“Pastor Kent?” they say in a holy type of whisper. “Do you know the pagan roots of the Christmas season?” “Haven’t you noticed that there is no mention, in the Bible, of the early Christians celebrating Christmas?” “Isn’t the Christmas tree’s origin found in ungodly worship?”
The correct answer is, “Yes, I have studied the history of Christmas and have a sense of what happened hundreds of years ago.”
HOWEVER, the origins of many things are not too much of interest for me. Air, land, and water have all been, historically part of cultic and pagan worship, but I still breath, enjoy God’s earth, and drink a fair amount of water, swim, hot tub, and walk knee deep in water along an ocean beach.
The five senses have been dedicated, for millennia, as components of worshiping false gods, but I am very thankful that I can use my senses in worship of the true God.
Music? Yes, the enemy of our souls uses music as part of his treacherous, wicked, and diabolical scheme, but most every Christian I know enjoys a quality music experience.
Wicked folks use stars and constellation alignments for diabolical things, but I sure like a clear, dark, Alaskan night sky.
Ungodly folks do strange things with crosses and I am fairly sure the cross has a very dark history, but I still “cherish the old rugged cross.”
For me, the intent and motive of the worshiper is what truly matters. This was reenforced for me many years ago in a negative way. A totally ungodly band, Iron Maiden, released an album in 1982 titled, “The Number of the Beast.” The smash hit song from the album is entitled, “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” HOLD IT! My best guess is that I have prayed those very words over 10,000 times. Why is their song wicked and my prayer holy? Because of the intent and motive of our hearts. They are singing the words of Jesus and devoting their lives to the name of the beast, while I am praying the same words of Jesus to the Almighty God.
My Christmas tree, lights, decorations, presents, feasts, games, and celebrations have never, and never will be, focused upon anything other than living the joyous life of Jesus provided by His blood on the cross, applied to mercy seat in heaven and the mercy seat in my heart, and declared to be true by His resurrection from the dead.
I think I read somewhere in a Book something about, “Don’t call anything unclean that I have declared clean.”
If you can’t, with good motives and intent of heart, set up a tree, laugh at a fat man in a red suit, giggle at the story of some red nosed caribou, or kiss your wife under some silly plant hanging from the ceiling, then, by all means don’t.
But if your heart is pure before the Lord on these things, “Let’s celebrate the birth of the King who is fully God and fully man.”