Monday, December 6, 2010

Rethinking the Pagan Origins of Christmas (by Brian Abshire)

Reformed believers have never liked Christmas. The Regulative Principle states that what God has not commanded in worship, is forbidden; since there is no command to celebrate Christmas, many Reformed folks think Christians shouldn’t either. The more historically minded will cite the Puritans and Presbyterians who denounced Christmas and banned it when they could. Some will even insist that Christmas is really a Popish plot to seduce Protestants back into Romanism.

Furthermore, they often point out that most of our Christmas traditions derive from pagan sources and surely, no right-thinking Christian would want to participate in an essentially, idolatrous celebration, would they?

Yet many other Christians, without a particular theological axe to grind, are also very uncomfortable with celebrating Christmas. Every year I get at least one email or letter from some concerned reader quoting those verses in Jeremiah about the foolish idolater who cuts down a tree and worships it. And I am not above criticism here; a number of years ago I wrote an article for a national magazine explaining how most of our Christmas traditions actually arose out of Roman and Celtic nature worship.

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