X-mas - abreviation from the Greek spelling "Χριστός" (Kristos)
Is it proper to confuse the word of God with pagan traditions? A pagan festival adorned with Christian trappings is an insult to the Messiah's sacrifice and an affront to the message He preached.
Today, the customs surrounding the celebration of Christmas include a mixture of pagan, Judeo-Christian, and secular themes and traditions. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the holiday involve increased economic activity, the Christmas season has developed into a significant income and sales event for retailers and businesses large and small, most of whom make the largest percentage of their annual earnings during this short period of time. A mixture of tradition and commercial advertising are used to literally drive the stampeding shoppers into the stores and marketplaces. While the churches often lament the enormous commercial emphasis placed on the holiday, at the same time they are mostly responsible for it. What does any of this have to do with Yeshua, the Messiah? Absolutely nothing. It has everything to do with economics. How much attention should Christians give to this holiday? From a spiritual standpoint, none. Calling this pagan holiday "Christmas" is an insult to the Messiah, the Christ, just as the term "Easter" is a Messianic insult. (see - Easter)
Nearly four hundred years ago, in the North American colonies, it was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas. This was the will of the Puritans, Methodists, Quakers, Amish, Presbyterians, and Baptists. The Christmas celebration was seen as a Catholic heresy, and all these groups had migrated to North America to escape the oppression of Catholicism. They were essentially religious refugees who had left everything behind, and made the perilous journey to North America, in a desperate flight to escape the brutal Catholic persecutions that ran rampant through Europe. These groups of immigrants, so cherished the axiomatic rule of religious freedom, away from the threatening flames of self-proclaimed Catholic orthodoxy, they did not want any part of Catholicism crossing the Atlantic and following them to North America. That included the Christmas celebration and all its pagan trappings. The Catholics would eventually follow, nonetheless, and gain a foothold, taking advantage of the rule of "religious freedom," and begin the process of bending the culture to the will of the Catholic church. Christmas was first declared legal in America in Massachusetts, 1856, of course a consequence of the great potato famine in Ireland (1845-1851) which brought waves of starving Irish Catholics to the American shores.
The gospel accounts of the Messiah's birth were not included for the purpose of establishing a day of celebration. If this had been the case, the date, according to the Hebrew calendar, would have been made clear, as all Jewish festivals are given specific dates in scripture. The purpose for including the accounts of his birth in the gospels is to bear witness to prophetic conformity. The prophetic integrity of His birth was far more important to the authentication of God's word. (See - Messianic prophecies)
To mix up the account of His birth with pagan traditions and set a date that's based on a pagan feast day, is to make a mockery of the Messiah, His teachings about the Kingdom, and the groundwork He laid by His sacrifice for our salvation. To take the accounts of His birth and mix them up with pagan traditions and a pagan feast day is likewise an insult to God the Father who is the source of prophecy, and who had allowed his beloved Son to be taken as a sacrificial offering.
Yeshua came to bring good news, first to the Jewish people, and then to the world at large, declaring, "The Kingdom of God has drawn near." He sacrificed His life to make this declaration a reality, allowing for the remission of sins and forever altering the course of human history. Of course, the date of His birth is unknown. The best speculation places it in the springtime, possibly at the time of the new moon, the first of Aviv (Nisan) the beginning of months. Springtime is likewise known as the 'lambing season' when the shepherds would be out in the fields at night, caring for the ewes, as they were according to the accounts. Still, knowledge of the date of His birth is not essential for anyone's salvation, given that we are under no compulsion to celebrate or commemorate His birth. What is a real Christian to think, when atheists denigrate Christmas? From a spiritual point of view, nothing. A true Christian will maintain their focus on what really matters. Their relationship with Yahweh and Yeshua, and pray for the enemies of God and for the Kingdom to come.
Early church fathers, nonetheless, going back to the fourth century, believed a fixed date was necessary as they were establishing a religious order consisting of rituals, ceremonies and seasons, following the example of the pagan religious traditions which were so popular and had so resolutely stood the test of time. The liturgical calendar they developed was built around two primary seasons, each containing a number of other commemorative dates, but all keyed to the two primary dates. One was Easter, which doesn't have a fixed date, but always occurs on a Sunday, and the other was Christmas, which has a fixed date that can come up on any day of the week in late December by the Gregorian calendar.
The church begins its liturgical year with Advent, which occurs (counting backwards) on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas eve. This is traditionally a period of preparation, marked by prayer and fasting. There is a penitential element to Advent, and priests wear purple vestments, except on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) when they can wear rose-colored vestments. They define purple as the color of penance and sacrifice, also reflected in the colors of the candles connected with the traditional Advent wreath. All of these liturgical elements of the season are, of course, completely washed out by the stampeding Christmas shopping madness which kicks off in the United States after the Thanksgiving feast. While the mother church laments this fact, the mother church at the same time, is responsible for it.
After Advent, the next season is Christmas, which begins with Christmas day, the key date, the Nativity, where angels bear witness to the Messiah, and shepherds kneel before the new-born infant. This is the revelation of the Messiah to the nation of Israel which is symbolically represented by the shepherds.
The Epiphany is celebrated on the first Sunday on or after January 6, marking the end of Christmastide, or the twelve days of Christmas. "Epiphany" comes from a Greek word, meaning to "reveal." This feast day is said to commemorate three events, all of which are considered episodes of revelation:
The visitation of the wise-men or magi (revealing the Messiah to gentiles)
The Lord's baptism
The Lord's first miracle, changing water to wine at the wedding feast
The Monday following Epiphany Sunday brings the Catholic church back around to what they call "ordinary time." There are two periods of ordinary time, where they count the Sundays between the two major seasons. In ordinary time the vestments are green, which they define as the color of hope. This period of ordinary time runs until Ash Wednesday, when the liturgical season of Lent begins. The season of Lent, keying off the date of Easter, comes to a close on Pentecost Sunday, seven Sundays after Easter, and the church reverts to ordinary time again, counting the Sundays until Advent the next.
None of this comes from scripture, of course, but is devised by men. Men every bit as foolish, ignorant and stinking of sin as the rest of us, but motivated by -- what? Be careful to whom you entrust your everlasting salvation. Remember the laws of men mean very little, it's the laws of God that matter, and friends, His instructions are found in the Torah, and the Gospel. The Torah and the Gospels of Yeshua are the instruction manuals for developing and maintaining a relationship with Yahweh, the Father.
Christmas is without a doubt the most popular celebratory feast of the Christian calendar year. It's so popular even non-Christians all around the world join in. It is celebrated on the fixed date of December 25 by the Gregorian calendar, which is said to be the birthdate of Yeshua, the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. This of course, is untrue and church leaders all know it. If they continue to promote this untruth, how does that reflect on the rest of Christian teaching?
There are a number of different theories as to why this date was chosen. The most widely accepted theory is that December 25 was the date of the winter solstice according to the old Roman Julian calendar. It is well known, however, that this was already an established date given to the most popular festival of the pagan year, dating back long before the time of Jesus.
Yet, according to the dizzying intellect of the great church "genius," St. Augustine, Yeshua "chose" to be born on the shortest day of the year for symbolic reasons. It was the day of the year when the waning hours of light
There is no mention of Christmas feasts or celebrations in any of the accounts of early church history. The first recorded celebration of a Christmas feast was in Rome in the year 336 A.D. That would be after Christianity had been legalized (tolerated) by the Edict of Milan, 313 A.D., and following the Council of Nicaea, 325 A.D. This was a time when the church was beginning to absorb more and more pagan converts, who brought their pagan cultural traditions along with them. It was later introduced to the Eastern Greek church in 378 A.D. just a couple of years before the Edict of Thessalonica whereby Emperor Theodosius I declared the Nicene religion (nascent Roman Catholicism) the official state religion of the empire. Today, the Eastern Greek church, which still uses a slightly revised version of the Julian calendar for liturgical purposes, celebrates Christmas on or about January 7 by the Gregorian calendar. They generally promote fasting leading up to Christmas, and then enjoy a feast on Christmas day.
HO HO HO
Tis the season of materialistic orgies of unbridled spending.
Glorify the season of commercialization and consumer debt.
Christmas is not a real Judeo-Christian Holy Day, or Feast Day. It's a pagan day of celebration, falsely adorned with Christian embellishment. When atheists attack this day, i.e. taking the "Christ "out of Christmas, don't be offended, it doesn't matter.
reversed fortunes and began to increase, whereby, light began winning the annual battle against darkness. Augustine failed to clarify how this explanation might be factored in for people living south of the equator, where December 25 falls on or about the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. By Augustine's logic, this might just as well be said to be when light begins losing the battle to darkness. Score 'one' for dualism.