By Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr
(Sabbath, 24th December, 2011)
Nimrod’s Gift to the World
For all who care to know, the so-called Christian festival of Christmas has nothing Christian or holy about it. It reeks of paganism at every turn. Its earliest beginnings date back to the Babylonian Sun-worship which Nimrod and his mother Semiramis, whom he later married, instituted in ancient Babylon or Babel.
The Bible describes Nimrod, a fourth generation descendant of Noah through Ham/Cush, as “a mighty hunter before the LORD” (Gen. 10:9). The accolade was not merely an innocuous title that eulogized his hunting prowess or his presumed success in destroying the ferocious beasts that had multiplied after the flood in contrast to the depopulated earth; it denoted his rebellious attitude towards God in the mould of the “mighty men of renown” before him in the Ante-deluvian world of Noah (Gen. 6:4), for, like they, “he began to be a mighty one in the earth” (v. 8). Thus the hunting was not simply one of hunting animals, but of hunting men (see 1 Sam. 24:11; Jer. 16:16). The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament observes:
“… Nimrod as a mighty hunter founded a powerful kingdom; and the founding of this kingdom is shown by the verb וַתְּהִי with ו consec. to have been the consequence or result of his strength in hunting, so that the hunting was most intimately connected with the establishment of the kingdom. Hence, if the expression “a mighty hunter” relates primarily to hunting in the literal sense, we must add to the literal meaning the figurative signification of a “hunter of men” (“trapper of men by stratagem and force,” Herder); Nimrod the hunter became a tyrant, a powerful hunter of men. This course of life gave occasion to the proverb, “like Nimrod, a mighty hunter against the Lord,” which immortalized not his skill in hunting beasts, but the success of his hunting of men in the establishment of an imperial kingdom by tyranny and power”.
In this sense, Nimrod would seek to project himself as the ‘champion’ and ‘great leader’ of the people and then enslave them to his will once he had won their support. No doubt, he would cite his hunting achievements as proof of his leadership qualities. Nimrod’s strength lay in mass appeal; he was the world’s first demagogue and tyrant of note. “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (v. 10).
Nevertheless, Nimrod’s real infamy does not lie in the fact that he subverted the then prevailing patriarchal order (where each tribe was headed by a ‘father figure’) by seeking to become a mighty king. He is mainly infamous in scripture for establishing the first satanic, anti-God kingdom on earth primarily to oppose God’s command to mankind to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28) and thereby ultimately thwart His plan to restore His kingdom on earth by corrupting all men— gathered under his rule in the land of Shinar (Gen. 11:1-2)—through his Babylonian false worship. This was the vile, Satan-inspired idea behind the construction of the Tower of Babel which Nimrod devised as a project to unify all peoples around his vision of a human-centred civilization of excellence and fame, ‘a paradise on earth’, apart from God. The goal was ambitious and firm: “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4).
Nimrod, under his charismatic and tyrannical leadership, had inspired a loyalty and determination not yet rivaled in history; it was a will of steel only God could break:
“And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
“So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build [i.e. stopped building] the city.
“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (vv. 5-9).
The man Nimrod truly lived up to his name “rebellion” or “we will revolt” (Heb.), and the “Tower of Babel” was the concrete proof of that.
In one of the amazing confirmations of scriptural truth, veteran Christian author Jeffrey Grant discusses in his book The Signature of God a discovery made in the ruins of ancient Babylon where King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the ‘Tower of Babel’ as the handiwork of a mighty king before him in an inscription found on the base of the ruins of a monumental tower. The inscription deciphered by French Professor Oppert reads:
“The tower, the eternal house, which I founded and built.
I have completed its magnificence with silver, gold, other metals, stone, enamelled bricks, fir and pine. The first which is the house of the earth’s base, the most ancient monument of Babylon; I built and finished it.
I have highly exalted its head with bricks covered with copper.We say for the other, that is, this edifice, the house of the seven lights of the earth, the most ancient monument of Borsippa [Chaldee for ‘Tongue-tower’].
A former king built it, (they reckon 42 ages) but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. Since that time the earthquake and the thunder had dispersed the sun-dried clay.
The bricks of the casing had been split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps. Merodach, the great god, excited my mind to repair this building.
I did not change the site nor take away the foundation. ….” (Grant R. Jeffrey, The Signature of God, 1996, pp. 40-41 emphasis in the original).
Mr. Grant then comments:
“This incredible inscription confirms the biblical accuracy of one of the most fascinating stories in the Book of Genesis. The pagan king Nebuchadnezzar confirms in his own words the incredible details that ‘a former king built it, but he did not complete its head,’ confirming the truthfulness of the Genesis account that God stopped the original builders from completing the top of the Tower of Babel. Most significantly, King Nebuchadnezzar’s inscription declares that the reason the original king could not complete the tower was because, ‘Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. In other words, they lost the ability to control their language and communication!” (ibid. p. 41).
Who says the Bible is fiction? To this day, the remains of Nimrod’s tower stand above the plains of Babylon in a vitrified mass of earthwork, an indication of the massive amount of heat God used to destroy it. As of the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the base of the tower, measuring four hundred and sixty feet by six hundred and ninety feet wide, stood some two hundred and seventy-five feet high. That height has now reduced to about one hundred and fifty feet.
So with the Tower of Babel debacle following the confusion of the earth’s single language into many languages, have Nimrod’s plans been scuttled? So the biblical account seems to suggest. In fact, the very next verse (10) moves on to a different subject, Shem’s genealogy which in itself is significant.
Outside the Bible, ancient historical sources have it that Nimrod was killed by Shem (a son of Noah who died at age 630 years and was for many years a contemporary of Abraham, Gen. 11:10-11). According those sources, cited in Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons for example, Shem cut Nimrod’s body into pieces to serve as a warning to others not to follow his rebellious path. Despite the massive Tower failure, Nimrod had continued his wicked ways and had even gone on to build four new cities in Assyria, the land of Asshur (Gen. 10:11-12, cp Micah 5:6). The object now was not to build a tower whose top would reach the heavens but to perpetuate his Babylonian religion of sun worship steeped in ‘mysteries’.
But alas the hero has been hacked to death by righteous Shem. For a time Nimrod’s religion of sun-worship involving human sacrifices was in danger of extinction as his followers stopped practicing the evil religion for fear of suffering a similar fate as his. But Semiramis, Nimrod’s wife and mother, would not let it be; she couldn’t simply let go of all the adoration and pomp she shared with her son-husband. She thought of how to repackage the counterfeit religion and infuse it with even more awe.
Semiramis declared her husband/son a spirit being or a god and she, the ‘mother of the husband’ a goddess. To back up her claim, she pointed to a full-grown evergreen tree which, she claimed, sprang up overnight from the stump of a dead tree as a symbol of the rebirth of the dead Nimrod. “On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. December 25th was the birthday of Nimrod. This is the real origin of the Christmas tree.
“Through her scheming and designing, Semiramis became the Babylonian “Queen of Heaven,” and Nimrod, under various names [such as Ninus and Tammuz], became the “divine son of heaven.”Through the generations, in this idolatrous worship, Nimrod also became the false Messiah, son of Baal the Sun-god. In this false Babylonish system, the ‘Mother and Child’, (Semiramis and Nimrod reborn); became chief object of worship. This worship of “Mother and Child” spread over the world. The names varied in different countries and languages. In Egypt it was Isis and Osiris. In Asia, Cybele and Deouius. In Pagan Rome, Fortuna and Jupiter. Even in Greece, China, Japan, Tibet are to be found the counterpart of the Madonna, long before the birth of the Messiah!” (Don Esposito, The Plain Truth about Christmas).
In the fourth and fifth centuries (C.E.), the newly ‘converted’ pagans of the Roman world would bring along this ancient annual ritual of celebrating the rebirth of the deified Nimrod into the ‘Church’. By now the cult of Nimrod or Tammuz had been established as a universal religion in which he was worshipped as the sun-god complete with its ceremonies.
The high point of this Tammuz-sun-worship came in the month of December. As the days increasingly shortened during the winter solstice reaching their shortest on about 22-23 December, Tammuz was thought to have died. This was formally commemorated by burning a log in the fireplace (‘yule’ being the Chaldean word for ‘infant’, hence ‘yule log’, the origin of our ‘yuletide’). But Tammuz’ death lasted for only a short time. As the sun regained its strength, Tammuz was thought to have been ‘reborn’, and this was celebrated by replacing the partially burnt yule log with a trimmed tree the next morning.
As evidence of the universal reach of the Babylonian sun-worship, it’s a matter of historical record that virtually all pagan cultures have had traditions celebrating the birthday of the sun-god in one form or another.
In an online article writer Jenny Ashford put it point-blank: “The modern version of Christmas is an amalgam of many pagan traditions from early civilizations, especially that of the ancient Romans” (http://jenny-ashford.suite101.com/ancient-origins-of-christmas-traditions-a82445). This included the Scandinavian Yule, various Germanic feasts, and Near Eastern Mithraic customs.
The Roman festival of Saturnalia, celebrated in the month of December, originally honoured Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture. The celebrations began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. During this time, the Romans would exchange gifts, decorate their homes in evergreen boughs and candles, visit family and friends and engage in riotous merry-making. Eventually, when the Romans adopted the Persian mystery god cum sun-god Mithra, they combined the festival of Saturnalia with the worship of Mithra whose birth date was on 25th December. While several Roman emperors became avowed devotees of the sun-god, the emperor who greatly helped the cause of sun-worship was Emperor Aurelian (AD 270 to 275). He blended the different pagan solstice celebrations of the sun-god under such names Apollo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus into a single festival called Natalis Solis Invicti , the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered Sun’. Natalis Solis Invicti was celebrated on 25th December.
The celebration of 25th December has nothing to do with the birthday of Christ, the Saviour; it’s a simple fact all historians admit. The only reason it’s now celebrated as a ‘Christian festival’ is that so-called Christian converts from paganism loved it so dearly to give it up. To make it seem Christian, they ‘transferred’ the Sun-god’s birth date to Jesus Christ and gave its yearly celebration on 25th December a Christian-sounding name to perpetuate its celebration in the ‘Church’.
In another online article writer Christina Dagneli rightly points out:
“December 25th was formerly the date many Romans celebrated the sun god. The church chose to absorb this holiday as they did with Easter, this way nothing had to be outlawed. Early Christians did not celebrate birthdays, and their first main holiday Easter-though a separate holiday on its own-is also an absorbed pagan holiday. December 25th would now serve as the date of the birth of the baby Jesus. Biblical scholars have yet to discover the actual date of Jesus’ birth, though based on some bible passages suggest early spring” (Christiana Dagneli, “The Origin of Christmas: Some Assembly Required”, Dec. 17, 2010 http://christina-dagnelli.suite101.com/the-origin-of-christmas-some-assembly-required-a322189 ).
As to the unbiblical observance of Christ’s birthday, history shows that “for more than 300, people [in the grip of incipient apostasy, 2 Thess. 2:7] observed His birthday on various dates. In A.D. 354, Pope Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun. Christians honored Christ, instead of Saturn, as the Light of the World. The Christians of Egypt celebrated Christmas on January 6, and many members of the Eastern Orthodox Church still observe this date” (The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 21, 1974, p. 416).
As a matter of fact, not only is the date of Christ’s birth unknown, but also it’s an established fact He couldn’t have been born anywhere near December. In his book The Two Babylons Alexander Hislop points out:
“There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of His birth, or the time of the year when He was born. What is recorded there implies that at what time soever His birth took place, it could not have been on the 25th of December.
“At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields . . . The climate of Palestine . . . from December to February, is very piercing, and it was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October” (p. 91, emphasis in original).
Christmas is an out-and-out pagan festival repackaged in borrowed Christian robes, and nothing more.
The Nations are Madly Infatuated with Babylon
But the question is, how many people, having discovered or been presented with this truth, are able to say goodbye to Christmas celebration? The vast majority of Christian ministers will honestly admit that Christmas has no biblical basis or sanction and that it’s only observed in honour of Christ. So do a large number of churchgoers. Apparently the fact that Christmas is pagan and originally dedicated to the Sun-god, the devil, is no cause for worry. Christmas has become entrenched in Christianity and society, and nobody dare speak against this ‘sacred cow’. People have more regard for the pagan traditions of men than the commandments of God, and they can’t be bothered that that, that amounts to empty worship:
“This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:8-9)
So, why do so-called Bible-believing Christians find it difficult to give up the celebration despite its ugly pagan features? It’s because of the special attraction Christmas has.
The lure of pagan festivals lies in their power to cater to the sensual, carnal side of man. This is exactly the pull and power of Saturnalia–and the nations are madly infatuated with it; they can hardly let go of it:”Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad” (Jer. 51:7; see also Rev. 17:2 and 18:23).
In Jeremiah 10 God warns His people:
“Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
“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 workman, with the axe.
“They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
“They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good” (Jer. 10:1-5).
Is this not an exact description of the Christmas Tree decorated with tinsels and baubles?
God’s warning message is clear: do not learn the way of the heathen world, and Christmas is an international heathen festival. That all Gentile nations celebrate the rebirth of the Sun-god to this day testifies to the enduring power and influence of Babylon on all the world; she holds sway over all nations, “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Rev. 18:3).
A World of Nature Worshippers
The whole pagan world—which has since absorbed apostate Christianity—is in the grip of nature worship to this day (Rom. 1:23), a fact clearly brought out at Christmastime:
“One of the most awaited Christmas decor items, especially by kids, is undoubtedly the magical looking Christmas tree. It is said that Christmas tree was included in the celebrations ever since humans observed these evergreen trees glistening in the moonlit sky on a clear night sparkling against the backdrop of white snow. One of the most import Christmas symbols for centuries, Christmas trees were used in many pagan festivals to honor their gods and spirits. Vikings in North Europe considered these evergreen trees a reminder of the Spring that is about to approach and that the Winter will end soon. In ancient England and France, Druids used to honor god of harvests by decorating oak trees with fruit and candles, just as Romans adorned trees with trinkets and candles on Saturnalia” (“Christmas Tree” http://www.worldofchristmas.net/christmas-trees/index.html).
In what way has this got to do with the birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ? It’s the spirit of Nimrod haunting the’ church’; it’s paganism carried into the church. No wonder God said of the Babylonian church: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2).
Beloved, there’s no way you honour the Creator when you seek to do so through the adoption and use of pagan symbols. Instead of honouring Him, the very opposite is the case—you provoke Him. He said concerning the apostate Israelites who sought to worship God, not by doing what He has commanded but through the observance of pagan vanities:
“They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their VANITIES: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
“For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
“I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them” (Deut. 32:21-23).
The pagan gods and demons are not Yahweh’s equal, and He in no way takes kindly to any attempt to put Him on a par with those false gods. He asks in Isaiah in the context of ranking Him as equal to the decorated gods of human creativity: “To whom will ye liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be like? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship”(Isa. 46:5-6; see also 40:18-19; 42:8).
Apart from the Christmas tree, another enduring symbol people include in the celebration of Christmas is the mistletoe tree in yet another attempt to honour God through a pagan yuletide symbol. If the adorned ‘Christmas tree’ is abhorrent to God, then the Christmas mistletoe must be sordid to Him—it is lewdness and spirit worship glamourized and celebrated. The following account of the Christmas mistletoe by the website www.worldofchristmas.net should offend the sensibilities of any Holy Spirit-filled Bible believer. Under the heading “Mistletoe Superstitions”, the website article stated:
“Mistletoe is a well-known aerial parasitic plant that grows on the branches or trunk of other trees. Most often associated with the holy Christmas, the tradition of using mistletoe in decorations has been there since the pagan times, when they used to decorate their home during winter solstice. Mistletoe was basically used, as it was believed to ward off evil spirits and witches from home. It is also believed to be the symbol of fertility, love and romance. In ancient times, the Druids believed that mistletoe had magical, mysterious and sacred powers which would bring in good luck and good health to their homes. This was reason why they named it an “all-heal” plant. There are many legends and traditions related to mistletoe, the most popular being the kissing one. Kissing under the mistletoe is from a Greek festival tradition and stands for deep romance or a lasting, loyal friendship. Apart from this, there are a number of superstitions associated with mistletoe. Read through the following lines and acquaint yourself with it.
- Mistletoe, also known as Celtic-All-Heal was popular by the 19th century. Since the times of druids, it was associated with fertility and kissing.
- Earlier, an ethical man was supposed to present a mistletoe berry for each kiss. When berries finished, so would the kissing.
- Luck favors those who kiss under the mistletoe but turn against those who avoid it.
- It is bad luck to take Christmas mistletoe down and should only be replaced on the following Christmas.
- Unmarried girls used to steal sprigs of mistletoe from church decorations and hid them under their pillows as a charm to dream of their future husbands.
- Burning old mistletoe was said to predict marriage prospects of an unmarried girl. Steady flames ensured happy marital life while the spluttering flames predicted bad tempered and cross husbands.
- Although of Mistletoes is considered to be a healing plant but the berries are in fact poisonous and should not be touched by children.
- It was believed that kissing under Mistletoe would lead to marriage of the couple whereas; if the girl standing under it was not kissed by anyone her marriage is not at all predicted in the next year.
- In some parts of England the Christmas mistletoe is burned on the twelfth night lest all the boys and girls who have kissed under it never marry” (http://www.worldofchristmas.net/christmas-superstitions/mistletoe.html).
Little wonder God labeled the religious practices of the heathen “vanities”! Nature worship and all the sensual desires it arouses (see Hos. 4:13-14) has no place among God’s holy people (Deut. 4:19). The LORD warned the redeemed children of Israel:
“When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land,
“take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?–that I also may do the same.’
“You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deut. 12:29-31 ESV).
The LORD still hates it, if not more, even if the pagan practice is “Christianized’ and observed in His temple supposedly in His honour. In Ezekiel 8:16 God takes the prophet on a spiritual tour of the temple to see the abominations being done there, “and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east“.
The temple of the LORD did not sanctify the sun-worship carried out therein. God still considered it a “greater abomination” along with the yearly pagan ritual of “weeping for Tammuz”, also done in “the LORD’s house”(vv. 13-15).
Would Saturnalia ‘Christianized’ as “Christmas” be any different in the sight of the LORD?
For Job, even a cursory acknowledgement that the planetary bodies like the sun could have some inherent quality or power worthy of veneration was not to be countenanced; it meant a denial of God:
“If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;
“And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
“This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above” (Job 31:26-28).
God’s Position on Pagan Festival Dates and Symbols
Often, Christian observers of 25th December, while admitting its pagan origins, are quick to argue that the day is observed in honor of Christ, the ‘Sun of righteousness’, and no longer in honor of the sun-god. But I am here to tell you that jolly old hackneyed excuse has no legs to stand on in scripture. God detests the observance of pagan festival dates ‘in His honour’ with the same vehemence He detests ‘unalloyed’ idolatry. Paul protested to the Galatians 4:
“… when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
“Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years” (Gal. 4:8-10).
While many commentators associate the “days, months, times and years” with the feasts of Israel, it is quite clear from the immediate context of the text that whatever religious times the Apostle Paul referred to had to do with the false gods the Gentile Galatian Christians worshipped before they came to know the true God. There’s no way Paul would equate the Biblical Hebrew feasts with the worship of pagan gods, even though he considered the former “a shadow of things to come” (Col. 2:16-17). The “days, months, times and years” are pagan religious times:
“The ‘elemental things’ (NASB) or ‘principles’ (NIV) to which they [the Galatians] are returning are presumably the ‘spirits’ (cf. NRSV, TEV) of nature they used to worship as gods (4:8). Foremost among these would be the astral spirits (4:3), associated with special days and seasonal rituals (4:10)” (Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary New Testament, 1993, p. 529).
So then, here, the emphasis is on ‘special days’–the observance of times associated with astral (or starry) gods, as is the case with 25th December observed in commemoration of the rebirth of the sun! The worship of false deity per se is not what is at issue; God condemns the observance of pagan occasions just as He does the object of worship!
The same applies to pagan symbols: God does not stand symbols of idolatry. He warned the Israelites: “When you make an altar for the LORD your God, do not put beside it a wooden symbol of the goddess Asherah” (Deut. 16:21 GNB; cp Jer. 17:2; Deut. 7:5).
The altar is the LORD’s, and the evergreen tree is a longstanding pagan symbol of a new beginning or rebirth. The two cannot coexist. But don’t they in many churches and Christian homes at Christmastime as the evergreen Christmas tree?
Let’s hear the word of the living God:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
“What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
“What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (2 Cor. 6:14-16 ESV).
The list could go on: Christmas and almost everything about it is drenched in paganism! Its worldwide popularity only proves that Satan has really “deceived” the whole world into worshipping him without people realizing it (Rev. 12:9). A world that lies under the sway of Satan cannot be expected to popularize what God commands but what originates from the arch deceiver. But Jesus warned us: “that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
The Fallacy and Impracticability of ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’
The worldly, commercialized character of Christmas has always been seen as conflicting with the godly, gentle spirit of Christ. In an attempt to correct this ‘anomaly’, various church leaders are often heard crying themselves hoarse to their parishioners and the Christmas-keeping public: “keep Christ in Christmas”!
But, it appears, year after the year the advice falls on deaf ears, and the mantra has become an annual Christmas ritual too. Somehow people never succeed in keeping Christ in His own birthday, so to speak!
The ministers had better save their breath and teach the people the truth! The fact is, Christ never was in ‘Christmas’ in the first place. In an article titled “The True History of Christmas (Common Christmas Myths)’, the writer, Alessandra Harris, put it as it is:
“Today, many Christians bemoan the lack of spiritual significance in the Christmas season. But Christmas traditions have always been intermingled with secular celebrations. …
“The bible does not give the actual day, month or time of the year that Jesus was born. Most historians agree that Jesus was not born on December 25. According to the book The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum, the Church chose that date for a particular reason, “Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so ‘thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian [ones]’.”(http://alessandra-harris.suite101.com/the-unholy-history-of-christmas-a174689).
In short, Christianized Saturnalia (Christmas) is an attempt to put Christ where He does not belong. Christ can never be Saturnalia! He’s only so in the imagination of people who cannot endure His sound doctrine but want to be entertained with pagan-like myths and tales:
“.. the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4 ESV).
What God expects of His people is for them to worship Him “in spirit and in truth”, devoid of the excesses or “works” of the flesh (John 4:23-24; 1 Cor. 14:40; Gal. 5:19-21). This we cannot and will not find in Saturnalia, though renamed “Christ’s Mass” (from old English Cristes maesse). The right thing to do is to “flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:14) in all its forms and guises!
Be on Guard: Daughter of Zion in Babylon
Just as the word of God foretold, we live in a Babylonian world, and it’s the traditions and customs of Babylon that has taken hold in society. This is the same world in which “the Daughter of Zion”, the true Church which “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17), live.
How does the “daughter of Zion” behave in the Babylonian world?
She should be careful not to fall in with the Babylonian culture around her, but back away and escape from it: “Ho, O Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon” (Zech. 2:7 NASU).
Christmas, which originated in the mystical rebirth of the first king of Babylon, Nimrod (who eventually became the sun-god), is a prime example of the power Babylon still wields on the world. Don’t be Nimrod’s unwitting devotee by observing his 25th December birthday in the mistaken belief that it’s the Messiah’s birthday.
Come out of “Babylon, the great” by dropping all Babylonian customs such as Natalis Solis Invicti (Rev. 18:4). He will receive you, and you will be His precious child (2 Cor. 6:17-18). Amen!