Should we put an end to the Cult of Christmas? What do you think? Some celebrate Christmas in a cult-like fashion, having misplaced admiration on the event. Some believers stopped celebrating Christmas altogether. And still some, redeem it by making adjustments to glorify God.
Truths about this thing called Christmas:
- It is pagan in origin, the Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival dedicated to the god Saturn, celebrated from December 17 to December 23. They practiced gift-giving, gambling, and partying.
- December 25 is not the birthdate of Jesus; Christmas was established to replace Saturnalia. Some say that the birth of Christ would probably be in September. Clues found in the time of the census, the time when shepherds were in the field, the time of Zacharias temple service, and the time when John the baptist was born, all point to some day in September.
So should we stop participating in the festivities, the gift-giving, and the family get-togethers? Well, it is really up to you; you should not be judged for it either way. But if you do participate, put meaning into it.
How the Cult of Christmas becomes a cult in belief?
- Believing that we are obligated to celebrate the birth of our Lord. The bible does not obligate us. If you believe that you should, then you are beginning to be unscriptural in your beliefs.
- Making December 25 a holy day, which is not based in Scripture. There are no special holy days that one must celebrate through excessive eating. For the believer, everyday is treated as God’s gift and each day must be lived out for the glory of God.
How the Cult of Christmas becomes a cult in practice?
- Obsession with receiving or giving gifts beyond our budget. I see nothing wrong with giving gifts but I see everything wrong if we have to force others to give us gifts or force ourselves to give gifts. It is unwise to spend more than we earn but somehow, the expectations pressure us.
- The Cult of Christmas becomes a cult in practice when there is a notion that a nochebuena feast equates to good parenting. A number of poor parents who could not provide a feast, resort to debt just to give in to the Cult of Christmas. Debt to serve a feast is unwise. More debt makes us slaves. If parents cannot afford it, parents should not force it, rather, parents should demonstrate good values to their children.
How to redeem Christmas so we may give glory to God?
- Don’t emphasize the commercialism, which includes too much materials things, too much expectations from Santa, but rather, emphasize the story of Christ’s birth to the whole family. What? I thought it wasn’t really the exact birth of Christ and that we don’t have to celebrate it? You are right. However, no one can stop you from sharing about His birth at any time of the year including December 25.
- Eat with relatives and friends, reconnect, restrengthen relationships, and prepare the way of the Lord in their hearts. In short, connect so you may share your life testimony; it is a good time to share what happened in your life when you started living it for Him.
- Make it about the GIFT of God through Christ, which is eternal life. Since gift-giving is part of the festivities, find a way to share the greatest gift of all, paid by the life of the Son of God. Emphasize God’s gift in contrast to the consequence of sin, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 6:23).