Christian Living

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?, Pt. 2

Keith Echols

In part one of this series, I gave a brief overview of the historical, traditional, and biblical view of Christmas. Before I answer the question, if Christians should celebrate Christmas, I would like to encourage you to study the facts and not just agree or disagree with my perspective. I have been thinking critically about this question for two years and have come to a conclusion for myself and for my family.

As believers, it is important we search the scriptures and pray to the Lord for clarity in regards to how we live our life and make decisions. This is how we form a proper biblical worldview. We also must understand what issues require full acceptance and commitment, as well as those allowing for flexibility and different interpretations. Celebrating Christmas, in my opinion, is one of the issues inviting varying points of view.

Paul offers an example of how to make decisions with a proper biblical worldview:

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? (1 Cor. 10:23-29)

The essence of the passage is there is freedom to make certain decisions provided your conscience is clear. There are, however, some major parameters that must be put in place. First, in making this decision, will you violate the law of God? Second, will this decision require you to break the laws of the land? Third, will this decision serve as a stumbling block for a non-believer or a weaker brother? Finally, will making this decision hinder your Christian witness? If you can pass all four of these tests and continue with a clear conscience, then there is freedom to move forward.

A great example of this is Christians choosing to consume alcohol. There are strong, Bible-believing Christians who consume alcohol, and there are those who do not. There are a multitude of issues in life that are up for debate, and on which Christians land in different spots. The celebration of Christmas, in my opinion, is no different.

So should Christians celebrate Christmas? My answer is, what does your conscience allow?

Up until recently, I did not think it was in the realm of possibility that a Christian could be Christian if they abstained from celebrating Christmas. Having heard from genuine believers who do not celebrate it, I now see the merits of such a choice. For all of them, this decision is based in biblical convictions and/or the desire to avoid the commercialism so prevalent in the season. What has been enlightening is the choice to celebrate actually opens up doors for these folks to have meaningful conversations about their relationship with Christ.

For those Christians who choose to celebrate, we should do so with a clear conscience because we want to, not because Christmas is a “Christian” holiday. In celebrating, we should do so in a countercultural way. Our conduct should be reflective of Christ and not what is seen in the culture. How we spend our money, our time, and how we engage with the people around us should all indicate we value Christ above all the things the culture says embodies Christmas.

We should also use the ready-made opportunities inherent with the season to preach Christ.  This preaching starts with the baby in the manger, but this is only the first part of the story. We must also tell of the Lamb who was crucified, the Savior who was raised, and the Conquering King who will return again. The First Advent of Christ is a beautiful picture of the future.  Celebrating Christmas is a glorious reminder that we eagerly anticipate Christ’s Second Advent, when he will return to complete the process of salvation, by taking his chosen to be with him for all eternity. There is no greater gift for believers than to know our King will one day return. There is no greater gift for non-believers than to offer them the chance to know this King.

In conclusion, I encourage you to search the scriptures and pray concerning how you and your family will approach the Christmas season. Regardless of the decision, we must all be able to speak with clarity and conviction on why we choose to participate in or abstain from Christmas celebrations. It is not enough to rely on surface level knowledge and cliché sayings; we must be able to give a defense for our faith and the hope within us. (1 Peter 3:15). In doing so, I believe we will be better equipped to reach out to those around us who don’t know Christ.

God bless and have a very Merry Christmas…or NOT! 

Will you and/or your family be celebrating Christmas this year?

What can you do to ensure you celebrate in a countercultural way?

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