Book: Christmas: The Greatest Story Never Told

If we embrace the spirit of Christmas, what spirit are we embracing?

Just what is the Christmas spirit? Is it joyous? Is it jolly? Does it bring out the best in people, good will and peace? Let’s take an honest look at some rather familiar, albeit unpleasant, scenarios.

The Shopping, The Mall, and The Traffic

Every year, friends, family, and even casual acquaintances tell us how lucky we are that we don’t celebrate Christmas! They dread the shopping, and who can blame them? How many times have grown women all but get into a knock-down, drag-out fight over the last item on the shelf or racing to be first in line. People bark at the poor cashiers, make terrible scenes, and then get in their cars—angry! They drive off in a huff and straight into a traffic jam. If they can manage to keep their minds on the road instead of their fury, just maybe they’ll avoid one of the many accidents in the Christmas rush. But horns are blaring, vulgar gestures and inaudible rantings are shooting like arrows from one vehicle to another. Did you see “Peace on earth and mercy mild” here? We didn’t

In another sad commentary, how do many people pay for all these gifts they can’t afford, but by going into debt with their charge cards? Then, in addition to the debt, they pay high interest charges all year long. Others, who may already be in deep financial trouble even before the holidays, purchase gifts on charge cards, knowing they will soon file for bankruptcy. “Do not steal” Christ reminds us in Luke 12:20—the eighth commandment. Some people stoop, in desperation, to the out-and-out theft of toys for their children. Where is the Christmas Spirit in these acts?

Then there are the get-togethers and gift exchanges with people we just don’t like or get along with very well. We feel like hypocrites. That assessment is accurate. We can’t wait till the party’s over, even before it’s begun. Will certain family members be able to keep a civil tongue? After a few eggnogs or glasses of champagne, inhibitions fall and tongues start wagging. Family gatherings sometimes end in tears, or worse—there are always a few accounts of family fights while someone is in the process of carving the Christmas ham.

“This is a little extreme, don’t you think? We don’t have drunkenness or fights, much less murder in our house,” you say indignantly! No? Are you sure? How many people unknowingly murder at Christmas? It is true, as Hebrews 9:28 and 10:10 clearly show, that Christ died once for all, so that we could be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). But how, then, can you participate in such sinful practices, works of the flesh, and idolatry and not “spiritually” murder Christ? Is it not ironic to celebrate his birth by requiring his death?

Picture this: A person enters a hospital nursery and sings “Happy Birthday” to a newborn baby, then proceeds to thrust a knife into the helpless and innocent child. The world would be aghast and outraged! Those same people who could not tolerate such obvious evil, don’t put much thought into their own holiday plans—whether they are pure and godly or not! The Christmas party at work is often a miserable example of sleazy conduct: drunkenness, even leading to sexual immorality. Is this the Christmas spirit?

A boyfriend or girlfriend tries to figure out the perfect gift and decides on Christmas Eve in a hotel room for an exciting night of fornication. Is this the Christmas Spirit? We once knew a man who said he was ready to break up with his girlfriend, but he sure wouldn’t do it before Christmas! Was it because he didn’t want to ruin her holidays? NO—not really! He wanted the beautiful pair of snow skis she had bought him for Christmas. He wanted to get the skis first—before he dropped her! Now there’s the Christmas Spirit!

These are but a few of the unfortunate but not so uncommon examples of hypocrisy, stealing, drunkenness, wicked plans, adultery, fornication, party-spirit, unbridled tongue and yes, murder. As Hebrews 6:4-6 reads, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened ... And who have tasted the good Word of God... if they have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing that they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves, and are publicly holding Him in contempt.” Murder is not so uncommon after all; our sins are the nails which crucified our Lord, Jesus Christ!

If Christ is really the center and purpose of the holiday season, then surely the Christmas spirit should be evident in the tithes and offerings to the various churches. People should feel such gratitude for the gift of Christ, that they want to give something back by supporting their “house of worship.” Sadly though, churches of all denominations suffer great financial hardship during the Christmas season. It is the time when people give the least. Financially strapped from fulfilling all their holiday dreams, the Christmas Spirit is reflected in that most churches are financially abandoned, like a fatherless child. “I have no gift to bring, ba rum pa ta tum....”

“But, lots of people give money, food, clothing and toys to poor families so that they may also experience the joy of Christmas. This is certainly following the words of Christ in Matthew 25:35-40, which state that when you feed and clothe and otherwise care for the least of the brethren, it is as though you did these things for Christ.” This time you’re sure you’ve won the argument for keeping Christmas! Well, of course, some good will come from feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. But, it’s too bad people don’t continue the charity all year.

Let’s closely examine what really happens. At Christmas time, people get a little nervous and feel a lot of guilt about things like giving to charity and going to church faithfully. —Well okay, Christmas and Easter. They then decide to make up for the whole year, so that they “look good” before God and men. Do good! Be recognized! Feel good about yourself! That’s the ticket! Good deeds are seldom anonymous. That “Christmas charity” is in the paper, on the television and radio news, with stories and pictures of glowing philanthropists basking in the praise they receive (plus the tax deduction). Is this what Christ meant? For the purpose of self-examination and furthering your spiritual growth, try doing a good deed for someone and then don’t tell a single soul! You may find yourself embarrassed if it’s a difficult secret to keep. The Holy Spirit of God works quite differently than the Christmas spirit of this world.

Let’s read Matthew 6:1-4,

“Beware that you do not bestow your alms (charitable deeds) in the sight of men in order to be seen by them: otherwise you have no reward with your Father Who is in heaven. Therefore, when you give your alms, do not sound the trumpet before you (telling everyone of the wonderful things you’ve done!), as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may have glory from men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give your alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret shall Himself reward you openly.”

The words of Christ are plain enough! If you can’t resist declaring your own charitable deed, then you are guilty of soliciting vain glory! Your priority and your purpose is self-serving. When you are given a benevolent opportunity, why should you desire recognition? Instead of seeking praise from others, we should be praising God for inspiring us and giving us the ability to serve another human being.

The examples of the Christmas spirit in this section reveal the lack of Christ-like attitudes and actions. Instead, they reveal the spirit of carnality. “Christmas is the joy of giving,” cleverly disguises Satan’s attempt to have us exalt ourselves—rather than look to Christ’s example of humble generosity.

Satan’s Deliberate Deceit

Satan could never deceive the world with customs that contained obvious evils. Christmas is therefore filled with seemingly wonderful and exciting customs. In this way Satan is transformed into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14). Satan is entirely dedicated to the effort of deceiving the very elect (Matthew 24:24). Few people are suspicious of a holiday which bears the name of Christ. Neither do most people seem to notice Satan’s success in depicting Christ as either a helpless little baby or dead (hopeless) on a cross. He does not want our focus to be on an Almighty Savior who is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16) and Who is “alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18).

This is not the Christ the world pictures. Notice: “The assimilation of Christ into the sun god, as sun of righteousness, was widespread in the fourth century and was furthered by Constantine’s legislation on Sunday, which is not unrelated to the fact that the sun god was the tutelar [guardian /protector] divinity of his family” (A History of The Christian Church: Revised - Walker, Section 13 pages 154-155). However, in this so-called modem age, the Babylonian Mystery Religion is forgotten history and is one of Satan’s best kept secrets. His intent is to keep mankind from having an eternal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. “And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is deceiving the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). So good is this deception that it is certain that many missionaries attempting to do a noble work would be shocked to realize they did not bring Christianity to the world, but instead they have affixed Christ’s name on the superstitions of the Babylonian Mystery Religion.