Days ….



4. Do Evangelicals also celebrate Christmas?




Yes, Evangelicals also, or rather a lot of them, celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. They make the Christmas tree, they have the Christmas dinner, they give and receive Christmas presents, and they even hold a special worship service called ‘Christmas service’.

Why do they celebrate Christmas? Some celebrate it because they believe that Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December (this is what the Roman Catholic Church teaches but it is not supported by the Scripture). Some others, even though they don’t accept the 25th of December as the day on which Jesus was born, celebrate Christmas lest they look different and be criticized by other Christians or by people who call themselves Christians but are not true Christians. Many of those who celebrate Christmas for this last reason hold that they celebrate it for their children’s sake, that is to say, in order not to embarrass their children at school and among their friends.

As far as we are concerned, we don’t celebrate Christmas. For us it’s an ordinary day, even though on that day the atmosphere around us is different. We don’t say ‘Merry Christmas!’ (so when somebody says to us: ‘Merry Christmas!’ we don’t answer him: ‘Merry Christmas to you too!’), we don’t send Christmas cards, we don’t have a special dinner, and we don’t hold special meetings.


The origin of Christmas


The early Church did not celebrate the birth of Jesus, but with the passing of time the Christians living in Egypt began to regard the 6th of January as the birthday of Jesus Christ. The custom of celebrating the birthday of Jesus on that day spread throughout the East; so by the beginning of the fourth century that day was considered the day on which Jesus was born. About that time, the Western Church, which had never accepted the 6th of January as the birthday of Jesus Christ, decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December.

Afterward, the Eastern Church also adopted the 25th of December. The reason why many bishops moved the birthday of Jesus from the 6th of January to the 25th of December was this: on that day, according to a pagan custom of that time, ‘the sun-god’ was celebrated, or rather, the birth of the sun was celebrated by lighting great bonfires, and since that feast was celebrated even by some who had turned to Christianity because in their opinion the sun represented Jesus Christ, for in the book of Malachi Jesus is called “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2), when the bishops realized that Christians were inclined to celebrate that feast, they met together and decided that the birth of Jesus had to be celebrated on the 25th of December while the feast of Epiphany on the 6th of January.

As you can see, Christmas originated from paganism, therefore we have one more reason not to celebrate it.