Dive into the historical roots of Christmas in this eye-opening video that explores the origins of this long held tradition. Join us on a journey through ancient traditions, customs, and beliefs that have shaped the modern celebration of Christmas.
Discover how many Christmas customs, such as decorating trees, amongst others, have their roots in pre-Christian cultures. Uncover the influence of winter solstice celebrations, Roman festivals, and other pagan traditions that have been seamlessly woven into the fabric of the holiday we know today.
Challenge your understanding of Christmas and explore the layers of history that often go unnoticed during the holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas or are curious about its origins, this video invites you to question the familiar and rethink the cultural influences that have shaped our modern festivities.
Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s engage in a respectful conversation about the diverse historical tapestry that contributes to the rich and complex nature of Christmas. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and ring the notification bell to stay updated on our thought-provoking content!
#ChristmasOrigins #PaganInfluence #HolidayHistory
This teaching is about Christmas from a biblical, historic, and messianic perspective. The teaching emphasizes that the Israelites were prohibited from following pagan practices and worshiping Yahweh in the same way as the Gentiles. However, they often fell back into idolatry and worshiped Yahweh in pagan ways. Scripture repeatedly warns against following the ways of the pagans and worshiping other gods. The teaching mentions instances where the Israelites built high places, set up pillars, and worshiped idols under green trees. It emphasizes the importance of not following the ways of the Gentiles and not being awed by their signs. The speaker warns against imitating the nations and serving wood and stone.
So like I said, this teaching is going to be all about Christmas, and it’s going to be from a biblical, historic, and a messianic perspective. So this may be in a way that you may not have viewed it before, maybe a lot of information here that you have not seen before. Hopefully you’ll be able to learn something, whether you agree with the conclusion that comes forth or not. We just hope that you are edified and you’re educated and you get something out of tonight’s teaching for tonight’s drash.
Like always, if you are looking for any of the notes or the on-demand video or the slides that you see on your screen right now, you can click on the link down below that’ll take you directly to the post on godhonesttruth.com for this teaching on Christmas. And there you’ll have all the information you need, including the transcript, the notes we took on this. And in the notes, there is so much more information that we have in those notes that we did not include in tonight’s slideshow simply for the sake of time.
It’s already about 90 slides. So obviously we couldn’t include everything, but if you want to see more, go check that out on godhonesttruth.com. The link should be down there for you, whether you’re listening on audio podcast or watching on one of our video platforms. In addition, there’s a slight warning. There is some discussion of mature content and some of the information that we present later on. Again, there’s no profanity or inappropriate images, but some of the things that are alluded to may not be appropriate for all ages.
So you decide you and what’s best for your family. Now starting out, let’s just remind ourselves of what scripture says in Ecclesiastes 1, I’m sorry, chapter 1, verse 9. What has been is what shall be. What has been done is what shall be done. And there is no new matter under the sun. So if it’s already been done, the most likely it’s going to be done again. And if we’re doing it now, the most likely it’s been done before.
The traditions surrounding Christmas are no different. And it goes right along with the wisdom and the knowledge presented in scripture, specifically this from Ecclesiastes chapter 1, verse 9. Now this draw is going to go in a chronological order. We’re going to start out in the Tanakh, or the AKA Old Testament, and then go right on up through history to modern day, exploring what scripture, history, and the Messianic way of thinking has to say about Christmas. So for this teaching, we’re going to start out in Deuteronomy chapter 12, verses 2 through 3.
And this is Yahweh prohibiting the Israelites, his people, from going after pagan things. Deuteronomy chapter 12, verses 2 through 3. Now here he’s telling them that when they go into the promised land to get rid of all this pagan stuff that’s already there that the current inhabitants are practicing, the way they’re doing things. Get rid of their high places, get rid of their altars. And as we go through the information tonight, try to keep in mind everywhere it speaks of foliage, especially trees.
And it goes on again in Deuteronomy chapter 12, verse 4. Don’t worship the Lord your God in the way those nations worship their gods. Do not worship Yahweh the way that pagans worship their gods. Now this is not long after they came out of the land of Egypt, but even though they had his prohibitions, they still fell back into idolatry. Bring back to mind the instance of the golden calf in Exodus chapter 32, verses 1 and 4 through 5.
And when the people saw that Moshe was so long in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron and said to him, Arise, make us mighty ones who go before us. And he took this from their hands and he formed it with an engraving tool and made a molded calf. And they said, this is your mighty one, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim. And Aaron saw and built a slaughter place before it.
And Aaron called out and said, tomorrow is a festival to Yahweh. So they didn’t know what happened to Moshe, Moses. If he went up on the mountain, he’d been up there for a long time. And they wanted a representation of Yahweh. They knew that Yahweh had brought them out of the land of Egypt. And they built this golden calf. And they said, this is your God. They said, this is Yahweh who brought you out. And even Aaron made a day for sacrificing and feasting to Yahweh in honor of this golden statue.
Why were they doing that? Well, that’s what they had been used to back in the land of Egypt. Even though Yahweh had already told them, do not do as the Gentiles, as the pagans, as the heathen do. Don’t worship me in that way. But still, they did the pagan ways that they were used to back in Egypt. And if you remember, it did not go well for them. Read for yourself what happened there when Moses came down through the first set of tablets onto the calf and destroyed it.
All sorts of bad things. When they tried to worship Yahweh in the way of the Egyptians, it did not go well for them. And again and again, throughout the Tanakh, Yahweh says, do not worship me like the pagans do. Do not follow after the ways of the pagans. Leviticus 18, 3. Do not do as they do in the land of Mitzrayim, where you dwell. And do not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you.
And do not walk in their laws, in the ways they worship their gods. And this is a repeated thing over and over and over in Scripture as a whole, actually. We’ll get into that more in the Berthadashah. But Deuteronomy chapter 12, verses 29 through 30. When Yahweh your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations, guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, how did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.
So again, we did not include every instance where Yahweh is prohibiting going after and doing the same things that pagans do. But it’s over and over and over again. Unfortunately, the Israelites, the people of Yahweh, still went back from time to time and fell into pagan ways of worshiping Yahweh. We read in 2 Kings chapter 17, verses 6 through 17, for instance. In the ninth year of Hosea, the sovereign of Ashur captured Shomeron and exiled Yisra’el to Ashur.
This came to be because the children of Yisra’el had sinned against Yahweh their Elohim and feared other mighty ones and walked in the laws of the nations whom Yahweh had dispossessed from before the children of Yisra’el. They built for themselves high places in all their cities and set up for themselves pillars in Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree and burned incense there, like the nations whom Yahweh had removed from their presence, and served the idols of which Yahweh had said to them, Do not do this.
They did not listen and harden their necks, and rejected His laws and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and became worthless, and after the nations who were all around them, of whom Yahweh had commanded them not to do like them. And they left all the commands of Yahweh their Elohim, and made for themselves a molded image, two calves, and made an Asherah, and bowed themselves to all the hosts of the heavens, and served Baal, and caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, and practiced divination and sorcery, and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of Yahweh to provoke Him.
So, over and over again, Yahweh says, Do not do as the Gentiles, as the pagans, as the heathens do. Do what I tell you to do. That’s the way you’re supposed to worship me. But yet, the people of Yahweh would have a good time and a period of bad time, and that bad time they would go into idolatry, and going after the other gods, and even worshiping Yahweh in the way the pagans worshiped their gods. And Yahweh said, Don’t do that.
Even again, in Jeremiah chapter 2, verses 19 through 20, Your own evil instructs you, and your backslidings reprove you. Know therefore, and see that it is evil and bitter that you have forsaken Yahweh your Elohim, and that my fear is not in you, declares the master Yahweh of hosts. For of old I have broken your yoke, and torn off your chastisements. And you said, I am not serving you, when on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down a whore.
So again, another instance of the people of Yahweh backsliding into idolatry. And yet again, we have mention of trees here. This is going to get to an important point later on, but probably not the one you’re thinking about. Anyways, going on, again, we’re told, Do not follow after the ways of the Gentiles, after the ways of the heathen, after the ways of the pagans. Jeremiah chapter 10, verses 2 through 4. Thus said Yahweh, Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be awed by the signs of the heavens, for the nations are awed by them.
For the laws of these peoples are worthless, for one cuts a tree from the forest. Work for the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They beautify it with silver and gold, they strengthen it with nails and hammers, so that it does not topple. So again, you have the imagery and the involvement of trees. And here specifically, talking about cutting trees down, and after that, securing it so it doesn’t move or fall over, and decorating it with silver and gold.
What does that sound like to you? Those are the ways of the Gentiles, the pagans, the heathens. And what we’re told not to do. We’re told not to do like these Gentiles. If you’ll look, this Hebrew word here for nations, is also the word for pagans or heathens. That’s why I keep saying all three, because that one Hebrew word means all that. And the Greek word, ethnos, is exactly the same way, it means heathen, pagan, or Gentile.
Someone not in covenant or walking with Yahweh. And again, in Ezekiel chapter 20, verse 32. And what comes up in your spirit shall never be when you say, let us be like the nations, like the tribes in other lands, serving wood and stone. So again, over and over and over and over again, we see in Scripture that we are not to do what the pagans do in serving their gods and how we serve the one true God, Yahweh.
We’re not to do those ways in service to Yahweh. We’re to do Yahweh’s ways as laid out in Scripture. That’s the way we’re supposed to do it. And again, you see this imagery, well it’s not really imagery, but it’s actual practice where they use trees and wood and stone. And come to find out, since last year, let me back up real quick. Last year I was posting stuff about Christmas, putting out the historical facts and evidence about Christmas.
And one person that I’m connected with on Facebook said, well, there’s no such thing as the worship of trees. You’ll never find that throughout history or in Scripture. This passage in Jeremiah is not talking about worshiping trees. Okay. Well, unfortunately, I’ve run across information since then that has totally debunked their claim. I run across something called tree worship or dendrology. And as a matter of fact, this dendrology or tree worship is something that is prevalent amongst lots and lots and lots of various pagan faiths throughout the world.
Now just to define what dendrology actually is, it’s either the worship of trees or the veneration of trees, sort of like the Catholics knew was the veneration of saints. So you don’t always have to worship the tree as a god. In fact, most of the pagans did not worship the trees as a god, but it was sacred to them and an integral part of their worship of false gods. Does that make sense? And even in medieval times, Christians were denouncing the use of trees because they thought it was a backslide into paganism.
It says here, reverence for individual trees among the Germanic peoples is a common theme in medieval Christian denunciations of backsliding into paganism. In some cases, such as Donar’s Oak, according to legend, felled by Christian missionary Saint Boniface, these were associated with particular gods and the association of individual trees with saints can be seen as a continuation of the tradition into modern times. Again, trees being associated in an integral part with pagan worship. From Encyclopedia Britannica, indeed to judge from later popular custom and tradition and from the allusion in ancient writers, various grisly rites and acts of licentiousness, such as the more advanced Hebrew prophets denounced, were by no means unusual features in the cults of trees and vegetation.
And we remember reading in those passages we saw the prophets denouncing pagan worship and including trees in that denunciation. So now this next video you’re about to see is a clip from a larger video, but it goes over some European pagan practices involving trees, which I found to be very interesting and educational at the same time. Hopefully you will get something out of this as well. So this is Kabili, who’s this fertility deity, this earth mother goddess, and her young consort Attis, who in some versions of the myth is also her son.
Kabili adores Attis, but his attentions soon wander elsewhere. Now, he’s just seen this young temptress. He’s been pulled away from Kabili. His allegiance is now in question. Attis has betrayed the great goddess and she goes into a jealous fury. She’s rejecting him and she’s driving him mad. Attis disappears deep into the forest. Here he despairs and does the unthinkable. It’s only what’s happened is that Attis has castrated himself and he’s bled to death, and that’s where we find him, underneath this pine tree.
Kabili follows him, she finds him, and she’s stricken with grief, but she can resurrect him, because she’s a goddess, and she resurrects him in the form of a pine tree. So, although he’s been brought back to life again, he’s been brought back as one of the trees of the forest. Yes. It’s going, I think. Yes! There he goes. There he goes. The tree became a symbol of this power of resurrection and the focus of rituals performed in her honor.
Well, what’s happened, Tony, is that the tree representing Attis has been brought here and has been erected. Which, of course, symbolizes his return to life. And, of course, it’s a phallus and it’s been driven into the ground. So, it’s as if it’s fertilizing Cybele, the earth mother. It’s like a very hot version of Maypole dancing. Well, there’s a sense in which our Maypole, the Christmas tree, the whole series of tree symbols are essentially symbols of fertility.
So, hopefully you got something out of that. I thought that was very neat, explaining some of the European backstory, and you can find information on Attis and Sibeli and how all this goes into it. But we know that, like I said, the inclusion of trees in pagan rituals was prevalent throughout lots of various pagan rituals, pagan religions, stuff like that. But we read also that in 2007, in the ruins of Herculaneum, a wooden throne was discovered adorned with a relief of Attis beneath a sacred pine tree gathering cones.
Various finds suggest the cult of Attis was popular in Herculaneum at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 of the Common Era. Keep these dates in mind, too. But notice there, in that story about Attis, and also this article, talking about the discovery of information about Attis, the pine tree, the evergreen, being included in this pagan worship. Go on to read from Encyclopedia Americana. The worship of a tree, as in itself divine, does not appear to have prevailed in any age of the world.
So, in other words, it’s saying that worshiping the tree as a god is not really something that was done. So they go on to say, In the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, trees were regarded as the abodes of sylvan deities, supernatural beings, inferior to the gods of Olympus. Even where this view was not taken, and the tree was not venerated as the dwelling place of divinity, trees were associated with the worship of the gods and a certain degree of sanctity attached to them.
Tree worship, or anything resembling it, has no place in any branch of Christianity, and among Christians, the attachment to trees, or any particular tree, is entirely a matter of natural sentiment. Go on to read in the Encyclopedia Britannica. In higher religions, we find a Zeus or a Dionysus and Dendros, gods, occupants of trees who have been identified with one or other of the leading members of a recognized pantheon. Assyrian writers speak of a king of the forest and of a tall olive tree to the worship of which Satan seduced the people.
That’s on the nose right there. Talking about how these trees included in the pagan worship rituals were where Satan seduced people. Not my words, that’s from the Encyclopedia Britannica. Putting it straight forward. So moving on, going back to some more scripture, what do we see about in the Brit Hadashah? We’ll read in Ephesians 4, verse 17. So this I say, and witnessed in the Master, that you should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind.
No longer walk as the pagans walk. No longer walk as the nations walk. Again, reiterating that same theme from the Tanakh. Do not do as the pagans do. Do not do as the Gentiles do. Do not worship Yahweh in the way that those people worship their gods. And we’ve been told in Revelation chapter 18, verse 4. And I heard another voice from the heavens saying, Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
And that should be our entire goal, is to come out of the ways of the world and into the ways of Yahweh. We should not worship Yahweh in the way the world worships everything else, including themselves. We should be Yahweh-focused and not mix religions, not mix worship practices, not mix faiths. Only scripture in the way Yahweh tells us to do stuff. So after we get out of the apostolic times, from the writings of the apostles and the times that they lived, we then get on up into history.
And now we’re going to explore some historical information about Christmas. So we read back in ancient Rome. This comes from the Encyclopedia Britannica again. In ancient Rome, December 25th was a celebration of the unconquered sun, marking the return of longer days. It followed Saturnalia, a festival where people feasted and exchanged gifts. The church in Rome began celebrating Christmas on December 25th in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, possibly to weaken pagan traditions.
Now if he was bringing this stuff in and syncretizing with Christianity, that’s not really weakening pagan traditions. That’s making sure they stay alive, in a sense. But anyways, some people will say that Christmas date of December 25th was not chosen because of Saturnalia, because that occurred a few days earlier. And it wasn’t because of the winter solstice, because that’s also a few days earlier. Well, these very same people don’t understand that Julius Caesar, when they were going off the Julian calendar, declared that December 25th was to be the winter solstice.
Now this was before the time of Yeshua and the apostles. So it was already set as the winter solstice on December 25th, before the apostolic times. Unfortunately, the Julian calendar had a lot of flaws, and over time, the winter solstice moved around in the calendar. So that had to be modified. But even about the year 200, I forget the name of the emperor or who declared it, but they declared that December 25th was to be the birthday of the unconquered sun.
And if you haven’t seen it already, I would highly suggest that you go watch the documentary that 119 Ministries did on the history of Christmas. Very, very informative stuff. It really goes along with what’s being presented tonight, plus some additional information. So go check that out from 119 Ministries. Yeah, it wasn’t until much later that Christians started celebrating Christmas. We’ll get into that, though. Moving on up in time, December 25th was the chief feast of Mithras, and in fixing on that date for Christmas, the early church sought to overlay both the Mithraic festival and the Saturnalia.
Now, to the pushback that Christmas is not about Saturnalia because Saturnalia was before that and actually a few days long, whereas Christmas is only one day, someone brought up a good point that what we think of as Christmas now isn’t actually just one day. It’s actually a season. A season that seems like every year begins earlier and earlier, which is odd, but marketing, money, stuff like that. So anyways, yeah, it would include things like Saturnalia, and a lot of the feasts and rituals and things they did in Saturnalia is now brought into what we know of as Christmas.
Lots of different pagan, non-Christian worship practices were, over time, adopted and synchronized into what we call Christmas. We’ll be getting into some of those customs later on as well. But even in 200 of the Common Era, Clement of Alexandria, according to him, several different days had been proposed by various Christian groups. As surprising as it may seem, Clement doesn’t mention December 25th at all. The birthday of Yeshua, various people had proposed various different things, some in the fall, some in the spring, some at other times, but December 25th was not one of those, according to Clement.
Going on from the Encyclopedia Britannica, the celebration of Christmas started in Rome about 336, but did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century. If you go throughout church history and you start reading church history and the early church fathers, stuff like that, you’ll see that various new things would creep up from time to time. Sometimes these church fathers would ride against them. Sometimes they would be the ones bringing these new things in. Sometimes things got shot down and they went away.
Other times they stuck around. Christmas is one of those things, and when in the 4th century that Christmas was first introduced to Christianity, there was a lot of pushback. Some churches, or actually a lot of churches, did not do Christmas because they understood and saw it for what it was and where it came from. So it took a while before the celebration and acceptance of Christmas actually got widespread over all of Christianity. And if you’re looking at this back in the historical past, like way back then in the first few centuries, they won’t call it Christmas.
It will be referred to as the Feast of the Nativity. Now some historical sites or archaeologists may refer to it as Christmas because they know it’s the same thing. But if you run across something called the Feast of the Nativity, that was the early description for what we know now as Christmas. But from the Encyclopedia Britannica, on such grounds, certain Latins as early as 354 may have transferred the human birthday from the 6th of January to the 25th of December, which was then a Mithraic feast and is by the chronographer above referred to, but in another part of his compilation, termed Natalis Invictus Solus, or Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
Going back to Constantine, Constantine was an adherent of Solus Invictus, the unconquered sun. The birth date of Solus Invictus was December 25th. Now, just to be clear, Constantine did not bring in Christmas. Flat out. So I’m not blaming him for Christmas, but he was an adherent of Solus Invictus. And a lot of the military in Rome at that time were fond of Mithraism. So is that too. We get on up into 400 CE, and in about 400 CE, Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25th, but refused to celebrate the epiphany on January 6th regarding it as an innovation.
And that’s from biblicalarcheology.org. So again, even in 400 CE, Christmas is not widespread and not on a specific date. Like we said before, there were various times throughout the year where people had proposed it was the birth date of Messiah. So there were various times on the calendar, and here we can see that the Donatists kept it on December 25th, and other people kept the epiphany on January 6th. That’s another drosh, another teaching. But even some people kept the Christmas or birth date of Yeshua on January 6th.
So it was all over the place, and it took a while for widespread acceptance of Christmas, and also the more solidified date of December 25th. Even today, in our own day and age, not everyone around the world celebrates Christmas on the same day of the year. There are still discrepancies in which days Christmas is celebrated. But from wikipedia.org, according to M.J. Vermasserin, the Mithraic New Year and the birthday of Mithras was on December 25th. However, Beck disagrees strongly.
Klaus states the Mithraic mysteries had no public ceremonies of its own. The festival of Natalis Invicti held on December 25th was a general festival of the sun and by no means specific to the mysteries of Mithras. However, other places state that, yeah, definitely Mithras’ birthday was on December 25th. Yeah, some more good information here. You can see how even scholars don’t always come to the same conclusion, even though the evidence definitely does point, like we showed earlier, that Invictus Solus was December 25th, the birthday of the unconquerable sun.
Mithraism, the birthday of Mithra, was also on December 25th. Encyclopedia Britannica. The ecclesiastical calendar retains numerous remnants of pre-Christian festivals, notably Christmas, which blends elements including both the feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra. That’s from the Encyclopedia Britannica. And again, what we know of as Christmas now is a melting pot of various non-Christian festivals and religious worship rituals. Not just Saturnalia and Mithra, but now includes some of the Celtic, Nordic, Druid customs as well.
Encyclopedia Americana. It was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than their birth. So we already saw that. In the first 300 years, they were not celebrating Christmas. If you want to be a first century church, like I hear some people say, you’re going to cut out Christmas. No two ways about it. From the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church. Arrhenius and Tertullian omitted from their list of feasts. Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable Imperial Natalitia, asserts that in the scriptures, sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday. Again, going back to that previous statement about how the Christian custom was to celebrate, or remember anyways, the death of people, not their birth. And what Origen is saying here, we’ll read his quote in just a minute, but if you look at scripture, there’s only two instances of a birthday celebration taking place in scripture.
Back in the Tanakh, Pharaoh has a birthday party, if you will, and during his birthday party, one of his servants, he cuts their head off. In the Brit Hadashah, Herod has a birthday party, if you will, and at his birthday party, he cuts off the head of John the Baptist. So, in both of these instances, they’re both of the non-believer group, or non-faithful group, and in both instances, someone loses their head. That’s the biblical description of birthday parties, celebrating birthdays.
So, is it right or wrong to celebrate birthdays? That’s something you need to research for yourself. Just because it was not mentioned frequently within scripture doesn’t make it wrong because there’s actually no prohibition saying, thou shalt not celebrate the day of your birth. But, at the same time, where does this whole celebration thing come from? That would definitely be a drash in and of itself. But anyways, Origen, what he had to say about birthdays, he says, Someone of those before us has observed what is written in Genesis about the birthday of Pharaoh and is told that the worthless man who loves things connected with birth keeps birthday festivals.
And we, taking this suggestion from him, find in no scripture that a birthday was kept by a righteous man. I should have put up the scripture references for the two different birthday celebrations found in scripture. But, if you would like those, by all means, write to us and we can provide those for you through email. So, yeah, there’s only two instances in scripture. There’s possibly a third in Job, but that’s disputable as to whether it was actually a celebration of birthday or not.
Anyways, moving on into more modern times. Now, this won’t say from the outset that I am definitely not a fan of John Calvin. There was a lot of things he got wrong. There was a lot of things that he’d done that was wrong and non-Christian and horrid. But, to give credit where credit is due, John Calvin saw right through Christmas. And this is what he had to say about Christmas. Now, I see here today more people that I am accustomed to having at the sermon.
Why is that? It is Christmas Day. And who told you this, you poor beast? That is a fitting euphemism for all you who have come here today to honor Noel. Did you think you would be honoring God? Consider what sort of obedience to God you’re coming this place. In your mind, you are celebrating a holiday for God or turning today into one, but so much for that. But if you think that Jesus Christ was born today, you are as crazed as wild beasts.
For when you elevate one day alone for the purpose of worshiping God, you have just turned it into an idol. True, you insist that you have done so for the honor of God. But it is more for the honor of the devil. For no day is superior to another. It matters not whether we recall our Lord’s Nativity on a Wednesday, Thursday, or some other day. But when we insist on establishing a service of worship based on our whim, we blaspheme God and create an idol, though we have done it all in the name of God.
And when you worship God in the idleness of a holiday spirit, that is a heavy sin to bear and one that attracts others about it, until we reach the height of iniquity. But all those who barely know Jesus Christ, or that we must be subject to Him, and that God removes all those impediments that prevent us from coming to Him, these folk, I say, will at best grit their teeth. They came here in anticipation of celebrating a wrong intention, but will leave with it wholly unfulfilled.
So again, John Calvin, in my opinion, got a lot of things wrong. But credit where credit is due, John Calvin saw Christmas for what it was and got that right. And there have been periods of time where Christmas has not been the joyous festivities that we think of today. Certain times, Christmas was very disruptive and actually very violent. In fact, in 1644, the English Puritans forbade any merriment or religious services by active Parliament on the ground that it was a heathen festival and ordered it to be kept as a fast.
And that’s from the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. So yeah, the Puritans, and they’re going to come up later on too, saw it for what it was, as a pagan, heathen, Gentile festival. And they outlawed it by decree over in England and also in other places we’ll see in just a moment. But yeah, part of the reason for some of these outlawings during these times was not just because it was heathen and pagan, but because it was also very disruptive and very anti-Christian.
Some of the practices back during these times, the people for Christmas would cross-dress. I kid you not, the men would dress up in women’s clothes and the women would dress up in men’s clothes and they would have kind of a switching around of roles. And this goes back to some ancient pagan festivals as well. There was also some, lots of violence that went on during some of these times. And that was another reason for outlawing Christmas at certain points in history.
And it was even outlawed here in America as well. From the Phoenix Gazette in 1967, Christmas was once banned in Boston. The Puritans forbade the celebration of Christmas because it was a pagan feast. Episcopalians were the first in Boston to observe the holiday. They were followed by increasing numbers of young people who raised 18th century eyebrows with frolics, a reveling feast, and ball. But it wasn’t until 1856 that the legislature, recognizing a losing battle when it saw it, gave in and made Christmas a legal holiday.
So it was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas in any way at a certain point in American history. We read from a public notice that was posted in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. For the preventing of disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities to the great dishonor of God and offense of others. It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing labor, feasting, or any other way upon any of such occasion account, as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offense five shillings as a fine to the county.
And that’s some hard English to read there. Yeah, it was outlawed and fines were imposed for celebrating Christmas. Another notice that was put up. The observation of Christmas having been deemed a sacrilege, the exchanging of gifts and greetings, dressing in fine clothing, feasting, and similar satanical practices are hereby forbidden with the offender liable to a fine of five shillings. So again, they’re calling it, in essence, pagan, but they’re saying straight up it’s satanical practices. But eventually people gave in, the ways of the world, and more and more people accepted celebrating Christmas.
A lot of you know who Charles Spurgeon is, but he had a lot of good sermons and a lot of good things to say about all sorts of things, Christian and biblical and what have you. But for those of you who don’t know who Charles Spurgeon was, he was a preacher, a Calvinist preacher, actually, who lived from 1834 until 1892. He is still to this day held in high regard amongst many mainstream Christian denominations. He is sometimes regarded as the Prince of Preachers, and he’s a prominent player in the Reformed tradition, aka the Calvinist tradition.
He opposed both slavery and distensationalism as well. But what he had to say on Christmas was this, We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly, we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English. And secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior.
And consequently, its observance is a superstition because not of divine authority. So even here in the mid-19th century, they’re not having Christmas. They’re not having it. Or at least Charles Spurgeon isn’t. And he’s preaching and teaching this very same sentiment. He goes on saying, So again, he’s saying it doesn’t come from scripture. It doesn’t come from God. So therefore, we should not be doing this. Again, people eventually gave in and it came down to us to be what we know of as today.
But instead of taking just Charles Spurgeon’s words for it, What can we deduce for ourselves about scriptural connections with Christmas? Is there any? Are they all scripturally connected? Well, think about it for a moment. In scripture, we look through there and we do not find Santa Claus. We do not find flying reindeer. We do not find elves or any kind of magic. In fact, scripture talks against magic. Teaching about magic, talking about magic, things like that.
We do not find in scripture the yule log, mistletoe, the birth date of Jesus or any birth date for our Messiah. We do not find Christmas tree. Well, we do, but not in a positive light like we read in Jeremiah. We don’t find anything about wreaths or hanging stockings. All of these traditions that we know of today as a part of Christmas come from paganism, from non-Christian worship practices. In fact, according to mentalfloss.com, According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a double or triple hoe was used to express derision or derisive laughter, possibly as far back as the late 12th century, and it was definitely in play by the 16th century.
So where does Santa Claus get this ho-ho-ho from? It could be from a derisive laugh. Also, I need to search this out some more and back it up, but it’s been said that way back in the day when they actually had operas and things like that before TV and movies, a certain play where Satan would come out on stage and play his part. Before he came out on stage, he would announce himself by saying ho-ho-ho, and then everyone would know that Satan was about to come out.
But here we’re seeing that the phrase a triple hoe, ho-ho-ho, was used to express derision or derisive laughter. From Merriam-Webster, the actual term Old Nick is used as a name for the devil. Ever heard someone else called Old Nick or Old Saint Nick? According to Wiktionary.org, originally 17th century, apparently a special use of the forename Nick, perhaps in jocular or contrastive reference to Saint Nicholas. Alternatively, it may be derived from knicker or some other derivative of Old English knicker, water demon.
So this word Nick has various ways, or we put it this way. There are various theories as to where this came from, but it could be in contrast to the name Saint Nicholas, or it could also come from a word meaning water demon. But we go on to read that prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples celebrated a midwinter event called Yule, Nordic peoples. With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas, such as the wild hunt, frequently attested as being led by the god Odin, or Wodan.
Bearing among many names, the names Jolnir, meaning Yule figure, and Longbeard, meaning long beard, in Old Norse. Wodan’s role during the Yuletide period has been theorized as having influenced concepts of Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus in a variety of facets, including his long white beard and his gray horse for nightly rides, or his reindeer in North American tradition. Folklorist Margaret Baker maintains that the appearance of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, whose day is the 25th of December, owes much to Odin, the old, blue-hooded, cloaked, white-bearded gift-bringer of the North, who rode the midwinter sky on his eight-footed steed, Sleipnir, visiting his people with gifts.
Odin transformed into Father Christmas, then Santa Claus, prospered with Saint Nicholas, and the Christ child became a leading player on the Christmas stage. Now, in Norse mythology, Odin was the chief or supreme god. Just like back in Roman and Greek paganism, the sun god was the chief or top god. See how all this kind of plays in together here? We can see here, the attributes of Odin were long-bearded, gift-bringer, generally old, and he had an eight-footed horse that he rode on.
What does that sound like today? Well, we have an old, geriatric, long-bearded man in customs today, and they say this man goes around with eight reindeer, not an eight-footed horse, but eight reindeer, and brings gifts. So, start adding those up. Going on, in pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and fire holes on the solstice. In the Italian Bifana tradition, the gift-giving witch is perpetually covered with soot from her trips down the chimneys of children’s homes.
Even the Norse god Odin would come through chimneys on the winter solstice. And apparently in Italy, they had a witch that would come down the chimney. They try selling that on Christmas time nowadays. But yeah, once again, what we know of as Christmas today has a combination of many different customs and traditions from all over the world. That’s about Santa Claus. Now, you’ve heard of mistletoe as well. That doesn’t come from scripture. It’s another greenery from other cultures, other practices.
We’ll leave it at that for right now. But it says here, the European mistletoe has smooth-edged, oval, evergreen leaves born in pairs along the woody stem and waxy white berries that it bears in clusters of two to six. The eastern mistletoe of North America is similar but has shorter, broader leaves and longer clusters of ten or more berries. Okay, that’s a pretty banal statement there. What does that have to do with anything? What we’re about to tell you in this next upcoming slide will make a lot of sense after we explain that the European mistletoe has white berries with a white juice.
Because you may be thinking of mistletoe with red berries, but the original mistletoe, when they first started bringing it into religious customs, had white berries. Keep that in mind as we read this. Pagan cultures regarded the white berries as symbols of male fertility with the seeds resembling semen. The Celts particularly saw mistletoe as the semen of Tyrannus, while the ancient Greeks referred to mistletoe as oak sperm. Mistletoe may have played an important role in Druidic mythology. Evidence taken from bog bodies makes the Celtic use of mistletoe seem medicinal rather than ritual.
It is possible that mistletoe was originally associated with human sacrifice and only became associated with the white bull after the Romans banned human sacrifices. So in some parts, in some Pagan traditions, the white mistletoe was regarded as another fertility symbol. We saw earlier in that video about Attis where the pine tree would be cut down and planted in the earth as a phallic symbol of fertility. Now we’ve got another part to it. And wreaths go along that very same line as well.
This is from ChristianEducatorsAcademy.com. The origins of the wreath go back to ancient Pagan traditions. It was often made of evergreen branches, which represented eternal life and was used during winter solstice celebrations. The use of evergreens in the wreath also has Pagan origins. In many Pagan religions, evergreen trees were seen as symbols of the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth. They were used in winter celebrations to represent the promise of spring and the return of life.
As with many Pagan symbols, the Christian church adopted the use of the wreath and gave it new meaning. Well, at least they’re honest about what’s going on here. But even in some Pagan traditions, the wreath represented the female part of the equation. You’ve got the tree as the phallic symbol, the mistletoe or the seed, and then the wreath as the female part of that symbology. You kind of get the imagery going on here, right? But going on, other types of plants used to make wreath crowns also had symbolic meaning.
For example, oak leaves symbolized wisdom and were associated with Zeus, who according to Greek mythology, made his decisions while resting in an oak grove. By the Renaissance period, wreaths became symbols of political and religious alliances in England. Protestant reformers such as the Puritans saw wreaths and the holidays they were associated with, such as May Day, as being Pagan, corrupting influences that destroyed healthy Christian morality. But again, over time, it kind of dissipated and people just went along with it to what we now know as Christmas in the various Christian traditions.
I’m sorry, Christmas traditions. But yeah, we saw when we’re reading the scriptures, especially in the Snok, and they were saying, do not do as the Pagans do. And the prophets were denouncing various forms of Pagan worship and their ways they worship. They would mention all these trees and this foliage shrubbery. And we see here as we go through the history and the archaeology of it, that trees and foliage, wreaths, stuff like that, played an important part and sometimes a significant part in Pagan worship rituals.
So how does all this personally apply to each one of us nowadays? Say we’re coming from a life where we’re celebrating Christmas. It’s going to be kind of hard. We might say some things like, well, that’s not what it means to me. Or it’s about what’s in your own heart. That’s what matters. What it means to you. Remember back in scripture, and think about that for a moment. At the end of the day, it’s not about what it means to us.
It’s about what it means to Yahweh. And Yahweh said, do not do as the Pagans do. Do not worship me in the ways that the Pagans worship their God. That’s what it means to Yahweh. And that’s what we should be focused on, not what it means to us personally. That is a very selfish, self-worshipping way of looking at things. Some people might also say that we are thus free to change that meaning. Saying we’re free to change it from a Pagan meaning to a Christian meaning.
In other words, slap a Jesus sticker on it, throw some holy water on it. It’s good to go now, right? No. It’s the way the Pagans did it. Worship their gods. That’s not the way we can do it. Even if we put a Christian bumper sticker on it. Still not okay. Do not worship me in the way the Pagans worshiped their gods. Even more infuriating, we read from a gentleman who writes for both epicpew.com and catholicexchange.com.
There is nothing wrong with the church baptizing certain practices of other religions. A lot of people have this thought nowadays. That we can do whatever, whenever, however, from wherever. And it doesn’t matter. Because we’ve baptized it. We’ve put the Jesus sticker on it. It’s all good now. Not according to scripture, not according to Yahweh. Who says, do not do that. Yahweh said it. I believe it. That’s good enough for me. I don’t need all this other stuff.
I don’t need all this worldly way of doing things. I don’t need the pagan way of doing things. Yahweh and his infinite wisdom has laid it out for me, for us, in his scriptures. And it’s not hard. As scripture says, it’s not far off so that we have to go out and get it. It’s close to us, right here. And for a lot of us, it’s right here in our hearts. It’s in our minds. At the very least, it’s sitting somewhere in our house that we can go read it.
But he says, do not worship me in the way the pagans worship their gods. So decide for yourself. Taking all this information in, go research some other information. Decide for yourself how it is that you’re going to approach this holiday tradition of Christmas now that you know what scripture and history actually have to say about it. So in summary, scripture clearly tells us not to do as the nations, as the pagans, as the heathens, as the Gentiles do in worshiping their gods.
Pagan, heathen, Gentile religions almost always had trees associated with them in some way. Or rather, foliage, but a lot of times trees. Christmas wasn’t celebrated for the first 300 years by Christianity after Yeshua was crucified. Christmas originates from various pagan sources. It’s a melting pot of various pagan customs and worship rituals. And even Christians at multiple points in history realized that Christmas was pagan and shouldn’t be celebrated. They realized these things and even outlawed it at certain points in history.
And we should get back to worshiping and serving Yahweh in the way that he tells us and lays out in his scriptures. Not bringing in and mixing the holy with the unholy by adopting pagan ritual worship practices. And that’s just the God honest truth.