By Biblestudycompany.com Ric Joyner
Frustration mounts as we approach this time of year in the Christmas season. Screams of "Christmas is pagan" escalate into a crescendo with arguments against Christmas on social media and by some bible teachers. Could this be a veiled attack on the Gospel in the name of "we don't want to be idolators"?
Let's take a look. Will you please reread these scriptures prayerfully as we begin our biblical study?
Matthew Chapters 1-2 highlights
"30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel."
Luke Chapters 1 and 2. Pay attention to what the angels say a couple of times: "good news," translated as the same word… Gospel. The birth of Christ is indeed good news for Jews because their long-awaited Messiah was finally here, and prophecy was fulfilled. We sit writing this paper 2,000 years later for gentiles, grateful that the apostles preached the Gospel to us: Good news that Christ came as a child to break the back of sin and death and allowed us gentiles an eternal "home" and become children of God! Gentiles are not part of the nation of Israel, but we are part of God's family! (Eph Chap 1-4)
We celebrate the birth of Christ because of the Gospel!
Read John 1 for a view from heaven of why Christ came.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. We saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
If it is, then are you a pagan for celebrating the day of Christ's birth. The historical proof that Christmas is pagan is thrown at you with overwhelming emotional authoritarianism. Is the emotionalism based on biblical truth? How about historical facts? We know the origin of Christmas (birth of Christ) is biblical. The story of our Savior starts with His birth because the prophets mentioned He was coming. We suspect the anti-Christmas vehemence is agenda-driven. We ask this question because born-again believing Christians are not worshipping pagan deities by participation in the birth of Christ called Christmas today. I spoke to a Torah Keeping brother who said, "Yes, Christmas is pagan." I asked how that could be, and he shared, "that when you put a present under the tree, you are 'bowing' down to the tree." I was stunned. The logic he displayed defied logic. Yeah, no. Worshipping a pagan deity requires one to engage the diety knowingly.
In our research, there were pagan celebrations that started around the time of 274 AD, but they appear to be in response to Christians in Rome celebrating the birth of Christ! We then ask the question, what came first, the "chicken or the egg?"
"However, it has also been argued that, on the contrary, Emperor Aurelian, who in 274 instituted the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, did so partly as an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date already important for Christians in Rome.
Is the nearness of a pagan holiday make Christmas pagan? When I sift through the concerns of 'Christmas is pagan,' people, did you know that there was a pagan holiday at this time? We will deal with this later, but does that make celebrating the birth of Christ pagan today? Let's ask another question: Is Hanukkah pagan? The answer is no. Yet, Hanukkah is square in the middle of this pagan holiday called Saturnalia. The true church pushed hard against these wicked holidays, and to assume born-again believers were participating in pagan festivals doesn't make much sense since Christians had to live outside of society for several hundred years because of severe persecution.
Calling Christmas pagan because of the nearness of the same period of a pagan holiday would be the same as calling Easter (the resurrection of Christ) and Passover pagan. The proximity does not work because a pagan spring festival may happen around the same time.
We can confidently say that born-again believers would not have observed a pagan holiday and dishonored our Lord Jesus Christ, who rescued us from sin and death. Born again believers do not participate in pagan rituals today, and Christmas is about the birth of Christ.
Conclusion. We will focus on the birth of Christ currently and not conflate the past to today.
"Certainly today, the mix of consumerism (AKA Santa Claus) can take people's eyes off of Christ, but our job is to bring them back to the salvation message of the Gospel. Will you join us?"
Note: In our extensive research, we stumbled upon a Wikipedia article. We usually would bypass Wikipedia as higher education frowns on the use of Wikipedia; however, this article has stood the test of time (2001) is updated continually, even in 2021. Once you dive into the article, you will see the extent and expanse of the research on Christmas. Those who are "anti-Christmas" will find information to support their premises.
"Got you Biblestudycompany…see Christmas is pagan". Well, no, and not so fast. This Wikipedia article is excellent on Christmas and is thorough for a balanced perspective.
Here are some highlights:
"Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass." The word was recorded as Crīstesmæsse in 1038 and Cristes-messe in 1131. Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah," meaning "anointed"; and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist.”
"December 25 was the date of the winter solstice in the Roman calendar. A late fourth-century sermon by Saint Augustine explains why this was a fitting day to celebrate Christ's nativity: "Hence it is that He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us chose the shortest day, yet the one whence light begins to increase." 
We conclude by the historical facts that the Roman Catholic Church was not in existence at the time of the beginnings of Christian recognition of the birth of Christ.
"The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church around 313 A.D., which made this new "Christianity" the Roman Empire's official religion. The first actual Pope in Rome was probably Leo I (440-461 A.D.), although some claim that Gregory I was the first (Pope) (590-604 A.D.). This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, called the "Dark Ages" (500-1500 A.D.). Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal."
Conclusion: Catholicism was not the leading purveyor of Christmas traditions.
Celebrating birthdays is pagan. No. Many ancient cultures did not celebrate birthdays, but many did. And no, celebrating birthdays is not pagan. We are honoring a person. Where are the deities?
"And therefore, we should not celebrate the birth of Christ." To that, we would say, "tell that to the angels engaging the shepherds because heaven celebrated the birth of God's Son!" Luke 2:2-14
"And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
Note: the words Good News are translated from Greek
Original word: εὐαγγελίζω
Definition (short): preach
Definition (full): to announce good news
Yep, evangelize during Christmas. There are hurting hearts at this time of the year, and many blindly celebrate a holiday not connected to Christ's birth. Let us help people relate it to Christ, our Savior.
If not Christmas, what should we celebrate instead? Some would say that we should celebrate Hanukkah to return to our Jewish roots. Hanukkah was not part of the Gospel, and the birth of Christ IS part of the Gospel.
We encourage everyone everywhere to ask God whether one should participate in the celebration of the birth of Christ. We say YES! We can confidently push back on anti-Christmas and anti-birth of Christ people with correct historical and biblical facts.
During this time of the year, people are open to the Gospel for nearly one month. Do we let this opportunity slide through our fingers? In Matthew 28, our commission is to go and make disciples. To make a disciple, we must present the Gospel first. Will we waste our time arguing over the birth of Christ, whether it is pagan or not? To this, we say that people who are saying Christmas or the celebration of the birth of Christ is pagan are avoiding the Gospel! Why? Who in the spiritual realm attacks the Gospel and wants it destroyed? Satan. Think about this tidbit. Imagine a worldwide focus on Christmas, even in Buddhist countries? Why not present the Gospel at this time of the year? As Paul said, his focus was on getting people reconciled to God. (2Cor 5:18-21)
God promised by the first prophecy in Genesis 3:15 that a Savior would come:
"15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."
The Accuser is bound and determined to use people, even with good intentions, to stop the message of the Gospel of Salvation. We use the word accusation intentionally because people who celebrate traditional Christmas are called pagans. A severe charge but fortunately untrue.
God is a God of prophecy. He wants us to know what is coming. He answered His word and has "healing in His wings" to "reconcile us to God." There are no other holy books that contain prophetic words fulfilled!
We think every Christmas season is a literal miracle that this holiday (holy day) is focused worldwide on Jesus Christ, our Savior. Even the Wikipedia article acknowledges this undeniable fact.
Let us turn aside from the poor handling of scripture and agenda-driven history "facts" and focus on the birth of Christ and sharing the Good news of His coming to rescue us from our sin, thus giving us eternal life without works and fear; in the blood of Christ!
What can you and your family do to share the love of Christ with a hurting world this Christmas season? Here is one video that touches our hearts when we watch it.
Feel free to share the resources.
Melton, James. "The Plain Truth about the Roman Catholic Church." biblebelievers.com. Bible Baptist Publications, 1998. https://biblebelievers.com/jmelton/Catholic.html.
Wikipedia Contributors. "Christmas." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, October 31, 2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas.
———. "Christmas." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, October 31, 2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
William Federer: There Really is a Santa Claus - History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions
by Amazon.com Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0965355748/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_QVM4MJF835RK35KMWAHR
Christmas has nothing to do with paganism: Red pen logic
Was December 25th the date of Christ's birth? The Greek Orthodox church thinks so.
Mike Winger on Christmas:
For the extensive history of Christmas with the discussion of the dates for the birth of Christ
God Became Incarnate James Quiggle by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/149918669X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_AR6NEZ6XB0TPZ5N1VB90
#hebrewroots #messianicjudaism #dochristiansneedtokeepthelaw #bible #biblestudy #Jesus #yeshua #torah #torahkeeping #messiah #hrm
Dr . Baruch of Loveisrael.org and Ric Joyner of Biblestudycompany.com discuss the topic of law-keeping. Dr. Baruch brings a unique perspective to our discussion, which is the Jewish Context. A biblical study principle is to know who the text is writing to, and an attempt is made to determine how the audience would understand what was said. Dr. Baruch lives in Israel and has a Ph.D. in Jewish studies. He also has Orthodox Rabbinic training.
Some gems Baruch lays out.
1. Judaism is not Torah Observant today. Those who claim to be Torah keeping need to be aware that over 250 "laws" or instructions are related to the Temple being in place. Thus, no one is a true Torah Keeper.
2. There are many versions of Judaism in the US.
3. The "Law" is a unit. If we cannot keep the "law" with no temple in place, the whole law is "broken." We can learn much about spiritual truth from the TORAH, and that should be our focus when studying the Torah.
4. We all must base our doctrine on the Word of God and our study with the Holy Spirit. We should not follow men.
5. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone as Abraham was.
6. In Ephesians 2, the penalty and the debt we owed to God from the Law was paid by our Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
7. How does Christ fulfill the law? Watch the video or listen.
8. We must be careful not to disparage a group or church in our process or compare ourselves over other Christians. Keep our eyes focused on Christ.
9. Sabbath is a day of rest. We worship God EVERY DAY, ALL DAY.
10. The whole Bible is available to us, and we need to learn how to handle the Word of God rightly.
Join us for this interesting podcast on Should Christians Keep the Law?See full post & comments