George Booker
A New Creation

38. Christmas and Other Holidays

This is an area in which various Christadelphians hold a wide spectrum of opinions. We confine ourselves, therefore, to the simplest facts — and, as much as possible here as elsewhere, refrain from judging others in what their consciences allow.

As men and women baptized into Christ, we have been called out of this pagan, apostate world, and sanctified by the Word of God. In consequence we are “a peculiar people”, a holy nation, no longer walking in the careless ways of men, but in the narrow yet joyous way of God. The faithful men of old who worshiped God acceptably were most careful to shun the false religions and false religious practices around them.

“This do in remembrance of me”, said Jesus, as he passed the bread and the wine to our brethren with him in that upper room. He commanded them to remember his death and resurrection. No instruction has been given us to remember his birth in any special way, or at any particular time of the year. In history, there is no record of Christ’s birth being kept as a feast before the third century, nor was the feast at all popular until the fourth century. Christmas (which, of course, is literally “Christ-Mass” — betraying its Catholic origins) was introduced into the “Christian Church” at the same time as all the other gross pagan beliefs and practices now held by the Roman Church and others. The “christianizing” of these pagan rites was in the spirit of the famous advice given by Pope Gregory I to his followers, that by all means they should meet the “pagans” halfway and so bring them into the Church.

That Christmas is to some degree a pagan festival is, then, without doubt. Many of its customs are directly traceable to the ancient idolatries of various European peoples. The real question is: Given these associations, to what extent do we, as disciples of Christ, feel justified in observing its less pagan elements?

Much of what might be stated in regard to the commemoration of Christmas applies with equal force to “Easter” and other official “church” holidays: Most of them have little or no Bible connections, but are primarily fabrications of myth and superstition with the thinnest veneer of Scriptural justification.

Under this heading might be mentioned the display of the “cross”, supposedly a Christian symbol — but in actual fact appropriated from pagan religious sources and made to do service in the “Church”: another example of the Catholic Apostasy’s use of idolatrous symbols. The true believer understands the teaching of the cross of Christ, but he does not revere it, flaunt it, or worship it — as those in the false churches so often do.

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