I believe it is vitally important to know history. History teaches us our background: family generations, country failures and triumphs, etc. It is good to be reminded of history.
"Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her." Matthew 26:13
"Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." Mark 14:9
These verses are just two in an example of how history helps! When I searched the term "memorial" in my online concordance, it came with 32 references. When I searched the term "remembrance," it came with 53 of them! I know that God gave Israel many observances of which to follow: to remind them from whence they came, WHO was their deliverer, WHO was their God, and much, much more.
We, as Christians, remember the Lord's sacrifice when we partake of the Lord's table.
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Again, these verses are but a small example of a point I am trying to make. History is important. If we do not look at history, and learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it (the sins). We can also look at history, and be blessed in repeating it! It all depends on learning right and wrong.
For example, if I looked at history and learned that many of my forefathers were drunken idolaters, it would best suit me not to follow that path. However, if I looked at history and learned that they were hardworking, morally upright people, it would behoove me to imitate that pattern.
If I look at history, and learn that they avoided certain activities, I would be curious as to why. If they participated in certain activities, I would be curious as to why. It is important to me to know the reason behind the actions.
Just as such, God explains to me that when I show a loving submission to my husband, I am imitating the Church in relation to Christ. He also tells me that the reason He desires me to be of a meek and quiet spirit, is because He finds it priceless. He tells me many things, and explains many "whys" to them.
So, because I desire to be noble like my forefathers, the Bereans, I study. Maybe I do not study to the best of my ability; for sure, the Bereans put me to shame many times! I constantly am amazed at my husband's ability to study the Word of God, the history of the Bible, the history of the Church, etc. They are examples to me on what it means to dig into the Word.
Therefore, I study why I do what I do. I want to know why there are certain rituals that are observed, or impressed upon me to observe. I want to know why certain things are elevated above another. I do this type of study, not so I can get out of doing them, but to better understand and appreciate them. I also study, again, not to get out of doing something; but rather understand why there are certain behaviours, moods, spirits, activities, associated with the activity(ies). I want to know from whence certain things came.
It is fascinating to learn about family traditions. You learn, many times, where they originated, and why. Some are simply for harmless enjoyment with those you love. For example, my grandmother had a tradition to "butter up" the noses of her children (apparently, for at least, that is what my father told me) on their birthdays...Therefore, every birthday morning, I was awakened by the cold slab of butter being put on my nose by my mother or father....
Other traditions are carried on in the family, without remembering the why. What a shame! It is always interesting to know, and important.
We learn the history of nations. Particularly, I have been noticing a great trend amongst my friends regarding the beginnings of the USA. They have a great desire to see this nation come to a more Christianized manner; a more morally upright country. They have not this desire only because it would be good, but also they see the bygone days when it seemed to have flourished.
So, without further ado, I approach the focus of this post: the history of Christmas. It is my desire to persuade you; but only according to truth. It would be absolutely fruitless, and downright arrogant, to try to persuade you, simply because it is my preference. If you enjoy pink, but I prefer blue, I will not try to persuade you to like blue. That notion is just juvenile.
However, there are some things, of which, that are worth seeking to persuade you. I would have to wholeheartedly say, the matter of Christmas is one of them for me. I started learning about the history of Christmas many years ago.
I was always interested in the reason for many of the festivities. They just never made sense to me, in a Christian manner. Lights? Trees? Holly? Reindeer? Santa Claus? Gift-giving from under a tree? Ornaments on a tree? Nativity scenes? Time of year? The list just continued.
So, I decided to dig. I figured, if the reasons were legitimate, and righteous, I would continue. I would be more persuaded, and more knowledgeable, about my practices. Just as I study the Bible to be better equipped to explain my faith, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," 2 Timothy 2:15, I want(ed) to study to learn why I participate (or do not participate), in certain activities. God never called me to be a dummy.
What I learned, regarding Christmas, honestly did not shock me. It saddened me, but did not necessarily surprise me. I already had a sneaking suspicion that this festival was not of God, but of man. What I researched clearly confirmed it.
I no longer, in good conscience, could participate in a festivity that was just a pagan festival; one that was whitewashed to look Christian. I could not say the usual merry phrases, in light of what they actually meant. It just grieved my heart to even say them. (**As a side note, this is the same reason why I am very careful of even saying "Amen," to something; for, it means, "So let it be." I do not want to be saying "So let it be," regarding something that I desire to see changed.)
This festival is not harmless, in my honest opinion. I also do not believe it is one blessed of God. When the pagans in the book of Acts were saved, they destroyed their books of magic, and eschewed their previous lifestyle; which included past festivities in commemoration of their pagan deities. They never sought to merge the unholy with the holy.
If one briefly researches the Bible, and/or history, they will learn that because of that behaviour, they were persecuted. Some lost their homes, their businesses, their livelihoods. Some lost their families. Some lost their lives.
It was not until later in history that the emergence of seeking to merge the profane with the holy became prominent in "Christianity." Up until that point, Christians who were actively seeking the heart of God did not corrupt God's way with Satan's way. God used Paul to correct the Corinthian church, about a very similar matter:
"But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." 1 Corinthians 10:20-23
So, it was not difficult for me, once I learned the truth. I now became accountable for the knowledge I had been given. I could either ignore it, and keep on trying to make it work. Or, I could accept it, and let it go.
One would think it would be easy to let something go, that you know is wrong. It can be. However, when one allows the pressures of peers to influence their decision, it can be difficult.
By the grace of God, He helped Dear and I to let go of the practice. We were much alleviated from all the pressures associated with this time of year. We were relieved to know the truth, and get to live by it!
However, we did receive flack from folks thinking us crazy. I can understand. Yet, when it came to choosing comfort or truth, we had to choose truth.
What have we given up? Well, we have received less gifts in our lives, from people. We have given up feeling required to give gifts to every member of our family all at once. We have given up lying to ourselves, and others, about the true meaning of Christmas. We no longer had to do mental gymnastics to overcome the seeming discrepancies between the "spiritual" and secular meanings behind this season. We gave up the world, and received freedom.
I hope that you are still with me this far. I know I have talked more than I thought I would. However, this is a matter I am willing to talk about, more than once. Just as salvation is a topic I will gladly discuss over and over, this one is important to me, too. To try and use a clearly wicked festival, that was then called "holy" to bring in the numbers, to bring God pleasure and glory, is not something I want to be held accountable for doing.
We have received pleasure in being free to give more than during a required time of year! I know giving should be practiced all the time, anyway; however, I have found that it is easy to save up for this time of year to give, or on a person's birthday, rather than whenever you think of them. It is a blessing to us to give to folks as God directs us. :)
We get to enjoy the beauty of winter, even though the beauty of spring, summer, and autumn have faded. We get to be cozy at home. I tend to do more baking and kitchen creations during this time of year!
We have the pleasure of enjoying every day in honour to God! Every day, He is with us. Every day is an opportunity to remember His works in our lives. Every day is a day of worship!
We get to remember His coming down and taking upon Himself a robe of flesh, to redeem corrupted man. We get to remember His amazing life on earth, and His more than amazing conquering at the cross! Every day, we get to remember His feats.
Every day, we get to marvel at the Wonder of wonders. Every day, we get to be awe-inspired at His majesty. Every day, we get to muse upon the fact that He intercedes for us, as I speak to you!
Every day, I get to talk to the one who was born on the earth as a pauper. He disrobed from His Heavenly glory, and put on a humble covering. He lived a modest life, without any of the fanfare He received(s) in Heaven. He died an embarrassing, humiliating, excruciating death. He took on every single sin, and all of their wages, for us. I get to think about that every day.
I have received the joy in knowing that I commune with Him daily...every minute...every second. He is always with me! I get to witness to others about the living King in Glory, any time!
I get to be in season, and out of season, with the glorious Gospel of Christ. I can use any time of year to reach the lost, or to encourage my brethren! At no time is a lost sinner interested in God, save the working of the Holy Spirit. So, any time to share about Christ is just as good a time, to me!
We have received so much more than that of which we let go. We are joyous that God led us to the truth, and gave us strength to live by it! No one can take that joy from us!
So, I am willing to be thought of as crazy. I am willing to be viewed as strange. I am willing to be mocked. My goodness, I am not worth anything anyhow, except precious Christ who is within me. Everything else is just rubbish.
So, if you are still with me, and have the time, I would HIGHLY encourage you to spend just under 40 minutes watching a thoroughly good documentary. It is well done, and by a very reputable source. The lady narrating has done some documentaries exposing the New Age doctrines out in the world, and they were very helpful to Dear and I. This documentary I am currently posting was done by her husband's film company.
I hope that this video, and my post, encourage you to really take stock of the reason behind Christmas. I hope that you will be open to the truth. I hope that you are willing to be made fools for Christ. I hope that you would be willing to give up something you enjoy, for the sake of truth. If I am wrong, I will gladly repent. Yet, I have to admit, I have not found one iota of a proof in the Bible that Christmas is anything other than wicked.