I just found a web page that has some pretty rediculous arguments about Christmas and why it is not Christian and should be avoided by every Christian. In fact, to read this moron’s argument, it violates every one of the 10 commandments. Utterly ludicrous. I won’t improve the guy’s Google page rank by linking to him, but I’ll provide the URL. I have a short list of rebuttals and then I’ll quit.
The article (Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?) is still up, some 11 year later. Wow.
Sorry this rant so long, but I got carried away. I abruptly stopped because it simply is not how I wanted to spend my day.
Here’s some reasons.
Very few of the claims in the article have references or means for checking up on them. If he makes a claim that appears to be fact, such as:
December 25th was the “Victory of the Sun-God” Festival in the pagan Babylonian world,
I would like to see some kind of reference. In particular, when he says something like
To all ancient pagan civilizations, December 25th was the birthday of the gods
I’d like to see which civilizations he’s refering to, again with some kind of reference.
It’s a little bit ludicrous to say that all ancient civilizations celebrated December 25th in some way. First off, “December” is a Julian date. I.e. it was created by Julius Caesar. Clearly no civilization before him had any concept of “December 25th”. Some of the other things said there are essentially true: Everyone knows when the winter solstice is, and lots of pagan holidays are celebrated then. Frankly, before the invention of the calendar, though, you HAD to base your celebrations on easily recognized days like the solstice. You couldn’t tell time with any better accuracy. Just like sunrise, sunset, and noon were about the most precise times you could give until the sundial and timekeeping were invented.
My biggest problem is that most of the arguments are “guilt by association,” or more accurately “guilt by coincidence.” When he says something like
The “Christmas goose” and “Christmas cakes” were both used in the worship of the Babylonian “messiah.”
I have to say (pardon my language) WTF? I found a few more references to geese used as sacrificial symbols in ancient Babylon. Fine. But that hardly means that everytime we eat a goose we’re immitating the Babylonians and worshipping the Babylonian gods. Look: the American Indians had corn. They worshipped non-Christian Gods. Their festivals included eating corn. Does that mean that if we eat corn at Christmas we’re worshipping some Native American god? No. How many ancient pagan rituals included drinking wine? Plenty. Does that mean that our communion is somehow tainted by that? No. It’s just coincidence.
Candles. CANDLES! This guy goes way off the deep end when he says this:
Obviously, candles should have no part in Christian worship, for nowhere in the New Testament is their use sanctioned.
I am not making that quote up.
Eventually, the author tries to show how Christmas practices violate each of the 10 commandments. To say it nicely, the arguments are strained. To say it bluntly, it’s rubbish.
Christmas “spending patterns”?
Christmas spending patterns could never stand the test of Biblical stewardship; i.e., Christians, in celebrating Christmas, “steal” the Lord’s resources by ignoring their proper use”
In other words, if you are not adhering to Biblical standards of stewardship, you are stealing. Rubbish. The two things are different. It is one thing for me to not use my material goods for God’s will. It’s another for me to steal from someone else (even God).
At this “special” time of the year, lustful thoughts are actually encouraged; e.g., teens are allowed to go to parties and stay out later”
It’s one thing to say (as it does in scripture) that thinking of adultery is the same as doing it. In this case, the author says that if you allow someone to get into a situation where they might commit adultery, that’s the same as thinking about it which is the same as doing it. How can a person live like that? Ridiculous.
Here’s one I really like:
Envy and hate of my brother (which, according to Matt. 5, is equal to murder) because he has more than me or because he receives a larger Christmas bonus than me, is encouraged at Christmas time. We also tend to spiritually sacrifice our children to the “god of Christmas” via greed, selfishness, etc.
So, this turns one commandment (“do not covet”) into another (“do not murder”). If the two are the same, why are they different commandments? I don’t understand the statement that
hate of my brother because he has more than me is encouraged at Christmas.
Possible? yes. Encouraged? no. Furthermore, the commandment against murder is against literally and physically killing someone. Symbolically or figuratively “sacrificing” someone through an idea like “greed” is not a violation of that commandment. End of discussion.
So Christmas doesn’t honor father and mother, either? This is all the author says:
Christmas gift-giving is not an honor to parents; the term “exchanging” gifts (i.e., giving in expectation of a return) is a dead give-away of the mockery associated with this tradition.
To “exchange” gifts is to dishonor someone? I don’t follow that reasoning. Kids only give gifts because they expect them in return? Certainly there are some kids like that, but that’s the child being naughty or needing to learn something, it’s not something inherent to the holiday.
I gotta quit now. This stuff gets my blood boiling. The guy’s distorting scripture and making ludicrous associations and rediculous arguments. I won’t dignify it with further thinking.