Last Christmas someone asked if it is mandatory for Christians to celebrate Christmas. I couldn’t provide references in support of Christmas or against it. Consequently, it is one of those issues for which we must develop personal convictions. And, since there are no definitive Scripture verses either way, we must apply the principles of Romans 14. We must respect and accept one another with convictions different from ours, not condemn, remembering that “each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
When I can’t find Bible verses about an issue, I then look for relevant principles and/or precedence.
Principles Related to the Celebration of Christmas:
What we can biblically support with certainty is that any celebration must not fall into the category of idolatry (Ex. 20:1-5; 1 Cor. 10:1-14; 1 Jn. 5:21) or lack of stewardship (Prov. 22:3; 1 Cor. 4:2; Eph. 5:15; 1 Tim. 6:7-9; Heb. 13:5).
Precedence Related to the Celebration of Christmas:
God instituted various feasts or holidays for Israel to celebrate important events in their history as ways of remembering what He did (i.e., Passover). Jesus’ coming to this earth is a very important event, so would it be out of line to celebrate it?
Problems Related to the Celebration of Christmas:
The problem many Christians through the ages have had with Christmas is its origins and some of the traditions that go with it. Some say the date we celebrate is not even when Jesus was born. And, it is believed that Christmas appears to have started as a pagan festival that was later claimed by the Christian church as a time to celebrate Jesus’ first coming to earth. They suggest that the original intent seems to have been to take something pagan and turn it to the glory of God. The question we must ask is if we are indeed doing that through our celebrations at Christmas.
Colossians 4:5 says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” To be sure Christmas provides added opportunities to share Jesus, a time when people tend to be more open to go to church and hear about Jesus.
Yet, we must constantly re-focus on the Savior because all the glitz and glitter of the season can distract us from the real reason we have to celebrate. We need to work at keeping Jesus a priority during the Christmas season.