CHRISTMAS RECONSIDERED -RALPH WOODROW

A balanced and healthy consideration of Christmas–neither debunking Christmas as “pagan and un-Christian” nor encouraging an over-emphasis of the materialistic or secularization of the holiday.

From the Author: On a personal note, early in my Christian experience, I was intrigued to discover that a number of things practiced among Christians were not mentioned in the Bible-one of them being Christmas. In time some of these things were mentioned in my writings, particularly “Babylon Mystery Religion-Ancient and Modern.” I pointed out that-“the word ‘Christmas’ is not in the Bible; the combining of ‘Christ’ with ‘mass’ indicates a mixture; …the wise men never came to the manger, but to a house-they did not exchange gifts among themselves, but presented their gifts to Christ….”

For the most part, this information was not untrue; but it was incomplete. I was seeing only one side of the coin, and one-sided information can be misleading. To show only the pagan elements in Christmas leaves many unanswered questions.

I never regarded a person’s belief about Christmas, pro or con, as an essential of the Christian faith. I never believed that differences about Christmas should bring divisions in families or churches. It was never my desire that people become fanatically anti-Christmas in their attitude.

But as time went on, I would be quoted as though I were some “authority” on the anti-Christmas position, in numerous books and booklets, some of which were very radical. One could have easily gotten the impression that I thought an anti-Christmas position was essential, that division was justified, and that fanaticism on this issue was only spiritual fervency.

In 1979 I sought to clarify my position by writing an article: “Christmas 1979-A Study in Extremes.” Because I advocated balance on the matter-and not a radical and rigid anti-Christmas position-a number of the letters I received were not only critical, they were hateful. I have probably never received as many hateful letters! If, as some say, the “Christmas spirit” is bad, the response to my article let me see there is an anti-Christmas spirit that can be very bad….

Let me hasten to say, there are Christians who hold the anti-Christmas position who have a good spirit about it. They have taken a stand for what they believe is the purity of the gospel, and are very sincere in their belief. They want to serve the Lord with their whole heart. There are others, however, who become cynical and critical of any and all who do not see things the way they do. It would seem their religion consists more in what they don’t believe, than what they do believe. They think more in terms of what they are against, instead of what they are FOR! On numerous occasions I have been asked in conversations and letters: “Can you recommend a church to me, one that does not keep Christmas?”-as though this one point was the standard whereby a church should be judged! I don’t mean this unkindly or to make light of anyone.

Having had the opportunity over the years to speak for many different churches and groups that hold varied views on the Christmas issue, I can draw from personal experience. I have not found churches that take a rigid stand against Christmas to be more spiritual, more victorious, more fruitful, or more blessed of God than the others. Does this tell us something? If God considers Christmas observance to be Baal worship (as some claim), doesn’t it seem He would greatly bless a group that forsakes Baal? And wouldn’t those who persisted in Baal worship, if that were the case, be cut off from his blessing?

…I have known a number of people who switched from keeping Christmas to an anti-Christmas position. I have never seen this produce any real spiritual fruit. They did not suddenly become more effective or dynamic Christians. In many cases this change had a reverse effect, because of the confusion and division it generated.

It is difficult for many to understand why a Christian would oppose Christmas-a day set aside to honor the birth of Christ. Even with all the anti-Christmas articles and booklets that are circulated, this inconsistency has still not been satisfactorily explained for most people.

62 pages. Available 1 copy. 10,00 / 5,00€

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