25th December: A Case for Celebrating 25th Dec. as Jesus' Birth Day


Christmas is soon here with us. Santa Claus, Decorations, gifts, lights, Cards, Joyful Carols, Special liturgies, drinks, festive foods and etc have over the years become linked to Christmas.The question is: "has Christmas lost its significance?@ Or another question will be "has Christmas had any significance at all?"Christmas as it has been accepted worldwide is the celebration of the birth of Jesus on 25th December. Now this assertion that Jesus was born on 25th December comes into open confrontation with an argument that  rejects  25th December as the birth date of Christ. 

Truly, there is no calender record that Jesus was born on 25th December but there is enough Theological and Biblical evidences that He was born and actually walked on earth.

  • That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete (John 1:1-4).
  • And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
Almost majority of people will not reject the fact that Jesus was born and he walked on earth. Even those who reject Him as God, openly accept that he was a good moral teacher. That means at least,  "Once upon a time there lived a man called Jesus" cannot be denied. He actually lived: He was born. Read what some said about Jesus that was not necessarily Christian. These "testimonies" indicate and prove that Jesus once lived on earth.

  • The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger... Surat Al-Ma'idah [5:75] (i) 
  • Confucianism respects Jesus as a holy man of Christianity, but does not have a view on Christian beliefs.(ii)
  • I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ- Mahatma Ghandi
The above, there could be more, but for lack of time and space, let me limit myself to just these three as what others said about Jesus which indicates He once lived on earth. 

Now if there is no doubt about the fact that Jesus actually was born, the question I am trying to answer with this article can now be asked at his point. Was Jesus born on 25th December? 

No, Jesus was not born on 25th December. There is no evidence that He was born on 25th December. The evidence for the celebration of 25th December as Jesus' birthday is deeply rooted in Pagan worship and Pagan festivities.
  • So... after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in midwinter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25...There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient)The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. (iii)
"...in 274 CE, the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals" 

If you are a Christian, who takes what you believe seriously, this statement should send "chills down your spine".  The "Chills down your spine" should however not paralysed your faith... I believe information, especially information against what you believe should make you ask questions, make you more enligthened and if possible agree that you have believed a lie. Hard Talk, but truly, if you don't subject your faith to new information, it simply means that your faith is a blind faith that has no basis.  Certainly, the Christian's faith should not be a blind faith. It should be faith grounded in truth and thank God the Christian faith is grounded in truth." ..thy word is truth" (John 17:17).
So if 25th December is a pagan worship, should Christian celebrate it to commemorate the birth of Jesus? Yes, I believe we should celebrate it. Why? Let me share with you my reason.

  • For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring. (Acts 17:23-28)
See the scripture above, it has a lot to teach us. Paul used "Paganism" to preach the word of God.
  1. Paul stood on the grounds of the superstitious nature of the People of Athens and on that grounds on "the unknown God", he declared to them "the known God"...I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you." So if a people are celebrating a sun god and that same celebration is used in reaching out to them and introducing them eventually to the true living God, I believe there is nothing wrong especially when the  pagan focus of that celebration is eventually turned to Christ.
  2. Paul quoted Pagan Poets to make a point for God. I am very sure It will be a surprise to many Christians that Acts 17:28 "For in him we live and move and have our being" originally did not refer to God. See the text that followed "As some of your own poets have said, "We are his offspring". The poets being referred to hear by Paul to make a case for God were not Christian Poets. They were pagan poets and the poems from which Paul quoted were from two pagan (heathen) poets.

  •  Paul's quotation here is generally ascribed to Aratus (c. 315-240 B.C.) from a poem entitled "Phaenomena." The same line appears in a poem by Cleanthes (c. 331-231 B.C.) in his "Hymn to Zeus." Although Paul does not cite the Cretan poet Epimenides (c. 600 B.C.), the phrase "in him we live, and move, and have our being" is also found in his poem "Cretica." Since Paul didn't give anyone credit, it is unclear whether Paul was quoting "Cretica" or whether this phrase was his own.(iv)

If the Apostle Paul stood on the logic of pagan beliefs and used those beliefs to explain the true God to pagan people, there certainly is nothing wrong with adapting a pagan festivity in an attempt to switch focus from paganism and allegiance to the true and living God. 25th Dec; is worth celebrating.... at least the reason for the celebration will always be Jesus


Notes

(ii) wiki.answers.com/.../Does_Confucianism_believe_Jesus_was_God_in_the_flesh

(iv) www.awmi.net/bible/act_17_28

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