Since it is the season I thought for now I would provide links to some of last year's posts dealing with the salient topic of the hour.
Nativities, Nestorianism, and Redemptive-History
Something of a Diatribe on Tombs, Monuments, Traditions, and Authority
This post will prove bewildering to some. I'm arguing within Reformed circles, so if you're not familiar with some of the terms and people, you'll probably be lost. It's something of a rant, a response to an almost tangle I had at another website. Then in response to this, I got into one with someone who was less than honest and forthright. I hesitate to include it. I'm not sure how profitable it is, but I don't want to leave it out and seem less than forthright myself. Some of you will find it interesting, maybe even helpful...others will perhaps be offended. I hope the heat doesn't cancel out the substance.
Also included here are a Spurgeon quote, and an article by AW Pink.
24 December 1871
by A. W. Pink
"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of
the heathen… for the CUSTOMS of the people are vain." (Jer. 10:1-3)
Christmas is coming! Quite so; but what is "Christmas"? Does
not the very term itself denote its source—"Christ-mass." Thus it is of Romish
origin, brought over from Paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time
when we commemorate the Savior's birth. It is? And who authorized such
commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples "remember"
Him in His death, but there is not a word in Scripture, from Genesis to
Revelation which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in
what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. Is it without reason that
the only "birthday" commemorations mentioned in God's Word are Pharaoh's (Gen.
40:20) and Herod's (Matt. 14:6)? Is this recorded "for our learning"? If so,
have we prayerfully taken it to heart?
And who is it that celebrates
"Christmas"? The whole "civilized world." Millions who make no profession of
faith in the blood of the Lamb, who "despise and reject Him," and millions more
who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in
merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting
it on its lowest ground, we would ask, Is it fitting that His friends should
unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any
truly born-again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either
pleased or glorified by such participation in the world's joys? Verily, "the
customs of the people are vain"; and it is written, "Thou shalt not follow a
multitude to do evil." (Ex. 23:2)
Some will argue for the
"keeping of Christmas" on the ground of "giving the kiddies a good time." But
why do this under the cloak of honoring the Savior's birth? Why is it necessary
to drag in His holy name in connection with what takes place at that season of
carnal jollification? Is this taking the little ones with you out of Egypt (Ex.
10:9, 10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly mingling with the
present-day Egyptians in their "pleasures of sin for a season"? (Heb. 11:25)
Scripture says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old,
he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6) Scripture does command God's people to
bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4),
but where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the little ones a "good
time"? Do we ever give the children "a good time" when we engage in anything
upon which we cannot fittingly ask the Lord's blessing?
are those who do abstain from some of the grosser carnalities of the "festive
season," yet are they nevertheless in cruel bondage to the prevailing custom of
"Christmas" namely that of exchanging "gifts." We say "exchanging" for that is
what it really amounts to in many cases. A list is kept, either on paper or in
memory, of those from whom gifts were received last year, and that for the
purpose of returning the compliment this year. Nor is this all: great care has
to be taken that the "gift" made to the friend is worth as much in dollars and
cents as the one they expect to receive from him or her. Thus, with many who can
ill afford it, a considerable sum has to be set aside each year with which to
purchase things simply to send them out in return for others which are likely to
be received. Thus a burden has been bound on them which not a few find hard to
But what are we to do? If we fail to send out "gifts" our
friends will think hard of us, probably deem us stingy and miserly. The honest
course is to go to the trouble of notifying them—by letter if at a distance—that
from now on you do not propose to send out any more "Christmas gifts" as such.
Give your reasons. State plainly that you have been brought to see that
"Christmas merry-making" is entirely a thing of the world, devoid of any
Scriptural warrant; that it is a Romish institution, and now that you see this,
you dare no longer have any fellowship with it (Eph. 5:11); that you are the
Lord's "free man" (1 Cor. 7:22), and therefore you refuse to be in bondage to a
costly custom imposed by the world.
What about sending out
"Christmas cards" with a text of Scripture on them? That also is an abomination
in the sight of God. Why? Because His Word expressly forbids all unholy
mixtures; Deut. 22:10, 11 typified this. What do we mean by an "unholy mixture"?
This: the linking together of the pure Word of God with the Romish
"Christ-mass." By all means send cards (preferably at some other time of the
year) to your ungodly friends, and Christians too, with a verse of Scripture,
but not with "Christmas" on it. What would you think of a printed program of a
vaudeville having Isa. 53:5 at the foot of it? Why, that it was altogether out
of place, highly incongruous. But in the sight of God the circus and the theatre
are far less obnoxious than the "Christmas celebration" of Romish and Protestant
"churches." Why? Because the latter are done under the cover of the holy name of
Christ; the former are not.
"But the path of the just is as the
shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Prov. 4:18)
Where there is a heart that really desires to please the Lord, He graciously
grants increasing knowledge of His will. If He is pleased to use these lines in
opening the eyes of some of His dear people to recognize what is a growing evil,
and to show them that they have been dishonoring Christ by linking the name of
the Man of Sorrows (and such He was, when on earth) with a "Merry Christmas,"
then join with the writer in a repentant confessing of this sin to God, seeking
His grace for complete deliverance from it, and praise Him for the light which
He has granted you concerning it.
Beloved fellow-Christian, "The
coming of the Lord draweth nigh." (Jas. 5:8) Do we really believe this? Believe
it not because the Papacy is regaining its lost temporal power, but because God
says so—"for we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7) If so, what effects
does such believing have on our walk? This may be your last Christmas on earth.
During it the Lord may descend from heaven with a shout to gather His own to
Himself. Would you like to be summoned from a "Christmas party" to meet Him in
the air? The call for the moment is, "Go ye out to meet Him" (Matt. 25:6) out
from a Godless Christendom, out from the Christ-deserted "churches," out from
the horrible burlesque of "religion" which now masquerades under His name.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that
every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath
done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Cor. 5:10) How solemn and searching! The
Lord Jesus declared that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give
account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matt. 12:36) If every "idle word" is
going to be taken note of, then most assuredly will be every wasted energy,
every wasted dollar, every wasted hour! Should we still be on earth when the
closing days of this year arrive, let writer and reader earnestly seek grace to
live and act with the judgment-seat of Christ before us. His "well done" will be
ample compensation for the sneers and taunts which we may now receive from
Does any Christian reader imagine for a moment
that when he or she shall stand before their holy Lord, that they will regret
having lived "too strictly" on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His
reproving any of His own because they were "too extreme" in "abstaining from
fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." (1 Peter 2:11) ? We may gain the
good will and good word of worldly religionists today by our compromisings on
"little (?) points," but shall we receive His smile of approval on that Day? Oh
to be more concerned about what He thinks, and less concerned about what
perishing mortals think.
"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to
do evil." (Ex. 23:2) Ah, it is an easy thing to float with the tide of popular
opinion; but it takes much grace, diligently sought from God, to swim against
it. Yet that is what the heir of heaven is called on to do: to "Be not conformed
to this world" (Rom. 12:2), to deny self, take up the cross, and follow a
rejected Christ. How sorely does both writer and reader need to heed that word
of the Savior, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no
man take thy crown." (Rev. 3:11) Oh that each of us may be able to truthfully
say, "I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy Word."
Our final word is to the pastors. To you the Word
of the Lord is, "Be thou an example of believers in word, in deportment, in love
in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim. 4:12) Is it not true that the most
corrupt "churches" you know of, where almost every fundamental of the faith is
denied, will have their "Christmas celebrations?" Will you imitate them? Are you
consistent to protest against unscriptural methods of "raising money," and then
to sanction unscriptural "Christmas services"? Seek grace to firmly but lovingly
set God's Truth on this subject before your people, and announce that you can
have no part in following Pagan, Romish, and Worldly customs.