Shavua Tov

Only six days until Shabbat!

  • Daniel Botkin

October 31st & December 25th

About 25 years ago the pastor of the congregation I attended preached a sermon telling Bible believers why they should not celebrate Halloween. Afterwards I told the pastor that it was an excellent sermon, and I commended him for taking a bold stand. Then, as respectfully and as lovingly as I could, I told him that all the good reasons he gave to urge Christians to shun Halloween were the very same reasons I shun Christmas.

If the pagan origin of Halloween traditions makes Halloween un-kosher for Christians, then should not the pagan origin of Christmas traditions make Christmas just as un-kosher as Halloween?

Why is it that so many conservative Christians are willing to shun Halloween because of its connection to pagan superstitions and idolatry, but are not willing to shun Christmas?

I believe the answer is two-fold. The first and most obvious reason is because Christmas is a much bigger and much more fun holiday than Halloween; it’s a bigger sacrifice to make.

The second reason is because Christians have known and practiced the Christmas traditions their entire lives. They are accustomed to keeping them. The traditions “feel right” because they are so familiar. But familiarity and warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia do not transform pagan superstitions into acts of worship that are pleasing to Yahweh. He made that very clear in Deuteronomy 12, where He specifically commands us to not offer Him worship which is patterned after the ways the nations worship their gods. The Israelites who bowed down to the golden calf claimed that they were worshipping Yahweh, not some other god. Yet Yahweh rejected their worship, because they were offering Him worship patterned after the ways the nations worshipped their gods.

I know that many Christians sincerely believe they are honoring the Lord by observing Christmas and its traditions. And I know that the Lord knows the intent of their hearts. I do not want to bash Christians who celebrate Christmas. What you do on December 25th – or on October 31st, for that matter – is between you and the Lord. But please look into the origins of the Christmas traditions. Any reliable encyclopedia should tell you about the pagan origins of the traditions, and even of the December 25th date.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God.” Study, and pray and ask the Lord what you should do with this information in light of the warnings in Deuteronomy 12 to not adopt pagan forms of worship for the worship of Yahweh. Next December is almost a year away, so you have almost a year to decide what to do.

| DB

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Image (Top): Christmas Morning by Daniel Botkin. Visit Daniel's art galleries on

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