Monday, December 21, 2009

Charles Spurgeon on Christmas

I know some people think I have some strange ideas about certain things. My family and I are not your typical Christian family in many ways, but to be honest, we don't feel that "typical" should describe true believers. Are we not called out of the world to be a peculiar people? (Deut. 14:2; Titus 2:14; I Peter 2:9) Not that we do or don't do things just for the sake of being odd, but when we study God's Word and decide to walk in His ways, we do stand out from the "typical" variety. I would hope that from my blog posts, my ultimate motive comes across: that I want to be a true follower of the Lord Jesus and His Word. If I can share truth, and provoke another believer to consider it, then perhaps I have gained a fellow pilgrim with whom to walk the narrow path.

I think most of my readers know our stand on Christmas and other holidays which have no Biblical origin. It is a lonely stand indeed, but even if it's not popular, I believe it is right. We do not hope to have a lot of company in this, but I must say it is very encouraging to discover that a godly preacher that many hold in high esteem felt the same way about the observance of Christmas as we do, and proclaimed it boldly from the pulpit on Christmas Eve.

"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. (Charles Spurgeon, Sermon on Dec. 24, 1871)."

Not that Spurgeon is the all-in-all authority on matters of doctrine and practice of the church. But his points here are true and correct, and biblically sound. Christmas and the traditions that surround it have no place in the homes and hearts of the followers of Jesus.

Did you know that the observance of Christmas was outlawed in Colonial America for years? And it did not become fashionable to celebrate it until the mid-1800's. Why did our godly forefathers feel that way about it?

I challenge you to look into this deeper. Here are some articles to get you started:

The Plain Truth About Christmas Good information from both secular and religious historical sources.

The Pagan Origins of Christmas
From a Messianic-Jewish point of view.

YouTube Christmas documentary video

"..What communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial: or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

II Corinthians 6:14-18

NOTE: I do not endorse nor agree with all of the content of the above-mentioned websites, but am taking advantage of the facts they present about the origins of the Christmas festival. I do, however, endorse AND agree with all of the scriptures mentioned above. :o)


Anonymous said...

Hey sister Tammy good post. I like the way you state the way you believe in a Christ like way. Our family does not celebrate Christmas either. Your blog is such an encouragement to me. I wish we lived in Guatemala or you lived in Mo. It would be a blessing to go to your church. Praying everything goes good for the birth of your new little one. Blessings on you and your wonderful family.

Tammy said...

Tammy, I guess I didn't realize that you don't celebrate Christmas. I don't remember that from last year - maybe ya didn't mention it or maybe my mind is mush right now. You are right about the many pagan origins and other unbiblical things surrounding Christmas time - trees, gift giving, Santa, stockings, etc. I have struggled in my own mind for some years now but have allowed Bob to lead on this. Most people don't realize that Jesus never asked us to remember his birth. He asked us to remember his death. Most people don't know that even the time of year we choose to celebrate is incorrect. From my studies, Jesus was more likely born in the spring time. Bob and I have talked about that and have decided that at least we have a time to acknowledge it whether we were asked to or not. After all, there could have been no cross without the cradle. It is another tool we Christians can use to reach the lost. I have long struggled with the exchanging of gifts and have toned it down more and more each year and this year have done almost all homemade gifts. The decorating of a tree is more about our family traditions and sentimental stuff than anything else. I wouldn't mind not having a tree. As far as I'm concerned Santa is out. It is hard to eliminate him from the picture in today's world - my sister has tried and he is everywhere and her husband is lost and many others push Santa at her kids. She just goes with the flow and stresses that it is about Jesus and why He came. They are 4 1/2 and can quote the ten commandments but Santa is hard to ignore. He is jolly and fun and has reindeer and brings presents after all! So the world says anyway. Sorry, this has been such a long comment but some posts just make people respond. I commend you for what you are living and teaching your kids. Have you ever done Christmas - with the older kids or is that what you have always done?
I saw on Facebook that you had your baby. Congratulations! I don't get on there much and so I don't know any details. It sounded like you may have had some struggles during the birth. Hope all is well now.

Anonymous said...

It might be prudent to read Charles Spurgeon's entire introduction to that message. He was blasting the catholics and protestants, and later said
"Since it is lawful, and even laudable, to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day in the year, it cannot be in the power of other men's superstitions to render such a meditation improper for to-day. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son."
He wasn't totally against it.
Also the video has huge errors, such as Christmas was not accepted until the Sunday School movement. That is just not true. Look up Christmas in Websters 1828. The mere definition gives evidence of the inaccuracy of the conspiracy video. I would not try to hurt anyone on this subject, but to the world, being against Christmas aligns one with either the athiests or Jehovah's witnesses.

Tammy said...

Anonymous, I am glad you commented. I have to delete a lot of "anonymous" comments, but I was really hoping to hear from someone like you, so I published yours.

The quote I gave is from a sermon entitled, "Joy Born at Bethlehem", and it is an excellent one which expounds on JOY, and points out the superstitions and vanities man has injected into the celebration of the Lord's birth. Spurgeon was well aware that people of his flock were thinking on the bith of the Christ child at that particular time of year, and so he took their thoughts and guided them to a truer picture of what Christ's birth meant.

Another part of the sermon reads, "And here, too, I see no superstition. I know the artist paints angels in the skies, and surrounds the scene with a mysterious light, of which tradition's tongue of falsehood has said that it made midnight as bright as noon. This is fiction merely; there was nothing more there than the stable, the straw the oxen ate, and perhaps the beasts themselves, and the child in the plainest, simplest manner, wrapped as other children are; the cherubs were invisible and of haloes there were none. Around this birth of joy was no sign of superstition: that demon dared not intrude its tricks and posturings into the sublime spectacle: it would have been there as much out of place as a harlequin in the holy of holies."

There is no doubt from reading the entire sermon that the preacher was not against meditating on the birth of the Savior, and I am certainly not against that, either! Now, the festival called Christmas, yes, it is evident that he separated himself from it.

...And that is all well and good, but what matters most is what we find in the Bible.

Therein lies no evidence whatsoever that we are to observe any festival surrounding the birth of Christ. The first church did not do it. Such an observance was not mandated by the Lord, but He did tell them to partake of the passover bread and wine in remembrance of His death.

Tammy said...

And, in regard to the definition of Christmas in the Webster's 1828, the first two words in the entry speak volumes. It is the etymology of the word, and it reads, "Christ and Mass". I love this dictionary, and I use it a lot, but when this dictionary says, "a festival of the *Christian* church" I know right off that it is not referring to the first church, the true church, but rather to the adulterated Catholic church and all her off-shoots.

I do not agree with everything in the YouTube video, but when they say the holiday was not accepted until the mid-1800's, it is because that was when all of the States had ratified Christmas as a federal holiday. I don't know about you, but that's a LOT later than I would have thought.

So, do you disagree with what they present as historical facts about the Winter Solstice, and do you deny that many of those old traditions and superstitions bear a close resemblance to some of the odd traditions now associated with Christmas?

Tammy said...

And finally, I see what you are saying about what comes to others' minds when they learn of someone who is "against Christmas". But what I do NOT see is the validity of using that as the mould to form one's Christianity.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are faithful to go out by two's to present their false gospel door-to-door. Because they do that, are we Baptists supposed to avoid witnessing door-to-door? No? But what if someone mistakes us for JW's? Well, the answer is to bear the precious seed of the true Gospel, and keep on. Just do God's will.

I know Mormons who have beautiful families and live morally by all standards. So if I train my children to be obedient and respectful, and walk a narrow path morally speaking, have I erred? But someone might think we are Mormon. So what? Let's do what is right.

Worrying about what others think is a tool of the devil to discourage us. "The fear of man bringeth a snare," says the proverb.

If someone thinks I am an athiest or JW based solely on my stance on the Christmas festival, then they either do not know me very well, or my light is not shining like it should be.

Tammy said...

Sister Tammy, thank you for your comment, too! It sounds like your sister is doing what she can in her situation, and I believe the Lord will bless that in her children.

Yes, we did "do Christmas" with the oldest three children, and the older two remember it well. It hasn't always been an easy adjustment, but we have shown them why and they do not wish to observe it either. They are nine and ten years old now, and you know what? They get gifts from their daddy all year 'round, and they also hear about Christ's birth all year 'round. They can quote almost as much scripture about it as I can! They do not suffer any loss from "missing out" on Christmas.

The adjustment was difficult for me, too. We had started some of our own traditions, such as collecting special tree ornaments for each child, each year. Plus the whole gathering around the tree with relatives and all.. These things pull at the heart strings. It takes time to make changes.

Lina said...

I'm with you on the holiday thing! Even though my family still celebrates every man-made holiday, I do not. It's a lonely walk as you said, but it's worth it.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post Tammy! I commend you for standing STRONG on the baptist distinctive of SEPARATION.

Some good verses for the nay sayers:

Jeremiah 10:1-4 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Isreal: Thus saith 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 nails and with hammers, that it move not. (Pagan ritual of putting up trees {an idol} and decorating them)

2 Corinthians 6:16-17 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God;as God hath said, I will dwell in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing

May the Word of God be sharper than a two edged sword....Hebrews 4:12 "piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Christmas IS pagan-nuff said!

anonymous said...

You are great at expressing the thoughts of your heart. Can you please write something about BAPTIST women wearing slits in the skirts and how it has the "peek a boo" affect? I am the only lady that wears no slit skirts and see this as a big problem if ever brought up in love to them...
Please prayerfully consider writing a post on this subject! :)

Tammy said...

Regarding slits in skirts and other wardrobe modesty issues, I've never seen a better article on this than the article entitled "The Sin of Bathsheba" at this link:

It's worth the read! I'll contact her and ask if I may quote her and link her on my blog. :o)

La Familia Garcia said...

What a discussion going...I haven't read thorugh all the comments but it sounds like Remembering Christ's birth and the gift God gave the world isn't all together a bad idea at all, it's just what Christmas has become to this day and culture.

This discussion definately has challenged my "traditional" practices with my own family, but I think it is a blessing to be a Christian and reflect on the gift of our Savior. I think it is even a bigger blessing to rejoice in that blessing and it's completion on the cross. How well we know the Christmas story and reflect on every detail of our savior coming into this world and how that reflects into his entire life as a king on earth. It does truely start with Christmas, but that doesn't give the full picture until you see the cross.

I am thankful for what Christmas has come to be in my own heart and hope to pass that to others..however Christmas, and Easter isn't just one day a year.

Amongchosen said...

Great to 'meet' another peculiar 'stranger & pilgrim' here on earth. It is a lonely journey we make to the celestial city.

Sigalit Chana said...

We stand with you sweetheart, concerning non-biblical holy-days =)
This is my first visit to your blog, and I just wanted to say "hi"...

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

I came upon your blog after doing a Google search on Charles Spurgeon's quote about Christmas. Your blog post is wonderful, and your responses to "anonymous" were also fantastic. My husband and I stopped celebrating Christmas almost three years ago because we finally decided to do some digging and find out more about it. We were shocked and saddened by what we found, but we knew in our hearts what we had to do. It's been a long, difficult road, especially with family members. They're all Christians, but interestingly, their first response was to ask us if we've become involved in some sort of cult. lol...Isn't it interesting how actual Biblical Christianity seems so foreign to most Christians today? Anyway, I've been blessed by this post, and by your comments. Even though I don't know any Christians personally in my own area who do not celebrate Christmas, it's just good to know that others are out there.

jo said...

Thank you for taking a stand against idolatry in not celebrating the un-holy days. I totally am with you, and also have found it to be a lonely road, but one which I am confident that I am following YHWH's truth, rather than man's tradition; and this gives me peace, and true joy; coming from worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. After all, it is not about us; what we think. But about Yeshua, what He has asked us to do. Let us take courage and be encouraged this "Christmas time" that we have chosen the "lesser, harder, but more blessed path." And May YHWH receive the honor. Shalom.

Anonymous said...

Good original post. I just listened to a good sermon by Calvin where he talks about worship as being central to the Christian faith. Worship is the very reason for man's existence. And so the idolatry of Rome when seen in this light becomes exceedingly grievous to those who seek to worship God in spirit and truth. We must return worldwide as a church to the fact that God is worshiped according to His own word and direction, and not by the inventions or fancies of men.


Anonymous said...

Good to see others stand for truth! I do not celebrate December 25th because it is full of deceit and pagan "worldly" traditions. It mixes sacred truth with lies. God commands us not to lie (Col.3:9 & Eph. 4:22)
The very phrase for Dec. 25th is an abomination- "Merry C.mas... it means Merry death) of Christ. I can't stand this time of year...the tree is idolatry Jeremiah 10. It is not biblical!

Patty said...

I have enjoyed reading your post on Christmas. My husband & I have been having less & less to do with the holiday every year. This year, I have been reading through the Bible. When I read Jeremiah 10, I began to do some research on the origins of Christmas. Because we don't know the exact date of our Savior's birth, I can't believe that it's okay to just make one up, and it certainly can't be right to join something holy to something pagan. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

Tammy said...

Thank you, Patty! God bless you and direct your studies in His Word.

Mike Wood said...

I am encouraged in finding this blog. And encouraged there are others who hold to the same Biblical doctrine. It is very difficult & futile to talk openly with most Christians even in my own congregation about Christmas.

Every year I struggle so much with the season all around us in church. I usually avoid the meetings during this time. If one speaks out in church about it, your automatically labelled as 'nuts' or something of the like. It is sad really. The Bible is crystal clear on the teachings of pagan holidays, aka, Christmas. It is tragic in my opinion, that so many faithful believers will completely turn a blind eye towards this topic.

Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest another resource for you to share and even to view for yourself.

relating to the "Christian" celebration of Easter and Christmas.

Peter Springer said...

Cheryl said
Thank you for this page. So good to know there are other Christians out there making a stand for the truth of God's word.To align yourself with Christmas- a pagan/Catholic holiday- is to align yourself with the world. Jesus said:"Have nothing to do with the world. The world loves Christmas but it hates Christ.May God keep you strong in Him alone.

Allison said...

Why have you stopped writing!!!!???

Christin said...

I also am comforted to know there are others who see that there is no truth in today's celebration of this American holiday and have also chosen not to be part of it.

It is difficult when everyone around you, family and friends, think you are very strange!
It now encompasses nearly 4 months of the year!

Rita Silvestri said...

Tammy, the link "The Plain Truth About Christmas" does not work. Could you tell me another way to get to it? Thanks..........a good article. I haven't celebrated for about 20 years and then my children get married and start again. It is so hard with grand children when they are young but I will always put HIM first.

Tammy Coates said...

Thank you for your comment, Rita! I checked that link, and it no longer exists, but I found the booklet in pdf format online. Changed the link for you. :)