It’s true as you say, that there are “seasoned, mature Christians” who keep Christmas; and this has confused some of the Lord’s people. But there is a simple answer to this apparent puzzle: just because a true, and even mature Christian keeps it, does not make it right! All Christians, even the most mature ones, are still far from what they should be, and have much to learn. Not one Christian has perfect knowledge of everything. In the same way, there are people who are true Christians, but who nevertheless still believe certain doctrines that are unbiblical, and still do certain things that they should not. This is the simple answer when one is confronted with Christians who keep it.
I’m assuming you’ve read my book on the subject, and if so you will know that there are answers to some of these objections in it. You quoted the person who said it’s a matter of Christian liberty, and they used Col. 2:16 to justify this. This Scripture has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, as it is a pagan holiday that was never sanctioned by the Lord, and that verse is speaking of the Old Testament holy days. As for “liberty”, a Christian never has liberty to sin. The observance of Christmas is not a merely indifferent matter. This person says “you must decide for yourself.” No, this is incorrect: we are not at liberty to decide for ourselves how to worship the Lord; we are bound to His Word and that is all that matters.
Mentioning the JWs is an old tactic but is worthless. Just because some cultists do things Christians do, does not make Christians cultists! As for their children suffering and growing up resentful and bitter, this argument is plain nonsense. Children do not “suffer’ because their parents do not keep Christmas, and it is far too sweeping a statement to say those who don’t keep it grow up resentful and bitter. This would be like saying people in India who don’t keep the Hindu festivals grow up resentful and bitter. It’s ridiculous.
The person who says it’s “unavoidable” to keep it is also talking nonsense, as is proved by all those who don’t keep it. All this person’s other arguments are invalid too, because “love for Christmas” is utterly unacceptable as a reason. What if a Christian in a Muslim country once “loved” the Muslim festival of Eid? Would he then be doing right in continuing to keep it, out of some misguided “love” for it? And yes, we are to remember the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ – but nowhere does He command us to remember it in this way, by “christianising” a heathen festival.
As for what to do on that day, the only correct and sensible approach is to make a “clean break” with it. It is not a matter of seeing how much one can still retain, while getting rid of other bits of it. A stand has to be taken, firmly but lovingly, with relatives and friends. Many will not understand, some will get angry, but then so be it.
The person who uses the argument that it is “legalism” does not understand what legalism is, biblically; and once again there’s all the usual justification: we have “liberty”, etc. – even while admitting Christmas is not in the Bible, is not commanded, and so on. Just how free and loose do people dare to be? They will justify anything they want to do. Bottom line though: the Word of God is not their sole authority, regardless of what they say.
We live in the age of the “instant religious expert”. Everyone has an “opinion” and is convinced his opinion is the right one. Very few are subject to proper teaching, everyone thinks they know best. This is the spirit that animates the quotes given in your email: these people who wrote to you all seek to justify what they do, and each one acts like a teacher of God’s Word when it’s clear they are very ignorant of that Word, or how to rightly divide it.
I do deal with this matter of Col. 2 and Rom. 14 in my book.
It is important to take a stand. The moment we compromise, then we have opened the door to permit all kinds of other compromises, using the same silly arguments the people you quoted have used. It’s not easy, I know. It’s always difficult to swim against the tide. But love for the Lord demands that we obey HIM, and not the fashions and festivals of this fallen world. – Shaun Willcock