Why do Sola Scriptura Christians celebrate Christmas?


#1

Christmas is not mentioned in Scripture, it is not commanded in Scripture and a date is not given. The feast doesn’t really get going until the fourth century and the dating (in the West) could well be based on pagan festivals.

So why do so many people who say that Christian faith and life is based solely on Scripture celebrate it?

Maybe the Puritans, the Adventists, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, some Anabaptists and others were right on this one - you can’t combine Christmas and Sola Scriptura theology.


#2

:rotfl: :rotfl:


#3

:rotfl: :rotfl:


#4

okay, sorry but had to laugh after seeing someone else laugh.

But getting serious here… why do you celebrate it if it is not in Scripture? Of course the birth of Jesus is in Scripture but the celebration the way that most Christians celebrate is not in scripture.

We Catholics start the season of Advent before we actually celebrate Christmas. Advent is the start of a new liturgical year for us Catholics. We consentrate on a preperation before Jesus comes. It is pretty much the same as Lent where we make sacrifices but we also anticipate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some people put up there Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving but I believe we should wait because then it would take away from the season of Advent which I think is very important.


#5

It is true, Matthew and Luke both describe the birth of Jesus. What the bible does not tell us is when he was born. It does however, give us some clues about it.
We know that shepherds were sleeping in the fields with their sheep. This is something that shepherds do not do with their flocks in December because it is too cold and wet in Israel at that time.

I think it is worth noting that Jesus never told his apostles or desciples to celebrate his birthday and that there is no record in scripture of any of the apostles or desciples celebrating it after he was killed.

It is also interesting to me that December 25th, until about 325 C.E., was the pagan festival of the unconquered Sun and also the Saturnalia.

It was after this time- over 300 years after Jesus died- that people started celebrating ‘his birthday’.

If the apostles and desciples didn’t celebrate it… well… wouldn’t that indicate that we shouldn’t either? I mean, if we want to consider ourselves Christian… Weren’t they the purest model for Christianity?


#6

Oh come on. We celebrate Christmas because it is a celebration of Christ’s incarnation. We celebrate Easter because it is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Both events are abundantly Scriptural. Even if they were not in Scripture, to celebrate the events would not be refutation of sola scriptura. I celebrate my birthday, the 4th of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. and there not in the bible either!


#7

Oh come on. We celebrate Christmas because it is a celebration of Christ’s incarnation. We celebrate Easter because it is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Both events are abundantly Scriptural. Even if they were not in Scripture, to celebrate the events would not be refutation of sola scriptura. I celebrate my birthday, the 4th of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. and there not in the bible either!

I think the OP was trying to make a point about sola scriptura & how some people believe that if it’s not in the bible…well…then…it’s unscriptural & therefore false doctrine.


#8

Sorry I don’t understand but what does incarnation mean?


#9

God becoming man at the birth of Christ. See also:

thefreedictionary.com/incarnation


#10

I understand the point the OP was making. My point is that the OP does not express a valid understanding of sola scriptura.


#11

Incarnation means that God became Man in the Person of Jesus Christ.
As St. John said, the Word (Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us.
Or as the Nicene Creed states, “For us men and for our salvation He came down from Heaven, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and became Man.”

God becomes Man. That’s the Incarnation in three words.


#12

So, could this be said to be the conception of Jesus, instead of his birth, since Catholics believe that life begins at conception?
I’m not trying to start any arguments, just trying to understand, since someone made a comment about the shepherds sleeping in the field in December and how it would have been too cold for that. Could Jesus have been born in August or September?


#13

Sure, He could have been. The Church doesn’t teach that December 25th represents Christ’s historical date of birth. After all, without birth certificates, it’s hard to know. Catholics, and Christians in general, don’t necessarily believe that Jesus was born on December 25th. However, since we believe that Christ (in addition to being God) was also a human being, so He must have been born one day out of the year. As the posters have pointed out, there is reason to think that Jesus was likely born at another time of the year.
The most common theory as to why December 25th was chosen was due to the popularity of the Winter Solstice holidays, so Christianity “baptized” the holiday and celebrated the Birth of Christ. St. Valentine’s Day and the Feast of the Transfiguration also started this way, from what I understand.

The reality is, the actual date of Christ’s birth is not really important, just as it’s not really important when we celebrate Mother’s Day. It is a date that we set aside to celebrate the Incarnation par excellance. It is the fact that we take time to celebrate, and thank God, for the gift of His life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, that is ultimatly important.


#14

Amen! :yup: :thumbsup: :smiley:


#15

Easter, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia is “The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity, however, is otherwise unknown, even in the Edda (Simrock, Mythol., 362); Anglo-Saxon, eâster, eâstron; Old High German, ôstra, ôstrara, ôstrarûn; German, Ostern. April was called easter-monadh. The plural eâstron is used, because the feast lasts seven days.”

What does that… or coloured eggs and bunnies have to do with Jesus?

The above named fertility godess and the egg and rabbit fertility symbols do not appear anywhere in scripture.


#16

There are several questions I have:

  1. if it was important to celebrate Jesus birthday, wouldn’t the apostles have done it?

  2. If it was important to celebrate Jesus birthday, would’nt the bible writers have recorded for us the date?

  3. The bible provided for us the date of Jesus death and also instructions as to how recognize by way of an observance that we appreciate what he did for us…

It would appear that observing his death was important enough for these details to be recorded- so why not for his birth?


#17

There are some that don’t celebrate Christmas because they consider it a pagan holiday. My future father in law is one of them.

He has a blog about his little evangelical group and they have run downs of their weekend street preaching. This past weekend they went to a local Christmas tree lighting where he said people were worshipping the “great tree of idolatry.” :rolleyes:

Anyways I know most non-Catholic Christians celebrate Christmas but it seems the ones that don’t are the ones that are more likely to be anti-catholic.


#18

Well, I don’t think the issue is one of being pro-catholic or anti-catholic. As Christians, we should all be pro God and pro-scripture.
I guess what really matters is not what any of us humans think… We are just the creation - who are we to tell anyone what is acceptable to God? I guess what matters is what God thinks. I will do some research and see if I can find in the bible anything that might shed some light on what God thinks about it… As the creator, it would seem that he should have a meaningful vote.


#19

Well, I don’t think the issue is one of being pro-catholic or anti-catholic. As Christians, we should all be pro God and pro-scripture.

It was just an observation, I wasn’t intending to state it as a fact or anything. It seems that the ones who violently reject Catholicism do so for many reasons, and one of them is they believe in the pagan creep theory. Therefore if they are going to accuse Catholics of having pagan beliefs, it would be hypocritical for them to celebrate Christmas, since they believe that too is a pagan belief… Notice guys I said they believe it is pagan, I didnt say it.


#20

And yet there’s no denying that many “bible-only” groups do not celebrate Christmas, and some of them even call it a pagan-inspired day.


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