"Roots and Fruits" (of x-mas)
Do the “roots” or origins of something have any meaning or consequences to us? Of course they do. Would you put a butcher knife on your kitchen counter for daily use that you knew had been used to brutally massacre fifteen people? “Well, that’s not what I plan to use it for—no matter what someone else may have used it for! I’m not affected by that. My heart is right.” Actually, that is not what a normal person’s view of things would be. In the real estate business, there is even a name for property that is unsaleable because a violent crime had been committed there. People do not say, “What difference does it make to me what the origins of this house and previous use of this house has been. That’s not what I intend to do with it! I intend to use it for good purposes.” Realistically, everyone does care what the roots or origins of things are. Unless it is to their advantage to ignore that issue.
Jesus said that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. The history of December 25 is clear and indisputable. Rome controlled the world. Romans worshiped many gods and twice a year celebrated two major festivals, one in spring and one in winter. When Constantine converted to Christianity, most of his subjects did too, at least for political correctness. But because their conversions were mostly external, most Romans still wanted their festivals to their gods. These were wicked festivals, honoring demons and filled with every evil practice. So to appease his subjects (how many poor, poor decisions are made to appease), Constantine renamed and “christianized” the holidays. The Festival of Sol Novus—the day of the birth of the sun god Mithras. It occurred on Dec. 25th. Pagans were rebelling against Constantine’s strong recommendation for everyone to become “Christians,” so he began to accommodate the pagans by allowing them to keep their holidays and festivals. The spring pagan festival, which was for the goddess of fertility, became easter, the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Consequently, during this holiday we have bunnies and eggs, symbolizing fertility, not resurrection. Adopted customs from the Winter Solstice were put into practice with Christmas. Consequently, during this holiday we have trees, mistletoe, and lights—things that have nothing to with the birth of Christ. Simon the Zealot was killed in Persia after refusing to worship Mithras, the sun god, whose birth was celebrated Dec. 25. Many brothers and sisters were put to death over these newly named pagan holidays because they refused to give sacrifice and worship to the pagan gods. The Puritans in England and New England tried to abolish Christmas, but the move was unpopular and Christmas survived.
Most scholars actually suspect His birth was in October. But what would the holiday be without snow (“I’m dreaming of a white…”). If it was really to honor Him and not to replace a pagan festival, then it could be moved. But don’t hold your breath, because it’s not for Him.
The significance of all this becomes increasingly clear. For example, you wouldn’t eat beef that was raised on nuclear waste. If you’re used to eating nuclear waste, that is, if you’re a pagan, celebrating a pagan holiday is normal. But if you claim to be a Christian, then you should know that the unseen world is more real than even the effects of something polluted by nuclear waste is in the seen world. Just because a holiday’s name has changed, that doesn’t change its spiritual architecture. Remember, this was a holiday for demon-gods. Jesus isn’t honored by this time of year; He’s blasphemed. Essentially it’s a pagan holiday with His name on it. Putting Jesus’ name on something that is impure and wicked causes the spiritual senses to be dulled and lulls them to sleep. It makes it even harder to reach others for Christ the other 11 months of the year because Jesus is associated with “Christmas time”; because they see Him as a cute little baby in a manger instead of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The result of the above is obvious. I saw a sign the other day that said in reference to this season, “Love, joy and peace are in the air.” Bzzzt. Wrong answer. Materialism, gluttony, selfishness, suicide, greed, pride, self-righteousness, family idolatry, hypocrisy with strangers and family members, and all the like are in the air, in abundance. The demonic power of Christmas includes a seduction of the flesh which is warm, fuzzy and intoxicating. It strokes every sense of the flesh with smells, sights, feels, sounds, and a “spirit” in the air—literally. Or it totally depresses them. Suicide is higher this time of year than any other time. “No one even cares for me at Christmas time,” is a common thought. During this time of year, “Christian” people are supposed to be glad that at least once a year people’s attention is on Jesus. The facts are, people are probably more concentrated on themselves during this time than any other time. References to Jesus, the nativity, the virgin birth, and singing all these beautiful songs about Him seem only to allow people to feel more justified in their sin and more callused to those truths and words later. It blinds and hypnotizes them.
Many people feel justified or appease their consciences by putting a manger scene in front of their tree or donating food or money to the Salvation Army; going caroling or going to a Christmas Eve service. Some people are sincere about wanting to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and believe that others can be reached with the gospel during this time of year. But for the one person who might come to know Jesus as a result of something he heard during this season, there will be thousands of others who will be further and further away from knowing who Jesus really is and what that means for their lives.
The fruit shows itself to be very related to the roots. Hypocrisy and shallowness of heart produce hypocrisy and shallowness of heart. Take the exchanging of gifts, for example. Is it really gift giving or is it possession exchanging? If someone gives something, how often would there be a person who honestly doesn’t want something back. Very rarely. Greed and self-centeredness are bred into children. This holiday does not draw people to an exalted Christ. It mocks Him and pulls people away from Him. Just as the soldiers mocked Jesus when they crucified Him. They put a robe on Him, a crown of thorns on His head and said, “Behold, the King of the Jews.” Today, scripture says that rebellious sin crucifies Him again. And in the middle of rebellious sin, people sing, “Silent night, HOLY night.” In reality, it is children of satan singing songs about Jesus. God sees it as blasphemy because their hearts are far from Him. The Father is not pleased; He is angry. And we will be too if we see His Son and the name of His Son the way He does. One of the things most important to Him to say to His People when He first revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai was “Do NOT use my Name in vain!!!” Wouldn’t you say that a choir or a group of intoxicated “carolers” singing joyously about “baby Jesus” and the “HOLY night” to a group of folks that also have little or no intention of obeying Jesus in their personal lives—wouldn’t THAT qualify as using His Name in vain, the most grotesque form of hypocrisy? Bad news, and not, it would seem, something we can join in with and fellowship with in the name of “keeping peace” or “I don’t PERSONALLY abuse it, so it’s OK for me.”