Holiday Tips

Holiday Tips I. Here are some additional considerations regarding holidays: A. Bible Christians celebrate Christ's birth, death, and resurrection by joyfully receiving the gospel by faith, repentance and baptism, by praising God, and observing the Lord's Supper. 1. Jesus Christ was incarnated and manifested to take away our sins by His death, burial and resurrection (MAT 1:21; 1JO 3:8; ROM 4:25) and submission to Him in accord with this is cause for genuine joy. ACT 2:46-47; 1TH 1:6. 2. This is celebrating Christ's coming according to God's appointed manner. 3. This is not a celebration with pagan traditions or “strange fire” (LEV 10:1-2) or a carnal festival (1CO 11:19-22) but it is a celebration. 4. However, people crave a celebration that caters to their carnal appetites, and the defense of such celebrations is usually a highly emotional one. B. Christians should be wary of the constructions that others place upon their actions. 1CO 10:27-30. 1. The world in general views Christmas as a religious celebration of Christ's birth and Easter as a religious celebration of His resurrection. 2. Christians must avoid being identified with these celebrations lest they embolden others in their wrongdoings. 1CO 8:10. 3. Christians must avoid a celebration that makes light of Satanism and the powers of darkness (Halloween). 4. You are at liberty to color eggs or have a decorated green tree in your home but consider the assumption that others are likely to make, especially if you do so in the general seasons of Easter or Christmas. Better to steer clear than steer near, for false religion is a strange woman. PRO 4:6-10. C. Avoid the extreme of thinking that all traditions are evil. 1. Scripture allows feasts, birthdays, and exchanging gifts. 1CO 10:27; JOH 2:1-2; 10:22-23; JOB 1:4 c/w 3:1-3; EST 9:22. 2. Use of such acceptable customs can soothe the emotions of those who do not share your convictions about purity of religious worship. 3. It is the religious tradition of which one must beware. Having an annual church picnic is not a religious tradition: it is a gathering for a good time, not a holy time (i.e., an event dedicated/hallowed for God in service to Him). 4. If a person, family, community, etc., appointed a particular day/time for a seasonal festival without holy-day associations, this would be fine. D. Liberty to esteem one day above another (ROM 14:5) must be regulated by precept. 1. Is it an occasion for the flesh, an excuse for a carnal celebration in God's name as an invented act of devotion to Him? Consider that what the Corinthian saints did with the simple, solemn memorial of the sufferings of Christ for our sins was unto their own condemnation. GAL 5:13; 1CO 11:20-22, 27-30. 2. Does it have the appearance of evil (1TH 5:22)? Setting aside a day for God in which one is involved in corrupt activity or is closely mirroring what ignorant false- worshippers do on their high days would certainly have such an appearance. 3. Is it a man-made tradition that substitutes for or voids a law of God? MAR 7:13. 4. Is it will-worship (COL 2:23) that is so much “strange fire” (LEV 10:1-2)? E. The objections of family and friends must be borne for Christ's sake. MAT 10:34-38. F. What about Thanksgiving Day? Thanksgiving Day is a civic celebration appointed not by prophecy but by public policy (as is Independence Day or Memorial Day, etc.). 1. The Feast of Purim was such: a good time rather than a holy time. EST 9:22. Holiday Tips Page 1 2. Christ made an appearance at a similar celebration in JOH 10:22-23. II. Here are recommendations for dealing with friends, family, acquaintances, etc. A. Precede and overwrite all of your dealings with prayer for their conversion, for improved understanding for all, for boldness and confidence, and for wise discernment. 1TH 5:17. B. Affirm your brotherly love to them but, as in all life, there are boundaries to your conduct. C. Make sure that others know that you desire the truth above all else and stand to be corrected with good Scriptural arguments. PHIL 3:8. D. Challenge others to please show you from the Scripture where God tells us to observe Christmas, Easter, etc. according to traditional custom. 1. One would think that if such were so critically important to the interests of God, He would have clearly ordered it. 2. Getting people to realize and admit that there is no Scriptural basis for the holiday traditions is a big deal. You can expect some “interesting” come-backs. 3. Starting with simple, plain observations and questions is usually the best way. E. Make sure that you are yourself convinced of the necessity of pure, scriptural worship. You will impress nobody with weakness or hypocrisy. GAL 2:11-16; ROM 2:21-22. F. Care not if the whole world goes after error. 1. Stand on principle. REV 13:3; ROM 12:2. 2. Stand with God and His word and He will stand with you. EPH 6:14-15; 2TI 4:17. G. Be stedfast, as Ruth. The power of principled personal conviction is great. RUTH 1:11-18; 1CO 15:58. H. Let not your knowledge of Christian liberty hinder others. 1CO 8:1, 9-10. I. Be not only prayerful, but prepared and proper. COL 4:2-6. J. Be patient and recognize that human nature is challenged to move away from its comfort zones of familiarity. LUK 5:39. K. Recognize that not everyone governs their thoughts by Scripture. You may have to “meet them where they are” with simple universal observations to get them thinking. ACT 17:22-31. L. Keep in mind that if the Spirit indwells someone, they have an “inside voice and law” that is affected by spiritual truth. ACT 2:37 ct/w ROM 8:7. M. Be accommodating where you can without violating Biblical principle. 1CO 9:19-23. N. Be prepared, willing and do good since this cannot reasonably be gainsayed. GAL 6:10; ACT 4:13-14; 1PE 2:12-15. O. My years of experience have shown me that human nature does not like a party-pooper and this is one of the biggest obstacles to getting people to give up on deeply loved traditions. ROM 8:5. P. Principled consistency and time work in your favor: it’s pretty hard for objectors to ignore that the way you go about your life in obedience to Christ yields positive ends. Holiday Tips Page 2

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