Understanding Those Who Do Esteem the Day
Introduction to Part 2
I have presented some of the views of those who choose not to observe Christmas. I have tried to present the material in a fair and impartial manner, and to demonstrate that their view is rational, logical, and in harmony with Scripture.
Now, for the sake of balance (which is always a good idea!), I am going to present the other side of the issue. Why is this necessary? Well, for years I have been getting anti-Christmas literature. I am aware of the arguments that are made, have considered both sides, and it is not a stumblingblock to me personally. But now some of our children are reading (or hearing about) the same literature and are asking, “Is the Christmas tree an idol, daddy?” That kind of honest question deserves an honest, Biblical, and balanced answer.
As a pastor, I find myself in a bit of an awkward position – defending believers who observe a practice that I wish had never been invented. Presenting this material is also awkward for me, because I am not trying to convert anyone to one position or another. The Bible says nothing about Christmas, and I am not trying to PROMOTE or FORBID the celebration of this national holiday. It is not a right/wrong issue. What I am defending is the Biblical concept of a believer-priest’s liberty to choose to do so according to his own conscience as guided by Scripture under the leading of the Holy Spirit.
It is good to discuss it, so that as believers we can better understand and appreciate each other – even with all of our differences and our various personal convictions on the issues of the day. Knowing how the other side thinks is always preferable to assuming, whispering, and drawing wrong conclusions. Assuming evil about our brothers and sisters in Christ is always harmful to the functioning of the Body, and both sides can be equally guilty of this. If we are secretly thinking that the other side is either legalistic & cultic (on the one hand) or worldly, idolatrous compromisers (on the other hand), it will hinder our fellowship and will hinder what God wants to do in our midst – in His Body. Laying out this issue in the open might be a bit painful and awkward at first – but it is better to do it and get it done – because it will helpful in the end. I guess this is like getting a cavity filled. I am convinced that the more we hear of how the other side thinks, the LESS inclined we will be to think evil of them. In the long run it will HELP our fellowship.