How Pagan is Christmas?

Posted on November 28, 2011 by


Each year, one of the dilemmas we face at our church is how big of a deal to make over Christmas and Christmas decorations. While to the world at large, nothing would seem more natural than making “Jesus the reason for the season,” there are a good deal of Christians (who love Jesus very much) who would disagree with or even be offended by the celebration of the Christmas holiday (or, more specifically, certain traditions associated with the Christmas holiday) by a church.

Their objections to things like Christmas trees and other decorations come out of a fear that these trimmings may be morally suspect – that they may have pagan roots or be condemned outright by Scripture. Still others are deeply concerned with the gross materialism usually associated with Christmas and are afraid that their children will learn the wrong ideas or values from the holiday.

In How Pagan is Christmas? I want to seriously examine these concerns, examine the root of the holiday itself as well as its various traditions, and consider whether or not they have a place in our homes and in our churches. Far from telling you what your own family should think, believe, or practice, the goal of this blog series will be to inform and correct a good deal of the misinformation that is being circulated by Christians and secularists alike.

To do this, I want to approach the subject in three specific phases:

First, we will examine what the Bible says about holidays and whether or not we should celebrate them, whether or not we should teach others to celebrate them, and what the ultimate purpose of any holiday or holiday tradition should be.

Second, we will discuss what the Bible teaches about redeeming pagan elements when they exist in our culture and our traditions, and we’ll talk a little bit about some of the pagan traditions still practiced year-around that don’t seem to bother even the most conservative of individuals.

Last, and this will comprise the majority of the series, we’ll examine in depth the origins and meanings of some of our most beloved Christmas traditions (starting with the time and nature of Christmas itself) and what place those things have in our home.

My prayer and purpose for this blog series is that it would not divide the body, but rather that it would inform, educate, and unite. Please join me each Monday and Friday in the month of December as we seek to answer the question: How Pagan is Christmas?