“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8)
No one knows for sure on what day Christ was born. Dionysus Exiguus, a sixth century monk, who was the first to date all of history from December 25th, the year of our Lord. Other traditions gave dates as early as mid-November or as late as March. How did Christmas come to be celebrated on December 25th? Cultures around the Mediterranean and across Europe observed feasts on or around December 25th, marking the winter solstice. The Jews had a festival of lights. Germans had a yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow. At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts. At some point, a Christian bishop may have adopted the day to keep his people from indulging in the old pagan festival.
“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day-- things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” - (Col. 2:16-17)
- #1 - Nothing sinful is done during the celebration (such as worshiping an idol - Galatians 4:8-11).
- #2 - That the day is not bound upon nor required of others (Romans 14:5-6)
- If a Christian chooses to engage in the traditional Christmas activities, that is his or her right.
- If a Christian chooses not to, because it violates their conscience (because of its Religious or Pagan roots) that is his or her Scriptural right.
- Even if a Christian chooses personally to remember the birth of Jesus on December 25th without teaching something the Scriptures do not teach, that is his or her choice
- No one has the right to condemn either person because of them choosing to or to not esteem certain days.
- It may be wise to not do certain things that give the impression that you believe that December 25th is Jesus Birthday.
- One should also use caution with “Christmas Songs”. Some teach things that are false and offer worship that God is not pleased with.
- Don’t get overly preoccupied with correcting everybody who does believe that December 25th is the exact day Jesus was born, their interest in Jesus may serve as an opportunity for sharing the Gospel.