2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I believe this passage with all my heart. This should be the cornerstone of our faith, knowing that God’s Word is all we need. As I’ve been considering how to present whether Christmas is biblical or not I knew that God’s Word must speak. When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount; there is a subtle little verse right at the end of Matthew chapter 7. Mathew 7:28-29 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teachings, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Where did the Lord’s authority come from? It came from the Word of God. Jesus consistently uses God’s Word to make His point authoritative. Of course in His case the Word was the Word. If the Bible equips us thoroughly then it should be our final authority in the matter. So what does God’s Word say about Christmas?
Leviticus 23: 1-2 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them; ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. 23:4 ‘These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.’
God gave very specific instructions to the children of Israel, everything has been meticulously recorded and there was very little doubt this was to be taken seriously and not to be profaned.
Deuteronomy 12:32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” See also Deut. 4:2, Deut 4:40.
God has clearly defined and spoken how He wants His children to worship and to celebrate. He is serious about protecting the purity of His festivals.
Leviticus 10:1-2 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
1 Samuel 13:13-14 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue…
These are very graphic examples of God’s anger being aroused. I’m not aware that God has struck anyone down for celebrating Christmas, but we must take this principle as a serious warning to be aware that God has ordained His celebrations and we are not to add to or take away from them. Scripture clearly forbids worship not ordained by God. You will no doubt think this is Old Testament and how does this relate to the New Covenant.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself condemned the Pharisees for adding religious ceremonies and additions to God’s decrees. Think about the pressure well intended people take upon themselves in order to appeal to this idea that has become Christmas. The chaos, the running around, the money spent on items that are tossed away in such a short period of time. Think about the idolatry of things it creates in our children, the desire for more. Consider the humble birth of the Lord. Does this really honor Him? Of course the pageantry and blatant consumerism is a no-brainer for Christians, but can we syncretize non-biblical ceremonies and “holy-days” with honoring God?
Matthew 15:6-9 … Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lisp, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
This is a scathing rebuke of these traditions, and in Mark’s account it goes on to say in Mark 7:8-9 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.”
WE MUST hold the scripture as our final authority. We must not add to it, and we must not take away from it. These are God’s commands. As a slave to Jesus Christ I am called to obey and lovingly submit to His will. I must search the scriptures diligently to find out how I can better serve Him.
“Religion based on human authority is worthless; we must worship the true God in the way of his own appointing, or we do not worship him at all.” Charles Spurgeon.
My hope for you today is to be challenged in your thinking. Don’t just go away and do nothing about this article. Meditate on His Word. Study these things to find out if they are true and if they have been rightly applied. Seek Him and desire above all to glorify Him. Allow God’s Word to be your only source of truth.
Next time I will discuss if Christians should celebrate Christmas.