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Does Christmas have pagan roots? That is another question that has been raised throughout the global church and the ability to come together and talk through questions biblically is how the body of Christ maintains unity. We sat down with apologist Dr. Michael Brown to talk about if it’s biblically okay to celebrate Christmas.
“People have questions that’s just the reality,” Brown says in the interview.
In the secular world there are groups and communities for nearly every thing you can think of. They are ready to welcome you in, love bomb you and help you walk through your questions about life. Why is it so hard for Christians to do the same?
“If we don’t have an environment where people can come with their questions and come with their doubts, they’re just going to walk away,” Brown says.
After he got radically saved from drug addiction, his Jewish family told him they don’t believe in Jesus and brought him to the local rabbi at the synagogue. Since then, every professor he’s had has disagreed with him on nearly some aspect of his Holy Spirit filled faith. That led Brown to study the Bible for himself, to be able to defend the hard questions.
“Many don’t get answers to their questions or don’t feel like they are even allowed to ask them. That’s very dangerous, especially for young people,” Brown says.
For same-sex attracted youth, kids in biology class learning about evolution or even questions about Christmas, there has to be a space in the church for people to feel welcomed to talk about their struggles and thoughts.
So should Christians celebrate Christmas?
We understand throughout culture and history this is when the church has decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Families and friends come together to read scripture, love one another and thank God for sending His Son to die for us. Putting aside the commercialization, for many people it’s a beautiful time of year.
Though some argue both Christmas and Halloween have pagan roots, Brown says there is a distinct difference, “Halloween is when you dress up in ghoulish outfits, watch scary movies, satanists say it’s a special time of the year.”
The reason Dec. 25th was chosen was because some of the pagan’s came to faith and decided they wanted to have a holiday of their own, rather than worshipping the sun god or winter solstice.
What’s the consensus?
Brown says, for Christmas it’s really a matter of personal conscience. “The saying that Christmas in it’s very essence is pagan is a misnomer,” he says.
“There’s actually some in the church who believed at this time, He (Christ) was born and obviously we can make arguments against that.” Despite the time of year Jesus was born, it’s something many believer’s do unto the Lord. Brown says even the origins have a redemptive root with many pagans coming to the faith.
If we decided to negate anything that has pagan roots, we couldn’t even use the names of the days of the week.
Each day of the week was named after a pagan god.
The consensus is: there is no reason to fight over celebrating Christmas on Facebook with your friends.
“The fact that in the name of Jesus we are going to have these vicious arguments on Facebook, I’m sure God is more concerned with the division and the nastiness of our arguments,” Brown says.
So, the next time someone tells you decorating your tree is a sin because they read Jeremiah 10, Brown says to remember, “There is nothing inherently sinful about a tree.” Christians aren’t decorating idol trees to worship to. If you decide not to celebrate, that is fine. If you decide you want to celebrate Christmas, then do it unto the Lord.
Shelby Bowen is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.