Basic Truth #38 - Christians Do Not Celebrate Pagan Holidays

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Basic Truth #38 - Christians Do Not Celebrate Pagan Holidays

Post by bejay » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:19 pm

Basic Truth #38 – Christians do not Celebrate Pagan Holidays

Celebration of holidays such as birthdays, Christmas or Easter, are seen today as normal and nothing untoward is attached to them by most of those that celebrate them. Since the Bible does not specifically name any particular holiday celebration as being wrong, we have to rely on principles found in the scriptures to make a determination of the appropriateness of these celebration.

When Jehovah led the nation of Israel into the land that he promised them, He warned them not to imitate the former inhabitants in anything that they did. This was said to them because these nations did not know the proper way to worship Jehovah, their worship was demon inspired and so was detestable to Jehovah. This prohibition would include not only their way of worship but also any other celebrations that they engaged in. Deuteronomy 18:9 gave this warning:

“When you are entered into the land that Jehovah your God is giving you, you must not learn to do according to the detestable things of those nations.”

Jeremiah 10:2 also adds this:

“This is what Jehovah has said: ‘Do not learn the way of the nations at all, and do not be struck with terror even at the signs of the heavens, because the nations are struck with terror at them.’”

The celebration of birthdays probably has a long historical association. The first mention of it in the Bible is found in the book of Genesis where Pharaoh of Egypt is spoken of as celebrating his birthday during which time he put to death one of his servants. (Genesis 40:20) The second mention of this celebration is when Herod who, on this day, was maneuvered, by his wife, into killing John the Baptist. (Matthew 14:6-10) Both of these individuals were worshippers of pagan gods.

With reference to how we should view the days of our lives, the Bible, at Ecclesiastes 7:1, admonishes us this way:

“A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s being born.”

Based on this verse, one’s life accomplishments are not assessed as to their worthiness until the day of death, that is, as far as Jehovah is concerned. So a yearly celebration of one’s birth is not indicative of how Jehovah view’s this person only how this person views himself or how others view him. (John 5:44)

Christians are admonished by Paul to have the proper view of themselves, neither thinking too little or too much. Romans 12:3 specifically says:

“For through the undeserved kindness given to me, I tell everyone there among you not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think; but to think so as to have a sound mind, each one as God has distributed to him a measure of faith.”

A Christian would not want to be found to be idolizing themselves or any other human. That is why they did not celebrate the birth of Jesus. The actual date of his birth is not known anyway and the one used today, December 25th, was the date of a pagan holiday that was celebrated long before Jesus was born, called ‘The Feast of Saturn or the birthday of the sun.’ Christians would certainly not want to be associated with something so obviously of pagan origin.

When Jesus was on the earth, he authorized his disciples to observe only one celebration and this was the observance of the last meal that he shared with them, the partaking of the bread and wine which they would do until he returned to take them to heaven. This celebration would be in memory of his death, not his birth or his resurrection. (Luke 22:19, 20)

Other holidays that Christians are to avoid are those that give honor to any nation or to the war dead, to so-called saints or to any worldly institutions. Even singing songs such as national anthems should be avoided. Sharing in these observances would be tantamount to a Christian being guilty of committing idolatry. Just as the nation of Israel was warned to keep clear of idolatry, so are Christians. They will always want to follow Paul’s advice recorded at 1 Corinthians 10:14, which reads as follows:

“Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry.”

Christians know that Jehovah is the only One deserving of all praise, honor and worship. He is the One responsible for all life on the earth, the One that sustains life and the only One to be recognized as the sovereign of the universe. As Jesus said He is the only One that can be described as truly ‘good.’ (Revelation 4:11; Psalms 36:9; Acts 17:24-28; Luke 18:19) Knowing these things, a Christian would want to be free of anything that would identify him as a part of this world that is under Satan’s control. (Luke 4:6)

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