Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to popular culture, but is it really? Surely you have heard, “Jesus is the reason for the season”. In reality though that is far from the truth. It could be more accurately stated as the holiday we justify using Jesus’ name in vain for capital gain.

Numerous years ago, before being Spirit-filled, much less led by the Spirit to go where He says to go, and to say what He says to say, I had been leary of Christmas and it’s ridiculous traditions, much of which are designed to commercialize the name of Jesus while promoting lies and pagan rituals. When my sons were small I refused to deceive them into thinking Santa brought them gifts for I could not understand why any parent or Christian would lie to their children only for them to be disappointed at a later age – not to mention learn not to trust their own parents. Such “traditions” directly contradict the simply stated commandment which reads, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices .” Colossians 3:9 (NIV) as well as many other Scriptures with similar sentiments. Nevertheless, I still proceeded with all the other typical traditions – mostly to go with the flow of everyone else.

Later, when I researched the origins of Christmas, I was not only surprised to learn it’s pagan history, but I was surprised to learn Christmas was illegal in early United States history for early settlers believed Christmas to be a Satanic, unholy custom:

Publick Notice

For the preventing of disorders, arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonour of God and offense of others. It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like — either by forbearing labour, feasting or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offense five shilling as a fine to the county. Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1659.

as well as a second notice, which reads:

Publick Notice

The observation of Christmas having been deemed a sacrilege, the exchanging of Gifts and Greetings, dressing in Fine Clothing, Feasting and similar Satanical Practices are hereby FORBIDDEN with the Offender liable to a Fine of Five Shillings.

In fact, did you know the origins of Christmas actually have nothing to do with the birth of Christ Jesus, but rather have everything to do with the Roman pagan festival known as ‘Saturnalia’? According to the History Channel’s History.com site,

“Saturnalia, held in mid-December, is an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. Saturnalia celebrations are the source of many of the traditions we now associate with Christmas.

Saturnalia, the most popular holiday on the ancient Roman calendar, derived from older farming-related rituals of midwinter and the winter solstice, especially the practice of offering gifts or sacrifices to the gods during the winter sowing season.

The Christian holiday of Christmas, especially, owes many of its traditions to the ancient Roman festival, including the time of year Christmas is celebrated…by the fourth century A.D., Western Christian churches settled on celebrating Christmas on December 25, which allowed them to incorporate the holiday with Saturnalia and other popular pagan midwinter traditions. ” Saturnalia, History.com

Did you also know the pagan holiday known as Saturnalia has been described by other sources likened to Mardi Gras with no morals, drunkenness, orgies, and other lawless activities? Did you know the reason we give gifts during Christmas isn’t because of the wise men, but rather because gift-giving was a custom of Saturnalia where the Romans gave one another gifts representing human sacrifices originally given to the temple god, Saturn?

“On the last day of Saturnalia celebrations, known as the Sigillaria, many Romans gave their friends and loved ones small terracotta figurines known as signillaria, which may have referred back to older celebrations involving human sacrifice.” Saturnalia, History.com

I strongly encourage you to research the origins of Christmas and Saturnalia as article after article I read portrayed nothing but pagan practices later repackaged as ‘Christmas’.

I know what you may be thinking, perhaps you are thinking, ‘Well, that’s not what it means to me, Carrie. It’s just a nice tradition my family has been doing for years…’

A beach-themed Christmas tree dominates the lobby of Hampton Inn of Myrtle Beach, SC. (2017)

In my opinion, customs or traditions, which could also be known as doctrines of men, are acceptable so long as they do not violate certain parameters:

  1. The tradition or doctrine cannot contradict God’s word, His written voice and instructions for our lives.
  2. The tradition or doctrine cannot have pagan origins glorifying other gods or pagan practices that encourage violating God’s word.
  3. The tradition or doctrine cannot supercede God’s word.

While the beautiful lights decorating homes are alluring, in addition to singing famous Christmas songs, as well being bedazzled by Christmas trees of various creative themes, these practices are designed to delight our senses. These sensual festivities on the surface seem harmless, but the fact is, they violate all three of the parameters above. We’ve already discussed their pagan origins, now check out what God’s word says about participating in pagan, Gentile practices. The prophet, Jeremiah scribes in Jeremiah 10, what sure does sound like a Christmas tree, a wooden idol:

“Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.

Thus says the Lord:

Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.

They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.’

6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord
(You are great, and Your name is great in might),
Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.

Silver is beaten into plates;
It is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman
And of the hands of the metalsmith;
Blue and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skillful men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation….

25 Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You ..”

Whether you realized it or not, the custom of dragging a dead tree in your home is establishing a wooden idol and participating in pagan practices. I have heard others preach you are even offering sacrifices/gifts to it when you kneel down and place them under the tree, unknowingly.

According to an article titled ‘All about the Christmas Tree: Pagan Origins, Christian Adaptation, and Secular Status’ on religioustolerance.org, “During the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans did decorate their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their god, Bacchus.”

In numerous passages, the LORD says to not adopt the traditions or customs of the pagan Gentiles. As believers in Jesus, or Yeshua, in His Hebrew original name, we are apart of Israel spiritually, regardless of your physical DNA, according to Scripture, a type of adopted Israelite (Galatians 3:26-29; Romans 11), no longer identified as a Gentile, but having been born-again, having crossed-over, which is what ‘Hebrew’ means, we are a new creation in Him…no longer a pagan Gentile. To learn more, read https://flipflopfellowship.com/2019/04/23/walk-like-an-egyptian/

  • “And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” Ezekiel 12:12 (NKJV)
  • “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. ” Ephesians 4:17-24

For me, in recent years, I avoid any resemblance of participating in the typical Christmas traditions like exchanging gifts, decorating trees, etc. for I now understand they violate God’s word, His call to be set-apart, and similar to Halloween, have pagan origins. But I welcome opportunities to spend time with family and friends such as sharing a meal similar to Thanksgiving around or on Christmas Day (unless exchanging of gifts will be present – pun intended). 😉 Even so, my parents still give me something for Christmas, but they would be highly offended if I refused to graciously receive them. So I have discerned for the sake of love, to pick and choose my battles. Being set-apart is designed to make you be a light to the world, not an explosive bomb, although it will most likely shake things up!

Being set-apart is designed to make you be a light to the world, not an explosive bomb, although it will most likely shake things up!

Furthermore, throughout the year, I celebrate God’s holy holidays prescribed in the Bible (see Leviticus 23, as one passage discussing them), since they are commanded, prophetic, and centered on our Messiah, Jesus/Yeshua. It is believed, but not proven, based off clues found in Scripture, Jesus may actually have been born during the ‘Feast of Tabernacles’, the final Fall feast known in Hebrew as ‘Sukkot’. It also is speculated for those same reasons, Jesus most likely was conceived during or near Hanukkah. In addition to God’s holy holidays, I also celebrate the tradition of Hanukkah since it meets the parameters discussed above, though that holiday is not commanded to celebrate like the others. However, even Jesus celebrated Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication (see John 10:22-23).

Keep in mind, coming to such observances was a long process of cooperating with the Spirit of Holiness dwelling within me for He specializes in removing the unholy and replacing it with holy, hence, God labeling His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. I respect your decision to celebrate Christmas even if you still choose to do so now knowing it’s pagan origins and what I believe are contradictions to God’s word. I hope you too can respect me as I choose to no longer celebrate Christmas.

To learn more about God’s holidays, Hanukkah, and my perspective regarding other holidays, click on the following links for various articles or videos I have published.

Holy Holidays: Why I Celebrate The Feasts of the LORD

Mom, Why Don’t You Say Happy Easter Anymore?

Halloween: Just Don’t Do It

Why I Am Celebrating Hanukkah

Regardless if you agree or disagree with my faith, I love you still.

Blessings & Shalom,

Carrie R. Tuner

12.8.19

Mom, Why Don’t You Say, ‘Happy Easter’ Anymore?

Earlier this afternoon on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:4-14; I Corinthians 15:20-23), the day Jesus was resurrected, which happens to correspond with Easter this year, my teenage son, who lives in Maryland with his dad, sent me a text, ‘Happy Easter’. I responded with, ‘Happy Firstfruits’. While lounging in the cockpit on the back of our sailboat enjoying the blue skies and fair winds here in Texas, it is then my son and I transitioned from texts to an important phone conversation.

“Mom, Why don’t you say, ‘Happy Easter’ anymore?”, my soon to be 15 year old inquired.

“I’m happy to explain it to you, Christian, if you really want to know. But I should forewarn you, it will probably not be what you want to hear.”

After all, what kid, teenager or not, doesn’t want an Easter basket full of candy and other free goodies, right?!

After asking my son, Christian, if he remembered learning about Emperor Constantine in 6th grade when we did cyber school that year, I went on to tell him what the school’s curriculum did not share with us…

How Easter & Sunday Became Doctrines In The Church

Although Christians have been persecuted since shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection, most of whom were Messianic Jews in the beginning, the Roman Emperor Constantine seemed to significantly alter church history – some for the better, but more for the worse.

  • 312 A.D.

In 312 A.D., Constantine experienced a vision of a cross in the sun, which he and his army interpreted as a vision pertaining to Jesus Christ. Up until then and even thereafter, Constantine had been a worshiper of various Roman gods, such as the Sun-god.

  • 313 A.D.

Most likely due to his vision, Constantine ended persecution of the Christians in 313 A.D. through the ‘Edict of Milan’. This act was the ‘for the better’, but below it gets far worse!

  • 321 A.D.

However, a few years later on March 7, 321 A.D., out of his love and worship for his false Sun-god, which the Roman people worshiped specifically on the 1st day of the week, as opposed to Jews and Christians that worshiped their God on the 7th day of the week, Constantine decided to order all businesses and activities, except certain agriculture, to cease on Sundays. Sunday, or ‘dies Solis’, the day of the Sun, was declared the Roman day of rest in honor of their Sun-god. In doing so, the Emperor’s motive was to unify the God of the Holy Scriptures with the pagan, Roman sun-god, by decreeing everyone worship and rest the same day.

“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles…”

Jeremiah 10:2 (NKJV)

  • 325 A.D.

57435711_2290198001254441_6314683402180100096_nA few years after creating a day of rest to honor the Roman sun-god, the Emperor Constantine along with the Roman Catholic Church, in 325 A.D. at the famous ‘Council of Nicaea’, discussed and decided on many theological issues. It was at this summit, doctrines such as the ‘Trinity’ were established as well as the erroneous and poisonous virus of Anti-Semitism still transmitted in churches today. In that meeting, the early church fathers along with the Emperor, decided ‘Easter’ should be celebrated rather than Passover, to purposely separate themselves from the Jews following ‘that evil way’, which happens to be the only way, according to Yahweh. Those attending this meeting, clearly, did not understand when Jesus said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’, He and His disciples were doing Passover (Luke 22) not Easter.

Historical records tells us Constantine wrote the following edict:

 “It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. By rejecting their custom, we establish and hand down to succeeding ages one which is more reasonable. …

“Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. … Let us with one accord walk therein, my much-honoured brethren, studiously avoiding all contact with that evil way. They boast that without their instructions we should be unable to commemorate the festival properly. This is the highest pitch of absurdity. For how can they entertain right views on any point who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them.”

“To sum up in few words: By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division.”

“And you shall not walk in the statues of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore, I abhor them…I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.”

Leviticus 20:23-24 (NKJV)

  • 365 A.D.

Many years later, the Council of Laodicea made decisions regarding what day is the Sabbath. Keep in mind the Romans were used to resting on Sunday in order to worship the Sun-god.  This was their proclamation about the Sabbath – notice the virus of Anti-Semitism continues to spread throughout the Roman Catholic Church in those days:

“Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ” (Council of Laodicea, 29th Canon).

You’ll notice in that statement the Council of Laodicea essentially acknowledges the Jews have the seventh-day Sabbath as the correct, God-appointed day of rest, but out of the Romans’ hardened, prejudiced heart, they decreed believers must work on the Sabbath while Sunday, the day already designated as a day of rest to honor their false sun-god was more appropriate. It was in this verdict, many Christians, out of fear of persecutions and being shunned, adhered to this changing of God’s law.

“When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way…”

Deuteronomy 12:29-31 (NKJV)

  • Early 400’s A.D.

Augustine, a theologian of that era, had this to say:

“The holy doctors of the church have decreed that all the glory of the Jewish Sabbath is transferred to it [Sunday]. Let us therefore keep the Lord’s Day as the ancients were commanded to do the Sabbath” (Robert Cox, Sabbath Laws and Sabbath Duties, 1853, p. 284).

If you are interested in many more alarming facts coming directly from the Roman Catholic Church regarding their decision to change the Sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day, click this link:

http://godssabbathtruth.com/catholicchurchchangedsabbathsunday.html

HappyPassoverIn regards to the term, ‘Easter’, this is the English translation of the fertility goddess known as ‘Ishtar’ in the Babylonian culture, or ‘Eastra’ in the Anglo-Saxon culture, or ‘Astarte’ in the Canaan culture, or ‘Inanna’ in the Sumerian culture, or as ‘Venus’ in the Roman culture, or ‘Aprhodite’ in the Greek culture. Regardless of which culture, fertility and sex was the heart of this goddess and sacrifices were made to her around Pesach / Passover.

In the Babylonian culture, the people would sacrifice infants and use the baby’s blood to dye eggs – hence, the tradition of Easter eggs! Still want to dye eggs with YOUR babies? I didn’t think so. (source: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/ancient-pagan-origins-easter-001571 and http://www.thinknot.net/easter.htm )

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;”

Ephesians 4:17-18 (NKJV)

In summary, I pray the truths I shared with my son, not coincidentally named Christian, will guide him as he and others continue their faith journey with God and circumnavigate His course.

As for me and my boat, we will serve the LORD.

yahways