Diatribes Against Christmas, part 1

A couple articles from the 1980s.  I don’t know anything about these brothers or this publication, but found it online.  I hope and pray that they have calmed down a little in the past 20 years and stopped judging people who love Jesus and are doing nothing wrong.  These bulletin articles are typical of the attitude and argument.  Embarrassing and ignorant in my opinion.

Mike Willis, Bowling Green, KY

He does cite a 1986 copy of the Gospel Advocate where a little balance and grace was shown on this topic but obviously was disappointed in it, and the editors:

The 6 November 1986 issue of the Gospel Advocate contained a dicussion of the celebration of Christmas from two points of view. Thomas W. Franklin wrote that the celebration of Christmas was as unauthorized in worship as instruments of music. However, he recommended that “the best way to handle Christmas, Easter or any other unauthorized and non-biblical special day is to ignore it and continue with our regular worship and teaching programs” (p. 668). He criticized the practice of using the Sunday before Christmas as a day to “lambaste the observance” of Christmas because it develops “negative views toward the church” (p. 660). Hence, his point of view was to say nothing about the practice and continue with the regular program of worship.

Larry Stalley wrote an opposing point of view. He observed that “just because something is not commanded in Scripture does not mean it is prohibited.” Then he added,

Fourth, when my daughter asks for a piece of bread, I don’t give her a stone; when she asks for a fish, I don’t give her a snake (Matthew 7:9,10). Why is it that when people want to rejoice about Christ’s birth during December, many in the chruch try to discourage it by their comments and teachings? Visitors come to church asking for a sermon about Jesus, but instead many are given a stone. One man who visited the church on Christmas Sunday wanted to hear an appropriate sermon regarding Jesus. Instead, the preacher spoke on adultery. He told himself he would never come back; he had asked for fish and had been given a snake.

Personally, I believe we abuse opportunities when we don’t take advantage of “the spirit of Christmas.” Instead of drawing people nearer to the Lord, we often repeal them by our anti-Christmas spirit and our negative approach . . . . By no means should anyone make the observance of Christmas a commandment (Galatians 4: 10), but on the other hand, no one should prohibit its celebratory spirit by all the people because of the lack of commandment (Colossians 2:16; Romans 14:4-6).

The rest of the article quotes a bulletin of a church doing something Christmas related and gives examples of worship which God rejects (a valid study).

His conclusion:

If Christians ever begin to look upon the religious observance of Christmas as a harmless practice of the word, they will soon decide to join the world in observing the day in worship to God. When that occurs, Jesus’ teaching regarding worship will have been rejected in favor of the commandments and traditions of men.

Sometime, brethren, whether it be in December, January, or July, we must teach our world, our children, and the brethren the danger of perverting the worship of God. In order for a generation to grow up seeing no harm in the religious observance of Christmas, all that must occur is for those of us who know better to fail to teach on the subject. What have you heard lately on this subject?

My conclusion:

Sigh.  I has hoping he would say “we must teach our children about the glory of God becoming man” but alas.  And I wish I had a copy of that older GA article.  The one I will examine on Monday is done in a kind spirit but shallow and pointless.

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7 thoughts on “Diatribes Against Christmas, part 1

  1. I think Romans 14 beautifully settles the question at hand. Let each person make up his own mind and live with that decision. I (nor anyone else) has the right to judge another concerning questionable things. It’s what the Word of God clearly says. So let’s abide by it and keep our noses out other people’s business.

  2. Oh, when I started reading this, I could not comment fast enough! I remember, even as a child, being practically in tears every time we had the closest-to-Christmas-Day (or even some years, on Christmas Day) sermons. I was so jealous of my friends at other churches who got to sing beautiful songs of Jesus’ birth and see plays of the story and hear sermons on the awesomeness of Jesus’ coming to earth! I would ache to sing those songs and hear those stories. Even as a very young child I just never understood our blatant disregard for Jesus’ birth. I think in all my 25 years, I’ve heard His birth story preached on twice. Maybe 3 times.

    I will never understand the cofc’s position on this. What an INCREDIBLE, awesome, amazing thing that God sent His son to this earth, a helpless babe, in a lowly position! What wonder! And we ignore. We totally, blatantly ignore it. And for what? Because God forbid we have something in common with Catholics? Sigh… it just saddens me to my core. I could go on for days about the subject. Thank you so much for this!

    Annie

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