What's the Reason for the Season?

By Frank Brown


s this upcoming holiday that the world goes nuts over, really the Savior's birthday? And is New Year's day really the first day of a new year? If the answer to these two questions is "no," then why do we do it? And why are there so many non-religious folks, people of other faiths, and even out-and-out atheists, who take part? If there is one holiday that the entire world seems to agree on, it is Christmas-New Year's. Even in Japan, with only a smattering of Christians, this holiday called Christmas has taken the country by storm. Why? And whose birthday is it, really?

For one thing, as Bill Clinton's spin meisters turned into a campaign slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" More and more our (and the world's) economy is geared to the boost that Christmas shopping gives to it. Each year, it is interesting to see the merchants come out earlier and earlier with their X-mas ads for their mostly useless offerings. Weary shoppers barely get their credit cards paid off from the year before (at interest rates that go beyond usurious, bordering on robbery), when it is time to do it all over again. The sad thing is, millions upon millions of citizens (sheep) go through this annual ritual, thinking they "have to," and that it would be sacrilege not to "shop (and spend) 'til they drop."

I have read that from one-third to one-half of many merchants' entire yearly sales, and a huge portion of their annual profits, come during this season every year. Without this buying frenzy, many merchants would go broke. In my opinion, it would be better for them to go broke rather than their customers.

So the partial answer to our third question (why do they do it?) is the hype put out by the merchants. And of course, the churches fall in line with their cantatas, "living Christmas trees," etc. Even the government schools, which normally won't let you carry a Bible inside, get right into the act, too.

There is a party atmosphere, a "time to let your hair down" sense in the air. Office parties are notorious for their drinking and extra-marital sexual activities. Licentiousness is rife everywhere. Here it is, supposed to be a solemn recognition of the birth of the Savior of the world, and the world makes it "party time." The emphasis is on getting, not giving.

This loose, party atmosphere (which I firmly believe comes from demonic spirits) gives us the answer to our fourth question (why do non-Christians get so involved?). Everyone loves to party! And now is the time! So, why not? After all, “tis the season to be jolly! Ho, ho, ho!”

Now, back to the first two questions. Is the 25th really the Savior's birthday, and is New Year's Day really the first day of the new year? No, in both cases. December 25-New Year's has long been associated with paganism, and most church leaders cheerfully admit it. It has nothing to do with the Biblical accounts of Yahshua's birth. He was not born on or anywhere near December 25. Alexander Hislop's book, The Two Babylons, reveals that this festival and the rites associated with it, the tree, the decorations, giving of gifts, licentiousness, etc., date back to the days just after the flood, and Noah's great-grandson, Nimrod. His mother-wife, Semiramis (also known as Ishtar (Easter), and later known as the "Queen of heaven") became pregnant on March 25 (the original Easter day), and gave birth to Tammuz on December 25, exactly 9 months later.

He became associated with Sun worship, and the winter solstice. As you know, just after the solstice (now Dec 21 or 22), the sun begins its annual trek back from its southernmost position to the northern climes. The ancient pagans, especially in the cold, dark, northern parts of Scandinavia devised bonfire ceremonies in hopes of coaxing the sun to return from the south. And, sure enough! It worked. The sun came back, only to repeat this procedure every year.

The Encylopedia Britannica, 14th edition, vol. 5, has a write-up that exposes the pagan roots of this holiday, as do most modern Encyclopedias. "The Two Babylons," by Alexander Hislop, traces its history back to the beginning, and "Four Thousand Years of Christmas," proves that a similar festival was being observed with the same customs as today, but with different names in different countries, for two thousand years BEFORE the birth of our Savior.

New Years day has a similar history. The real new year begins in the spring, around the time of the Vernal Equinox. It is a time of new life springing forth. Plants are budding out, animals are giving birth, trees are sprouting leaves. Even in paganism, Springtime was when they began their new year. At one time, March 25 was New Years day in the Roman Empire. But it got pushed back into the dead of winter. Well, what does our Creator think of all this?

In Exodus 12 Yahweh instructed Moses as follows:

(Exo 12:1-2 KJV)  "And Yahweh spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, {2} This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you."

Can we know what time of year this was? Yes, we know it was in the springtime. Notice in Exodus 9:

(Exo 9:31-32 KJV)  "And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. {32} But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up." Barley ripens in early springtime, about 6 or 7 weeks ahead of wheat.

Man has changed laws, times, and customs to suit his own agenda over the years. The Biblical instructions have been ignored. Let's now look at some other relevant Scriptures:

(Deu 12:30-31 KJV)  "Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. {31} Thou shalt not do so unto Yahweh thy Elohim: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods."

 We are warned plainly not to attempt to worship Yahweh by using trappings, customs, and rituals that have come down from heathenism. Yet we do it every year anyway, fully aware of their origins. We are warned again, in Jeremiah 10 this time:

(Jer 10:2-3 KJV)  "Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. {3} For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax."

No, this is probably not specifically referring to a Christmas tree, but the Bible is full of references to tree-worship and idolatry involving trees. It had then, as now, become a tradition. What did Yahshua our Savior say about tradition?

(Mark 7:6-9 KJV)  "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. {7} Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. {8} For laying aside the commandment of Yahweh, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. {9} And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of YHWH, that ye may keep your own tradition."

What about it? Is the custom of setting up a Christmas tree idolatry? Is "Santa Claus" an idol? If these things are NOT idols, then what IS an idol? Anything that comes between you and your Creator is an idol. Is there a doubt in your mind that trees and Santas get more attention at Christmas time than either Yahweh or His Son, Yahshua the Messiah?

Decorating evergreen trees and placing them in our homes, expecting "Santa Claus" to pack it with goodies, is pagan idolatry, plain and simple. The emphasis is all on getting something for nothing from a mythical being, while the Savior of the world, whose celebration it is supposed to be, is almost totally forgotten. But that's the way of the world. That's to be expected.

The important thing is, you don't have to be a part of it any longer.  You can separate yourself from this unrighteous custom of the pagans. You can and should "Come out of her, My people," that ye be not partakers of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4)

What does that mean? It means that we are being told to come out of the darkness that has enveloped this world for 6,000 years, into the light of Yahweh's truth. He said "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Free from what? Sin, and its penalty, which is death.

Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of YHWH is eternal life through Yahshua the Messiah our Lord.

Yes, I know walking a different road makes you stand out, sometimes being subjected to ridicule from family and friends. But if we fear rejection by other people, or at the least having them think you are "odd," more than we fear eternal death, then we do have a problem. See Hebrews 10:27-31.

The first thing we must do before we can repent of our past evils, including this seasonal idol worship, is to know just what sin is. Do you know? Can you turn to a Scripture that says, simply, "…sin is…" and then goes on to tell you?

Here is one: 1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. Does this mean that law-keeping will save us? No, not at all! But that is the first step in learning to love our Creator. We cannot please Him unless we are keeping His Commandments - all ten of them! That is how we express our love for Him and for our fellow-man.

1John3:22-24 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those

Isn't that surprising? And in the New Testament, too. But don't the Sunday preachers and pastors all teach that the Law is either “done away" or changed? Don't they say we are "free from the law," instead of "free from the penalty of the law?" Don't they call law-keeping "legalism?" Yes they do, but the Bible does not support them. I would rather be legal than illegal, especially in Yahweh's eyes.

things that are pleasing in his sight.(23) And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Yahshua the Messiah, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.(24) And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

This barely scratches the surface, but maybe it will give you enough to start a little research of your own, if you have the desire. If you would like more information on this subject, let us know. <>