Throughout the years, I’ve had this question pop into my mind on occasion, and I’ve always wondered what other people thought about it. Now, before I even ask the question to you, I want to make something very clear. I am a huge fan of discussing things with respect to those who don’t necessarily agree with me. Just because I believe a certain way, that doesn’t mean the entire world has to feel the same. I’m not the kind of person who is going to take a Bible and try to shove it down your throat. I will tell you what I believe, but I will also listen to your beliefs. I ask that you graciously respect the opinions of others even if you’re thinking they are way off base in the back of your mind.
I don’t want this to turn into some kind of internet World War III. I have confidence that we can all discuss certain issues as adults. Having said that, I would really appreciate your complete honesty and views on the subject. By now, I can’t imagine the thoughts running through your head. You are probably trying to figure out what the heck I’m talking about. I would even bet you’ve already skipped down to the bottom of the post to see what the question is. Don’t worry, it’s not as dramatic as I’m making it out to be.
With the holidays coming around once again, my thoughts usually drift toward traditions. How many of you just smiled when you read that, because memories began to flood your mind? I know the general stories that surround the origins of most all the major holidays. I think a lot of people probably do as well. Traditions have been passed down generation to generation from the dawn of time. Some change as they progress through the centuries while others stay the same, or at least mostly the same.
Christmas is quite possibly the biggest holiday that is steeped in tradition. Christians celebrate the birth of Christ and incorporate other parts as well, while others just enjoy everything else about the season. Giving. Decorations. Work bonus. Santa Clause. I have to be honest, I’m pretty secure in my belief that the modern day Santa doesn’t exist, but for my entire life, every time I heard that name, I immediately felt that there was something bad or possibly evil about him. I even used to call the guy Satan Clause.
I blame my upbringing in a Christian home where any myths about a jolly, somewhat overweight, man with red cheeks flying around in a sleigh were quickly dispelled. (No offense, Mom. I know you’re reading this.) I’m 41, and for the first time ever, I had a different thought about Mr. Clause. So what if children believe in a guy who goes out one night a year, more likely than not in the freezing snow, hitches up his reindeer, and spends hours upon hours giving stuff away? How can that be something evil or bad?
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to bust out a sermon where I try and compare the reindeer whisperer with how Christians should live a life of giving and sacrifice. It’s the principal behind the myth that could be a great life lesson. In my opinion, there is never anything wrong with someone who spends his life giving to other people. We should all be doing that 365 days a year.
So I know by now, some of you are bursting at the seams to present the facts about how holidays, especially Christmas, originated and how you want to smack me upside the head for thinking Santa is not so bad after all. That’s not what I’m looking for with this post. As I mentioned earlier, I know most of that already. I also know Christ wasn’t born on Dec. 25th, so don’t go into that either. 🙂 I’m not going to get into my exact feelings and beliefs about traditions and holidays right now. I want to know what you’re thinking. Having said all of that, here is my question. Well, okay, it’s multiple questions.
How do you approach holidays that originate from pagan traditions? Does God see your heart and know you’re not following the druids when you celebrate something? And not just holidays. Anything that comes from pagan beliefs or rituals in the past and now aren’t being done in the same way. Do you think that is okay?
I want to leave you with this verse from the Bible. 2 Colossians 2:16: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” I haven’t researched it, but I’m sure some or most of our traditions came into being after Paul had passed away, but it’s interesting to me why he would even say those words.
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Have a blessed day