I just received a solicitation that began, “No child should be forgotten at Christmas.” If you profess to be a believer, it might be worth your while to give this sentence some thought, asking yourself this simple question: What is Christmas really all about?

First of all, aren’t you teaching your child that it is OK to lie? By your actions, don’t you encourage him to believe that Santa Claus is real? Isn’t that part of the “magic” of Christmas?

Also, although you probably had not realized it, are you not teaching him that Santa Claus is omnipresent? After all, doesn’t Santa Claus know what all the little children have been doing all year long -- which ones have been naughty and which ones have been nice? Is this not equating Santa Claus with Elohim, who is the only One to whom omnipresence belongs?

And what about the children writing letters to Santa Claus, asking him for toys? Isn’t our Father in heaven the One we are supposed to go to with our requests? Doesn’t He say that He will supply all our needs?

And consider these verses: “Do not love the world nor that which is in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Because all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but the one doing the desire of Elohim remains forever.” 1 John 2:15-17]

Isn’t Christmas teaching your children to lust with their eyes? I want! I want! I want!

Advertising agencies dream up enticing ads and stories for newspapers and other publications; and every store in town has delightful Christmas music pouring forth from loudspeakers all over the store, and some even have them outside above the sidewalk. Aren't they using every tool in their arsenal to impress upon you that this is the most wonderful time of the year? Be happy! Be joyful! And, most importantly, be sure to spend yourself into debtor’s prison!

Think about the struggle of the family who has just lost the source of their income, whether through termination of their employment, or possibly through the death of a loved one. And consider those struggling to make ends meet in single parent households. They want to spare their children the stigma of being classified as disadvantaged, so they try to give their children “as good a Christmas” as their friends down the block. Is this a joy or a burden?

What is the end result of all these situations? They bring about increases in stress, depression, suicide, debt, and liquor sales, among others! Does this really bring honor to the Messiah?

But the worst is yet to come.

The following quote was taken from the Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 1991, Volume XVII, No. 5, "Understanding Asherah," pages 50-58.

Page 56: “Tellingly, the two other prominent symbols on these pendants (other than the wig) are tree branches and pubic triangles (at bottom). The association of trees and pubic triangles, two symbols of life-giving, with the deity corresponding to Asherah is further proof to author Hestrin that the stylized tree on the Lachish ewer (p. 51) does indeed represent Asherah."

Trees and logs have long been a part of pagan worship, and YHVH says we are not to worship Him the way pagans worship their gods. “When YHVH Elohekka (your El) does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’ Do not do so to YHVH Elohekka, for every abomination which YHVH hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones. All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it -- do not add to it nor take away from it.” [Deuteronomy 12:29-32]

Note: The word guard is a very important word: (Hebrew) shamar; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.

Additionally, the disciples were told the same thing, not to go in the way (lifestyle) of the goyim (Matthew 10:5). We are supposed to worship YHVH in the way He said to worship Him, and not by doing what is right in our own eyes. A pagan festival cannot be "Christianize" and made acceptable in the eyes of YHVH, for it will always remain a pagan abomination.

The same is true of the date given by man to celebrate Christmas. They say that the Messiah was born on this date, but December 25 has always been the date pagans celebrate the birth of the sun god. It is not the date of the birth of the Messiah. His birth was during the feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles), a feast which teaches not only about His birth, but also about the Marriage Supper of the Messiah and His Bride.

Therein lies the problem! When people follow man-made traditions, and not the ones given by YHVH, they do not learn to know the Father and the Son, for the appointed times belong to YHVH, and their purpose is to teach about the Messiah. And that should be the goal of our lives, for Y'hoshua prayed, “And this is everlasting life, that they should know You, the only true Elohim, and Y’hoshua the Messiah whom You have sent.” [John 17:3]

In that same prayer, He also prayed, “I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the wicked (one). They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Set them apart in Your truth -- Your Word is truth.” [John 17:14-17]

We have been given free will, so we can choose how we want to live our lives -- serving YHVH, or joining with the world; but it appears to me that spending eternity in the lake of fire is a very high price to pay in exchange for doing what is right in our own eyes during the few years we are on this earth.

But -- always -- the decision is yours. It is your life and your choice.

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