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The Pseudo-Theology Of Christmas Defenders

Updated: Jan 2, 2023



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Every year there is a debate regarding whether or not “Christians” should celebrate Christmas. In the past I have written several messages that focus on the evidence against this holiday being something a true Believer and follower of Yeshua should not participate in. These debates are based in what is commonly called the “calculation theory” and what could be called the “pagan origins theory”. The “calculation theory” claims that Christmas was created completely independent of existing Roman paganism as a result of people figuring out when Yeshua was born based on their calculations. The “pagan origins theory” looks at any number of proposed pagan beliefs that in any way influences the creation of Christmas.


Both of these positions have a variety of sub-theories within them. The “calculation theory”, for example, looks at various third and fourth century works that had a range of methods and particularly odd beliefs driving them to their conclusions—in a moment we will examine one of the most popular of these sources. The “pagan origins theory”, on the other hand, could be based on a number of proposed pagan religious influences—such as ancient Babylonian beliefs popularized by the now debunked work of Alexander Hislop, the proposed assimilation of the Roman Saturnalia, the appropriation of Norse Yule practices, or simply on establishing that the Roman Catholic religion is itself wholly pagan.


With this message I want to examine several of the claims I have reviewed in defense of celebrating Christmas. Some of what I will discuss I have mentioned in previous teachings, while others are matters I have not responded to in the past. The reality is that these claims are almost too ridiculous to even give attention to, but because they are out there and people believe them—I have even seen these points promoted by Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Roots Movement teachers—I feel there is a need to at least show how absurd they are and how silly it is to believe such things.


First let me answer a question: Why place so much attention on Christmas? After all, Easter and Halloween are also considered unbiblical, pagan, or Catholic holidays. So why not put as much effort into these as I have done with Christmas? And the answer is simple: Halloween is not really a challenge to address, it’s quite obvious that this is not something a true Believer should have any desire for, and Easter is more easily dealt with through a proper keeping of Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and The Day of First Fruits. When it comes to Christmas, however, it’s as if the whole world of “Christianity” is held captive under its great spell—spending a minimum of two whole months of the year in preparation for a day that really has nothing to do with anything in The Bible.


With regard to Easter and Halloween it is more widely accepted that there are direct connections to pagan religion and we have major Bible Feast Days occurring around the same time—in the spring there is the Passover Season and in the fall the Tabernacles Season. As such, it’s a little easier for many who sincerely desire to follow the ways of God to see that The Bible directly connects the death, burial, and resurrection with the biblical Holy Days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits and to grasp the idea that they can host their annual “church fall festivals” for the local community in conjunction with the Feast of Tabernacles instead of doing “Halloween alternatives”. In addition to this, many churches have shown throughout modern times that they can still “draw a crowd” by using the term Resurrection Sunday in place of Easter and not doing the traditional egg hunts, rabbit, or anything else typically associated with paganism and witchcraft.


But when you get to Christmas there seems to be almost no reasoning with some people. You can show them all of the evidence, all of the history, all of the facts, all of the theories, and they will still rebut these things with some of the most bizarre counter-arguments. It is some of these claims I want to take a little time to discuss in this message. I am sure I will not cover every obscure defense of Christmas that people use, but I do hope that through this message I will present a foundation for how to discuss other such arguments made in defense of this holiday. While this message will be able to stand on its own, it will also pair well with other teachings I have done that focus more heavily on the reasons not to celebrate Christmas and why it truly is a an unbiblical holiday—such as my articles: Is Christmas Pagan?, How December 25th Became Christmas, and The Christmas Debate. With that, let’s begin to look at some of the things people say in defense of Christmas.


It Celebrates The Nativity


This always seems to come up early and often when discussing Christmas with those who are in love with it. I have heard everything from, “It might not be the day He was born, but it’s the day we celebrate His birth,” to, “It’s not like it’s a sin to celebrate the birth of Jesus.” Such arguments are a bit of a logical fallacy though.


First, we can prove from The Bible and valid historical sources that it is a biblical impossibility for Yeshua to have been born in the middle of winter. It really doesn’t even matter what people speculated in the second and third centuries, we have more complete information today that comes to a better conclusion. There is some debate about whether He was born in the spring, probably in connection with Passover, or the fall in association with the Feast of Tabernacles—more on that in a moment—but all credible evidence says that the nativity event had to take place at one of these times. This would mean that Yeshua absolutely was not born on December 25th or any other winter date—Eastern Orthodoxy, for example, uses the date of January 6th.


The next point in this discussion is that we can pretty much conclude with a good amount of confidence that He was born in the fall around the Feast of Tabernacles. While we are unable to determine the year or exact day He was born, the weight of evidence favors this time. While I did mention that there are theories that place the event in the springtime, the fact is that the same evidence used for this is shared with Tabernacles Nativity theorists, but there are some good pieces of evidence in the discussion that are exclusive to the fall. For a detailed study of these points, you can read through my article titled: He Tabernacled Among Us.


This means that not only is The Feast of Tabernacles an appropriate biblical alternative to fall festivals centered on Halloween, but it is also the proper time to celebrate the birth of Yeshua. Once you realize this, arguments like, “December 25th is not when He was born, but it’s when we celebrate His birth,” or, “It’s not like it’s a sin to celebrate His birth,” become nothing more than poor excuses to insist on celebrating Christmas, a holiday that has more association with Roman Catholicism, pagan religion, and even witchcraft than it does The Bible—because the plain fact that everyone will admit to is that Christmas is not found anywhere in The Bible. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but I often say that if something is not in The Bible and it is even potentially linked with other religions or witchcraft, then it’s not something we should have anything to do with.


I have heard people say that they feel it’s going to far to say that people shouldn’t do something based on a hunch—like, saying that it’s wrong to celebrate Christmas because “maybe there is a connection to things like paganism, witchcraft, or the Roman Catholic religion”. However, with regard to Christmas we have a lot of factors that really should give us concern. I also think of Paul talking about meats that were sold in the markets that “may have been offered to idols”—his advice was that if you were told it was, then at that point you look for other meat to buy. Paul didn’t say, “Don’t trust their word, ask for proof that it was offered to idols and if they can’t give you proof and primary sources that the meat was offered to idols you can still buy it.” He said that if they tell you, then the matter is finished—even if they were lying. There are actual practicing pagans today—I will cite some of them later in this message—who tell us that Christmas is really a part of their religious practice. We’ve been told, by the pagans. Per the apostolic instruction it really doesn’t even matter at that point if it’s true or not. We’re not to partake of it.


Many claim that none of this should matter and we should not make an issue out of “Christians” celebrating the birth of Messiah on December 25th. But Paul also clearly warned about people preaching another Messiah than the biblical Yeshua that he and the other apostles preached (2 Corinthians 11:4). Does it matter if we celebrate a Messiah born at a time that clearly does not align with what Scripture tells us? I would say this is a particularly important point to consider, as the “Jesus” born in the midst of winter is clearly another Messiah than the biblical Yeshua. This seems a much more serious point to consider than casually saying: “People are celebrating the birth of ‘Jesus’, who cares if they have the wrong day?


Whenever I see or hear people saying that it’s about celebrating the birth of Yeshua (or “Jesus”), the first question I ask is: Why not celebrate His birth during the Feast of Tabernacles, which is in The Bible and all of the evidence indicates is the time He was born? This typically results either in dead silence or a reply of: “You make a good point, but…” Why do people always do that? It’s the same as when I ask if they can support the celebration of Christmas using only a Bible. The typical reply is: “No, but…” The moment the person says “but” is the moment they start making up excuses instead of simply acknowledging that Christmas is not biblical and there is a better biblical way—celebrating the same Holy Days that God commanded us to celebrate, that Yeshua and the apostles celebrated, and includes The Feast of Tabernacles that is directly and prophetically connected to His birth and The Passover that is directly and prophetically connected to His crucifixion and resurrection.


The Hippolytus Of Rome Date


I have brought this up in other teachings, but I feel it is relevant to this study as this is an often cited “piece of evidence” used by proponents of the theory that “Christmas” existed earlier than what is unanimously accepted and, therefore, was not appropriated from something pagan like the Roman Saturnalia festival or events to honor Helios or Sol Invictus. Typically the argument goes something like this: Hippolytus places the date of Messiah’s birth on December 25th in his Commentary on Daniel, which is dated in the early third century (around 204-205 A.D., though some have dated it as late as 235 A.D.), and this is before the established pagan festival associated with the same date.


As I have noted in the past, however, there are a series of problems with this idea. The first and perhaps most notable point of concern is that this entire entry into his work is disputed on an academic level. There is actually a huge debate as to the authenticity of the passage that associates the birth of Yeshua with the date of December 25th. As it really cannot be proven whether or not this statement is authentic to the author himself or a later amendment to his work, a forgery of sorts, then this really is not admissible as evidence at all.


The next problem is that even if the statement is authentic and Hippolytus actually proposed this date himself, it is simply “another theorized date” for the birth of Yeshua on a long list of proposed dates throughout the year. There are several different dates listed in the work of Clement of Alexandria and others were proposing dates as well. It seems that by the end of the second century and into the early third century there was a growing trend to “figure out” the date of Yeshua’s birth not unlike trends among “Christians” today in their attempts to figure out so-called end times events.


A third and extremely concerning problem with this is that Hippolytus was also a false prophet. He claimed that the earth was 5,500 years old at the time of Yeshua’s birth and therefore had only another 500 years before the end of the world. His exact words were: From the birth of Christ, then, we must reckon the 500 years that remain to make up the 6000, and thus the end shall be. This means that this man was one of, if not the, first “date setters” that has a long list of names on it, including in modern times such characters as Harold Camping, Hal Lindsey, Monte Judah, Edgar Whisenant, David Koresh, and many others. There is very little that can get you labeled a false prophet faster than setting a “prophesied” date for the end of the world, return of Messiah, start of the tribulation, ‘rapture of the church’, or other such future event and it not come to pass. The Bible is very clear that once a person meets the requirements of a false prophet we are not to listen to them (see Deuteronomy 13). So, why are people listening to Hippolytus in regard to the date of December 25th when there were many other dates proposed at the same time—of which the authenticity of the writings are not disputed—by people who do not meet the requirements of being labeled a false prophet? Are people really that desperate to hold onto this date, the one ultimately chosen by the later established Roman Catholic religion, that they will use a quote from a literal false prophet and ignore all other dates proposed or even all of the evidence known today that points to His being born during the Feast of Tabernacles?


Another display of the inaccuracy of Hippolytus comes from his Canon, which was a chart that was supposed to calculate the dates of Passover into the future. However, Thomas C. Schmidt notes in his article Canon Of Hippolytus: “However, Hippolytus’ efforts did not succeed, and the tables are inaccurate just three years after they begin, as NASA’s lunar tables demonstrate.” This is strike four against this man, and the second one that shows he wasn’t very good at making calculations. Perplexing as it may seem, however, Schmidt seems to persist on using the debated entry in Hippolytus’s Commentary On Daniel as a primary piece of evidence to support December 25th and the overall Christmas tradition, as expressed in his recently published article Calculating Christmas: Hippolytus and December 25th from the Winter 2022 edition of Biblical Archaeological Review magazine.


The fifth issue, specific to the claim that this text (if authentic) predates known records of pagan association with the date of December 25th is false. Julius Caesar established this date on the Julian calendar as the date of the winter solstice four decades before Yeshua was even born. Also, the calendar of Antiochus records the words “Birth of Helios, light rises” on December 25th, and this is dated to at least as early as 200 A.D., which means that the date was still significant to pagan religion before even the earliest stated record of “Christian” association with the birth of Yeshua—a record that may not even be valid and was one of many proposed dates at that time in history.


Another thing that is unknown in this discussion is what motives this Hippolytus may have been operating under. Was he genuinely seeking to find the true date of Messiah’s birth? Or was he predetermined to find a path that led to December 25th? Did he see something like the calendar of Antiochus and because of that he set out to conclude that December 25th could also be the date of the birth of Yeshua? Knowing this could prove useful in a discussion where the central figure, Hippolytus, is already established to have made numerous calculation errors with other things, one of which literally qualifying him as a false prophet.


Phillip Nothaft, in his article From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century Chronological Scholarship describes the determination of December 25th as the date of Yeshua’s birth as, “a highly popular tradtition that had gone virtually unchallenged for nearly a millennium,” and that it, “was historically baseless.”3


Despite these points the Hippolytus date is one of the most used by those who want to claim that Christmas or December 25th was established prior to any Roman pagan use of the date, and that this then “proves” it was not appropriated from a pagan festival. There is, however, another ancient document that to my knowledge was only available in Latin until a translation was made available in December of 2021. It is an anonymous fourth century work titled On The Solstices And The Equinoxes. The work itself is quite peculiar as it seems to build it’s case that December 25th is the date of Yeshua’s birth on two completely wrong ideas.


First it appears to express a belief that Zechariah mentioned in the Book of Isaiah, Zechariah the prophet who wrote the Book of Zechariah, and Zechariah the father of John the Immerser are all the same person. Of course, this is a really odd view as the prophets Isaiah and Zechariah lived hundreds of years before the birth of John.


The second strange claim is that the three appointed times listed in Exodus 23 align with the fasts in the fourth, seventh, and tenth months mentioned in Zechariah 8:19. Then basing Zechariah’s months on the Feast cycle beginning in the Hebrew month of Nisan, it concludes that the tenth month being referenced would coincide with modern December, therefore it all leads to a conclusion that Yeshua was born on December 25th at the winter solstice. There is a lot more to how the unidentified author of this work gets there, but that’s the gist of it.


However, there is one statement of particular interest at the end of the document. It reads: “They also call it ‘Birthday of the Invictus’. But who is invictus [unconquered] if not our Lord, who suffered death and then conquered it? Or when they call it ‘Birthday of the Sun’ – well, Christ is the sun of righteousness that the prophet Malachi spoke of: The sun of righteousness shall arise for all you who fear his name; salvation is in his wings.” This statement paired with the bizarre way the writer went about calculating the birth of Yeshua to December 25th indicates that they were intentionally seeking to replace the pagan Sol Invictus with Yeshua as Sol Justitiae—or, the Sun of Righteousness. While both the Hippolytus texts and this On The Solstices And The Equinoxes document express some very strange theories used to arrive at December 25th as the date of Yeshua’s birth, the latter serves as testimony from the time period itself that they were doing this to justify the appropriation of the pagan festivals.


So often the people I see pushing the Hippolytus date are people who typically promote quality academic research—seeking out primary sources, scholarly sources, credible information, and the like. Some also acknowledge that The Torah says we are not to listen to the words of an established false prophet. This is especially true of Messianic and Hebrew Roots Movement people. But when it comes to the discussion about “Christmas” they seem to throw all of those standards out and take the worst possible pieces of “evidence” and use it as if it’s undeniable proof. It seems that the so-called Hippolytus record mentioning December 25th is the first thing the “Christmas is not pagan” crowd goes to. I see it mentioned more than just about anything else.


The only thing “proven” by the Hippolytus record, however, is that maybe a man who was otherwise a false prophet threw a date out in the midst of a world where people were speculating all sorts of dates for the birth of Yeshua and maybe he personally believed this date to be correct—and unlike other proposed dates the entry by Hippolytus is disputed and its authenticity called into question. But it most certainly does not prove that this is the correct date, especially when it comes from someone who was undeniably wrong in other calculations and we have better evidence available to us today leading to a conclusion that Yeshua was most likely born during the Feast of Tabernacles. If we’re being totally honest, the fact that he was so wrong in other calculations should make this record the greatest proof that December 25th is anything but the date of Yeshua’s birth. Whenever I see people bringing up the Hippolytus claim I seriously begin to wonder if they have done any quality research to support their claim at all.


Caroling Before Christmas


No, I am not talking about people singing or playing Christmas music in early November. What I want to address here is a claim that a couple of songs or poems written by early followers of Yeshua offer “proof” that people were celebrating Christmas long before the widely accepted date of “the first Christmas” in 354 A.D.


The claim comes from Marian T. Horvat, a Roman Catholic writer, who states in her article Christmas Was Never a Pagan Holiday: “…one must not simply assume that the early Christians only began to celebrate Christmas in the 4th century. Until the Edict of Milan was published in 313, Catholics were persecuted and met in catacombs. Hence, there was no public festivity. But they celebrated Christmas among themselves before that Edict, as hymns and prayers of the first Christians confirm.” To this claim she cites an old Catholic work in French titled Prières des Premiers Chrétiens by Henri Daniel-Rops. In this work, Daniel-Rops has compiled a list of early prayers, songs, and poems by early followers of Yeshua. Included are some entries related to the birth of Yeshua that translate:


Son of men, do you really speak of justice?


Inhabitants of the earth, do you judge according to equity?


We confess unshakably the God whom a Virgin gave birth to and who became man.

Before the ages an inscrutable Father had begotten him; now we adore him who was incarnated in the womb of a Virgin.


He created everything and yet remains invisible and indistinct.


This is why we say: in you is mercy, Lord; glory to you. O holy God, you deigned to be born, a little child, of a virgin.

O holy and strong God, you wanted to rest in the arms of Mary; O holy and immortal God, you came to rescue Adam from hell.


O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God, full of graces:


The Emmanuel you bore is the fruit of your womb.


Your maternal breast has fed all men.


You are above all praise and all glory.


Hail, Mother of God, joy of the angels!


You exceed in fullness of grace the predictions of the prophets.


The Lord is with you, you gave birth to the Savior of the world.


————————



In Bethlehem shepherds spent the night in the fields.


The angel of God announced to them the birth of Emmanuel.


The glory of the Lord enlightened the shepherds.


And the angel said unto them, Do not be afraid.


He then announced to them a great joy for them and for all the people:


Today Christ, King and Savior God was born in the city of David.


For us, let us sing with the angels, glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to the men he loves!


There are at least two problems with using these as “evidence” of early celebration of Christmas before the fourth century, as Horvat claims. First, these passages are from a segment in Daniel-Rops’ book of writings dated to no earlier than the third century. While that may date these earlier than the accepted “official” date of the “first Christmas”, it would still be at a time when the historical timeline shows a deviation from the Hebraic foundations of true biblical faith and much closer to the time that the Roman Catholic religion was formally established in the fourth century.


The other and more obvious problem is that a few songs, poems, or prayers about an event mentioned in The Bible that are part of a larger collection of Bible-based songs, prayers, and poems about biblical things certainly does not “prove” that people were “celebrating Christmas”. What it proves is that someone read The Bible and wrote about what they read in The Bible. And that’s all it proves.


It amazes me the lengths some people will go in their attempt to justify the celebration of Christmas while most of them don’t even know that there are holidays in The Bible that God Himself instructs His people to keep—or when they do know they believe these to be “Jewish holidays” that they have no obligation to keep.


Created Through Persecution


Another particularly strange claim I have heard is that the reason Christmas came into being is because the Romans were so busy and so drunk from celebrating the Saturnalia festival that the early followers of Yeshua got a reprieve from the persecution they were suffering—even if just for one night. I have even seen it stated from one Christmas proponent in an Internet blog, which I will refrain from citing because it is so outrageous that I don’t even want to publicly endorse it, that it doesn’t matter if all the stated evidence against celebrating this holiday is factually accurate, it’s “still wrong” for the sole reason that the pagan Romans were too drunk during their celebration of the Saturnalia festival to torment Believers.


There are, of course, many problems with this one. The first and most obvious is that, at least at the time of this writing, I have seen nothing to substantiate this claim. In other words, all appearances are that this specific “defense of Christmas” is likely a complete fabrication—a case of making stuff up. Often I see this in mainstream “Christian” beliefs and teachings, and I just want to take one moment here to point out that making stuff up is a form of lying, and that is a sin. Revelation 21:8 plainly tells us that all liars will be among those sentenced to the lake of fire.


Another major problem with this defense of Christmas is that it literally admits a connection with the Roman Saturnalia festival. While it may renounce the historically longstanding view that Christmas was appropriated from Saturnalia by means of “conversion”, it still says that the former was born out of the latter. Job 14:4 (TLV) asks and answers: “Who can make something pure out of the impure? No one!” Most translations use “clean” and “unclean” respectively in place of “pure” and “impure”. I would say we could also use “holy” and “unholy”—Can something holy come from something unholy? Either way, whether Christmas comes from the so-called “conversion” of Saturnalia, the alleged day that pagans were too drunk in their own celebration to persecute the follower of Yeshua, or is in any other way connected with the Saturnalia festival then it would be an attempt to bring something clean out of something unclean—create a Holy Day out of an outright pagan holiday. Using this argument that Christmas resulted from a reprieve from Roman persecution during Saturnalia means that Christmas was still ultimately born out of Saturnalia. This too is against Scripture.


Now, allow me to clarify, as there is some debate about the direct connection the origin of Christmas has with the Roman Saturnalia festival. I am here talking specifically about this idea that Christmas is the result of a day when pagans were too busy or too drunk from celebrating their holiday to persecute the earliest followers of Yeshua—this claim would require Saturnalia to be the origin of Christmas. This is exclusive of the broader debate about the validity of Saturnalia and Christmas having any direct connection with each other by means of the appropriation theory. While this might mean that Christmas is not the result of converting the pagan festival, it would mean that it is something made out of the impure or unclean.


Another issue I see with this idea is that history records the earliest Believers meeting in catacombs to avoid persecution, because they knew they would not be harassed “among the dead”—as such locations were sacred. By the same logic that would claim Christmas is the result of a day when the pagans were “too busy” and “too drunk” to persecute the earliest Believers we should also be making a regular practice even to this day of hosting religious gatherings in cemeteries. Some might say this is a bit of a reach, but I would ask: Is it really? I would say with some of these things people say in defense of Christmas I am allowed to reach just a little bit on this one to further illustrate the absurdity of such claims.


But, They Opposed Paganism!


This is another argument that I have heard, which basically says that the earliest followers of Yeshua were so opposed to paganism that there is no way they would have adopted the ways of the pagans or appropriated and rebranded their religious festivals. The problem with this theory is that it essentially puts everyone who could possibly be classified as a “Christian” in any capacity into the same hypothetical “room” and says they all believed the same thing. It would be like gathering a bunch of Calvinists and Arminianists together and telling them they all believe in “eternal security” and “predestination”. Of course, we know this is not true because even in the time of the apostles there were heretical sects that are directly mentioned in The Bible like the Nicolaitans, the Gnostics, the Montanists, and numerous others. Later writers, like Tertullian, put together entire books against some of these groups—including the Marcionists, who were clearly forerunners for replacement theology and antinomianism. Clearly not everyone held the same system of beliefs and there were numerous heretical groups, so it is not unreasonable to think that Christmas started through the appropriation of a pagan festival, even if there were groups who took Scripture serious and would not do this.


In addition to this, there is clear evidence that it was the practice of the Roman Catholic religion to appropriate existing pagan religious practices in areas it moved into. It seems to be one of the primary methods of Catholic evangelism in early history of the church. Pope Gregory, for example, was well known for giving orders to do this very thing. As the Catholic religion was fully established under the Roman Emperor Constantine and principles like interpretatio Romana and evocatio deorum were already longstanding Roman practices in the old religion, it seems logical that these ideas carried into the “New Roman Religion”—an early name for what would ultimately become Roman Catholicism.


Another way we know with good certainty that there were different groups with different views is through other practices such as The Sabbath. As David Wilber points out in his book Remember The Sabbath: What The New Testament Says About Sabbath Observance For Christians: “Well into the fifth century, almost all Christians outside of Alexandria and Rome continued to observe the Sabbath alongside Sunday.” This alone shows us that there were those, likely the majority, who continued to live according to The Torah and those, mainly in Rome and Alexandria where the “New Roman Religion” was being established, who lived according to the replacement theology and anti-Semitic edicts of Constantine. Interestingly, it is said that a sermon by John Chrysostom in 388 A.D. states that the feast of the nativity celebration was not even ten years old at the time and the earliest record of its celebration in Alexandria dates to somewhere between 400 and 432.9


We also have the testimony of correspondence between Jerome and Augustine in 404 A.D. that speaks of a still-existing group they saw as problematic to the Roman religion—they were those rejected by the mainstream Jewish community because they placed their faith in Yeshua and were rejected by the mainstream Roman church because they lived by The Torah. What’s interesting about this is that the apostle John said in Revelation 14:12 that following both The Torah and the faith of Yeshua is what true Believers do.


So the idea that Believers that early in history would not have embraced paganism is at best partly true. There were clearly groups who both would and did do this, and certainly early enough to say that it could be the result of establishing December 25th as the date of Yeshua’s birth and ultimately establishing a festival for it. Yet again this is a case where people, often who know better, cherry-pick information that supports the agenda while ignoring the broader picture.


Sheep Grazing In Winter


This one comes up periodically as people observe sheep in Israel being taken to fields to graze in the middle of the winter months. Of course, it is well known that Israel is not Alaska or Siberia and the winters are not nearly as harsh—though it does get cold and they do get snow there. However, there is an important piece of information that is always overlooked or perhaps even unknown to some with regard to this argument, which I will get to in a moment.


I recently read an article that was shared with me as “proof” against the standard argument that shepherds would not be out in the fields with their flocks in the winter. The article basically said: Sheep have wool, they can take the cold. As if that is some profound revelation.


The overlooked problem with this, of course, is that there is a documented record that tells us when shepherds lived in distant fields with their flocks as described in Luke’s Gospel and when they stayed in their homes at night, taking the animals to local pastures during the day. This is what is stated in the Babylonian Talmud: Beitzah 40a:

Pasture animals are such as are led out about [the time of] Passover and graze in [more distant] meadows, and who are led in at the time of the first rainfall (October-November)


This very clearly tells us that the practice of Israelites in ancient times was to live in the distant fields between sometime shortly before Passover and return to live at home through the winter at a point that would follow the Feast of Tabernacles. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like in Israel. This is what they did.


Sadly, too much of the time I see people make an observation in the modern day and try to apply it to life thousands of years ago. This is even more problematic when we have an actual record telling us in detail what they actually did thousands of years ago. Luke 2:8 plainly tells us that the shepherds were living in the fields with their flocks and this record from the Babylonian Talmud tells us that this was the practice between early spring and late fall, with the winter months spent living inside the family home and the livestock housed in shelters during the nighttime as well.


Satan Won’t Do That!?


I recently saw a pastor who holds to a “Christmas is not pagan” position state: “The enemy wouldn’t create a day to celebrate Messiah.” He was speaking of Christmas when he said this, so the context is absolutely directed at the holiday itself.


This is a logical fallacy, and it is such a weak argument that it takes very little to rebut it. The statement assumes that Christmas is a legitimate celebration of the true Messiah of The Bible. But if we look at the matter from a different angle, it would call into question such an ideology.


In 2 Corinthians 11:4 the apostle Paul warns about three things: a counterfeit gospel, a counterfeit spirit, and a counterfeit Messiah. In like manner, Yeshua Himself warned about false messiahs that would come (Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:22).


Christmas is the creation of the Roman Catholic religion. The date was at best determined by calculations that were concocted by some pretty questionable people and have been proven wrong. It is my opinion that this religion is completely demonic and driven by Satan himself. The proponents of this belief system pray to “Saints” that they have deified and treat their sitting “Pope” as a type of god. It is a completely pagan and idolatrous faith tradition.


The “Jesus” of Christmas is born on a date that cannot possibly be the date Yeshua was born based on what Scripture and other historical records of the time tell us. I have done an extensive study on this, which you can read in my article: He Tabernacled Among Us.


This means that the “Jesus” of Christmas must be a counterfeit of the true Yeshua of The Bible. As such, it is reasonable to conclude that if Satan can create a false religion like Roman Catholicism and through it create a counterfeit Messiah then certainly Satan can and would create a sacred day to celebrate this same counterfeit Messiah.


Have you ever read through the portion of Scripture that highlights the period of Israel’s idolatry? They burned incense in the high places, raised Asherah trees, built altars to Ba’al, molded golden calves, offered their children to Molech, and numerous other things. Have you ever read through those narratives and wondered why the prophets could rail against those things and nobody seemed to care? It’s because those things were not “idolatry” as we tend to think of it. In a lot of ways, those practices had become “cultural norms” through assimilation. There have even been relics of stone figures of Asherah found that some archaeologists believe were used as children’s toys—the dolls or action figures of the day. The Israelites had so embraced idolatry and paganism that they would not take the prophets serious and regarded them as crazy fanatics making sensational and wild claims. If you want to know how this happened, in Israel, you need only look at “Christianity” celebrating things like Christmas and Easter while modern-day prophets rail against the idolatry and paganism—calling people back to The Torah and the Holy Days actually in The Bible.


Sometimes I sit and wonder if people even read or consider what The Bible says before they say the things they do—especially when we are talking about things like Christmas and what people do in their effort to justify it or deem is “not pagan”. It’s not that Satan won’t create a day to celebrate Messiah; he cannot make such a day because all days set apart to celebrate Messiah were already created by The Father and are listed in Scripture. But Satan absolutely can create a false Messiah through a demonic false religion like Roman Catholicism and then create a day to celebrate that “messiah”.


And let me add one more thing before moving on. Satan is the master deceiver. If he was going to create a false messiah through the creation of a counterfeit religion and then create a “birthday celebration” for that false messiah, I can assure you that he would create trails of “evidence” that this holiday is “not pagan” (or not idolatry, or whatever term you wish to use). But some people are so caught up in “intellectualism” that they don’t have the discernment or spirit-eyes to see it. So-called evidence doesn’t always prove the truth. You have to look at things through the lens of Scripture and The Spirit.


Let’s Be Realistic


I do not want to belabor this issue, certainly there are lots of other things that could be addressed—especially when you get into the truly silly things people say like, “the tree is an evergreen so it represents eternal life,” or, “candy canes can be turned upside-down to make a ‘J’ for Jesus.” It sounds funny, but these are seriously the types of things I have heard “Christians” say about Christmas and the associated traditions in the past.


The fact of the matter, however, is that there is nothing to indicate that Christmas is anything other than a holiday fabricated by the Roman Catholic religion. There is some debate about the connections with other religions outside of Catholicism, such as the Roman Saturnalia and the Norse Yule festivals, and these issues may never be fully resolved. But it is undeniable that Christmas is a Catholic holiday.


For a large part of “Christian” history outside of the Roman Catholic religion there is a long and documented history of opposition to celebrating Christmas, because “Christianity” considers the Catholic religion a completely pagan or idolatrous entity. Take, for example, this statement that was made by Charles Spurgeon, one of the most highly regarded “Christian” pastors in history, from his Treasury Of David: “When it can be proved that the observance of Christmas, Whitsuntide, and other Popish festivals was ever instituted by a divine statute, we also will attend to them, but not till then. It is as much our duty to reject the traditions of men as to observe the ordinances of the Lord.”


You know, so much effort is spent trying to prove Christmas is pagan, and often, depending on the angle it is approached, the answer is “maybe”. But Spurgeon may have had it right, instead of trying to prove it is pagan (or idolatry or anything else), can anyone prove God instituted it? Considering the history of the Catholic religion, that is doubtful. Too much of the time people waste time on the wrong questions. Is it sin? Is it a salvation issue? Is it pagan? Is it idolatry? Why not ask: Is it holy? Is it God-instituted? Is it in The Bible? There is absolutely no way to prove Christmas is holy because in order for that to happen it would have to be stated as such within the text of Scripture.


I can’t help but think of the song Joy To The World by Isaac Watts. This may be one of the greatest illustrations of the bad theology used to defend Christmas I can think of. Watts was of the Puritan tradition, and historically the Puritans were radically opposed to the celebration of Christmas and all other Roman Catholic days. The song was not written about the birth of Yeshua, but His second coming. Yet, today it is one of the most popular songs in use as a Christmas carol. Can you imagine how a man would feel if he knew his song would ultimately be used out of context in celebration of a holiday that he quite likely shunned? It seems like everything “Christianity” does to defend this holiday is just like this example. The defenders of Christmas seem to rely on wild claims like those addressed above and straight making stuff up—like the candy cane thing I mentioned—in order to justify in their minds celebrating a holiday that there is every reason to believe their God despises and does not approve of while not embracing the Holy Days given to us by that very same God of The Bible.


Let me go through a few facts. If you have read some of my previous teachings on the matter of Christmas this may simply be review. If you have not, in past works I have gone into greater detail to verify what I will say here.


FACT: Christmas is not in The Bible. No matter how hard you look, you simply cannot find one mention of the celebration in the entirety of Scripture. The only mid-winter festival in The Bible is Hanukkah, as referenced in John 10:22-23 where we find Yeshua at the Temple during its celebration. The only thing in The Bible that takes place on “the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month” is the release of Judah’s King Jehoiachan from a Babylonian prison (Jeremiah 52:31), but since that was based on Hebrew months it isn’t even close to our modern-day “December 25th”.


FACT: We know from the record of Scripture and certain other historical documents from the time period of Yeshua that it is impossible for His birth to have occurred in the winter months and that it was instead most likely during the biblical Feast of Tabernacles—a celebration that held actual prophetic significance to His birth.


FACT: The date of December 25th held significance in the pagan Roman religion well before Yeshua was born and the association of this date with the birth of a Roman god is documented before even the earliest claim that it is the date Yeshua was born—a record that is disputed and at best concocted by a man with an established record of bad calculations.


If something is not in The Bible and there is even a halfway valid suggestion that it’s directly connected with pagan religion, witchcraft, or anything else outright prohibited by Scripture than there is only one logical conclusion for the true follower of Yeshua—that thing should not be a part of our life. There is a lot of debate about whether or not it is appropriate to call Christmas a “pagan holiday”, and I have found that it mostly comes down to how people want to define “pagan”. Those who use a very narrow definition of the word—as I describe in my article Is Christmas Pagan?—often come to a conclusion that it’s not pagan because it does not align with their very specific definition of what it means for something to be pagan. But if you consider the broader and more longstanding historical ways to define the word, it is reasonable to say Christmas is at least probably pagan. From there, if you agree that Roman Catholicism has all the markings of pagan religion, then it’s not a stretch by any means to say Christmas is pagan—and if you just don’t like using the word pagan, than idolatry and Catholic are equally sufficient. No non-Catholic should be embracing what is wholly Catholic, that’s the entire point of not being Catholic. And that should go that much more for Messianic, Hebrew Roots, Pronomian, Torah-positive, etc. Believers who seek to embrace more of a first century faith practice, which predates Catholicism.


But here’s the thing, whether or not pagan is the appropriate label we know it’s not a Bible Holy Day and we know there is a long and well-documented history of it being directly linked with things that go against The Bible. Does it really make sense for a true follower of Yeshua to celebrate this holiday when we have so many Holy Days mentioned in The Bible—including a mid-winter festival that we see Yeshua participating in: Hanukkah? It’s one thing to be completely ignorant of the facts, and I understand most people are. It’s something very different to be presented with the facts and take an attitude, as I have seen many do, of: I don’t care, this is not what Christmas means to me, everyone I know celebrates it, and so will I.


How hard against the ways of God does your heart have to be to insist on things that go against Scripture just because you don’t want to stand against popular culture? Sadly, that’s what most “Christians” do when it comes to things like Christmas. They can’t comprehend not celebrating this holiday as a “Christian”. You can show them the dark history of the holiday. You can show them the proof that Yeshua was clearly not born in the middle of winter and that He was most likely born during the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. You can show them that Yeshua was at The Temple for Hanukkah in John 10, giving us a very biblical alternative to Christmas. You can quote some of the most regarded “Christian” pastors like Spurgeon, Pink, Tozer, and others. Yet Christmas has such a strong hold on the culture of “Christianity” that hardly anyone can fathom not celebrating it.


Christmas Magic?


You know, often the words spirit and magic are paired with the Christmas holiday. Think about that. What kind of a spirit do you suppose is driving this holiday that is filled with themes of magic (also known as witchcraft) and may be one of the greatest strongholds in modern “Christian” religion? In the book The Old Magic Of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year, a work that highlights the witchcraft traditions behind many of the aspects of Christmas celebration, author Linda Raedisch states: “Despite what you may have heard, the old gods and goddesses are not so easy to pick out in our modern festivities, but what a joy it is when you do spy one of them hanging around the punch bowl or riding in with the mistletoe. Such a lengthy season demands a cast of thousands, and witches, trolls, and household sprites all have their parts to play.”


Witches? Trolls? Sprites? Think about that.


Let’s look at a couple of other references from pagan witchcraft sources. Dorothy Morrison, a Wiccan High Priestess of the Georgian Tradition, states in her book Yule: A Celebration Of Light & Warmth:


Christians (former Pagans, themselves) devised a plan to make them feel more at ease. First, they built their churches on old Pagan worship sites. Their reasoning was that people had always worshipped on the sites, were comfortable there, and would continue to frequent them, church building or not. They incorporated Pagan symbols within their church décor, and added some revised Pagan customs to their rituals. To help matters further, they changed the names of a few Pagan deities ever so slightly, called them saints, and added them to the Christian pantheon.



That did not solve their problems completely, though. In order to worship safely and gain new members, they needed to meld more evenly with Pagan practices. Finally, the Christians hit upon a solution: If they couldn’t beat the Pagans, they’d simply join them.


Since no one really knew when the Christ-child was born, the Christians set his birthday on December 25th. This date fell in the middle of the winter holidays, and because some Pagans held a special celebration on December 25th anyway, the new festival would go unnoticed. To ensure smooth sailing, the Christians took an added precaution: They billed the festival as the “Birth of the Son.” Because “Son” and “Sun” were pronounced the same, the Pagans would think the new celebration was just an addition to their own festivals. The Pagans were happy, the Christians were comfortable, and Christmas was born unto the world!


To be clear, Morrison is here describing Roman Catholicism, not any form of true first century Christian faith that followed both The Torah and Yeshua as their Messiah (Revelation 12:17, 14:12). That said, the history laid out here, though certainly holding a pagan bias, is consistent with a great number of Catholic and Christian scholars who speak on the subject.


Yet another pagan writer, Ann-Marie Gallagher—who is a practicing Wiccan and formerly a senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire in England—states in her book Wicca For Everyday Living: “Yule is the time when the Goddess labours to bring forth the Star Child, and in fact Yule was called ‘Mothernight’ by our northern European ancestors. For witches who celebrate God and Goddess, this is the Solar God who, by the time of Ostara, will grow into the young man who impregnates the young, fertile aspect of the Goddess, and another Star Child who will succeed him the following Yule.” And if you don’t think that Christmas and Yule are directly connected, just review the lyrics of some of these most popular Christmas carols: Deck The Halls, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire—all of which include references to both Christmas and Yule as synonymous.


The currently verifiable history of Yule celebrations may not trace to a point the predates any early forms of what ultimate became Christmas, but it seems clear that at some point the two festivals began to blend together. When I see things like this I often think about that bronze serpent that God told Moses to make. Later in the history of Israel this was blended with idolatry and the order was given to destroy it. This would mean that even if the earliest efforts to establish a Christmas celebration were void of any and all pagan influences, we still have a very biblical basis today to abandon it in favor of actual biblical celebrations. After all, unlike that bronze serpent, we have no indication at all that God Himself gave any instruction to anyone regarding the establishing of Christmas—and in my opinion God certainly would not tell anyone to establish a “birthday celebration” on a day that simply does not align with the historical record of when Yeshua was born.


It is possible to say that the modern-day celebration of Christmas has many shared customs and traditions with the old Yule festival that continues to be celebrated today by actual practicing pagans under the Wiccan religion and other similar beliefs. As such, even if we cannot prove that Christmas was originally pagan, it could be legitimately argued that Christmas has become pagan—just as the bronze serpent had become a source of idolatry—through its clear similarity with actual pagan celebrations of Yule. If it is determined that Christmas has become pagan, then essentially Christmas as it is celebrated today is pagan.


I have looked at numerous Wiccan and occult writings that discuss the matter of Yule as it relates to their religious practice—often interchangeably with the term Christmas. This “sabbat”, as they call their eight most sacred days of the year, is the first listed in these resources and is placed at the top of the “pagan wheel of the year”—a circular chart that shows the cycle of pagan sabbats. If you think of it like a clock, Yule (or Christmas) is in the 12:00 position of the chart. These books describe making altars to the god and goddess with evergreens, holly, mistletoe, candles, and other elements widely associated with the broader celebration of Christmas.


It’s funny, you know, I have read the entire Bible from cover to cover and never once have I read anything in the totality of Scripture telling me to celebrate something remotely close to Christmas or Yule and to make an altar with evergreens, holly, mistletoe, and the elements of this holiday’s traditions. Now, I am not at all saying that these pagan witchcraft books are telling the truth about the history of the holiday or the importance of these traditions. After all, witchcraft at its core is about deception. However, the perceivable evidence is quite clear. We have nothing in the entire Bible that supports this holiday and we have a lot of witchcraft “Bibles”—because that’s what these sources are, literal religious texts for their faith practice equivalent to the role of our Bible in our faith practice—talking about these things.


In addition to this, there is a long and established history of the Roman Catholic religion appropriating the ways of the nations as it moved throughout the world to gain adherents. The old Roman religious principles of interpretatio Romana and evocatio deorum are clearly seen in practice through the Catholic idea of establishing itself in new regions. The Popes, as the “Vicar of Christ”, carry forward the old tradition of Roman Emperor worship and Imperial Cult. The practice of deifying “Saints”, praying to them, erecting statues of them, naming cathedrals for them, hosting feast days to them, and placing them in positions of spiritual rule as “Patron Saints” over territories and aspects of life is no different than what was done with the gods of the old Roman religion—such as Zeus/Jupiter, Saturn/Cronus, Neptune/Poseidon, Diana/Artemis, etc. This is the actual religious tradition that created Christmas. While Catholicism is clearly a pagan religion no different than any other, some people still don’t like to call Christmaspagan”. So, call it idolatry, call it Catholic, call it sin and transgression of The Bible, call it whatever you want. It all leads to the same ultimate conclusion—that celebrating Christmas is completely in defiance of The God of The Bible.


The defenders of Christmas must always rely on bad theories, weak arguments, and outright pseudo-theology. The arguments against Christmas may not all be conclusive. There may be no absolute smoking gun that will convince everyone that “pagan” is a proper label to place on the holiday. But there should be more than enough of a common sense argument to any sincere follower of Yeshua that this holiday is totally unbiblical, strongly associated with the witchcraft religions and their variation of the holiday called Yule, and undeniably the creation of the Roman Catholic religion.


You know, I do not agree with a lot of Protestant theology, especially that of the Calvinist tradition, but the purpose of the Protestant Reformation was intended to separate from the outright idolatry and pagan worship of Catholicism. If you go through older Protestant teachings you will find a lot of opposition to the celebration of Christmas and all of the other Catholic festivals. In 1618 David Calderwood wrote a book titled Perth Assembly that enraged King James I. In it he declared a total rejection of all Catholic holidays, including Christmas. In 1930 the late A.W. Pink, a Baptist pastor who is still regarded as a leading theologian for his work, included an article titled XMAS in his Studies In The Scriptures publication where he went so far as to ask: “Would you like to be summoned from a ‘Christmas party’ to meet [God] in the air?” Also speaking about Christmas the late A.W. Tozer had these words to say: “Cleanse our churches of the unscriptural pageantry borrowed from Rome. Take the Scriptures as our guide and refuse to be pressured into conformity to paganism practiced in the name of Christ.”


A Word To Those Who Say Christmas Is Not Pagan


Despite the ease of rebutting the types of things said by Christmas defenders, as I have done in this article and the plethora of good arguments against it, there are those who will insist that Christmas is not pagan. Oddly enough, this has become a popular position among certain otherwise Torah-positive Believers. To that I want to say a few things as I bring this message to a close.


Opposition to Christmas (as well as Easter, Halloween, and feast days to “Saints”) is not anything new. It is as old as the Catholic religion itself—Tertullian, for example, even before the full establishment of the Catholic religion made statements against embracing some of the very practices that are today found in modern celebration of Christmas—and those who wholly opposed this ungodly and demonic institution have often targeted its unbiblical festivals as idolatrous and pagan. Again, this was a major part of the formation of Protestant “Christianity”. It could be said, perhaps, that had there been no Protestant Reformation there would not be the radical opposition to Christmas that there is today. The Protestant Reformation, after all, was the beginning of all modern opposition to the paganism that fills the Roman Catholic religion.


It’s not the modern and controversial Hebrew Roots Movement or even Messianic Judaism that started this. People committed to following what The Bible actually teaches us to do have been opposed to the holidays of Roman Catholicism for well over a thousand years. For the majority of history non-Catholic Believers, whether identifying as “Christians” or anything else, have shunned these things. It’s not strange, crazy, or fanatical to renounce the holidays of the Catholic church—it’s strange, crazy, and fanatical to, as a person who recognizes that the Catholic church is a completely idolatrous religion, incorporate these things into your own faith practice.


To say “Christmas is pagan” or “Christmas appears to be pagan” one need only pick the angle they want to approach from and build their case. Some choose the claims associated with Alexander Hislop, which is not a good approach as these things have pretty well been debunked as false. Others look to the Roman Saturnalia and the Norse Yule as influences of either the origin of the holiday itself or at the very least influences on how it came to be celebrated. This tends to be more credible, though it is often said that there is no clear and undeniable connection between these actual pagan festivals and Christmas. I prefer what seems the strongest argument, and that is a focus on the elements of the Roman Catholic religion itself, which check all the boxes of what a pagan religion is. No matter what anyone says, it is an undeniable fact that Christmas was created by the Roman Catholic religion—regardless of what anyone believes the motive behind creating it may have been. It may be a stretch to definitively say, “Christmas is pagan,” but if you can make your case you would technically have the right to even go that far with your conclusion.


To say “Christmas is not pagan”, on the other hand, is to tell a bald faced lie. Here me out. It’s one thing to say that there is no clear and undisputable link between Christmas and the old Roman Saturnalia festival or to dispute that Yule traditions may have influenced some modern Christmas traditions but it’s not the source of how Christmas was created. It’s another thing entirely to say something as definitive as: “Christmas is not pagan!” In order for you to say this and not be a liar, you would have to do all of the following:


1. First you will have to prove beyond all doubt and against all arguments to the contrary that there is absolutely no connection at all between the old Roman Saturnalia festival, the establishment of December 25th in the Roman culture as the date of the winter solstice and the “rebirth” of Helios or Sol Invictus, or anything else and the establishing of December 25th as the accepted date for the birth of Yeshua and the resulting feast of the nativity that would later become Christ’s Mass in the eleventh century and ultimately Christmas. Unless you can prove beyond all arguments to the contrary that there is absolutely no connection between these things, then you cannot definitively say “Christmas is not pagan” without being a liar. Having “insufficient evidence” or not having a needed “missing link” to undeniably connect Christmas with Saturnalia, Helios, Sol Invictus, etc. does not warrant saying “Christmas is not pagan”. Such a definitive statement needs definitive proof behind it.


2. Second you would have to prove that the modern celebration of Christmas and the clearly pagan Yule festival have absolutely no connection. You would have to prove that every shared custom and tradition between these two holidays is not pagan in any way, which may prove challenging considering that most, if not all, Christmas traditions today do not come from anything in The Bible and are often claimed by the adherents of actual pagan religions, like Wicca, as originating with their religious culture that traces back to the Old Norse religion. After all, in a lot of ways the only way to know whether you are in the home of a Catholic or “Christian” or the home of a pagan or Wiccan would be whether there is a nativity scene or a pentagram displayed on the mantle or under the decorated tree—apart from those two identifiers most Christmas and Yule décor is the same.


3. You would have to prove that the Roman Catholic religion that undeniably created Christmas is itself not essentially a pagan religion, even though it checks all the boxes of what a pagan religion is. When you look at the treatment of “Saints” in the Catholic religion—praying to them, making statues of them, naming cathedrals for them, holding feast days for them, and literally deifying them as “Patron Saints” over territories and aspects of life—it becomes clear that the Catholic religion is no different then the old Roman pagan religion that preceded it. Furthermore, when you examine the treatment of the Popes as the “Vicar of Christ” it becomes much clearer that it is a pagan religion. And no matter what, nobody can contest that Christmas is the creation of the Roman Catholic religion that clearly parallels other pagan religions and meets the broader definition of what it means to be pagan, which is polytheism or a religion that has a pantheon of gods. Catholics might call them “Saints” and “Popes”, but they are treated as lower deities in a pagan pantheon.


So, you have to prove that there is not any connection at all between both the Roman Saturnalia and the Norse Yule festivals and that the Roman Catholic religion is not in any way a pagan religion itself before you can definitively and dogmatically say something like: “Christmas is not pagan.” Otherwise, you are a liar, and lying is against God’s Law too. Yet some people seem so determined to separate from the misinformation used against Christmas—such as the debunked claims of Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons or Hebrew Roots Movement videos that say Christmas trees, church steeples, and obelisk towers are phallic symbols—that they are willing to make such a bold declaration that in reality is a lie unless they can actually prove each of these three things. You can say that you do not believe there is enough evidence to say Christmas is pagan. To do that you would have to even deny that the Roman Catholic religion is pagan. But at least in that you would not be crossing the line into saying something that is an outright lie.


To say Christmas is not pagan requires one to reject a mountain of evidence that it is—even if the evidence is circumstantial, inconclusive, or the dots do not all connect—and embrace some of the craziest arguments in defense of the holiday that in at least some cases do not seem to have any credible evidence supporting them. They ask for primary sources that Christmas is pagan, and yet they have no primary source that its not. There seems to be more conjecture, assumptions, opinions, and outright unsubstantiated claims from the “Christmas is not pagan” side of the debate than from those who say it is or it appears to be pagan. None of this makes any sense. Why would anyone who claims they are committed to following The Bible and The Messiah insist on doing all of this just to celebrate a holiday with a high probability that their God is radically opposed to, or at the very least say something like “I don’t celebrate it, but it’s not wrong for those who do”?


I have seen and heard people state that there are “more important things” to focus on, like missions or helping the poor, and as such we should not spend so much time addressing Christmas and whether or not it’s pagan, idolatry, or anything else. To this I give you Matthew 23:23 (emphasis added): “…yet you have neglected the weightier matters of Torah—justice and mercy and faithfulness. It is necessary to do these things without neglecting the others.” Too often people like to talk about “weightier matters” while neglecting whatever they think are not weightier matters. If you want to focus on missions, the poor, or anything else, great! But don’t you dare be a hindrance to other Kingdom efforts because you see their ministry as inferior or a waste of time.


Another thing I have seen and heard is people saying something to the effect of: “All this effort and the best we can say is ‘maybeChristmas is pagan (or ‘maybe’ it’s not). I don’t want to tell people they shouldn’t celebrate it based on ‘maybe’.” Well, I don’t want someone to burn in hell over a ‘maybe’. How about that? Am I saying people will go to hell if they celebrate Christmas? No! What I am saying is that I am not God and neither are you, and we cannot possibly know if people will go to hell for celebrating Christmas or anything else. What I do know is that anytime you violate God’s Law you run that risk, so as long as Christmas is not in The Bible, which it never will be, and there is even a fraction of a chance that it halfway might be a violation of God’s Law to celebrate it, I have no problem shouting from the rooftops if I have to that if you really want to follow Yeshua and The Bible you should not celebrate Christmas. You can call me crazy all you want to. I would rather stand before the throne of judgment to find out there was nothing actually wrong with something I railed against than to find out people went to hell because I told them there was nothing wrong with it.


Let me ask a question here. Let’s say I took a revolver and loaded all but one chamber with a bullet. Would you put the gun to your head and pull the trigger on the chance that “maybe” it’s loaded to the empty chamber? What if I put only one bullet in, leaving five chambers unloaded? Would you put the gun to your head and pull the trigger not knowing where the bullet is? Yet this is what people are doing when they say they do not want to discourage celebration of Christmas because they do not feel there is sufficient evidence to fully deem it pagan, idolatry, or anything else that would have it going against The Bible.


The Bible gives us alternatives. There are Holy Days that we are literally commanded by God to celebrate. Either you believe God is God and you are going to obey Him, or you do not really believe He is God and you are going to celebrate the holidays of the Catholic church. On top of this, we are given the commandment to follow Yeshua as the prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) and we see that in addition to the original commanded Feasts from Leviticus 23 He appears to have kept Purim (John 5:1) and Hanukkah (John 10:22-23)—and Hanukkah usually takes place about the same time as Christmas. There really is no good reason to celebrate something God might not approve of when there is literally another holiday in The Bible at the exact same time of the year that Yeshua celebrated. So this really begs the question: Are you going to obey God and follow Yeshua?


I am well aware that some of the points I have presented on in this study are hotly debated. I know there are people who disagree with my conclusions on some of these topics. But what cannot be contested is that: Christmas is not in The Bible, God’s Holy Days as well as Hanukkah and Purim are in The Bible, Yeshua and the apostles did not celebrate Christmas but they did celebrate all of the Feasts and festivals we read about in The Gospels and the Book of Acts, and Christmas has a certain weight of evidence to suggest it violates the commandment of God while the biblical Holy Days are the commandment of God. These are the points that the naysayers and Christmas defenders simply cannot escape.


I once heard a well-respected Messianic worship artist refer to John 10 and say that it appears Yeshua put His “stamp of approval” on Hanukkah, so we can say the same for Christmas. The problem with this thinking is that we have no evidence at all to suggest that, despite how we can draw that conclusion about Hanukkah. As I have heard it put before: Hanukkah commemorates an absolute and defiant refusal to be forced into assimilation with pagan beliefs that led to the restoration of God’s Temple, Christmas is assimilation with pagan beliefs. This would assume, of course, that Christmas is syncretism and assimilation. However, when you come at it from the angle that Christmas is Catholic, it’s not that hard to come to that conclusion. It’s honestly pretty bold to say that because Yeshua may have approved of or even celebrated Hanukkah it means He would approve of something as questionable as Christmas.


While there will always be those dogmatically determined to celebrate things like Christmas and that will never change until Messiah comes, and while there will be those who seek to contest what I have shared, the reality is that the defenses given for Christmas range from weak to absurd. You really cannot give a strong defense to say that someone committed to following Messiah and The Bible should celebrate something that is not in The Bible and Messiah did not celebrate. Especially when we are given more Holy Days in The Bible, including one that is directly and prophetically connected with Messiah’s birth (the Feast of Sukkot), than the three major holidays created by the Roman Catholic religion. The choice should be clear, and now it’s time for you to decide whom you will follow during the holiday season.


Blessings and Shalom

©2022 Truth Ignited Ministry


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