Is Christmas Pagan?

Is Christmas Pagan?. As every year draws to an end, so the atmosphere of Christmas starts to fill the air. The 25th of December is a day that has caught the heart of most Christians and filled it with gratitude- for it is said – that it is the day that Jesus Christ was born. It is marked on calendars as a public holiday, but it is written on hearts as a celebration of the birth of our savior. It is the time when families and friends gather together, bearing gifts for one another and where feelings of love are evident and friendships are strong.But, what if Christmas is not what it appears to be? What if we just imagine it to be this great celebration of Jesus birth, but in reality Jesus Christ was not in Christmas at all? There is a snare inside this honeycomb we call Christmas. It lays dormant, unseen, it appears harmless, and when one partakes in it, it tastes sweet in the mouth but is really bitter in the spirit. The following essay will emphasis the pros and cons of what hides behind Christmas, and will explain the roots of the traditions, rituals and celebrations that people practice over Christmas.If Christmas is not the birth of Christ, then where did it come from and what does it mean? Allow me to show how and where it all started. The celebration of Christ’s birth was not even a consideration until the third century. It was only about AD 350 when a Roman Catholic, Pope Julius I, decided to introduce the celebration of Christmas as the birth of Christ, and then the thought of honoring Christ’s birth materialized into a documented festival. Why would a Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, choose December the 25th to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ?Scripture reveals that Christ was not even born in December, as shown In Luke 2:8 when the three shepherds saw the star signaling the place of Christ’s birth they were “abiding in the field keeping watch of their sheep by night”. If it had been December, they probably would not have been sleeping in the field because of the severity of the winters in Palestine at that particular time of year. Pope Julius I also knew that the transition of Paganism to Christendom was hard. He decided to find a compromise – a gray area.He knew that if only he could chisel away at the righteousness of the Christian faith, then he could bridge the gulf between Paganism and Christianity. So herein he found an answer. Pope Julius I strategically set Christ’s birthday on the 25th of December so that the Babylonians would feel accepted as they worshipped the birth of their messiah, Tammuz. The Romans would feel able to participate for they too were worshipping Saturn, and the Egyptians would feel comfortable as they worshipped the rebirth of Mithra.This was the only way that Christians would not feel excluded from their surrounding community but be able to participate in the celebration and festivals. Were they right? Christmas traditions bear their roots in Babylon, as I will explain a little futher. As the Babylonians would worship and honor the son of the Babylonian Queen of heaven, Tammuz (the Babylonian Messiah) they used certain rituals, which later were adopted by the church and established as Christmas traditions. In Babylon their celebration was known as the winter solstice festival.It was recognized by the thrill of having parties, feasts, and the privilege of giving gifts to one another. Every family would cut down an evergreen tree – they would kill the tree and decorate it as a way of commemorating the premature death of Tammuz. The Catholic Church adopted this Pagan tradition of cutting trees as well as decorating them. This act being contrary to scripture, as described in Jeremiah 10:1-5, “Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: thus says 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.For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workmen, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with hammers, that it move not”. One of the other traditions that were held during the Babylonian celebration was the burning of candles on the night before the celebrations began, in Catholicism one of the watermarks of Christmas is burning candles around the house on Christmas Eve.Babylon was not the only nation that contributed to the forming of Christmas and its traditions, but Rome also played a considerable part in this merge. The Romans used the 25th as a time to honor their agricultural god, Saturn. They called their holiday Saturnalia. The purpose of Saturnalia was to celebrate, and thank the god’s for the coming summer. Every year when the days shortened, Romans, had no way of knowing if the days were going to lengthen again. When the days lengthened in December they saw it as a sign of the end of winter – the mercy of Saturn, the god of agriculture.This lengthening would allow them to prepare for the planting season. They had decided to use the time to commemorate and celebrate the mercy of their god – thus festivities began. Saturnalia’s practices such as dancing and singing naked in the streets became caroling and singing house to house on Christmas evening. Merrymaking and feasting, became the Christmas lunches and dinners practiced by so many Christian families each Christmas. The exchanging of good-luck gifts in Rome are the gifts we see under the Christmas trees today.Romans would deck their homes and doors with boughs of greenery and candles and today the Christmas practice is the decorating of our homes with lights, wreaths and mistletoe. The mistletoe was considered a sacred plant. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe began a ritual to bring fertility to the couple. Holly berries associated with Christmas cakes and also in the decorations were really thought of as the food of the gods. In northern Europe the pagans celebrated their own winter solstice, which they called Yule. The word Yule means “wheel,” which is a pagan symbol for the sun.Yule was symbolic for Mithras (the sun god’s) birth, which was believed to be on the shortest day of the year. The thought was as Mithras grew so the days because longer, and his ability to warm them became stronger. In all hopes to encourage Mithras to reappear the following year, it was customary to burn Yule logs to represent the warmth that the sun gives. In modern day Europe they still burn logs on the fire. It was also traditional to light candles to signify the light that the sun produces. The question that looms over this essay is, “Is Christmas a truly Pagan Festival? I will say a definite yes! It is clear, that because Christmas has been a worldwide tradition for so long but the clarity of its roots have long been forgotten The very thought of the celebration of Christ’s birth was not an idea that originated from any form of scriptural background at all, but it materialized from a Pope seeking to dilute the pureness of the Christian faith with Pagan traditions.This is a pure compromise – a huge compromise! I have shown the heresy of Christmas and the detachment that Christians should have from it. Anything that tries to reduce the magnitude, r detract from the holiness of Christ, cannot be from the spirit of Christ and therefore it must be the spirit of the antichrist. If something is held up by the pillars Paganism, supported by the beams of the spirit of antichrist, then it cannot be for Christians to partake in. The scripture in Jeremiah 7:17-20 says “Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the father’s fondle the fire, and the woman knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods that they may provoke me to anger.Do they provoke to anger? ” says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces”? The refusal of Christians to recognize the importance of relinquishing demonic association is a powerful indicator that the Christian world has gone astray, and forsaken the truth that once burned in the hearts of men. The Lord says, “ My spirit will not always strive with a man”. We should not fight God, but rather be quick to submit to his word lest we do not see ourselves start to fall away. We must be careful that by taking part in Christmas we are not paying tribute the false gods that birthed this tradition.Is Christmas Pagan?