Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Truth About The Birth of Christ

By Wes Garland


    Today, a lot of people in the world are celebrating the day called “Christmas”. The real question that I have is are these people correct in celebrating such a religious holiday? Is this something that a Christian can take part in and be pleasing in the sight of God? Is everything in the “Christmas story” correct? In this article, I will address these questions that need our attention.

    Let’s begin with the questions about people being correct in observing this also can a Christian take part in the observance of this Christmas “RELIGIOUS” holiday? The first thing that I want to look at is the concept that if the majority of the world is observing it, does it make it right or wrong? The answer is simply NO. The Bible is very clear to the point that the majority of individuals are going down the road that is the broad and wide road that is leading to destruction (Mat. 7:13-14). So with that being said, the majority does not determine right and wrong. But what about a Christian observing this day as a RELIGIOUS holiday? As Christians, we are told that we are to have authority for everything we do in religion (Col. 3:17). It is looking to Jesus, our Head, King, and Master for guidance in what we should and should not be involved in. When you look into the scriptures, we see that there is no command, nor mentioning of “Christmas” or observing a day celebrating the birth of Christ. For this very reason, we CANNOT SAY that we have scriptural authority to celebrate this day regarding the birth of Christ. If God wanted us to observe such a day, He would have stated it, which He did not.

    Now, let’s take a look at that question, “is everything in the “Christmas story” correct”. Usually, you read about the “nativity” and you will hear that Jesus was born on December 25 and that there were 3 wise men that came bringing gifts to the manger of Christ. What if I told you that none of this is true? Did you know that we can have a general idea of when Jesus was born and it all revolves around Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father? We know that John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, was 6 months older than Jesus (Lk. 1:26). We also know that Zacharias was a priest who served during the division of Abijah (Lk. 1:5-8). Now the priests served on a circuit or rotation according to their division and his was according to the division of Abijah. With this knowledge, we also know that they served twice a year and so if you take the circuit and see when Abijah was in place, and then add 6 months after that, you will notice that this would place the birth of Christ either in early spring or early fall. But we know from other things, like the shepherds living out in the field with their sheep (Lk. 2:8), that this was not in the dead of winter. So it is very clear that we are NOT talking about December 25th.

    Another thing that we need to look at is the wise men at the birth of Christ. What if I was to tell you that the wise men were never at the manger of Christ? And exactly how many wise men were there? We see in Matthew 2, the account of the wise men and see when they came to Jesus THEY CAME INTO THE HOUSE (Mat. 2:11). When you are talking about the timing of their coming, Herod killed all the baby boys from the AGE OF 2 and under ACCORDING TO THE TIME WHICH HE HAD DETERMINED FROM THE WISE MEN (Mat. 2:16). It is seen that Jesus was PROBABLY ABOUT 2 YEARS OLD when the wise men came and offered their gifts. And the Bible NEVER MENTIONS that there were 3 wise men. It only states that 3 gifts were brought, but the world wants to say that there were 3 wise men. We don’t know exactly how many there were.

    So what is a Christian’s response needing to be concerning celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday? We have no authority! But WE CAN observe this day as a secular holiday to be with family and to exchange gifts, just like any other secular “non-religious” holiday. We just have to be careful that we don’t do things that are against the will of Christ and do those things that we have no authority for.

- Wesley Garland preaches for Warners Chapel church of Christ in Clemmons, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://warnerschapelchurchofchrist.org/

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