This is that time of year when many people are purposing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God the Son, who came into the world to save sinners. And, many of them are following human traditions which were passed down to them from their ancestors, in these celebrations.
They are doing what they were taught to do, what they were raised to do, and what is now ingrained in them as the appropriate way in which to give honor, praise and glory to Jesus Christ for coming to the earth to save us from our sins.
But, are these celebrations truly honoring God? Are they even required by God? Are they biblical? Is there any precedent in scripture for such a celebration as this? Is this even what he wants or what he desires? Is he even pleased with these celebrations at all? And, is that even being considered?
And, how many people do you think truly care about whether or not their celebrations are honoring to God, or whether or not he is truly pleased with them, or if he has a different way in which he wants us to honor him and to celebrate him and to give him our worship and praise? Do we care?
Or, do human traditions trump God and his Word? Is more honor being given to the traditions of men, in other words, then is being given to God?
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26 ESV
So, Jesus said that if we want to come after him, to follow him, we must first of all deny self. So, are we willing to examine our traditions in that light? Are we willing to lay it all down to follow Jesus Christ? To give up our traditions? Are we even willing to examine this subject in prayer and in the study of God’s Word, in looking honestly at how we celebrate his birth, asking the Lord if this is what he wants? If this is even pleasing to him?
Then, he says we are to take up our cross daily and follow him. So, this means daily we die not just to sin but to our self-life. We die to what we want so that we can do what he wants. Are we willing to die to our traditions if the Lord says they are an abomination to him and that he is not pleased with them at all? And, if he shows us a greater way, a more biblical way in which to give him our honor and praise? And, then will we obey him, even if it means letting go of those things we once held sacred that are not of him?
I truly believe the majority of people who celebrate Christmas are not doing so because the Lord directed them to do so, but because tradition dictates that we should do so. They are doing what they have always done the way in which they and their ancestors always did it, probably with most of them not even inquiring of God to see whether or not he is pleased, and whether or not this is what he wants.
Yet, if we are truly denying self and taking up our cross daily and following (obeying) Jesus Christ, then it can’t be about us. It can’t be about holding on to our traditions and finding a way to justify them so that we can continue in them. We have to lay it all out before the Lord. And, we have to be willing to honestly and fairly examine everything we do to see if it is biblical, and if it is honoring to God, and to truly listen to his side of the story, too.
It has to be totally about him and how he wants to be honored, not about what our traditions dictate or what we want. Will you ask him what he wants? And, will you listen to what he says?
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 ESV
God wants it all, us all on his altar of sacrifice, totally surrendered to him, in submission to his will for our lives, following him in obedience to his commands. He wants us living separate from the world, no longer conformed to the ways of this world, which includes us being not conformed to human traditions which are contrary to him, especially if they are dishonoring of him while claiming they are honoring him.
He wants us living lives which are separate unto him, living lives which are pleasing to him in all ways, no longer living for sin and self but now living for him and for his righteousness, all in his power and strength within us. And, this covers every aspect of our lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are to be given wholly over to him for his service to do his will his way.
This is how he wants us to worship him. This is what will give him honor and glory when our lives are surrendered to him and when we are following him according to His Word and his leading and his direction for our lives. And, this should, thus, carry over into every aspect of our lives, including our holidays and our celebrations and our remembrances of him, too.
Will you lay it all down on his altar, bring it before him, in all honesty and fairness with a willingness to hear him out and to give up your holidays and traditions if he shows you that they are actually dishonoring to him?
Three days ago the Lord Jesus gave me this writing, “Is Our Worship Honoring God?” I felt as he had me writing it that it was to go along with this topic of celebrating, not just Christmas, but any holiday. For, it examines the subject of whether or not what we call worship, or whether or not what we consider honoring of God, is truly honoring him and worshiping him. It emphasizes that it is God who decides how he is to be worshiped, not us.
Seven years ago my husband and I made the decision to stop celebrating Christmas after we had celebrated Christmas our whole lives up to that point (which was 61 years of my life). And, this was after we had done a thorough examination of the celebration in light of God’s Word. And, the Lord led us to the conclusion that we could no longer celebrate the holiday. And, that decision did not come without cost, for our family members were not all in agreement with our decision, and some even took offense at our decision.
At that time the Lord gave me a writing on that subject titled “Pagan Revelry,” which was not about examining the pagan roots of the holiday but the pagan way in which it is often celebrated in the present time. And, I believe if we are going to give this subject an honest and prayerful evaluation, it would behoove us to examine this evidence, too.
The Santa Connection
I believe that God is not honored by us celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on a day which is given over to Santa Claus, whether or not we actually celebrate Santa or not. He is not going to share the limelight with a false god who gets all the glory and limelight while Jesus is pictured as a helpless baby in a manger.
All throughout scripture he chided his people for mixing celebrations of him with celebrations of idols. And, even in the New Testament we are told that we can’t share in the cup of demons and the cup of the Lord at the same time, which is exactly what Christmas is about (1 Co. 10:21).
The goal of Santa’s creators is to steal the hearts of people away from the One and Only True God to follow after them and their false god, instead.
Satan was an angel in heaven who wanted to be God, so he rebelled against God, along with about a third of the angels, so God cast them down to the earth. One of the prophecies in scripture regarding this fall is found in Isaiah 14:12-14, and many parallels can be formed here between the character of Santa and the character of Satan. Notice how their names are spelled nearly the same, too.
And, what attributes is this false god given? He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, meaning he is present in all places at all times, he is all-knowing, all-seeing, and he is all-powerful. And, what this means is that he has been given the attributes of Almighty God, because he, Santa/Satan, wants to be God.
So, who has the hearts of children on Christmas? Jesus Christ? Or, Santa? And, who wanted to be God? And, who masquerades himself as an angel of light? Satan/Santa. So, Santa Claus = Satan’s Claws. His creators have, thus, hoodwinked many, many people. And, it worked, too. So, don’t fall into his trap.
Ask the Lord how he wants to be celebrated and truly honor him as Lord. Seek his face, study his word, and worship him in spirit and in truth.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
*copyright status is public domain