A Wise Celebration: The Christ of Christmas

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/DaydreamsGirl

That Jesus Christ was born in the manner described in scripture is an inescapable conclusion, but is it an event that we should commemorate? The assertion by some that we should refrain from celebrating His birth, especially a Christmas observance, is an opinion with little basis in God’s word. As a matter of fact, rejecting the idea is itself out of line with scripture.

Angels, shepherds, the Magi, and even the Creator himself marked the event with much fanfare. Shepherds were invited by angels to attend the birth celebration. An angelic praise fest and a new star cannot be considered minimal or inconsequential. In short, a celebration with attendees from heaven and earth most certainly did occur at God’s behest.

So, how does the absence of a Biblical command to celebrate the birth of the Savior equate the prohibition of the same?

To discourage or even prohibit a memorial celebration of this magnitude, based upon anything other than a “thus saith the LORD” violates the very guideline that I was taught in my childhood. “Speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent”, was the mantra that I heard early and often. However, this was not the only reason cited. The Christmas observance was not a part of the first century tradition, on which grounds some would reject it. The argument that it should be avoided because we cannot know if it is the actual date, has no precedent in the pages of scripture but emanates from the rationale of man. So likewise does the argument that it may be “denominational” in nature.

To reject a memorial celebration of the birth of Christ as being “unscriptural” is in itself an unscriptural position. There is no “thus saith the Lord” on the issue. The resulting doctrinal position espoused by those who apply this approach is, from a practical perspective, likely to be applied as firmly as a “thus saith the Lord.” This in itself violates the principle of “be silent where the Bible is silent.” To reject upon the grounds of “denominationalism” is also the establishment of a doctrinal position void of specific scriptural support. Scripture either speaks or it does not. 

Students of the stars saw THE star which called their attention to the birth of the King of kings. They made their way to the child born in Bethlehem. The modern approach to Christmas is man-made to be sure, but it is the one season when men are openly reminded of the birth of a Savior. The star may have indicated where the child lay, but it also fired the starter’s pistol which moved pagan men to find Christ. Maybe if we spent more time using the celebration of Christmas as an opportunity to meet at the manger, we might just lead a few to the cross.

Criticize it if you want, but scripture is clear; “he that winneth souls is wise.” To reject a globally recognized opportunity to call all men to Jesus on the basis of arguments so intrinsically unscriptural, is anything BUT wise.

By the way, if you insist on rejecting the celebration of Christ’s birth, stop with the gifts and any observance of the holiday. It presents a bit of a hypocritical problem to indulge in the celebration of the season but completely reject the historical significance.

Thanks Harold!

Harold Camping proclaimed that the world would end on May 21. He missed it, badly. In the aftermath, every criticism that you can imagine has been fired in his direction. Journalists and commentators have had a field day turning him into a caricature. Critics have used his failed prediction to marginalize or in some cases denounce religion in general. However, is it possible that we have missed the silver lining in Camping’s own personal storm?

For the better part of a month, I have met people who were willing to discuss an issue that would otherwise be socially “off limits”. Political correctness has intimidated many Believers into virtual silence. Romans 1:28, describes sinners who do not like to be reminded of even the existence of God, but for a brief few weeks there was a willingness to consider that which had been consistently ignored.

Now that Harold Camping has been stricken with what may well be a life ending stroke, the subject is bound to come up again. For that reason I remind you of the words of Peter, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;” 1Peter 3:15 NKJV (emphasis mine).

Have you had an opportunity to discuss eternal things because of Camping’s predictions?       I’d love to hear about it!