I Love Christmas!
Yes, it is commercialized. Yes, the -mas refers to the Catholic mass. Yes, there are songs about Santa
Claus, Rudolf, and some kid's two front teeth. Yes, the pagans worshipped the fir tree, and the druids
had a thing about mistletoe and yule logs. That is one of the reasons I love Christmas: these are the remnants
of paganism--remnants that have no idolatrous meaning to us today.
No one I know worships a Christmas tree, mistletoe or the yule log. We see so many Santa Clauses that no
kid is going to be confused for very long. It is true that the Greek letter tau was a symbol for Tammuz, but a
cross does not remind Christians of Tammuz, but of the Savior who died. If there are devils around whose
followers reverenced Tammuz centuries ago, I am sure that these devils do not laugh up their sleeves--if they
have sleeves--at the simple Christian who sees in the Cross the symbol of his redemption by the blood of
Christ. Christ has triumphed over all these things.
Faith delivers from bondage.
Although symbols of paganism are everywhere in our culture, yet we know that an "idol is nothing in the
world'' (I Cor. 8:4). The days of the week are named after the Sun, Moon, Tiu, Woden, Thor, Fria, and
Saturn. The symbol Rx for a doctor's prescription is ``R'' for ``take'' in Latin, and the symbol of Jupiter, or
Jove. The symbol means ``Take this medicine under the care of Jove, the patron of medicine.'' But who does that now?
These are just a few of the examples of why an ethical system based on pagan origins can be unprofitable.
There may be good and profitable reasons why Christians should not eat meat offered to idols, but being
contaminated by devils is not one of them.
If you are anywhere where offerings of incense or anything else are offered in worship of a Christmas tree,
then you should leave, for a variety of reasons that concern people and not things. Idolatry will defile you,
even if there are no Christmas trees. Christians are not having fellowship with devils because they have
Christmas trees, Easter eggs, go to church on Sunday, eat food sold by unbelievers, or listen to music
composed by unbelievers.
This thinking even leads some to reject the doctrines of the Virgin Birth, Sunday Worship, and the Trinity
because the corrupt church of the Middle Ages confessed them.
There Are Far Deadlier Enemies
There are other influences in our lives that are far more deadly than worn-out paganisms. There is much
hypocrisy among Christians that has nothing to do with Santa Claus. There is much false doctrine, and
dependence upon the flesh that is far more deadly to Christian faith than any Christmas tree.
We need to fear the gods of secularism, pleasure, and humanism far more than the gods of a dead and
defeated paganism. I suspect that Satan does more harm getting Christians to condemn other Christians for
Christmas trees than the tree itself does. Strife, discord, self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and pride: these are
the devil's best works, and they affect those who decorate a tree as well as those who do not.
Things are unclean only if we esteem them unclean (Romans 14:14). The light in the eyes of children in the
Christian home when the Christmas tree is trimmed, has nothing to do with paganism, but is part of the joy
of remembering the birth of our Lord Jesus. It is just family fun.
But a Christmas tree will not make the modern Christian into a pagan, nor a lack thereof make a modern
humanist a Christian. In spite of some foolishness, Christmas is rooted in the work of the Savior, without
which there is no meaning to the holiday. This is the true tree of Christmas, even though some of its modern
ornaments are frivolous.
The magic of imagination; the joy of family and friends; a special time to remember God's Son who was
given to take away sins: These can make the season a precious time for those who love the Lord. Luther
had the right idea. He thought that the devil should be mocked, because Jesus Christ had thoroughly
defeated him. I think it is good advice.
Trinity Covenant Reformed Church
Meeting: 2511 N. Logan Ave.,
Colorado Springs, CO 80918