Monday, December 24, 2012

Christians & Christmas. By Angel Manuel Rodríguez


QUESTION: Should Adventists celebrate Christmas?

Every year I receive letters or phone calls asking whether it is correct for Adventists to celebrate Christmas. The uncertainty is usually based on the absence of any biblical information about the date of Christ’s birth, and on the conviction that December 25 has been associated with a pagan festival. Let me provide some historical information about the celebration of Christmas and say something about its significance.

1. Christmas and Adventists: Before I comment on the question, let me clarify that Adventists are not, nor should we be, against Christmas. Why would we be against a period of time when Christians remember the birth of our Savior? However, since this festivity is not ordained by Scripture, we don’t consider it to be binding on believers. We recognize only one holy day, the Sabbath; and we keep it holy in obedience to our Creator and Redeemer. 



2. Christmas and History: It is well known that the term “Christmas” is derived from the old English word “Christmesse,” which means “Christ’s Mass.” The term originated during the Middle Ages from the practice of having a midnight Mass on the eve of December 25 to celebrate the birth of Christ. In other languages it is called “Nativity” (Latin, natalis) or “Holy Nights” (German, Weihnachten). 

The history of this Christian feast remains unclear. Historians have indicated that the nativity feast began to be observed by Christians during the fourth century. Some Christians calculated it based on the death of Christ taking place on March 25. It was then speculated that He must have been born nine months before on December 25. Others placed the birth of Jesus on March 25. 

But the most common explanation is that Christmas is somehow connected with the Roman cult of the Invincible Sun (Latin, Sol Invictus), the rebirth of the sun, which was celebrated on December 25. This could explain the importance of lights during the celebration of the Nativity, although “light” is also associated with Christ in the Scriptures (e.g., Luke 1:78, 79). It is therefore common to hear it alleged that Christians adopted and adapted a pagan feast. This is possible, but it’s difficult to demonstrate from available historical evidence. 

3. Christmas and the Believer: We should acknowledge two facts: First, we do not know why God, in His providence, chose not to preserve for us a record of the day of Jesus’ birth. There is no need to speculate about this. Second, the fact is that the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus on December 25. We cannot change this, and there is no reason to try to change it. Attempts to reject the feast are based on the absence of biblical evidence and its possible connection with a pagan feast. Therefore, we should leave this matter to the conscience of each individual. 

Having said that, let me state again that there is absolutely nothing wrong with selecting any particular time to meditate and reflect on the incarnation of our Savior. I would suggest that during Christmas we could spend time thinking about the mystery of the Incarnation. It is a mystery in that it testifies to the fact that the Son of God became “flesh” (John 1:14). The Creator became a creature in order to save us from the power of sin and death. 

The Nativity can also be understood as God’s gift to the human race; in His Son, God gave us the most precious gift He could bestow on us. He was the bread of heaven freely given to us by our heavenly Father (John 6:48-51). 

But the Nativity is also a time of proclamation. That night angels proclaimed to shepherds the good news: “Do not be afraid…. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:10, 11). We should join our voices with that of the angels and proclaim once more throughout the planet the glorious news of peace and freedom from fear and through Christ, the Lord. Christmas provides an excellent opportunity to remind the human race that the Child born in Bethlehem is coming soon. 



Source: Adventist World
Author: Angel Manuel Rodríguez, is a Seventh-day Adventist theologian and former director of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI). His special research interests include Old Testament,Sanctuary and Atonement, and Old Testament Theology. He has written several books, and authors a monthly column in Adventist World.


8 comments:

  1. As there is no written evidence in the bible that Christmas should be celebrated. so not necessary to celebrate Christmas. Our daily relationship with God is more important.. I, right with God.

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  2. Let every Christian know that the birth of Jesus is not on December 25. There is no written record in the Bible.

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  3. Everything about Jesus, including his works, death, birth, etc. is worthy of acknowledgement 24/7 and 365 days a year. We do not know the date of his birth; nonetheless he was born. Those who celebrate christmas should do so for the right reasons. Most businesses are closed on this holiday; therefore it's common for families and friends to spend their time away from work and school reuniting for a grand christmas dinner and going shopping. At the dinners or gathering, people can spend at least 15 or 30 mins in a circle talking about what God has done for them throughout the year. Parents can encourage kids to select an item that will be donated as a gift to an orphanage during shopping. The whole point is that Christmas should not be used as a time only to focus on "self". Use it to acknowledge christ in all thy ways. Donate food items or gifts to charity, homeless people, etc. Remember that whatever good you do unto others, you also do unto christ.

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  4. The Bible states we are not to cut down tree's and dress them. Jeremiah 10: 1-10

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  5. I find the rational for the "OPTIONAL" support of celebrating Christmas by Mr. Angel Manuel Rodríguez very weak and contrary to scriptures. Any basic study of history clearly proves that Christmas is indeed another false TRADITION created by the Roman Catholic church. In ancient Rome, the Catholic church aggressively sought to attract and entice the favor of pagan Roman leaders and common citizens into their "FALSE" church system, the Roman Catholic church adopted and "WHITE-WASHED & CHRISTIANIZED" a pagan festival what we refer to as Christmas. Like Sunday worship (the so-called "CHRISTIAN SABBATH", like Easter celebration, Mary worship, Saint worship....ALL ALL ALL these customs and traditions ARE NOT found in the Bible but rather they are lies and deceptions ALL originating of paganism. Mr. Angel Manuel Rodríguez, you deceptively state what is really your own personal opinion regarding Christmas which lacks any Bible support to justify your erroneous conclusions.

    FACT #1: Christmas was NEVER embraced or celebrated by the Apostalic church.
    FACT #2: NONE of the apostles encouraged the New Testament churches to celebrate Christ's birth!
    FACT #3: Jesus NEVER hinted anywhere in the Bible that christians should celebrate or focus on his birth.

    Regardless what we PERSONALLY think or feel about Christ - MASS is NOT a valid reason to honor any HOLIday (a.k.a. HOLY-day) which is a FABRICATION of the Roman Catholic.

    FACT #4: It was 300-400 years AFTER Christ died when suddenly this pagan festival was sanitized, white-washed and christianized by Papal Rome and RENAMED "CHRISTMAS!!!!

    "PROFESSED" Christians need to turn back to the simplicity and purity of the New Testament gospel and away from following the words and opinions of apostate church leaders who are BLIND and disobedient to God! All over the Bible God repeatedly admonishes his people to NOT offer any supposed honor and worship to him that is mixed with unclean and profane things. And clearly historical research proves that "CHRIST" - "MASS" is steeped in the PROFANE and UNclean BABYLONIAN/EGYPTIAN/ROMAN paganism!!! To suggest that celebrating christmas is just a matter of personal conscious, is a clear indication that either you prefer like so many professed" christians...to honor and follow the TRADITIONS of MEN rather than to OBEY the commandments of God!!!

    Those who wish to honor Christ in "SPIRIT" & in "TRUTH", need to stop looking to so called men of learning and church leaders for truth! Throughout the Bible political leaders, church leaders and priests of God's people, very often were steeped in rebellion against God, disobedient to God's commands, falsely worshipping God, mixing and embracing Pagan customs in worship and leading Israel into apostasy time and time again!!! The SDA church and like so many other "professed christians" denominations today is leading the masses into apostasy!!!

    FACT #5: No matter how many lovely clothes and perfume you put on a PIG, at the end of the day, underneath the surface facade of all the lovely window dressing, A PIG IS STILL A PIG!!! In God’s eyes, Christ-MASS is nothing more than a DIRTY FILTHY PIG dressed up in lovely christlike clothes to deceive carnal-world-tradition-loving professed” christians”.


    For those who want BIBLE TRUTH and historical facts on the TRUE origins of "CHRIST" - "MASS"..... please view the following videos:

    Ephesians 5:11
    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

    Go to YouTube, copy and paste the following titles in the search box and watch ALL the following 4 videos (VERY INFORMATIVE TRUTH FILLED)!!!

    1) The Unwrapping of Christmas (by Adam 1984)

    2) Christmas Unveiled—What God Says! (by RestoredCOG)

    3) Pagan Christmas | Origin, History, & Traditions (by worldslastchance)

    4) Truth Or Tradition - Passion For Truth Ministries

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  6. For those who want some historical facts and info on the TRUE origins of "CHRIST" - "MASS"..... please view the following videos:

    Ephesians 5:11
    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

    Go to You,Tube and watch ALL the following 4 videos (VERY INFORMATIVE TRUTH FILLED)!!!


    1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TRznxjc1Zs

    2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3___tE12R0

    3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB76zY8WF4s

    4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGgt_dsdLWs

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  7. Could you please read the following article about apostasy and Jesuits in the SDA Church and let me know what you think?

    http://www.salvation1.com/articles/enmity-against-the-truth-in-the-sda-church-which-must-be-condemned-2/

    sam7w5@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete