As soon as December comes, Christmas trees are everywhere and shops display Christmas presents. People look very excited.
Brother Question, you know that Christmas is not the birthday of Jesus, don’t you?
Yes. That was even on TV. But people don’t regard Christmas as a religious day. It’s more like a holiday when everybody enjoys together.
That’s right. However, December 25 is the sun-god’s birthday. Commemorating such a day is clearly an act of worshiping a pagan god.
I was surprised when I first heard that. What happened? How did people come to celebrate the birthday of Jesus on the birthday of the sun-god?
As Christianity spread beyond Judea to other countries, a church was established in Rome. At first, it was persecuted a lot, but gradually it was recognized by the empire. That is when many problems occurred. Christians in Rome did not follow the teachings of the Bible exclusively. They mixed them with the pagan ideas and symbols. One of them was Christmas. December 25 is the day when the daytime is the shortest in a year, so Romans believed it was the day when the sun-god whom they revered most was born and became stronger. They held festivals on a large scale across Rome around December 25. Christians came to participate in these events and later the day was altered to the birthday of Jesus.
Then, the doctrines of worshiping the sun-god in Rome were introduced to Christianity, right?
Yes. Some people insist that they celebrate the birthday of Jesus on Christmas because they cannot know the exact date of Jesus’ birth. However, if we follow that sense, it should also be fine even if we celebrate Jesus’ birthday on any other day like on Buddha’s birthday or Ganesha’s birthday. Their insistence is just a lame excuse.
Is there anything that influenced Christmas?
All the ways to celebrate Christmas are from Roman customs. In December, there were three festivals named Saturnalia, Sigillaria, and Brumalia. During Saturnalia, which was from December 17 to 24, all people indulged in pleasure, regardless of wealth or social position. During Sigillaria, they gave their children dolls to play with. On December 25, the winter solstice, they kept Brumalia, to celebrate the rising of the sun.
As a believer, I can’t quite understand how the day to celebrate Jesus’ birth originated from pagan customs.
They still say it’s okay as far as they worship God. But the Bible said God regards such acts as detestable.
“Again, he said, ‘You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.’ Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there, mourning for Tammuz. He said to me, ‘Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.’ He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.”
Worshiping the sun-god in the house of God is happening in the churches nowadays. If they do so because they don’t know, we can let them know. But if they keep Christmas even though they know what kind of day it is, then they can never receive God’s blessings.
I could have done such a detestable thing in the eyes of God. From now on, I’ll study the Bible diligently so that I would never do things God detests.
Sure. Let’s keep holy only the regulations designated by God, so that all of us can be blessed.