A couple of years ago on December 10, 2011, we did this post in response to the quandary that some have over Christmas. We’d like to re-post it again with some minor adjstments. May the Lord guide you into all truth.
Note: This post is addressed to Seventh day Adventists and Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. If you are not a member, the references made will most likely be confusing to you. Additionally, those who believe that we should not take part in the celebration or season of Christmas, cannot be blamed for their stance. If your conviction is that no Christmas celebrating should be had, I feel the Lord will certainly hold you blameless.
The whole Christmas season has been so commercialized, to the point that the vast majority around the world, find in it a reason for carnal celebrations. Most definitely leaving out the namesake–CHRISTmas. No wonder many Christians cannot in good conscience take part in this vast heathen experience!
This subject is indeed a very controversial subject among many in Christendom. After earnest prayer and very careful study I would like to shed the light that I have been given on this subject.
What I am going to translate into this post, in the following story, is the combining of Scripture, S.O.P (Spirit of Prophecy) and Shepherd’s Rod teachings on “Christmas”. So we may see a more encompassing ”big picture” of this important subject. This post is compiled with the vision of the Lord’s Glory and honor utmost in mind.
We can never believe God gives His prophets or in this case prophetess light (truth) in which to guide the people, and then later another prophet comes and contradicts such light, teaching something totally opposite of what a prior prophetess of God has written in their inspired writings. Confusion would be the obvious result if such were the case. Instead of such confusion, can it be that Ellen White and Victor Houteff **, God’s last two prophets, together do indeed , shine light on a “honoring” Christmas, in a clear and understanding way?
Let us look at the story of the “Smith family”. This is a story of how they “celebrate” Christmas. Before we look at it, let us look at two scripture verses to keep in mind as you read their story.
1) (Mark 9:40) “For he who is not against us, is for us” Ask yourself after hearing the Smith Family story, are they against Christ during this season, or for Him?”
2)(1 Samuel 16:7) “..The Lord judges the heart.” Is the Smith Family wrong in their heart to completely “turn around” the heathen customs, and bring GLORY and HONOR to our Lord?
It is the day after thanksgiving, the famous “black Friday”. The heathens around the world are busy buying their gifts, most NEVER even dwelling on the “Christ” in Christmas. The Smiths are also out buying, however they are looking for nativity sets. You see they, as always, put up a nativity set in place of a Christmas tree. Their two small children love to help put up the display, remembering afresh, just what “Christmas” is all about–The Lord Jesus Christ.
Their buying also includes gifts for their KIDS ONLY. For they are well aware of God’s last prophet’s word about “gift exchanging”. (Christ’s Greetings-tract 13). They are not exchanging, only “giving” to their own kids. They will take no part in reveling with the heathen or exchanging gifts.
During the season, they have lights around the nativity set, among the small presents. They frequently play “Christmas music” but it is all about Christ. Songs such as Jesus Is King, Ring Christmas Bells, The First Noel, O Holy Night, O Come All Ye faithful, Joy To The World, etc. They shun the “Santa” songs and other heathen songs.
They are ever mindful that although Mr. and Mrs. Smith would not by themselves celebrate “Christmas”, it is for their kids sake, they have this Christmas. Raising them to feel even closer to our Lord during this season. They have remembered God’s word (Prov.22:6) “Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he shall not depart from it”. They also remember how Ellen White said glory and honor can be given Christ for Christmas.
On Christmas morning, they gather around the nativity scene, with the holy music playing, the kids open the presents. After, the parents read the story of Christ’s birth from the book of Luke. The young ones listen attentively as their young minds imagine the baby Jesus story. Then they sing together Christmas songs.
So we can see from the above, that the Smiths have found a way to bring glory to our Lord, despite the heathen customs. While it is true that Decemebr 25th, most likely is not Christ’s birthday, they know that it is before them, and as such, an opportunity to bring honor and glory to our Lord. Their kids could very well be scarred, being left out of this season, instead they can win all around.
Now, after seeing and understanding this, who among us will be the first to throw a stone at the Smiths? No, we must say all honor and praise to You, our most wonderful and powerful Lord- Jesus Christ. We are FOR you , not against you. May we be a good example in this Christmas season to all the heathen around us.
Questions and answers:
1) Why shouldn’t we have Christmas tree’s?
We are told in many inspired writings not to partake in heathen customs and practices. The tree for Christmas nowadays, is certainly symbolic of a heathen type of Christmas. Additionally ,(Jer. 10:1-5) clearly says that decorating a tree is a heathen custom. It is ALWAYS safer to be on the side of caution, than presumption. Personally speaking, I feel that the substituting a nativity set for a tree is a real home run, spiritually speaking.
2) What about going to church on Christmas?
If you are led by the Holy Spirit to go and praise Him among others, then by all means go. Again, this is each one’s own decision. It’s all about honoring Him. As Ellen White said, “Will He not be pleased if we show that we have not forgotten Him? Jesus, the Prince of Life, gave all to bring salvation within our reach. . . . He suffered even unto death, that He might give us eternal life.” (Below link, page 5)
3) What about the brothers and sisters sending out warnings against celebrating Christmas?
They CANNOT be faulted for this. Their motive most likely is one of warning the people not to DO as the heathen are doing all around, with all their customs. This post provides an additional perspective for those who choose to decide to honor and glorify our Lord during this season.
4) What about Christmas lights on the home and yard?
Again, this has symbolically become a symbol of the “heathen” Christmas. It should be avoided.
5) What about brother Houteff’s warning message to us on “Christmas observance?”
In “Christ’s greetings” book (tract 13) I find no direct warning AGAINST Christmas observance, only the “involvement” of it (the heathen type). Mr. Houteff explains “…The fact that Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to gratification of the carnal heart. Consequently, “altogether -Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth. “
Here is the clear message, that because those that celebrate Christmas, leaving out ‘honor of the Saviour’ are practicing carnal gratification, THIS type of Christmas must not be participated in. If we PUT IN the honor of our Saviour during this season, our LORD can be glorified and honored. The “exchanging” of gifts is to be avoided. He says “..The Lord’s servants will invariably shun the exchanging of Christmas gifts.”
6) We have read that Ellen White has written many things about how Christmas can be kept, per the White Estate references http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/christmas.html#To Glorify God, Not Man. Yet, Victor Houteff seems to say –stay away from it. How do you reconcile these contradictions?
Perhaps the best way is to read again the “Smith story”. I believe if Christmas is celebrated as shown by them, it does indeed honor and bring glory to our Lord. And keeping the true intentions of the Lord’s message through His prophets. In (1 Cor.10:31) we read “..whatsoever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.” Christmas certainly can be included in “all”.
7) What kind of gifts should we give our children?
Ellen White suggests practical and beneficial gifts, such as God centered books. She also says, ” Our children have been educated to expect gifts from parents and friends upon Christmas. Christmas is celebrated to commemorate Christ’s birth. If we celebrate it only in seeking to give pleasure to our children and one another, our offerings are diverted from the true object. We should bring our thank offerings to the Lord, laying our gifts at the feet of Him who has opened the treasures of heaven to us.
While we can give some Christ centered gifts to the young ones as their “presents”, we should encourage them to make birthday gifts for Jesus. They can do a painting, make a poem, make their own small nativity set or whatever their imaginations can stir up. The main thing is that they “made it” themselves.
Ellen White explains, “Parents should keep these things before their children and instruct them, line upon line, precept upon precept, in their obligation to God–not their obligation to each other, to honor and glorify one another by gifts and offerings. But they should be taught that Jesus is the world’s Redeemer, the object of thought, of painstaking effort; that His work is the grand theme which should engage their attention; that they should bring to Him their gifts and offerings. Thus did the wise men and the shepherds.” (Above link, page 2)
Once again we know as adult Christians, this Christmas observance is strictly for the young kids. If we participate in this season we can do as the prophetess said –
“Turn the Current Heavenward”
In closing, may we ever bring to the heathen our good example of being Christ’s representatives, in all things, even in Christmas observance.
In Christ, Rob
** For those of you who are not aware of who Victor Houteff was, see our post “Has Elijah Come?” and “Who was Victor T. Houteff ?” under the heading–Elijah.