Should Christians celebrate Christmas?

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Although this is a common question this time of year, the answer is quite simple.

There is no legitimate scriptural reason not to celebrate Christmas. At the same time, there is no biblical mandate to celebrate it either. In the end, of course, whether or not to celebrate Christmas is a personal decision. Whatever Christians decide to do regarding Christmas, their views should not be used as a club with which to beat down or denigrate those with opposing views, nor should either view be used as a badge of honor inducing pride over celebrating or not celebrating. As in all things, we seek wisdom from Him who gives it liberally to all who ask (James 1:5) and accept one another in Christian love and grace, regardless of our views on Christmas.

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Categories: Christianity, Misc.

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9 replies

  1. Well said James. I did, however watch a professing Christian say the other day that if we don’t celebrate Christmas exactly on the 25th of December that we are cult members. Sigh.

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  2. Been there, done that, with the whole celebrate/tradition thing. I think Christmas can be a gloriously family-cementing time, as traditions are tools to teach and connect, something that God is likewise quite interested in. And the merriest to you all!

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  3. Interesting! I am a teacher of English literature and when I tell my students that there was a time in England when Christmas wasn’t celebrated, they are aghast. Then I explain to them why and they are amazed at how we’ve gotten to the point we are today in society. You are right, it is a personal decision … and while there are some good reasons to celebrate, I fear that sometimes we do it simply because it is expected, which of course defeats the whole purpose of remembering the birth of Christ.

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  4. I believe it unimportant as to the exact date of Christ’s birth. Yet, at the same time, it is very important that we all agree to celebrate our Saviors birth at a uniform time…. It brings unity to our faith and unites us as a community worldwide.

    How we celebrate Christmas, whether gift exchange, mid-night mass or being with family or friends is of little consequence. What is significant, I believe, is that we recognize that Christ came to earth in order to become a sacrificial lamb for our sin….. that no mater the date, no matter the Christian view, we celebrate the very beginning of His life which saved ours….. His 33 years of suffering and pain; and, ultimate dying for us, saved us from death twice……. To me, whether born in October or December 25th, what is important is we recognize His birth as a beginning of life ever after….

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep us all. May we celebrate in good cheer His birth, death and resurrection……

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    • If I may add but one thing – it would be this short clip from Mr. “Krueger’s Christmas” with Jimmy Stewart and the Nativity Scene. Thank you……. to you and your readers. 1 Peter 3:18-19 states, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison.” The phrase, “by the Spirit,” in verse 18 is exactly the same construction as the phrase, “in the flesh.” So it seems best to relate the word “spirit” to the same realm as the word “flesh.” The flesh and spirit are Christ’s flesh and spirit. The words “made alive by (in) the spirit” point to the fact that Christ’s sin-bearing and death brought about the separation of His human spirit from the Father (Matthew 27:46). The contrast is between flesh and spirit, as in Matthew 27:46 and Romans 1:3-4, and not between Christ’s flesh and the Holy Spirit. When Christ’s atonement for sin was completed, His spirit restored the fellowship which had been broken.

      First Peter 3:18-22 describes a necessary link between Christ’s suffering (verse 18) and His glorification (verse 22). Only Peter gives specific information about what happened between these two events. The word “preached” in verse 19 is not the usual word in the New Testament to describe the preaching of the gospel. It literally means to herald a message. Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, His body being put to death, and His spirit died when He was made sin. But His spirit was made alive and He yielded it to the Father. According to Peter, sometime between His death and His resurrection Jesus made a special proclamation to “the spirits in prison.”

      To begin with, Peter referred to people as “souls” and not “spirits” (3:20). In the New Testament, the word “spirits” is used to describe angels or demons, not human beings, and verse 22 seems to bear out this meaning. Also, nowhere in the Bible are we told that Jesus visited hell. Acts 2:31 says that He went to “Hades” (New American Standard Bible), but “Hades” is not hell. The word “Hades” refers to the realm of the dead, a temporary place where they await the resurrection. Revelation 20:11-15 in the NASB or the New International Version give a clear distinction between the two. Hell is the permanent and final place of judgment for the lost. Hades is a temporary place.

      Our Lord yielded His spirit to the Father, died, and at some time between death and resurrection, visited the realm of the dead where He delivered a message to spirit beings (probably fallen angels; see Jude 6) who were somehow related to the period before the flood in Noah’s time. Verse 20 makes this clear. Peter did not tell us what He proclaimed to these imprisoned spirits, but it could not be a message of redemption since angels cannot be saved (Hebrews 2:16). It was probably a declaration of victory over Satan and his hosts (1 Peter 3:22; Colossians 2:15). Ephesians 4:8-10 also seems to indicate that Christ went to “paradise” (Luke 16:20; 23:43) and took to heaven all those who had believed in Him prior to His death. The passage doesn’t give a great amount of detail about what occurred, but most Bible scholars agree that this is what is meant by “led captivity captive.”

      So, all that to say, the Bible isn’t entirely clear what exactly Christ did for the three days between His death and resurrection. It does seem, though, that He was preaching victory over the fallen angels and/or unbelievers. What we can know for sure is that Jesus was not giving people a second chance for salvation. The Bible tells us that we face judgment after death (Hebrews 9:27), not a second chance. There isn’t really any definitively clear answer for what Jesus was doing for the time between His death and resurrection. Perhaps this is one of the mysteries we will understand once we reach glory.

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  5. I have a love hate relationship with Christmas. I hate how it has been hijacked with materialism, but I also love how people are moved to be more charitable during this time. I love the fact that Christmas choose to celebrate Jesus’ birth together at this time, but hate all the other stuff that is promoted that has nothing to do with Christianity. Some say this is because it was originally a pagan holiday… I don’t do any fanfare at this time, as with everyday, I humbly remember and celebrate my King. I just like the fact that more people get to hear about Him and feel His love at this time of the year. May God take all the glory this Christmas.

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