Click here to watch a video on the foundation of Xmas.
Is Christmas Christian? Should Christians celebrate Christmas? What is the foundation for its celebration? What does the word “Christmas” even mean? Did God ever sanctify its celebration? Are Christians allowed to add celebrations which the Lord Himself never commanded?
In this tract, we will answer these questions along with other questions pertaining to Christmas. Please stick around as you may learn something you have never heard before.
Let’s begin with the foundation of Christmas itself: the birth of our Lord, Saviour, and King Jesus Christ. Did God tell us anywhere in the Bible that we should celebrate the birth of His Son? Did Jesus Himself ever tell us to celebrate the day of His birth? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding NO!
In fact, there is not a single instance in the Bible where a righteous man or woman of God celebrated the day of their birth. The closest thing to that is when a baby is born, but that is FAR from the idea of annual birth date celebrations.
John 16:21 “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”
This verse simply speaks about the joy of having a baby born safely and the love the mother has toward her newborn baby.
Regarding the birth of Jesus Christ, adherents to the celebration of His birth will often state that He was born on December 25th. Please understand that winter in Israel is VERY cold. Because of the cold weather, shepherds would not dare to lead their flocks out to pasture during that time. Moreover, they wouldn’t imagine going out in such conditions at nighttime!
But when you read the accounts of Joseph and Mary, you see that they were forced to deliver Jesus in a manger because all the Inns were booked up.
Luke 2:6-8 “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Did you catch that? The shepherds were “abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” This means that it was not in the winter months that Jesus was born. He was born sometime in the Autumn, not at any point in the winter.
This is all besides the fact that there were many people there at that time who all had to travel during that season in order to pay their taxes … which was the very reason Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem in the first place.
Luke 2:4-5 “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.”
So, now we know Jesus was not born in the winter. That said, is it still the case that we are allowed to celebrate His so-called birthday? Did God sanctify such a celebration?
The fact of the matter is this: there is not a single instance in all the Bible where a righteous man or woman of God celebrated the day of their birth. What you actually see are the men of God cursing the day they were born while seeking to serve the Lord as perfectly as possible so that they could look forward to the better resurrection after they die.
Job 3:3-5 “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.”
Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”
Jeremiah 20:14-15 “Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.”
Look at Paul for example. He saw the day of his death as a day worthy of mentioning but does not mention the day of his birth with such high regard.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
If we are to call ourselves Christians, we ought to walk even as our Lord and King Jesus Christ walked …
1 John 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
And it is a matter of Scriptural record that Jesus never once celebrated His birthday. Nor did any of His Apostles or any other of His disciples or followers. If Jesus had allowed the day of His birth to become an annual celebration, He knew that people from that day forward would worship the day He was born, rather than seeking to love Him with all their heart, mind, body, and strength every day of the year.
There is another consideration to make as it pertains to the birthday celebration. There are only three examples in all the Bible of someone’s birthday being celebrated … and all three examples are deeply associated with suffering, death, and destruction.
Genesis 40:20-22 “And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.”
As you can see, Pharaoh, on his birthday, hung his chief baker.
Job 1:4-5 “And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”
In verse 4, we see that the children of Job went and feasted at each other’s houses whenever one of them had a birthday. Hence the phrasing here of “every one his day”.
Job himself was considered a perfect and upright man in the eyes of God.
Job 1:1 “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”
Because he walked in the righteousness of God, it grieved his heart that his children were celebrating their birthday’s … which went against the will of God.
As it is said in verse 5, Job did all that he could to find forgiveness for his children. He did this by offering burnt offerings for each of them. Moreover, it says that Job did this continually. Which means he did this every time his children gathered to celebrate each other’s birthdays. He knew his children were sinning and cursing God in their hearts by celebrating their birthdays. Since he was a loving father and a God-fearing man, Job did his best to help his children understand the error of their ways and sought to bring them to repentance before God.
Matthew 14:6-10 “But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.”
During his birthday celebration, Herod had promised to give Herodias whatever she asked for. When she asked for the head of John the Baptist, he was obliged to give her what she desired.
Since Jesus, in His absolute perfection, never gave license that we should celebrate His birthday, nor did He celebrate the day of His birth Himself, nor did any righteous man of God celebrate it, then it is clear that to walk the straight and narrow path of Jesus Christ in the same obedience He displayed every day of His life, means to not celebrate His birthday either!
To take it one step further, Scripture confirms that partaking in the celebrations of the world has no place in the Christian’s life. We are called to be separate from the world.Repeatedly in the Word of God we find that joining in the merrymaking of the world is to be shunned. Time and again the Holy Word of God says that to join in the world’s traditions is to stand in opposition to God Himself. To stand in the darkness of the world is to walk away from the light of God.
Deuteronomy 12:30-32 “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
2 Corinthians 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”