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COMMUNITY VOICES: Is Christmas a pagan holiday?

Some say Christmas originated with paganism and claim it is a “pagan holiday.” I’d like to see if those who make these claims are consistent with such rational. To those who assume that celebrating Christmas has pagan origins, I’ll prove that those who celebrate it don’t associate Christmas with paganism.

The next time someone attempts to convince you that celebrating Christmas has pagan origins, use the following illustration to prove you are not associating Christmas with paganism:

Ask them: “Do you use a calendar?” Their answer would obviously be, “Yes.” Then ask: “Do you think it honors God for you to use or carry something like that?” They will probably wonder what you are talking about. Inform them of the following and say: “You have just criticized me because I celebrate the Savior’s birth since you associate Christmas with a pagan festival. But have you taken a close look at the calendar you use? Did you know the names for the days of the week come from pagan origins and mythology associated with the worship of gods and goddesses associated with the heavenly bodies (astrology) of our solar system?

“Sunday was named for the sun’s day; Monday for the moon’s day; Tuesday for Norse day, god of war; Wednesday, after the supreme diety Woden; Thursday for Thor (god of thunder); Friday for Venus (Frigga) the Scandinavian goddess of love and beauty; and Saturday for Saturn’s day (god of time). There is pagan origin in our calendar. However, we don’t refuse to acknowledge the days of the week or months of the year because the names of days and months have its origin in pagan rituals.”

Now that you have their attention, go a bit further and say, “And what about some of the months of the year on that calendar you use? January was named in honor of the Roman god Janus, who was the deity of the gates or doorway. He has two faces, looking in opposite directions; February for the Sabine festival of purification called februa; March for Mars the Roman god of war; April for the goddess Venus (known among the Greeks as the goddess Aphrodite); May for Maia, an Italian goddess; June for the Roman god Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the heavens and gods. July for Julius Caesar, noted Roman warrior and politician.

"Were you aware your calendar at home contains the names of these pagan deities, festivals and mythological figures? Do you really think it honors Jehovah God for you to own or use the calendar?"

They will probably answer, “Well, I don’t even think about those things when I use my calendar.” You then can answer, “You’ll have to now because I’ve just made you aware of it. Plus, I don’t associate Christmas with paganism either. So let me celebrate holidays I choose unto God (as Paul the Apostle tells me I am free to do so in Romans 14) and I won’t bother you about your pagan calendar.”

Some may choose to not celebrate Christmas for their erroneous conclusions in associating Christmas with paganism. However, they should refrain from criticizing others who choose to celebrate our Lord’s birth during Christmas time. I do not believe Christ was born on Dec. 25, yet it is a day many choose to remember the day the Savior entered the world. It is a day when God was manifested in the flesh, born of a virgin. Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us.

Celebrating Christmas is not celebrating paganism. Believers in Christ know the truth when we celebrate Christmas. It’s a time we celebrate the birth of the Messiah. To all, have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

You can follow me on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pastordavid.vivas

David Vivas Jr. is the pastor at World Harvest International Church in Delano.

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