Ramblings from Georgia

Happy Birthday, Jesus?

Posted by apacheangel on December 26, 2008

The Christmas season has just come to a close. Unsatisfied gift recipients will be lining up at the returns department in every store, the garbage industry will kick in to overdrive, and most people will quickly forget the joy and caring that comes with the season; but what about Jesus? So many put his name in bright lights, made birthday cakes (real or otherwise) and made a point of reminding everyone they met just WHO was the “reason for the season.”

Where did this notion come from; this idea that not only is December 25th the birthday of Christ, but that he wants us to celebrate it by maxing out our credit cards, putting lights on our houses, giving canned goods to the local food shelter, and dropping a coin or two in every red bucket we see in front of every store? Most cultures have some form of a Christmas-like holiday in their traditions. A winter holiday that involves the exchanging of gifts, and usually some kindly character who brings presents to children. It is almost as universal as the Great Deluge tradition. Well, you can thank the Catholics for this one. They tried to get the pagans to give up all of their idolatrous practices and convert to Catholicism, but they still held on to that winter holiday. So, the Catholics compromised. Why not just change the holiday a little? Instead of them worshiping the tree, they can remember the birth of Christ! Everyone was happy, but no one bothered to check The Bible.

Col 3:17 – And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. KJV

I read nowhere in entirety of the New Testament, or even the Old Testament, where we are commanded, or it is implied that we celebrate Jesus’s birth. I have heard people argue the “example theory,” (since the wise men and shepherds did it, we should too). While, in one sense, I understand the logic behind this argument, it doesn’t hold water. Jesus told us how we should remember him.

1 Cor 11:24-26 – And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat : this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. KJV

Of course, this doesn’t mean that in all our comings and goings we should only think about our Lord’s death. He could not have died had he not lived. However, remembering, and celebrating are two entirely different things. We are commanded to learn God’s Word and meditate on it. That does not mean putting up a blinking neon sign that says “Happy Birthday Jesus.”

I could argue the point that Jesus was most likely born around the time of our months of August and September (December doesn’t make much sense anyway, shepherds would have their sheep in a barn in December and they would be in bed, it’s cold in December!), but that is irrelevant, because the point is that there is no authority for celebrating the birth of Christ. If there were, we would have been given instructions on how to properly do it. Since there are no such instructions, and no authority either, it must be added to The Scripture. We are warned about the dangers of adding to The Word of God in the book of Revelation:

Rev 22:18 – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. KJV


One Response to “Happy Birthday, Jesus?”

  1. […] my thoughts are on Christmas as a religious holiday. If not, you can read my thoughts on Christmas here, and my thoughts on Christmas music here. Moving past that, though, let’s focus on “The […]

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