As for Christmas, I gradually arrived at the point a couple years ago where I no longer celebrate it. In short, it is futile to try to sanctify a pagan feast. Sanctify = “Holy-ize” = “Kadosh-ize” = “make Set Apart” and we already have the Set Apart Feasts as determined by YHWH in Leviticus 23. Who else but YHWH has the authority to declare Set Apart Feasts?
INSERT: This isn’t as upsetting to life as it seems at first. Biblically, we can still attend feasts if we feel it is beneficial. See “What about Feasts” for comments on 1 Cor. 10:27.
The arguments for Christmas just don’t pan out anymore for me: “Well, we’re not celebrating paganism, we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus.” Ok – can anyone find ONE Biblical example of anyone celebrating the birth of Y’shua the Messiah as a commemorative yearly event? How come none of the disciples captured Y’shua’s pearls of wisdom after He blew out the candles?
For that matter, can we find ANYONE’S birthday in the Bible? Yes, and well, they’re all bad. For example, on Herod’s birthday, John’s head was chopped off. How sweet! Put it on the frying pan with the chicken head. So the birthday thing in general… not Biblical, but a holdover from pagan cultures which had astrological traditions. So why celebrate our own birthdays? Therefore, why Y’shua’s?
His death is what carries meaning for us. The Atonement. And that is memorialized in Passover.
Ok, so how about if people don’t get the revelation about how unbiblical birthdays are… and they really want to put up a tree and hang balls on it and kiss under the mistletoe and remember that Jesus was born in Bethlehem? (All except the last item on that list have pagan origins).
Let me ask them this: Why, oh why, must we remember Messiah’s birth on the VERY EXACT DAY that the pagans celebrated that the false god “Mithra” was said to have been born?
Next we go to Exodus 32 and take a look at the golden calf scenario. Most of us grew up thinking that Israel had sunk into depraved idolatry at that point. They had, but not like we think. They had entered into MIXED WORSHIP. Aaron takes a gander at the shiny new calf idol, and then proclaims a feast to YHWH!! Verse 5. They were MIXING the worship of YHWH with pagan practices from Egypt. YHWH absolutely hated that. YHWH hates mixture.
Christmas is mixture. Birthdays in general are mixture. We see in the Bible what YHWH thinks about mixture in Jeremiah 10 and other places. In other words, “DO NOT imitate the ways of the pagan cultures.”
The Israel of YHWH, by contrast, rather than following pagan customs, instead follows YHWH-ordained customs, such as those in Lev. 23. In fact, it is YHWH Himself who DECIDES which customs are SET APART unto YHWH and which customs are not, therefore, er, pagan.
In Jeremiah 16:19 the “gentiles” finally wake up and confess the sin of their “handed down” traditions.
In Ephesians 2:11, Romans 9:6-7, and Romans 2:28-29, we see that we are no longer gentiles. We are ex-gentiles. There are only two categories of nations in the Bible: Israel, and Gentiles (goyim). We are called out of the goyim (like Abraham was in the first place) and called into Israel of YAH. We are called to leave behind out goyish pagan customs and enter into new life in Y’shua Messiah with HIS customs and ways of life. “Come out of her my people!” Rev. 18. Babylon represents the ultimate in rebellion against YAH (Tower of Babel) which is paganism aka witchcraft.
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity (lawlessness) and idolatry.
1 Peter 1:15 “as it is WRITTEN, be Set Apart as I am Set Apart”
This is a cross-reference to Lev. 11. Find the “be Holy” section in that chapter!
Peter writes “be Holy in ALLLLLLLLL your conduct… as it is WRITTEN…”
Just to rip away the veil a little bit here… when a “new testament” writer says, “as it is written…”, he is referencing the “old testament.” (See page 833 in the AENT
, in the article “Founders of the All Gentile Church” beginning on 829 for more info on these erroneous terms “old testament”).
The deception goes very, very deep. But armed with Truth, we can overcome the deception:
“One basic truth can be used as a foundation for a mountain of lies, and if we dig down deep enough in the mountain of lies, and bring out that truth, to set it on top of the mountain of lies; the entire mountain of lies will crumble under the weight of that one truth, and there is nothing more devastating to a structure of lies than the revelation of the truth upon which the structure of lies was built, because the shock waves of the revelation of the truth reverberate, and continue to reverberate throughout the Earth for generations to follow, awakening even those people who had no desire to be awakened to the truth.” – Delamer Duverus
For more articles like this, my friend Harold has been doing a huge amount of thinking and writing on foundational issues related to this subject. Check his articles, such as this one