A quick historical timeline concerning the rise, fall and rise of the Christ-mass.
First, it's important to note a few things:
- There is absolutely no biblical evidence that Paul or any of the apostles observed Jesus' birthday.
- There is also no record of any first-century follower of Christ who celebrated His birthday.
- There is no mention of Christmas until the 3rd century.
- Christmas never gained any popularity until the 4th century.
So, up until this 4th century, it was never celebrated by Christians. It was only celebrated by pagan druids.
It wasn't until the Roman Catholic Church made a blasphemous move and put a supposed birthdate of Christ to match the birthdate of a false pagan druid god. This was one of the first co-exist campaigns.
By the 7th century, Pope Gregory had ordered Augustine of Canterbury to incorporate all pagan practices into the expanding Roman Catholic Church.
In 1223, Saint Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in Italy. He wanted the emphasis of Christmas on worshiping Jesus, rather than on materialism and gift exchanges.
By the way: Putting a baby Jesus in a manger and calling it a nativity is just as blasphemous as putting a crucified Christ on a cross and calling it a crucifix. This is pure Romanistic idolatry!
- The manger is EMPTY!
- The cross is EMPTY!
- The tomb is EMPTY!
The Bible is VERY clear about making an image of Christ
Exodus 20:4-5 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Christians are not to make pictures or images of Christ. If you want to know Christ looks like, here's how:
The Glory of Christ is on display through His creation:
Psalm 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
Christ is the light of the world:
John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Christ is living water:
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Christ is the bread of life:
John 6:32-33 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
Christ is the Good Shepherd:
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Christ is the way, the truth and the life:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Christ is the image of the invisible God:
Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Christ is the author and finisher of our faith:
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Christ is our High Priest:
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Christ is the Lamb that was slain:
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Now back to the Christ-Mass: It had a Marti Gras style atmosphere, and this is why it gained a LOT of popularity. It was everything, but Christian. The blood-drenched celebrations got so out of hand, that the Christ-Mass was finally outlawed in England.
Oliver Cromwell and the puritans commanded that Christianity remain pure and separate from paganism. However, despite their efforts, the Christ-Mass celebrations went underground.
By 1656, the public demanded the legalization of the Christ-Mass.
When Charles II was appointed, he restored England’s monarchy and the celebration of the Christ-Mass.
The first settlers to the U.S. from England were mostly Puritans. They wanted religious freedom, without a hierarchy and corruption of the organized church. They came over with the knowledge of the danger of these pagan practices.
In 1659, following England’s lead, America had outlawed Christmas.
For 200 years, the clergy battled to keep the riotous celebrations honoring the pagan god Saturn from infiltrating the new world. Reverend Cotton Mather had warned against it in a Christmas day sermon in 1712.
But, the public’s taste for sin and revelry had persisted. In 1828 gang rioting during the Saturnalia-Christmas type celebrations got so bad that cities like NY were forced to issue a professional police force for the first time in order to control the savagery.
Christmas was not widely celebrated and in some places, it was outlawed. This was mainly because many of the churches regarded it a pagan celebration and a reproach to the Lord.
By the mid-19th century, American churches were the last remaining holdout in the war against the validation of Christmas.
However, they also succumbed because of the American Sunday School Society, who began advocating Christmas programs to children as a method of filling the pews. They argued that children could be taught about the birth of Christ through the re-enactment of the nativity. They also offered candy and treats to the kids to entice families to accept the holiday despite its notorious history and blatant pagan roots. This technique of bribing kids with candy would later be used to promote the acceptance of the pagan rituals of Halloween.
When Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in 1843 it cemented the Christmas holiday into the hearts and minds of American families forever. Dickens’ well-loved story made the pagan Christmas feasts of shiny trees and glittery shops and family warmth irresistible to those wanting to experience the holiday.
Coming to America in 1867 to promote his work, Charles Dickens packed theaters as he read his story to America. It stopped any final attempt to stop the evolution of Christmas.
By 1875, Oliver Cromwell's Puritan followers, and all conservative Christians, had been beaten.
By 1890 all American states had voted in Christmas as a legal holiday.
Author's Disclaimer: I am in no way calling any Christian who celebrates Christmas a pagan. I'm simply publishing researched historical facts concerning its inception, as well a publishing researched Bible verses concerning who Christ is and what we've been commanded as Christians to do or not do.