Christians, Christmas, & Romans 14
With Christmas almost upon us let's take the time and remember Romans 14 when discussing the celebration of Christmas with our brothers and sisters in Christ. the reason I am bringing up Romans 14 and Christmas together is because of the posts I have seen lately on Facebook and Twitter by some of my brothers and sisters in Christ in regards to the celebration of Christmas. Some of these posts have been downright mean and disheartening over a topic that is a matter of Christian liberty. I believe that we as Christians sometimes have to be reminded that within Christianity we have liberty and freedom on certain issues that do not pertain to the essentials of faith. This is why Romans 14 is so crucial to remember during this Christmas season.
1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose ofpassing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every dayalike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written,
“ AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME,
AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”
12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in thisway serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. 20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. 22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
While the majority of mainline Christians celebrate December 25 as the birth of Jesus Christ as their Savior, even while fully knowing that Christ was not born on December 25 th. There are those who with in the faith that believe that celebrating Christmas is un-biblical because of Christmas's pagan roots and attachment to Roman Catholicism. Which is their total right to believe and freedom within Christianity to hold to that tenant of belief under Romans 14:5-6. Just as is the right for those whose want to celebrate Christmas to do so. What Christians on both sides need to remember is regardless of the matter if we celebrate Christmas or we do not celebrate Christmas we are still brothers and sisters in Christ. One another on either side of the aisle should not hold judgment of our brother or become a stumbling block for them, Romans 14:13, for each other over the issue of celebrating Christmas.
Whether or not you choose to celebrate Christmas is not an essential doctrine with in Christianity. We are not commanded by the Lord to celebrate Christmas nor are we commanded not to celebrate Christmas. We are told not to make false idols or to have other gods. So we must remember for those who do celebrate Christmas that we are not making “Christmas” and idol or a god. In the same respect for those who do not celebrate Christmas one must remember not to make an idol out of your traditions of not celebrating Christmas.
There is a bigger opportunity here regardless of your views on Christmas. The opportunity I’m talking about is that Christmas offers a time to speak the gospel to the masses. There are very few times throughout the year in which one has the opportunity to tell the gospel to so many people. At this time of year we have a captive audience that is more open to hearing about Jesus and the word of God and our opportunities abound regardless of our preference of celebration. After all, what we were commanded by Jesus in the great commission is to go out and preach the Good News to all nations. We do not know who the Elect are. They do not have a yellow stripe painted on their back, so one would be a fool to take such a prime opportunity and not use it for what Jesus has commanded us to do. So this Christmas season let’s remember Romans 14 when we conversation with our brothers and sisters in Christ allowing some brotherly love on either side of the aisle. We should more importantly be concentrating on going out and preaching the gospel so that God can call His Elect to Him through our preaching of the God News.