Why Christians Should Celebrate Christmas
welcome to real Christianity a weekly show designed to help Christians know their Bible defend their faith and truly understand what it means to follow Jesus the premise is simple the culture is getting louder the church is getting flash ear but few pastors are teaching on how to live a Biblical life my name is Dale Partridge along with my incredible wife Veronica join us as we start an important conversation about what it really means to be a Christian
 welcome to real Christianity today we are talking about like Christians should celebrate Christmas and if you're watching this on YouTube you should know that because we're wearing red and greatness is the extent of our
 green festivity Festivus Miss we're not. But we did kind of coordinate this a lot of people you think that all Christians celebrate Christmas but actually not all Christians to celebrate Christmas and we're going to give our reasons why we celebrate Christmas and why we think Christians should but we also respect the decision of those Christians who who don't and I'm a lot of guys appreciated the episode that we did on Halloween and we had so many people try to start applying the logic of Halloween to Christmas like why you're not celebrating Halloween and then they applied at the Easter and Christmas and a good Friday or whatever and just because the the founding Roots were not in Scripture
 and sure yeah the founding roots of Christmas are not scripture neither are they for Easter and neither are they for for Good Friday or any of the other Church holidays whatever we don't celebrate Halloween just because of where it started we sell it we don't celebrate help me because of what it is it's a celebration of death Gore horror promiscuous and skin was costumes Darkness right and and so I just want to remind you guys the massive difference that you know between Halloween and other holidays and especially Christmas and there's really no Redemptive quality and Halloween but Christmas Valentine's Day Easter Good Friday there's there's a massive opportunity for the gospel in this holiday season and there is a Redemptive quality of these are these holidays and we know some anti-christmas Christians anti-christmas Christians that sounds like a bad title but I don't want to be that guy who who who
 do not participate but again you know my statement for them is is this in our are depraved and broken culture are we really going to evacuate the one time per year that Jesus is openly discussed in in the public and that's just as an important question is like man this is this is a big opportunity here the cultures talking about Jesus and I'm like Halloween Christmas again has those huge Redemptive opportunities especially if you eliminate the American perversions of Christmas like Santa Claus materialism which we will talk about today last year we did an episode on Christmas if you want to go back and listen to that and then today's episode is basically an updated version of that previous episodes so you don't have to go back and listen to it cuz you can hear here
 here are some thoughts from us on the topic of Christmas for this year and still said it seems like every year we get someone messaging us to presents to us is why we shouldn't celebrate Christmas and because a lot of people say that were elevating one day above another or why we shouldn't have Christmas trees because the book of Jeremiah speaks against them was going to go ahead and address these two issues and then I'm going to go and talk about how we do guests in our family and why we don't include Santa in our celebrations also go ahead and give you guys an outline of what conditions that we do as a family in our home and then what we're trying to accomplish by doing those things but they're looking to open us up with a short historical background on Christmas and then we'll go and I then I think that you know a good question to have an answer to Is you how do we get Christmas where we get this
 a Christmas while the word comes from Christ Mass. Lots of the word Counts from in in 20 for a d i have deleted the wrong say Natalie is from Christian I believe it's not a not the Greek philosopher in his commentary on Daniel 9 commentary on Daniel and you can actually go find the line that he actually mentioned this but he calculated that Jesus was born on December 25th a minute actually not like a flippant calculation he did like a pretty serious calculation and and is actually still even some modern-day Scholars that end with around Christmas is being the date of Christ's birth but no one will ever really know but it's actually other Church fathers like Augustine even kind of agree with this December 25th idea and this 25th date of December basically became universally accepted by the church of the early church is the Catholic Church
 I got time and in Rome you know people are celibate that there's just as Pagan Roots Christmas will in Rome there was a popular holiday held by our house on the same day December 25th and had the name the day of the birth of the unconquered sun sun and this is this is basically a day of worship to the Sun God and it's the idea that you take the shortest day of the year are you know at least I thought it was Thursday to yours around December 25th and so there's this kind of rebirthing of the sun that's occurring from that day forward and so this is kind of that that's what was going on I don't think the Christmas birthday out of that I actually think Christians in an attempt to show superiority of the one true God started celebrating Jesus's birth and as an alternative to that date around that same time you got understand that kind of societal and political context of all this and the religious State at that time but they started doing it really in the
 for most of her leeway of a debt which will talk about here in a bit too so I have it means just coming and that's the word means the Latin word and it's not just talking about his first coming that we kind of associate with Christmas the birth of Christ is coming but it's also his coming in your life and then the third coming which is becoming back to judge the world the Revelations Story basically and event dates back in terms of a real practice of Advent IT dates back to the 500 it's really the first 4 weeks basically Before Christmas it's December 1st December 1st December 1st the 24th and so again all this to say was Jesus born on December 25th nobody's going to know nobody knows there's actually really great scholarly papers on all types of different dates but the point is not so much when Jesus was born but the fact that Jesus was born that we're focusing on and we're going to celebrate that.
 that's worth celebrating and the Christmas season is really just we got to continue to remember that it's about a reflection time on the fact that God sent his son into the world so that we might be saved and that's really the heart of this and I don't think there's anything wrong with celebrating that that reality before I dive into the doctor's of days and Christmas trees Veronica's going to touch on Santa Claus gifts and share what we do as a family
the one thing that I'm learning is that tradition is a teacher I've been asking myself what do our family's Traditions teach our children about God do they complement the truth or do they compete with it not something that I often just Ponder on when we're trying to incorporate Traditions or anything but we do really and I try also to keep it pretty simple because in our season wife it's just stressful to do more cuz I think that we can find a conflict there God commands us not to lie and specifically to not bear false witness and nothing to be found in Ephesians 4:25 there for laying aside false its being true to one another are chicken truth's truth each one of you with his neighbor for we are members of one another regardless if it's fun or one or nostalgia
 it is when we teach our children that Santa is real we are bearing false witness to them and we are lying to our children and that specifically is just something that we don't want to do this podcast is to bring back to the Bible and basically not the cultures counterfeit and sadly the western church is filled with Christians who accepted Christ without really understanding what that means and the modern Church hasn't done the best job and he'll be Believers understand the deeper doctrines of the Bible if that reason I wrote short and fold book called real Christianity the subtitle it's got to be bold for Christ in a culture of Darkness the question is book answers is what does it really mean to be a Christian according to scripture No guys this isn't an easy 75-minute read that the aims to lay down to theological
 building blocks of the Christian faith and for those who want more I created a printed companion study guide as well and you can buy both in our store at shop. Relearn church.org or pick them up on Amazon and print Kindle for audiobook
 I think personally just as a as a father as a man of the home and that the head of the home spiritually I think that Santa is a distraction from Christmas and not like Christmas trees either because the Christmas trees are kind of like a peripheral issue of of Christmas Santa is the cultures replacement for the figure of Christ that's really what it is he sent it as a replacement figure or even if you think of the song he sees you when you're sleeping he knows when you're awake he knows if you've been bad or guess it'll be good for goodness sake lyrics I'm like just replace that with Jesus Christ and the idea is that you just applied the omniscience
 a tribute to Santa from the gift of Salvation which is what we should be focusing on Christmas time and in the form of Christ to the entitlement of materialism in the form of greed and so it is a big shift for a child in it you can see this as you build up an appetite in your child every year that they're waiting for Christmas to get gifts and to get things and if you continue to build that appetite into your child they're going to they're going to confuse what Christmas is actually about and we should be really careful to not allow our children's eyes to get diverted from Christ to something that's far less significant like Santa Claus which I may even last night we were watching the same old like Frosty the Snowman stuff and I don't mind what the kids watching some of these these things I try to really eliminate Santa
 from everything and Maria was asking me to watch the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the one for like the 50s with the claymation and I was like like in for me nostalgic I was like you know and all right let's just see how it goes for about 4 minutes and I go no turn it off boom it's just
 sure enough a few minutes later I heard that whole scene play out so I think that the most important reason why we don't include Santa or Saint Nick or any other replace a figure is if you tell your children that Santa this person that you can't see is real and then they find out when you were find out later that you were deceiving them how do you stack them to believe to believe you when you tell them that Jesus is real do you expect them not to apply that deceptive experience about Santa to your own words about Jesus that's a really important like that's the core piece right here is that if you tell your children about Santa Claus and you know a person you can't see you know and are as even asked me about Jesus like my can I see Jesus so there's this kind of put it as parallel figure there
 until then he's real and they find out later they will that you're deceiving them and that you lied to them again yeah but the question that you guys how do you expect them to not apply that deceptive experience to to your words about Jesus it it just doesn't make any sense and so this is a major trust breaking opportunity for parents here and and I would say it's it's Unique to because it's actually a major trust break an opportunity that's actually in a similar scenario to Jesus like it's the figure that has on missions that cares about you that's invisible that you can't see that there's kind of a similarity there so it's like I feel like it's a trap of the enemy and anyways and then again if you've already lied to your child about Santa if you're this person that goes I'm an we've already done a sentence and a thing what I would do is I would just go okay
 tour children hey you know what it's just a fun thing we made it out it would be a lot of kids you that we get we actually feel like it's wrong and we should have done that I'm sorry Santa isn't real either will you forgive us for it for telling me that we should have done that like it depend on the edge of your kids but I think that's something to consider because you want to redeem that moment so that they can trust you they might even ask you why are you lying about Jesus there's actually people that I when I get to post about this last year in the comment section I had several people say that they questioned Jesus after their parents told them that Santa wasn't real so what do we do instead the 1st through the 24th and that includes a few things I remember that Traditions teach and so we want to teach your children how beautiful Christ birth truly was
 just for us but for the whole world and kids need reminders as to what is so beautiful about the Redemption of Advent repetition so we use an advent calendar
 I just bought a blank Dino fabric one with a bunch of little pockets and I kind of made up my own in each pocket there are these little cards there's a scripture on it that basically walk through the coming of Jesus and his birth and there's some type of activity for us to do the bills have fun and we are not super rigid with it like December 4th it today or something like that and I don't think I've done with them but we have read with them but it is something you know a little bit extra that's fun for them during this season we also have a lot of Christmas books that I bought over the last two years and so we also read a book to them every night and I've been fun for them as well
 and then on Christmas morning we will read them the Christmas story in the Book of Luke as far as gifts go we do do gifts in our family we just we just do one gift for child plus their stockings and their stockings or something usually like socks and toothbrush like nothing extravagant you're crazy but we do try and do one gift for child and then let's see we don't want our children to be more excited about what they received than what was given to them through Christ so materials breeds entitlement and entitlement breeds a lack of gratitude so Christmas is a great opportunity to model generosity serving one another we have a lot of things like that in our Advent calendar so yeah and we have lots of conversations about things like the opportunities how they can look for opportunities to serve someone else
 but the main point is is your focus on the gift or on the ultimate Ultimate Gift Giver that's a good question for your home and it's hard it's hard to realize how much influence the culture has had on you when you're like trying to pull away and like not watch certain movies at the Christmas season not watch are not not participate in certain activities and and not go and get your kids all these different things in different gift because you're trying to create a usually a nostalgic experience from your childhood that you really enjoyed in the flash all these gifts that were given to me and it made that time special you can also make that same as Dodge of experience with just giving them one gift and allowing them to give give as well and teaching them that it's actually better to give than it is to receive. Something really cool to get into the kids and so I want to bring we just talked about the two doctrines that people sometimes struggle with one is Ella
 the days above another and the other one is on Christmas trees and so
 Romans 14 5 through 6 and in this idea of elevating the day the Jehovah's Witness actually take this Doctrine you know where the contacts to my opinion but they they don't celebrate any debts there's no days elevated above one another and this passage says in Romans 14 five 26 one person esteems one day above another another esteems everyday like let it be fully convinced his own mind he who observes the Day of Service to the Lord and He who does not observe the day to the Lord and he does not observe it and so basically you know what what it's saying here as there's freedom to rid of the law of Liberty and as a Christian you're free to do so to celebrate any certain day for a certain episodes as long as it honors the Lord and it doesn't violate scripture and that's what I would say is really key and you know because Christmas yeah is it
 is it a is it biblical know is it extra biblical yes is it unbiblical no not not not the way we're talking about it handy you can make it on biblical but but Christmas is done in a way that honors the Lord and doesn't violate scripture is a great thing now if you as it says if you know it says let let it be fully convinced in his own mind around results talks about the idea of don't violate your conscience if you have a conviction then don't do it it's not safe to violate your conscience but yeah so that's one thing and then you do those families who choose not to celebrate Christmas great that's fine too just as long as they make sure that their absence is both owners of the Lord and doesn't violate scripture like they're not doing it because of a reason
 that is actually not honoring God like they're not going to participate even if there's an opportunity to go show the gospel someone they're not going to get like you don't want their absence to violate and so we have some Freedom that's a lot a lot of Liberty so I just go let you know what we should we choose to do this as a family we think it's a great opportunity and culture that everybody talk about Jesus for 25 days yeah I'm not going to run away from that I'm going to figure out ways to creative talk about Jesus remind people of what Jesus is remind of the Gospel message that they do need a savior and we're going to take advantage of that as a family and creative was the second one is Jeremiah 10 to Thor 4 and we do this all the time stories are like you know that Christmas trees are in the title
 hey Dale Partridge here I recently heard a disturbing statistic only 11% of Christians have read the entire Bible now we can't wonder why the church is being influenced by the culture more than the culture is being influenced by the church the vast majority of Christians don't know God's word because they've never read it we cannot live out what we do not understand so Veronica and I want to challenge you right now to read the Bible in one year we put together a basic 365-day reading plan that'll take you no longer than 20 minutes per day and you can download it for free at relearn church.org Bible again that's relearn Church. Org forward slash Bible
 let me read this passage to you and explain to you and if you do some Googling like if you look at any scholarly article that they're going to agree with me on this because I did all the research as well but yeah like if the Gospel Coalition or Desiring God or any of the major websites yet they're going to agree with what I'm saying here because this is the contacts if you look back and all the commentary that I've read in the 1500-1600 1700-1800 there also a green here if you look at the commentary anywhere you little generally agree at least reveal to you what this passage is really about and it's not about Christmas trees okay so Jeremiah 1:50 for it says the says the Lord learn not the way of the nation's nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them for the customs of the people are Vanity now pay attention a tree from the forest is cut down and worked by an Axe by the hands of a Craftsman they decorate
 silver and gold they fasten it with a hammer and nails so that it cannot move okay so people can do her like that might be a Christmas tree no that's not what I'm talking about this again first this instruction is specifically to the nation of Israel under the old Covenant this is not a new test the doctrine you know just regardless of of the document all of the contacts here secondly the context of the chapter makes it abundantly clear that Jeremiah Was condemning the practice of carving Idols for worship not festively decorated Christmas trees and so they're talking about the idea of you cut a tree down you work it in Carver by the hands of a Craftsman turn it into a wooden Idol decorating it with silver and gold and fastening it down
 so that it can't move this is talking about the foreman and carting out of an idol that they worship and the very next verse actually reads quote like a scarecrow in the Cucumber feel are they and they cannot speak they must be carried because I cannot walk do not fear them for they can do no harm nor can they do any good and so they're not talking about a Christmas tree a Christmas tree can walk there talking about the fact they carved a piece of wood into looking like it some sort of creature or person decorated it and they're worshipping it and and Jeremiah's pointing out that we don't need to be afraid of these false gods and their idols and their life was carvings and they're not really God that all and and yes if people are sitting there and they're worshiping and praying for the Christmas tree and worshipping their Christmas tree then you got a problem but I don't think anybody that I've ever seen worships their warships their Christmas tree and so you know
 I can't director biblical doesn't mean they're necessarily unbiblical they're actually you know that the custom that kind of cable Christmas trees the 13th century is this this idea of the evergreen tree right so that the trees like in the Northwest and they like pine trees right and the fact that in Winter everything dies except the evergreen trees they stay alive they stay green and in the 13th century it was basically kind of a symbolic representation of Jesus like look the street that has life like the Tree of Life Jesus is actually represented as a tree and scriptures again we're not using the tree and worshipping the tree is Jesus that's not what I'm saying but it's a symbolic idea and it's fun and it's nostalgic and you can totally eliminate the tree if you want to do Advent without a tree I'm just saying is that don't be afraid of the tree because you think that it's condemned by scripture cuz it's definitely not condemned by scripture it's just extra biblical just like light bulbs
 door knobs are extra biblical you're not going to do you know the door knobs in your house you don't have to go get rid of their actual physical and so that's what we do as a family we take all our door knobs off and then we end up getting but we do have a Christmas tree we do gifts we don't do Santa Claus we do the Advent season and that seems to be really fun for our family and you know hopefully that's helping for you guys. And if you have anything
 no I think that
 yeah and a nun terms of the Santa stuff just you know if you already told her to the bus and I just spend some time with the Lord praying about how to confront that issue but I do think it's wise personally I choose my perspective if you guys are regular listen to the show would you guys consider leaving a review of the podcast of the reviews really do help the exposure of the show I got to do is go to the podcast app and just how the stars there you can also I haven't been to this in a while if you can listen to our show on Shopify on Spotify on YouTube Google Play and maybe even Pandora now I think we're in the middle of getting Pandora for the episode there too and another big thing that I wanted to share is that guy's we hit our Ministries goal for 2019 so thank you guys so much for making donations this year we we met our goal our financial goal and our budget and what a huge blessing it is so any donations that
 ask her this December here are going to go to funding the next year so we're kind of ahead of ourselves a little bit. Feels really good self thank you guys for your support this year and next episode of Veronica and I are going to maybe do some back and forth to and I just kind of get out of the added some heavy theology back-to-back-to-back-to-back so we might just a little fun episode for our next appointment and we will see you next Wednesday
 thank you for joining us on this episode of real Christianity real Christianity is an audio Ministry of relearn church.org if you'd like more information on how to live out a Biblical life relearn church.org xhosa variety of Articles podcast sermons and videos to support your journey real Christianity is 100% listener-supported Ministry and if you'd like to support our efforts simply click that don't have a tree learn church.org you can also connect with both Veronica and I on Instagram Facebook and Twitter for daily lessons and Bible teaching thank you for being with us today we hope to see you next Wednesday for another episode of real Christianity