Throughout our area and across the country denominations have signs that tell us to “put Christ back in Christmas.” Some individuals will say, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Both sayings reflect a lack of knowledge of history and God’s word.
History tells us that a celebration of Christ’s birth did not occur until the fourth century. That was three centuries too late to be of divine origin. Further, The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible states, “Neither the term Christmas (Christ + Mass) nor the actual celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Christ is recorded in the Bible.”
God’s word describes events surrounding the birth of the Savior, but never reveals the date of His birth (Matt. 2; Lk. 2). It was at a time when shepherds were in the field with their sheep, likely Spring (Lk. 2:8). More importantly, the Bible does not hint at Christians celebrating the birth of Christ. It is not that they were unthankful for His birth, but there simply was no command from God to do so. Rather, God commanded the saints to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord (Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-29). They did this on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). His birth was long-anticipated and acknowledged as a great event when it occurred, but it was never celebrated by the apostles and prophets inspired by God. Therefore, without a command, example, or necessary conclusion from the Bible, it is unlawful to religiously celebrate Christmas.
Why is it men believe that whatever they dream up in an effort to worship, must be acceptable to God? Are we to determine the things that please God or should we find out from God what we are to do to please Him? The way we find out what to do to please Him is to go to His word (cp. 1 Cor. 2:10-12). When we do, we will find out celebrating the birth of Christ is not a part of God’s commands to please Him.
Steven F. Deaton