Why We Don't Celebrate Christmas

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Is Christmas a celebration based on the Bible? Date of the celebration M‟Clintock and Strong‟s Cyclopædia says: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of N[ew] T[estament] origin. The day of Christ‟s birth cannot be ascertained from the N[ew] T[estament], or, indeed, from any other source.”—(New York, 1871), Vol. II, p. 276. Luke 2:8-11 shows that shepherds were in the fields at night at the time of Jesus‟ birth. The book Daily Life in the Time of Jesus states: “Th
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  Is   Christmas   a   celebration   based   on   the   Bible? Date    of    the    celebration    M‟Clintock and Strong‟s Cyclopædia    says: “The observance of Christmas is not of divineappointment, nor is it of N[ew] T[estament] srcin. The day of Christ‟s birth cannot beascertained from the N[ew] T[estament], or, indeed, from any other source.”— (New York,1871), Vol. II, p. 276.Luke 2:8-11 shows that shepherds were in the fields at    night    at the time of Jesus‟ birth. The book Daily    Life    in    the    Time    of    Jesus    states: “The f  locks . . . passed the winter under cover;and from this alone it may be seen that the traditional date for Christmas, in the winter, is unlikely to be right, since the Gospel says that the shepherds were in the fields.”— (NewYork, 1962), Henri Daniel-Rops, p. 228. The    Encyclopedia    Americana    informs us: “The reason for establishing December 25 as Christmas is somewhat obscure, but it is usually held that the day was chosen to correspondto pagan festivals that took place around the time of the winter solstice, when the days begin to lengthen, to celebrate the „rebirth of the sun.‟ . . . The Roman Saturnalia (a festivaldedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, and to the renewed power of the sun), also tookplace at this time, and some Christmas customs are thought to be rooted in this ancient pagan celebration.”— (1977), Vol. 6, p. 666.The New    Catholic    Encyclopedia    acknowledges: “The date of Christ‟s birth is not known. The Gospels indicate neither the day nor the month . . . According to the hypothesis suggestedby H. Usener . . . and accepted by most scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned thedate of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian),because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees ofMithra celebrated the dies    natalis    Solis    Invicti  (birthday of the invincible sun). On Dec.25, 274, Aurelian had proclaimed the sun-god principal patron of the empire and dedicated atemple to him in the Campus Martius. Christmas srcinated at a time when the cult of the sun was particularly strong at Rome.”— (1967), Vol. III, p. 656. Wise    men,   or    Magi  ,   led    by    a    star   Those Magi were actually astrologers from the east. (Matt. 2:1, 2, NW;    NE  ) Althoughastrology is popular among many people today, the practice is strongly disapproved in the Bible. (See pages 144, 145, under the main heading “Fate.”) Would God have led to the newborn Jesus persons whose practices He condemned?Matthew 2:1-16 shows that the star led the astrologers first to King Herod and then to Jesusand that Herod then sought to have Jesus killed. No mention is made that anyone other than the astrologers saw the “star.” After they left, Jehovah‟s angel warned Joseph to flee to Egypt to safeguard the child. Was that “star” a sign from God or was it from someone whowas seeking to have God‟s Son destroyed?  Note that the Bible account does not say that they found the babe Jesus in a manger, ascustomarily depicted in Christmas art. When the astrologers arrived, Jesus and his parents were living in a house. As to Jesus‟ age at that time, remember that, based on what Herod had learned from the astrologers, he decreed that all the boys in the district of Bethlehemtwo years of age and under were to be destroyed. — Matt. 2:1, 11, 16. Gift    giving    as    part    of    the    celebration;    stories    about    Santa    Claus,   Father    Christmas,   etc.  The practice of Christmas gift giving is not based on what was done by the Magi. As shown above, they did not arrive at the time of Jesus‟ birth. Furthe rmore, they gave gifts, not to oneanother, but to the child Jesus, in accord with what was then customary when visitingnotable persons.  The    Encyclopedia    Americana    states: “During the Saturnalia . . . feasting prevailed, and gifts were exchanged.” (1977, Vol. 24, p. 299) In many instances that represents the spirit ofChristmas giving — an exchanging  of gifts. The spirit reflected in such gift giving does notbring real happiness, because it violates Christian principles such as those found at Matthew6:3, 4 and 2 Corinthians 9:7. Surely a Christian can give gifts to others as an expression oflove at other times during the year, doing so as often as he wants to.Depending on where they live, children are told that gifts are brought by Santa Claus,St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Père Noël, Knecht Ruprecht, the Magi, the elf Jultomten (orJulenissen), or a witch known as La Befana. ( The    World    Book    Encyclopedia, 1984, Vol. 3, p.414) Of course, none of these stories are actually true. Does the telling of such stories buildin children a respect for truth, and does such a practice honor Jesus Christ, who taught thatGod must be worshiped with truth? — John 4:23, 24. Is   there   any   objection   to   sharing   in   celebrations   that   may   have   unchristian   roots   as   long   as   it   is   not   done   for   religious   reasons?  Eph. 5:10, 11: “Keep on making sure of what is acceptable to the Lord; and quit sharing with them inthe unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but, rather, even be reproving them.”  2 Cor. 6:14- 18: “What fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be′lial? Or what portion does afaithful person have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God‟s temple have with id ols? . . . „“Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,” says Jehovah, “and quit touching theunclean thing”‟; „“and I will take you in, . . . and you will be sons and daughters to me,” says Jehovah the Almighty.‟” (Genuine love for Jehova h and a strong desire to be pleasing to him will help a person tobreak free from unchristian practices that may have had emotional appeal. A person who really knowsand loves Jehovah does not feel that by shunning practices that honor false gods or that promotefalsehood he is in any way deprived of happiness. Genuine love causes him to rejoice, not overunrighteousness, but with the truth. See 1 Corinthians 13:6.)Compare Exodus 32:4-10. Notice that the Israelites adopted an Egyptian religious practice but gave it a new name, “a festival to Jehovah.” But Jehovah severely punished them for this. Today we see only 20th-century practices associated with holidays. Some may appear harmless. But Jehovah observedfirsthand the pagan religious practices from which these srcinated. Should not his view be what mattersto us? Illustration:    Suppose a crowd come to a gentleman‟s home saying they are there to celebrate his birthday. He does not favor the celebration of birthdays. He does not like to see people overeat or getdrunk or engage in loose conduct. But some of them do all those things, and they bring presents for everyone there except him! On top of all that, they pick the birthday of one of the man‟s enemies as the date for the celebration. How would the man feel? Would you want to be a party to it? This is exactly whatis being done by Christmas celebrations.
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