THE MATTER of Christmas has become rather contentious in recent years. It needn’t be.
While Jesus almost certainly was not born on December 25 (see this video by Dr. Michael Heiser making the case for September 11, 3 B.C.), Christians should not be concerned about accidentally worshiping a pagan deity if they celebrate the birth of the Messiah on Christmas Day.
Here is a brief outline of the program:
- There is no scholarly evidence linking December 25 to the birth or worship of Nimrod and/or Tammuz
- Evidence suggests that a feast for the birth of Christ was celebrated in Egypt prior to 200 A.D.
- Some Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus on December 25 decades before the emperor Aurelian chose the date to celebrate the birth of Sol Invictus in 274
- Christians of the 4th century did not acknowledge a pagan origin for the celebration of Christmas (the idea did not appear in Christian writings until the 12th century)
- December 25th may have been chosen because it was nine months to the day after March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation celebrating the conception of Jesus
Here is the takeaway: Those who choose to celebrate Christmas and those who are restrained by their conscience from celebrating the day are correct. See Romans 14:
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
(Romans 14:5-6 ESV)
Be satisfied in your own mind. If you keep the holiday, or if you do not, then do it for the Lord and may He richly bless you and your family.
To those who celebrate the season: Merry Christmas, and relax — you are not an accidental pagan.
- “How December 25 Became Christmas” by Andrew McGowan, Bible History Daily, 8/12/14.
- “Was Jesus Just a Copycat Savior Myth“, The Christian Think Tank, retrieved 12/23/14.
- “Christmas is Not Pagan” by Dr. Richard P. Bucher, retrieved 12/23/14.
- “The Two Babylons” by Ralph Woodrow, retrieved 12/23/14 (Woodrow’s article for the Christian Research Institute explaining why he pulled his book, Babylon Mystery Religion, based on The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop–in a nutshell, because Hislop’s scholarship was poor at best).
Please join Derek and Sharon Gilbert Sunday mornings for the Gilbert House Fellowship. Our plan is to study through the Bible every Sunday morning in chronological order. Log on to www.GilbertHouse.org for more details.