Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Here is evidence that I would like to bring up of why Christmas isn't Christian, look up the history channels show of the origins of Christmas. It explains with accurate details that Christmas isn't Christian. Here is a link to the origins of Easter: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract1.html . What I am looking for are answer on WHY Christians began celebrating these holidays. Why did Christians begin to celebrate holidays like Christmas and Easter, when both of which have very little to do with Christianity?

share|improve this question

closed as unclear what you're asking by Flimzy, Jayarathina Madharasan, Affable Geek, David Stratton, James T May 20 at 1:10

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
What is your requirement for something to qualify as a Christian holiday? –  mojo May 16 at 14:38
    
And my "requirements" are something that celebrates the truth of Christianity, not other religions traditions. –  Ze Demon Pyro May 16 at 14:46
    
It's quite silly to say Christmas (or Easter for that matter have nothing to do with Christianity. The Christians may celebrate their holidays borrowing many aspects from Pagan holidays because that is what they knew. –  AfterWorkGuinness May 16 at 17:19
    
Mod Notice: <comments removed> Please do not use the comment feature for discussing or debating issues or for 'mini answers'. If you need to request clarification or want to suggest an improvement for the question, fine, but please use the answer space to answer and otherwise leave well enough alone. Thanks for your cooperation. –  Caleb May 16 at 18:02
2  
The downvote on-hover text says "This question does not show any research effort." That is why I downvoted--because this question does not show any research effort. –  Flimzy May 19 at 4:58

3 Answers 3

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus--not pagan holidays. The fact that pagans have or had holidays on those days does not mean they own those days. If that were true, pagans could create a holiday on every Sunday as well.

Every day rightfully belongs to God and not to any pagans no matter what holiday they create, and we should worship God every day of the year. So, of course we celebrate the birth of Christ and His resurrection. By placing them on days that were once used as pagan holidays, we have, in a sense, taken back those days for God.

I would be in favor of taking back Halloween as well and promoting All Saints Day in all our churches, praying for the persecuted church and remembering those who have given their lives for the sake of Christ.

So, we do not worship pagan gods by remembering Christ's birth and resurrection. We simply take back pagan holidays for God.

share|improve this answer
4  
@ZeDemonPyro I think this answer does explain well why Christians celebrate these holidays. You might not agree with the reasons, but that's another matter. –  DJClayworth May 16 at 15:34
    
Mod Notice: <lots of comments removed> Please do not use comments to discuss, much less debate, issues. If you have feedback on the post that's fine, but this site is not to debate what you think is right or wrong practice or belief. @ZeDemonPyro Your statement « I already knew the answers, I mainly just wanted to see other people's answers» is fairly problematic. That is not what questions are for an this site. Please ask when you want to learn something about specific Christian groups, not when you think they are wrong and want to point out what you think is correct. –  Caleb May 16 at 17:57
    
@DJclayworth it hardly does, it just uses PERSONAL opinions rather than historical facts... –  Ze Demon Pyro May 17 at 17:36
    
This answer seems to be directly copied off another site. I read this before on other sites and not sourcing it as though it is yours is kinda unorthodox, don't you think? Anyway, personal opinions are not welcomed on this site. Support your answer with research and citations. This answer sounds like prosperity teaching btw it's nice to the ears and eyes haha. –  Zoe Jun 1 at 4:06

Why do Christians celebrate them?

The short answer to this question is that most people do things in a very similar manner to the way they were raised without ever giving it much thought. The way the house was run when I was a child is, in many ways, my default position for a lot of things: holidays, acceptable modes of speech and dress, food choices, jobs typically performed by dad or mom, etc. Most people have sentimental attachments to those things and so there’s an emotional resistance to change.

A lot of people I know celebrate Christmas the way they do because that’s what they’re used to. It is not uncommon to find a Christian who puts up a Christmas tree or hides Easter eggs who has never considered the where those traditions came from or whether the holiday itself has some pagan roots. That is how they think of Christmas, and so some of those triditions that have no spiritual significance are just accepted as part of the fun of the holiday.

But they’re pagan!

One could easily lodge this complaint about the origins and some traditions of “Christian” holidays, but like all things in Christianity, the most important eternal attribute of any decision you make has to do with your heart. Do you use Christmas as an opportunity to be thankful to God for sending Jesus? Do you give gifts as a means of mimicking (in a pitifully small way) God’s generosity toward us by sending Jesus? A person’s heart is of crucial importance to whether they are celebrating the holiday “correctly.”

If a large number of Christians celebrated Christmas the wrong way, would that invalidate it as a true Christian holiday? If a large number of Christians behaved in a manner antithetical to Christianity, it wouldn’t invalidate Christianity, would it? Imperfect implementation of an idea doesn’t invalidate the idea itself.

Holidays should serve people and people should serve God.

I know a man who was raised in South Africa who didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. His family (and probably many Christians there) stopped celebrating Christmas because the holiday became a point of division within the church. It wasn’t about the details of Christmas at all. It was about paying attention to important things (like unity), and holidays aren’t that important. I consider it something of a tragedy that the issue of something so miniscule as the “Christmas holiday” was the point of contention among believers. They did the sensible thing and made it a non-issue. A bigger question is, was it important enough to make it an issue in the first place?

There’s no doctrine from scripture that prescribes anything at all about holidays. If holidays are to be good at all, it is up to the individual to make them so. Holidays ought to be occasions to do things that are healthy and helpful. They should serve the people. We have the blessed obligation to serve God, and if the holidays we choose to celebrate help us in that, then it’s reasonable to celebrate them, and perhaps even to call them “Christian.”

share|improve this answer
    
let us continue this discussion in chat –  Joe May 16 at 16:54
1  
Two comments. Easter is not at all named after ishtar, that is a unfortunate error propagated by Richard Dawkins foundation for Reason blabla. Easter is an English word, the original was Pascha in Latin and Greek, which is from the Hebrew word Pesach. And Pesach is the Passover. There is in fact quite a bit in the Pentateuch from the Lord Himself about observing holidays in Judaism. So there are doctrines from scripture that prescribe holidays for Jews. –  Gregory Magarshak May 17 at 19:24
    
Check Wikipedia and endless other sites for the origins of the name 'Easter'. It is contentious and its origins are not clear at all and that makes it a bad name. –  gideon marx May 19 at 16:59
    
@gideonmarx You prefer wikipedia than the actual biblical translation for the word Easter, that is used in the public KJV Bible? –  Zoe Jun 1 at 4:11

Jesus gave us only two major ceremonies or celebrations, baptism and communion. Baptism is a one-time event for each person, although it is of course celebrated as a joyous occasion by the community whenever a new believer is baptized. Communion (aka Eucharist or Mass) can be similar to a weekly holiday, celebrating Jesus resurrection on Sunday morning[1], although many (probably the majority) of Christian congregations celebrate it more or less frequently which reduces the holiday-like aspect of it.

There is no particular reason for having a yearly celebration of Jesus' birth or resurrection. On the other hand, I see no reason why we should not. The Jewish celebrations of the cleansing of the temple and their preservation at the time of Esther seem equally appropriate to me. Modern holidays, such as the American Independence Day or Thanksgiving, are likewise appropriate for Christians to celebrate, though not directly associated with Christianity. Since Christmas and Resurrection Day occur at the same time as pagan Winter and Spring festivals, we ought to be careful not to get the two confused though.

The word "Easter" comes from secular sources, but the Greek word was "Pasha", Passover.

Easter is admittedly a poor choice of names. Christians would be wise to refer to it consistently as "Resurrection Day". The King James translators used the word "Easter" only once, probably because they believed the reference was to the pagan spring festival, which took place during the same week.[2]

Easter is believed by some to refer to the Goddess "Ishtar" or "Astarte", but probably never did. We need to recognize the name Easter, but should associate it with the meaning and the name Resurrection Day. The rabbits and eggs are probably best left out as much as practical.

Christmas is not Biblically based, but can be used to proclaim the Incarnation.

The date of Christmas has nothing to do with the actual time of Jesus' birth. Again, our traditions are mixed up with a pagan end-of-year festival. We should avoid concentrating on the non-Christian elements of the traditional celebration, while remembering Jesus' gift to us.

Notes(to be completed): [1] " ... on the first day of the week ... gather to celebrate" [2] in Acts -- "... after the festival". "Easter" appears to come from East, dawn, or equinox; not from the name of a goddess. Nevertheless it may have referred to the spring festival (more research needed). see http://www.kjvtoday.com/home/easter-or-passover-in-acts-124 for more info.

share|improve this answer
    
This was probably the closest to what I have gathered to be why Christians started celebrating them (From what I have gathered, early Christians started in order to get Pagans to celebrate on the same days, and help convert Pagans to Christianity). –  Ze Demon Pyro May 16 at 19:51
    
Easter is not named after Ishtar. Check this question for a complete debunking of that myth. However it (the name, not the festival) does derive from pagan sources. –  DJClayworth May 20 at 2:24
    
@DJClayworth Easter is the English word used to symbolise the Passover in the KJV Bible. –  Zoe Jun 1 at 4:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.