In an article published last Friday, Matthew Everhard, Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida, responded to a number of common objections to Christians celebrating Christmas. The article is entitled Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday? A Response to Eight Common Arguments, and here are the eight objections to which Matthew responds:
1. The etymology of both the words “Christmas” and “Easter” is problematic; Christmas contains the root “mass,” a false and abominable sacrifice of the Roman Catholic Church, and Easter is derived from the name of a pagan god, worshipped in ancient times.
2. Neither the practice of Christmas nor Easter are commanded in Scripture and therefore are not warranted by the Regulative Principle of Worship (See the Westminster Confession of Faith 21.1).
3. Both Christmas and Easter contain pagan symbolism; the former retains the use of the so-called “Christmas Tree” and Easter retains usage of the “egg” and other fertility-cult symbolism.
4. Both Christmas and Easter are often attended by ridiculous and childish customs i.e. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, which detract from the worship of the Trinitarian God. Many churches that purport to be “evangelical” have even brought such nonsense into the very sanctuary and perverted the holy worship of God!
5. Both Christmas and Easter are practiced by the Roman Catholic Church which has so far distorted the Gospel as to be no Gospel at all and therefore their historical practices ought not to be carried forward by Protestants.
6. Both Christmas and Easter encourage consumerism and materialism and ought to be rejected upon the grounds of being a distraction from the Gospel.
7. Both Christmas and Easter are inconsistent with the practice of the English Puritan heritage from whence the American Presbyterian heritage derives.
8. Both Christmas and Easter are practiced during times of the solar year related to the solstice, at which times pagan festivals have been historically linked.
As you can see, the article also deals with similar objections to the celebration of Easter by Christians, and it is well worth reading. I think Matthew does a pretty good job responding to such arguments. Check out his responses for yourself, and let me know what you think.