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Foundation Truth, Number 7 (Autumn 2002) | Timeless Truths Publications

The Birth of Jesus

The term “Christmas” has come to mean a remembrance of the birth of Jesus. I do not care for the term, for it is drawn from the Catholic idea of Christ mass—a Catholic invention and false doctrine. Nevertheless, the word has come to mean a remembrance of the birth of Jesus as portrayed in the book of Luke, chapter two. The first Christmas (meaning a celebration of the birth of Jesus) is described in detail in the Bible and was the occasion of much rejoicing and thanksgiving.

The first false Christmas probably took place in the hearts of people who did not worship the Lord in spirit and truth. As this false worship was persisted in, various superstitions and false elements were invented. Eventually this false worship evolved into a formal recognition of a certain day of the year. Constantine’s establishing of a certain day was simply a formalizing of what already existed—namely, a false worship, unacceptable to God, and without merit before Him. It coincided with a pagan holiday.

The word, “celebrate,” means to observe a holiday, anniversary; to honor or praise publicly. We celebrate our anniversaries as times of special remembrance and thanksgiving of the significance of our marriage. We celebrate and commemorate each of our children’s birthdays as a day of special significance to our family. We celebrate Easter as a special day of our Lord’s resurrection. These celebrations mark days of special significance in our lives and the life of our Lord. Why should we ignore our Lord’s day of birth?

This question becomes especially relevant when we consider the prophecies of joy and rejoicing which were spoken of that day. The question is significant when we read of Simeon’s rejoicing as he held the baby Jesus in his arms.

The birth of Jesus touched off a general rejoicing and heavenly celebration such as the world has never seen or witnessed since. The heavens were filled with a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”* (Luke 2:14) This is a scene of rejoicing and celebrating of the highest order. It was echoed in the hearts of men, insomuch that “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.”* (Luke 2:20) Even the resurrection of our Lord, mighty and triumphant as it was, was not attended in the same way.

There are those who would have us believe that all rejoicing and celebrations of this Divine Birth are out of order. That the New Testament brethren carefully ignored the birth of their Lord. That a Roman ruler instituted the remembrance of the birth of Jesus, modeling it on a pagan holiday, and therefore it is wrong to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

It is inconceivable that those who truly love the Lord would fail to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus, the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and His continuing reign. There is no need for a formal celebration or celebrations; indeed, there is no way to contain the rejoicing and celebrating of God’s people to a cold formality. They rejoice in the heart purity of that little Babe in the manager, that New Adam, even as they rejoice in the atonement of His death and the power of His resurrection. For the cross would have no meaning without the virgin birth of the Christ child.

God’s people rejoice in the lowliness, the humility, the Divine condescension to appear in the flesh. They recognize the wonderful pattern of the hand of God at work and rejoice in the same. The cross has wondrous glory and the birth does also.

There is something very wrong and completely out of harmony with the Bible with a spirit that forbids God’s children to rejoice in the birth of the Son of God. They would have us believe that December 25 is off limits to rejoicing and celebrating the birth of Jesus because some ungodly person designated it a holiday. It is our privilege to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus 365 days a year (including December 25) and 366 days on leap years.

Nor will an enlightened child of God want to mix superfluous elements in their worship and praise to God. The Spirit of God will teach us to drop all questionable elements from our remembrances—things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the birth of Jesus. Such as Christmas trees. Such as Santa Claus—the great blasphemous imposter who supposedly possesses omniscient knowledge and punitive judgment as only God does. Surely such a false and deceptive invention comes from the gates of hell itself. Parents are induced to lie to their children and deceive them by this blasphemous myth. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with worship in spirit and in truth. How thankful we are to have no desire to mingle this false stuff with our rejoicing and commemoration of the birth of our Lord!

We are also devoutly thankful for the God-given liberty in our heart to rejoice and praise God for the birth of His Son anytime and anywhere. For the liberty to remember His birth, life, death, and resurrection in a fitting manner at any time and as often as seems good to do so. I fully recognize that good things can become corrupted, even as the brass serpent that Moses made for the children of Israel, for their healing, became an idol in the time of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:4), and had to be destroyed. The whole remembrance of the birth of Jesus can become a formality and a ritual which brings no blessing to the soul. And there are plenty of examples of these things all around us. But the Bible says to F“ret not thyself because of evil men….”* (Proverbs 24:19) I need not be diminished in my joy in the birth of the Son of God because of the revelry and banqueting of ungodly men (including professing Christians who live ungodly lives). “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.”* (1 Peter 4:4)

A dear soul was staying with us over December of one year, and became disturbed because we indulged in none of the vanities of the season. “What is wrong with colored lights?” she asked. “Is not Jesus the light of the world?” Colored lights? As though Jesus put out multi-colored light! If this idea was indeed a valid representation of what it claims, then would not it be appropriate to put out one great white light (like a huge spotlight) instead of a conglomeration of twinkling, blinking mass of color whose only real purpose is to delight the eye? (Does Jesus blink on and off constantly?) But, of course, this is not the point and never was the point. The multi-colored Christmas lights were not conceived to glorify God. It is all part of the same excess of riot along with the elves, reindeer, sleighs, Easter eggs, basket-carrying bunny rabbits, etc. As far as lights go, I personally like color, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the birth of Jesus. I like the smell of freshly cut fir or cedar, as well (as in cutting firewood, etc.), but again—it has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. I avoid the legitimate use of colored lights for practical application (such as lighting a dark wood shed) because of its erroneous association in the minds of others. (There are attractive prices of colored light bulbs in January which offer opportunity to replenish lighting capacity for appropriate and practical use, such as night lights, but even this legitimate use of these items should be approached with care because of its association in the minds of others— 1 Corinthians 8:13.) I abhor the distracting and misleading substitutes the devil has imposed on the populace because it hinders worship in Spirit and Truth that is acceptable to God.

The same thought easily applies to other aspects as well. Do you love the Word of God, or do you just love the way the distinguished old family Bible is displayed in the guest parlor? In other words, do you just love the form of religion and deny the power thereof, or are you drinking deeply of that water that quenches the soul’s deep thirst?