Is It Incorrect to Celebrate Religious Days Like Christmas and Easter?

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I extremely considerably think Scripture ought to be that which shapes and informs our doctrines and practices. I do not think Christians ought to build new doctrines or practices that we do not locate in the New Testament. With that in thoughts, I would like to share with you why I think Christians can observe man-produced religious days (like Christmas or Easter) without having violating these principles.

Purim and Hanukkah

In the book of Esther, the Jews developed a vacation, “Purim,” to commemorate getting saved from a genocide at the hands of the Persians. Esther 9:27-28 says,

The Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without having fail they would hold these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed each and every year, that these days ought to be remembered and kept all through each and every generation, in each and every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim ought to in no way fall into disuse amongst the Jews, nor ought to the commemoration of these days cease amongst their descendants.

God had commanded the Jewish people today to hold numerous feasts (e.g. Passover) in the Torah and Purim was not one particular of these days. On the other hand, there was apparently no assumption on their element that the prescribed list of biblical feasts ought to hold them from generating further holidays. So, if all Scripture is supposed to be for our finding out (Romans 15:four two Timothy three:16-17), cannot we conclude from Esther 9 that it is acceptable for God’s people today to build particular days of celebration to honor God?

Yet another instance of God’s people today generating further holidays occurred throughout the so-named “intertestamental period” (the period involving Malachi and Matthew). The “Feast of Dedication” (or “Hanukkah”) was developed as an annual celebration commemorating Judah Maccabee and his Jewish forces retaking the temple and rededicating it to God soon after it had been defiled by the Greeks.

Neither Jesus nor the apostle John appears to take challenge with observing a feast that was not authorized by the Law of Moses. In John 10:22-23 it is recorded, “At that time the Feast of Dedication took spot at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.” Jesus was spending time in the temple presumably, like his Jewish brethren, commemorating its rededication to God.

The creation and observance of these holidays are recorded by the biblical authors in good strategies. Absolutely nothing unfavorable is stated about them whatsoever.

Traditions of Males

Some could ask no matter whether or not Jesus’ words about “traditions” have any bearing on this discussion. Right after all, Jesus did say to the scribes and Pharisees, “for the sake of your tradition you have produced void the word of God” (Matthew 15:six). But was Jesus condemning any sort of man-produced religious traditions?

If Jesus was condemning all traditions, then my tradition of meeting for Bible study on Wednesday evenings, supplying an invitation at the finish of my sermons, or placing cash in the collection plate soon after the Lord’s Supper would all be incorrect, as these are all man-produced traditions. But Jesus clearly wasn’t condemning all traditions of males. He was condemning breaking the commandments of God in order to hold the commandments of God. If we prioritize man-produced traditions more than the clear and explicit teachings of Scripture, then we are sinning.

Consequently, maintaining man-produced holidays could absolutely be sinful if, in order to hold them, we violated the commandments of God.

In Honor of the Lord

Most importantly, in Romans 14, Paul particularly taught the Roman church to let their brethren to observe particular days “in honor of the Lord” (vs. six) without having judging or despising them (vs. 10). Of course, the other side of Paul’s argument is that if somebody abstains from observing a particular day, as extended as he “abstains in honor of the Lord,” he ought to not be judged or despised for abstaining.

It is critical to notice that Paul is intentionally common and not distinct in his guidelines about the observance of which particular days. Consequently, we will have to not limit the application of this passage to Jewish observances (Sabbath, Passover, and so forth.) or other initially-century challenges. The only qualifier Paul provides is that the observance will have to be “in honor of the Lord.” If a Christian observes a day “in honor of the Lord,” then it is not any other Christian’s spot to judge him.

We will have to conclude, if somebody desires to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in a particular way on the Sunday soon after Passover, then he ought not to be judged for undertaking so. But if, on the other hand, somebody does not want to celebrate the resurrection in a particular way on that Sunday, then he ought to not be judged or despised for his selection.

Counter-Arguments

Some could say, “But are not we supposed to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus each and every Sunday and not just one particular Sunday a year?” I would agree with that. I think we have rightly inferred from Scripture and history that early Christians met on Sundays since Jesus was raised on Sunday. On the other hand, an annual celebration of Jesus’ resurrection no extra negates the weekly celebration any extra than a wedding anniversary negates a husband telling his wife, “I appreciate you” day-to-day. They are not mutually exclusive. You can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus weekly AND you can celebrate the resurrection annually.

Other individuals may perhaps quote Paul’s words from Galatians four:10-11, “You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may perhaps have labored more than you in vain.” On the other hand, Paul is not arguing it is inherently incorrect for somebody to observe particular days any extra than he is arguing it is inherently incorrect for a male to be circumcised. He was admonishing the Galatians since they had been getting convinced that maintaining the Law of Moses (like feast days, kosher diet plan, and circumcision) was needed to be element of God’s covenant people today. If somebody tries to convince you that you will have to observe Passover or Sabbath in order to be suitable with God, they are violating this passage.

Conclusion

I know of no principle, command, instance, or implication of Scripture that is violated by observing particular days in honor of the Lord. In truth, Scripture appears to particularly let for this practice. But most importantly, we will have to be cautious not to judge and despise one particular a further more than these points, but welcome one particular a further as Christ has welcomed us (Romans 14-15).

I appreciate you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams

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