The Bitter Truth

By Pari L. Hoxha

The facts in this article may seem strange at first, and for some even unacceptable. Thatís how this bitter truth seemed to me when I first heard them about a year ago when I joined The People of Truth. However, it is indisputable that many "Christian" celebrations are not biblical, including Christmas.

Santa Claus is the protagonist in the celebration of Christmas. He enters through the chimney to bring presents to the children, who love him and trust in him, but the Bible says "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." (John 10:1)

Somebody might ask, "How can Santa be a thief when he brings us presents?" At yearís end, all of our attention must be directed at our Lord Jesus for everything that he had done for us during the year. We should be thankful to him and give him praise at this time, but, all of the sudden, this "kindly old man" appears on the scene dressed in red, with the "ability" to know the hearts of children, and takes all of their attention and thankfulness for the year away.

In reality, it is Jesus whose clothes are red with blood (Revelation 19:13), and who really is the Ancient of days (Daniel 7:9). It is He who gives gifts to men (Eph. 4:8) and who sees into peopleís hearts (Psa. 139:1-4). The Lord, our real shepherd, stands at the gate and, as the Bible says in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

The Christmas Tree, which is no more than a piece of wood, has a very prominent position in most homes and churches during the celebration of Christmas. The bitter truth regarding the tree is not hard to understand. The Bible says in Jeremiah 10:2-4, "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

The origin of the Christmas tree is traced back to the old pagan tribes of Germany. It was thought that evil spirits killed the trees in Winter. The trees that survived were considered magical. Being, as Jeremiah said, "Dismayed with the signs of the heavens," they brought the evergreen trees into their houses to drive away the evil spirits. For the same reason, they made wreaths to put on the doors. It is better for us, as Christians, to heed the words of Jeremiah 10:2-4, and not learn the ways of the heathen.

Being a Christian, as Jesus said, is not supposed to be easy. Maybe itís more like swimming upstream. The celebration of Christmas is very popular, even among non-believers. We must not be compromised any longer, accepting the lies foisted upon us by church leaders who adopted the traditions of the pagans which they were attempting to evangelize. (Jer. 16:19)

The council in Acts 15 concluded that there were but four fundamental requirements for Gentile Christians. One, in particular, says that we are to "abstain from the pollution of idols." We must not make any compromises between paganism and Christianity, polluting the truth with idolatry.

It is time for us to repent, and turn ourselves from our idols; and turn away our faces from all our abominations ... that we may go no more astray from God, but that we may be His people, and He may be our God. (Ezek. 14:6,11)