THE CHRISTMAS QUESTION:
If we celebrate "CHRISTMAS" are we celebrating a pagan holiday?
Pastor Carl Gallups lays out the contextual biblical truth of the matter....
First - here's the definition of "celebration or celebrating" - - - It is the action of marking one's pleasure at an important event or occasion. (Dictionary.com)
Is the coming of Yeshua through the womb of a woman (a ONE TIME and UNIQUE way that God presented Himself (God with us) to the world), an event or occasion that we should MARK with by expressing our pleasure (celebrate)? Was it a memorable and important event, worthy of thanksgiving and honor, and worship? The question answers itself.
As for me and my house, we use nothing pagan in celebrating Christmas (Santa, lavish gift giving, alcohol laden parties, pagan songs, etc).
We DO, however, celebrate (in several ways) that God kept his promise of bringing Yeshua to us. The first pages of Genesis open with that promise. The very first page of the New Testament opens with the celebration of it. The very first pages of Luke open with it. Angels are celebrating with heavenly pronouncements and anthems! The very first verses of John open with the richest truth of it! (In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ...and God sent His Son into the world... For God so loved the world that He sent His son.... etc.)
Even the apostle Paul "celebrates" that truth ... in reverence and worship:
"But when the set time had fully come, GOD SENT HIS SON BORN OF A WOMAN, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. “Gal. 4:4-7
From Genesis to Revelation - the birth, coming, crucifixion, resurrection and coming again of Yeshua are celebrated (exalted, exclaimed, pronounced with joy and honor, and lifted up). The birth and coming of Jesus are in the very first chapters of Genesis and Matthew, and right in the very middle of Revelation (Chapter 12, and elsewhere!). So, while I do not use anything pagan in my celebration, I have no problem celebrating Christmas.
By the way, the Word "Christmas" is simply Latin for "The Mass of Christ). The word Mass originates with the Latin Word "missa" where the meaning was originally to GO FORTH or to SEND FORTH - it's where we get the English word "missile"! It's also the meaning of the Greek word - apostle (one who is sent forth with the message!)
Christ-Mass therefore most literally means the celebration that God "sent forth" Yeshua for our salvation! Like a missile - if you will. He kept His promise! At just the right time! (Gal. 4:4) He provided our full salvation through the Lamb of God....
As for me and my house - we celebrate the promised coming of Jesus - through the womb of a woman...to bring our salvation... as He promised from the opening pages of Genesis. We have no shame or guilt in doing so.
It is God's celebration! From beginning to end it is celebrated.... If you still have doubts, you'll have to take the matter up with the Word of God. Satan, surely has tried to water it down, pollute it, dilute it, and pervert the celebration. But we cannot say that thanking God and worshipping Him for keeping His promise in Yeshua is something that God doesn't want us to do!
In fact, as you have now seen from His Word - the exact opposite is true! And that fact, my brothers and sisters, has the mark of Satan on it! Whenever you find something that Satan DOESN'T want you to celebrate, something that Satan has perverted - you can be certain that it is something that God WANTS us to "celebrate."
Think of it like this: Has Satan perverted marriage? Sexuality in marriage? Gender identification? The wonders and beauty of manhood and womanhood? The personhood and life of the infant in the womb?
Of course he has! Does that stop you from getting married? Having sex within your marriage? Identifying properly with your gender? Protecting and defending life in the womb?
See how empty it sounds when we begin to say "I won't celebrate God sending forth His son, through the womb of a woman, just as He promised....it's pagan!" NO...the biblical and proper celebration of Christ-Mass is not pagan.
Pagan holidays are found during ALL the important biblical times, and moeds (feasts, or rehearsals through celebration). Resurrection Day has been perverted through "Easter." First Fruits and Pentecost have been perverted and paganized through harvest festivals that give thanks to "mother earth" and "nature," etc. It's Satan's way of trying to keep people from the Gospel.
I use Christmas time to sing into the darkness! Most of the Christmas worship songs and carols are the most beloved music on the planet. The preaching of the true Gospel message is the centerpiece of what the season (moed) represents! Light has come into Darkness!
It seems to me (just my opinion - no personal "judgment" upon anyone), that a Christian who doesn't celebrate God sending His Son for our salvation (Christ-Mass), has the right heart (not wanting to align with anything pagan), but has missed the point of God's Word and His Heart! OF COURSE it honors God if we DO celebrate this great truth and blessing! On the other hand, it most honors Satan - if we don't. Something to think about!
Yes! I "celebrate" Christmas (Latin). Yes! I celebrate that God kept His Word! Sent His Son! Provided for our Salvation! And, is coming again!
I don't give a snap what Satan thinks about it.
May the Lord Yeshua richly bless you - always!
Pastor Carl Gallups