The Plain Truth About Christmas
Cont’d from page 2
YES, AND EVEN SANTA CLAUS
But surely dear old Santa Claus is not a creature of pagan birth? But he is, and his real character is not so benevolent and holy as many suppose.
The name "Santa Claus" is a corruption of the name "St. Nicholas," a Roman Catholic bishop who lived in the 5th century. Look in the Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 19, pages 648-649, 11th edition, where you'll read: "St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, a saint honored by the Greeks and Latins on the 6th of December... A legend of his surreptitious bestowal of dowries on the three daughters of an impoverished citizen...is said to have originated the old custom of giving presents in secret on the Eve of St. Nicholas [Dec. 6], subsequently transferred to Christmas day. Hence the association of Christmas with Santa Claus..."
Through the years, parents punish their children for telling falsehoods. Then, at Christmas time, they themselves tell their little children this "Santa Claus" lie! Is it any wonder many of them, when they grow up and learn the truth, begin to believe God is a myth, too?
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE
But if the Bible is silent about telling us to observe Christmas, or recording any such observance by the apostles or early true Church, it DOES have something to say about the Christmas tree.
This will come as a real surprise to many. But here it is: Jeremiah 10:2-6: "Thus saith the Lord, LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN...FOR THE CUSTOMS OF THE PEOPLE ARE VAIN: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
There is a perfect description of the Christmas tree, termed by the Eternal as "the way of the heathen - the customs of the people." We are commanded not to learn that way or follow it. It is also viewed in this passage as idolatry. The fifth verse shows that these trees cannot speak - cannot walk - must be carried. "Be not afraid of them; for THEY (the trees) cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good." They are not gods to be feared. Some people MISread this to make it say there is no harm in having a Christmas tree, but that is not what it says.
ISN'T EXCHANGING GIFTS
But when it comes to the most important part of all in this Christmas observance - the Christmas shopping season - the buying and exchanging of gifts - many will exclaim triumphantly, "Well, at least the Bible tells us to do that. Didn't the wise men give gifts when Christ was born?"
Again, we are due for some surprises, when we learn the plain truth. First, let's look at the historic origin of trading gifts back and forth, then see exactly what the Bible DOES say about it.
From the Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 12, pages 153-155, we quote: "The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and MUST HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE CHRISTIANS FROM THE PAGANS, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows."
DOES IT REALLY HONOR JESUS?
Now come two arguments often used to justify Christmas observance.
1) Many will reason this way: "But, even though the exact date of Jesus' birth is unknown, should we not select SOME date to celebrate as His birthday?" The answer is positively no. Did you not notice the statement quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthdays." The custom of birthdays is not a Christian, but a pagan custom, observed by sinners!
2) But, many still reason, "Even so - even though Christmas was
a pagan custom, honoring the false sun-god, we don't observe it to honor the false god, we observe it to honor Christ."
… Jesus said: "In VAIN they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt 15:9). Christmas observance is a TRADITION OF MEN, and the commandments of God, as quoted, forbid it. Jesus said, further, "full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."
That is precisely what the millions are doing today. They ignore the commandment of God. He commands, regarding taking the customs of the pagans and using them to honor or worship God: "Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God." Still, most people today take that command of God lightly, or as having no validity whatsoever, and follow the tradition of men in observing Christmas.
Make no mistake. God will ALLOW you to defy and disobey Him. He will ALLOW you to follow the crowd and the traditions of men. He will ALLOW you to sin. But He also says there is a day of reckoning coming. As you sow, so shall you reap….
WE'RE IN BABYLON, AND HAVEN'T KNOWN IT
Christmas has become a commercial season. It's sponsored, kept alive, by the heaviest retail advertising campaigns of the year. You see a masqueraded "Santa Claus" in many stores. Ads keep us deluded and deceived about the "beautify Christmas spirit." The newspaper, who sell the ads, print flowery editorials exalting and eulogizing the pagan season, and its "spirit." A gullible people has become so inoculated, many take offense when told the truth. But the "Christmas spirit" is created each year, not to honor Christ, but to sell merchandise. Like all Satan's delusions, it appears as an "angel of light," is made to appear good. Billions of dollars are spent in this merchandising spree every year, while the cause of Christ must suffer. It's part of the economic system of Babylon.
This year, instead of gift trading, why not put that money into God's Work?