In Romans 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. 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 judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up for God is able to make him stand."
What it's saying here is that some people think that it's wrong to eat meat for example. What the bible's 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 call us division and strife over things that just frankly aren't that important.
For example, one of our church members and I were talking 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. Even here in this scripture, it's pretty clear who's right in this disputation. It says in verse 2, "For one believeth that he may eat all things. Another, who is, what, weak, eateth herbs."
The bible here is clearly saying it's OK for us to eat all things. Other place in the bible teach that we can eat all meats and all things. The bible is really 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, but 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 is nothing sinful about being vegetarian or vegan.
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. If you're not, you're ..." Well no, because that is not a biblical teaching. There is 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 OK for different people to have different opinions. It's also OK for people to have rules for themselves 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. It says right there, verse 3, "Let not him that eateth despise 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 lost. That's fine, no problem. Then it also says, "And let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth." We don't want to be judged for the meat that we eat. Does that make sense? I just want to give you the context of the chapter.
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 regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord for he 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. 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. 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. You're not used to be that they say, "Man, Christmas starts earlier every year," where they talk about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Well now, it seems like people start attacking Christmas earlier every year.
I get an email almost every day or week from somebody attacking me because I personally celebrate Christmas. It starts in November. Now, they're starting to attack Thanksgiving, and just say, "Thanksgiving is a wicked holiday. 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.
Look, if Christmas is wrong, if Christmas is ungodly, if it's a sin, then 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 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 OK. You should abstain from Christmas then if you believe that it's wrong, but when you begin to impose that upon people who do celebrate it with no biblical basis, now, you're in violation of Romans 14, and you're teaching for commandments the doctrines of men.
A little bit later on in the same chapter, Romans 14:20 says, "For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence." What the bible is teaching 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.
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. If you think that Christmas is pagan and wicked and wrong, then you shouldn't celebrate it.
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. Honestly, I really couldn't care less if you celebrate Christmas or not, but the purpose of this 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 1. Let me give you some good things about Christmas. 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. Then I could give you some bad things about Christmas.
We can look at it and form a conclusion here. Look at Philippians 1:15. 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 defence of the gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, 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. Thus, 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. Anything that's on TV is usually not promoting Jesus Christ in a positive way. Most of our culture and our society has forgotten Jesus Christ. Even when we go out sowening today and knock on doors, there are people who have never even heard of Jesus. That's bizarre.
I'm talking about mainly like young people, children, teenagers who don't know anything about Jesus. They don't even know He died on the cross. They don't even know he rose again. They don't who Adam and Eve are. They don't know who Samson is. Our culture has been dechristianized in many ways. 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.
They hear the word of God. His word is being preached. Just to give you 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. Again, I'm not saying this is a religious program. I'm not saying this is bible preaching, but I remember that when I was a kid, they played the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Linus sucking his thumb, and his blanket and everything, He gets up. He basically reads the whole thing, Luke 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 people are hearing the word of God when they hear that Christmas story. You go in the store, and you hear songs that are quoting scripture, and paraphrasing scripture this time of year. For example, the musical piece Handel's Messiah is performed all over the place in December around Christmas time 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. This is a very old piece of music, so it had some of that tradition, but 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 kind of scripture coming at you. 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. Even when you go sowening around this time of year, it seems like people are receptive to the gospel when you talk to them. They are in that mode. You mention to them, "Hey, Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christmas." Then you could use that to go into the gospel, what Christmas is about.
That's just on the good side, the positive side of Christmas. On the negative side of Christmas, and this is before we're really getting into a lot of scripture, but just 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. 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. It seems like around Christmas time, people just expect gifts. Demand gifts. They want to make it really complicated. What are we getting you guys? What are you getting us? We want to make sure we don't give you more than you give us and vice versa. I want to make 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 co-worker, my loved one, you just might not get a gift from me. Then 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. 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 and my sisters. I don't expect anything for Christmas.
I don't go into Christmas thinking, "Oh men, I hope I get this. I really want to get this, or you can find me registered at this." I'm not just trying to just get gifts for Christmas. I really don't care. Let me tell you this. I like getting gifts. I enjoy receiving gifts. 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, "OK, what am I going to give? Who can I give to?" Instead of just this demanding, robbing. 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 tried 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 in the Black Friday. I think Black Friday has got to be the stupidest thing in the world. It's like, here you are. You are so thankful that you're so blessed. You're thankful for family. You're thankful to just have a good mean in front of you at Thanksgiving.
Then the next day, you're going to trample people in Walmart like it's a bull fight or something. You're going to trample people in Walmart. 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, it's all about money and spending. People rack up their credit cards. They spend way too much money. Then in January, they try to pick up the pieces from spending too much and wasting.
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 just in this extended holiday mode for a month-and-a-half. They don't really want to work. They get really unproductive. Also, if you want to just try to find everything wrong with Christmas you could say a lot of people get drunk on Christmas.
People drink and party. OK 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, "Santa Claus is of the devil." 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. 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're betrayed about Santa Claus.
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 is here tonight. This is what my mom said when I was a kid. She said, "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 going to buy these gifts, spend all this money, and then 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.
People say you arrange the letters around in Santa, you get Satan. That's a little bit silly because Santa is just Spanish for holy. It's just Latin for holy. Does that mean Satan? Obviously, that's silly. Honestly, I can see the concerns about Santa. 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. What it's teaching is that you have to earn a gift.
Is that what the bible teaches about salvation? The bible says the gift of God is eternal life, calls it the free gift. We know it's not of works, lest any man should boast. Santa, he is one who gives you a gift based on how good you are. He gives you a gift based upon your works. 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 reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his 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. 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 lamp of coal is like the brimstone that you're going to get if you're not good. You know what? There is nothing to do with 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. Here is the thing, you can celebrate Christmas without having any of those things.
To me, what Christmas is to me is just celebrating the birth of Christ. Our Christmas traditions involve singing songs about the birth of Christ, singing songs about the second coming of Christ, drinking hot chocolate, eating ham, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, rolls, stuffing, these types of foods, giving gifts to one another, and even decorating a Christmas tree, a pine tree with lights and ornaments.
If I look at all my lists of Christmas traditions which involves 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, I can't see how any of those things are wrong or sinful. How can you attack celebrating the birth of Christa sand 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, "The bible doesn't emphasized His birth." Well, there's a lot of scripture on His birth, and there is an extended long story in Luke 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.
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. If you celebrate it, they say, you're not worshipping Jesus Christ. You're actually worshipping Baal. You're worshipping Nimrod. You're worshipping Satan."
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 worshipping 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 is born in the manger, and he is going to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. He's going to be buried and rise again to say, "You're worshipping 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 worshipping 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 worshipping Satan is ridiculous when you're saying the name Jesus Christ, you're quoting the King James, and everything that you're saying and about and talking about lines up with the bible.
That's not worshipping Satan. That's worshipping Jesus. They say, "Well, because you're doing it on December 25th, it becomes of Satan." We have to do something on December 25th, right? What are we going to do? Just get in bed, and just pull the covers over our head? Whatever we do on that day is of the devil, because it's a Satanic day. We'll get to December 25th a little later.
Go to Jeremiah 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 aren't biblical. Look, if you listen to this sermon, and you walk away and say, "Pastor Anderson is wrong. I'm not going to celebrate Christmas." Honestly, that is perfectly fine with men. I will not be offended. If that's what you want to do, that's fine. Honestly, I just want you to get the facts before you just have somebody quote to you Jeremiah 10:2-4 out of context, and lie to you about what Jeremiah 10 says.
I just want you to know what the chapter actually says. 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. All I want to do is present the biblical facts tonight.
In Jeremiah 10:1, the bible says, "Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel. Thus saith 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 cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."
Right there is where the anti Christmas people stop reading. They just take these couple of verses out of context. They stop reading, and they just take verse three and four, and they say, "Look, it is a vain, heathen custom to cut down a tree, and to deck it with silver and gold, and to fasten it with nails and hammers." Here is 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."
They're saying, "Because you put a gold and a silver ornament on it." That's their view, but that is not what this scripture is talking about. If you stop reading right there, you can use that to convince people of your point, but that's not what it's really about. Keep reading. Look at verse five. It says, " They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not. They must needs be borne, 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."
Now 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. Now, 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, when you are covering it with silver, for example the deck on your house, your house might have a deck. It's a covering is what that means.
What the bible is saying here is that they're carving it into an idol. Look, in verse five, 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.
Keep reading. Jump down if you would to verse eight. It says, "But they are altogether brutish and foolish. The stock, 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 around silver ornament hanging on the tree? Is this a silver garland? No, it's silver spread into plates, because it's being silver plated or gold plated.
It says, "Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder." 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 them. They are vanity." Now 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 three. If you have a pen, you may want to underline a few keywords here. In verse three, the bible says, "The customs of the people are, what, vain." Then it says they cut down a tree, right? Now, if you jump down to where he's talking about the graven image, he says in verse 15, "They are vanity." 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 of anything."
It's not like the true God. It's a false god. Then later on, he says that these graven images or molten images are vain. They are vanity. He's talking about the same thing. Up earlier, he said in verse nine, "Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of 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 three. He's going on and on about the fact that they're carving idols out of wood. What does it mean to grave, to engrave something? If I brought in something to an artist and then said, "I want this engraved," they're going to carve my name into it, or they're going to carve some wording into it.
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. What he's saying here is that they're carving a wooden idol, and then overlaying it, decking it with molten gold and silver, and they believe that it is liken to the God of Israel. People today will often compare the God of the bible to other gods.
They'll say, "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 liken to the true God. The idol is vanity. It can't talk. It has to be carried. God makes it clear He never wants us to make any image of Him. Does the bible specifically prohibit graven and molten images? Yes, it's one of the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
There's no question that graven images and molten images are sinful. That matches perfectly 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 them. Where is 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 liken to an animal or a human, or an angel, or a god. Hold on a second. Go to Isaiah 60. They'll say, "Well, OK, 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? No, but they would say, "Yes, but Jeremiah 10 said not to do it."
No, because we read the whole chapter, and it's 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 can say there's something wrong with going in the forest, and cutting down a tree. 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.
They'll say, "It's just a pagan tradition to bring up a tree into the house." 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? 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? 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, "Trees were brought in the house by pagans," pagans wore pants. Pagans drink milk. This doesn't make any sense. A house plant is universal. Not only that, even God's house is decorated with palm trees, number one, but number two, you say, "Yes, yes, 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 pagan." Look what the bible says about the pine tree. Let's just look up what the bible says about pine trees. Isaiah 60:13 says, "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto 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, there's two choices, the Douglas fir or the pine.
Those are the two choices. What does the bible say about this wicked, godless trees? It says, "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto 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. About 2,800 years ago, God said He's going to beautify the place of His sanctuary with a pine tree and a fir tree, but there is no way that that could be where it came from. No, it came from pagan, Germany a few hundred years ago.
Now 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 would just quote those two verses from Jeremiah all by themselves. They're not going to show you Isaiah 60:13. They're not going to show you the rest of the chapter in Jeremiah 10 where it 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's Hutton told LiveScience, but it clearly derives from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors to decorate." 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 is peeling these really nice pieces of bark, and she said, "I'm going to make decorations out of this." Do you know what she even says? She's going to make Christmas decorations out of them. She just came up with that on her own. She's just peeling this big piece of bark, and she said they are pretty, because when you peel them back, they looked really neat on the inside.
She's like, "These are cool. Let's decorate with it." Look, people bring seashells into their house to decorate if they live by the ocean. People bring bird's eggs, plants, dried flowers, dried fruit. None of this is pagan in origin. It's just normal decorating practice. I bet you a lot of these anti Christmas people probably have some greenery in their house, whether it's a potted plant or whatever.
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, 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, "Number one, it's called Christ's mass." That's their number one proof that it's catholic. Then the number two reason that it's Catholic is because the Puritans hated it. They fought it. They said it was Catholic. In Massachusetts in the 1600's, the Puritans hated it. That means that it's Catholic and pagan. 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 is calling it Christ's mass.
There are other explanations for where that name has even come from besides mass. Even the word mass comes from the word messiah, and so there are other explanations of where the word Christmas comes from. Nobody's really quite sure exactly where it comes from. Here is the thing, there is nothing even wrong with the word mass. Do you know what the word mass means? Mas is basically when people are congregated together. Obviously there's something wrong with the catholic mass, because it's a false religion.
There are other wicked churches that are called church. How about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Latter-day is a great term. Saint is a great term. Jesus Christ is the name above all names. Church is a great term, but what goes on in that place is wicked as hell. It's got a good name. To sit there and say, "The word mass is not really a bad word, because all objects have mass first of all, number one." Number two, mass is like a mass gathering. It's just people getting together.
Now, there's something wrong with a catholic church and the catholic mass, but there's nothing wrong with any other type of gathering to celebrate about Christ. Look, just because a word ... Let's just say OK, 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. Is it wrong to say Saturday? Is it wrong to observe Thursday, which is Thores 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 Janus. You could sit there and say, "Well, that's all pagan. This word is pagan. That word is pagan."
We live in a world that's tainted by sin. Even the word hell, the word hell that's in our bible 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. The New Testament use 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's ever heard this term, hurrah? Who has said it? Who has said hurrah before? Do you know where the word hurrah comes from? You pagan. Listen to me. Hurrah comes from the Mongolian empire. In the Mongolian empire, under Genghis Khan, they worshipped the eternal blue sky.
Genghis Khan was not a bible-believing Christian. He worshipped the eternal blue sky, and when they would pray, when they would pray to the eternal blue sky, they would end their prayer ... it's like we end our prayer by saying amen. They end their prayer by saying hurrah. That's where that word comes from. Just like we get excited at church, and say amen, amen, hallelujah, they get excited and yell hurrah, hurrah, but it was unto their false god.
Do you really think people are just wicked and sinful, and abominable for saying hurrah, because they're not worshipping a false god? That's not a 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. I don't think it's a sin to say hurrah. I might have just accidentally started a whole movement against the word hurrah on the internet now. People who are going to hear this sermon, they're like, "We need to expose this term hurrah. That's bad."
I don't think it's bad, because honestly, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with those syllables if you're saying it to mean just, "I'm excited. Things are great, hurrah." Who here has never even heard of the eternal blue sky being worshipped by the Mongolians? The rest of you? 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, 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 hurrah or whatever. A lot of these are just words, Saturday, January. We don't mean that. We're not worshipping a false god when we say it. It's coming to mean something completely different. They'll say, "Well the Puritans, they [inaudible 00:42:02]." Puritans believed a lot of weird stuff. First of all, the Puritans were hardcore Calvinists. 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 party in general.
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 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, but 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. The Puritans allowed no ...
You go to a Puritan church. You're going to sit on a wooden bench. They would think this is bad, because it's art work. They're just, "No art work. 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. I don't believe that the Puritans were even worshipping in spirit and in truth, because I think Calvinism is a false doctrine, and obviously it's not the gospel. They didn't want to even translate any of the Hebrew names. They wanted to translate them all into English. Instead of calling Adam, Adam, they just want 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. 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. People will also say this, they'll say that giving of gifts is pagan. Well, we have a positive mention in the bible of giving gifts in Nehemiah 8 and also in Esther 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. I don't believe that giving gifts is wrong. Christ has given us the gift to eternal life, and that's symbolized when we give people gifts.
How often do we use that as a sowening illustration? Hey, do you like getting gifts? A gift is free, and everything. It's good that people get gifts, because it helps them to understand the gospel. Another objection that people will bring, and I got to hurry, but they say, "Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th." They act like this is a revelation. Did you know that Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th like that's, "Oh wow, you just blew me out of the water?"
Does anyone here actually thinks that Jesus was born on December 25th? Does anybody think that we're even using the same calendar that was used back then? The calendar has changed several times since Christ's birth. Even the calendar underwent a major change. I forgot, one or 200 years ago, there is a major change in the calendar, where everybody had to get a new birthday in America, because they changed the calendar.
I don't think anybody really thinks that He was born on December 25th. When people say to me, "Jesus wasn't born on December 25th," do you know what I always say? I always say, "There's a one in 365 chance that He was." Do you know what I mean? He might have been born on December 25th as well as any other day. 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 25th, I'll tell you that much."
Go to Luke 1, and I'll show you where they're coming from on this. I'm showing you their arguments. 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 25th." Form your own conclusion. I'm just showing you the facts here. Look at Luke 1:5. The bible reads, "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth."
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 will help us to know when the other was born. Now, 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 five that says that, Zacharias was of the course of Abia.
Here is what they'll say, "Jewish sources can tell us when that course of Abia was, but nothing in the bible can. Now, we have to go outside the bible and trust some unbelieving Jew, some Christ-rejecting Jew to tell us when that is." Here is the thing, the Christ-rejecting Jews will tell us two different times. "Well, it could have been in the spring, or it could have been in the fall." There's always two. When you look this up, they give two possible times for the course of Abia.
First of all, it's two different times that it could have been, and second of all, you're trusting that Christ-rejecting Jews to basically give you your biblical doctrine on the New Testament. That's the first jump that you have to make. Then secondly even if you know, even if you can get the synagogue of Satan to help you figure out when the course of Abia was, look at verse 23. It says, "It came to pass that as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, because he was of the course of Abia, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months."
Does that say how long after those days? 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 source to tell you when the course of Abia was. Then you have to just believe. We know that obviously 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. It says after those days, his wife Elizabeth conceived. 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. Just to show you that you can't really pin that down. The other thing is go back to Genesis 10. The other thing that people say about Christmas, they'll say, "Here is where the December 25th really comes from."
They say, "We can prove it wasn't the birth of Christ," using the shaky method that I just showed you in Luke 1. They'll say, "December 25th is actually the birthday of Nimrod," is what they teach. Here is what they teach. They say, "Nimrod was the guy who basically ... The tower of Babel was all his idea, and he was basically the mastermind behind the tower of Babel. He taught people a pagan worship. He had a wife named Semiramis. His wife was actually his mother who he's incestuously married too, and they produced a child called Tammuz. Tammuz was supposedly the reincarnation of Nimrod. He was born on December 25th. Everybody worshipped him,"
Here is the thing about that, and then here is what they'll say, "Here is the proof. The proof is that Nimrod was 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 10:8 says this, "And Cush begat 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 worshipped as a god, or that he married his own mother, or that he produced a child named Tammuz, or that even had a wife named Semiramis, or that anyone worshipped him? It looks like what was said of him was that Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord.
Who is the Lord in all capital letters there? Jehovah. What were people saying about Nimrod? He's god. He's the son god. He's reincarnated. He's married his own mother. No, they said that he was a mighty hunter before Jehovah. Where is this stuff coming from? Let's keep reading. It says, "Cush begat 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 Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah." Just that face value just looking at this, it seems like Nimrod was a mighty man in the earth after the tower 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, Erech, Accad, and Calneh. He's ruling over multiple cities. You could say, "Well, but if he's the king around Babel, the tower of Babel must have been his idea. He married his mom, OK?" 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. I will really throw this anti Christmas tree [inaudible 00:53:31] 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. Maybe he was bad. Maybe he was good, but you can't prove it from the bible is what I'm trying to say. You can't even connect him with Semiramis and Tammuz and whatever. The only other mention of Nimrod is in 1 Chronicles 1:10. You don't have to turn there. It says, "And Cush begat Nimrod, he began to be mighty upon the earth."
This stuff is 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 Josephus, an unbelieving, Christ-rejecting Jew. Basically, all this talk about Nimrod and Semiramis and Tammuz is coming from Jewish stories outside the bible, Jewish traditions by those who reject Jesus Christ. The bible never tells us to avoid Christmas, but it does tell us to avoid Jewish fables, but avoid Jewish fables.
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. 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 gospel's 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're straining in and out. That's swallowing your 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 dint hear about it. When I started this church, you didn't even hear about it, but in the last few years, this is a really big movement.
Who is behind it? Just Googling Christmas is pagan, or Nimrod and Christmas, I noticed that basically the people who are pushing this are Zionists and Jews. First of all, I went to a website on page one of the Google the 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 of this information about Nimrod, and giving you everything against Christmas that it's all pagan and whatever. You better know it's a 24-hour declaration that Judaism is 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 the 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 denieth the father and the son, and bring this information to me, and expect me to receive it. That's where this information seems to be coming from. That was a Jewish website attacking Christmas. Then 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."
Today, I know many Christians who are now celebrating Hanukkah. It's a big movement. It's the same movement that wants to call Jesus, Yeshua, even though the New Testament is written in Greek, not Hebrew. In Greek, His name is Esus like Yesus, like Jesus. It's the same crowd that wants to talk about Yahweh and Yeshua. They are trying to bring us back unto the law, unto 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. 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 Tammuz, 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 comic books and pamphlets about this stuff. They sell all the books about this stuff that it's pagan.
Are you listening? Judaism wants to replace our Christian American traditions with Judeo Christian and with Judaism. Now, 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. It's 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, "I don't do Christmas and Easter, but I'm going to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. I'm going to celebrate Purim. I'm going to celebrate Hanukkah. I'm going to celebrate the Passover. These are things that the book of Galatians warns us that the Judaizers or those who want to bring us back under the old covenant will try to bring in.
In Galatians 4:4, the bible says, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his 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 nine, "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye 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 nine, he said, "Ye desire again to be in bondage?" verse 10, " Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."
He's afraid of the fact that they're observing these days, months, times, and years that will bring them back into bondage of the law. That's what the bondage was according to verse three and four, "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 hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing, for I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law."
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 divers 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. Now, 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 are 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.
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. It's the new Testament whether is not the 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-Semetic or that I hate Jews. You're a liar. You're a false accuser.
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 that's a very wealthy area. There are 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, "You're a Jew, man. Forget it, man. Go to hell." No, I see somebody is a Jew, and I give them the gospel.
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 has something to do with their ancestors saying, "His blood be upon us and on our children." I don't know. 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.
Don't say that I don't love Jews. I also love Catholics. I also love Muslims. I also love Mormons. I also love Hindus, but 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 Maccabean Revolt. I don't want to talk about other 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, the language that we're 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 something 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 under a mistletoe. That's not good. We should not drink alcoholic eggnog. That's not good. We should drink the alcohol-free eggnog. We should not teach our children about Santa Claus, which is a lie.
We should not get caught up in the materialism. We have liberty as Christians. If we want to enjoy our time with family and celebrate the birth of Christ, we're welcome to. 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 on our church come up to me and say, "I don't believe in Christmas. I don't observe Christmas. I think Christmas is pagan." Do you know what I said? That's fine.
I've had people in our church say, "I'm vegetarian." That's fine. It's OK. People can have different opinions. 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 spiritual police of what holidays you celebrate. I think it's a sin. I personally believe it's wrong to circumcise your children. Again, I don't think it's some wicked, horrible thing. My first son is circumcised because that's what I believed at that time, because that's how I was brought up. That's how I was taught, but do 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. That's my opinion. That's what I believe. I will never circumcise any future sons that I have. 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 movement 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 Gary, lead us in prayer.