January 2015

(In reply)

  Greetings dear sister, and thank you for passing on the flyer for the book, and then also passing on to me the replies you had from – – .  You asked for a response from me to his unbiblical emails… The book itself, I believe, adequately answers various objections people may have, so I won’t be able to spend further time in replying to his arguments, if he has more in the future, particularly as the ones he has come up with are so weak and feeble.

  It is strange, his indignant and angry response to you, when all you sent him was a flyer for the book.  Clearly it touched a nerve!  He felt the need to fire off not one, but two emails in response!  One is left wondering if he actually knows, in his own heart, that the celebration of Christmas cannot be justified by Scripture, and this knowledge troubles him; hence his own weak arguments.  It is as if he is attempting to justify, to himself, why he does what he does.

  Firstly, he writes, “This really is legalistic, not to mention pharisaical nonsense.”  This simply shows that – – does not properly understand the term, “legalistic”; nor what Pharisaism really was all about.  “Legalism” is defined as “adherence to the Law as opposed to the Gospel; the doctrine of justification by works, or teaching which savours of it.”  As I have never taught adherence to the law as opposed to the Gospel, and as I utterly repudiate and reject the doctrine of justification by works, I am not a legalist, nor teaching legalism.  This kind of sloppy response is very typical of those who have nothing better to say, so they hurl the accusation of “legalism” at anyone who desires to “observe all things whatsoever Christ has commanded”, not in order to be justified but because we love the King of Zion and want to live in such a way as pleases Him.  Astounding that he could make the assertion that obedience to Christ’s commands and rejection of men’s traditions is “legalistic nonsense”!

  The term “Pharisaic” is defined as “laying stress upon the outward show of religion and morality, and assuming superiority on that account; hypocritical; formal; self-righteous.”  And “Pharisaism” is defined in pretty much the same way.  Again, he is thus using a term in a very incorrect manner when he applies it to those who reject the celebration of Christmas!  His understanding of these terms is quite abysmal.

  Secondly, he quotes Col. 2:20-23 and applies it to myself for writing against Christmas.  Yet this verse has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand!  He has probably never read my book, but in it I comment on Col. 2:16,17 as follows: “Now, the important thing to note here is that both these passages of Scripture [Gal. 4:9,10 and Col. 2:16,17] refer to the Jewish holy days under the law of Moses.  If Christians are not even commanded to observe the Old Testament holy days – days which did have divine sanction, for an appointed time – but are free from any obligation to observe them, they are certainly not to observe pagan holy days!” The point of mentioning this is that the verses he quotes – Col. 2:20-23 – follow just a short while later, and are referring to the Old Testament ceremonial law, and to the commandments and doctrines of the Jewish traditions.  What Paul taught here was not about pagan holy days at all.

  Thirdly, he writes, “Christmas is a national holiday in western culture and may be celebrated as such.  It is to all intents and purposes a secular holiday.”  A most interesting justification for keeping Christmas, and frankly very sad.  What then would his response be when and if, say, Halloween ever became a national holiday?  If many people then kept it as a secular holiday, would this make it right?  Would Christians be free to celebrate it, because the pagan aspects of Halloween are “historical things from the past” and “have no bearing on contemporary society”? (to quote the next part of his email).  If he would not go so far as to say this, then he should not say it about Christmas either – for this holiday was born in heathenism just as Halloween was.  Or what would his response be when and if the Hindu festival of Diwali became a national holiday?  Or how about a Muslim festival?  Would it be all right to celebrate these when society accepts them as “national holidays” and many people view them as “secular holidays”?  It is easy for a man in a western country to make such foolish claims about Christmas; I wonder what he would counsel Christians living in oppressive Hindu or Muslim societies?

  Fourthly, he writes, “Only people like Willcock reflect and give credence to historical things from the past in this way which have no bearing on contemporary society”.  I did not write the book because I felt these things have bearing on contemporary society; I wrote it for the purpose of showing the Lord’s people – true Christians – the pagan and Romish origin and nature of this festival, and that it is contrary to the biblical account of Christ’s birth, without sanction in God’s Word.  For this purpose, then, the historical things most certainly have bearing.  I am not concerned with contemporary society, I am concerned with the true Church of God.  It is for them that the book was written; and I thank God that many throughout the world have cast off this human tradition and pagan holiday.

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