Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas: Secular Holiday or Religious Holy Day?

People celebrate Christmas different ways. It is common for people to exchange gifts, spend time with family, and reflect upon the blessings that they have. Many people also attach a religious significance to the day, using it to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

How are Christians to treat this day? As a religious holy day? Just a secular holiday? Or should Christians avoid any sort of observance whatsoever? Let us notice what the Bible has to say.

Christmas as a secular holiday -- In Romans 14, Paul discusses matters of personal opinion (Romans 14:1). He uses two illustrations -- the eating of meats and the observing of days. Both of these were things that could be done while attaching some sort of religious significance to it (1 Corinthians 8:7; Galatians 4:10-11), but such was not inherent in the practice. One could eat meat or observe days without applying the religious meaning that others applied, and do so acceptably. Paul affirms that observing certain days falls into the category of personal liberty (Romans 14:5-6).

Christmas as a religious holy day -- Since Christmas is used to commemorate the birth of Christ, many believe that Christians would have to observe this day religiously. But matters of religious service differ from matters of liberty. We must have authority for all that we do in our service to God (Colossians 3:17). Where would we go for such authority in the Bible for the religious observance of Christmas? Jesus gave no instruction concerning this commemoration. The apostles also gave no instructions, either. There is no example of the early church practicing it. Plus, the Bible gives no indication that Jesus was born on, or even near, December 25th.

We cannot invent our own religious practices and still please God (Matthew 7:21-23; Colossians 2:23). If we want to observe Christmas as a secular holiday, fine. But let's not go beyond the liberty that God has given us.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


In our society, retirement is a common idea. Some employers offer retirement benefits to their employees, whether it be in the form of a pension or matching the employee's contribution to a retirement account. Retirement seems like a reasonable expectation for a lot of people.

Naturally, many people look forward to retirement. It is a time when one no longer has to devote a large part of their waking hours working in order to make a living. There is more time for rest, hobbies, and spending time with family.

While there is nothing wrong with retiring from a job, we must remember that retirement is not an option when it comes to our spiritual responsibilities. We can never “retire” from being Christians. We are told to “be faithful until death” (Revelation 2:10). The Hebrew writer warns us to not “come short” of the promised rest (Hebrews 4:1).

Let us never quit our service to God. Rather, “let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:11).

Monday, December 1, 2008

PBT - December 2008

The December issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:
  • The Growing Acceptance of Homosexuality by Andy Sochor
  • The Christian and Civil Government by Andy Sochor
  • Spirit of Faith by Andy Sochor
  • A People for God's Own Possession by Andy Sochor
You may read the new articles by clicking on the link below. I hope you may find the new material helpful to you.

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