|Spend Your Money - Ho Ho Ho!|
December 25 is a day of celebration for many Christians all over the world from the Pope to a pauper a day of rejoicing the birth of Jesus Christ. Many inspirational songs are sung, and many stories told about his miraculous birth. The Churches ringing bells, snowflakes, Christmas trees, yule logs, mistletoe, Santa Clause evokes nostalgia during this time of the season. There are countless millions who believe Christmas day to be the day Christ was born. Or is it?
When Christianity was first introduced to the Roman Empire by Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul), it became clear to him that the Romans and the Greeks were not very enthusiastic to change the religions of their fathers. St. Paul found it much easier to teach Christianity to the Gentiles (non-Jews) by changing and adapting Christianity to suit local pagan beliefs and customs. Over time, the Romans took it upon themselves to teach this new brand of Christianity. December 25th was an important day in Roman and Greek calendar long before Christianity. It is interesting to note that the Greeks celebrated the 25th of December as the birthday of Hercules, the son of the supreme god Zeus, through the mortal woman Alcmene. Greek mythological gods, Dioysus and Adonis were born on that day too.
The Scandinavians had a similar belief and they celebrated this day as the birthday of their God, Freyr, the son of their supreme God of the heavens, Odin. The Romans observed this day as the birth of their God of the Sun, Natalis Soltis Invicti (Birthday of Sol the invincible).
In Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon says: The Roman Christians, ignorant of his (Christs) birth, fixed the solemn festival to the 25th of December, the Brumalia, or Winter Solstice, when the Pagans annually celebrated the birth of Sol. The common thread among these European pagan sects is the worship of the sun as their deity and the selection of the winter solstice (25th of December) as the time of the birth of their supreme god.
It is also interesting to note that the traditional Christmas tree with all the lighting and decorations were categorized by the Scriptures as a pagan custom: For the customs of the people (pagans) are in vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. (Jeremiah 10:3-4)
With these historical facts in mind it is clear that St. Paul and other Church leaders (as opposed to Jesus) created their own doctrines to convert pagan Centiles to Christianity. The similarities of modern day Christianity (as opposed to fundamental Christianity) to the pagan cults is too remarkable to be merely coincidental. The movement of the Sun starting its return journey northwards about the 25th of December (depicting birth), and at the equinox (Easter) heralding spring and a coming back of life of nature that had been killed by the wintry blast, could not but strike awe in the pagan worshippers of the northern hemisphere.
The cunning priests knew well enough to create myths and legends based on the pagan cult existed at that times which in due course came to be adopted by the modern day Christian Churches. The precedent is set and the die is cast to make December 25th the birthday of Jesus.
Sadly, Jesus Christ's spiritual message is lost in the vast sea of commercialization. Like the pagan gods of yore, the mythical Santa Claus (whoever he is) is the new hero and the new message is Spend, Spend, Spend. It is time the Church leaders take a stance to correct the distorted message and abide by the examples of Jesus Christ who incidentally never had a birthday party during his lifetime.
Celebrating his supposed birth anniversary after his departure makes less sense and is against the letter and spirit of Christianity.