Q & A: Celebrating Christmas

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I have a quick question for you, if you have the time to answer. I have come to realize that I have more than a few Christian friends who celebrate Christmas in a religious way. I have always gathered that it is a sinful thing to do. My reasoning comes from two places; the fact that we have no instruction to celebrate such a day and also the fact that we are not to add to the instructions that have been given to us. My question: Is my thinking valid, or do i need to do more study on this subject?
Dear Concerned,
Well, I think we should use every opportunity all year long to talk about Christ. If people are thinking about him more– people of the world, that is, then I think it’s a good thing to join in that conversation and talk to them about the gospel. I celebrate the birth, death and resurrection all year long. I celebrate the death and resurrection in a very specific way around the Lord’s table every Sunday. I’m daily aware of my hopeless condition without the incarnation of Christ and for that manger scene I am daily and profoundly thankful. But God didn’t tell us the date of Christ’s birth. He didn’t command us to celebrate it as part of our worship or religion. Thus, to make a religious holiday of or prescribe spiritual rituals for Christmas, I believe is invalid and wrong. Such would be an addition to the perfect religion prescribed in the New Testament (Matthew 15:9).

Now, having said all of that, let me add that I do think that whether we celebrate Christmas as a national and family holiday is a matter of judgment. Some Christians do not celebrate it at all. That is their prerogative and I respect that choice. Some families, including mine, love to celebrate this fun time of year outside of the context of religion. This doesn’t mean we stop thinking or talking about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ during the holidays. We could never do that. It merely means that we ascribe no special religious significance to the Christmas season. We celebrate these, the most amazing blessings imaginable to mankind every moment of every day of every year of our lives!

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