Why Some Christians Don’t Celebrate Christmas

By Karl M. Baker

Excerpt taken from Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Americana, Alexander Hislop’s: The Two Babylons and The King James Bible.

 Should a Christian Celebrate Christmas?

 Having been a pastor for 30 years, from year to year I am confronted with the question of why are there Christians who do not celebrate or partake of the festivities of Christmas.  It seems unimaginable that a professor in Jesus Christ could find fault with Christmas: an apparent unique opportunity to present the coming of our Lord into this world as it’s Saviour.  Why would anyone want to oppose the undeniable recognition given to Him by the world that he came to redeem?  Could there be a negative aspect so strong as to override the tradition that could stir up an animosity against its observance from a true believer?  To protest the commercialization or a worldly reveling and such like seem understandable, but to totally reject any association at all with the holiday seems to be unrealistic for any real Christian.  Yet, there are those who don’t just let December 25th pass in quiet protest of inobservance, but rather openly express an attitude of intolerance as to write, preach and even suffer family disunity in their opposition of it’s observance.  What is it about December 25th that affects some Christians in this matter?  Is it fanaticism?  Is there a reasonable cause behind their actions?  Does the Word of God say anything that would provoke this minority’s views toward Christmas?  This pamphlet is intended to help answer these questions…

Read more: http://www.calvarybaptistbeaufort.com/why-some-christians-dont-celebrate-christmas/

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Reasons Against Festival Days (David Calderwood)

David Calderwood

Reasons Against Festival Days1

Copyright © 1997 Naphtali Press

[Taken from David Calderwood’s (1575-1651) Perth Assembly (1619).]

From the beginning of the Reformation to this present year of our Lord 1618, the Kirk of Scotland has diverse ways condemned the observation of all holy days, the Lord’s Day only excepted. In the first chapter of the First Book of Discipline penned anno 1560, the observation of holy days to Saints, the feast of Christmass, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, and other fond feasts of our Lady are ranked amongst the abominations of the Roman religion, as having neither commandment nor assurance in the word. It is further affirmed that the obstinate maintainers and teachers of such abomination should not escape the punishment of the civil magistrate. The book aforesaid was subscribed by the Lord’s of secret Council.

In the General Assembly held at Edinburgh anno 1566, the latter confession of Helvetica was approved, but with special exception against some holy days dedicated to Christ: these same very days that now are urged. In the Assembly held anno 1575, complaint was made against the Ministers and Readers beside Aberdeen, because they assembled the people to prayer and preaching upon certain patron and festival days. Complaint likewise was ordained to be made to the Regent upon the town of Drumfreis for urging and convoying a Reader to the kirk with Tabret and Whistle to read the prayers all the holy days of Yule, or Christmass, upon the refusal of their own Reader. Item, an article was formed to be presented to the Regent, craving that all days heretofore kept holy in time of Papistry beside the Lord’s Day, such as Yule day, Saint’s days, and other like feasts, may be abolished, a civil punishment appointed against the observers of the said days. Banqueting, playing, feasting, and such other vanities upon the days foresaid is condemned…

Read more: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/worship/calderwood-against-days/

The Religious Observance of Christmas and ‘Holy Days’ in American Presbyterianism

It may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the history of the beliefs of American Presbyterians, that they were opposed to the religious observation of Christmas and other ‘holy days.’ This article explores some of the historical background of Presbyterianism’s opposition to such days, as well as their practical handling of Christmas in particular, and traces the views of the American Presbyterians up to their embracing ‘holy day’ observance in the early 20th century…

Read more: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/the-religious-observance-of-christmas-and-holy-days-in-american-presbyterianism/

John Calvin and Holy Days

It is that time of year the Genevan reformer is trotted out to justify in some manner the observance of the church calendar, particularly by folks in traditions that have no business observing it, if they were true to their Reformational principles (i.e. Presbyterians). The Scottish Presbyterians managed to remove observance of any pretended holy days other than the divinely prescribed Lord’s Day in their reformation. Indeed, the Reformed early on seemed ready to precede them in this; but due mostly it seems from desires of magistrates to preserve accustomed holidays, ie. days off for workers and servants, they retained various sets of days. This retained a set of other issues, and to ensure the riotous activities of the old days were not retained, the state churches prescribed that there be services and preaching at those times..

Read more: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/john-calvin-and-holy-days/

Did You Think You Would Be Honoring God?

Calvin:

Now, I see here today more people that I am accustomed to having at the sermon. Why is that? It is Christmas day. And who told you this? You poor beasts. That is a fitting euphemism for all of you who have come here today to honor Noel. Did you think you would be honoring God? Consider what sort of obedience to God your coming displays. In your mind, you are celebrating a holiday for God, or turning today into one but so much for that. In truth, as you have often been admonished, it is good to set aside one day out of the year in which we are reminded of all the good that has occurred because of Christ’s birth in the world, and in which we hear the story of his birth retold, which will be done Sunday. But if you think that Jesus Christ was born today, you are as crazed as wild beasts. For when you elevate one day alone for the purpose of worshiping God, you have just turned it into an idol. True, you insist that you have done so for the honor of God, but it is more for the honor of the devil.

Let us consider what our Lord has to say on the matter. Was it not Saul’s intention to worship God when he spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites, along with the best spoils and cattle? He says as much: ‘I want to worship God.’ Saul’s tongue was full of devotion and good intention. but what was the response he received? ‘You soothsayer! You heretic! You apostate! You claim to be honoring God, but God rejects you and disavows all that you have done.’ Consequently, the same is true of our actions. For no day is superior to another. It matters not whether we recall our Lord’s nativity on a Wednesday, Thursday, or some other day. But when we insist on establishing a service of worship based on our whim, we blaspheme God, and create an idol, though we have done it all in the name of God. And when you worship God in the idleness of a holiday spirit, that is a heavy sin to bear, and one which attracts others about it, until we reach the height of iniquity. Therefore, let us pay attention to what Micah is saying here, that God must not only strip away things that are bad in themselves, but must also eliminate anything that might foster superstition. Once we have understood that, we will no longer find it strange that Noel is not being observed today, but that on Sunday we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper and recite the story of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. But all those who barely know Jesus Christ, or that we must be subject to him, and that God removes all those impediments that prevent us from coming to him, these folk, I say, will at best grit their teeth. They came here in anticipation of celebrating a wrong intention, but will leave with it wholly unfulfilled.[4]

~Sermon, preached Tuesday, December 25, 1551, Sermons on the Book of Micah, trans. Benjamin W. Farley (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2003), 302–304.

Source: https://www.naphtali.com/articles/chris-coldwell/john-calvin-and-holy-days/

Three Books on Whether Christians Should Celebrate Christmas

Christmas: An Historical Survey Regarding Its Origins and Opposition to It

by Kevin Reed

To speak against Christmas observance is considered by many people to be sacrilegious and others as religious fanaticism. After all, how can anyone legitimately oppose such a hallowed institution?

The purpose of this study is to set forth scriptural reasons for opposing Christmas celebration. A brief historical survey will provide the suitable means for such an examination. Following an initial look at the origins of Christmas, we will note historic opposition to its observance, with special emphasis on Protestant objections to the holiday. We will see that Protestants, and especially Presbyterians, have rejected Christmas celebration, as demonstrated by the following facts: (1.) the scriptural principles of worship upheld by Reformed churches; (2.) the confessional testimony of the churches; (3.) the historic practice of the churches in their most orthodox times…

Read more: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/11/25/christmas-an-historical-survey-regarding-its-origins-and-opposition-to-it/

Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time

Purely Presbyterian:

Reformed churches have historically been opposed to observing man made holy days such as Christmas and Easter. Even the Reformed churches on the continent, which left some holy day observance to Christian liberty in some of their confessions, did so because of either compromise with the stubborn people for the sake of further Reformation, or because the civil magistrates forced them to. Gisbertus Voetius, a delegate to the Synod of Dordt, relates that the Dutch Church had been trying to get rid of holy days for a long time, but the allowance of holy days by the synod was “imposed from the outside, burdensome to the churches, in and of itself in an absolute sense unwelcome; to which Synods were summoned, compelled, and coerced to receive, bring in, and admit, as in the manner of a transaction, in order to prevent worse disagreeable and bad situations” (Selectarum Disputationum Theologicarum pars prima, cited in Why are Ecclesiastical Feast Days in our Church Order?). The later Dutch Further Reformation was more successful in removing holy day observance from the churches (c.f. Nadere Reformatie Contra Christmas).

Sadly, today, not only are many Reformed churches going back to observing Christmas and Easter, some are even beginning to observe Lent, Good Friday, Advent, etc. as well. In this post we will outline eight reasons the Reformed have been opposed to man made holy days and have exclusively observed the Lord’s Day 52 times per year.*

Read more: https://purelypresbyterian.com/2016/11/03/8-reasons-holidays-should-not-be-observed/

A Stench to the Puritan Nostrils

Alice Morse Earle on the early American refusal to celebrate Chrismas [Note: it is the position of this blog that Christmas never was a “Christian” holy day]:

The holy days of the English Church were as a stench to the Puritan nostrils, and their public celebration was at once rigidly forbidden by the laws of New England. New holidays were not quickly evolved, and the sober gatherings for matters of Church and State for a time took their place. The hatred of “wanton Bacchanalian Christmasses” spent throughout England, as Cotton said, in reveling, dicing, carding, masking, mumming, consumed in compotation’s [heavy drinking], in interludes, in excess of wine, in mad mirth,” was the natural reaction of intelligent and thoughtful minds against the excesses of a festival which had ceased to be a Christian holiday, but was dominated by a lord of mis-rule who did not hesitate to invade the churches in time of service, in his noisy revels and sports…

Read more: https://regenerationandrepentance.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/before-christmas-was-in-america/

What Jesus Feels Like During Christmas