Taking Christ Out of Xmas
[Repost – originally Posted in 2013]
By Curt Wildy
I have been debating for well over a year whether I should post an article specific to this subject. An incident with my daughter last year moved me to start the initial draft; I then let it be for some time. Only after the issue reared its head again this year did I decide to go ahead with the article. Concerning my daughter, she was called a monster by a peer because we do not celebrate Christmas; it was a silly thing that children will do when they do not understand things, but it really started me thinking about writing on the subject. My family and I stopped celebrating this day over ten years ago and I would like to tell you why. Before I do so, there are three things that I wish to address. Firstly, I will not insult your intelligence by making the usual statements like “I am not judging your celebration of Christmas” or “I am not writing this to try to convince you to stop celebrating it.” I stopped for a very clear and definite reason and my only purpose in writing this would be to (1) defend my stance and (2) encourage you to do the same if God so wills. So, though I am not judging the person, I am indeed judging the act of celebrating this day. Secondly, I do not want to make an idol out of this topic as some do. I see no need to draw out the matter with numerous posts. My goal is to make this one as convincing as possible, maybe post one more if need be, and then leave it alone until next year — if not later. To belabour the point only causes it to fall on deaf or contentious ears and I have no desire to stir up such things. Thirdly, I know that many true Christians celebrate this day and that most will continue to do so whether they read my post or not. This topic should never be used as an excuse to abandon faithful fellowship or to stir up strife therein. It is better to remain silent than to argue the point unto contention and dissention. With this being said, the following are my reasons for abandoning this Xmas ‘celebration:’
1. The Messianic Title: is precious to me; it is precious and I want to honour it because it is a title that belongs to our Lord and Saviour. If I am going to yoke His holy title to something, I better have strong biblical warrant for doing so. If I am going to call something a Christbook, or a Christsong, or a Christboat, or a ChristMonth, or a Christ[anything else], I need to be able to show that I am appending the title of Christ to it based upon a clear biblical precept. If I cannot rightly do this, then I do not need to be using the title of Christ in any religious nomenclature. Doing so is tantamount, in my view, to using the Lord’s name (or title) in vain — especially when yoking “Christ” with the Romanistic “mass.” So the question arises, is there any biblical warrant for applying Christ to mass.
2. The Mass (Eucharist Service): I know very little Spanish but know enough to know that mas in Spanish means more. Now if the mas in Christmas was of Spanish origin and meant “more Christ,” that could have a positive connotation. I believe that we all need more of Christ in our lives; we all need more of Him, more of His grace, more conforming to His image, and more of a felt sense of His presence. However, most understand that the mas in Christmas does not mean more but it means Mass. What is this thing called Mass? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, this word refers to the “Eucharistic service.” It derives from the Old English mæsse, from Vulgar Latin *messa “eucharistic service,” literally “dismissal,” from Late Latin missa “dismissal,” fem. past participle of mittere “to let go, send,” probably so called from the concluding words of the service, Ite, missa est, “Go, (the prayer) has been sent,” or “Go, it is the dismissal.”
Having read the above, I still needed to ask “What is a Mass?” According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (referenced since the Mass is Romanistic in nature), this word Mass refers to “the complex of prayers and ceremonies that make up the service of the Eucharist in the Latin rites.” But what is a Eucharist? The same encyclopedia states “Since Christ is present under the appearances of bread and wine in a sacramental way, the Blessed Eucharist is unquestionably a sacrament of the Church. Indeed, in the Eucharist the definition of a Christian sacrament as “an outward sign of an inward grace instituted by Christ” is verified.” It goes on to state:
The investigation into the precise nature of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, whose existence Protestants do not deny, is beset with a number of difficulties. Its essence certainly does not consist in the Consecration or the Communion, the former being merely the sacrificial action, the latter the reception of the sacrament, and not the sacrament itself. The question may eventually be reduced to this whether or not the sacramentality is to be sought for in the Eucharistic species or in the Body and Blood of Christ hidden beneath them. The majority of theologians rightly respond to the query by saying, that neither the species themselves nor the Body and Blood of Christ by themselves, but the union of both factors constitute the moral whole of the Sacrament of the Altar. The species undoubtedly belong to the essence of the sacrament, since it is by means of them, and not by means of the invisible Body of Christ, that the Eucharist possesses the outward sign of the sacrament. Equally certain is it, that the Body and the Blood of Christ belong to the concept of the essence, because it is not the mere unsubstantial appearances which are given for the food of our souls but Christ concealed beneath the appearances. The twofold number of the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine does not interfere with the unity of the sacrament; for the idea of refection embraces both eating and drinking, nor do our meals in consequence double their number. In the doctrine of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is a question of even higher relation, in that the separated species of bread and wine also represent the mystical separation of Christ’s Body and Blood or the unbloody Sacrifice of the Eucharistic Lamb. The Sacrament of the Altar may be regarded under the same aspects as the other sacraments, provided only it be ever kept in view that the Eucharist is a permanent sacrament. Every sacrament may be considered either in itself or with reference to the persons whom it concerns.
Eminent divines, like Francisco Suárez, claim that the Eucharist, if not absolutely necessary, is at least a relatively and morally necessary means to salvation, in the sense that no adult can long sustain his spiritual, supernatural life who neglects on principle to approach Holy Communion. This view is supported, not only by the solemn and earnest words of Christ, when He Promised the Eucharist, and by the very nature of the sacrament as the spiritual food and medicine of our souls, but also by the fact of the helplessness and perversity of human nature and by the daily experience of confessors and directors of souls.
The above definition of the Mass and the Eucharist, again raises the question as to what biblical warrant one has for affixing the title of our Messiah to this word and the ungodly ceremony it represents? I have yet to encounter anyone who will even address this point, let alone, give a godly justification for yoking the two terms.
3. Ecumenicalism: The cry often goes out “but we do not celebrate Christmas as they do.” I mean no offence, but I must ask the question, what difference does it make -how- you celebrate differently given that you admit to celebrating it in the first place? Trace back through time; where did your predecessors learn to celebrate it? Where does the notion come from? It wasn’t from Christ, His Apostles, or from faithful disciples of old. How could it be given that it was paganistic and Romanistic from the very start? As the timeline below clearly evidences, Christmas is nothing short of syncretic paganism. It started off as such and for countless millions, and even billions, it remains as such. There are an estimated 1.5 billion Sacramentalists (Catholics, Coptics, and the so-called “orthodox”) most of whom observe this day. There are approximately 700 million or so protestants, a large number of whom also celebrate christmas. Couple this with the fact that I have witnessed Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, New Agers, etc., ‘join in on the festivities’ as well, and you will begin to see that most of the celebrants are unbelievers. They are rightly worshiping their false god and we can expect nothing other than this from them. You may deny joining in with them but, from their vantage point, they are not going to see any real difference. Your distinctions will often fall on deaf ears. As far as they are concerned, you are celebrating their Xmas, which is historically the Xmas of Romanism, syncretic paganism, and now, even of the secular world at large.
Some speak of using this time to celebrate Xmas as a witnessing tool? How so? What witness is there in joining in on their day of celebration? My witness on this day is clear. My witness is “I will not worship the false christ of Xmas, nor will I worship the true Christ under the syncretic label associated with this day… but let me tell you why, let me tell you about the true Christ…” By abstaining from this pagan holiday (holy day) I can set forth the distinction between the true Lord and Saviour and the freewill genie “jesus” to which so many flock. But for anyone to (not literally but implicitly) say “I am worshiping the true Christ on this day under the name of an inherently pagan festival, following much the same form of worship that many pseudo-Christians follow (prayer, worship service, etc.), but I am going to do so in a different manner unto my God” waxes hollow to me. I am quite convinced that it waxes hollow to countless Romanists who just smile and think “whatever, you’re still celebrating our holiday.” Again, my goal isn’t to be rude about it but to set forth the reality that in this Christ Mass celebration, you who partake in it are unequally yoked with the pagans who started this religious observance.
I have heard it said that some feel sorry for those who abstain from celebrating this pagan holiday. Why? This is unfathomable to me. Why would anyone feel sorry for us simply because we abstain from celebrating a day so heavily associated with false christs? I believe in worshiping Christ everyday but I am not going to append the word “mass” to any of those days wherein I worship Him. I am not going to try to reclaim a pagan day for Christ just because someone erroneously and blasphemously appended His title to it many hundreds of years ago. The false Christ of Rome is just as pagan to me as the Krishna of the Hindus. Yet many point to the similarities between Krishna and the Lord Jesus (virgin birth, manner of his death, etc.) and try to make them one. In the minds of many occultists, Christ and Krishna are one (hence terms like Christ consciousness, Krishna Consciousness, etc.). Perhaps Christians in India should celebrate “Janmashthami” but ‘reclaim it for Christ‘ and call it Christajanmashthami. I think that they would have as much warrant for doing so as the Syncretists of old did when they merged the celebrations of Mithra, Saturn, Yule, the sun, etc. with the name of Christ. Whoever is of this mind to feel sorry for us, I urge you to please abstain from feeling this way for me or for anyone else who has no desire to worship the true Christ under the name, herald, and banner of that which is pagan. I do not want to be, in any way, connected with the idolatry of old, the idolatry of today, the consumerism, the materialism, the blasphemy, the revelry, the disingenuity, or the disheartenment of this day (especially of those who cannot afford gifts or who cannot be with, or do not have, family). I have no qualms worshiping God on December 25 but only as I would any other day. December 25 is no different than April 25, July 18, November 3, or the like, when it comes to the worship of God.
It is true that during the transition period (e.g. the period covered in the book of Acts), some of the believing Jews esteemed one day, or certain days, over another. They were esteeming not pagan holidays but Old Testament holy days such as their feast days and the like. Never can we legitimately use Romans 14:5 to justify adherence to a religious observance instituted by, and largely perpetuated by, pagans in general and Romanists (and other false Christians) in particular. Our Christian liberty does not authorize or permit us to join up with those who, from day one, worshiped a christ other than the true Christ. If there is any doubt as to the pagan nature of Xmas, please see the timeline in part two.