Christmas! I used to joke that when I grew up and owned a home that I’d put up so many lights planes would be landing in my yard. I loved everything about the season. Christmas trees? I’ll take two. Or three! Beautiful music from the record player filled my home and the glow of the tree at night was something I cherished.
Years ago I heard some things about the origins of the day. For nearly two decades of my life I never once thought about where the traditions came from and what they had to do with the birth of our Messiah. Time passed and I decided to do what I did not want to do – line up Christmas, complete w/ Santa and all against the bible that I said I followed. And the result is what I suspected it would be for nearly a decade. During those years I knew in the back of my mind it wasn’t right, but pushed that to the back-burner of my mind. I told myself, “That’s not what it means to me!” But I can see now that was actually the wrong response because if I would have gotten the ‘me’ out of the way, I would have asked the right question, “What does God think of this?” And that is the key, what it means to Him.
So when I see and hear of people wanting to ‘Put Christ back in Christmas’ I cringe. Sure, it’s a popular thing to say and a great example of something that sounds and looks good, but few stop to think about fully. The problem is He was never in it to begin with! Nothing about the modern celebration has any biblical support. It’s literally littered with pagan customs. The kinds that God tells us to have NOTHING to do with. (How many people are arguing to put the ‘Mass’ back into Christmas? Something to think about!)
Then everything clicked for me. I went from the “That’s not what it means to me” to lining up my actions with His Word when I learned of the sin of Jeroboam. If you aren’t familiar with this I would urge you to read 1 Kings 12. In short Jeroboam took 10 tribes and formed the House of Israel, separating from Judah. He set up TWO altars outside of Jerusalem (a big no-no!) and erected TWO Golden Calves for worship in those places (as if what happened at Mt. Sinai w/ the one golden calf wasn’t sufficient warning). Then he appointed priests which were not from the tribe of Levi. He also set up his own holiday, to replace the Feast of Tabernacles. And he did all of this in the name of worship to God. And he did this explicitly for his own power in order that the 10 tribes he ruled over would NOT go back to Jerusalem to worship the way God said to.
Jeroboam created his own system of worship, complete with it’s own special days (thus tossing out God’s Appointed Times), incorporated the pagan ways of worship (which God says never to do), and did it all in the name of God. He and the people could say ‘that’s not what it means to me! We are worshiping God!’ all they wanted, but God didn’t see it that way. In the end this sin was fully carried out and generations later the ENTIRE House of Israel was cut off and DIVORCED and scattered amongst the nations to this very day.
So, instead of being something seemingly innocent, these grand celebratory days are all but that. No longer will my family be walking in the ways of Jeroboam and I, out of love, encourage you, to take a long, hard look at these things for yourself and use Scripture as your foundation. Will you let the ways of man, cloaked in the worship of God, keep you from worshiping The King the way He says to?
For more information on Christmas, please see our Media’ Page and consider the video’s entitled ‘Truth or Tradition’ and ‘Sunburned’ Parts 1 & 2.