What Are We to Do with Christmas?

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Christmas – what are we going to do with it? Some say, “We need to put Christ back into Christmas.” Others say, “Christ was never meant to be in Christmas.” Some celebrate it as a religious holiday. Other celebrate it as a secular holiday. Other do not celebrate it at all. What does God say about it?

God has not authorized the church to celebrate Christmas as an official religious holiday. In fact, Paul condemned those who were binding religious holidays (Gal. 4:9-11).

What about individuals honoring Christmas? Paul said in Rom. 14:5-6, “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord.” Paul is not speaking about honoring the Lord on Sunday, because God has already set aside that day for us to honor Him (1 Cor. 16:1- 2; Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25). This passage teaches that if someone wants to honor God in some way on a day other than Sunday he or she may do so. He has the liberty to do so, but he cannot bind that day on anyone else. Parallel to that special day, if one wants to honor God by remembering Christ’s birth or some other aspect of God on December 25th, he has that liberty, but he cannot bind that on anyone else.

So, what is the application from all of this? If you want to honor Christmas as a way to honor God, you have that right, but you can’t bind that on anyone else (Rom. 12:5-6). The church cannot publicly have Christmas as a special religious holiday because God has not authorized it to be done. 

But, there is a practical side of Christmas. Let’s promote the spirit that comes from Christmas. It is a time of families getting together. It is a time of giving gifts. It is a time of joy. All of those benefits are needed year-round. Let’s also take the opportunity to correct some false teaching that is done about Christ and Christmas. People are more open to learning about Jesus now than probably any other time of the year. Let’s teach and correct them in a spirit of love (Eph. 4:15), not in a spirit of condemnation with a “holier than thou” attitude. 

I hope that you and your family will have a wonderful Christmas time, however you decide to use it!

Wayne Burger (adapted and condensed)
via Broadway church of Christ
Campbellsville, KY

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