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Should a Christian celebrate Christmas?

In this article we look at the astonishing historical facts about Christmas. We are going to dive in and understand from the Bible what God thinks about His followers celebrating this particular holiday. We see that Christmas came through the Catholic Church and was taken from Paganism. The roots go even deeper through to Egypt and eventually the Assyrian ancient Babylon where God directly addresses their practices in the Bible. We are able to see exactly what the Babylonians were doing by reading their written records and looking at their images and inscriptions left behind. The date 25th December is analysed and found that Jesus Christ was not born on this day or anywhere close to it. The origins of the Christmas tree is that it is actually an Asherah pole for the angel/star on top – a winged god called Ashur/Marduk/Baal who is brought presents, food and drink offerings. The tree representing the world and the exalted winged god on the top maintaining it and being god over it and everything in it. We move on to see what God thinks about celebrating feasts in general and if He is happy with Christians putting His name or His Sons name onto a feast that He has not commanded.

Where did Christmas originate from, was it the Bible or Paganism?

The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” or “Christ-Mass.” It came from the Roman Catholic Church and was definitely not a word found in the Bible.  The Roman Catholic Church admits that Christmas was not originally kept and celebrated by early Christians but that it came from Egyptian practices. “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.“, “Pagan customs centring around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” (The Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1911 edition under the heading “Christmas”). Both the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1946 edition and the Encyclopaedia Americana 1944 edition say the same thing.

The most recent roots of Christmas are from the pagan festival called Saturnalia, which took place from the 17th to the 25th December. This holiday is an ancient Roman pagan festival honouring the agricultural god Saturn and it goes further back to ancient Babylon. This festival would entail the following activities: Feasting, role reversals, gift-giving, gambling, public sacrifice and a banquet for the god Saturn. During the Pagan festivities, people were encouraged to get drunk and do whatever they wanted – including sacrificing people and children to the gods and non-consented fornication. New converts of the Roman Catholic Church still wanted to celebrate their festival in this way during this time as they had been partaking in Saturnalia all of their life. The Catholic Church decided to change some of the aspects of Saturnalia, adopt it into Christianity and that is where you see many of these traditions and items that people now associate with Christmas today. A film was even created called ‘the purge’ which is based off of Saturnalia which you can read about here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/4463774/chilling-real-life-events-the-purge/. “For you have spent enough time in the past carrying out the same desires as the Gentiles: living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry.” 1 Peter 4:3

Was Jesus born on the 25th of December?

When Jesus Christ was born “there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night,” Luke 2:8. We can see from the above scripture that the shepherds were sleeping in the fields at night which wouldn’t have occurred in Judaea in the month of December as it would have been too cold and it is not the custom of shepherds to act in such a way in winter months. In winter months shepherds usually bring their flocks back from the mountainside/fields and put them into a barn or something similar no later than around October 15 to protect them from the cold rainy winter season and lack of vegetation to eat in the fields during this time. The Bible agrees with this view: “For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone.Song of Solomon 2:11 and “It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of heavy rain…it is the season for heavy rain, and we are not able to stand outside.” Ezra 10:9,13. Winter was a rainy season and not permitting for people to stand outside let alone shepherds to abide in open fields at night. Kislev (or Chislev) is the ninth month which occurs in November–December on the Gregorian calendar.

The exact date of Jesus’ birth is entirely unknown, as all authorities acknowledge.” (The Catholic Encyclopaedia). “…In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world” (In the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition under the heading “Natal Day”).

Why do people put up a Christmas tree?

Each year people put up a Christmas tree with an angel or star on the top. Evergreen fir trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years by many different cultures. In winter everything is dying, but evergreen trees end up being the only thing that still have a symbol of life and hope that harvest times would return and this was not the end of life as they knew it. Pagans would place their hope in their deities such as the sun god that they will return warmer agricultural seasons again to the people.

Going further back to see where this tradition originated from we can see that the Christmas tree is actually an Asherah pole which is represented by a living tree or a pole dressed with leaves to look like a tree for the deity known as Aššur and Marduk. “Marduk, in Mesopotamian religion, the chief god of the city of Babylon and the national god of Babylonia; as such, he was eventually called simply Bel, or Lord…Marduk was later known as Bel, a name derived from the Semitic word baal, or “lord.”” They considered him to be “Lord of the Gods of Heaven and Earth. All nature, including humanity, owed its existence to him; the destiny of kingdoms and subjects was in his hands.” His temples were ziggurats with a shrine of Marduk (Baal) on the top – which are in a similar stepped shape of a Christmas tree with an angel on the top. His star was Jupiter, his most associated animal was a dragon with forked tongue and his tunic was adorned with stars – Encyclopaedia Britannica. Their temple practices are recorded here and it shows that Marduk was king of the gods to them.

Baal, a god who is frequently mentioned in the Bible by God is now honoured in ignorance in Christians homes and churches every year, represented by an angel or star on the top of the tree (Asherah pole/ziggurat). Food and drink offerings would be offered to this god and today people do this by leaving milk and cookies under the tree. Presents were given to this god and today people bow down under the tree to receive their presents. “The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria…” Judges 10:6. “he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole” 2 Kings 21:3. “And have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind” Jeremiah 19:5.

Asherah poles are used with the worship of Baal and they are represented by a living sacred tree such as the Christmas tree and following in line with the Assyrian Babylonian practices mentioned above with their Cypress evergreen fir Trees. These cult objects are mentioned in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Judges, the Books of Kings, the second Book of Chronicles, and the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah. “You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the LORD your God that you shall make. and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the LORD your God hates.” Deuteronomy 16:21-22

God says the same thing over and over again to his followers – to tear them down and burn them. “Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, burn up their Asherah poles, cut down the idols of their gods, and wipe out their names from every place. You shall not worship the LORD your God in this way.” Deuteronomy 12:3-4.

  • He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” 1 Kings 16:31-33
  • And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.” 2 Kings 17:16

Isaiah (around 742 BCE – Encyclopaedia Britannica) shows us that at the time, the Babylonians were continually cutting down fir trees and God Himself made them stop doing this also calling them wicked: “That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers…Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.” Isa 14:4-8

Jeremiah (650-BCE – 570BCE – Encyclopaedia Britannica) God tells us through Jeremiah not to be upset because winter has arrived and not to cut down the evergreen fir trees, decorate them and bring them into the home which is what the Babylonians/heathens were doing at the time: “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 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.” Jeramiah 10:2-4, “Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.” Jer 10:9

Babylonian artefacts (around 883BCThe British Museum – Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, UK) confirm that this is exactly what they were doing at the time as we can see that they were bringing these green trees into their buildings, decorating them and placing their winged god possibly made of gold on the top. We can see further representation of this in the shape of the ziggurat of Etemenanki – a temple known originally to stand seven storeys high dedicated to Marduk (Baal). The shape of this building resembles the Christmas tree with the god Marduk (Baal) sitting at the top which now everyone has as the centre point of their home at Christmas time:

Is celebrating Christmas dishonouring God and potentially bringing calamity upon yourself?

As you can see from how almost the whole world and almost every religion celebrates Christmas that we are still in Babylon. Gods people are all caught up in Babylon today and He says specifically to them that they must not partake in Babylon otherwise you will receive the plagues He is sending: “Babylon the great is fallen…all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication…Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:2-5

Celebrating Gods festivals are the way He has made to show Him you honour Him and is a way He has said you should worship Him. If you do not celebrate His festivals it is written that you are not honouring Him and that you may be struck with an illness or accident. God does not do this because he does not love you, He does this because He loves you!  “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12:6. His hope is that you will realise that you have wondered off the path and that you will look up and seek direction from Him again.

These verses show that celebrating Gods festivals is a way of honouring Him and worshipping Him: “so that they can celebrate a festival in the desert to honor me. ” Exo 5:1. “worship me in the desert” Exo 7:16. Exo 10:9 and Exo 10:9. These verses show what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. God is a King and to not honour the King on His feast day/s will bring a plague or calamity to believers and unbelievers: “they don’t want me to be king over them.” 1 Sa 8:7. “Otherwise, he may strike us with a plague or with the sword.” Exo 5:3. “worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zec 14:16. “worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” Zec 14:17. “there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zec 14:18 &  Zec 14:19.

Even doing the motions of the Christmas tradition but doing it in His name or the name of His Son is considered by God to be a serious sin,  corrupting yourself and dishonouring Him. The Israelites made a golden calf, worshipped it and called it by the name of God – to which God considered it breaking His covenant and law: “They said, “Isra’el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”…”Tomorrow is to be a feast for Adonai.”, “…Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow!” Exo 32:4

As you can see from how almost the whole world and almost every religion celebrates Christmas that we are still in Babylon. Gods people are all caught up in Babylon today and He says specifically to them that they must not partake in Babylon otherwise you will receive the plagues He is sending:

  • Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:2-5

Celebrating Gods festivals are the way He has made to show Him you honour Him and is a way He has said you should worship Him. If you do not celebrate His festivals it is written that you are not honouring Him and that you may be struck with an illness or accident. God does not do this because he does not love you, He does this because He loves you!  “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12:6. His hope is that you will realise that you have wondered off the path and that you will look up and seek direction from Him again.

These verses show that celebrating Gods festivals is a way of honouring Him and worshipping Him:

  • After that, Moshe and Aharon came and said to Pharaoh, “Here is what Adonai, the God of Isra’el, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they can celebrate a festival in the desert to honor me.’ ” Exo 5:1
  • and say to him, ‘Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me in the desert.” But until now you haven’t listened;” Exo 7:16
  • And Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we will go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” Exo 10:9

These verses from the past and to come in the future show that God is a King and to not honour the King on His feast day/s will bring a plague or calamity to believers and unbelievers:

  • Adonai said to Sh’mu’el, “Listen to the people, to everything they say to you; for it is not you they are rejecting; they are rejecting me; they don’t want me to be king over them.” 1 Sa 8:7
  • They said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go three days’ journey into the desert, so that we can sacrifice to Adonai our God. Otherwise, he may strike us with a plague or with the sword.” Exo 5:3
  • And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zec 14:16
  • And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” Zec 14:17
  • And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zec 14:18
  • This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zec 14:19

Even doing the motions of the Christmas tradition but doing it in His name or the name of His Son is considered by God to be a serious sin,  corrupting yourself and dishonouring Him. The Israelites made a golden calf, worshipped it and called it by the name of God – to which God considered it breaking His covenant and law:

  • He received what they gave him, melted it down, and made it into the shape of a calf. They said, “Isra’el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” On seeing this, Aharon built an altar in front of it and proclaimed, “Tomorrow is to be a feast for Adonai.” Early the next morning they got up and offered burnt offerings and presented peace offerings. Afterwards, the people sat down to eat and drink; then they got up to indulge in revelry. Adonai said to Moshe, “Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have cast a metal statue of a calf, worshipped it, sacrificed to it and said, ‘Isra’el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ ” Exo 32:4

Conclusion

We see from above study that God does not want Christians to partake in Babylonian practices. He specifically says that His people must come out of these practices and that He is sending plagues to all who do such things. We also see that it is not ok to celebrate Babylonian practices in the name of God like the Israelites did when they broke the covenant. Christians should not be bringing Asherah poles/Christmas trees into their homes and into their churches: “Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, burn up their Asherah poles, cut down the idols of their gods, and wipe out their names from every place. You shall not worship the LORD your God in this way.” Deuteronomy 12:3-4.

It is difficult if you are in a household that does not agree and still wants to celebrate this festival, but stand strong and honour God first: “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:37. As Christians, we all fall short and have areas in our lives that need change, but when we wilfully sin after receiving the truth of a matter things can get quite dangerous for us: “If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgment.” Hebrews 10:26

and

She said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” Acts 5:8-11 and Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:27-32

God has openly invited Christians to partake in His feasts and He has personally asked His followers not to worship him like the heathens do. The question remains do you love God and His ways more than your own ways or even the ways of your own family?

I hope this article has been insightful as to the way God views pagan festivals and I pray that you may take the step to flee Babylon and come under the full covering of God by following his instructions. It’s easy to make excuses such as “I’m doing it to honour God and His Son.” and “let the reason for the season be about Jesus.” or the classic “let’s keep Christ in Christmas.” but these are man made thoughts and justifications to continue practicing pagan festivals and traditions. If the church you are visiting is promoting Christmas, perhaps it is time to ask your leader if they know about the origins of Christmas and if they do, but they are teaching the flock to partake in pagan festivals – I would urge you to run. Lastly let’s not forget Gods words “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent.” Acts 17:30. Perhaps you and your family have celebrated Christmas your entire lives and you are in ignorance unaware of these truths. Today is the day to repent of sins of ignorance, turn from these pagan traditions and walk in Gods ways in safety and purity. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6.

Visit https://www.christian-awakening.com/ which is filled with resources to strengthen your faith and a community of people wanting to follow God how He wants to be followed.

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