Updated: Sep 2
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I know this is a family favorite holiday and will be most difficult to drop for most people, I know I for one greatly enjoyed Christmas growing up. But knowing what I know now, I can longer participate in a pagan holiday, even if the Catholic Church “Christianized” the holiday. I know many will say, “But that’s not what Christmas means to me, it's about Jesus’ birth.” Well, I hope after reading this post and the post, “The Mo’edim” you will see the error of such thinking.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, book, chapter, and verse for where it states we should honor that holiday? Can’t find it? Okay, case closed. This should be sufficient reason not to participate in the pagan holiday, but I know more evidence is necessary to convince the masses.
The Origins of Christmas
“December 25 is referred to in documents as Christmas Day in A.D. 324 for the first time. Under the Roman emperor Justinian [A.D. 527-565] it was recognized as an official holiday. An old Roman festival played a major part in the choice of this particular day. December 25 in ancient Rome was the 'Dies Natali Invictus,' 'the birthday of the unconquered,' the day of the winter solstice and at the same time, in Rome, the last day of the Saturnalia, which had long since degenerated into a week of unbridled carnival...” (The Bible as History, p. 331, by Werner Keller)
The Romans celebrated the birthday of the “unconquered” one on December 25, and no it was not Yeshua the Messiah but the Sun god.
“In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then, centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the solar orb...Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday of the god was to be on December 25, and this, transformed into Christmas day, was one of the heritages that Christianity owed to his cult.” (History of Rome, p. 391- 392, by Michael Grant)
If you read my post titled, “The Sabbath”, then you will remember that Emperor Constantine was a “Christian” that still worshiped the Sun god. This is why he wanted the day of rest moved to Sunday, he, along with the Catholic church “moved” Sabbath to Sunday. It seems something similar happened here, perhaps wanting to honor both YHWH and the Sun god, Constantine through the Catholic Church “Christianized” Saturnalia. This idea is supported with the following,
“In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire, which at the time had not adopted Christianity, celebrated the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) on December 25th. This holiday not only marked the return of longer days after the winter solstice but also followed the popular Roman festival called the Saturnalia (during which people feasted and exchanged gifts). It was also the birthday of the Indo-European deity Mithra, a god of light and loyalty whose cult was at the time growing popular among Roman soldiers. The church in Rome began formally celebrating Christmas on December 25 in 336, during the reign of the emperor Constantine. As Constantine had made Christianity the effective religion of the empire, some have speculated that choosing this date had the political motive of weakening the established pagan celebrations. The date was not widely accepted in the Eastern Empire, where January 6 had been favored, for another half-century, and Christmas did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century.” (Why Is Christmas in December, by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica)
This lines up perfectly with the first quote, that Christmas didn’t show until around 324, during the reign of Constantine, but wasn’t made an official holiday of the Empire till centuries later. Regarding Constantine’s act of making Christianity the official Roman religion, one historian had this to say.
“The services of worship increased in splendor, but were less spiritual and hearty than those of former times. The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and worship.” (The Story of the Christian Church, p. 79, by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut)
The Church Adopting Pagan Customs
This wasn’t the only pagan holiday accepted by the Church, and it made it a custom to adopt pagan celebrations and then in turn “Christianize” them.
“Pope Gregory the Great, who, in a letter written in 601 C.E. to a Christian missionary in Britain, recommended that local pagan temples not be destroyed but be converted into churches, and that pagan festivals be celebrated as feasts of Christian martyrs.” (How December 25 Became Christmas, by Andrew McGowan)
“Pope Gregory the Great proposed for English converts of the seventh century a policy of toleration, suggesting that some of the existing customs of the pagan English could be accommodated in a new Christian society.” (Bede, Gregory, and Strategies of Conversion in Anglo-Saxon England and the Spanish New World, by Lesley Abrams)
What Bible says about Pagan Customs
I do not believe the Church has the power to “Christianize” pagan holidays, but what does the Bible say about such matters?
“Guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’ “Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones.” (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)
“I have hated, I have despised your festivals, and I am not pleased with your assemblies. “Though you offer Me ascending offerings and your grain offerings, I do not accept them, nor do I look on your fattened peace offerings. “Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I do not hear the sound of your stringed instruments.” (Amos 5:21-23)
“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘I am יהוה your Elohim. ‘Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt), where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kena‛an (Canaan), where I am bringing you, and do not walk in their laws. ‘Do My right-rulings and guard My laws, to walk in them. I am יהוה your Elohim.” (Leviticus 18:2-4)
Seems pretty clear that we are not to worship YHWH in the same manner as the pagans. He gave us holidays to honor called the Mo’edim, check out “The Mo’edim” for what they are and how we are to celebrate them.
I Choose to Follow Messiah
I know it will be hard for many to break away from this pagan holiday, for it has successfully entangled itself in Christianity and for those of us in America, our country. I’m thankful after seeing the truth, it was easy for my wife and me, to forget the ways of the pagan and follow our Messiah in observing the Mo’edim. Rob Skiba put together a great video on exposing Christmas, I left the link down below, I highly recommend watching it. Also down below is a pin with an interesting Bible verse.
As always don’t believe a word I say and test all things, may the Rauch Hakodesh guide you into all truths.
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