Once you know the truth, what do you do with it?
That question, and the lessons I’m learning, are hitting me hard during this holiday season. What is Christmas, really? Are we called, biblically, to celebrate the birth of our Savior? Or, have we made the same classic mistake the Israelites did when they built the Golden Calf?
In last night’s Torah class, we were left with this question ... “Who Am I”?
I am omnipresent.
I am the giver of all gifts.
I wear a crimson robe.
I have no beginning and no end.
I am timeless and eternal.
I am all knowing.
I am sometimes referred to as a Spirit.
I write your names in my book.
Who are we talking about? It seems like the logical answer would be “Yeshua” or “Yahweh,” right? But in the context of Christmas, the answer is Santa. Just think on that for a minute. Doesn’t it seem like the enemy has duped Believers into their own Golden Calf worship, every single year?
If you’ve just begun justifying your celebration of Christmas in your head, give one tic to the enemy. As soon as you start justifying, you’ve moved onto his playground.
So what is Christmas, really?
Well, it depends on who you ask, but the bottom line is that the December 25 date has quite pagan roots. In ancient Babylon (pre-Messiah), the feast of the Son of Isis (goddess of nature) was celebrated by partying, over-eating and drinking, and giving gifts. In Rome, the winter solstice (again, pre-Yeshua) the celebration was for the god of agriculture, saturn, and the concept of “caroling” was born.
In 350 AD, Pope Julius I declared that December 25 was the date Christ’s birth should be celebrated to make it easier for pagans to celebrate a “holy” holiday without giving up their pagan celebration rituals and customs. Uh oh.
These words from Deuteronomy 12:30-31 make me ask, “have we been duped by the enemy”?
“beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.”
Leviticus warns us about “illicit mixing” and the consequences of combining those things which Yahweh calls holy with the unholy and clean with the unclean. But then, we don’t really study that old, outdated, irrelevant, antiquated book of the Bible anymore, nor do we hear it preached in churches today, do we?
Revelation 22:15 says this ...
“Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”
What do we tell our children about Santa ... year after year after year?
And here’s the rather ironic part. The atheists could be doing us a favor with their “I hate everything Christmas” all-out assault, but how do we respond? By digging in even deeper. Are we being duped?
Is there a biblical mandate for celebrating the Messiah’s birth?
None that I can find. In fact, wasn’t Yeshua ALWAYS with us? John 1:1 says,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
If He was always with us, what would be the biblical mandate to celebrate His birth one day a year? Wouldn’t it make more sense to celebrate the fact that He’s always been (and still is) with us every single day before our feet even hit the floor? Doesn’t that resonate more closely with the instruction to “be joyful always”?
And what about those Biblical Feasts we ARE called to celebrate? The books of Exodus and Leviticus tell us all about the Feasts (Yahweh’s appointed times) that are to be celebrated throughout ALL generations. Oh but wait ... the church doesn’t teach us about those either.
Which means, we (most Believers) don’t even really know or understand that Yeshua HaMashiach was probably conceived during Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication) in December and born during the Feast of Tabernacles in September/October.
Which means most Believers also don’t know or understand that The fall Feasts (Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Succoth) will be fulfilled when our Messiah returns, during the exact same time He came as a child to save our idolatrous hides.
Is Santa our Golden Calf moment?
If you are still reading, I can hear you grappling with these truths with something akin to “but He knows my heart.” Really? So we can do things our way even if it is against the way we’ve been instructed in the Bible? That didn’t work out too well for the Israelites, did it? It is not going to work out too well for us, either.
Further, Jeremiah 17:9-10 says ...
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds."
Our ways are not His ways. But His ways trump our ways even when we don’t understand them. Even when they are wrapped in warm memories with great family traditions. Even when we have inadvertently and with good, albeit ignorant, intentions blended our worship of Yeshua HaMashiach with pagan idol worship.
Once you know the truth, what do you do with it? For me, I speak it.
And I remain thankful this faith walk is a journey ... because I sure have a long way to go.