Holiday Thoughts 6

Exodus 20: 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol…7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the LORD spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

Isaiah 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;

There is no day commanded in Scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord’s day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued. (Westminster Confession of Faith, Directory of Public Worship)

The Westminster divines, as they have been called, were quite clear on this subject. They were quite aware of what they were saying and why they were saying it. Roman Catholicism had brought in many superstitions and holy days (as they called them) and the Westminster divines saw the damage that those things had done. The Westminster divines longed for a pure worship and a worship that was strictly according to Scripture. Some men from Scotland were there as advisors for the writers of the Westminster Confession and in Scotland during those days keeping a holy-day (like Christ-Mass) that was not the Sabbath was something they saw as worthy of church discipline. It was not a small thing in their way of thinking.

In the modern day, things like keeping the church calendar and keeping certain days are thought of as normal. If one does not keep them then one is thought of as odd at best and perhaps even non-Christian. The vast majority of people have followed Rome into keeping their special days. It was Rome that set up a special mass in celebration of the birth of Christ, which is why it is called Christ-mass. It was Rome who made this a special day when in fact the New Testament does no such thing. We must learn to look past our own sentimentality and look to Scripture as our guide.

Is it wrong to preach on the birth of Christ? Perhaps not, but why do people choose this day rather than others? It seems to be clear that Rome started this unbiblical celebration and if we continue it we are following Rome in what they do rather than the Bible. We follow Rome in terms of the dating of the day. We follow Rome in setting this day out as a special day when the Bible does not. We follow Rome in what we call the day, that is, Christ-mass which is a special mass for the birth of Christ.

As we think of the origin of this day and the meaning of the word (Christ-mass), surely we should take pause and think of what we are doing. There is no command or example in Scripture to do this, but there are commands and examples of how we should revere Him and treat His name as holy. We can also simply look at the virtual insanity that does with this time of year with the shopping, debt, and enormous greed that seems to permeate what drives the day. There is a lot of worship that takes place during this time of year, but it is the worship of profit, of self, and of greed. We do what we please while ignoring the broader biblical teaching on all of life. We give ourselves to all sorts of idolatry and yet excuse it saying it is for “Christ-mass” and all of that. We have followed Rome into using religion as a way of excusing our selfishness and our sinful hearts.

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