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Monday 23 July 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Differing views of Christmas!

Many people have been told that Jesus was born on the December 25. However, The Holy Scriptures do not indicate exactly when he was born. No one knows.

Those who believe in Christmas would often say: “We don’t know when Jesus was born but because Jesus’ birth was a very important one, then we should celebrate Jesus’ birthday.”

I do respect a person’s right to hold that view. I also respect another person’s right to choose not to celebrate Christmas. Why do some not celebrate Christmas, said to be Jesus’ birthday?

(1) Jesus never commanded Christians to celebrate his birth, nor did any other servant of God (Ephesians 5:10). Jesus gave the command to remember his death, which occurred on the Jewish Passover in the Jewish month, Nisan 14, clearly indicated in the following Scriptures: Leviticus 23:5; Esther 3:7; Mark 14:14, 16; Mark 15:24, 25, 37; Luke 22:19, 20.

(2) Concerning the early Christians and birthday celebrations, history states: “The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period in general.” — The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries (New York, 1848), Augustus Neander. Another source reveals: “The later Hebrews looked on the celebration of birthdays as a part of idolatrous worship.” — The Imperial Bible-Dictionary (London, 1874), edited by Patrick Fairbairn. Further, we read: “The customs of offering congratulations, presenting gifts and celebrating — complete with lighted candles — in ancient times were meant to protect the birthday celebrant from the demons and to ensure his security for the coming year...Down to the fourth century Christianity rejected the birthday celebration as a pagan custom.” — Schwäbische Zeitung (magazine supplement Zeit und Welt), April, 1981.

So each person has to examine for themselves whether or not it is right to celebrate Christmas. We must respect each person’s choice to celebrate or not celebrate it. In the end, we each must give to God an account for our choices (Romans 14:12).

Brianna Patterson via e-mail

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