CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS ARE FROM PAGANISM
An argument against the celebration of Christmas as it has been done for years is the claim that many of the traditions found in the celebration of Christmas were brought over into Christianity from pagan practices. These include the yule log, the tree, special feasts or meals, and mistletoe. How can we justify these things? Isn’t it just like celebrating Halloween?
SOME HISTORICAL FACTS ABOUT OUR TRADITIONS
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible says:
Gradually a number of prevailing practices of the nations into which Christianity came, were assimilated and were combined with the religious ceremonies surrounding Christmas. The assimilation of such practices generally represented efforts by Christians to transform or absorb otherwise pagan practices.
The Feast of Saturnalia in early Rome, for example, was celebrated for 7 days from the 17th to the 24th of December and was marked by a spirit of merriment, gift giving to children and other forms of entertainment. Gradually, early Christians replaced the pagan feast with the celebration of Christmas; but many of the traditions of this observance were assimilated and remain to this day a part of the observance of Christmas. Other nations, the Scandinavians, Germans, French, English and others, have left their mark .
Concerning these ancient elements, The Christian Encyclopedia says:
Various symbolic elements of the pagan celebration, such as the lighting of candles, evergreen decorations, and the giving of gifts, were adapted to Christian signification. Later as Christianity spread into northern Europe, the Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavic winter festivals contributed holly, mistletoe, the Christmas tree, bonfires, and similar items.
God says: “Do not worship the LORD your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods.” Deuteronomy 12:4, New Living Translation.
“Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise… “ Deuteronomy 12:30-31.
To combine the worship of God with the practices of other false religions is called syncretism. Should Christians do this? Many do, and at the same time reject the Holy days Christ and the early Gentile Church kept, as they are today, which the Bible says will still be kept in the coming Kingdom of God!