I DON'T DO CHRISTMAS;
I DO BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH
By Wayne Camp
SCRIPTURE READING: Jer. 10:2-5; Rom. 12:2; Lu. 1:26-35; Lu. 2:1-20
TEXTS: "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" (Jer. 10:2).
"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Lu. 1:31, 34).
The scripture reading for this message has been rather lengthy but I felt that was needful. I ask the reader to please read these scriptures. My subject is I DON'T DO CHRISTMAS; I DO BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH.
I recognize that the first part of this message is a touchy subject with some of you and that you had just as soon that I preach or publish it somewhere in a wilderness as Amos was told to do rather than publish it here. But, I am preaching and publishing it here. In your hearts you will know that what I write is the truth but you may feel an added burden of responsibility to keep yourselves from this pagan holiday after you have read it and you had as soon not have that responsibility and the compounded guilt that will result.
I will first show you why I do not do Christmas and then show you that I do believe in the virgin birth. I will show you why I believe in the virgin birth and why the virgin birth was a necessity.
I do not like the word Christmas. It attaches the title of one of the offices of Jesus Christ to the wicked, unholy, Christ-dishonoring Catholic mass. But, for the sake of this message I will use the name that Rome gave to this unholy, heathen celebration. I prefer to call the day XMAS because Christ has never been in any Catholic mass, this one included. He was x'ed out from the beginning and doubtless prefers to be left out of this pagan adaptation of Rome.
I trust that the readers will forgive the personal approach to this matter. It is not intended as an ego trip but as accounting for my own actions in this matter. The facts set forth in this message about Christmas were learned very early in my ministry, but it took a number of years for me to see the full import of the observance of Christ-mas(s). The truth sets free, and the truth is what I desire to print in this message.
WHY I DON'T DO CHRISTMAS
The first reason I don't do Christmas is the great commission, Mat. 28:18-20. Jesus said that we are to teach God's people to do whatsoever he has commanded. Jesus never taught nor commanded that we celebrate his birth. Those preachers and churches that teach that we should are teaching a doctrine and commandment of men, not of God.
No apostle, no inspired writer of Scripture, ever, anywhere, commanded, or even suggested that we ought to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We remember Christ in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper. This is the way we are to remember him, not in this pagan feast.
Some Baptists and Protestants are more zealous to observe this holiday than they are to do many of the things that are commanded in Scripture. Some will violate the command to not forsake the assembling together when it interferes with their observance of this unscriptural holiday. Some churches even dismiss Sunday night services when Dec. 25 falls on Sunday. What a reproach to Jesus Christ!
No church or group of people calling themselves Christian celebrated this holiday until the second quarter of the 4th Century A. D. and then it began in Rome. In the fifth century A. D. Roman Catholics ordered the celebration of the feast on the date of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun (s-u-n, not Son) at the close of the pagan festival of Saturnalia. (Enc. Americana).
The second reason I don't do Christmas is I am not a Catholic and Christmas, as we know it, and as it is now observed, wreaks with the stench of Catholicism. The name is Catholic coming from the words Christes Masse which means mass of Christ. According to the Catholic doctrine, the mass is a sacrifice of Jesus Christ, meaning that every mass they observe is a new sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I don't observe any Catholic mass and, by God's grace, I will not be forced by public opinion and pressure to observe this one.
Christ died once, he made one sacrifice for sin and does not need to be sacrificed over and over. The word of God places great emphasis on this fact. Note the following words from the pen of the inspired Paul. Of Christ he wrote, "who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did ONCE, when he offered up himself' (Heb. 7:2 7). "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. 9: 12,24-2 8). "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. 10:10-18).
The repeated masses of Rome are set forth as repeated sacrifices of Jesus Christ which puts Christ to shame because every time the mass is offered they crucify Christ afresh and that puts him to an open shame. Every time mass is celebrated, be it Christ-mas(s) or any other mass, "they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Heb. 6:6). The old Whore of Babylon has succeeded in pawning off on the world a holiday whose very name suggests that every time it is observed Christ is crucified afresh, putting him to an open shame. If I participate in this unholy celebration, I share in putting this shame on my blessed Saviour who once, by one sacrifice for ever, put away my sin. Should I so shame him? Should I, for the sake of a few days of mirth, gift-giving and receiving (not giving to Christ whose birthday I would allegedly be observing), for a few days of feasting, should I heap such shame on him as to suggest that he must be offered often times?
The mass of Christ (CHRISTMAS) says that he must be offered often to put away sin. As we have seen from the word of God, one sacrifice offered one time was all that Christ must needs offer.
The mass of Christ says that the first sacrifice of Christ was not sufficient to put away sin. It says, "The sacrifice of Christ was the right sacrifice, but, contrary to the inspired word of God, and according to bulls (a dogma handed down from the papal throne of Roman Catholicism) of the papa of Rome (pope), Christ's sacrifice must be repeated over, and over, and over again."
The mass of Christ says that those who observe it are repeatedly looking for a sacrifice not for the return of the King of kings. As we approach December 25 are we looking for the mass of Christ (Christmas) or, are we looking for the coming of the King of kings, the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (Heb. 9:28). If I look forward to the mass of Christ (Christmas), how could I be looking for the second coming? (Heb. 9:28).
The mass of Christ says that Jesus did not obtain eternal redemption for us the first time he offered up his blood and flesh. It says the redemption obtained was only good from one mass to the next. He must be sacrificed repeatedly or the redemption obtained will be lost. The Bible speaks profoundly differently. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:12).
The mass of Christ says that Christ, by once offering himself, did not perfect forever them that are sanctified. I rest in the blessed assurance of Heb. 10: 14. "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Do you need repeated masses of Christ to be perfected. I rest in the one sacrifice made at Calvary. I put no stock in, yea, I abhor any suggestion that Jesus must be sacrificed again and again. If I observed Christ-mas(s), I would be leaving the impression with the Catholic world that I concluded they were right on the mass and that Christ must be sacrificed often.
The mass of Christ says that there is more offering of the body and blood of Christ for sins. "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. 10: 18). "No, Paul," says the papa of Rome, "the body and blood of Jesus Christ must be offered time and time again. When we bless the bread it literally becomes the flesh of Christ and when we bless the wine it literally becomes the blood of Christ. We must sacrifice this again and again. We do it at the little masses every time we celebrate them. Then we have these big masses that we celebrate on Dec. 25, Easter and other times. In these we sacrifice the body and blood of Christ. This is according to the faith of our fathers. One sacrifice of Christ was not enough. If it was enough, why do you Protestants and Baptists celebrate Christmas with us? It is our holy day. We adapted it from the pagans and to accommodate them. Now you celebrate it with us. Why do you do this if you believe the one sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus Christ was sufficient for all time?"
So, I do not celebrate the mass of Christ because the Jesus Christ whom I know, and love and worship made one sacrifice for sin forever settling my sin debt and is seated at the right hand of God awaiting the appointed time for his return to the earth. My hope is not in repeated sacrifices of Christ; my hope, my assurance, my salvation is in what he did once and not in repeated sacrifices.
The third reason I don't do Christmas is that most of the things about it came from heathen paganism and we are not to learn the way of the heathen. "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2).
The date of December 25 came from heathenism. Alexander Hislop wrote, "Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated by the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ" (The Two Babylons. Alexander Hislop, p. 93).
Encyclopedia Britannica says of the date of Dec. 25, "Its observance as the birthday of the Saviour is attended with secular customs often drawn from pagan sources; indeed, both Christmas and Epiphany, which falls 12 days later on Jan. 6, are transformed pagan celebrations of the winter solstice, and so closely linked that their origins cannot be discussed separately" (Vol. 5, p. 704, 1970).
I quote again from Enc. Britannica on Dec. 25, "This was the date of a pagan festival in Rome, chosen in A. D. 274 by the emperor Aurelian as the birthday of the unconquered sun (natalis solis invicti), which at the winter solstice begins again to show an increase in light" (Ibid.).
Another reason that I object to the date of December 25 and know it was taken from paganism is that shepherds had their flocks in the fields at night, a practice which normally stopped around the first of October and was not resumed until around the first of April. "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night" (Lu. 2:8). From the first of December to the first of March, the nights can be bitterly cold in the area around Jerusalem so they surely would not have been in the fields at night late in the month of December. In 1971, if I remember the year correctly, I was in Jerusalem about the middle of December. It snowed the night we were there and we wore overcoats to Bethlehem the next day, it was so cold. Shepherds did not keep their sheep in the fields at night when it was this cold.
Joseph and Mary came to Bethlehem because Caesar Augustus had decreed that all would go to their native cities to be taxed and he would not have commanded such a thing in the midst of winter. Lu. 2: 1.
It is obvious that the date of December 25 was not learned from God, it was learned from the heathen and we are commanded to not learn the way of the heathen (Jer. 10:2).
The Christmas tree and its decorations came from vain customs of the heathen. "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 ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not" (Jer. 10:3-4). It is obvious that these pagans used the tree and its decorations in the celebration of the winter solstice.
Alexander Hislop wrote, "The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm-tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm -tree denoting the Pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith. The mother of Adonis, the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son" (The Two Babylons, p. 97).
The pagan origin of the Christmas tree may be substantiated by a number of reputable sources but it is evident from Jer. 10:3-4 that it is considered by God to be something that came from the heathen and he commands, "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2). He also declared this custom of using the decorated tree was a vain custom of the heathen.
Practically all, if not all, of the customs involved in this mass of Christ came from paganism. Listen to this quote from Encyclopedia Americana. "Most of the customs now associated with Christmas were not originally Christmas customs but rather were pre-Christian and non-Christian customs taken up by the Christian church. Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles. Lights also played an important part in most winter solstice festivals." (Americana).
Before passing to my next main point let me summarize.
1. In Christmas we have a holiday which originated with paganism.
2. In Christmas we have a holiday which was never commanded by Christ.
3. In Christmas we have a holiday which has a name that is extremely dishonoring and blasphemous to Christ.
4. In Christmas we have a holiday which is not celebrated at the time of the birth of Christ and its date originated with paganism.
5. In Christmas we have a holiday which is dominated by pagan customs, literally wreaks with the stench of idolatry, and yet we are maligned by many because we do not celebrate the day.
6. In Christmas we have a holiday which was never celebrated by churches of the New Testament.
7. In Christmas we have a holiday in which Christ has never had a part, and has never wanted a part.
It occurred to me today (Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1992) that all those years that I observed the mass of Christ, I was observing a holiday that was ORDERED BY ROME, ORDERED BY THE POPE, NOT BY JESUS CHRIST. Look at these words from Enc. Americana, "In the 5th century the Western church (a common term used to distinguish the Roman Catholic church from the Greek Catholic, RWC) ordered the feast to be celebrated on the day of the Mithraic rites of the birth of the sun and at the close of the Saturnalia" (Vol. 6, p. 622, 1967 ed.). I asked God to forgive me and thanked him for his graciously revealing the truth to me. The truth made me free from this Romish, pagan celebration. I hope no one thinks I am being arrogant, or self-righteous about this matter. This holiday has an enslaving effect upon people and for years I was enslaved to it. The first few years that we totally left it alone there was a certain depression I experienced each year that threatened to lure me back into captivity. The fact that many know the truth about this holiday but do not give it up shows its captivating, enslaving ability.
Can you imagine Baptists taking orders from Rome? We reject their sprinkling, and are willing to shed our blood rather than submit to their orders on baptism. We even re-baptize any whom they have allegedly baptized (sprinkling is not baptism). We reject their pedo-baptism and insist that candidates for baptism must be old enough to profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We Baptists have shed our blood rather than take their orders on this matter. Yet, after over 400 years of the church age in which no one calling themselves Christian celebrated the day, Rome orders that it be celebrated, and after several hundred more years Baptists finally submitted and began to obey Rome.
Here in the U.S. the day was not observed, it was suppressed because of its Romish and pagan connections for many years. After the civil war, it became popular, beginning in the Catholic dominated state of Louisiana and spreading from there. Sadly and shamefully, here in Memphis, Baptist churches seem to compete to see who can outstrip the others in observance of this Romish, pagan celebration. One has a "Singing Christmas tree" and spends thousands of dollars annually on the extravaganza. Some have living manger scenes and have living "wise" (?) men at the manger scene when it is obvious from the Bible that the wise men did not arrive in Bethlehem until Christ was approximately two years of age. I have before me an invitation to our church from a Baptist Church inviting us to attend and see the "Live PUPPET Christmas Tree.' I haven't figured that one out yet, but will not waste my time to find out what it is.
As I look back at the matter and consider the truth about this day, I wonder if, rather than explaining to you why I do not do XMAS, I should be asking, "Why would any person calling himself a Christian dare celebrate the day?"
WHY I BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST
I believe in the virgin birth because God clearly had reference to the virgin birth when he called Jesus the seed of the woman. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). Note that he called him the seed of the woman, or "her seed", not the seed of man and not the seed of God. Obviously he was teaching the miraculous conception and virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
I believe in the virgin birth because the prophets of the Old Testament proclaimed it. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14).
I believe in the virgin birth because the language of the New Testament clearly teaches it. Matthew recorded that Mary was found with child as a result of the miraculous power of the Holy Ghost. Mat. 1:18. The conduct of Joseph clearly indicated that he believed that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus. He would have put her away quietly and have never married her, but the Lord revealed to him that the child was conceived by the mandate of the Holy Spirit. Rather than putting her away, Joseph married her but did not know her in the conjugal relation until after the birth of Christ. No man. would have conducted himself in this matter unless he had truly heard from God on the matter. Mat. 1:20-25. Mary's own declaration at the time the angel revealed the coming conception and birth of Jesus reveals the fact that he was born of a virgin. Due to the length of the passage, I will not give it here, but please read it. (Lu. 1:26-34, 38, 46-56). The conduct of Elizabeth and her unborn son, John, infers that Christ was born of a virgin. (Lu. 1:39-45). Elizabeth was caused to prophesy by the power of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist literally leaped in his mother's womb. The prayer of the church recorded in Acts 4:24-28 indicates that they believed in the virgin birth. Note the words, "Against thee, and against thy holy child Jesus ....
I believe in the virgin birth because Paul, an inspired apostle, wrote of it. Gal. 4:4. He declared that God sent forth his Son, "made of a woman." This is an expression that is never used of a person conceived in the usual manner. It was reserved for the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
I believe in the virgin birth because of the necessity of it. The Word must be made flesh In a manner that will not involve his having a sin nature, therefore, he must not have a human father. Rom. 5:12. The children were partakers of flesh and blood, therefore he must partake of flesh and blood with us without having a sin nature if he is to be the perfect mediator between God and man. Heb. 2:14. He must become our near kinsman without contracting our sinful nature if he is to serve as our kinsman redeemer. God's method of accomplishing this was to cause Mary to miraculously conceive in her womb and God became incarnate in the man Christ Jesus.
God has commanded, "Learn not the way of the heathen." Everything about the holiday called Christmas was learned from the heathen; nothing about it came from God or his word. As Christians, should we not avoid heathenism and paganism. Paul wrote to the Galatians and said, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you" (Gal. 4:10-11). Should we not avoid a holiday which so dishonors Christ even in its very name?
But, let me assure you. I do believe in the virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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