My View on Holy Days

Just so I’m clear concerning holy days. I don’t believe the church should be celebrating any holy day that is not given to us in Scripture. The Scripture gives us 52 holy days a year, namely the LORD’s day, known as Sunday in these parts. This is our day to worship the Triune God and cease from our labors.

If you want to celebrate Christmas and Easter, go ahead. But the two holidays are not given to us in Scripture to do so. So two thoughts on these days. First, the reason we do not celebrate Easter, or should not, is because we already are celebrating Easter. By Easter I mean the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not pastels, bunny rabbits, egg hunts, candy and big hats for church. We celebrate the resurrection when we gather for worship on the LORD’s day, Sunday. The resurrection is also the reason why our holy day was shifted from the seventh day, Saturday, to the first day, Sunday. Jesus was raised up on the first day of the week, pointing toward the coming new heavens, new earth and new creation we become when we trust in Him for salvation. All of these reasons are solid enough to shift the day from the seventh to the first day of the week.

Secondly, concerning Christmas. Again, no where are we told to set aside a day celebrating the birth of Christ at a certain time of year. We know not when He was born and had the LORD wanted us to celebrate His birth, I think He might have told us so.

Also, given the fact that He gave us two sacraments, baptism and the LORD’s supper, shows what His emphasis was. Yes, it is awesome that the Second Person of the Trinity stepped into creation and became a man some 2,000 years ago. But the yearly celebration as a memorial to that event is not commanded in Scripture.

If you wish to continue with the traditions we have for Christmas, that is fine. But let’s call it a family holiday, not a Christian holy day. To call it a Christian holy day is to go against Scripture, which does not command it. In other words, by calling Christmas a Christian holiday we are adding to Scripture and saying what God has not said for us to say.

Third, if believers would just keep the LORD’s day as we have been commanded to do in Scripture, and quit getting upset over every stupid atheistic slight, we would be far better off spiritually speaking than we are.

Finally, please know that I do celebrate levels of Christmas when it comes to my family. I don’t even mind bringing up the birth of Christ. But trying to make a holiday that is really more about Santa, about Christ, does not work for me. So I make it about Santa and have told my boys that Santa is someone who loves them very much, since I am Santa and all those who given them gifts are Santa. I also tell them that Santa also comes from the land of make believe. I do this so that they are not confused about Christ, who does not come from the land of make believe, but is our living Savior.

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5 thoughts on “My View on Holy Days

  1. Ron

    Excellent arguments for a biblical fidelity.
    Thanksgiving is another holiday that has been made into a test by some.
    Q. Shouldn’t the church have a regular Thanksgiving service? A Maundy-Thursday service? What ab out Lent?
    A. No. No. And, No.

    My Lord has not told me to do it.
    What people do not understand (because their teachers either don’t know or won’t teach) is that it is the regularity of the Lord’s Day that is commanded, and the irregularity of other days of religious observance that God countenances.

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  2. … big hats for church.

    Now you go too far! Okay, not really.

    Some clarification questions.

    1. You argue, “I don’t believe the church should be celebrating any holy day that is not given to us in Scripture.” Does that mean that Christians (as suggested by “the church” — the called out ones) shouldn’t, or are you arguing that the corporate group recognized as local churches shouldn’t?

    2. By “shouldn’t”, do you mean “It’s a sin to do so” or merely, “I don’t see any need to”? Would you say that Christians who regard it as a Christian celebration of the Incarnation are deceived at best and sinning at worst?

    I am of the mind that recognizing “Santa” as anything but fiction is the same to recognizing Satan Claws. The only modern image available is, on one hand, a moral tyrant counting sins against children all year long with the threat of coal if they fail and, on the other hand, a non-judge in the end who gives to every child pleasant things because, let’s admit it, kids are just not that bad. That is, it’s an evil caricature from a world hostile to God who wishes to paint their own false image of what God should be — moral but irrelevant to justice. Indeed, I’ve been in trouble with teachers and parents because my kids never understood “Santa” to be anything more than a fictional character. So we’ve made it about Christ in our home and ask them to be grateful to whomever the gifts come from.

    With you, I decry the call that “It’s ours!” as if the world cares or that God does. On the other hand, I can’t imagine why it would be a problem for Christians or even their local gathering (churches) to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Incarnation, or the Resurrection (even on top of the weekly celebration). What the world does with all that is irrelevant.

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    1. I’m not saying those who celebrate Christmas in the context of the church are sinning, unless they actually are, as is the example of putting up a manger scene with a doll representing the baby Jesus (breaks the Second Commandment). But the issue is a Romans 14 issue.

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  3. Hi Timothy–

    I can understand your thoughts on ‘holy days’. I was raised roman catholic (‘r’ and ‘c’ small on purpose), and had to attend weekday church services for days deemed ‘holy’ by Rome. I rebelled against that. But quietly.

    As for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter being celebrated in many churches: I have no issue with that. It does no harm to put aside a particular day to ‘give thanks’ to God for His many blessings. And I do observe Christmas and Easter. It is good to be reminded once more of Jesus’ birth, and the day of His Resurrection.

    Ideally, of course, the Resurrection should be celebrated every Sunday. Many churches, it seems, have forgotten that. And it’s sad.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

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