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Christmas, a pagan holiday turned Christian practice?

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Christmas has been celebrated all over the world by Christians and other religions or faiths as a chance to spend more valuable time with families and friends.

It’s among the celebrated holidays in the world and businesses make a kill from it. Apart from promoting love and bringing souls to Christ, this holiday promotes consumerism; more purchases are made during this period.

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Indeed it is a big deal but was Jesus really born on December25?

Luke 3:123 records that; Jesus turned thirty on the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign.

According to the calculation of a Scythian monk, Dionysius Exiguus; the preceding Emperor before Tiberius, ruled for 43 years, therefore, placing his birth on the 28 year of Augustus reign. However, Augustus took power in 727 AUC (AbUrbe Condita)which places Jesus’ birth in 754 AUC.

However, his calculation has been termed as controversial and miscalculation as Luke1:5 places the birth of Jesus in the era of Herod’s ruling, who died in 750 AUC, four years before the year Exiguus placed his birth.

Some Christmas traditions are foreign to us Africans, from Christmas trees to Mistletoes.

Christmas Trees

How do you bring a live tree into your house or a fake one, and decorate it? Early Christians recruited pagans by associating Christmas with Saturnalia. Pagans and worshippers of the Asheira cult worshipped trees and brought them home to decorate. This practice was adopted by the church around the 4th century and painted with a Christian veneer.

The origin of the Mistletoe

It stems from the Greek mythology, a love triangle by the gods which ends in the death of one god, Balder. Druids use mistletoe poison to toxin their human sacrifice and thus “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later assimilation of Saturnalia.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus, known as Father Christmas in the earlier years stems from Nicholas, born in 270 CE in Papara, Turkey. A Bishop and a named saint in the 19 Century, Nicholas died in 345 CE on December 6. His importance emerges in 325 CE after he created the New Testament which portrayed Jews as evil and devils who sentenced Jesus to death.

A Nicholas cultic movement begins in Bari, Italy, after a female deity, PasquaEpiphania (The Grandmother) a boon giving deity supplanted by Nicholas who filled Children’s stockings with gifts.

Later, the Catholic Church adopted the Nicholas Cult and pens December 26 as the gift opening day. Santa Claus is the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas.

All these practices and incorporation of cultic tendencies and traditions by the Catholic Church were strongly opposed by the Puritans in the 17 Century. Puritans were English Protestants seeking to purify the Church of England from its Catholic practices. Puritans led to the formal rejection of Roman Catholics by the Church of England.

The basis of Christmas is based on the need for the Church, particularly The Catholic to save souls by metamorphosing the Pagan and Unchristian ways to Christian ways. There is nothing Christian about the basis of Christmas but sensing the need for Evangelism, the Church tried to incorporate communities, their backgrounds and beliefs.

The Bible has not placed an emphasis on the exact day of the birth of Jesus. However, calculations can be done from the Bible, the oldest Gospel being Mark, using the Hebrew Calendar, and the history regarding the reign of Augustus and Tiberius Caesar.

Christmas is enjoyed for various reasons such as gifts, delicacies, birth of Jesus, end of a year and Family.Based on your relationship with Him. He will reveal how you should celebrate Him. For what knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1Cor 2:11

Therefore He will reveal to you how to celebrate Him as He grants wisdom to whosoever asks Him. Merry Christmas.

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