Holidays...is it really that serious?

"Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." (Rom. 14:16-19)

Here's the situation. We have some believers out there that have problems with and even condemn other believers who take part in celebrating on secular holidays. Thus, this is written for clarity for those brethren who disagree so intensely, as well as edification for my brethren who are partakers as I am.

Let's jump right shall we. 

I am aware, and I hope other believers are aware as well, that some of the major holidays celebrated here in America had initial intentions and/or practices downright contrary to the Word of God. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween would be the main "perpetrator" holidays for us as Christians. There are other holidays that are not mentioned that also had initial intentions and/or practices contrary to the Word of God in which we partake in (i.e. Thanksgiving), and my goal is to speak and explain in a general way that covers those as well.

I'll start with saying that I understand the position of the brethren who disagree with participating on these holidays. Frankly speaking, these holidays are not biblically commanded or encouraged. Most of them are prior special pagan days or deities, and therefore it could very well be seen as sinful to participate. I can't argue with that. However, where my passionate brethren fall short, is exactly in their passion. Being too zealous can come real close to legalism. And yet, being too impassive can come real close to liberalism. In certain issues or cases, as long as there isn't blatant defiance of the Word of God, you have to allow room for grace. No, grace shouldn't be taken as a "get a free sin in" card that you can use anytime you need. Rather grace, which is always compliant with the Word of God, is God's undeserved mercy (forgiveness, kindness, compassion, and understanding) being poured into our lives as and where He sees fit. Now in this case, the holidays we celebrate, I believe God's grace is apparent because there isn't a defamation (an offense) of His character or commands (Mic. 6:8).

The fact that the origins of these holidays are contrary to God and His standards is duly noted and acknowledged. But we as believers, who celebrate on these holidays, are not celebrating or participating in the cause or practices of these holidays. Instead, we take a day that was initially for glorifying the enemy of God and turn it into a day where we glorify and bear witness to the world on behalf of our God. The Bible says, "…whatever you do, do all for the glory of God." (1Cor. 10:31), and, "…whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col. 3:17). This is exactly what we are doing with these holidays that were set-apart to promote and glorify someone or something else in opposition to Jesus Christ.

Tell me something, do you think God would be pleased or displeased to see His children take a secular (and even demonic) holiday and turn it into a day where we magnify Him, celebrate Him, and evangelize all for His glory? Is this not the same thing He did with Joseph? Did He not take what happened to Joseph that was meant for evil and use it for His good (Gen. 50:20)? Did He not do the same with the Israelites unbelief and use it to send salvation to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:11-32)? I mean come on, how clear is this. This is not something worth disputing over (2Tim. 2:23). It is not that serious! Yes, there may be some believers out there who do not use these holidays to glorify God, and so on. Ok, fine. Let's hold them accountable and then teach them how and why they should and should not participate in these holidays. But to condemn all or any of us who glorify God on these holidays is not biblical. We take something that was meant for the flesh, turn and use it for the glory of the Spirit. Accordingly then, we don't fall under this "grouping" for condemnation.

Christmas is a day now known for materialism and commercialism, but was once a day for a pagan god. We use it as a day to celebrate God given us His One and only Son, Jesus—the Savior. Yes, this is not the day Jesus was actually born, but that is beside the point. On December 25th, rather than play a part in the secular holiday and it's meaning, we celebrate and magnify the gift of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world.

Easter is a day now known for the Easter bunny and baskets, but was once known or made reference for another pagan god. We take and turn it into a week long commemoration for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some go as long as 40 days for the lent season.

Halloween is holiday now known for trick or treating, candy, costumes, etc, but it was originally a pagan holiday honoring the dead. Many believers may not be aware of an alternative for Halloween. For example, my extended family's church turned Halloween night into a Harvest Party/Festival. Instead of trick and treating, costumes, and such, we gather together (adults, teens, and children) for games, activities, music, food and fun. It's a Christ-like alternative for Halloween. And I would encourage all my brethren who participate in this holiday to do the same. Find an alternative for Halloween so that God is glorified and not the holiday or its present or past meaning. 

Oh, here's a touchy one for some, Sunday. Why do we worship on Sunday? And here's my answer. WHO CARES! So what if we choose to go to church on Sunday as the designated day for fellowship. Would it make a difference if we, let's say, chose Tuesday. No. It's just a day. Yes, the Bible says Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1-6). And yes, a whole lot of people say that's the reason why Sunday is the designated day for Christians to fellowship. So! Whether that's the reason or not, does it really matter? As long as Christ/the Word of God is being preached, God is being glorified, believers are being edified, and lost souls are being witnessed to, everything else (in regards to what we're discussing) is modifiable (flexible). I'll say this though, just because Sunday happens to be the "designated" day for Christians to fellowship does not mean we should forsake the Sabbath, as some do—I included. The least we can do is stop and seriously reflect on the fact that this "day" is the day God rested from creating "Creation"—that's us and everything else. While the Sabbath is a holy day, every day is a holy day and we should treat each day as such, not just Saturday or Sunday. And so, we should uphold the Sabbath (as according to Christ[1]) as every day until the Lord returns. Sunday is just the first day of the week, a day we gather collectively to fellowship, nothing more. Oh, and if Sunday is taken from a pagan day, as I've read and heard from people, we who fellowship on Sunday don't partake of it in its pagan meaning. We've turned Sunday into a day to fellowship and worship God collectively. Again, I don't see why He wouldn't be pleased with this either.

Now, there are some issues that cannot be avoided or explained away. It's either you accept it and do it or not. There is no compromise when it comes to certain pertinent things within the Faith. But the topic of holidays being celebrated is not one of them, particularly because we do not participate in them as they were originally.

I hope this helped. 

"Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." (Rom. 14:16-19)


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1. Scripture references: Matt. 12:1-12, Mk. 2:27; 3:1-4, Lk. 13:10-17, Jn. 7:18-24; 9:16, Heb. 4:1-10, Col. 2:11-23.


2007