November 25, 2002 Q & A

Christmas celebration


I recently read an article written by G.I. Williamson on the legitimacy of celebrating Christmas. His argument was against this practice and my question is, does the OPC have an official position on the celebrating of Christmas? Thank you for your help and information.


The OPC does not have a position on the celebration of Christmas. I know and respect G.I.'s position. It's a settled matter of conscience with him. We recognize that there are a lot of frivolous and unbiblical things in traditional Christmas celebration. We recognize that it is nowhere commanded in Scripture.

But it is not forbidden to specialize in the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke, including the grand teaching on the virgin birth of our Lord. So it is practical to preach on those texts and topics while people are thinking about them anyway.

For myself, I feel that I am not sinning against God by preaching the wonder of our Savior's humiliating birth. The world glorifies the stable with angels and halos, but it was actually a humble barn. And that is significant. So, as a matter of fact, rather than ignoring the world's prostituting the story of His infancy, I distinguish between the true and false in Christmas tradition.

Besides, I love the rich, nativity hymns. So G.I. exercises his conscience in non-observance and most of us exercise our Christian liberty in a selective observance. I suppose the same applies to Easter observance.



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