The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
 


The Problems with Christmas, Crime and Coveting
by Dr. James Ricks          

 
Why does the Christmas season lead to higher levels of drunkenness, depression, crime and covetousness?
People have high expectations. They are led to expect peace, family love and harmony, with wonderful gifts. When these experiences fail to materialize, many people are left to depression and despair. They are left not with joy, but with markedly higher rates of DUIís, shoplifting, purse snatching, domestic violence and other crimes, than at any other time of the year.

Christmas is spiritually detrimental for a society
Many kids mix up Santa with Jesus.   They think the holiday is more about Santa than Jesus and they may be correct in actual fact.  It may diminish God in the manner in which the holiday is handled in the minds of the young.  Jesus is put on a par with other mythical characters like Dora or the power rangers or batman and the tooth fairy. The Christmas season fosters greed, consumerism and not Jesus Christ and thankfulness.

Christianity gained power as the official religion of the Roman Empire. It was to the advantage of various pagan societies to become Christian when promised that they could keep their pagan customs, ideas and culture.  The Saturnalia (god of plenty) was a major pagan celebration and orgy lasting 8 days and ended on December 25.   They put Jesus birthday on that date and allowed the pagans to keep their customs if the pagans agreed to convert. 

 

During saturnalia all courts closed because nothing you did was a crime.  It was a drunken, anything goes revelry.  Any woman outside could be raped without consequences. People could be murdered without penalty.  They would pick some poor victim for a human sacrifice and kill him or her in a very brutal manner.  People would go from house to house, in the nude, singing and eating human shaped cakes. (like gingerbread men)  the Asheira cult agreed to join if they would allow them to worship a tree.  So the Christmas tree was inculcated as another symbol.  New Yearís is also from a pagan celebration to the god Janus which is celebrated with drunkenness and revelry. 

Did the early church celebrate Christmas?
The early Christian church did not celebrate Christmas. The Bible did not mention the date of Christís birth.  Early Christians did celebrate Godís holy days. Christ never celebrated his birthday.  His disciples never celebrated his birthday and the New Testament church of the apostles never celebrated his birthday.  The Bible supports the celebration of Christís death (New Testament Passover) and his resurrection (Unleavened Bread & Pentecost) and his second coming to bring his ruler ship of the planet and paradise (Fall Holy days  culminating in the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day). 

Christ birthday was never an important date for the apostolic church of God.  They never celebrated his birthday.  It is nowhere in the New Testament.

Does God care if we celebrate Christmas?
Mark 7:7 plainly says that we are not to try to worship him with manís ideas of worship and traditions, nor are we to try to worship him as the pagans and heathens worship their gods. Deuteronomy 12:3-4, 30-31. He knows that paganism and pagan practices are always trouble for Christians. We are told to stay away from them.

Was Christ born on December 25th?
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition states that even as late as 245 AD the catholic theologian, Origen still says that keeping Christmas is sinful. The book of Luke which covers Christís birth states that the shepherds were in the fields with their sheep which would have been very unwise unless the shepherds wanted to freeze their sheep. Luke 2:7-8.  Romans, were very clever when came to taxation and would not have required folks to do lots of traveling to register in December when the weather could be rainy, icy, cold and unpredictable. (Luke 2:1-18) see Luke 1:8 and Jeremiah 10:3-4.

Early America outlawed Christmas
The puritans did not celebrate Christmas. They felt that it was a sin and was associated with paganism, idolatry and was not justified by scripture. Furthermore, it was illegal until the 1850ís.

During the Battle of Trenton, (1776) in the revolutionary war, George Washington was able to defeat the hessians who were paid German mercenaries because they were celebrating Christmas while the colonialists were not. The hessians were drunk and hung over from their Christmas celebration. The American forces had an easy and much needed victory over superior forces.  Had that battle not occurred the American Revolution would most likely have failed.

Is it possible for us to support the right of people to celebrate Christmas and not believe or keep it ourselves?
We certainly know that they are wrong theologically, but do we believe that they have the right to be wrong even in the public square?   This is a very ticklish situation.  If America has true religious freedom then people have a right to be wrong or we do not have true religious freedom.  It is hard to support the many that wish to celebrate the winter solstice or holiday but want to forbid the mentioning or showing of Christ or any real religious symbols in public.  Christians should be allowed to celebrate as they believe in the public square like any other religion or group even if they are mistaken theologically.

We do not support the secularists, agnostics and earth worshippers who want to keep the holiday but eliminate Christ and the nativity scene.  The season is even more pagan thereby.   American Christians have the right to celebrate as they believe (errors and all).  Rejection of Christianity is also a negative trend in our society including at Christmas time. 

 

Breaking News Stories
Go here for the latest news stories on this subject. Ėnews stories added 22 December 2015
 
Further reading/listening:
Sermon: "The Real Birthday of Jesus Christ"  Play   Download   MP3
Video Sermon: "Christmas, the Untold Story" 
Video Play   Download  Audio:  Play   Download   MP3
Article:
Christmas or Pagan-Mass?

Letter:
"Christmas, what could possibly be wrong with it?"  ...a response by Garner Ted Armstrong
Booklet:
"Christmas, The Untold Story"
Listen to the TV Program
"Christmas, the Untold Story"  Play   Download   MP3


See Christmas Feature Page
Christmas or Pagan Mass?
How Christmas Works
Pagan Origins of Christmas

 
Our Commentary
The Great Christmas Controversy
The Annual Christian Challenge

Christmas - Hiding Magnificent Truths
 
Our Booklets
Christmas, The Untold Story
What is the Kingdom of God?
The Real Jesus
Could Jesus Have Sinned?
Note:
Christmas Day was formally declared a federal holiday by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870. Source  Source 2  Source 3
 

Photos:
Left: Saint Nicholas   details  license
Center: DUI stop by police  Author: Versageek
Right: Avarice [coveting] Source   Author: Jesus Solana