conclusions as to the take home message. Maybe we all see what we are supposed to.
To give you an idea of how I arrived at my position here are a smattering of bible stories that I think address mixing. This is not a comprehensive list, just a few off the top of my head that most of us are likely to be familiar with.

Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What that means exactly I don’t know. Was there an actual tree with actual fruit??? What does seem clear is that they partook of something that was mixed with good & evil and the results were not positive.

At Mt. Sinai while Moses is up on the mountain the people are restless and a golden calf is constructed. The part of the story that grabs me is when Aaron says, referring to the calf, here is your God that brought you out of Egypt and tomorrow we will have a feast to him. In referring to the feast Aaron uses the tetragramaton (the four letter name of God). In my opinion this is mixing at its worst.

Throughout the exodus Israel is warned over and over not to mix with the locals socially or they will be led astray religiously.

You brought up the kings of Israel and how some of the kings, who were closer to God, still did not tear down the high places. I am confident if you go back and re-read those accounts the respective kings lack of tearing down the high places is not portrayed in a good light but are in contrast to their good attributes. Conversely, when a king, Josiah, comes along and does tear down the alters & high places he receives accolades.

In Rev 2:14 there is a reference to those “who hold the teachings of Balaam”. If you go back and read Balaam’s story he was hired to curse Israel by Balak. No matter how much Balak paid him he could not do so and instead pronounced blessings over Israel. But as a parting gift to Balak, Balaam gave him some advice. Make nice with them, mix with them and that will be their down fall. This eventually cost Balaam his life.

In Rev 3 the deeds of the Laodicean church are described as “neither cold nor hot” “but lukewarm” and as a result He will spew them out. What is lukewarm but a mix of hot and cold.

His people are to be a holy people. The definition of holy is “to set apart”. The definition of profane is “to make common”. You can’t bring the two together and expect good results. This seems to be a biblical principle from the beginning to the end.

Again, I am just explaining why I believe what I believe. I have many friends and family members that celebrate Christmas and do not view mixing in general as I do and thats ok.
12/6/12 10:26 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3906
"Again, I am just explaining why I believe what I believe."

Absolutely, my man. No problems with that at all. In fact, I find your take on the tree of the knowledge of "good and evil" to be kind of cool, as I never thought of it in that way before. Thanks.
12/7/12 10:59 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 1506

Christians are actually practicing Hanukkah.  The 25th of Dec was the 25 of Kislev during the time of Chrismas's inception.  The 25th of Kislev is Hanukkah the festival of lights.  The similarities are too coincidental for Chrismas not to actually be Hanukkah - which came 1st by the way.  Hanukkah was celebrated before Christmas even happened.  Because iHanukkah celebrates the recapture of Jerusalem it is the perfect theme for the entrance of a Massiah.  If Christians don't actually know Jesus' birthday its a pretty good day to springboard a Massiah into the scene.  

Both are basically the festival of lights.  We have the Chanukea which represents the tree of life and Christians use an actual tree.  Santa is nothing than a good old fat Rabbi.  Presents are customs for each holiday - Singing, family time etc.  Christians should realize the truer holiday of Hanukkah!

12/7/12 11:55 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3908
Very interesting, 770. When did they first start celebrating Hanukkah on the 25th? I know the Maccabees came before Christ, but not when the Holiday came about. Most scholars are pretty universal in accepting that we celebrate Christmas on the 25th because of Saturnalia. Is there any connection between Hanukkah and Saturnalia?

I actually think it would be cool if Christmas on Dec 25th was connected to Hanukkah!
12/9/12 8:30 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 1507

I'm sure you'll never find a scholar linking Christmas & Chanukah.  Of course they'd rather link it to Saturnalia.  This is part of the mindset that has kept Jews & Christians apart all these centuries.  Chanukah also has it's links to Rome.  The dradle game has 4 sides.  Each side represents an exile - Babylonia, Persia, Greece & Rome.  Christianity was trying to convert Romans so it was important to make Christianity somewhat appealing to them by incorporating many of its ways.  But the first Christians were Jews so I would say there are a lot lot lot of parallels between Christianity & Judaism but I doubt you'll find many people bridging that gap.  They'd rather bridge the gap between Christianity and Rome than Judaism.

The 25th of Kislev was originally Sukkot - Sukkot was to be a counter part to Passover.  All three are 8 day holidays.  (Sukkot is actually 7 days and then Shmini Atzeretz follows right after the last day of Sukkot) It's just that it would be intolorable to be in temporary structures with flimsy roofs in December (Kislev).  So Sukkot was put in the fall & Chanukah in Kislev (December).

I do know that after the miricle of Chanukah - where the oil in the Menorah lasted 8 days - they waitied a year before marking it a holiday.  For the holiday they replaced the Menorah (a candle with 7 branches) the one Bezalel was commissioned to make in Exodus, with a Chanukia a 9 branched candle to celebrate the 8 days of Chanukah - the 8th candle is a Shamish - the attending candle that doesn't represent a day.

Anyway - I can't find when Chanukah was first celebrated without putting a better foot forward investigating this.  But Josephus referred to the holiday as "The festival of Lights".  It was certainly celebrated but the Talmud only has like 3 lines dedicated to the subject because of how Jerusalem was recaptured.  The Rabbis felt that due to the violence it should be a minor holiday - minor meaning it's not even a Yom Tov day where there are restrictions.  It's basically a day we say 3 prayers on the first night then 2 the subsequent nights but that's it.  We can drive, turn on/off lights, cook etc.  So Judsaism pays little attention to it.  It's the community that makes it a bigger deal and the fact we try and stack it up to Christmas.  

 

12/11/12 1:56 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
figure four
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 4912
So why does it have to be on Dec 25?

Aren't you as bad as the Romans then?
Putting a Christian spin on a Pagan holiday?

So its okay to celebrate Pagan holidays because we put a Christian spin on it? Wow that seems awfully convenient...

like what catholics did to baptism...
like what catholics did to holy supper...
like...etc...etc...
12/11/12 4:03 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3918
But I'm not celebrating a pagan holiday. I'm celebrating the birth of Christ.
12/11/12 7:42 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
CDarwin
862 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 3/21/02
Posts: 20782
12/12/12 1:06 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
figure four
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 4914
dress anyway you want...

no where in the bible you should celebrate christ's birth on december 25.

12/12/12 1:21 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3919
No where in the Bible does it say you shouldn't.
12/12/12 2:17 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 1509

 

LONDON: The Christian calendar was based on a blunder by a sixth-century monk who was several years out in his calculation of Jesus’s birth date, the pope has claimed.

Benedict XVI blames the “mistake” on Dionysius Exiguus, known as Dennis the Small, who is credited with inventing the modern calendar based on the Anno Domini (AD) era.

 
12/12/12 4:16 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3921
Old news is old, 770. Did you have comment about it, though?
12/13/12 9:28 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
770mdm
14 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 7/24/08
Posts: 1510

Hahaha, it might be old news to you but to me, since I'm not in your circles, is new news to me - but my take is that Christmas Hijacked Chanukah.  By combining Chanukah with Saturnalia you get Christmas with its emphasis being Jesus was born on this day.  Both the stars & feet on the ground would be in agreement that the 25th would be an auspicious time for a Massiah.  Christians do this don't they?  Incorporate Judaism & paganism or elements of paganism with dabs of cultural morays & folkways?  Anyway, dissasociating Judaism from the ideas of Christmas is so strange to me when personally I see such similarities.  I also think Christmas is closer to Chanukah than Saturnalia - which I know not much about but knowing Judaism and seeing Christmas I just see them so very close indeed if not essentially the exact same thing with different emphasis.  One being the birth of Jesus and the other a triumph over tyranny by the oppressed.  But then again isn't that what Jesus was about?

12/13/12 10:40 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
figure four
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 4915
JudOWNED - No where in the Bible does it say you shouldn't.

Gotcha! Revelation 22:18

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book."

The bible is complete with all you need for salvation, and therefore celebrating christ's birth is not required...


12/13/12 11:32 AM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
inlikeflynn
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/11/06
Posts: 992
figure four - 
JudOWNED - No where in the Bible does it say you shouldn't.

Gotcha! Revelation 22:18

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book."

The bible is complete with all you need for salvation, and therefore celebrating christ's birth is not required...



Are you suggesting that quote is referring to the bible as a whole?
12/13/12 12:06 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
gord96
100 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 12/13/12 12:06 PM
Member Since: 3/26/03
Posts: 14084
figure four - 
JudOWNED - No where in the Bible does it say you shouldn't.

Gotcha! Revelation 22:18

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book."

The bible is complete with all you need for salvation, and therefore celebrating christ's birth is not required...



Not sure how that has anything to do with Xmas. No one is claiming that it is biblical or that it should be 'added to scripture' or something stupid like that. The question is just should a Christian celebrate Christmas.
12/13/12 12:22 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
JudOWNED
93 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Edited: 12/13/12 12:23 PM
Member Since: 6/23/08
Posts: 3922
770, I definitely dig the Hanukkah connection. Nice parralel as well between Judas (Judah?) Maccabee as "messiah" and Christ as the messiah too. Although for me, as a Christian, it works more in the role of a contrast, I think the Maccabees revolt helped set up the coming of Christ.

figure four, I'm afraid I'm with Gordo on this one. First, I'd say that passage only applies to the prophecies in Revelation, not the entire Bible. And second, I'd say it does absolutely nothing to proscribe the celebration of Christmas either way.

Did you read the artice I posted? It actually gives some biblical reasons why it might be a good idea to celebrate Christ's birth.

BTW, nice discussion everyone. Cool to be able to discuss without the flames.
12/13/12 2:01 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
figure four
Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 4917
gord96 - 
figure four - 
JudOWNED - No where in the Bible does it say you shouldn't.

Gotcha! Revelation 22:18

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book."

The bible is complete with all you need for salvation, and therefore celebrating christ's birth is not required...



Not sure how that has anything to do with Xmas. No one is claiming that it is biblical or that it should be 'added to scripture' or something stupid like that. The question is just should a Christian celebrate Christmas.

Christmas isn't biblical. Hence it is not commandment or a requirement for salvation.

Not being a requirement means there is no value in doing it...

Not being biblical means it is a commandment of Man not God...




12/13/12 2:25 PM
Ignore | Quote | Vote Down | Vote Up
inlikeflynn
2 The total sum of your votes up and votes down Send Private Message Add Comment To Profile

Member Since: 9/11/06
Posts: 993
figure four - 
gord96 - 
figure four - 
JudOWNED - No where in the Bible does it say you shouldn't.

Gotcha! Revelation 22:18

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book."

The bible is complete with all you need for salvation, and therefore celebrating christ's birth is not required...



Not sure how that has anything to do with Xmas. No one is claiming that it is biblical or that it should be 'added to scripture' or something stupid like that. The question is just should a Christian celebrate Christmas.

Christmas isn't biblical. Hence it is not commandment or a requirement for salvation.

Not being a requirement means there is no value in doing it...

Not being biblical means it is a commandment of Man not God...





Just for clarification, are you saying that there is nothing in Scripture requiring Christains to celebrate Christmas or are you saying they shouldn't because it isn't in the bible?

Reply Post

You must log in to post a reply. Click here to login.