Essay- Is the Christmas Spirit Really All That Bad?
We as believers do not really have to ask such a question as we already know the answer. Yes, bad is bad. We know it in our hearts and minds and more over we know it from God’s Word. It has become a definite sign of the times we live in (Isa.5:20, Rom.8:7). How can it be bad if it demonstrates a spirit of giving and kindness? We know why from where it has its origins.
The current mind set is dug in on traditions tighter than a tick on a bloodhound (Mark 7:9). It seems that the lies have been told for so long the truth no longer matters (Mark 7:13). The majority of folks that do celebrate Christmas are well aware that it has pagan origins and other than a few lines of scripture, it has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ. The whole premise is based on a lie and this lie was harmlessly taught to us by our parents (Col. 2:8). I was part of this hypocrisy as a child and in turn passed it on to my own children. I’m sure that even our own parents had the same experience as kids and merely perpetuated what they were taught and so on back to their great-great grandparents. Sadly, our churches have long since fallen victim to these traditions as well (Matt.23:27). The warm and fuzzy feelings, the entertainment and lack of God’s truth in them only add to the keeping of the holidays. The pageants, plays and all the seasonal hype promoting the spirit of Christmas are very alluring and entertaining but again, they have nothing to do with Our Lord Jesus Christ (1Tim.4:1).
The original “gift givers” exampled at this time of year were the Three Wise men. They did bring gifts to Jesus but the scripture contrasts what has actually morphed into their holiday image (Matt.2:11). The gift giving is distorted from this scripture. Matthew 2:11 shows that the young child Jesus was already in a house by the time the wise men visited. Their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were actually spiritually symbolic. They did not come to celebrate His birthday but to pay homage. The gold was for the His role as King of Kings the frankincense (incense) was for His priesthood and the myrrh was symbolic of His sacrifice and death. Now compare this to any reason someone may give for exchanging gifts at Christmas. “It’s the spirit of giving, that’s what Christmas is all about.” How many times have you heard that or even said it? When the blindfold is removed and the truth revealed, who on the planet celebrates their own birthday by giving presents to other people? Even if Christ were “in” Christmas, He was never about Himself.
We just read how the other traditional symbols of Christmas have their roots in pagan origins. They definitely have intensified within the last century, perhaps with the continued downward spiral and moral decay of our traditional values. The lack of any semblance of reason or moral decency has given way to a focus on get all you can get, now (Eph. 4:19). This may only be a small group and they may already be of a reprobate mind (2Tim. 3:8, Titus1:16). The majority of people however are just simply blind to God’s truth. They possess a caring attitude, but they do not keep the Sabbath or God’s Holy Days. They have dismissed these things as “Jewish” or Old Testament traditions and no longer practiced (Job 8:13, Hos. 4:6).
Watching all of the heartwarming stories on the evening news this time of year is what really bothers me. It isn’t the acts of kindness that are wrong in themselves but the attachment to a lie that is continually perpetuated. Breaking the 9th Commandment in any form is breaking the 9th Commandment. Seeing a little girl sitting on Santa’s lap, wishing for her daddy in the military to come home from overseas would tug on anyone’s heartstrings. Then to have her daddy come out from behind a curtain and surprise her is definitely a supreme act of compassion. But then to have Santa tell her “I granted you’re your wish” puts the act right in the toilet where Santa originated (John 8:44). Instead of parents teaching the little girl to pray for her daddy to come home, we’ve substituted God in His Divine role with a fat elf in a red suit. All the oohs and ahhs from those witnessing the event only add fuel to the fire. God doesn’t care, it is still a lie (Acts 10:34). Another news story aired this week about a family losing their camera while kayaking back in October with “all their vacation memories.” So sad…sniff sniff…But lo and behold a good Samaritan found it buried in the sand at the beach. He viewed the contents and placed the information on Facebook. It took a few months but the owner was notified and recovered “their memories.” I thought the newscasters were going to get misty eyed. Of course, it was all attributed to the “spirit of the season.” Hey, here’s a thought, why not obey the Commandments of God and follow the example set by Jesus Christ all year long. Isn’t that what we really should be doing anyway (Mark 12:29-31). Doing the right thing such as in this instance should be a daily occurrence.
The same goes for acts of charity “during the season.” Chauncey and I actually did this a few years back to a woman and child we saw on the news that had all their Christmas gifts stolen. We gave her a check from our charitable foundation as a replacement for the stolen gifts. Definitely an act of kindness but how was it viewed by God (1Cor.13:1-4, 8, 1Tim.1:5)? Okay so maybe we lucked out on the charity aspect, but…looking back, would we have done the same thing if it were not “that time of year?” These acts of caring for the poor and giving to charity are to be our duty every day. All of these things will fall into their rightful place if we give glory to God first and obey His Commandments.
We need to keep these things in mind when we speak to others and also to each other. How many emails did you receive this year from friends or associates wishing you a Merry Christmas? How many did you wish in return? Did you simply wish them one back, tell them the truth or send them scripture? The same goes for heartwarming emails with great moral lessons. Most start out great but most end up with someone floating off to Heaven walking on streets of gold. We’re supposed to send them to at least 10 other people so that we will receive blessings. Really? We’ve been blessed with God’s eternal truth. As a baptized child of God, we really need to sift these emails through God’s Word and make sure WE do not perpetuate the lie that was sent to you (Psa.101:7, Prov.14:5). I’m not saying be ignorant to friends but if you truly are a friend, wouldn’t you want them to know what you know? Or at least what you’ve read? God will give you the words and the timing. Plant the seeds and He will take care of the rest. We need to keep in mind that God has consequences for those who do not obey His Commandments, especially His own (Prov. 6:16-19, 28:9, Rev.21:27).
Since keeping God’s Holy Days for 4 years now, I’ve paid closer attention to the “holiday” season this year. I think the additional Bible Studies during the Feast of Tabernacles this year added another dimension to the importance of God’s Truth, especially how we share it. This is not only with others but also with each other. We were enlightened to our upcoming “job descriptions” in the Millennial Reign of Our Lord Jesus. That is if we should fight the good fight, finish the race and be called at the first trumpet (2 Tim.4:7, 1 Cor.9:24). With all the trappings of the “holiday” season, I can tell you, it may take 1000 years without the influence of Satan to get things in line (Rev. 20:2-3). I am confident that Our Lord will enable us to do just that (Phil.4:13) if we prepare now.