My disclaimer here
**Ok, this one is really long, if interested, just print it out, save it for later.
Alot of these writings are not what one would call for the meek. They can be harsh and extreme, while I do NOT agree with everything 100% of the time, this was something I looked into and generally think are ok and in line with the reformed view of worship.
Remember the title of my blog Musings of and by me!
The regulative principle of worship has clear implications for those who want to promote the celebration of Christmas. The Regulative Principle forces those who celebrate Christmas to prove from Scripture that God has authorized the celebrating of such a day. This, in fact, is impossible. Additionally, celebrating Christmas violates other scriptural principles.
Christmas is a Monument to Past and Present Idolatry
The day on which Christmas is celebrated (December 25) and nearly all the customs associated with Christmas had their origins in pagan idol worship. “Many of the earth’s inhabitants were sun worshipers because the course of their lives depended on its yearly round in the heavens, and feasts were held to aid its return from distant wanderings. In the south of Europe, in Egypt and Persia, the sun gods were worshipped with elaborate ceremonies at the season of the winter solstice, as a fitting time to pay tribute to the benign god of plenty, while in Rome the Saturnalia reigned for a week. In northern lands mid-December was a critical time, for the days became shorter and shorter and the sun was weak and far away. Thus these ancient peoples held feast at the same period that Christmas is now observed.”16
During the winter solstice period the Babylonians worshipped Tammuz;17 the Greeks and Romans worshipped Jupiter, Mithra, Saturn, Hercules, Bacchus, and Adonis; the Egyptians worshipped Osiris and Horus; the Scandinavians worshipped Odin (or Woden). “Among the German and Celtic tribes the winter solstice was considered an important point of the year, and they held their chief festival of Yul to commemorate the return of the burning wheel. The holly, the mistletoe, the Yul log, and the wassail bowl are relics of pre-Christian times.”18
Christmas was not celebrated by the apostolic church. It was not celebrated during the first few centuries of the church. As late as A.D. 245, Origen (Hom. 8 on Leviticus) repudiated the idea of keeping the birthday of Christ, “as if he were a king Pharaoh.”19 By the middle of the 4th century, many churches in the Latin west were celebrating Christmas. During the 5th century, Christmas became an official Roman Catholic holy day. In A.D. 534, Christmas was recognized as an official holy day by the Roman state.
The reason that Christmas became a church holy day has nothing to do with the Bible. The Bible does not give the date of Christ’s birth. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate Christmas. Christmas (as well as many other pagan practices) was adopted by the Roman church as a missionary strategy.
The syncretism with paganism as a missionary strategy is clearly revealed in Pope Gregory I’s instructions to missionaries, given in A.D. 601: “Because they [the pagans] were wont to sacrifice oxen to devils, some celebration should be given in exchange for this. . . they should celebrate a religious feast and worship God by their feasting, so that still keeping outward pleasures, they may more readily receive spiritual joys.”20
This syncretism with paganism explains why Christmas customs are pagan to the core. The Christmas tree came into use because sacred trees were an important aspect of pagan worship during the winter solstice season. In Babylon, the evergreen tree represented Nimrod coming to life again in Tammuz who was supposedly born of a virgin, Semiramus. In Rome, they decorated fir trees with red berries to celebrate Saturnalia.21
The Scandinavians brought a sacred fir tree into their homes in honor of their god Odin. “When the pagans of Northern Europe became Christians, they made their sacred evergreen trees part of the Christian festival, and decorated the trees with gilded nuts, candles (a carry-over from sun worship), and apples to stand for the stars, moon, and sun.”22
The lighting of special fires and candles on December 24 and 25 originated in sun worship. The use of the Yule log probably originated with Druid sun worship. The log would not be allowed to burn up and would be used to start next year’s fire (possibly a symbol of the sun’s rebirth). “The Romans ornamented their temples and homes with green boughs and flowers for the Saturnalia, their season of merry making and the giving of presents; the Druids gathered mistletoe with great ceremony and hung it in their homes; the Saxons used holly, ivy and bay.”23
The fact that Christmas is full of pagan practices is universally recognized. “Yet many Christians contend that such practices no longer bear pagan connotations, and believe that the observance of Christmas provides an opportunity for worship and witness bearing.”24
Many Christians argue that they do not worship the Christmas tree, and that the pagan origins are so far in the past as to be harmless. But such a view, while common in our day, shows a total disregard of the biblical teaching regarding idols, the paraphernalia associated with idolatry, and the monuments to idolatry.
God has such a strong hatred of idolatry that Israel was not just commanded to avoid the worship of idols. Israel was also specifically ordered to destroy everything associated with idolatry.
“Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: and ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God. . . . [A]nd that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God” (Deut. 12:2-4, 30-31).
When Jacob set out to purify the camp (i.e., his household and attendants) the earrings were removed as well as their foreign gods (Gen. 35:4), because their earrings were associated with their false gods. They were signs of superstition. When Elijah went to offer his sacrifice, in his contest with the prophets of Baal, he did not use the pagan altar. He did not take something made for idols (e.g., Saturnalia) and attempt to sanctify it for holy use (e.g., Christmas), but instead he rebuilt the Lord’s altar. Christians should not take the pagan festival of Yule or Saturnalia and dress it with Christian clothing, but rather sanctify the Lord’s day, as did the apostles.
When Jehu went up against the worshipers of Baal and their temple, did he save the temple and set it apart for holy use? No! He slaughtered the worshipers of Baal: “they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day” (2 Ki. 10:27).
“Moreover, we have the example of good Josiah (2 Ki. 23), for he did not only destroy the houses, and the high places of Baal, but his vessels also, and his grove, and his altars; yea, the horses and chariots which had been given to the sun. The example also of penitent Manasseh, who not only overthrew the strange gods, but their altars too (2 Chron. 23:15). And of Moses, the man of God, who was not content to execute vengeance on the idolatrous Israelites, except he should also utterly destroy the monument of their idolatry.”25
God does not want His church to take pagan days, and those pagan and popish rites and paraphernalia that go with them and adapt them to Christian use. He simply commands us to abolish them altogether from the face of the earth forever. You may not be offended by the Yule log, the Christmas tree, the mistletoe, the holly berries and the selection of a pagan day to celebrate Christ’s birth, but God is offended. God commands us to get rid of the monuments and paraphernalia of paganism.
If your wife was promiscuous before you married her would you be offended if she had pictures of her old boyfriends on her dresser? Would it bother you if she celebrated the various anniversaries relating to her past relationships? Would you be offended if she kept and cherished the various rings, jewelry and mementos given to her by her old boyfriends? Of course you would be offended! The Lord God is infinitely more zealous of His honor than you are; He is a jealous God. Could Israel take festival days to Baal, Ashteroth, Dagon and Molech and alter them to make them pleasing to God? Of course not! The Bible makes very clear which kings of Judah pleased God the most.
God is pleased when idols, their temples, their religious dress, earrings, sacred houses, sacred trees, poles, ornaments, rites, names and days are utterly cut off from the earth, never again to be restored. God wants His bride to eliminate forever the monuments, the days, the paraphernalia and the mementos of idolatry. “Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:2-3). “Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods” (Deut. 12:31).
Christians must not only put away the monuments of past idolatry but also everything associated with present idolatry. Christmas is the most important holy day in Roman Catholicism. The name Christmas comes from Romanism: Christ-mass, or the Mass of Christ. The name Christmas unites the name or title of our glorious God and Savior with the idolatrous, blasphemous Mass of Popedom. Christ-mass is a mixture of Pagan idolatry and Popish invention.
The Roman Catholic Church hates the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Roman church uses human inventions, such as Christmas, to keep millions of people in darkness. The fact that millions of Bible-believing Protestants are observing a Roman Catholic holy day which has not been commanded anywhere in God’s Word reveals the sad state of modern Evangelicalism. “We cannot conform, communicate, and symbolize with the idolatrous Papists, in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation.”26
Our attitude should be that of the Protestant Reformer Bucer who said, “I would to God that every holy day whatsoever besides the Lord’s day were abolished. That zeal which brought them first in, was without all warrant of the Word, and merely followed corrupt reason, forsooth to drive out the holy days of the pagans, as one nail drives out another. Those holy days have been so tainted with superstitions that I wonder we tremble not at their very names.”27
The common objection against the argument that pagan monuments must be abolished is that these things occurred so long ago as to be harmless to us. But this is totally untrue. Not only do we have the present idolatry of Romanism, but there is a revival going on at this very moment in Europe and North America of the old pagan European religions. The radical feminist movement is presently reviving the fertility goddesses and gods of the ancient Near East. God’s law-Word says to get rid of the monuments to idolatry. God’s law is not rendered null and void with the passage of time.
Christmas Dishonors Christ’s Day
The day that God has set apart for His church corporately to celebrate the person and work of Christ is that day commonly called the Lord’s day, the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath. The first day of the week is the day that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It is the day of Christ’s victory over sin, Satan and death. Jesus’ humiliation and sacrificial death are complete. Christ rose and is forever the exalted Lord of heaven and earth. “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (2 Cor. 5:16). “The Lord’s day is given in memory of the whole work of redemption.”28 The idea of honoring someone’s life piecemeal (this event, that event) comes not from the Bible but from pagan emperor worship. In fact, the only birthday celebrations recorded in the whole Bible are those of Pharaoh (Gen. 40:20) and King Herod (Matt. 14:6; Mk. 6:21). Both birthday parties ended in murder, Herod’s in the murder of John the Baptist.
God has been very generous to His people, giving them 52 holy days a year. When men add their own days (e.g., Christmas, Easter, etc.) they detract from, denigrate and even set aside the Lord’s day. People love and give more attention to Christmas than they do the Lord’s day. Many Christians spend nearly the whole month of December preparing for Christmas: decorating their homes, offices and churches, buying gifts, baking pies and cookies, practicing and memorizing Christmas carols, Christmas plays, Christmas carol recitals, etc. Many Americans rarely attend church but would never miss the Christmas service.
The typical American winks at Sabbath breaking, fornication, adultery and drunkenness; but considers Christians who do not celebrate Christmas to be deluded fanatics. “What Jesus desires of us is not the observance of things He did not command, but the things He did command. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’ (Matt. 28:19,20). This is what the Apostles did. They taught the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
It did not include Christmas, Good Friday, or Easter, because they were not part of the things commanded by Christ. So, the one who understands ‘the true meaning of Christmas’ (or Good Friday, or Easter) is precisely the one who realizes that they are human inventions. And in order to honor Christ as the only King and head of the church, such a person will not observe these man-made additions to what our Lord commanded. A person such as this may be out of step with a very popular custom. The important thing is that he will be in step with Christ and the Apostles.”29
The only day that God has authorized as a holy day is the Lord’s day.30 If the church wants to please Jesus Christ and honor Him, then it should do so by keeping His day and by setting an example to the outside world. When Christians make Christmas more special than the Lord’s day, they disobey the teachings of Christ and dishonor His day.
Christmas is a Lie
Christianity is the religion of truth. God cannot lie. All truth and knowledge ultimately come from God. Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of truth” (John 16:13). The Gospel is called “the word of truth” (Eph. 1:13). God commands: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex. 20:16). Paul tells us to be “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), to put away lying and speak the truth to our neighbor in order not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:25, 30). Jesus Christ tells us that “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
Christians are to be light and salt to the world (Matt. 5:13, 16). Christians are to be a witness before the world by speaking the truth and living the truth. Is celebrating Christmas compatible with our responsibility to speak and live the truth before the world? No, because Christmas is a lie.
The date used to celebrate the birth of Christ, December 25, is a lie. According to the Bible, Jesus was not born on December 25. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). It is common knowledge that shepherds in Palestine came in from the fields before winter. The rainy season in Judea began in late October or early November. The shepherds would bring their field flocks into the villages before the beginning of the rainy season. Therefore, Christ was born before the first week of November. “It is quite evident that Christ was not actually born in the middle of the winter season.
But, on the other hand, do the scriptures tell us what season of the year he was born? Yes, the scriptures indicated that he was born in the fall of the year. For example, our Lord’s public ministry lasted for three and a half years (Dan. 9:27, etc.). His ministry came to an end at the time of the Passover (John 18:39), which was in the spring of the year. And so three and a half years before this would mark the beginning of His ministry in the fall of the year. Now when Jesus began his ministry, he was about thirty years of age (Lk. 3:23). This was the recognized age for a priest before he could become an official minister under the Old Testament (Num. 4:3). Therefore, since Christ began his ministry at the age of about 30 since this was in the fall season of the year then thirty years before this would mark his birth as being in the early FALL, not December 25.”31
If Christians are willing to celebrate a lie and fill Christ’s sham birthday with Papist and pagan mythology (e.g., Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, mistletoe, the Yule log, evergreens, etc.), then why should the world believe the church when it really speaks the truth? If you lie about the birth of Christ and gladly indulge in pagan mythology, then when you tell your neighbor about the resurrection of Christ, why should he believe you?
By celebrating Christmas you are putting a stumbling block in front of your unbelieving neighbor. Your neighbor could reason that since you speak and live a lie regarding the birth of Christ, you cannot be trusted when you speak about the resurrection of Christ. I’ve actually had intellectuals say to me, after I spoke to them of Christ’s death and resurrection, that they are myths foisted on simple people by the church just like Santa Claus and the Easter bunny (of course, the Christmas lie has gone on for so long that most people accept it as fact). The church must stop denigrating God’s inspired, infallible Word by setting up human fantasies alongside divine revelation. Christmas is a contradiction of the biblical account of Christ’s birth.
The World Loves Christmas32
“[K]now ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15).
Who leads whom? Is not the church of the Lord Jesus Christ supposed to be an example to the world? Is not Christ’s church to be salt and light to the nations? Is it proper for the church to follow the pagan world-system? Christmas did not originate in the Bible or the apostolic church; it is pagan to its very core. The day, the tree, the exchanging of gifts, the mistletoe, the holly berries all originated in the idolatrous pagan festivities surrounding the winter solstice. The compromised, apostatizing Roman church took what was pagan and attempted to Christianize it. Covenant-breaking, Christ-hating, idol-worshipping, pagan unbelievers love Christmas.
Why? Because Christmas is not biblical. Christmas is not of God. It is a lie, and Satan, their master, is the father of lies. Atheists, homosexuals, feminists, wicked politicians, murderers, child molesters, and idolaters all love Christmas. If Christmas were biblical, and if Christmas were commanded to be observed in the Bible, would the world love it so? Absolutely not! The world would hate Christmas. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14). Does the world love the Lord’s day, the Christian Sabbath? Of course not. The world hates it. Does the world love and obey the resurrected King of kings and Lord of lords? No! The world hates Christ. The world does love a plastic or clay baby in a manger. A plastic baby is not very threatening. Christ is no longer a baby. He is the glorified king who sits at the right hand of the Father. “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Cor. 5:16).
The Bible teaches that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:19). “Thus saith the LORD: Learn not the way of the heathen. . . for the customs of the peoples are vain” (Jer. 10: 2-3). The apostle Paul has in mind a much broader application than just marriage when he says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?
or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?. . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:14-17). When the church has something relating to worship and religion in common with the unbelieving pagan world, the church, in that area, is bound together with unbelievers. The church has no business celebrating a pagan holiday with the pagan world. What hypocrisy! What wickedness!
Don’t Be Fooled
Paul warns that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). That is why pagan festivals throughout the world are fun days. They are days of fine food, parties, parades, family reunions and gift giving. Satan’s goal is not merely to enslave individuals but also to control institutions, cultures and nations. The heathen calendar of “holy days,” where pagan festivals are celebrated each year at certain times, is a Satan-inspired tool to habituate whole cultures in covenant rebellion. Satan wants individuals and nations to be enslaved in pagan ritual and darkness. A culture is habituated to paganism when pagan festivals, rites and ceremonies are second nature and unquestioned in that society.
How have Christians been fooled into celebrating a pagan festival day? The day has been transformed from a day of darkness to a day of light. How is this done? It’s very simple.
The first thing you do is lie. You teach that this day is Christ’s birthday. The fact that this is not really the day Christ was born is inconsequential. Very few people will check the facts. And the ones who do will be regarded as fanatics, Scrooges and out of touch with modernity.
Second, you make it a day when family members are required to be together. What a wonderful thing it is, a day for family dinner and family values.
Third, you make it a day of gift giving and charity, a day of caring and sharing. Who could be against that?
Fourth, you dedicate the day to children all over the world. You make it fun and give them lots of hugs and presents. Therefore, when these children grow up, the day will be filled with fond memories. It is a day of intense sentimentality. Doesn’t it bring a little tear to your eye when you think of your parents and brothers and sisters gathered around the tree?
Fifth, you make sure every city and town is properly decorated. And you get the whole entertainment industry into high gear with articles, specials, movies, plays and recitals.
Sixth, you put community, workplace, church and family pressure on those who do not celebrate the day to conform or else be viewed as perverting the truth or out of touch with reality.
Has this strategy been effective? Yes, very effective. There was a time when Presbyterians and Congregationalists would have been disciplined for celebrating Christmas. For Protestants from the Calvinist wing of the Reformation, celebrating such days was unthinkable for nearly three hundred years. Now, if you are a Presbyterian and do not celebrate Christmas, other Presbyterians think you are a fanatic.
Protestants have been fooled, bamboozled, hoodwinked and duped because they have forgotten God’s Regulative Principle. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:5-6). There would be only one acceptable reason for a Christian to celebrate Christmas, and that would be an instruction from the Word of God to do so. Since there is no implicit or explicit instruction from the Bible to do so, it is forbidden.
Common Reasons Given by Christians for Celebrating Christmas
I. Doesn’t Romans 14:5-6 allow Christians to celebrate Christmas?
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it” (Rom. 14:5-6).
1. Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, was addressing a situation unique to the early church. There were Jewish believers who “regarded the holy days of the ceremonial economy as having abiding sanctity.”33 The “days” spoken of in Romans were days commanded by God in the old economy. Paul is “referring to the ceremonial holy days of the Levitical institution.”34 Virtually all commentators concur with this interpretation.35 Paul allows for diversity in the church over the issue of Jewish holy days because of the unique historical circumstances. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the ceremonial aspects of the law (e.g., animal sacrifices, Jewish holy days, circumcision, etc.) were done away with. Yet prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, the apostles allowed certain practices by Jewish Christians as long as no works-righteousness was attributed to these practices. In Acts 21:26, we even encounter the apostle Paul going to the Temple “to announce the expiration of the days of purification.” Jewish believers who were already accustomed to keeping certain holy days of the Mosaic economy were allowed to continue doing so for a time. But once the Temple was destroyed, the canon of Scripture was completed, and the church had existed for a whole generation, these unique historical circumstances ceased. And even if this passage were still applicable to our present situation, it could not be used to justify Christmas, because these days were not “Christianized” pagan holy days nor arbitrary holy days set up by man. Therefore, if this passage were still applicable to our situation, it could only be used to justify the private celebration of Jewish holy days by weak Jewish believers. It cannot be used as a justification for man-made days or pagan days which God has not commanded.
2. Not only does this passage not allow Christians to celebrate Christmas, it most certainly forbids holding Christmas services of any kind and having Christmas fellowships or parties. Paul allows for diversity in the church over this issue (i.e., Jewish holy days). Both parties are to accept each other for the sake of peace and unity in the church. Both parties believe that they are obeying the Word of God. “Compelled conformity or pressure exerted to the end of securing conformity defeats the aims to which all the exhortations and reproofs are directed.”36 Therefore, it would be wrong for the weak Jewish believers to force the church to have a worship service in honor of a ceremonial holy day, because the strong Gentile believers would feel compelled to attend the public worship of God. Therefore, those who did celebrate Jewish holy days had to do it privately unto the Lord. Those who use this passage to justify celebrating Christmas would likewise be forced by Paul’s injunction to keep the day a private affair. Thus, Christmas services and church Christmas parties would cease, for they violate the freedom of Christians not to celebrate such a day. Of course, Christmas, not being commanded by God and being a monument to idolatry, is forbidden, anyway.37
Pastors and elders who do authorize a Christmas service abuse their office. The pastor and governors of a church receive their authority from God. They are responsible to rule the church according to the Word of God. When pastors and elders authorize a special Christmas service, they do so on their own authority, because there is no warrant from the Word of God to do so. Therefore, in this one point they act no differently than the pope or a bishop. They intrude a human invention into the church. Those in the church who refuse to take part in a pagan-popish festival day, who refuse to worship God according to man’s imagination, who refuse to worship God without divine authorization, are forced by the church leadership to remain at home instead of attending the public worship of God. Thus, in this point, many presbyters act like popes, prelates and tyrants over God’s flock, because they take away the freedom we have in Christ to worship God as one body publicly “in Spirit and in truth” on the Lord’s day.
II. Didn’t the Jews in the days of queen Esther set up a holy day not authorized in the law of Moses? Doesn’t that example allow the church to set up a holy day (e.g., Christmas) not authorized in the Bible?
1. There is almost no resemblance between Christmas and Purim. Purim consists of two days of thanksgiving. The events of Purim are: “joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. . . and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor” (Est. 8:17; 9:22). There was no worship service. There were no levitical priestly activities. There were no ceremonies. The two days of Purim have much more in common with Thanksgiving and it’s dinners than Christmas. Purim is certainly no justification for Christmas services. Purim resembles the special days of thanksgiving which are still allowed, and not the religious and ceremonial holy days of the Levitical system. In fact, the Westminster divines used Purim as a proof text (Est. 9:22) authorizing days of thanksgiving.38
2. Purim was a unique historical event in Israel’s salvation history. The festival was decreed by the civil magistrate: the prime minister, Mordecai, and the queen, Esther. It was agreed to unanimously by the people. The occasion and authorization of Purim are inscripturated in the Word of God and approved by the Holy Spirit. The biblical imperative of no addition and no subtraction applies to man-made law and worship. It most certainly does not forbid the Holy Spirit from completing the canon of Scripture and instituting new regulations.
3. Christmas is intrinsically immoral because it is built upon the monuments of pagan idolatry. There is nothing wrong with a country having a day of thanksgiving for a special act of deliverance by God. But there is something very wrong when a corrupt church attempts to sew Christian cloth onto pagan garments. There is something very wrong when Protestants conspire with the corrupt church of Rome and use godly Mordecai as an excuse.
III. There is no question that Christmas has no place in the public worship of God, but isn’t it okay to celebrate it privately in the home?
The problem with this view is that it presupposes that the Regulative Principle only applies to public worship. There is no biblical evidence to support the idea that the Regulative Principle was only meant for public worship. In fact, the biblical evidence supports the opposite view. Cain was condemned for an innovation in private worship (Gen. 4:2-8). Noah, in family worship, offered clean animals to God (Gen. 8:20-21). God was pleased and accepted Noah’s offering on behalf of himself and his family. Abraham, Jacob and Job offered sacrifices to God in private or family worship, according to God’s Word. God accepted these lawful offerings. The idea that innovations in worship are permitted in family and private worship is unbiblical; it is totally arbitrary because it is not based on divine revelation. If an innovation in public worship displeases God, then how does it please Him in private worship? Would it not be permissible, under such premises, to have little shrines in our homes where we burn incense, wear surplices, miters and such, as long as we keep such things out of public meetings?
There are some differences between public and private worship (e.g., private worship should occur two to three times a day, whereas public worship should occur at least once every Lord’s day.) People in Reformed denominations who brought in unbiblical innovations such as Christmas, women teaching the Bible and theology to men in Bible studies and Sunday school, hymns and Christmas carols, etc., did not seek to justify these new innovations by appealing to Scripture. Instead, they arbitrarily set these activities outside of the Regulative Principle by pronouncing them all as under the sphere of private worship. Pastors and their flocks are so in love with their innovations that they resort to mystification. They act as if their pastor is a pope or bishop and has the authority to turn private worship (where they assume human autonomy is permitted) into public worship (where the Word reigns supreme) by saying “thus begins the public worship of God.” Where in the Bible is public worship relegated to a few hours on the Lord’s day?39 Jesus Christ said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). How is a woman teaching several men on the Sabbath private? How are fifty people singing Christmas carols engaging in private worship? Do not presuppose that God permits innovation and human autonomy in private worship. Try to prove it from the Word of God. You cannot. Do not arbitrarily declare what is obviously public worship as private. The rabbis of old justified all sorts of nonsense with such reasoning.
The Bible says, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). When Presbyterian pastors and elders stopped disciplining church members for celebrating Christmas in the home in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they virtually guaranteed that the pagan-popish leaven of Christmas would spread. In fact, it has. One must search far and wide to find a Presbyterian home or church where this popish invention is not celebrated. 40
IV. We do not celebrate Christmas. For us the day is just a secular family day. What could be wrong with that?
There are 365 days in a year. How is it that every year your secular family day just happens to fall on December 25? Could it be that you are just imitating your pagan neighbors and their heathen culture?
Could it be that you celebrate the day just as everyone else does and just declare it secular as a justification or an excuse? If you are just having a good family day, then why do you fill your living room with the monuments and mementos of present and past idolatry? You say the day is a secular family day, but you have a tree, evergreens, mistletoe, gifts, candles and carols. It is obvious that you celebrate Christmas much as a papist does.
The truth is that if you eliminated all the pagan paraphernalia of Christmas, then you probably would not bother to celebrate it. The pagan day would lose its glitter, charm and emotional allure. As Christians we should be family oriented. We should get together with our relatives and enjoy each other’s company. But we do not need a pagan festival day to do so.