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Recently I met a woman who claimed, “Why doesn’t your church keep Christmas? Your church must be a cult because it does not celebrate Christmas.” Actually, most people, whether they are believers or nonbelievers, consider Christmas as an important day. Many people prepare special events on this day. They think that Jesus was born on December 25th and celebrate Christmas as a special day.

But, what if Jesus was not born on December 25th? Moreover, what if December 25th was a day for celebrating the birth of a pagan god?

CHRISTMAS, WHICH TAKES ITS NAME from Christ’s Mass, was first celebrated on various dates from about 200 A.D. but was finally set on December 25 by Bishop Liberus of Rome in 354 A.D. The December date, which almost coincides with the winter solstice (saturnalia), became a popular festival of West Europe during the Middle Ages. But as late as the nineteenth century, Christmas celebration was suppressed in Scotland and New England because of some religious differences.

The history reveals that Christmas was officially adopted in 354 A.D. It’s long after Jesus’ Ascension.

history-of-the-christian-church-vol-iii

History of the Christian Church, Vol. III (published by Philip Schaff, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914), the section “Pagan Customs of Christmas” on page 94

Then, is it acceptable to celebrate Christmas which originated from a pagan festival? The Bible warns us not to add to or take away from the words of God (Revelation 22:18-19.) We must learn from Jeroboam who worshiped idols by designating a festival as he pleased. He made golden calves by saying “Here are your gods” and celebrated a day of his own choosing as the festival of God.

After seeking advice, the king [King Jeroboam] made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”… On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings. (1 Kings 12:28-33)

Was God pleased with Jeroboam? (No.) Those who celebrate Christmas commit the same mistake. Christmas is not God’s feast, but a mere man-made one. We cannot get salvation with man-made festivals such as Christmas, Easter and Sunday (Matthew 15:7-9.) Instead, we should keep the Passover by following the word of God. The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) does not celebrate Christmas because it’s not God’s feast. The Church of God obeys the New Covenant including the Passover by following the teachings of Jesus.

What do we, sinners, need most to be saved? We need the forgiveness of sins to get salvation and to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus allowed us the forgiveness of sins through the Passover wine. The Passover contains the promise of the forgiveness of sins promised by Jesus:

This [The Passover wine] is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28)