TAKE CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS

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PAGAN HOLIDAYS

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Jeremiah 10:2-4 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

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,

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

 

THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a holiday shared and celebrated by many religions.

It is a day that has an effect on the entire world.

To many people, it is a favorite time of the year involving gift giving, parties and feasting. Christmas is a holiday that unifies almost all of professing Christendom.

The spirit of Christmas causes people to decorate their homes and churches, cut down trees and bring them into their homes, decking them with silver and gold.

In the light of that tree, families make merry and give gifts one to another.

When the sun goes down on December 24th, and darkness covers the land, families and churches prepare for participation in customs such as burning the yule log, singing around the decorated tree, kissing under the mistletoe and holly, and attending a late night service or midnight mass.

What is the meaning of Christmas? Where did the customs and traditions originate?

You, as a Christian, would want to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth, discerning good from evil.

The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.

The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.

This was done long before the birth of Jesus.

It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.

These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.

Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.

This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.

In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.

The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship.

Witches and other pagans regarded the red holly as a symbol of the menstrual blood of the queen of heaven, also known as Diana.

The holly wood was used by witches to make wands.

The white berries of mistletoe were believed by pagans to represent droplets of the semen of the sun god.

Both holly and mistletoe were hung in doorways of temples and homes to invoke powers of fertility in those who stood beneath and kissed, causing the spirits of the god and goddess to enter them.

These customs transcended the borders of Rome and Germany to the far reaches of the known world.

The question now arises: How did all of these customs find their way into contemporary Christianity, ranging from Catholicism to Protestantism to fundamentalist churches?

The word “Christmas”itself reveals who married paganism to Christianity.

The word “Christmas” is a combination of the words “Christ” and “Mass.

The word “Mass” means death and was coined originally by the Roman Catholic Church, and belongs exclusively to the church of Rome.

The ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ, and the distribution of the “Host”, a word taken from the Latin word “hostiall” meaning victim!

In short, Christmas is strictly a Roman Catholic word.

A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.

In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures, “Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.

When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome.

These reformers left Christmas intact.

In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.

The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.

Near the end of the nineteenth century, when other Bible versions began to appear, there was a revival of the celebration of Christmas.

We are now seeing ever-increasing celebrating of Christmas or Yule, its true name, as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In both witchcraft circles and contemporary Christian churches, the same things are going on.

As the Bible clearly states in Jeremiah 10:2-4, “Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen; and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven. For the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain. For one cutteth a tree out of the forest. The work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold. They fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not.”

So, what is wrong with Christmas?

1. To say that Jesus was born on December 25th is a lie! The true date is sometime in September according to the Scriptures.

2. Trees, wreaths, holly, mistletoe and the like are strictly forbidden as pagan and heathen! To say that these are Christian or that they can be made Christian is a lie!

3. The Lord never spoke of commemorating his birth but rather commanded us to remember the sacrifice of His suffering and death, which purchased our salvation.

Think about it! Can we worship and honor God by involving ourselves with customs and traditions, which God Himself forbade as idolatry? Can we convince God to somehow “Christianize” these customs and the whole pretense and lie of Christmas, so we can enjoy ourselves? Can we obey through disobedience?

So what is right about Christmas? 1. Nothing!
For more information and documentation contact:

Last Trumpet Ministries International
PO Box 806
Beaver Dam, WI 53916

http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract3.html

SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT AGAINST CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS

II. Scriptural Support Against Celebrating Christmas — Unacceptable Worship

A. 2 Chron. 33:15-17 — The Israelites had kept the old pagan form (the high places of Baal), but had merely introduced the worship of God into that form — a refusal to let go of pagan worship forms (i.e., God was to be worshiped in the Temple, not on the high places). This was unacceptable worship because the right object of worship was mixed with wrong forms of worship; i.e., the mixing of godly worship with ungodly form. Likewise, is not the celebration of Christmas the taking of a celebration established by pagans and for pagans, and then introducing the worship of Christ into that pagan form?

B. Deut. 12:29-32 — God warned His people Israel to destroy all vestiges of pagan worship that they found in the “Promised Land.” Not only did God want to prevent His people from being enticed to worship false gods, but He also specifically revealed that He did not want His people to worship Him in the same manner in which the heathen worshiped their gods. We know, therefore, that our Lord is displeased by practices which profess to honor Him, but which are copied from the tradition of false religions. The command here was to worship God only in His way, i.e., do only what God commands — not adding to God’s commands nor taking away from them. Therefore, is not “putting Christ back into Christmas,” worshiping “the Lord your God their way”? Is there any command in the Bible to give special reverence to the Scriptural account of Christ’s birth more so than to any other Scripture, let alone even a suggestion to celebrate or commemorate His birth in any way whatsoever? God never intended for His people to be imitators of the pagan customs of the world, but has called us to be separate and set apart.

C. Lev. 10:1,2 — Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire to the Lord. Is not the celebration of Christmas, with all its pagan symbols and forms, a “strange fire” unto the Lord, and is not this form of worship contrary to what God commands?

D. 1 Sam. 15:1-3, 7-9, 21-23 — Saul disobeyed God’s prophet in order to worship God in his way. Is not the celebration of Christmas one of man’s ways of worshiping Christ? There is certainly no Biblical command to offer worship in this manner.

E. 2 Sam. 6:2-7 — David attempts to transport the ark on a “new cart” instead of using the rings and poles as the Law required (Exo. 25:12-15). Additionally, the “transporters” of the ark were not even authorized to carry it (1 Chron. 15:2, 13-15); i.e., the ark was not only transported in the wrong way, but was transported by the wrong people! Is not the celebration of Christmas the wrong way (pagan forms and tradition) with the wrong people (the heathen of the world join right in with the professing Christians)?

F. 1 Ki. 12:26-33 — In order to unify the northern ten tribes of Israel, ungodly King Jeroboam set up pagan idols, not in place of God, but as new focal points for directing worship to God. He even instituted a new festival on a new day; i.e., a new religious holiday of his own choosing. Even though the true God of Israel was still to be the object of worship in the new religious holiday, both the holiday and the worship were not authorized by God nor accepted by Him (1 Ki. 13:1-3; 15:29,30). Why? Because the concocted mixture of error with truth constituted false religion! Likewise, is not the celebration of Christmas a religious holiday of man’s own choosing, replete with pagan symbols and forms, all under the guise (by sincere Christians at least) of worshiping the one true God and Savior? But does not this worship form and system still constitute false religion, and thereby, make it unacceptable to God? And besides, where in the Bible do Christians have the right to add a new holy day to the so-called Christian calendar, any more than King Jeroboam had the right to add a new holy day to God’s theocratic calendar?

G. 1 Cor. 8:4-13; Rom. 14:1-13; 1 Cor. 10:14, 18-21 — These passages concerning Christian liberty are discussed in more detail under Roman numeral IV. [Christian liberty can best be defined Biblically as “the freedom to engage in practices not prohibited by the Scriptures or denying oneself what is permitted (i.e., a moral choice of self-discipline) in order to be a more effective witness for God.” So the question must first be answered, “Is Christmas permitted?”] Briefly, some claim that Paul is teaching that the participation in pagan forms condemns no one, and therefore, participation in Christmas and its forms, even though arising out of pagan idolatry, is inconsequential. However, Paul nowhere approves participation in acts of idolatry, of which the participation in the pagan forms of Christmas comes dangerously close to doing. Instead, Paul is speaking of the liberty to continue in Jewish days of worship/festival that had been previously ordained under the Jewish law. There is certainly no liberty to bring outside pagan forms into the church’s worship services. Likewise, there is no liberty to Christianize Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days as special days.

Christians in the first century churches had the liberty to observe Old Testament holy days and feasts (days that had previously been revealed by God) if they were so immature as to do so. The weaker brother, Paul wrote, was at that time not to be censured for continuing to attach some importance to the Old Testament holy days, as a clear knowledge of their abolition in Christ was not yet given to him (the weaker brother). But to observe a pagan holy day is something this passage does not sanction. They certainly did not have the liberty to regard Babylonian/Roman pagan holy days (days that were invented by the devil) as special days. Again, that would have been idolatry, worldliness, and perhaps even a form of Satan worship on their part. Therefore, how can the observance of Christmas Day, or any other Babylonian/Roman Catholic holy day, be a matter of Christian liberty?

Yet when some of us refuse to regard the pagan holy days as special days, we are the ones often referred to as the “weaker brother” in this matter! Are we opposed to such days because we are “weak in faith”? Faith would be defined as believing what the Word of God says about a matter and acting upon it. It was by faith that we stopped regarding pagan holy days as special days. Would we be more mature Christians if we would start regarding such days again? It would certainly be much easier on our families and us.

Read more here http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/xmas/celeb.htm

EVERY TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT

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“Christmas time is also synonymous with a Christmas tree to most. One source claimed the tree to be the most cherished Christmas custom or ritual (tradition, ceremony, sacrament). These trees are idols placed in your home (Jer 10:3-5, Deut 7:26). They are decorated, reverenced and enjoyed all. These trees (and wreaths) have pagan origins associated with fertility (Baal, Jer 10:3-5). Fertility produces life, so this tree could easily symbolically represent the tree of life. Man was denied access to the tree of life due to his transgression against God – forbidden and denied to man (Gen 3:22-24). Man will only regain access to the tree of life through submission to and obedience of the commandments of Christ, but never through the flesh (Rev 22:14). These trees are faithfully erected with devotion every year. They are decorated with cherished images (emblems/symbols with personal meaning) to be adored by all. Perhaps incense candles will be lit around the room? No idol would be complete without offerings (as at an altar). Presents (gifts) are placed under the Christmas tree that contain all the things loved ones have coveted (lusted) after (things of the flesh). Many make wish list for the things they desire. These lists tend to be more “expectations” than hopes – so don’t disappoint. People gather around the Christmas tree in admiration and song. After partaking of the offerings (gifts) many will then celebrate in gathering (assembling) for a big meal. There is little difference here than how men have worshipped false gods through the centuries. Most would think it very petty of the author to call the tree an idol, yet most could not imag(e)-ine a year without one. God said in His word that we were not to make images, altars or groves and set them up in such a way (Deut 7:5, Ex 34:13, Num 33:52). Churches will set up trees in their sanctuaries and hang wreaths on their doors. Some may Christianize them by putting religious “images” on them. Imag(e)-ine that, an “image” set up in the midst of those who claim to worship Christ (Deut 16:22)! How could this happen if men are truly submitted to the Holy Spirit’s leading? We do not have to look far in biblical history to find that the children of Israel did these very same things. God sent Judges, Prophets and Kings, but it made little difference to the multitudes (majority). There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9). Consider the behavior of the children of Israel: Jeremiah 7:1-10, “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” They worshipped other gods (images – Baal, nature and fertility god) and then came into the House of the Lord to worship. God was not pleased and told them to amend their ways. He who hath ears to hear! This message did not make Jeremiah a very popular likeable person among the people. The author’s message will not garner him any praise either. Most people (religious or not) believe they are delivered to do these abominations. Its all so fun and innocent to those who have exalted their word above God’s. When Jesus came, He called us out of such things to follow Him. However, man as a whole (majority), in all his religiosity, has not change from his fallen rebellious nature. This is a message for the remnant that will receive the truth – and start “following.” Change starts with submission and obedience to what Christ said – read the gospels and stop considering them in an abstract way (as not strictly applying to you) – they are applicable to you now.

The symbology of the Lord is always God-centered. The symbology of man is always flesh-centered. All the symbology used in Christmas has pagan meaning and fleshly appeal (Eph 2:3). Everything about Christmas is directed toward the satisfaction of the flesh, yet those who do such cannot please God (Rm 8:7-8). Romans 8:12-13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” To seek the will of the flesh is to oppose the will of God and “thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17, Ez 33:14). We must mortify (die to) the flesh to find life in God. Christmas is known as a time to eat, drink and be merry; and a time to enrich yourself in possessions and indulge in worldly entertainments. What is the forbidden fruit of the Christmas tree (i.e. celebration in general)? idolatry, gluttony, lusts, depression, envy, jealousy, greed, partying, debt, bitterness, disappointment, drunkenness, obligating others, arguing, gossip, pride, arrogance, materialism, worldliness, guilt, anger, sloth, witchcraft, and a high suicide rate – the “spirit(s)” of Christ-mass. The author does not suggest that there are no good things can be found, but these fruits of the flesh are clearly and dominately manifested. The devil always tempts (and manipulates) through the desires of the flesh (i.e. the good things), these are just the burdens and bondages that result (same as with Egypt , Gal 4:3 – come out! Gal 1:4). These are the works/fruits of the flesh (Gal 5:19 -21). Christmas is a huge (tremendous) cash cow (golden) for the retail, food, travel, delivery, flower/card, etc. industries. The bulk of all yearly sales will be realized at Christmas time. In other words, there is a significant “money” variable (love of, 1 Tim 6:10 ) to all of this. People will be buying and indulging to unprecedented levels at this time of the year (lust) – filling the flesh to the full (please consider 1 Jn 2:15 -17). This did not Jesus and this is dishonoring to Christ’s very nature – He calls us out of this world. Does any business just “opt out” at Christmas time (greed)? Is it even possible to stop participating given that manufacturers print Christmas motifs (designs, patterns, images, themes, decorations, ornamentations, subjects) on all their products and people expect to find all such paraphernalia on store shelves? Could a store that doesn’t observe Christmas (if there is such a thing) even survive? What rules (dominates) at Christmas time: the selfless nature of Christ (and His denial of the world) or the indulgences of the flesh (the retail numbers do not lie)? Should you ever see clearly to come out of such things, you will quickly realize what an incredible bondage and burden it is. You will never forsake the celebration of Christmas without significant resistance from everyone. This is the sole reason that most will flow with the world (Pharaoh/Satan does not release his subjects without a tremendous fight). Some will say there is great joy in seeing their children’s happiness over gifts (toys) received. This joy is found in the lusts of the flesh (will keep your eyes on the world); leads your loved ones opposite of God to the things of the flesh; and you have missed the point of this whole book. No doubt, there will be great tears one day if you continue along this “broad path.” Some will quote: Ephesians 4:8, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” The gifts Christ gave are: 1) Himself – perfect love (sacrifice for others, Jn 10:15 , 15:13 , Gal 1:4, 2:20 , Eph 5:25 , 1 Tim 2:6, Ti 2:14 , 1 Jn 3:16 ) for the intent of reconciling man to God. This reconciliation is accomplished through faith, which is a forsaking of self-will and surrender to God’s will and surrendering to the Lord’s working in your life (Jn 12:25, 1 Pt 1:5). 2) The Holy Ghost – given for the purpose of leading, guiding, teaching and empowering one to walk as Christ walked and to conform to His image (Lk 11:13). 3) Eternal life for those who obey Him (Mt 19:17, Jn 17:3, Rm 5:21, 6:23, 2 Thess 1:8, 1 Pt 1:22, 4:7, Jude 1:21). John 17:2, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” The gifts Jesus gave are God-centered. The gifts man gives (or expects) are mostly flesh-centered. The author has talked to many religious people who “profess Christ,” about such things as Santa Claus and Christmas trees. These will not receive the truth no matter how convincing the use of scripture (neither would the Jews depart from the worship of Baal or Ashtaroth – what has been shall be again). Some will acknowledge parts of the truth, but their actions will not follow. The deep-seated tradition of Christmas is instilled (rooted) in most by symbology through the self-satisfaction (filling of the flesh), songs, stories, foods, candies, decorations, sentimental attachments, family, strong peer pressure, memories, obligations, festivities, emotions, time off, etc. This may be likened to the children of Israel leaving Egypt (and its wickedness and idolatry). We are being called out of the wickedness and “into the wilderness” by God. Sure there were bondages in Egypt, but some will also see a good side that they feel outweighs the bondages inflicted. Jesus once said during a deliverance: Mark 5:8, “For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” The Lord also said in a conversation regarding being unequally yoked with unbelievers (fellowship of righteousness and unrighteousness; light and darkness, 2 Cor 6:14) and idolatry (2 Cor 6:15-16): 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” The “unclean thing” is that which transgresses the will of God and is in rebellion to Him (whether spirits, idols, or men). Uncleanness comes through following the lusts in your heart (Rm 1:24, 2 Pt 2:10) – those who live in error (2 Pt 2:18, Eph 5:5). The English word, “church” is ekklesia in the Greek which means, “called out ones.” Followers of Christ are called out of such things (i.e. Egypt – representative of). God is calling us out of the world, but many do not want to leave Egypt. Some have traveled to the wilderness and now want to return to Egypt. We will either seek Egypt (the world) or God. Those who seek both are still in Egypt bowing to an idol (golden calf) of their own creation. God is in the wilderness calling – who will respond? Leaving Egypt includes all that opposes God – those celebrations and attachments of the flesh. Egypt certainly had celebrations and festivities (complete with foods and traditions) which had to be completely forsaken. We must be prepared to leave the flesh nature and your own authority (control, being as a god). The wilderness is harsh on the flesh, but the spirit will survive if it yields to God’s authority. Folks, its easy to profess a Christ when the flesh is in control. This book has raised the issue of two enormous idols – the television and Christmas. Many reading this book have probably thought, “how incredibly dumb and stubborn the children of Israel had been toward God.” Perhaps you are no different if you cannot give up your own idols and unbelief – confused, idolatrous, double-minded, obstinate, opinionated, and froward. Its easy to cast judgment on the children of Israel, but are you clinging to your own rebellion and idolatry? The children of Israel’s flesh was denied in that wilderness and they rose up in great complaint and protest. Their unbelief produced disobedience which always brings death (their carcasses dropped in the wilderness). How will you be when your idols are taken away? God will try your heart in this life and the results will be eternal (1 Pt 1:7). Your stubbornness toward God’s attempts to reach you (call you out) will be your own undoing at Judgment. When the children of Israel entered into the Promised Land they were told to destroy the idols and altars; pictures; and high places of the wicked nations (peoples of the land, Num 33:52, Deut 12:2-4). Israel was not to learn their abominations (Deut 18:9); they were to learn God’s commandments (i.e. fringes on the garments, put Words on stones, Deut 27:2-4). In other words, it was unacceptable by God to incorporate other practices (devotions) into their lives in addition to Him. Nothing has changed for the follower of Christ. All the idols and altars in your life must be torn down, no other gods – period (Deut 5:7, 6:14 ). Modern man is completely blind to his own idolatry.”

—David Neal

SANTA

“One of the things that has become most synonymous with Christmas is Santa Claus. This image is such a part of Christmas that it really cannot be separated from it. Santa is a false god that is sustained by “lies” and is a god of lusts – selfish want and desire. Take the name Santa and rearrange the letters and form Satan (mixing up things as witchcraft often does, intentional confusion). This is no coincidence because Satan is the father of all lies (Jn 8:44), including “The Lie” in Eden which persuaded (appealed to) man to seek the flesh (his lusts and desires) over God’s command. Isn’t it interesting that man’s relationship with Santa Claus is built upon and sustained by a lie? Man’s relationship with Satan was also founded upon a lie. God is truth! Anything opposed to the truth is a lie (1 Jn 2:21 ). Satan continually tempts man’s lusts in order to keep him opposed to God, blinded to the Lord’s truth, and in his rebellion against the Lord (2 Cor 4:4). The nature of Santa Claus is the exact same nature of Satan (Santa = Satan). Parents, relatives, friends, religious people, and total strangers will blatantly and unabashedly (shamefully) “lie” to children to sustain this god (Pv 12:22 , Jer 9:3, 5, Amos 2:4) – they are teachers of lies (Hab 2:18 , Eph 4:25 ). Do you suppose these parents and relatives will be happy (accepting) if someone were to tell their children the truth about Santa Claus? Most likely they would be extremely irate (very angry, incensed, furious, enraged) and would defend the “lie” while rejecting the truth (casting it away) – they would reinforce the lie (this is what Satan does). The flesh defends its god! Psalms 101:7, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” – woe to you! The “lie” is to seek your lusts through him (trust in Santa = trust in Satan). Parents teach their children that Santa is a wonderful man that will fulfill all their fleshly desires with toys and candies – a free gift (without cost). They are taught that Santa is there to serve their needs, which also translates into love being the fulfillment (receiving) of fleshly desires – benefit of self. No wonder so many view God as their servant who is there to bless them or get them out of difficult situations. God said to teach your children to love Him with all their hearts, with all their souls and with all their might (Deut 6:4-9) – do not give place to Satan (Santa, Eph 4:27 ). This is a real conflict on a day that is presumed to be Christ’s birthday. To whom is a child’s heart to be given? Santa is given attributes that belong to God alone (specifically Christ) such as immortality (does not die), omnipresent (can be everywhere, hears your prayers to him, sees your actions), omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (can do fantastical things/feats), merciful, giving, forgiving, and loving. This is not surprising because Satan thinks of himself as a god (god of this world) and wants to be worshipped. Satan is receiving worship via Santa – by proxy (surrogate, stand-in, substitute, alternate). God says over and over in His Word that we are to have no other gods. Children are encouraged to make list of their desires (lusts, toys) and petition Santa through prayer, letters or even at his very throne (in a mall or department store). The children should be encouraged to fear the Lord and observe do to all His Words (Deut 31:12). Santa also has mythical elves to serve him (principalities, angelic beings). Men even dress up as the “god of the lie” to further instill (teach) this fraud into the minds of the youth. It is as if a child is sitting on Satan’s knee and he says, “tell me all your heart’s desire (the imaginations and lusts). The children develop a real love for this “god of lusts” because he gives them things (appeals to the flesh), even if by proxy through their parents – but make no mistake, he is the “god of the flesh.” Parents consider this all to be fun make-believe, but there is a very real and evil spirit behind all this and the parents have certainly been manipulated (deceived, beguiled, tricked) by it. This subtle and cunning “god of tricks” is the same one that is behind Halloween. We discussed confusion (the mixture of several things promiscuously; mingled and without order; indistinct combination; confusion of ideas; things that do not go together), confounding (confused, mixed or blended in disorder, perplexed, abashed; i.e. mixing God and the world, flesh – shameful blending of natures) and doublemindedness (simultaneous belief in two opposing or contradictory things) in Chapter One. Most will say that Santa is about love and giving. Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). This means that the devil convinces man to do that which is opposed to God by that which seems to be of God (i.e. love, giving). In other words, Satan makes his cause seem noble. However, just a cursory review of God’s Word reveals that we are to have no other gods (and certainly not teach our children of them); we are not to lie nor walk in deception; and we are not to seek the lusts of the flesh or things of the world. Therefore, Santa is not about love and giving, but rather idolatry, lusts, greed (covetousness), deception, and lies. Parents who “profess Christ” and teach their children of Him (i.e. go to church) go about hanging a millstone about their necks by also teaching (and instilling) Santa Claus. Mark 9:42, “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” This is confusion and doublemindedness. Christ is sustained by faith, and Santa is sustained by a lie. The Bible says “all liars go to hell (Rev 21:8),” but who takes God’s Word seriously in a fantastical world of make-believe – or is it really make-believe? Perhaps these things are far more real and serious than you could possibly imagine. Eventually children outgrow the reality of Santa (or do they?), but the lessons have been learned. The lessons are to seek the things YOU want and please SELF. Any concept of God will always be tainted with the notion that God is there to serve YOU (bless me, help me, heal me, get me out of difficult situations, save me). Things become a bit skewed (twisted, distorted, off center, miss the mark, partial, biased) toward the “ME” side of things. A nice way to say it would be “spoiled,” but the truth is these are corrupted, full of iniquity, transgressing and rebellious toward the reality of God. The symbology that God authorized in His Word is designed to lead you to Him. The symbology of man (as highly influenced by Satan) leads you away from God and keeps you in transgression and rebellion. Now we are told that Santa Clause flies around in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. The lead reindeer has a glowing red nose. Throw in a few talking snowmen and the birth of Jesus Christ, and you have total and complete confusion. God is not the author of such confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Some will say this is why its all fun and imagination. Well, justify your wickedness and rebellion, but the message that is being taught is that of Satan and his nature (his way, path, bondage). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14); meaning fun and imaginative and always centered on lies and the flesh. Please consider the following point very strongly with all seriousness and sincerity: At Christmas time, side by side, Jesus and Santa Claus are reverenced (respected, given honor, worshipped), taught and celebrated. Jesus came in truth and totally surrendered to and obeyed the Father and died to self always directing others to God’s will. Santa Claus is sustained by lies and invites all to live for self (lusts, desires) and takes away from God by placing attention on the things of the flesh. They are both taught in the same celebration and this is total confusion and doublemindedness. Which God will a child eventually choose? The one of self or the one of self denial? The author once ignorantly celebrated Christmas; however, he sanitized it to some degree (as many will say they now do). The author never lied to his children about Santa Claus and always told them the truth. Herein is an interesting thing: although he did not believe or teach Santa Claus, his house was full of images of Santa Claus. The Lord God says you shall have no such images, but the devil would fill the world with them. Images are there to solicit worship and condition one’s heart. When the Lord convicted the author’s heart about Christmas and he yielded in obedience (to forsake and follow, Mk 10:21, Lk 18:22), there was a great clean-up in his home. There were Santa Claus images on ornaments, wrapping paper, cards, dish towels, jars, cereal boxes (food packages), ornaments, in photos, in paintings, on toys, tins, boxes, cloth covers, plates, cook books, reading books, music covers, candles, place mats, magnets, serving platters, children’s artwork, coloring books, stickers, craft items, soft drink bottles, etc. How could one who seemingly knew the truth be so blinded or complacent as to be inundated with such images? The reason is that evil is very seductive! It took a long time with searches through drawers and attics to finally clean it all out (perhaps there is still some undiscovered items). Evil seduces marvelously and these things will certainly develop a sentimental hold on one – which is the purpose (point) of all the symbolism and tradition. The author challenges you – try and eliminate all the articles with images of Santa or things Christmas related and see what a task it is. You must truly come completely out of the world to do it. You will find that most anything you bring into your home will have these on them such as magazines, books and catalogs (year round). To say that you do not believe in Santa (what it represents) yet have images in your home is to be a hypocrite and self-deceived. There was much repenting to do over all this evil. But, we are not through…”

—David Neal

CHRIST (MASS)

“Rebellious man has also used such memorials and symbology in a religious context, that is attributed to God, but for the benefit of the flesh. Those things done of man for God through the flesh will always detract (take away) from God’s glory no matter how noble the original or observed intent. This is why man must be submitted and led of the Holy Spirit. No good thing proceeds out of the heart of man – we must yield to God’s transforming power. Man always interjects his opinion and sentiment (things fleshly which tend to be foremost) in his religious endeavors and sees no wrong in it. Man has always been strongly attracted to fleshly things and has always been very rebellious to spiritual things that deny the flesh (proven over and over in scripture and observance). This is why God requires that we follow (obey) Him (God’s direction, leading, working). Man will always choose a wrong course that is based upon his desire. We are not to try and take the lead or make the decisions. What would have been the result if Moses had changed the pattern given by God for the tabernacle and its instruments? Exodus 25:9, “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” Exodus 25:40, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” Perhaps an item or two could have been improved upon? No matter how one justifies his actions, refusal to obey God’s direction (as given) is transgression against God’s will. Deuteronomy 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” AND Deuteronomy 12:32, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” So, what is the result when man takes the initiative and devises his own celebratory feast for God (adds to God’s observances)? The answer can be found in the observance of Christ-mass. What has come to be known as Christmas started as a Romish (Catholic) mass celebrating the birth of Christ. The date selected was the time of an established pagan feast that was adapted and “Christianized” and fallaciously (inaccurately, erroneously, doubtfully, untrustworthily) assigned as the date of Christ’s birth to appease and lure converts into the religious organization. Jeroboam devised such a date and feast out of his own heart to control the people (1 Kg 12:26-33). 1 Kings 12:33, “So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.” This event of Christmas was completely determined and authorized (instituted) by man and is nothing more than a tradition or requirement of man. Nowhere in the Bible are followers of Christ directed to celebrate His birthday nor how. Nowhere in the Bible is Christ’s birth date given. We must understand that Jesus’ existence is eternal and cannot be relegated by dates of man (Jn 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17). Jesus came (as a man – flesh and blood) denying His own will and only seeking that of the Father. Christ never exalted self, but rather died to self (the flesh). The observance of a godly birthday is flawed and is uncharacteristic of the nature of Christ (as He walked) and is dishonoring.  The concept of a birthday looks at Jesus as a fleshly man given-in to the desire of the flesh rather than an exalted Lord who overcame the flesh to reconcile all to God through faith (which is opposite of the flesh). No doubt, Christ is now greatly exalted and victorious above all and is due worship, honor and praise. However, as a man, the Lord set the example of perfect obedience and submission to God and denial and death to the things of the flesh. The greatest understanding of this matter we could have is that it was not authorized by Christ, who is the head of the church (Eph 1:22, 4:15, 5:23, Col 1:18, 2:10) – the One whom we must follow. Christmas is a commandment of man (stop celebrating and see) and we are told not to add to God’s Words/commands (Deut 4:2). Let us consider that the Christmas that is now celebrated goes far beyond the observance of Jesus’ birth. Through the centuries paganism from all over the world has been interjected by man into this unauthorized celebration. This is a very worldly celebration that almost anyone feels comfortable participating in (fleshly). In other words, there is no condemnation or conviction of the flesh, but rather an exaltation (we are told to look at such fruit). To feed the flesh is to deny the Spirit (Gal 5:17, Rm 8:8).”

— David Neal

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

CHARLES H. SPURGEON ON CHRISTMASS

“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly, we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority.

Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occured. Fabricius gives a catalogue of 136 different learned opinions upon the matter; and various divines invent weighty arguments for advocating a date in every month of the year.

It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord, and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example that the Eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, therefore superstition has fixed it; while, since the death of our Saviour might be determined with much certainty, therefore superstition shifts the date of its observance every year.

Where is the method in the madness of the superstitious? Probably the fact is that the holy days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December.”

From a sermon delivered on the Lord’s Day morning,
24th December, 1871
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle
Newington, London