It seems to be increasingly popular in certain circles of professing Christians to abstain from any and all observations of Christmas which, of course, is fine. On the other hand to publicly trumpet said abstention as some sort of badge of honor, piety, purity, and faithfulness to Christ – parading it before men – and in particular to attempt to yoke, manipulate, and/or generally guilt-trip other Christians into adopting what amounts to a matter of mere opinion and preference is simply un-Biblical, and taken too far it’s downright sinful.
To summarize my own position briefly, I’m convinced by Scripture and conscience that Christians are not obligated to observe Christmas, and that Christians are not obligated to not observe Christmas. Christmas observance, or non-observance, (just like the observance or non-observance of any other day) plainly falls into the Biblical category of a matter of indifference and liberty (Romans 14-15; Col 2:16-23). Scripture couldn’t be clearer on this subject, and therefore since Scripture has spoken the matter is closed.
Curiously while the perennially vocal “Christmas abstainers” who like clockwork typically dust off their personal hobby horses, and begin beating their drums about this time of year are often among the most vocal proponents of Sola Scriptura; they nevertheless seem to studiously avoid exegesis of the passages listed above (in addition to certain oft quoted and badly mishandled passages from Jeremiah), preferring instead to point to extrabiblical alleged “historical facts” (some of which are dealt with in the links below), and the opinions and traditions of likeminded men. The sheer irony of appealing to the traditions of their “in group” (Christmas abstainers) over and against the traditions of the “out group” (Christmas observers) is seemingly lost on them.
Thus, instead of simply repeating what so many others can – and have – said so much better than I, it seemed good to me to post some links to several related articles for the interested reader’s edification.
- Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?
- Spurgeon on Christmas
- A Question about Christmas Trees
- Does the Lengthening of Daylight Have Only Pagan Significance?
- December 25 and Paganism
- The Origins of Christmas
- The Christmas Wars
- Joyless to the World
- The Date of the Nativity
- Is it Permissible for Christians to Celebrate Christmas (and Other Holidays)?
The point of publishing this material isn’t to advocate for, or against, the observance of Christmas (or any other day), but rather to make the case that a.) such things are matters of liberty and conscience in the light of Scripture b.) many of the popular myths surrounding the origins of Christmas, even within the church, are often dubious, and sometimes misleading/false and c.) many of the most strident objections to the observance of Christmas if applied equally and consistently can have far reaching [and arguably un-Biblical, legalistic] implications in actual practice.