Dec. 25, 2002
Taken from your emails at www.ericbarger.com.
Christmas and Christians
I love your site and have used a lot of your information you have there. I have a question. What are your opinions about Christmas? I have a few Christian friends who do not celebrate Christmas and refers to it as a pagan holiday.
Thanks and God Bless,
I know that many more legalistic Christians will disagree with me, but I believe we SHOULD celebrate the Lord's birth. This might shock some who have read my books or heard me teach on the occult and paganism. But just as bad as our acceptance of occultism is our legalism in trying to avoid other things in the culture. Besides Christmas to the Christian IS (or at least should be) about Christ.
I think its inconsequential when we do celebrate Christmas since it seems that the actual date has been lost in history but in my mind only the celebration of Christ's resurrection (commonly called Easter) is more important. The fact that a Pope centuries ago declared December 25 the date is of no importance or significance to me either for or against the celebration of Christmas.
In saying that however, I am not in any way advocating the commercialization of Christmas. Nor am I advocating any of the associated pagan practices, in particular Santa Clause. I think it is healthy at the earliest age possible to alert our kids that no one has the supernatural abilities attached to Santa. We should also steer clear of lying to our kids to perpetuate the idea of Santa Clause. What a double standard we present by holding them to a "no lie" standard and then lying to them about the existence of a mythical being who we knowingly affirm and allege is flying around to every house in the
world with gifts in one night. Yes???
I suppose Christmas Trees are perhaps the biggest problem that some of the brethren may have with this time of year. Many would attempt to equate them to having a Buddha or an occult altar in one's home. However, I do not know any Christians who are sitting around worshiping a tree. A tree - any tree in itself - has no specific occult meaning and frankly I enjoy the atmosphere and brightness that decorations of all sorts (less Santa) bring to our homes during December. I know I will probably get email about this inferring that I am "misinformed", "blind", "uneducated", and "unspiritual" but as opposed as I am to liberalism, I believe that legalism is just as deadly and certainly causes many to run from the Savior instead of to Him.
Please understand though that I have many good friends who completely disagree with me on this point. Still, the idea of "Christmas" or "no Christmas" is nothing for you or me to break fellowship with them over. Nor is it something I would preach publicly due to my desire NOT to make anyone stumble who by hearing me say something could take it out of context and build a major doctrine on it. If anyone thinks I'm weak on this issue or would even go as far as to accuse me of heresy, then just pray for me that God convict me. (I know it sounds far out but there are some folks that believe if you send Christmas cards you are a heretic and not saved...wow. Since when does sending a Christ-centered Christmas card equate spiritual blindness or denote the impossibility that one is saved?)
With all that said, I personally go into the Christmas season knowing that it is the number one time each year that many of the lost are open to receive any sort of witness about Jesus into their lives. It is the ultimate time of joy for Believers but is surely a time of sorrow for many others. Thus, the door to many hardened hearts swings open to differing extents at this time of the year.
I suppose my bottom line is that my heart sores at the though of His coming - no matter what day it really was in history and my heart longs for His second coming someday in the future.
Let's celebrate Christmas AND EASTER everyday until He returns, amen?
(c) copyright 2002, Eric Barger