Article: Paganism and Christmas | Abby K Mathews, Bradford ( Canada)
Christmas has been a topic of intense debate even in the Pentecostal circles where the two prevailing main schools of thought clash. The first view being that Christmas is the extension of a pagan festival and should be completely shunned by all true believers. The second view agrees that while Christmas may have pagan roots, today it has been redeemed. The former shackle of paganism has been cast aside and is now universally accepted as the celebration marking the birth of Christ. When the world is trying to bury that truth under commercialism, self-indulgence and distractions such as Santa Claus, they argue that instead of isolating ourselves from the festival and from the world, true believers must use the occasion to proclaim the truth – How the birth of Christ was the good news for the world!
Any Christian scholar will readily admit that there is no evidence that Christ is born on 25th December however, it is the truth that He was born. It is also true that the Angels celebrated that birth and told the shepherds to rejoice as well for God’s grand plan of salvation was being revealed. Thus even today, His birth should remain for us a day of celebration but let us not forget why.
Christmas is not just a time of the year, but the realization of a transforming truth that God took the form of a man to save him. Imagine the Great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the one who was, and is, and is to come, the Source of all Life, put off His glory, His majesty, hid himself for 9 months in the womb of His creation and was born like any human being, so that He could restore what mankind had lost – Their created value, sonship, communion and co-union with the Father.
Man was heading for utter damnation but our Creator, out of love and mercy for His creation, came into this world to save him and give him life and abundant life! The Son of God who was in the bosom of the Father, in accordance to His will, humbled himself and was born as a mere mortal, to poor insignificant parents. He became dependent on a woman (mother), cried when he was hungry and cold, was wrapped in swaddling clothes, was put to sleep like any baby. This baby that Mary held is the greatest news and the good tidings of great joy to all people (Luke 2:10).
It is only the man dying of thirst who knows the value of a drop of water. Likewise only those who can grasp the impending wrath of God can truly rejoice at the news of their salvation. Wretched, hopeless man, steeped in sin and filthy deeds, accelerating towards hell and damnation was offered -one final opportunity to escape. God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
We often proclaim Salvation is a free gift but it was not free. Your salvation and mine was purchased with His blood on Calvary’s cross, our punishment upon him so that we may have this one chance.
Yes, mankind needed a Savior and Lo! God in His wisdom did not ask a man nor angel or any other created being to pay the cost. He defined true love, by offering Himself for the sake of those who would believe on Him. Let us fall in humble adoration at His feet, be consumed with the knowledge of this truth and grow in this knowledge through His Word and Spirit!
If you choose to celebrate on the 25th of December, may this truth be the center of your reason for the season and even if you do not, may this good news be proclaimed through your lips every single day.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.. (Romans 11:33a).
Abby K Mathews, Bradford ( Canada)