The issue of Christmas is highly divisive in the Hebrew-Roots and Messianic Jewish communities around the world. Many Hebrew-Roots teachers have come to the conclusion that the best thing they can do for Jesus is to tell people who put a Christmas Tree in their living room in the month of December that they’re committing the worst sin imaginable for which they will surely spend Eternity in Hell, and rightfully so!
But Titus 3:9 says; “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless”
The disputes over Christmas, the hurt feelings and wounds that Believers inflict on each other over it, are indeed “unprofitable and worthless.”
This is not a “hill to die on” my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not even a hill to fight on.
This is the mother of all “foolish controversies” and by engaging in it you’re not helping in the work of “building up of the body of Christ” as we are exhorted to do in Ephesians 4:12, but rather you’re doing the opposite.
Think about it! Do you really want to stand before the Throne on the Day of Accounting and explain to Him why you felt it necessary to hassle your cousin Bill about his stupid Christmas tree so much that he became alienated from you and later on from the church itself and thus ended up isolated from fellowship with other Believers, leading to him falling away from the faith?
This is not a hypothetical situation. There are literally tens of thousands of relationships between friends and families that have been shattered over this silly nonsense, and that has led to many being turned off from the church and from Christianity in general.
So if you feel uncomfortable celebrating Christmas, don’t. But you also shouldn’t try and make other people feel uncomfortable celebrating it. If one does tell his brother or sister or neighbor that they’re sinning by celebrating Christmas, that individual is not doing Jesus any favors, they’re actually doing Lucifer a favor (yes, I went there.)
All of that having been said, it’s true that Christmas contains a lot of nonsense. The origins of many of the traditions surrounding Christmas can be traced to pagan practices in medieval Europe and even into modern America.
But you know what? So do a lot of traditional Jewish practices that Hebrew Roots and Messianic Believers like to partake of.
Take the simple example of lighting Shabbat Candles. This practice isn’t Biblical, it has its origins in Jewish mysticism and didn’t even become a common practice among European Jews until nearly 1,000 years after the Second Temple was destroyed.
So if you refuse to have a Christmas Tree because it’s “pagan” and “un-Biblical” but you light Shabbat Candles which are also “un-Biblical” and derive from mystic traditions that are no better than paganism, you’re just wasting your time and being a hypocrite.
Furthermore, God can use anything, including Christmas.
Here in Jerusalem, every Catholic, Greek Orthodox and otherwise traditional Church receives thousands of Jewish visitors on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They’re attracted by the festive and fun atmosphere of the holiday. Many of these churches put a huge stack of New Testaments in Hebrew and other languages next to the door, free for anyone to take.
So the next time you feel like telling someone that they’re sinning by participating in Christmas, you should first explain to them how many Jewish people have read the New Testament because of your refusal to participate in it.
If you can’t say anything about that, then maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.
Finally, I have a suggestion for you whether you celebrate Christmas or not.
This time of year when so many people are giving gifts to each other as the turning of the calendar is approaching is the perfect time to give someone a One Year Bible. By giving it to them now, just as the new year and the new cycle of reading the Scriptures is about to start, you could be helping launch someone who needs a little help getting closer to God into a new habit which will bless them richly, and by extension their entire community.
If anything I’ve said here has offended you, then you’re probably the person who really needed to hear it.