Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why do we do what we do?

Today is Christmas Eve. People all over are celebrating Christmas and all the traditions that go with it.

But why do we do what we do? Rom 14:5,6 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Our family has chosen to not celebrate Christmas. We don't even do a little bit. Okay, it's out in the open now. But why? We have been fully persuaded in our minds that it is not for our family. Our reasons are many. A few are:
  • Jesus commands us to remember his death, not his birth.
  • It wasn't celebrated by the early church. It wasn't celebrated until after 300 AD. The pilgrims didn't even do it.
  • All of the traditions have pagan roots. We are not comfortable with that.
  • Jesus wasn't born in December.
  • We celebrate his birth, life, death and resurrection every day.
  • "Christ-mas"-A mass is a celebration of the dead, and Jesus isn't dead. He sits at the right hand of God.

Now before we are branded as heretics, please hear me out. I believe that everyone is free to have their own convictions in this matter. So if you believe it is fine to celebrate Christmas, that is between you and God and I am not condemning that. If we choose to not celebrate Christmas, that is also fine, it is between us and God and should not be condemned for it. See the verse above. We both then are living "as to the Lord". All I ask is that we are not looked down on because we don't participate in this tradition. We are not less of a Christian because we don't celebrate. We love the Lord with all our hearts and are seeking to follow Him in all our ways.

If you would like some more information on the history of Christmas and its traditions, here are some links.

Not Your Average Christmas : AKA Why We Don't Participate

Christmas Pagan Origins

Grafted in the magic of Christmas

Take Christmas back to its pagan roots

So, let us agree to disagree on this matter of Christmas if necessary.

Instead of the usual greeting of this season, I pray "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Eph 3:16-19

Glory to God!



Lauren Ann said...

we celebrate Christmas. Though I see your point, I understand mine as well. WE only recieve one present so that is not what we think about. WEll, I have to go.

Rachel and Jessica said...

Hi Mrs. Gloria! Thank you for sharing this! I have met other people who did not celebrate Christmas or celebrated it differently than people normally would. I appreciate your explanation of your family's beliefs. I never really understood why they believed the way they did. Now I do!

We celebrate it like everyone else, but we try to incorporate things so it isn't the same as well, like reading the Bible, giving to needy, sharing Christ with others and telling them of a special baby who came to die for them. We like to think of all of Christ's life at Christmas, not just His birth (after all - if there wasn't a Christmas, there wouldn't have been an Easter!).

But I do appreciate your family for stepping out in faith and making a change! That is always a difficult decision to make!

Does your family do anything else this time of year to make it still special or do you not do anything? Just curious! =;)

God Bless!
Miss Rachel

Madison said...

Hello Mrs. Gloria! Julia directed us to this post, so I thought I would come and read it. I love the way you handled this, and did not condemn those who do Christmas, as well as those who don't. I do celebrate Christmas, although I can definitely understand why you wouldn't. I think that your beliefs are definitely right, although, at the same time, I don't believe mine are wrong. I completely understand yours.
Personally, I enjoy Christmas, and look forward to it every year, and I believe it is fine. Also, you pointed out that Christmas has pagan roots. This is true, although, as someone pointed out to me not too long ago, considering how many pagan holidays there were back then, it would have been impossible to pick any day in the year where there wasn't a pagan holiday on it.
I hope I don't sound condemning, but that is what I believe.
Although, I want to commend you for standing up for what you believe, and also for not condemning others.
Thanks for doing this post! It was very interesting to see the thoughts of someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas.


Kierstyn Paulino said...

Mrs. Erickson

I think that was the best handled why we don't celebrate Christmas reasoning I've seen. Generally I start cringing when people go there because it can get so legalistic and generally sides are taken and it gets rather absurd - Christians calling other Christians pagans or heretics based on a holiday they celebrate (or don't) and how they do it. Good job!

Do you guys celebrate Hanakkuh?

Anonymous said...

The true reason Christmas is in December and that the pagens celebrated His birth on this day, is because they celebrated the son on this day and they thougth since Jesus is the Son of God that they would celebrate it on this perticuler day. Some people beleive in different things then other people and this is what I beleive. But your opinions are perfectly fine, and thank you for sharing these with us.
God bless you, and your family!

Gloria said...

Thank you all for your nice comments. It's nice to have you read my blog!

Miss Jocelyn said...

Well, you know where I stand on the matter. :) We are looking into Jewish Holidays, especially the ones mandated by God.... those many don't celebrate, and know it will prove to be very beneficial spiritually and will help us understand God's word better.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Talk about roads less traveled. You hs, submit to your husband, and now you don't celebrate Christmas.

Nice to find a fellow pilgrim on this practically abandoned path. ;o)

Hope your vacation is fun and snowy. :o) Looking forward to getting together with you guys when you get back.