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Jesus Wasn't Born On Christmas!?

Someone recently asked, "should we celebrate Christmas as Christians because it is so steeped in pagan tradition?" This can be a really touchy subject, in fact I know a Christian who was slapped by their mother for suggesting that December 25th was not he actual birthday of Jesus Christ!

For those that don't know, yes our Christmas celebration is incredibly steeped in pagan traditions, the worship of sun God's in winter solstice via Roman and Teutonic peoples before and after Christ was born (his birth would not have been in the dead of Israeli winter - no one knows for sure when Christ was born). For more on this see here.

To me, the greatest way to answer these types of questions, is to look to conscience. This is what Paul seemed to put out to early Christians as the way to navigate some often times murky waters. He says that different people will have different faith about the validity of certain things (Rom 14:1-23) like religious festivals and celebrations (Col 2:16) and that we should not judge each other on such matters, and he goes so far as to say we should keep our convictions to ourselves (Rom 14:22)! Paul also says (through the guidance of God's Spirit - c.f. 2 Pet 1:21) that we should firmly believe whatever we believe, and not act out of doubt or lack of faith, which is in fact sin when we do (Rom 14:23).

In regards to Christians celebrating a tradition that is steeped in pagan idol celebration and it's validity to us today, we know that there is no such thing as an idol (1 Cor 8:4) and that it does not matter to us as Christians, because we believe that whoever loves God is known by God (c.f. 1 Cor 8:3; 1 Jn 5:3) but we must be careful with those around us at the same time, not trampling their differing convictions, for that would not be acting in love.

What are your thoughts about how we celebrate Christmas as Christians?


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