• What JGIG Is:

    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

    To borrow from a Forest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

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Christ’s Birth – Why It’s Okay to Celebrate

Okay.  Before all you holiday purists start hurling comments based on the title alone, hear me out.

I know all about the pagan influences and the date-setting and the sun worship and . . . well, all that stuff  that takes what for me is the simple celebration of the birth of my Saviour and turns it into something ugly and evil.  Some of you will maintain that “Christmas” IS ugly and evil!  And I get where you’re coming from, really I do.  And in the spirit of Romans 14, I’m okay with that.  I would never dream to try to convince you that you should celebrate something that you don’t believe you should.

I’ve thought about this quite a bit this past year, and I just want to share with you where I am in that thought process.

The short answer for me is this:

God made a pretty big deal

out of the birth of His Son.

Angel visitations to Mary and Joseph, to the shepherds, the summoning of kings from far away (with a special “star” hung in the sky, no less) . . . the divine protection of the baby and child Jesus from the evil King Herod.

shepherd_angel1
Let’s take the shepherd’s experience:  They’re there, tending their sheep, maybe dozing off once in a while, but being good shepherds, waking at any little noise, they wake up to angels!  And they’re singing, “Glory to God in the highest!” . . .

What am I celebrating?
I’m celebrating the willingness of God to come in the flesh to walk among us, love us, teach us, and then do the work of the Cross for us.  And how did He choose to come in human form?  As an obviously powerful King?  Did he ride down majestically on the clouds, announcing His kingdom was at hand?  No . . . He came in the most vulnerable human form, actually taking on humanity through the seed of Mary while maintaining His Godhood through the Seed of the Holy Spirit.

I’m celebrating the birth and gift of Hope and Life to the world.

Having given birth seven times myself, I reflect on Mary’s obedience and courage as a young woman.  Having had relatively easy births with my children, I wonder what Mary’s “birth story” is (a favorite topic among moms of many).  Before I had children of my own, I thought how sad it was that Mary had to go through the birth thing the way she did, the traveling, the no Inn thing, the giving birth with the animals around thing.

But now, having had easy births with all but one of my children (the other one was wonderful, just really, really hard!), I like to think that God must have blessed Mary with a wonderful birth experience.  Understand that I understand that my thoughts are total conjecture in this area, but given the circumstances, I think they’re in line with the character of God to have abundant grace and mercy on Mary in birthing Jesus.  After all, she was giving birth to His Son.  And she had been willing and obedient under difficult circumstances . . . I just think He may have blessed her with a wonderful birth!

There is something quite amazing about birthing a baby.  It’s hard work, and there is pain, but for some the pain is brief, and labor can actually be enjoyable!  The progressive work of the intensifying contractions, the  process of knowing new life is soon coming into the world, getting to meet the one you’ve carried for so long face to face . . . and that you get to be a part of it!  It can be such a profound experience!

nativityscene
And then when that little baby is birthed!  Oh my!  The wonder!  The joy!  The amazement of what God has done!  And that’s just what I’ve felt at the birth of my own children.  I can hardly imagine the glory that must have been in the place where Jesus was born!  And the feelings of wonder and joy that Mary must have felt as the baby King Jesus was placed in her arms and nursed at her breasts.  All mixed in with the gravity of being charged with the care of this child who would in adulthood save us from our sins and give us new life . . . Oh my . . .

And who did God announce the birth of His Son to first?  The local mayor?  Thejesus_nativity governing authorities of the broader area?  No, He told the local shepherds.  And told them to go and see the newborn King . . .  They were the first on the scene besides Mary and Joseph to take in the wonder of the advent of the Saviour of the world.  Just regular folks.  God didn’t leave out the king-types . . . they just came much later.  He came for everyone, from shepherds to kings . . . He came for us all.  What an amazing event – the coming of God in the flesh to dwell among those He created and to eventually provide for their redemption.  To celebrate those things – that’s what I think it’s okay to do.

Do we hang lights?  Make special food?  Sing and listen to special songs? Put up a Nativity scene?   Have a *gasp* tree?  Yes, we do.  NONE of those things signify anything pagan for us.  They are not a part of worship.  They are part of celebrating.  I don’t know where the tradition of baking a birthday cake or putting up decorations to celebrate birthdays came from, but for us, it’s simply a celebration.  A time to be glad.  To take joy in the immense gift from God as He came to us in the flesh.  A time to commemorate the real event that happened so long ago, that has such an impact on us as believers today.

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Luke 2:1-33 

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

journey_to_bethlehem_brickey

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

nort_cuypb
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
swindle_she-shall-bring-forth-a-son

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law.

jesus02Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

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Other Holiday-related Posts:

There are also links to articles from other sources regarding holidays on the Articles Page here at JGIG.

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If you’re someone in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect or just a believer questioning what you believe and why, a clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the other testimonies on the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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Other articles available at JGIG:

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16 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your reflections on this topic. It amazes me how people who say they worship Jesus can make the celebration of His birth into something evil. I love the peace and joy that the songs of the season bring – songs filled with Scriptural truth, that are played in grocery stores and Wal-Mart, spreading truth to a world that desperately needs salvation. I love seeing the sparkle in my children’s eyes as they play with a manger set and ponder the idea of God being a baby. They are so excited to see the lights and to talk about Jesus being the light of the world – Jesus is special, and He deserves to be celebrated. His birth deserves greater recognition than we give to our family members for their birthdays! There are so many aspects of Jesus’ birth that deserve to be discussed, so many prophecies fulfilled through His arrival. I am so thankful that we enjoy a special time of the year that allows us to share in celebration with other true believers. I am saddened that so many opportunities to witness to the world through this time are being lost. People are surrounded with the proclamation of Christ’s birth and are drawn to the hope that is found in that – it is terrible enough that those who oppose Christ wish to eliminate the proclamation of God with us but it is even more heart breaking to think that those who want to be called Christians want to demonize the rest of the body in our worship of Him and our celebration of His coming.

  2. To whom it concerns

    Years ago when i found out that christmas was n t really christmas
    i felt the need to stop celebrating it. no more tree for me, no more decorations, gifts and all that.
    Since i got involved in the messianic movement (3 years ago)
    i started to “remember”His birth in the periode sukkoth was dated.
    But i did n t have a messianic congregation in my area, so the only way i could do something with it was on the internet…….on a chat progr. called paltalk.
    There i found messianic groups, with studies and services on shabbath.
    The celebrated the 3 most important feasts on the net.
    It was real cool to find likeminded believers.
    So i was n t “doing”christmas anymore…..and told all my christian friends to no more accept the lie from christianity….i did this very strongly.
    I amend en halelujahed all the messianics teached me.

    But since december 2007 i got doubts, i felt like something was wrong there.
    I could n t put my finger on it, but Jesus was mentioned less then torah and the do’s and don’t s where many.
    It seems everyone went back to the time before jesus was born, back to the camp of Moses and the system they got from God.

    To make a long story short…..now i find myself again in december, but it s 2008.
    After 1 year trying to get rid of the brainwashing in the messianic movement, i am still not my old self, believe – wise.
    I still have many doubts, what is truth?
    Sometimes i even was afraid God would strike me by lightening if i would stop doing messianic thingy’s. I do have some friends who came out to, so we talk alot about it and help eachother.

    Last week i found this blog and started reading about christmas, and i agree 98% with it. The 2% is about a question:
    Christmas….His birth to be remembered….okay, but why on the date a church(who is wrong on many things) had set and in a way that is often called pagan, i am not sure on bring back christmas into my life, and if i do…..how?

    Greetings from Emje in The Netherlands.

  3. Dear Emje,

    Thank you for you heart-felt comment here. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read what you wrote . . . I’m sorry for the pain and the doubts that have followed you out of the Messianic movement. Keeping Jesus at the center of your faith will heal those places in your heart. He is gentle and kind and will heal you of those fears and doubts one by one as you lay them before Him. My prayers go out to you as you heal.

    There is a website with many good teachings about the New Covenant and the Old Covenant – one teaching in particular can be found HERE. You can access the rest of the website from there.

    I would also encourage you to spend time in the books of Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews – read them trying hard to take off the lenses you acquired in the Messianic movement. God will continue to show you His truth and release you from the doubts and fears you describe. Take time to recognize the source of those fears and doubts – are they from God? Are they instilled from a false belief system?

    As to your question about the date on which Christ’s birth is celebrated, a couple of things come to mind:

    1) We celebrate the birth of Christ on the date that the world recognizes has been set aside to celebrate His birth. Most people have no idea of any possible pagan connections to the setting of the date, Dec. 25. Pagan associations have, over the centuries, been lost. Those who wish to go and dig them up and foist their pagan discoveries upon others stir up fear and trepidation where there was none before. If you are honoring the birth of a false god on December 25, then obviously that’s a bad thing, but that’s not what folks are doing. They’re celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of all mankind.

    2)There are lots of theories about the season in which Christ was born – most who denegrate the celebration of Christmas point to the “fact” that He could not have been born in the winter time because shepherds would not have been out at that time with their flocks. To those of us in cold December climates, that makes a lot of sense! Here’s an excerpt from a really good article (you can find the entire article HERE) which addresses this issue, along with the other main issues swirling around the celebration or not of Christmas:

    The argument is that Christ could not have been born on December 25 or even in the winter, so the entire celebration is wrong, even the time of the year.

    Answers and Considerations:

    By considering the chronological notes in Scripture such as Luke 2:1, “it seems that the evidence would lead one to conclude that Christ’s birth occurred sometime in the winter of 5/4 B.C.” (Hoehner, p. 350). Our concern here is not with the year, but with the month Christ was born–or at least the time of year, i.e., winter or spring. Is a winter date out of the question? Is it possible or maybe even probable?

    1. Hoehner points out that the traditional date for the birth of Christ as December 25th dates back to as early as Hippolytus (A..D. 165-235). In the Eastern church January 6th was the date used for Christ’s birth. But this is still a winter date and not far removed from December 25th.

    2. Chrysostom (A..D. 345-407) in 386 stated that December 25th is the correct date and hence it became the official date for Christ’s birth except in the Eastern church which still retained January 6th.

    3. One of the main objections has been that sheep were usually taken into enclosures from November through March and were not out in the fields at night. However, this is not as conclusive as it sounds for the following reasons: (a) It could have been a mild winter. (b) It is not at all certain that sheep were always brought into enclosures during the winter months. (c) It is true that during the winter months sheep were brought in from the wilderness, but remember, Luke tells us the shepherds were near Bethlehem rather than in the wilderness. This indicates, if anything, the nativity was in the winter months. (d) The Mishnah tells us the shepherds around Bethlehem were outside all year and those worthy of the Passover were nearby in the fields at least 30 days before the feast which could be as early as February (one of the coldest, rainiest months of the year). So December is a very reasonable date.

    James Kelso, an archaeologist who spent a number of years living in Palestine and who has done extensive research there says this:

    The best season for the shepherds of Bethlehem is the winter when heavy rains bring up a luscious crop of new grass. After the rains the once-barren, brown desert earth is suddenly a field of brilliant green. One year when excavating at New Testament Jericho, I lived in Jerusalem and drove through this area twice every day. At one single point along the road, I could see at times as many as five shepherds with their flocks on one hillside. One shepherd stayed with his flock at the same point for three weeks, so lush was the grass. But as soon as the rains stopped in the spring, the land quickly took on its normal desert look once again.

    Since there seem to have been a number of shepherds who came to see the Christ child, December or January would be the most likely months (James Kelso, An Archaeologist Looks At The Gospels, p. 23-24).

    All that doesn’t really matter, though. If you want to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it’s okay to do it. If you cannot in good conscience celebrate, then you shouldn’t. God doesn’t command you one way or the other. You are free to choose. For me, again, I come back to the event itself – God made a pretty big deal out of His Son’s birth. Great music, heavenly hosts (I assume with heavenly lights accompanying), a special star hung in the sky, special invitiations given to come and see the newborn King . . . and I think, for me, “Yeah, it’s okay to celebrate this wondrous event” =o).

    Emje, if you do feel released to celebrate the birth of Christ, you don’t have to follow a formula or tradition – you can celebrate His birth in a new and unique way which you consider to be worshipful to Him. You can spend time feeding the hungry or ministering the Gospel in some other way. You are not bound by tradition for tradition’s sake. If you don’t feel like you can “bring Christmas back into your life” in the traditional way, but still want to honor the birth of Christ, pray for God to show you how He would like you to honor His birth. God is faithful and remember that He loves you – whether or not you do this or that.

    Grace, peace, and prayers to you, Emje!

    In Christ,
    JGIG

    • Yes he does command you not to celebrate Pagan days bro you are decieved by this slander JGIG who is a divider and coward he talks about men he dont even know then is to scared to show his face on facebook that is a coward. Not one time in the entire NT does it say any thing about them celebrating His Birth that alone should tell you something. every traditon is seeping with Paganism that should tell you this disgusting day is not of God also look around the whole world celebrates this disgusting day that should be enough for the Christian to say nope not me.

  4. Hi Kristen -

    You said it all so well . . . I will just add a big “AMEN”!

    Have a blessed Christmas,
    JGIG

  5. Know what? I wholeheartedly agree. I am do glad you posted this! I will probably link to it on my blog if that is okay with you.

  6. if the shepards are out in the fields at night? how could he be born in dec.? Jesus says to celebrate His death for our sins. If we are supposed to celebrate His birthday, wouldnt He have told us to. like He did with His other teachings? dig deeper people God will show u the way, and its NOT what everyone else is doing.

    • Hi dt,

      We celebrate THAT Jesus was born, not the DAY on which He was born.

      And though the celebration of the Birth of Christ is not commanded, neither is it prohibited.

      Blessings,
      -JGIG

    • Dear JGIG,

      Greetings; having read all the above and some comments by JGIG i.e. “God doesn’t command you one way or the other” and “you are free to choose”, I would simply say that God has indeed commanded us ‘one way or the other’……..

      He gives specific instruction about using pagan practices to worship Him – the exact thing Christmas does! Notice what He says in Deuteronomy 12: 30-32 ….”Do not inquire after their gods, saying ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall NOT worship the Lord your God in that way ……. whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall NOT add to it nor take away from it”.

      And lest some think this is simply an O.T. command that no longer applies, the apostle Paul makes the same point in 2 Corinthians 6, where he addresses whether unbiblical religious customs and practices have any place in the worship of God’s people:

      “What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial (the devil and/or demons)? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God …… Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you’ I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty’. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. (2 Cor 6: 14-18; 7:1)

      Rather than relabelling pagan customs as Christian, or allowing members of the Church to continue their old pagan practices, the apostle Paul told them in no uncertain terms to leave behind all these forms of worship and worship God in true holiness as He commands. Jesus likewise says His true followers “must worship in spirit and truth (John 4: 24) – not revel in recycled pagan customs and symbolism.

      Finally, as for saying “you are free to choose” – NO, we are not! We are not free to choose what WE want to do – we are to do as GOD tells us to do which is made clear in the passages above. We may be thinking, “oh, but I don’t think about Christmas that way, i.e. the pagan practices, I simply remember the Lord Jesus Christ and His birth and worship Him”.

      Sorry, but it’s not a matter of what WE think, WE choose to do, or WE wish to remember …… it’s what GOD thinks about it all that is important. If He HATES it and it is an abomination to Him (as again the above passages clearly state) then we are NOT FREE to choose to do as WE wish but to firstly remember/consider how GOD feels about Christmas and stop making Him sad, angry and repent, beginning to be obedient to what He says we are to do.

      It’s interesting that nowhere in the pages of scripture do we find an example of any disciple or apostle keeping Christmas. Let us instead look forward in eager anticipation to His return to planet earth and begin to tell folks that “Jesus is coming back ….. Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus”! This message will likely have more of an impact than the message of the babe of Bethlehem.

      A small and helpless baby presents no real threat to a lost world, however the return of the Son of God ….. Rev. 19: 11-16 …..

      “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”.

      It is this message which will likely have more of an impact in a lost world today.

      In the wonderful, precious and mighty name of Jesus,
      Barbara Pirie (Mrs.),
      Lithgow. NSW, Australia.

      • Hi Barbara,

        If Christians were worshipping pagan gods, you would have a point; but they don’t. They’re celebrating the Birth of Christ Jesus. They don’t worship pagan gods and don’t bow down to worship Christmas trees. As for no precedence for the celebration of Christ’s Birth, you missed the part where God made a pretty big deal out of His Son’s Birth!

        If you want to take issue with the secularization of the holiday, that’s fine, but don’t presume to judge the hearts of those who do celebrate the birth of Christ in part to rejoice in His coming and in part to spread the Gospel to the world. At no other time of the year is the Gospel spread so freely and clearly than during the Christmas season.

        You miss the effective message of the Babe in the Manger who grew up to come to bring salvation to the world; you look instead for the Judge with flaming eyes and a robe dipped in blood who will rule with a rod of iron.

        You look for the apocolyptic destruction of sinners while God, in THIS time, is looking to SAVE them!

        Christ Jesus came to have Grace, Mercy, and to bring salvation. THAT is the message of Christmas – the celebration of the coming of Messiah and the full telling of His purpose and work among us and for us – the GOSPEL! You look to spread your message of judgement via fear; God looks to spread the Gospel through LOVE.

        As for your Scripture references, they are directed at those who were practicing paganism, not at those who were celebrating the Birth of Christ. I know you think you know that all sorts of Christmas customs come directly from the Pit, but I encourage you to re-check your sources. I recommend the book, ‘The Babylon Connection?‘ by Ralph Woodrow. A former defender of the concept of paganism in holidays, he re-examined the facts and came to some very different conclusions once he chose to look at things objectively.

        One more thing: It is not by observing Feasts, days, and dietary laws that make us acceptable before God; it is the Blood of Christ that redeems and makes us holy and pure before God. Does that mean that we are lawless? No. We have the Law of Christ. Love God, love others. Part of that we do through service to those God has called us to serve in love, part of that is sharing the free gift of God, salvation in Christ, eternal life, with them. THAT is what we are commanded to do in the New Covenant, and celebrating the birth of Christ is one very effective way to do those things. The celebration of the Birth of Christ also a wonderful way to teach our children about the amazing Gift that God gave us in Christ and to share and reinforce the Truths of the Gospel with them. There is great value in the celebration of the Birth of Christ.

        Does the Enemy attempt to distort and distract during that time? Of course he does. Does he succeed? For some. I dare say he succeeds even for those like you. But as I said above, at no other time of the year does the Gospel go out into the entire world relatively unfiltered as it does at Christmas time.

        That is something to rejoice over, not something to preach against.

        Grace and peace,
        -JGIG

        • Dear GIG,

          Greetings again; sorry but you really have misquoted me in the 3rd, 4th and 5th chapters of your reply above and misunderstood – the last sentence of the 5th chapter in particular is a sad indictment and untrue. And I am not taking issue with only the secularization of the holiday, but the pagan roots of the whole ‘Christmas’ celebration which you have surely read about in detail GIG.

          Sometimes the teaching about Christmas takes time to understand and absorb, for others it happens quickly and the Holy Spirit is gentle with us, He does not rush us. For us personally, this truth took a few years as we gradually learned a little more each time and God finally showed us how HE felt about it. We also remember hearing of another group of theologians, again in the UK, who sought God together to show them the things He loves and the things He hates. ‘Christmas’ was one thing God clearly revealed to the group that He hates and we remember one saying he never celebrated it again as He would not continue to do something which God detests.

          Dear GIG, just because, as you say ‘God made a pretty big deal out of His Son’s birth’ – that does not mean He said we are to celebrate it – in fact Jesus himself said we are to commemorate just one particular event – His death and He gave us the bread and wine and told us to ‘eat and drink this in remembrance of me’. He also washed His disciples feet and we are given quite a lot of detail about that too, but He wasn’t starting a ‘foot-washing’ ceremony either, he was conveying a message of how we were to serve each other. He washed His disciples feet so as to serve them simply because their feet were ‘dirty’. Yet today we see ‘foot-washing’ ceremonies in the church, and I believe that was not what Jesus was conveying by what He did.

          Your second-last paragraph where you say ‘does the Enemy attempt to distort and distract during that time?’ may be taken the other way around, in encouraging the celebration of something which God never said to celebrate and you accuse me i.e. ‘I dare say he succeeds even for those like you’ is again a wicked indictment. We must always remember that when we point the finger at somebody else, there are three fingers pointing back at us!

          Dear GIG, as my parting plea, could I encourage you to ask God yourself to please show you personally what He feels about Christmas, as if we are truly sincere without any preconceived beliefs, opinions or ideas, He is faithful and will reveal His feelings.

          (P.S. I am a gentile, not a Torah observant, but I did wonder because of all the messages on your website about Hebrew Roots teaching etc. if by chance you were into Replacement Theology – just a thought. We do support Israel but do not observe Torah).

          Shalom and love from Barbara Pirie, Lithgow, NSW, Australia.

          • Barbara,

            If it is your conviction to not celebrate the Birth of Christ, I have absolutely no problem with you abiding by that conviction. No one is here to try to convince you to do something you feel led not to do.

            You have assumed that I and other readers here have not ‘done the research’ and are going along ignorantly as we celebrate the Birth of Christ Jesus. That’s simply not the case. You posted several links in your comment above (which have been removed; this site will not be a conduit for the propagation of heretical teachings – and if you want to take issue with my opinions of certain teachers/teachings, please comment on the appropriate comment threads), which teach falsehoods about what Christians are actually celebrating and Who they are worshipping. I’ve posted several resources that counter the ‘Christmas is an abomination’ stance, at the end of the Christmas posts here at JGIG as well as on the Articles page.Many of them have been written by those who used to believe just as you do about Christmas. Have you considered looking at and studying those resources?

            As for God never commanding that we celebrate the Birth of Christ, that is correct; He did not. Neither did He prohibit it, and it has become a wonderful way to share the Gospel with the lost in all of the world, as have many other things that we as believers do to spread the Gospel into all the world like use ships as hospitals, fly on airplanes to the mission field, and converse with others via the internet and use modern technology as an aid to translate God’s Word into the languages of those who do not yet know Him.

            You wrote, “Your second-last paragraph where you say ‘does the Enemy attempt to distort and distract during that time?’ may be taken the other way around, in encouraging the celebration of something which God never said to celebrate and you accuse me i.e. ‘I dare say he succeeds even for those like you’ is again a wicked indictment. We must always remember that when we point the finger at somebody else, there are three fingers pointing back at us!”

            What is so interesting is that you accuse me of a ‘wicked indictment’ of you, yet you come to this site and accuse me and other Christians of pagan worship when what we do is simply celebrate the Birth of our Precious Savior, so spare me the ‘three fingers pointing back’ bit; you have done what you accuse me of. This site and the original post are a DEFENSE of the Gospel and Biblical Christianity precisely because of accusations made by folks like you.

            Your ‘parting plea’ was this: ” . . . could I encourage you to ask God yourself to please show you personally what He feels about Christmas, as if we are truly sincere without any preconceived beliefs, opinions or ideas, He is faithful and will reveal His feelings.”

            Barbara, the original post was a result of my doing just as you encouraged.

            Perhaps a re-reading of Romans 14 by you would be advisable.

            Grace and peace,
            JGIG (not ‘GIG’)

  7. Thanks so much for this post!! It is so refreshing to hear a balanced look at a holiday that has been under such controversy. I attended a Messianic Jewish congregation for a short while and of course, was taught about all the pagan origins of holidays we associate with Jesus – Christmas and Easter. For quite awhile, I almost felt ‘guilty celebrating them” . How different I feel now. I do understand yes, these holidays as well as elements of the celebration can be traced back to pagan origins. But, as you so wonderfully stated – we are still celebrating a God who chose to become flesh and dwell among us. At no other time of the year than Christmas are hearts more softened and giving – and perhaps more open to hear the gospel. Thanks again for this post.

  8. Whenever I hear someone say “I asked God to show me the truth about Christmas, and He did” or some such thing, I often wonder what the process was. On the rare occasions I was able to ask, or simply wait for their explanation to unfold, it came down to a matter of calculation and a “rational” interpretation of scripture. So when they ask me to pray about it, there’s something in me that refuses to. It’s like asking to me to pray about whether the sky is really pink, which lottery ticket I should buy, which cigarette I should smoke, or which beer I should drink, or how much money I should give as a “seed-offering” to a painted lady on a gilded couch on a “Christian” show on a “Christian” channel. It’s not that I have a problem with asking God for wisdom. Indeed, it’s the only thing I’m absolutely sure He will undoubtedly give me when I ask. It’s that I feel like a complete fool asking Him to reveal to me that which a child could understand (“it’s blue,” “none,” “that’s not the issue,” and “just turn the channel.”)

    • Part of the answer is in the intellectual diet on which they feed.

      For instance, if I start with a false premise (one of my own or one fed to me), and then only feed on materials that support that false premise, then that premise is validated. There is a whole group of HRMers out there who are convinced that the heliocentric model of our solar system is in error and that we really live in a geocentric planetary system. Once the delusion is firmly in place, truth has less of a chance of getting through =o/.

      Even observable fact, like the Law not being able to be kept because there is no Temple, goes by the wayside, and folks will build up a doctrine to get around that fact such as ‘God just wants us to do our best’, when there is NO support for that idea concerning the Law in the Scriptures. Obey or die – either you or an animal in your place – that’s the reality of the Law. Yet thousands are operating on a false premise of ‘do your best’ and surround themselves with teachers that will feed them teaching to support that false premise.

      It’s very difficult to break through that kind of intellectual/theological contraption!

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