In Romans, Chapter 14, the part of the chapter that I wanted to focus on is the early part of the chapter. Really this entire chapter deals with the subject of doubtful disputations, and what doubtful disputations are, are things where people argue about them, and they have real strong opinions about them, but they're not really something that's clearly laid out in scripture. The Bible doesn't just clearly say things one way or the other, so there are doubts about what is right or what is wrong in that situation. He brings up a few examples. Let me just read this for you. It says in Verse 1, "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things, another who is weak eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not, and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth, for God hath received him. Who art thou that judges a man's servant to his own master? He standeth or falleth. Yet, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him sin."
What it's saying here is that some people think that it's wrong to eat meat, for example. What the Bible is saying here about people like that is that we should receive them. We shouldn't fight them, or judge them, or despise them, because they have that belief. We should rather receive them, but, He says, not to doubtful disputations. We don't want to cause division and strife over things that just frankly aren't that important. For example, one of our church members and I were talking about just yesterday that the church that he used to go to, the pastor is vegan, meaning not only does he not eat meat, but he doesn't eat any animal products. Look, I don't believe that that's scriptural. That's not what the Bible teaches, and even here in this scripture, it's pretty clear who is right in this disputation, because it says in Verse 2, "For one believeth that he may eat all things, another who is ... " What? "Weak, eateth herbs."
Okay, so the Bible here is clearly saying, it's okay for us to eat all things. Other places in the Bible teach that we can eat all meat, and all things, and the Bible is real clear on that. Even in the Old Testament, they ate the Passover. You had to eat meat to participate in the Passover. Obviously, we know that God is not one that teaches veganism, or even vegetarianism. If somebody wants to be a vegetarian, or wants to be vegan, there's nothing wrong with that. We shouldn't condemn that person. There's nothing sinful about being vegetarian or vegan, but what becomes sinful is when that person tries to impose something that is not biblical on everyone else, and basically say, "You must be vegan. You must be vegetarian, like me, and if you're not, you're not ... "
No, because that is not a biblical teaching. There's no biblical commandment against eating meat. Therefore, anybody who would try to teach that as a commandment is teaching for commandments the doctrines of men. What the Bible is teaching here in this chapter is that it's okay for different people to have different opinions, and it's also okay for people to have rules for themself that are not biblical rules, just rules that they just live by, just because it's their opinion, but that they should not try to impose those rules upon someone else, right? It says right there, Verse 3, "Let not him that eateth despite him that eateth not." We shouldn't get upset, or angry, or fight the person who doesn't want to eat meat. If they don't want to eat meat, well, that's their loss. That's fine. No problem.
It also says, "Let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth." We don't want to be judged for the meat that we eat, okay? Does that make sense? I just wanted to give you the context of the chapter, but the specific subject that we want to speak about is actually found in Verse 5 and 6. It says, "One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord, and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regardeth. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for giveth God thanks, and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks," and on and on.
What I want to preach about tonight is the subject of Christmas, and the reason I want to preach about the subject of Christmas is that this has become a big issue in the last few years, of people attacking Christmas, and saying that we should not celebrate Christmas, okay? Several years ago, this wasn't even an issue. When I was growing up, when I was a child, the only people who didn't celebrate Christmas were pretty much the Jehovah's Witnesses. That's pretty much it. Pretty much every Baptist and every Christian that you knew just celebrated Christmas, and it was not something that even came up. Honestly, every year the attack on Christmas amongst Christians becomes exponential, okay?
You know how it used to be that they would say, "Man, Christmas starts earlier every year." You don't really talk about Christmas until after Thanksgiving? Now it seems like people start attacking Christmas every year, and I get an email almost every day or week from somebody attacking me because I personally celebrate Christmas, okay? It starts in November, and now they're starting to attack Thanksgiving, and just say, "Thanksgiving is a wicked holiday, and don't celebrate Thanksgiving." That's why I feel like I need to address this biblically, with Bible preaching tonight. What does the Bible teach about this subject? The Bible is our final authority for all matters of faith and practice, and so, look. If Christmas is wrong, if Christmas is ungodly, if it's a sin, then you know what? The Bible should teach us that.
If the Bible does not teach us that, then if you prohibit Christmas, you're teaching for commandments the doctrines of men. If the Bible prohibits Christmas, fine. Let's throw it out. If it doesn't, then you know what? I think people should be allowed to have their own opinion about it. What I'm saying tonight is that if there's anybody here tonight that thinks that Christmas is wrong, and that they shouldn't celebrate Christmas, that's okay. You should abstain from Christmas, then, if you believe that it's wrong. When you begin to impose that upon people who do celebrate it, with no biblical basis, now you're in violation of Romans 14, okay, and you're teaching for commandments the doctrines of men.
A little bit later on in the same chapter, Romans 14, Verse 20 says, "For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with [inaudible 00:06:35]." What the Bible is teaching here in Romans 14:20 is that if you think something is wrong, then it's wrong for you. If you think it's wrong, and then you do it anyway, and you're sinning against your own conscience, the Bible says if you're not doing it by faith, it's sin, okay? A lot of people will misuse Romans 14:20, and say the only things that are wrong are the things you think are wrong. No. Wrong. There are two groups of things that are wrong. Anything the Bible says is wrong, is wrong, whether you think it or not, whether you know it or not. Also, if you believe something is wrong, and you do it anyway, that's wrong to you, okay?
If you think that Christmas is pagan, and wicked, and wrong, then you shouldn't celebrate it, and I'm not trying to get you to celebrate it. The purpose of my sermon tonight is not to try to talk you into celebrating Christmas, because honestly, I really couldn't care less if you celebrate Christmas or not. The purpose of the sermon is to basically debunk a lot of lies and disinformation that are used in the attack on Christmas, and to basically defend those who do celebrate Christmas in a wholesome and godly way. That's what the sermon is about tonight. Let's do as the Bible says and prove all things hold fast to that which is good. The first question that we have to ask ourselves is, is Christmas a good holiday? Is it something good? Is it something that we should celebrate?
Look at Philippians, Chapter 1. Let me give you some good things about Christmas, and I'm going to get into a lot of Bible scripture about this, but first, let me just give you the good things about Christmas, and then I can give you some bad things about Christmas. We can look at it, and form a conclusion here. Look at Philippians, Chapter 1, Verse 15. The Bible reads, "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also of good will. The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds, but the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What, then? Not withstanding way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yay and will rejoice."
What Paul is saying here is that a lot of people are preaching Christ for the wrong reasons, but his belief was, if people are hearing about Christ, if people are hearing about the gospel of Christ, that's a good thing, just for people to hear the gospel. He rejoices about the fact that people are hearing of Christ. I think that one of the good things about Christmas is that Christmas is a time when people do hear the word of God, and the gospel, and when our society in general, even the outside world, recognizes the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, as the Savior of the world. Personally, I think this is a good thing, because of the fact that today in school, Jesus Christ is not being taught, okay? Anything that's on TV is usually not promoting Jesus Christ in a positive way, okay? Most of our culture and our society has forgotten Jesus Christ.
Even when we go out soul winning day and knock on doors, there are people who have never even heard of Jesus. It's kind of bizarre, and I'm talking about mainly young people, children, teenagers, who don't anything about Jesus. They don't even know he died on the cross. They don't even know he rose again. They don't know who Adam and Eve are. They don't know who Sampson is. Our culture has been de-Christianized in many ways, and so therefore, a lot of people don't hear about Jesus Christ. The good thing about Christmas is that it actually brings Jesus Christ to people's mind, okay? They hear the Word of God, His Word is being preached.
Just to give you just kind of a silly example, but one thing that, I don't know if this is still played on TV, but when I was a kid, they used to play the Charlie Brown Christmas special, right? Again, I'm not saying this is a religious program. I'm not saying this is Bible preaching, but I remember when I was a kid, they played the Charlie Brown Christmas special, and Linus, sucking his thumb, and his blanket, and everything, he gets up, and he basically reads the whole thing, Luke, Chapter 2, the whole Christmas story from a King James Bible. Look, I'm not saying that necessarily the motives of the TV station are good, but you know what? People are hearing the Word of God when they hear that Christmas story.
You go in the story and you hear songs that are quoting scripture, and paraphrasing scripture this time a year. For example, the musical piece Handel's Messiah is performed all over the place, in December, around Christmastime, all over America, all over the world. Handel's Messiah is a two and a half hour musical piece that's basically just scripture put to music. It's just verses directly from the King James Bible being sung to music, or the Psalms are from the Geneva Bible, the precursor to the King James, because it's a very old piece of music, so it had some of that tradition. It's powerful. The most famous part of it is the Hallelujah chorus, which most people have heard, which quotes directly from Revelation, a few verses from Revelation.
All throughout that piece, there's all kinds of scripture coming at you, and around this time, people are at least hearing about the birth of Christ, and they're hearing scriptures from the King James Bible. To me, that's a good thing. I think it's great for people to be exposed to that, and even when you go soul winning around this time of year, it seems like people are receptive to the gospel, when you talk to them, and they kind of are in that mode. You mention to them, "Hey, Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ," and then you can use that to go into the gospels, what Christmas is about. I think that's just on the good side, the positive side of Christmas. Okay.
On the negative side of Christmas, and this is before we're really getting into a lot of scripture, but on the negative side of Christmas, is that obviously to some people, Christmas just becomes a materialistic thing, where it's just all about spending money, and receiving gifts, and it's all about the commercialism and the materialism. One of the things that I hate about Christmas is the mentality where people just expect gifts. To me, a gift should always be something that's freely given, that's given from the heart, that you're giving because you want to, and it seems like around Christmastime, people just expect gifts, demand gifts. They want to make it real complicated. What are we getting you guys, and what are you getting us? We want to make sure we don't give you more than you give us, and vice versa, and want to make sure it all evens out.
To me, I hate that mentality. There might be some years where you just don't get a gift from me. Whether you're my friend, my family, my coworker, my loved one, you just might not get a gift from me. There are other times when I might get you a gift, and it's not even Christmas, because to me, a gift is just something that's freely given. You know what? I can honestly stand up here and say, from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, that I do not expect anything for Christmas, from anyone, whether it's my wife, my children, my mother, my father, my brothers, my sisters. I don't expect anything for Christmas. I don't go into Christmas thinking, "Oh, man. I hope I get this," or, "I really want to get this," or, "You can find me registered at this."
I'm not just trying to just give gifts for Christmas. I really don't care. Let me tell you, I like getting gifts. I enjoy receiving gifts, and when somebody buys me a gift, I appreciate it, I like it, I'm thankful for it, but I expect nothing. No matter what I get, even if it's very small, it's more than I expected. I feel like if we go into that attitude with Christmas, then the gift giving becomes a good thing. It's a way to express love. It's a way to be generous, but it shouldn't be about, "What can I receive?" The Bible says it's more blessed to give than to receive. We should focus our attention on, "Okay, what am I gonna give? Who can I give to? What do I want about ... " instead of just this demanding, grabbing.
I'm just trying to give you both sides tonight. I can see why people have concerns about Christmas, because they say it teaches children to be greedy, and to really just expect gifts. That's not the way it is in our house. I try to teach our children not to be that way, because I do believe that that can be a problem. Obviously, Madison Avenue feeds that, with just all the advertising, and the Black Friday. I think Black Friday has got to be the stupidest thing in the world. It's like, here you are, you're so thankful, you're so blessed. You're thankful for family. You're thankful to just have a good meal in front of you at Thanksgiving, and then the next day, you're going to trample people in Wal-Mart like it's a bull fight or something. You're going to trample people in Wal-Mart. You're going to line up. You're going to camp out to get some plastic, made in China junk, because it's cheaper than it was yesterday.
I can see how just the advertising, and the commercialism, and the materialism, and it's all about money, and spending. People rack up their credit cards, right, and they spend way too much money, and then in January, they have to try to pick up the pieces from spending too much. There are other things about Christmas that I don't like. Sometimes people tend to get really lazy between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They don't want to do any work, because they're in this extended holiday mode for like a month and a half. They don't really want to work. They get really unproductive. Okay? If you want to just try to find everything wrong with Christmas, you could say, well, a lot of people get drunk on Christmas. Okay, people drink, and party. Okay, fine, but there are also people who drink and party on a lot of other days, for a lot of other reasons. I'm just trying to give you both sides.
You could say, "Well, Santa Claus is of the devil," okay? Honestly, I'm not a fan of Santa Claus, personally. I don't teach my children about Santa Claus, because Santa Claus doesn't exist, and I don't want to lie to my children, and tell them Santa Claus is giving you these gifts, because then they're going to grow up and realize that they were betrayed about Santa Clause, and then they might just think that other things I've taught them are a myth also. I just want my children to know that when I teach them something, I'm telling them the truth. I don't want to lie to them. I remember my mom's here tonight. This is what my mom said when I was a kid. She said, "Well, the reason we don't teach you about Santa Claus is we want to get credit for giving you these gifts." My mom said, "I'm not gonna buy these gifts, spend all this money, and tell you that Santa gave it to you. I want you to know that I gave it to you." That makes sense to me, too.
Anyway, so I don't think Santa ... People say you arrange the letters around in Santa, you get Satan. Okay, well that's a little bit silly, because Santa is just Spanish for holy. It's just Latin for holy, okay? Does that mean Satan? Obviously, that's silly. Okay, but honestly, I can see the concerns about Santa, okay, because Santa, he knows when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. He knows whether you've been good or bad, so be good for goodness' sake. You know what it's teaching, is that you have to earn a gift. Right? Is that what the Bible teaches about salvation? The Bible says the gift of God's eternal life, calls it the free gift, and we know it's not of works lest any man should boast. Santa, he's one who gives you a gift based on how good you are. He gives you a gift based upon your works, okay, so that could be a perversion of the gospel, of what a gift should mean, that a gift is just freely given, out of love.
By the way, the Bible says, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not recommended of grace, but of debt, but to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justified the end. Godly is faith, is counted for righteousness." Again, that's why I don't like the concept of feeling like you owe somebody a Christmas gift, the debt of gift giving, okay? It should be something that's freely given. Christ offered himself freely for our sins. He gives us freely the gift of eternal life. We don't have to be good to get it. I guess the lump of coal is like the brimstone that you're going to get if you're not good, okay, but you know what? There's none that doeth good, but one, and that's God. The only way any of us are saved is by grace through faith.
Look, I can see people's concerns about the materialism, the commercialism, Santa Claus, but here's the thing. You can celebrate Christmas without having any of those things. Okay. To me, what Christmas is to me, is just celebrating the birth of Christ, okay, and our Christmas traditions involve singing songs about the birth of Christ, singing songs about the second coming of Christ, drinking hot chocolate, okay, eating ham, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, rolls, stuffing, these types of foods, okay, giving gifts to one another, okay, and even decorating a Christmas tree, a pine tree, with lights and ornaments. If I looked at all my list of Christmas traditions, which involve exchanging of gifts, celebrating the birth of Christ, reading the Christmas story from Luke 2, drinking hot chocolate, and eating a Thanksgiving-like meal, where you just substitute the turkey for ham, no one can really ... I can't see how any of those things are wrong, or sinful.
How can you attack celebrating the birth of Christ, and saying, "That's wrong, to celebrate the birth of Christ." Why would it be wrong to celebrate the birth of Christ, or to celebrate the miracles of Christ, or to celebrate his death, burial, and resurrection. You say, "Well, the Bible doesn't emphasize his birth." There's a lot of scripture on his birth. There is an extended, long story in Luke, Chapter 2. A lot of angels are praising God. Shepherds are praising God. It was a big event. It was an exciting event. It is something that the Bible makes a big deal out of. Okay? I can't see how anybody could be against celebrating the birth of Christ. I can't see how anybody could say that anything is wrong, or sinful, or pagan about drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows in it, or about eating a big meal, or about doing these things.
People today are attacking Christmas, and they say, "Christmas is a pagan, wicked holiday, and if you celebrate it," they say, "You're not worshiping Jesus Christ. You're actually worshiping Baal, or you're worshiping Nimrod, you're worshiping Satan." Okay, now look, this is false, at its core. The name that is associated with salvation, the name that is above every name, is the name of Jesus. If we sing songs that not only name the name of Jesus, but they actually quote the Word of God, and they actually talk about Jesus as being the Son of God, the Savior of the world, come to die on the cross for our sins. To say that we're worshiping Satan is to be a false accuser.
Somebody basically comes to church and sings a song about Jesus Christ, about the fact that he's coming to die on the cross, and that he's born in the manger, and he's going to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He's going to be buried and rise again. To say, "You're worshiping Satan when you sing that song, because of that sweater you're wearing that has a snowman on it, or a Christmas tree on it. You're worshiping Satan now." You're a false accuser, is what you are. You can't show me any place in the Bible that says don't celebrate Christmas, but I can show you places that say don't be a false accuser. I can show you places that say that if one person wants to regard a day, and another person wants to ignore that day, let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
To sit there and say that you're worshiping Satan is ridiculous, when you're saying the name Jesus Christ, you're quoting the King James, and everything that you're singing about and talking about lines up with the Bible. That's not worshiping Satan. That's worshiping Jesus, okay? They say, "Well, because you're doing it on December 25, it becomes of Satan." We have to do something on December 25, right? What are we going to do, just get in bed, and just pull the covers over our head, and just ... Whatever we do on that day is of the devil, because it's a Satanic. We'll get to December 25 a little later.
What I want to do is I want to go over, go to Jeremiah, Chapter 10. I want to go over the objections of people who say that Christmas is a wicked, pagan holiday, and just show you how these things are biblical. Okay? Look, if you listen to this sermon, and you walk away and say, "Pastor Anderson's wrong. I'm not going to celebrate Christmas," honestly, that is perfectly fine with me. I will not be offended, and if that's what you want to do, that's fine, okay? Honestly, I just want you to get the facts, before you just have somebody quote to you Jeremiah, Chapter 10, Verse 2 through 4, out of context, and lie to you about what Jeremiah 10 says. I just want you to know what the chapter actually says, okay? After you know what the chapter actually says, go make your own opinion.
If you still think that Christmas trees are bad, then go right ahead, but let's at least look at the facts tonight, and that's all I want to do, is present the biblical facts tonight. In Jeremiah, Chapter 10, Verse 1, the Bible says, "Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O House of Israel. Thus sayeth the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain, for one cut of the tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workmen with the ax, they deck it with silver and with gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not."
Right now is where the anti-Christmas people stop reading, and they just take these couple of versus out of context. They stop reading, and they just take Verse 3 and 4, and they say, "Look, it is a vain, heathen custom to cut down a tree," okay, "And to deck it with silver and gold, and to fasten it with nails and hammers." Here's what they say. They say that's what you're doing when you decorate a Christmas tree. They say you've cut down a tree, and you're basically decking it with gold and silver, and they're saying because you put a gold and a silver ornament on it. Okay, that's their view. That is not what this scripture is talking about. If you stop reading right there, you could use that to convince people of your point, but that's not what it's really about, because keep reading.
Look at Verse 5. It says, "They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not. They must needs be born because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil. Neither also is it in them to do good. For as much as there is none like unto thee, O Lord." Stop. What this is talking about, and I'm going to prove it to you from the rest of the chapter, this is talking about cutting down a tree in the forest, and carving it into an idol that is silver or gold plated. When the Bible says that it is decked with gold and silver, that is not saying hanging a silver ball on it. When you deck something over with silver, okay, you are covering it with silver. For example, the deck on your house. Your house might have a deck, okay? It's a covering, is what that means. What the Bible is saying here is that they're carving it into an idol, because look, in Verse 5, he says, "They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not."
Look, nobody thinks that a Christmas tree can speak, or walk, or do good or evil, because it's a tree, right? There are people who carve a tree into an idol of a false god, and they think that that false god can speak, or walk, or do these things, okay? Keep reading. Jump down if you would to Verse 8. It says, "But they are altogether brutish and foolish. The stock," okay, talking about basically the stump of the tree that's being carved, "Is a doctrine of vanities." Watch. Silver spread into plates. Look. Is this a round, silver ornament hanging on the tree? Is this a silver garland? No. It's what I said. It's silver spread into plates, because it's being silver plated, or gold plated, okay? It says, "Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Ufaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder." Okay?
Jump down to Verse 14. It says, "Every man is brutish in his knowledge. Every founder is confounded by the" what? Graven image. "For his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in him. They are vanity." Look, you can't just take two verses out of context. You have to read the whole chapter. This whole chapter is talking about the same subject. Notice the same words are being used. Look at Verse 3, okay? If you have a pen, you may want to underline a few key words here, okay? In Verse 3, the Bible says, "The customs of the people are" what? Vain, and then it says they cut down a tree, right? Okay, now if you jump down to where he's talking about the graven image, he says in Verse 15, "They are vanity."
Okay, so what is vain? He says, it's vain to cut down a tree and deck it with gold and silver, and think that it can walk, or talk, or do anything. It's not like the true God. It's a false god. Later on, he says that these graven images or molten images are vain. They are vanity. Okay, he's talking about the same thing. Up earlier, he said in Verse 9, silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Ufaz, the work of the workman at the hands of the founder. See the word "founder?" Jump down to verse 14. "Every man is brutish in his knowledge. Every founder is confounded by the graven image." If you look at this chapter, there's a continuity of thought here. We are on the same subject in Verse 14 that we were in Verse 3. He's going on and on about the fact that they are carving idols out of wood.
What does it mean to grave, to engrave something? If I brought in something to an artisan, and said, "I want this engraved," they're going to carve my name into it, or they're going to carve some kind of wording into it. Okay. What is molten? Molten comes from the word melting. You melt down metal. You melt silver. You melt gold. A graven image is an image that is carved of wood. A molten image is an image that is made of molten metal, okay, and what he's saying here is that they are carving a wooden idol, and then overlaying it, decking it, with molten gold and silver, and they believe that it is like unto the God of Israel. You know what? People today will often compare the God of the Bible to other gods. They'll say, "You know, why should I believe the God of the Bible any more than I believe in the god of Islam, or Buddha, or whatever?"
There's no God like unto the true God, and the idol is vanity. It can't talk. It has to be carried, and God makes it clear He never wants us to make any image of Him. Does the Bible specifically prohibit graven and molten images? Oh, yeah. It's one of the ten commandments. "Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image." Okay, so there's no question that graven images and molten images are sinful. That matches perfectly with what Jeremiah 10 is teaching, preaching against graven and molten images. To sit there and say, "This is a Christmas tree," and people will even say, "A Christmas tree is a graven image." Let me ask you something. Where's the engraving? Where is it carved? In what way, shape, or form is it carved in any way? Answer me that.
It is just a tree. You brought the tree, and you put it in the house. There's no carving. Nothing has been molten or melted. Look, it's not an image. What's an image? It's something that's made like unto an animal, or a human, or an angel, or a god. Okay, but hold on a second. They'll say, "Well," and go to Isaiah, Chapter 60. They'll say, "Well, you know, okay. It's not a graven image. You got me, Pastor Anderson." Look, can anybody actually say that a Christmas tree is a graven image when it has zero graving and zero molten? Okay, no. They just say, "Yeah, but Jeremiah 10 said not to do it." No, because we read the whole chapter, and it was clear that the tree that they're cutting down in the forest becomes a graven image.
Cutting down trees is not wrong, unless you're part of the Environmental Protection Agency or something. I don't see how you could say there's anything wrong with going into the forest and cutting down a tree, okay? The sin wasn't cutting down the tree. The sin was then graving the tree, carving the tree into an idol, and overlaying it with gold and silver that it might be worshiped. That was their sin, okay? People will say, "Yeah, but it's just ... " They'll say, "It's just a pagan tradition to bring a tree into the house," and people have even said, "Oh, these pagans would decorate the inside of their house with greenery." Good night. Doesn't everybody? Is a house plant wrong?
Look back there. Everybody turn around. See that palm tree back there, that's outside my office door? Is that pagan, because we've brought a tree into the building? Oh, that's pagan, because pagans would bring in trees into the building. I think everybody's probably had house plants, whether they're pagan or not. Whether you're a Christian, or Jew, or Muslim, or Hindu, I think every culture in the world that has ever existed in the history of mankind has probably brought a plant into their house at some point. To sit there and say, "Well, trees were brought in the house by pagans." Pagans wore pants. Pagans drink milk. It just doesn't make any sense. A house plant is universal.
Not only that, even God's house is decorated with palm trees, number one. You say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but not the pine tree. Palm tree is one thing, but though that pine tree." People have said it's evergreen trees that are pagan. Evergreen trees are the ones that represent paganism. Okay, well look what the Bible says about the pine tree. Let's just look up what the Bible says about pine trees, okay? Isaiah, Chapter 60, Verse 13, says, "The glory of Lebanon shall come onto thee. The fir tree, the pine tree." Correct me if I'm wrong. Are those not the two types of trees people use for Christmas trees? I remember when I was a kid, when you'd go to buy a Christmas tree, it was like, okay, there's two choices. The Douglas fir, or the pine, and those are your two choices, right?
What does the Bible say about these wicked, godless trees? It says, "The glory of Lebanon shall come onto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary." Look, is this not God saying he's going to decorate His holy place with a pine tree and a fir tree? No. Pagan. See, this was written about 2,800 years ago, so about 2,800 years ago, God says He's going to beautify the place of His sanctuary with a pine tree and a fir tree, but there's no way that that could be where it came from. No. It came from pagan Germany a few hundred years ago. Look, when you study these things, it doesn't hold water.
If you just go on the internet, you can find plenty of people that will just quote those two verses from Jeremiah all by themself. They're not going to show you Isaiah 60, Verse 13. They're not going to show you the rest of the chapter in Jeremiah 10, where he explains what it's actually about. Say what you want about Christmas trees, but honestly, examining the scripture shows that it just doesn't hold water, as far as the Jeremiah 10 interpretation. I read this online. "'The Christmas tree is a 17th century German invention,' University of Bristol Hutton told Live Science, 'But it clearly derives from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors to decorate.'"
Okay, now look. I just don't think that bringing greenery indoors to decorate is pagan. Yesterday, I was trimming the tree outside my house, because my tree was hanging into the street, and it has to be cleared. The law says that it can't hang into the street at all. I was cutting the tree, and Miriam, the little pagan that she is, she started cutting off these big pieces of bark. Remember, Miriam? She was peeling these really nice pieces of bark, and she said, "I'm gonna make decorations out of these." You know what, she even said she's going to make Christmas decorations out of it. Okay. She just came up with that on her own. She's just peeling these big pieces of bark, and she said they were pretty, because when you peel them back, they looked really neat on the inside. She's like, "These are cool. Let's decorate with these."
Look, people bring seashells into their house to decorate, if they live by the ocean. People bring birds' eggs, plants, dried flowers, dried fruit. None of this is pagan in origin. It's just normal decorating practice. I bet you probably a lot of these anti-Christmas people probably have some greenery in their house, whether it's a potted plant, or whatever. Okay, so it's just silly to say that it's wrong with really no Bible to back it up, because we've debunked Jeremiah 10, and we've even shown a positive mention of having firs and pines in the house of God, in Isaiah 60:13.
Another objection that people will bring to Christmas, they'll say, "Well, you know, Christmas is Catholic," they'll say. Basically, this is their proof that Christmas is Catholic. They have two proofs that it's Catholic. They say, "Well, number one, you know, it's called Christ Mass." Okay, that's their number one proof that it's Catholic. The number two reason that it's Catholic is because the Puritans, the Puritans hated it, and they fought it, and they said it was Catholic. Because in Massachusetts in the 1600s, the Puritans hated it, okay, that means that it's Catholic and pagan. Okay.
First of all, saying that the word "Christmas" is bad because it contains the word "mass" in it, first of all, no one is pronouncing it that way. No one's calling it Christ Mass. Okay. There are other explanations for where that name has even come from, besides mass, because even the word "mass" comes from the word "messiah." Okay, and so there are other explanations of where the word "Christmas" comes from. Nobody's really quite sure exactly where it comes from. Here's the thing. There's nothing even wrong with the word "mass" because you know what the word "mass" means? Mass is basically when people are congregated together. Obviously, there's something wrong with the Catholic mass, because it's a false religion, okay. Look, there are other wicked churches that are called church. How about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?
Look, latter-day is a great term. Saint is a great term. Jesus Christ is the name above all names, and church is a great term, but what goes on in that place is wicked as hell. It's got the good name. Okay, so to sit there and say, "The word mass ... " The word "mass" is not really a bad word, because all objects have mass, first of all, number one. Number two, a mass is like a mass gathering. It's just people getting together. There's something wrong with a Catholic church, and a Catholic mass, but there's nothing wrong with any other type of gathering, a gathering to celebrate about Christ. Let's just say, okay, the word has a Catholic origin. That doesn't still make it a bad word, because a lot of the words that we have today have Islamic origins. A lot of words that we have today have pagan origins, Scandinavian, false worship origins.
For example, the days of the week. Saturn Day. Saturn is a false god. It is wrong to say Saturday? Is it wrong to observe Thursday, which is Thor's Day? Do we need to change all the names of the days of the week? Even the months of the year, many of them have pagan names. January is named after a false god, Janis. You could sit there and say, "Well, that's all pagan, this word's pagan, that word's pagan." We live in a world that's tainted by sin. Even the word "hell," okay? The word "hell" that's in our Bible, it comes from a Scandinavian word, hell, which is a basically dark underworld of false Scandinavian religion. Is that what it means to us? What about Jesus? Obviously, the New Testament is written in Greek, and the New Testament uses the Greek word "Hades," which also had a pagan origin, because it was the Greek underworld of false gods. Is that what Jesus meant when he said Hades? Is that what we mean when we say hell? No, we're talking about the biblical place.
A lot of the names of things in our society might have a pagan ... For example, who has ever heard this term? Hooray. Right? Who's said it? Who has says, "Hooray" before? Okay. Do you know where the word "hooray" comes from? You pagan. Listen to me. Hooray comes from the Mongolian Empire. In the Mongolian Empire, under Genghis Khan, okay, they worshiped the eternal blue sky. Genghis Khan was not a Bible believing Christian he worshiped the eternal blue sky, and when they would pray, when they would pray to the eternal blue sky, they would end their prayers ... We end our prayer by saying, "Amen." They end their prayer by saying, "Hooray." That's where that word comes from. Just like we get excited at church and say, "Amen. Amen. Hallelujah," they'd get excited and yell, "Hooray. Hooray," but it was unto their false god.
Look, do you really think people are just wicked, and sinful, and abominable by saying hooray, because they're not worshiping a false god. That's not the name of a false god. It's just something that came from the Mongolian culture into English. Today, it means something completely different than what they meant it as. I don't think it's a sin to say hooray. I might've just accidentally started a whole movement against the word hooray on the internet now. People are going to hear this term and be like, "We need to expose this term, hooray. It's bad," but I don't think it's bad, because honestly, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with those syllables. If you're saying it to mean just, I'm excited, things are great, hooray, you've never ... Who here has never heard of the eternal blue sky being worshiped by the Mongolians? All right. Yeah. Okay, and the rest of you ... Okay. Before now, I meant.
Anyway, and the Mongolian Empire was the largest empire that's ever ruled the world, geographically speaking. They covered the largest land area, so that's why that term has become so popular. Anyway, so what I'm trying to say is that a lot of the words that we use might have a pagan origin, even words like "hell" or "Hades," words like "hooray," or whatever. A lot of these are just words. Saturday, January. We don't mean that. We're not worshiping a false god when we say it. It's come to mean something completely different. They'll say, "Well, the Puritans, they ... " You know what? The Puritans believed a lot of weird stuff. First of all, the Puritans were hardcore Calvinists, okay? Not only that, they were against anything that had anything to do with fun, or having a good time, or eating good food, or having any kind of a party in general. Okay.
I don't believe that that's a biblical concept. I believe that God, yes, He wants us to suffer for the name of Christ, but He doesn't want us just to suffer for the sake of suffering. He wants us to enjoy life also, and to rejoice, and have a good time. All throughout the Bible, He tells His people to rest, to eat good food, to enjoy their family. Look, there is a doctrine out there that says any kind of pleasure is sinful. That's what Catholics have taught throughout the years. That's what some Protestants have taught. They've taught that it's sinful to enjoy pleasure with your wife, when the Bible flat out tells you that a husband and wife should enjoy pleasure together in the bedroom. That's what the Bible teaches, okay?
The Puritans thought that wedding rings were pagan. Wedding rings are wicked and pagan. They said that musical instruments in church are pagan and sinful. You go to a Puritan church, you're going to sit on a wooden bench. They would think this is bad, because it's artwork. They just, no artwork, sit on a wooden bench for five hours, and listen to some boring Calvinist sermon that goes down deep, stays down long, come up dry. Getting on your knees to pray is pagan. Wearing a wedding ring is pagan. Musical instruments in church is pagan. Christmas is pagan. You should not have any kind of gift giving, because giving gifts is pagan. That's not my spiritual role model. I'm not trying to be a Puritan, okay? I don't believe that the Puritans were even worshiping, in spirit and in truth, because I think Calvinism is a false doctrine, and obviously it's not the gospel.
They had a lot of weird things. They didn't want to even translate any of the Hebrew names. They wanted to translate them all into English, so instead of calling Adam, Adam, they just wanted to call him man. They named their children names based on what the Hebrew names meant. They would name their children The Lord is Near. "The Lord is Near. Time to come in, and have lunch." They named their kids things like Sin Deny, The Lord is Near, Temperance, Long Suffering. "Long Suffering, come on in." They would translate these names into English. They had a lot of weird beliefs. I don't get my beliefs from the Puritans. I get my beliefs from the Word of God, and I don't see anything in scripture condemning celebrating the birth of Christ, and that it's pagan. I don't see anything in scripture condemning the Christmas tree.
I got to hurry up to get through this, but people will also say this. They'll say that giving of gifts is pagan. We have a positive mention in the Bible of giving gifts in Nehemiah, Chapter 8, and also in Esther, Chapter 9, where the Bible talks about God's people exchanging gifts to celebrate the Lord's mercies, and the things that He had done for them, okay? I don't believe that giving gifts is wrong. Christ has given us the gift of eternal life, okay, and that' symbolized when we give people gifts. How often do we use that as a soul winning illustration? Hey, do you like getting gifts, and a gift is free, and everything? It's good that people get gifts, because it helps them to understand the gospel. Okay.
Another objection that people will bring, and I got to hurry, but they say, "Well, Jesus Christ was not born on December 25," and they act like this is a revelation. "Did you know that Jesus wasn't even born on December 25?" That's oh, wow, you just blew me out of the water. Does anyone here actually think that Jesus was born on December 25? Does anybody think that we're even using the same calendar that was used back them? Yeah, the calendar has changed several times since Christ's birth, okay. The calendar underwent a major change, I forget, 100 or 200 years ago. There was a major change to the calendar where everybody had to get a new birthday, in America, because they changed the calendar, okay?
I don't think anybody really thinks that he was born in December 25, and when people say to me, "Well, Jesus wasn't born on December 25," you know what I always say? I always say, "Well, you know what? There's a 1 in 365 chance that he was." You know what I mean? He might've been born on December 25, as well as any other day, and a lot of times, they'll say, "Well, no. You can prove from the Bible that he was not born." This is what they'll say, "I don't know when he was born, but it wasn't December 25, I'll tell you that much." Go to Luke, Chapter 1, and I'll show you where they're coming from on this. I'm showing you their arguments, and you be the judge. You might walk away and say, "Wow, Jeremiah 10 condemns Christmas trees, and wow, Luke 1 teaches that Jesus wasn't born on December 25," but form your own conclusion. I'm just showing you the facts here.
Look at Luke, Chapter 1, Verse 5. The Bible reads, "There was in the days of Herod, the King of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias of the course of Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth." Okay, so what they'll say is that if we can figure out when John the Baptist was born, we can figure out when Jesus was born, because they were about six months apart. If we can figure out when the one was born, that'll help us to know when the other was born. There are so many logical leaps that they take, though, to pinpoint the birth, because first of all, the first extra biblical teaching that they have to use to support their view of when he was born is in Verse 5, it says that Zacharias was of the course of Abijah.
Here's what they'll say, "Well, Jewish sources can tell us when that course of Abijah was," but nothing in the Bible can. We have to go outside the Bible, and trust some unbelieving Jew, some Christ-rejecting Jew, to tell us when that is. Here's the thing. The Christ-rejecting Jews will tell us two different times. "Well, it could've been in the spring, or it could've been in the fall." There's always two. When you look this up, they give two possible times for the course of Abijah. First of all, it's two different times that it could've been, and second of all, you're trusting the Christ-rejecting Jews to basically give you your biblical doctrine, on the New Testament. Okay, so that's the first jump that you have to make.
Secondly, even if you know, even if you can get the synagogue of Satan to help you figure out when the course of Abijah was, look at Verse 23. It says, "It came to pass that as soon as the days of his administration were accomplished," because he was the course of Abijah, right, "He departed to his own house, and after those days, his wife Elizabeth conceived and hid herself five months." Look, does that say how long after those days? Look, does it say that the day he got home, she got pregnant the same day? It just says, "After those days, she conceived." First of all, you have to trust an extra biblical support to tell you when the course of Abijah was. Then you have to just believe, "Well, we know that obviously the day, when he walked in the door, they just got it done, and she just instantly got pregnant." No. It just says, "After those days, she conceived." It doesn't say it happened that day, or that week, or that month.
Okay. It says, "After those days, his wife Elizabeth conceived," and then not only that, but even to just pinpoint that Jesus and John the Baptist were exactly six months apart is not accurate. Roughly, but not exactly. Okay, so just to show you that you can't really pin that down. The other thing is, go back to Genesis, Chapter 10. Genesis, Chapter 10. The other thing that people will say about Christmas is they'll say, "Well, here's where the December 25 really comes from," because they say, "You know, we can prove it wasn't the birth of Christ," using the shaky method that I just showed you in Luke 1, okay. They'll say, "December 25 is actually the birthday of Nimrod," is what they teach.
Here's what they teach. They say Nimrod was a guy who basically, the Tower of Babel was all his idea, and he was basically the mastermind behind the Tower of Babel, and he taught people a pagan worship, and he had a wife named Semiramis, and his wife was actually his mother, who he was incestuously married to, and they produced a child called Tamas, and Tamas was supposedly the reincarnation of Nimrod, and he was born on December 25, and everybody worshiped him, and all this stuff. Here's the thing about that, and then here's what they'll say. Here's the proof. The proof is that Nimrod's mentioned in the Bible. Let's read everything that the Bible says about Nimrod. We're going to read all of it. It's only four verses, so don't worry.
Genesis Chapter 10, Verse 8 says this. "And Cush beget Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord, wherefore it is said even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord." You can see what a wicked, and pagan, and sinful man this was. What does that say about Nimrod, that he was evil, or that he was the mastermind behind the Tower of Babel, or that he was worshiped as a god, or that he married his own mother, or that he produced a child named Tamas, or that he even had a wife named Semiramis, or that anyone worshiped him? It looks like what was said of him was that Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord, and who is the Lord, in all capital letters there? Jehovah.
What were people saying about Nimrod? He's God? He's the sun god? He's reincarnated? No, they said that he was a mighty hunter before Jehovah. Where is this stuff coming from? Let's keep reading. It says, "Cush beget Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth." Is it bad to be mighty? Is it bad to be a mighty hunter? You're in trouble, Danny. You do so much hunting. You're following the footsteps of Nimrod. You're pagan. It says next, in Verse 10, the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Uruk, and Akkad, and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Assyria, and building Ninevah, and the city of Rehoboth and Calah.
Just at face value, just looking at this, it seems like Nimrod was a mighty man in the earth after the Towel of Babel, because when the Tower of Babel was built, that's where everybody was at. They were all in that one city. They had not dispersed. By the time Nimrod is on the scene, and Nimrod is a king of sorts, he's reigning over what, four different cities. Babel, Uruk, Akkad, and Kalneh. He's ruling over multiple cities. See, you could say, "Well, but if he's the king around Babel, the Tower of Babel must've been his idea, and you know, he married his mom, okay?" What does that say that in the Bible? I'm not saying that Nimrod was a good guy. I'm not saying that we're going to see him in heaven, although there's really nothing in the Bible to prove that he's not going to be there. That will really throw these anti-Christmas people for a loop, if he's there.
We don't know. Do we know whether Nimrod was saved or unsaved? He's a mighty hunter before Jehovah. That doesn't really sound that bad, okay? Maybe he was bad. Maybe he was good, but you know what? You can't prove it from the Bible, is what I'm trying to say. You can't even connect him with Semiramis, and Tamas, and whatever. The only other mention of Nimrod is in First Chronicles 1, Verse 10. You don't have to turn there. It says, "And Cush beget Nimrod. He began to be mighty upon the earth." This stuff's not coming from the Bible. Where is it coming from? I'll tell you exactly where it's coming from. Jewish fables. It's coming from the Talmud. It's coming from Jocephus, and unbelieving, Christ rejecting Jew.
Basically, all this talk about Nimrod, and Semiramis, and Tamas is coming from Jewish stories outside the Bible, Jewish traditions by those who reject Jesus Christ, and the Bible never tells us to avoid Christmas, but it does tell us to avoid Jewish fables. Avoid Jewish fables. Look, does the Bible say avoid Christmas? It's funny how people will attack us for celebrating Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the one that the Jews reject, the name that they blaspheme. We exalt that name, we lift up that name, we exalt the birth of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and then they're going to turn to the enemies of the gospel, and that is what the Bible calls them in Romans 11.
It says they are enemies for the gospels' sake, but they are beloved for the Father's sake. Obviously, we do love the Jews. We want them saved. We love them. We want them to understand the gospel, and be saved. We want to preach the gospel to them, but they are the enemies of the gospel. Why would we go to the enemy, and get all their Jewish fables that Jesus and the apostles specifically told us to avoid, stay away from, and they're going to embrace Jewish tradition, Christ rejecting Judaism tradition, and reject Christmas? You know what? You're straining [inaudible 00:55:49] swallowing a camel. They go to Jewish fables.
Listen to this, because I just want to close the sermon with this. Who is behind the movement among Christians attacking Christmas? Where is it coming from? Like I said, when I was a kid, you didn't hear about it. When I was a teenager, you didn't hear about it. When I started this church, you didn't even hear about it. In the last few years, this is a real big movement? Who's behind it? Just Googling "Christmas is pagan," or, "Nimrod is Christmas," I notice that basically the people who are pushing this are Zionists and Jews, okay? First of all, I went to a website on page one of the Google results for just Christmas being pagan. They had this big article about why Christmas is wrong.
They said this. "Christmas celebrates the birth of the Christian God who came to rescue mankind from the curse of the Torah. It's a 24-hour declaration that Judaism is no longer valid." This website was a pro-Judaism website, giving you all this information about Nimrod, and giving you everything against Christmas, how it's all pagan, and whatever. You better know it's a 24-hour declaration that Judaism's no longer valid. I'll celebrate that every day of the year. It's a false religion. If you don't have the Son, you don't have the Father. "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ, he's Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son."
You're not going to go to an Antichrist that denies the Father and the Son, and bring this information to me, and expect me to receive it, okay? That's where this information seems to be coming from. That was a Jewish website attacking Christmas. There was a Christian website, on page one of the Google results, attacking Christmas, but at the end of the article, it says, "Since about 1994, our family has abandoned Christmas and celebrated the Jewish festival of Hanukkah." Okay? Today, I know many Christians who are now celebrating Hanukkah. It's a big movement, and it's the same movement that wants to call Jesus Yeshua, even though the New Testament was written in Greek, not Hebrew, and in Greek, his name is Esus, like Jesus, like Jesus, okay? It's the same crowd that wants to talk about Yahweh, and Yeshua, and they're trying to bring us back under the law, under the Torah, and the Torah observing Christianity. They're trying to bring us into bondage of the law.
Go to Galatians 4. This is the last place we'll turn, but I just want to let you know that if you look at the people who are really propagating these Jewish fables of Nimrod, and Semiramis, and Tamas, it is the most Zionistic of Christianity. For example, Chick Publications, which is a dispensationalist, Zionist organization that preaches dispensationalism, that preaches Zionism, and of course, they have whole comic books and pamphlets about this stuff, and they sell all the books about this stuff, that it's pagan. What I'm trying to say is that Judaism wants to replace ... Are you listening? Judaism wants to replace our Christian American traditions with Judeo-Christian, and with Judaism.
Hanukkah is not even a holiday that God even laid out in the Old Testament. Hanukkah is something that comes from the Apocrypha, something that comes from the book of the Maccabees, and stuff that's not in our Bible, as Christians. It's stuff that comes from Jewish traditions or from the Apocrypha. The Bible does lay out Jewish holidays, or not Jewish holidays. Excuse me. The Bible does lay out feast days for the children of Israel in the book of Leviticus, but the Bible also teaches that we should not observe those days in the New Testament. Most people are going to celebrate something. It's in our nature as human beings. We like to have feasts. We like to have holidays. We like to mark the end of the year, and the beginning of a new year. We like to have these punctuations of getting together with family, times of spiritual reflection, to read the Christmas story, to put a little extra emphasis on the things of God, at Christmas or Easter.
Those who are rejecting Christmas today are rejecting it for Hanukkah. They're rejecting it for Jewish holidays. They're saying, "Well, I don't do Christmas and Easter, but I'm gonna celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. I'm gonna celebrate Purim. I'm gonna celebrate Hanukkah. I'm gonna celebrate ... " Look, these are things that the book of Galatians warns us, that Judaizers, or those who want to bring us back under the old covenant, will try to bring in. In Galatians Chapter 4, Verse 34, the Bible says, "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth the Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
In Verse 3, he said, "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world." He's talking about being under bondage, but then he talks about in Verse 9, "But now, after that you've known, or rather known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, where unto you desire again to be in bondage?" He's saying, look, you used to be in bondage before Christ came. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. We are not under the law, but under grace. Why do you want to be brought back under the law? He says in Verse 10, on that note ... At the end of Verse 9, he said, "You desire again to be in bondage." Verse 10, "You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I'm afraid of you, lest I bestowed upon you labor in vain."
He's afraid of the fact that they're observing these days, months, times, and years that are bringing them back into bondage of the law. That's what the bondage was, according to Verse 3 and 4. The bondage was being under the law. If you go to Chapter 5, it says in Verse 1, "Stand fast, therefore in the liberty, wherewith Christ had made us free, and be not entangled again with the yolk of bondage. Behold, I, Paul, say unto you that if you be circumcised, Christ shall prophet you nothing. For I testify again that every man, that he's a debtor to the whole law." Look, these Old Testament things that were done away in the New Testament, that are specifically laid out in Colossians 2 and Hebrews 9, as well as in Galatians, the Sabbath days, the holy days, the new moons, the meats and drinks, the diver's washings, and the carnal ordinances.
Circumcision. These are things that are done away in the New Testament. God tells us not to observe these things. Okay? Today, we have a Christian movement that wants us to speak Hebrew, which God did not give us the New Testament in Hebrew. It wants us to circumcise our children, even though the New Testament specifically does not teach circumcision, specifically tells us that being circumcised is to promote the rest of the Old Testament law, and therefore, we shouldn't do it. That being said, I'm circumcised, because I was born in a generation where Christians were all circumcised, because they fell for this, this creeping in of Jewish customs into Christianity.
The Bible teaches that we do not need to be circumcised, observe the Sabbath, speak Hebrew, call God by Hebrew names, observe Hanukkah, something that's never even mentioned in the Bible. You see, today there is an attack on our culture today, of just being Christian, and they want to make us a Jewish roots Hebrew culture. I'm against it. I'm a gentile. I was born a gentile. I will die a gentile, and you know what? It's the New Testament, where there is neither Jew or gentile. I don't have to speak Hebrew. I'm already circumcised. Too late. I'm not going to celebrate Hanukkah with a bunch of Christ rejecting, unbelieving Jews.
Don't call me anti-Semitic, or that I hate Jews. You're a liar. You're a false accuser, because you know what? I love Jews. That's why I've given the gospel to a lot of Jews. I go door knocking in Tempe, especially when I go in South Tempe. Often, I run into Jews in south Tempe, because it's a very wealthy area. There's a lot of Jewish people living there. I give them the gospel just as zealously as I would give it to a Muslim, or a Hindu, or anybody else. I don't say, "Oh, you're a Jew. Man, forget it, man. Go to hell." No. I see somebody as a Jew, and I give them the gospel, okay? About a year ago, I pleaded with a Jewish lady, which is rare. She actually let me go through the whole plan of salvation with her, which is rare, because Jews are very unreceptive to the gospel. Maybe that's something to do with their ancestors saying, "His blood be on us and on his children."
I don't know, but you give them the gospel, and I pleaded with her to get saved. I begged her to get saved. I loved her. I wanted her to be saved, okay? Don't say that I don't love Jews, but you know what? I also love Catholics. I also love Muslims. I also love Mormons. I also love Hindus. You know what? That doesn't mean that I'm going to worship their holiday. It doesn't mean I'm going to join up with them, and worship with people who reject Jesus Christ, and have a holiday at the same time as Christmas, to be a substitute for Christmas. I don't want to talk about the Jewish, Maccabian revolt. I don't want to talk about how the Jews were saved from these enemy invaders in the days of the Maccabees. No, I want to talk about Jesus.
If I'm going to celebrate something in December, it's not going to be a bunch of Jewish holidays, and Jewish fables, and Apocryphal scriptures. I would like to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Nothing could be more wholesome than to eat a good meal, give gifts to someone that you love, drink a cup of hot chocolate, sing hymns and songs of praise unto Jesus in English, okay, the language that we were born in. I don't believe it's pagan. I don't believe it's ungodly. Can you find something bad about Christmas in the past? Yes. You can find stuff bad about Christmas right now. This whole world is tainted by sin. We should not participate in the bad aspects. We should not kiss other people's wives over mistletoe. That's not good. We should not drink alcoholic eggnog. That's not good. We should drink the alcohol-free eggnog, okay?
We should not teach our children about Santa Claus, which is a lie. We should not get caught up in the materialism, but you know what? We have liberty as Christians. If we want to enjoy a time with family and celebrate the birth of Christ, we're welcome to. Look, it's up to you. Celebrate it or don't celebrate it, but give God the glory either way, and don't judge and hate those who disagree with you. I've had people in our church come up to me and say, "I don't believe in Christmas. I don't observe Christmas. I think Christmas is pagan." You know what I said? "That's fine." I bet people in our church say, "I'm vegetarian." That's fine. It's okay. People can have different opinions, and people can live their lives how they want to live them. You don't have to eat meat if you don't want to. If you want to be vegan, go for it.
If you want to skip Christmas, go for it, but I do think you're in sin if you're celebrating these Jewish holidays, because Paul said not to observe them. I do think that that is wrong. I don't hate you if you do it. Whatever. That's your choice. I'm not the police. I'm not the spiritual police of what holidays you celebrate. I think it's a sin, okay? I personally believe it's wrong to circumcise your children, okay? Again, I don't think it's some wicked, horrible thing. My first son is circumcised, because that's what I believed at the time, because that's how I was brought up, that's how I was taught. You know what the Bible says? Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision. What does the Bible teach? It doesn't matter if you're circumcised.
I think it would be better not to be circumcised, just to not let the Judaism creep in. Okay. That's my opinion. That's what I believe. I will never circumcise any future sons that I have. Okay. I don't care that I'm circumcised. It doesn't matter, but I'm not going to do it going forward. I think we should stay away from Jewish holidays, and the Hebrew roots movement. It's an ungodly roommate that blasphemes the name of Jesus, and tries to get us to call him something else. I don't believe in it. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Brother Garrett, lead us in prayer.