Rejecting December 25th


#1

I’m just wondering what the tally of Christian faiths which have officially rejected the date of Dec. 25th for Christmas might be. Does anyone know? I have come across many Evangelical sites like this one which states (after the obligatory “the Roman Church is pagan and apostate” preface):

“Nine months later, when the shepherds were still “abiding in the fields by night,” Christ was born in Bethlehem on our September 29th, which fell on the FIRST DAY OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES!”

garnertedarmstrong.ws/christmas.htm

So, does anyone know any Evangelicals out there who have actually forfeited celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25th this year?


#2

Yes, I know a handful of Protestants who don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons. Mainly Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I also know a few Orthodox who, of course, have their Christmas a few days later.


#3

Yes, but the Orthodox recognize December 25th as the date. They simply don’t accept the revision to the calendar, so all of their dates are shifted.


#4

I personally do not put them into the Protestant category as its insulting to protestants. They are not Christian as they deny the Trinity and are a Cult.

Just my 2 cents.


#5

I’ve heard of groups like this. But Garner Ted Armstrong is probably the most vocal proponent. While it is true that we don’t know the precise date of Jesus’ birth his speculations are just that.

Graner Ted is a bit of kook. He is a great rhetorician but his words are venomous. His father kicked him out of the World Wide Church of God 30 or so years ago. He moved to Texas and started a break away cult of his own. One of his prophecies that I remember from my youth was the the EU was actually part of the army of the Beast and would bring about the end of the world in 1975. I don’t believe it happened or if it did he is as much “left behind” as the rest of us.

CDL


#6

I have to give credit to those Protestants who do not celebrate ChristMASS on December 25th.

The way I see it, 11 months of the year we have Protestant visitors to these forums who insist on Sola Scriptura, but the minute the Gregorian :wink: calendar flips over to December, there is a flurry of excitement as Christmas approaches.

How can one insist that they believe in Sola Scriptura and then celebrate the feast of Christ’s birth on a day that is not mentioned in the Bible and - Double whammy - is a tradition of the Catholic Church? :confused:

While the whole “pagan, apostate Roman Church” propaganda in Garner Ted’s article is over-the-top (as is to be expected from his particular denomination), I have to respect their conviction to take their rejection of all things Catholic to the limit.

But in order to follow “Sola Scriptura”, Garner Ted concludes that Christ was born on Sept. 29th and calls the celebration of His birth “The Feast of the Tabernacles”. But! Sept. 29th is a pagan day of celebration of the end of the harvest. :eek: I sent him an e-mail to warn him of this fact. :smiley:

[quote=Malcolm McLean] Yes, I know a handful of Protestants who don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons. Mainly Jehovah’s Witnesses.
[/quote]

But Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Protestants. In fact, they are not Christians. For instance, they deny Christ is God:

catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9811clas.asp


#7

Hi,
Thank you for not lumping them in with us JW’s that is.:thumbsup: I am an evangelical that celebrates Christmas on 25th. I dont necessarily believe this was the actual date of his birth but it is what was chosen so many years ago so who am I to change it.:thumbsup:


#8

I agree with you Damascus. I don’t know of any Protestants that celebrate Christmas other than December 25th. JW’s don’t celebrate Christmas at all as well as other holidays and birthdays.


#9

And, most Catholics do not believe that He was actually born on December 25th as well. Dec 25 is just a day selected for the Feast of the Nativity by the Catholic Church. It was known in earlier years as Christ’s Mass. No doubt, the Church had its reasons for selecting the 25th as the day for this particular feast. Personally, I believe this choice probably led to thousands upon thousands of people (pagans) becoming Christians. Since we don’t know the actual date of His birth, I think it is a very good thing that a date was chosen that would actually bring people to Him.

I do not know any Christians that reject the 25th, though I know they are out there. I guess that is because most of the Christians I know are Catholic. :smiley:

By the way, Merry Christmas ALLFORHIM, glad you are still visiting us on the Forums.


#10

I have heard a theory (by a Mr. Shea) that Dec 25 actually IS the birthday of Christ and that a Roman Emperor placed the day to Sol Invictus on that date later to take away from the Christian celebration.
Anyone know about this?
Methodists celebrate December 25.
WP


#11

Hi,
Thank you Prayer Warrior and Merry Christmas to you too:D I agree with all you say:thumbsup:


#12

With all due respect to Mr. Shea: We anticipate the coming of Christ by reflecting on His first coming. We celebrate the Light of the World, God Incarnate, Savior, Redeemer, and Lord of Lords.

We celebrate that remarkable event on December 25th, and no one can speak with any clear eveidence that this is the actual date. Calendars and the tracking of time being subject to errors and changes over time. What is we are know told about this calendar? That Jesus was probably born between 6 and 3 BC…we can’t even know with certainty the year but we know the month and day???

Important is that we acknowledge His birth [and there are those who would make Jesus mythical]. The day is less important than that we recognize He Came and prepare ourselves for His return…Am I ready…with God’s redeeming grace and love I hope I am. In HIs love, He corrects me and sets me back on tract…

I do not believe that the Church has ever taught that Jesus was born on December 25th. The Church teaches the Good News. Mother Church rightly set a date upon which to acknowledge and reflect on this great mystery and what it means for Christians in every age…

Have Holy Christ Mass and celebrate :smiley: the salvation of the world… Merry Christmas :thumbsup:


#13

Hi people :slight_smile:

I would like to know when the Church began to celebrate the Feast of Annunciation? I guess the date of the feast of Holy Annunciation was later accommodated to the date of Christmas since there are 9 months between March 25 & December 25.

Most of the Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on the same date as Western Christians (traditional and reformist alike), but some Chuches (Russia and other major members of the Slavonic race & culture) still celebrate it 14 days later (January 7th). However, this has nothing to do with theology, but with the use of lunar calendar rather than the solar one! There’s never been controversies between Eastern and Western Churches about the date of Christmas.

It should also be noted that the Churches in the East still consider the feast of Theophany (Epiphany) more significant than the feast of Nativity. This is due to the consideration of Jesus’ nativity as one aspect of His Theophany through incarnation.

What we Christians celebrate is not an exact date, but a day, the first day of Christ’s manifestation to humans on earth.Numbers don’t make any difference as long as the mystery of Incarnation is comprehended.

Peace & Merry Christmas to all,
Angelos N.


#14

True. Oringinally it was chosen 9 months from the date of the feast of the Annunciation which is when Gabriel appeared to Mary.

God bless,
Jon


#15

If you accept Catholic things why not be Catholic?

CDL


#16

Latter-Day Saints believe that the actual date for the birth of Christ is April 6th of our modern calendar. Coincidentally this is the date of the founding of the LDS Church. There is a somewhat-clear citation for this in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants (somewhat clear because it admits of some small degree of ambiguity). Sorry but I don’t have the citation handy.

Those adhering to the traditional date may enjoy this:

Every December Christians (and many others who are not Christians but hear the gospel message nonetheless) center their lives in the miracle and mystery of the birth of our Lord.

And again, no one knows the actual day that Jesus was born. Attempts to calculate an exact date often fall into two schools of thought. Both methods depend on counting from the “course of Abijah.” A course was a specific time when priests served in the temple.

The first method begins with Luke 1:5, 8 where we read that Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was serving the course of Abijah in the temple. 1 Chronicles 24:7-19 indicates that there were 24 courses. The assumption is that the eighth course was the course of Abijah and that this period of service started in early June. Assuming this conclusion to be accurate, some believe that we can count forward to discover the dates of birth for John the Baptist, and then by deduction, Jesus (born about six months after John, see Luke 1:24-36).

***Therefore, assuming that the pregnancies of both Mary and Elizabeth were normal in terms of length, John the Baptist would have been born in March, nine months after his conception in June. According to this calculation, Jesus might have been born in the month of September. ***

For some, the fact that the autumn festivals of the Old Testament begin at this time adds credibility to these calculations. If all these assumptions are correct, the conception of Jesus, when Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), would have happened in the month of December.

The second method of trying to fix a precise date for Jesus’ birth counts backward rather than forward. When the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., the priestly course of Jehoiarib was serving. If the priestly service was unbroken from the time of Zecharias to the destruction of the temple, this calculation has the course of Abijah occurring in the first week of October. Some early Christian writers (John Chrysostom,
***347-407) taught that Zecharias received the message about John’s birth on Atonement, which falls in September or October. ***

This would place John the Baptist’s birth in June or July, and the birth of Jesus six months later, in late December or early January. Some advocates of this second method view believe that December 25 is the correct day of Jesus’ birth, while others believe that January 6 is the correct day.

Luke 2:1-7 mentions a tax census ordered by Augustus Caesar. The census records were eventually taken to Rome. Cyril of Jerusalem (348-386) requested that the true date of Jesus’ birth be taken from the census documents. He reported that the date he was given from these documents
was December 25. Unfortunately, these records are no longer available.

--------------------
Pastor Craig Cunningham


#17

Exactly! That’s my point. Who chose it? The date to celebrate Christ’s birth is not in the Bible, is it? No. It has been tradition in the Catholic Church since at least the 3rd or 4th century to celebrate Christ’s birth on Dec. 25th. That’s a tradition - from the Catholic Church - and you accept it, though it’s not in Scripture. See what I am saying? Most Protestant accept Catholic tradition by celebrating Christmas on December 25th. Do we find any examples in scriptures of a day being set aside to celebrate Christ’s birth, being celebrated by early Christians, by the Apostles? Not that I am aware of. The whole concept of a feast of the birth of Christ is Catholic. So, this is a clear illustration of how much “manmade tradition” Protestants continue to carry with them since their split with Catholicism despite protestations of being Sola Scriptura.

But really, this is just a topic of debate that I’m throwing out there to generate some discussion about the flaws of Sola Scriptura in these forums. I’m really happy that most Protestants have kept our tradition of Christmas. It’s a great time of year for feeling unity with our fellow Christians. So, in that spirit, Merry Christmas!


#18

[FONT=Times New Roman][size=3]Time was when I, like most people, took it for granted the winter solstice and, in particular, the Roman Feast of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun were simply pagan celebrations that hung around into Christian times. In fact, when I set out to write this book I still thought this. But I discovered the reality is far more complicated and interesting. Indeed, it turns out this widely assumed “fact” that “everybody knows” is probably another sample of pseudo-knowledge. For according to William Tighe, a church history specialist at Pennsylvania’s Muhlenberg College, “the pagan festival of the ‘Birth of the Unconquered Sun’ instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the ‘pagan origins of Christmas’ is a myth without historical substance.”

For the fact is, our records of a tradition associating Jesus’ birth with December 25 are decades older than any records concerning a pagan feast on that day……

This notion is a key factor in understanding how some early Christians came to believe that December 25th is the date of Christ’s birth. The early Christians applied this idea to Jesus, so that March 25th and April 6th were not only the supposed dates of Christ’s death, but of his conception or birth as well. There is some fleeting evidence that at least some first- and second-century Christians thought of March 25th or April 6th as the date of Christ’s birth, but rather quickly the assignment of March 25th as the date of Christ’s conception prevailed.

It is to this day commemorated almost universally among Christians as the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel brought the good tidings of a savior to the Virgin Mary, upon whose acquiescence the Eternal Word of God (“Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten of the Father before all ages”) forthwith became incarnate in her womb. What is the length of pregnancy? Nine months. Add nine months to March 25th and you get December 25th; add it to April 6th and you get January 6th. December 25th is Christmas, and January 6th is Epiphany.[/size][/FONT]

Read more from Mark Shea it is very extensive


#19

I do not subscribe to the “Christianization” of every pagan celebration ritual or symbol. either do I discount that the church didin fact Christianize things.

What bothers me about these discussions is that they seem to miss the point and to what purpose. December 25th of Spetember 29th? It is not about the calendar! It is about recognizing the mystery and faith in God; faith in Jesus, the Messiah. It is salvation history. Today, we note the year, month, day and time of every child’s birth. We weigh them, measure them, name them and give them a social security number. That is not true about the past.

But that God became man, incarnate in the birth of a Child, Jesus, to a Virgin. Well, that is something to celebrate. It is a fact that we cannot know with anny certainty the birth of Christ, to the day. Even Mr. Shea’s learned treatise is un-provable ad many equally learned persons will probably write treatises that go another direction. Celebrate the God-Man and forget the calendar.

Also, while most [though not all] of our Protestant brethren now celebrate Christmas, in the early American colonies to celebrate Christmas was illegal being ‘papist’ in nature. So the history of Protestant celebrations of Christmas, at least here in America is not linear [following the calendar through the years - a mini Ha Ha for this “Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas” Season]

:smiley:


#20

Hi Yada and Merry Christmas! I don’t think you understand the point of my thread. While we all agree on the meaning of Christmas, the point is, the celebration and the date of that celebration is not in the Bible. It just isn’t. No one is stating that the actual birthday of Jesus Christ was Dec. 25th. And of course Christmas is about celebrating the mystery of Jesus Christ the God-man. No one said it isn’t. What I am saying is that celebrating Christmas and celebrating it on Dec. 25th is a tradition of the Catholic Church. Why do Protestants reject all Catholic tradition in these forums, calling them “man-made” and insist on Sola Scriptura, yet they accept the Catholic tradition of celebrating the feast of the birth of Christ (where is a celebration of the feast of the birth of Christ by early Christians or Apostles mentioned in the Bible?) and they even borrow the traditional date of that celebration from the Catholic Church. You cannot believe in Sola Scriptura and explain why you celebrate Christmas and why you do so on Dec. 25th without admitting that you have retained a vestige of that Catholic tradition you reject the rest of the year. (When I say “you”, I’m obviously referring to Sola Scriptura believers.)


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