Should Christians Include Santa, Christmas Trees, and Presents In Their Christmas Celebration?
hello Dale Partridge here you're listening to an episode from the real Christianity archive Veronica and I originally began this podcast under the name ultimate marriage as a resource for online marriage Mentor program found that ultimate marriage.com while our marriage program is still a critical part of her Ministry after about 30 episodes we decided to change the name of this podcast to real Christianity as a way to widen the scope of our Biblical content that said these are some of our most popular episodes so please enjoy and stay with us on the journey to bring the church back to the Bible
 are you guys walking the ultimate marriage today we are talking about Christmas Christmas at Santa Christmas trees gifts should Christians their celebration so important because a lot of people ask this question we just do with Santa Claus Christmas tree like all that stuff that comes out and I think probably you get stuff from the moms like you know what you do do do do gifts do you do Advent what would it look like so we are going to talk about that before we dive into the show a couple now so to make that just I think will help you guys he's into the process is we're going to do our next show where can I do in a holiday season stuff right now so the next show is going to be how to or how Christians should handle holiday family conflict
 and I think this happens with married couples all the time every year and there's no boundaries and there's whatever so that's that have some coming up next so just you know be excited for that because I think that's a little help you even if you don't struggle with that I think is content there that you'll enjoy so you can help other couple and also could apply even outside of the holiday season of family so if you guys haven't left a review by just tapping the stars in iTunes would you do that if you're listening to this on an Apple device just tap it on iTunes you don't even need to like write a review but it's just have two stars if you do write a review we'd appreciate it cuz we read it our show is now on Spotify as well so you can listen to our podcast on Spotify if your Spotify person so that's a cool thing as well you can listen on Spotify you can listen to iTunes at a whole bunch of other things.
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 compliment or do they compete with that this happens for a lot of families is that are your Traditions especially run Christmas conflicting or competing against God's narrative about what I guess why we're doing Christmas or are they complimenting at that's an important part and yeah so that that's just something that we need to talk to look at your office we were talking about Christmas regarding towards the holidays regarded towards Christmas and this is obviously Christmas is an extra physical activity biblical mandate doctor in awhile you should celebrate or should not celebrate Christmas so I want to just kind of give you guys some context about Christmas I think it's important for Christians understand this because it is confusing territory so I'm going to give you just a little bit of History before we dive into some stuff so how do we get Christmas well it comes from the word of Christ mass that like Mass is like a you know that
 Christmas like Catholic mass Christ mass and I looked up the research so if you see me if you're watching the video on looking at some other than doing this in the year 221 this guy named Julius Africanus okay he identified December 25th is the birth of Jesus and was actually universally accepted as the birth of Jesus again if you look at it now to do the research it's probably not the right date but at the end of the day there is no way that we're going to ever know Jesus is exact birth but that's when the church kind of just universally agreed that hit December 25th happened as far back as 221 today that we're going to celebrate it exactly and in Rome this is some cool history because this is backed up in like Roman historians Greek historians Jewish historians and Christmas store in so this is like I would say I feel pretty confident that this is a true story
 I enrolled there was a popular holiday held on December 25th or around that season titled the day of the birth of the unconquered Sun s u n sun and it was this day of celebrating the sun the sun god and had a lot of pagan roots to it Christians really in an attempt to to I guess show a better way to the u.s.a. superiority of the one true God started actually having Christmas gathering at that same season and there's that kind of pain of the unconquered son son and so they're those things are happening at that time it was really an alternative especially in the form of an advent cuz I believe that Roman Holiday was a multi-day can a winter solstice type thing and so this is Christmas really came as a the churches are Christians attempt to to create their own
 Christ centered
 you know tradition while the Romans were doing something else and I think it was an Evangelistic Outreach opportunity on I'm not coming to Mary Jesus messenger and so the Advent and the Advent means coming in Latin so that's what that word means it's not just talking about his first coming to the way we need to review an Adventist it's also its really broken down the church history as three different types of of coming to the first time in his him being born the Incarnation of God as a as a human that's the first time in Jesus the second one is the way to the church again reflects this is is coming into our lives and so is coming into our lives in your heart is living with inside of the holy spirit in that way and then the third coming is the coming again
 the second coming of Christ to bring judgment as of the Advent season is really intended to not just talk about just as birth but that he's coming again and I thought that was an interesting thing I think a lot of people Miss today Advent goes back all the way to the 500 and so this is a camp been going on for a long time church history again is it extra biblical yeah is it under the cold and is it fun and so it's the for Sunday's leading up to Christmas day that's what Advent is and it was celebrating Jesus's birth you know this thing that we shouldn't do I go again there's well you do Easter is that a Biblical know is Good Friday biblical no lent know again that these are interesting moments that we have created to help us remember the things that Christ did for us
 I can't Rhodesia become so powerful that you actually die down a tradition for you before you got onto doctrine that has I don't think Christmas is doing that especially in the Protestant church I don't think that celebrating Christmas is sinful especially done if it's under the correct heart I think it's a great opportunity at the entire country of the entire world are talking about Christmas it's a great time to talk about Jesus and so if you want to kind of remove yourself from that conversation by saying we're not going to celebrate you can do that but I'm just saying is if there's an opportunity here Christmas carols singing the songs that are talking about Jesus that even the secular World sings talking about the need for a savior there's so much there that I just would hate for Christian to kind of pull away from because they're trying to be extra holy extra separate
 and you know where scripture is clear God demands our Behavior but we're scriptures obscure God looks at our hearts and so on Christmas that's one of those things helped to share what we do as a family and then I'm going to talk about Santa Christmas trees and gifts so excited about the coming of Jesus what's Christmas about Jesus's birth in but also about like what Dell said that the second coming of Jesus about his return and so we talked a lot about that and her home and so it's already add event which includes a few things we want to teach our children how beautiful Christ birth truly was for the world and not just for the world up for themselves and practice preaching gospel to other people by preaching at your kids and then kids need reminders that
 about the what's so beautiful about the reference representation of the outfit and so will use things like the Advent calendar and a lot of people have Advent calendars and some people just like candy in each day's and people put activities I seen all different types of things that people just put like little hanging ornament on there for days and then there's a little like activity or something to do so some of the things are fun just just fun little things activities for the kids to do like I'm going to make a snowman or go make that breakfast and then other things a lot of that I would stay with my next category babe thanks just serve or be generous and so yeah to serve one another so go make that breakfast or I think last year we did I'm wash each other's feet and so then we'll read the story along out of the Bible that goes along with those types of activities there's also one that like if you give like 5
 gift cards and go give them to some tired moms or offer to babysit like so it's also time for us to serve other people as well and help the children understand that that it's not just all about us a counter to cool that like pocket so you could like put those slips in there in like you know tell you what to do for the day and it is the repetition is important for little kids so they can go out okay like oh I get it I get it like I don't want them to be confused it all about what about Jesus's birth the gospel and it's a great time to just be hammered into their head and we read like a couple of Advent books to them everyday I know a lot of times people family will just have like just this one I've got like two or three of them that I like to read and I'll read a couple in SL because my kids aren't the type of kids that like you'll sit there and read them a story and then they're done like they want you to read book after book after book and so one of the things I was going to do this year was have a Christmas
 type Advent book for them to read every day and they were going to be able to open a new book every day and we agreed that one booked but again they like to read one book is just not I mean they were just like more time so I'll let you know I'm just going to put all the books in A Christmas baskets of a Christmas Advent basket with all of our Christmas books in it and so will sit there and read through the different books and so Sasha the Advent ones all read like to have multiple I'll read the you know day for Advent out of the two different books that morning and then I'll read the other ones evening cuz it did just get really good perspective multiple angles of the Christmas story different conversation starters we ask them questions after we're done reading what does this mean you know you know and just you know what what what is you know why did you just come here you don't like just giving them some prompting and it's fun it's again in the most oxygen to be a little kid so you can give me one more complex with the older kids reading in general that so these are
 books and what time out this time of year and so they're really excited about it but the big question we get all the time his do your tell your children about Santa Claus to your son believe in Santa Claus short answers know I'm going to give you guys the how I think Christians should at least consider this is how we do it so God commands us as humans. But they were talking to Christian singers Christian to not lie The Ten Commandments specifically say to not bear false witness Ephesians 4:25 says therefore lay aside all falsehood speak truth each one of you with his neighbor we are members of one another and that's just one of many scriptures are talking about speaking the truth don't deceive people don't mislead people and you know we will look at teaching our children that Santa exists and you should believe in him as lying
 but that's really just what it is it is deceptive it is training your children to believe a lie and you're sleeping he knows when you're awake he knows if you've been bad or good to be good for goodness sake and I'm always like Jesus sees you and you're so this is the cultures replacement figure for Christ... It is it's the counterfeit option for historical character like nobody knows. Saint Nicholas history and it was again I think a good Ploy on the enemy of just kind of getting him in there but it is it's a distraction it's the cultures alternative to the true reason for the season and that's what that's what happened to you know Santa replaces the gift itself
 sing with the entitlement of materialism and so that if you see little kids that are excited I remember a little kid you know we did Santa Claus and I was going to stop and I was really bummed I didn't get what I wanted I remember calling my friends being jealous of what they got and I didn't get like it built up a really negative heart in me and remembering you know that that when I found out that Santa wasn't real I memorized to write letters to him I did all these things that that were a part of that and a lot to go to this you leave cookies out right you leave milk out all these different things that would happen and this is with Tooth Fairy Easter Bunny again all these kind of deceptions and you know what you need to realize what's happening is
 you're telling your children hey there's these characters that you can't see but you should believe in and then you find out that your parents are lying to you and then they come to you and they say well there's this guy Jesus so you can't see but you should believe in and you go why should I believe you about Jesus but you lied to me about the Tooth Fairy the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus until you create yourself a conundrum that you're actually dismantling the trust between you and your child and it's it's just unwise just it's just not something to do and we should be very careful not to allow our children's eyes to get diverted diverted toward anything but Christ in this season again everybody's Warren for those little ones Hearts you know in the candy in the food and the and the toys and the things that they get in a celebration it could easily become something that is pagan
 that is dangerous especially because it could be a distortion of what this tradition was originally created for so Christians need to protect it by saying hey you see this I keep Christ in Christmas in the real reason for the season you see here these things in the church and it's important that we really do protect that as a church if we want to continue to celebrate that and so that's that's something that all our perspective that we need to take on why not telling your kids that Santa is real. Just take that into consideration
 yeah like just like you said presenting Santa's real is just the reality of possibly breaking the trust between you and your child and that's just something you got to be careful born just remember that it's a commandment like did that we shall not lie and so it's just something to think about so let's not let next let's talk about Christmas tree and gifts
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so we do both in our family but we have a Core teaching that helps our children to place these elements in the correct place in their hearts to make sure that it's not about the Christmas tree it's not about the gifts it's you have to work hard because the culture is not going to help you and you know they're they're going to they're going to have these songs that have nothing to do with Jesus they're going to have these expectations of gifting that has nothing to do with Jesus there or even generosity it turns into materialism that there's going to be all these things that are competing for keeping this opportunity that we have to really spend a 24 day. Focusing on Jesus especially for our families even for ourselves to turn it into something that's actually not that valuable at all all right so there's there's a scripture that all these people write me when we put up our Christmas tree right and they were Christmas tree in there like you know that Christmas trees are pagan
 and I do okay okay so you know they give you this verse everybody sends me this verse is Jeremiah 1:50 for it says dust 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 peoples are vanity a tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a Craftsman they decorate it with silver and gold they fasten it with a hammer and nails so that it cannot move okay if you take a piece of scripture out of context you can make anything mean anything and so this is two thousand years before Christmas tree idea has ever existed
 if you catch the whole context of this entire chapter which I have read I actually just recently wrote an entire paper on chapter Jeremiah chapter 10
 this is a
 a command to the nation of Israel specifically within the old Covenant on not to learn the way of the nation's just before the Gentiles had salvation offer to them and the context of the chapter makes it abundantly clear that Jeremiah is condemning the practice of carving Idols to worship not festively decorated Christmas trees and the reason is is that will where do you get a wooden Idol well it comes from a tree and so it's talking about if you read the rest of the section that you cut down a tree and you carve it into something else it's not talking about putting a Christmas a treatment with no one is laying down and worshipping a tree they're they're taking the wood from a tree car headed into an idol and he even says in the next verse like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they and they cannot speak there must be carried because they cannot walk
 do not fear them for they can do no harm nor can they do any good and so it's again it's it's not talking about trees it's talking about the wood that starts as a tree and ends up as a title that people are literally bowing down to and worshipping so yes if you're worshipping your Christmas tree then they are bad you should not be worshipping your tree and check your heart because like is a Christmas tree like an absolute necessity every year like we have to have a Christmas tree or else it's not Christmas like is it becoming an idol and are they extra biblical yes I get it I said but are they unbiblical know you know are they a distraction from Christ they could be they're not in our house you know and let me give you kind of have some more history of how the Christmas tree kind of came to be and so they really started as early as a thirteenth-century some people say the 16th century but there's two references to Christmas trees
 really back they were always the evergreen tree and which is it going to type of pine this idea that all trees when I was most trees shed their leaves and they they die if you will in the fall but the evergreen tree doesn't the needles stay on the tree and it was this representation that like it never dies and so they had this part of the Christmas Advent season 2 to be a tree to represent and symbolize that Christ lives on the other thing is that Jesus is referenced in the scriptures in a variety of different ways is the tree of life and soul inside of your house you have this again Christmas season that Jesus is the tree of life and so last night I just thought the kids are Christmas trees like Jesus is the tree of life he just keeps on living and so there's some fun symbolism there Revelations 22 20 22 says through the middle of the street of the city's talking about having also on either side of the river the tree
 life with its 12 kinds of fruit yielding each fruit each month the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the Nations and so again there's some fun references in the scriptures I just read an article by Charles Spurgeon about. Yeah it is just fun so is it is it sinful I don't think so it can be a but Christmas trees are fun if you bring some fun symbolism to teach your children about I mean Jesus calls himself you know we're under wings like eagles he calls himself the lion is he really a lion know is he really a tree no but they're fun symbolism that we get to use to help explain to our families and even to our own Souls the identity of Christ
 all right moving out until next topic is gifts so we do gifts in our home and we do one gift per child for stockings and we try anal stay pretty modest with the amount we spend on the gift $51 on all three of their gifts and not individually we do not want them to be more excited about what they receive physically is a material possession then what they are giving then what is given to them through Christ and so that's all like again it's just a constant reminder and her home talking about the Advent season giving back serving one another all those things are just constant especially throughout the month of December in our home
 and so with the gifts you need to remember that material things Breeze entitlement and entitlement breeds a lack of gratitude xur parent you know we are in the midst of just training our kids on gratitude it is guest and loves toys and they so it's it's a constant training and teaching of them and I mean some days I get it some days ago and this is a great opportunity to model generosity again that's why we have the calendar things that we do just remind us to be generous and serve others but the main point is is your focus on the gift or on The Ultimate Gift Giver the core of this conversation so
 yeah we try to navigate this Christmas season according to what we know about God and scripture it's fun it's a great opportunity should we hide in a hole during Christmas and we have friends that have been down this road and they remember that one year they decided to not celebrate Christmas and like they were just going to kind of plant their flag in that camp over there and they said it was like the most depressing day ever
 and Enzo you know there's just some fun in in doing that so let's go it's spread the gospel let's use this as an opportunity when the whole church in the whole culture is actually admitting that you do Christmas exists and that there's a possibility that Jesus did common they're open at this conversations and so they're singing the songs already and so it's just ended also a family and these things are are you know that are still morally common in terms of just we're getting together as a family the gift thing I want to mention is that it's also a great opportunity to teach generosity to your children so so gifting is is is not all that you know generosity is obviously a very clear command in scripture to be generous and you got to teach your kids how to do that really young and so did getting them to make a gift for Mom or make a gift for Dad or it is an opportunity to again bring more biblical christ-like
 falls into young people's hearts and so that's what we do for for the Christmas season and so our next conversation again is going to be how to deal with family conflict in the holiday season which right we get it every year and it's a hard thing to deal with and so we're going to bring some Christian biblical principles to bear on that topic
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