It is said that Christmas, celebrated throughout the world on December 25, is not the birthday of Jesus. Is that true?
It is a widely accepted opinion that December 25 has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. This is a fact that has already been known publicly through church history and mass media. Then, how come the day, which has nothing to do with Jesus, has been changed to the birthday of Jesus? Now, let’s trace its origin.
Origin of Christmas
December 25 was originally the Roman winter solstice to celebrate the birth of the sun. At that time, sun worshipers—followers of Mithraism which was widespread in Rome—believed that the sun was born on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Since the solstice marks the turning point when the days begin to grow longer, they thought that the sun gets stronger after its rebirth at the winter solstice.
They considered December 25 as the winter solstice, during which a big festival was held throughout Rome. Of course, this day was meaningless to the early Christians. However, the situation changed as their determination to defend the truth became weak with the passing of time. The Church in Rome became more secularized after Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire; they even explored ways to take part in the festival of the sun god, for the purpose of expanding the influence of the church. So, they started to accept Mithraism, and in 354 A.D. they designated December 25 as the birthday of Jesus and started to celebrate it.
Christmas customs and their pagan origins
Carols resound in the streets, people exchange gifts and decorate Christmas trees with all kinds of colorful ornaments and lights—all these customs related to Christmas have their origins deeply rooted in paganism.
The custom of giving gifts at Christmas came from the festival for the Roman god of agriculture: In ancient Rome, there was the festival of Sigillaria at the end of December when people gave children gifts like dolls. This custom naturally became prevalent in the church after Christmas became a Christian festival.
It is the same with Christmas trees decorated with all kinds of ornaments. In ancient Babylonia, Egypt and Rome, there was a custom of worshiping green trees: Whenever a new year came, people decorated evergreen trees and put them around their homes, and performed a ceremony to drive out evil spirits; they also adorned the trees with red fruits symbolizing the sun.
Thus, all these Christmas customs originated in paganism; they came into the church even before December 25 was set as the birthday of Jesus, and became prevalent throughout the world as Christmas was firmly established as a Christian festival.
Pagan customs are detestable to God
The Bible already prophesied that people would worship the sun god in the church by celebrating pagan festivals like Christmas.
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.Eze 8:15-16
As God prophesied, the practice of worshiping the sun god is craftily carried out in the holy temple of God. Then, what will happen to those who follow the pagan customs?
“You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. And you will know that I am the LORD, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.”Eze 11:10-12
God regards those who observe the customs of pagans, not the rules of God, as detestable, and warns that He will judge them. God’s people must clearly distinguish between the things that please God and the things God hates.
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas, it is idolatry to keep Christmas, which God hates. We should respect the laws of God and observe them more preciously, so that we can please God as the true people of God.