Celebrating Christmas Does Not Violate any of God's Laws or Principles in the Bible
Debate Rounds (5)
The Bible to be used is the 66 books of the Bible.
My round one shall be only one argument.
2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
2 Corinthians 6
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
This is fairly easy to synthesize: Jeremiah speaks of the pagan tradition of decorating a tree for the Winter Solstice, or Yuletide, or whatever holiday it may be. 2 Corinthians says that believers in their righteousness have no fellowship with unbelievers - pagans - in their unrighteousness and darkness. Together, they state that the followers of God and Christ have no business associating with pagans and nonbelievers or their traditions.
I rest my initial case and look forward to your response.
(2) So far, Con makes an argument against using Christmas trees, but even if this argument was valid, it wouldn't show that its wrong to celebrate Christmas. It would mean we shouldn't use pagan trappings while celebrating the birth, but wouldn't prove we shouldn't celebrate His birth. That's like saying "its wrong for Seventh-day Adventists to wear wedding rings because they don't believe in wearing jewelry;" this would not show its wrong to actually get married.
(3) Most Christians don't actually set up Christmas trees, many can't even afford or care to buy one. So why judge the majority for the practice of a minority? What would be wrong with just going to a church service, reading about the Birth and preaching about the lessons to learn from it, praising God that Jesus was born, singing songs of praise about Jesus, and eating rice, pie and fish? How would this violate any Bible principle or law? I am yet to see how.
(4) Con seems to think its wrong for Christians to use things that were formerly used by pagans, such as decorated trees. But when Moses made the bronze serpent at God's instruction in Numbers 21:8-9, it didn't bother him that serpent images were used in pagan worship before. "Snake cults had been well established in Canaan in the Bronze Age: archaeologists have uncovered serpent cult objects in Bronze Age strata at several pre-Israelite cities in Canaan: two at Megiddo, one at Gezer, one in the Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies) of the Area H temple at Hazor, and two at Shechem. According to Lowell K. Handy, the Nehushtan may have been the symbol of a minor god of snakebite-cure within the Temple." https://www.google.com... God commanded the making of images, winged creatures called cherubim in Exodus 25:18-20. The hammer had to be used for this too. Wood and gold was used for the ark and the cherubim. It couldn't move on its own, all similar to what is spoken of in Jeremiah 10. The difference is, God didn't want Israel to "worship" these images. So it doesn't violate Bible principles to have the same decorations, ornaments or symbols as pagans, but it becomes wrong when its done in worship of false gods. Christmas trees are not used in honor of false gods. Pagans performed animal sacrifice, but so did the Israelites. Pagan used images of the cross, but Paul boasted "in the cross" (Gal 6:14) because it was a reminder to him, not of pagan practice, but of Christ dying for him, just as the Christmas tree is a reminder of Christ to us.
We ourselves were once pagan, but God didn't say we can't be used for His purpose. He washed us in the blood of the Lamb and used us for His glory. (Eph 2:1-6, 11-13, 19) If we, who were the pagans, are now used by God as Christians, why then can't a tree used by pagans be now used for God?
(5) Jeremiah 10 isn't really condemning the use of images, whatever kind of image it may be, but rather, it condems "idolatry." The context from verse 1 through 16 makes this very clear. Jeremiah argues that the Lord is the only God. "No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due". The Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King". God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding" (verses 6-7, 10, 12, NIV). The idols he is talking about in verse 2-4 are nothing when compared to God, they are just images made by man. "These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens" (verse 11). "Every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery" (verses 14-15). When we understand that Jeremiah is talking about idolatry, the worship of idols, we can see why he said "the customs of the peoples are worthless" (verse 3). No wonder he tells us not to "learn the way of the nations" (verse 2). Not because its wrong to decorate a tree, but its wrong to make an "idol" out of a tree. Verse 8 and 9 is talking about idols, not Christmas trees. Christians do not worship trees. When you make something the centre of your life, it becomes an idol. That's not the case with Christmas tress, thus, no Bible rule is violated.
Notice carefully Jeremiah 10:3 isn't talking about Christmas trees, but about statues of false gods. "They cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel." Christmas trees are not shaped with the chisel of a craftsman, but idols are. So the thing being decorated here is a statue of a false god. A Christmas tree is not a statue of a false god. This idol in Jeremiah 10 is worshiped, Christmas trees are not. So Con is comparing apples and oranges here.
(6) Con says we should not accept pagan traditions, but pagans never had a tradition of celebrating Christ's birth, did they? So by celebrating Christmas, we are not sharing in their traditions. What's more, its hypocritical in my view, that anyone claiming to be Christian could condemn the celebration of Christmas for pagan origins on one hand, yet accept other pagan practices on the other. The Encyclopaedia Britannica notes that the names of the days of our week are "derived from Anglo-Saxon words for the gods of Teutonic mythology." (The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 12, 1998, p. 555) Many symbols and artwork found in modern stationary, wallpaper, and decorative designs can be traced back to paganism. The all-seeing eye of Horus (god of Egypt) is on every dollar bill in the US.
The book Something Old, Something New - Ethnic Weddings in America notes that "Although for Americans covering the bride's face with a veil has come to represent innocence and purity, the practice was originally used in other cultures as protection from harm or molestation and was one of many rituals adopted out of concern for the happiness, safety, and fertility of the bride and groom....raised chairs, red carpets, special shoes and other forms of insulation or protection have been used to defend against malicious spirits on the ground." The current Western practice of having a bridal party to attend the couple evolved from a Roman tradition, in which the bridesmaids and ushers dressed exactly like the bride and groom, to protect the wedding couple by confusing evil spirits." "The custom of giving a wedding ring dates back to the ancient Romans....Wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand is another old custom. People once thought that a vein or nerve ran directly from this finger to the heart." (The World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 13, 2000, p. 221) The Encyclopedia Americana says that "The wedding cake has its origins far back in time....In Rome the early marriage rite was called conferreatio from the cake of wheat...which the couple first offered to the gods, then ate together." (vol. 28, 1999, p. 565) "There is not a single point connected with marriage which is not shrouded in innumerable superstitions, some of them dating back to hoary antiquity." (A Short History of Marriage, by Ethel L. Urlin, (Detroit Singing Tree Press, 1969), p. 201) So I ask Con, is it also against Bible principles to have bridal parties, wear wedding rings, wear white at a wedding, lay a red carpet, have a wedding cake, or use the names of the days and months on our calendar? If you say "no," you are not being consistent, picking and choosing which pagan customs to accept and which to criticize others for observing.
(7) The Bible makes it clear that we are free to observe or not observe special days, and are not to be judged in this matter. Romans 14:5-6 encouraged individual freedom on this issue by stating: "One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord." Colossians 2:16-17 reiterates this truth. So who are you to judge me for celebrating the birth of Christ?
(8) On his profile page, tstor says about himself: "I am a Christian Witness of Jah, who primarily follows the teachings of Charles Taze Russell. " But Russell celebrated Christmas because Jehovah's Witnesses were still celebrating it long after he died. "Even though Christmas is not the real anniversary of our Lord's birth, but more properly the annunciation day or the date of his human begetting (Luke 1:28), nevertheless, since the celebration of our Lord's birth is not a matter of divine appointment or injunction, but merely a tribute of respect to him, it is not necessary for us to quibble particularly about the date. We may as well join with the civilized world in celebrating the grand event on the day which the majority celebrate - "Christmas day."" Zion's Watch Tower 1904 Dec 1 p.364.
(9) If your wedding is worthy of commemorating, and even a business celebrates it anniversary, why isn't the birth of the one who died to save you worthy of celebration? Isn't the Savior of the world important enough to you to celebrate His coming into the world?
(10) The angels rejoiced over the birth of Christ (Luke 2:8-20). Why was it OK back then, but wrong to rejoice over His birth every year after that? John 16:21 speaks of the joy over a child being born into the world. Christmas is just a rejoicing over Christ's birth, celebrated differently by different people. If its OK to rejoice on the day he is born, isn't it OK to keep rejoices year after year? Why not?
Happy holidays and a merry Christmas to yourself as well.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 10 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded the debate in round two.
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