When I say, “Have a Merry Gnostic Christmas,” I am not antiChrist, though I am often accused of being Scrooge. I use this phrase to denote the reality of the errors that have promoted this holiday almost from its inception in the 4th century.
It is a well accepted fact that pagans would not give up their holidays to accept Catholicism (not to be confused with true salvation by faith). The ingenious Catholics renamed their Yule holiday, a celebration of Saturnalia, to a Christ Mass in celebration of the birth of Jesus. The image of the mother and baby can trace its origins back through ancient mythologies to the Tower of Babel and Nimrod’s use of religion to strengthen his governmental reign over mankind before God intervened (my belief). Thus, very early in church history Christmas was an attempt to defuse Gnosticism with Christianity; however, the opposite occurred. Gnosticism infused Christianity with its errors becoming the foundational holiday of the lands that claimed to be of Christendom.
However, Christmas as we know it today actually came about in the 19th century through three works of literature that made this gnosticism palatable to modern man. The first of these works was the poem, “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore in 1822. This poem legitimized the figure of Santa Claus, a being who could “know” who was good and bad and leave gifts accordingly. This placed Santa as a god with omniscience. The purpose was to have children learn to live by works in order to receive goodness. Though his roots date back to a Catholic saint, Nicholas, this bland religiosity only served to legitimize his image in “Christian” countries.
The second major contribution was the novel by Charles Dickens published in 1843, “Christmas Carol“. This novel defined “good will toward men” as being a social responsibility and those who opposed this were ignorant and willfully cruel bordering on being undeserving of life. This helped to promote the Social Gospel which robbed the major Protestant denominations of the true Gospel of Salvation of souls. It promoted the Progressive movement in American politics and is the major emphasis toward a unified multinational governing body to help promote “peace on earth”. Christmas became the major holiday to promote the peace message at the expense of the true meaning of peace with God, salvation paid for by the death of His Son on the cross.
The third strike came near the turn of the 20th century when a girl named Virginia wrote a letter to her newspaper asking if there was a Santa Claus, The editor of the Sun replied, “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa!” This promoted the general acceptance of both the god of Christmas, Santa Claus, and the social message of Christmas, salvation through good works toward others. Though the moral majority of Americans continued to look at Jesus at Christmas, this weakened over time. In addition, with the rebellion of the general population of America against the forced teaching of Protestant faith and values in the public schools, Christmas became the focal point of this rebellion. Thus, each year there are battles over the symbols of Christmas with those claiming to be for Christ fighting to maintain these symbols of Gnosticism. Though their intentions are genuine, they are fighting a battle whose victory means the demise of their faith. Merry Gnostic Christmas!
Yet, the true meaning of Christmas is lost because it was rejected by mainly gentile churches. The Bible is clear on when John the Baptist was born and the relationship of his birth to the birth of Christ. These are well known, and ignored, facts contained in the Bible as detailed in this article, “When Was Jesus Born?” In truth, no Roman emperor would have ordered a mass travel of persons during the winter months in the ancient world, travel was too difficult and dangerous. This would have been expected in the Spring to Autumn months. According to this article, Jesus was born near or during the Jewish Festival of Booths. This festival (holiday) celebrated their sojourn in the wilderness where they were pilgrims and strangers without a country but looking for a country promised by God. Jesus was the quintessential pilgrim since as God He took on human form, walked with earth in submission to those He created to be killed by those who claimed to be His people i order to pay for the sins of all who will repent and seek His forgiveness (Jo 1:1-4, 9-13; He 1:8-12; 2:5-11).
The Festival of Booths is so important that though Israel forgot about them and refused to celebrate this holiday until the return of their exile from Babylon (Ne 8:17), God will require this annual festival during the period known as the Millennial Kingdom (Ze 14:16-19). Those who do not come will not receive the good blessings of God on their lands. Why? It is not only a reminder to everyone that our salvation is not about spending eternity here on this temporary world but about being with Him through all eternity in a universe totally devoid of our sin, the Promise that was first given to Abraham. While they died without receiving the Promise of the New Covenant (Je 31:31; He 11:39-40), we have that part of the Promise but await the redemption of our bodies to receive the fullness of His Promise (Ro 8:23).
Compare! What are the fruits of having a Merry Gnostic Christmas? Is it not the promotion of selfishness, covetousness of self over others with some drabs of benevolence given out to assuage the conscience? What is the result of celebrating His birth during the Festival of Booths? Recognizing that as He gave up for more that we will ever understand to be like us and die for us, we are strangers, pilgrims on this earth seeking to share His Grace with everyone we can so they can hear of the salvation that awaits them to heal them of their sin and its debilitating consequences. Yet, people who should know better rally around the tree defending Christmas because it’s a cultural holiday. Remember the Magi that came from Persia, ancient Babylon, to knee before Christ? They were the servants of the Gnosticism in their day recognizing that One greater than what they had was here. If the servants of Gnosticism can recognize this, why cannot God’s people recognize this?
Finally, Christ said that a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit. How can Christians expect the “bad tree of Gnosticism” to produce good fruit just because the sign has been changed? What was evil remains evil and changing the labels does not make it good, it only poisons the minds of our children and we wonder why they are leaving the churches in droves! It is because we have taught them that the sin of the world is good. They heard that message, they believed that message and now they are living that message to the endangerment of their souls. Have a Merry Gnostic Christmas!