Special Days and Protestants


#1

I asked a Protestant friend if he celebrated Christmas and he said not when others do but in his own way, he quoted Paul…

Galatians 4:10-11 You are keeping special days, and months, and seasons and years- I am beginning to be afraid that I may, after all, have wasted my efforts on you.

Surely this verse is about more than dates that we celebrate today?

Thanks.


#2

Is the friend a protestant, or possibly a Jehovah’s Witness? I was protestant most of my life, and never met anyone ( except JW’s) that didn’t celebrate Christmas as all mainstream protestants do.


#3

Some Church of Christ teach this.


#4

Someone more knowledgeable than me may be able to tell you exactly what Paul was talking about in these verses. However, when they were pointed out to me I found this information about Paul

During Paul’s third journey he spent three years at Ephesus (Acts 19:10, 20:31). He wrote his first letter to the Corinthians while he was at Ephesus and told them of his desire to see them, but he would stay at Ephesus until Pentecost. (1 Cor. 16:5-8). So he celebrated Pentecost with the Ephesian Church. Then left for Macedonia and Greece, which means Corinth. He stayed there for three months, and then went back through Macedonia, stopping at Berea and Thessalonica (Acts 20:1-4). He went to Phillipi where he celebrated Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread, then he sailed to Troas (Acts 20:6). Then he was in a hurry to get to Jerusalem in time for Pentecost, so he sailed along the coast of Asia Minor, stopping at a few places along the way but missing out Ephesus where he would be sure to get delayed. (Acts 20:13-16).

So to me it doesn’t look like Paul thought we shouldn’t celebrate any special days.


#5

Yes - there is a Church of Christ that do not as a “Church” celebrate any religious holidays … most of the adherents did celebrate Christmas and Easter at home though - at least mine did … as did many I know …

That used to upset Brother Levi … one Easter his sermon was devoted to the increased numbers in the pews because it was Easter and how Christians were not supposed to hold any day above any other …

They [Church of Christ] do love Jesus and though I am a Catholic Christian now - learned first to love Jesus in that faith community and others like it …

Happy Easter - He is Risen :slight_smile:


#6

Interesting! I wonder if they use the same rationale as the Witnesses.


#7

If you go back a couple of verses, St. Paul was worried about the Galatians reverting to their pagan worship practices, as they were “slaves to those who by nature are not gods.”

So they obviously had a calendar of events which related to their old practices, and it seems they were starting to go back to their old ways.

  1. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[d]? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

This has nothing to do with Church seasons (Lent, Advent etc), Saints Days, Feasts and all the rest of it, since they didn’t even exist back then, and they were brought in as Christian celebrations, not pagan.

Your friend has distorted the meaning and context of the text.


#8

IDK how the JW’s arrive at it, but the CoC people I know who teach this use the above verse, and the rationale that if it isn’t exactly spelled out in the Bible, it is man-made tradition and therefore not to be a part of worship. Unlike the JW’s, they will celebrate it at home, just not at church. Also, they may sing Christmas songs at church, just more likely in July than December.


#9

If you remember your Puritans, several of those sects went out of their way to treat Christmas as a regular day of work in an effort to distance themselves from “Catholic inventions”, and would impose severe penalties on people who celebrated Christmas. The modern rationale usually goes along the lines of, “We don’t know what day Christ was born, so we’re not going to pretend it was December 25th.” or “Jesus didn’t tell his Apostles to celebrate Christmas, so why should we?” or “It’s just a pagan holiday dressed up in Christian symbols, but we know better than to go along with some empty, man-made tradition.”


#10

I came across this from St. Augustine:

St. Augustine writeth thus: “We dedicate and consecrate the memory of God’s benefits with solemnities on solemn appointed days, lest in process of time they might creep into ungrateful and unkind oblivion.”

And of the martyrs thus: “Christian people celebrate the memories of martyrs with religious solemnity, both to move themselves to an imitation of their virtues, and that they may be partakers of their merits, and helped by their prayers.” (Conta Faust. lib. xx. chap. 21.)

And of other saints thus: “keep ye and celebrate with sobriety the nativity of saints, that we may imitate them that are gone before us, and that they may rejoice in us, who pray for us.” (In Ps. lxxxviii. Conc. 2. in fine.)

Is St. Paul constantly telling people to leave the old ways behind?


#11

Do you know what church your friend belongs to?

In my church, we have always celebrated Christmas and Easter as special days, because they are, IMO. Without those days and Good Friday, we wouldn’t be Christian.


closed #12

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