Dec 25, 2009

A Christmas Day Sermon 1758: Christmas a "Superstitious" Custom

clipped from
A Christmas-Day Sermon.
This sermon was delivered on December 25, 1758.
THIS is the day which the church of Rome, and some other churches that deserve to be placed in better company have agreed to celebrate in memory of the Prince of Peace, the Savior ofmen, the incarnate God, Immanuel.
Now that there is not the least appearance in all the Bible of the Divine appointment of Christmas, to celebrate the birth of Christ, is granted by all parties; and the Divine authority is not so much as pretended for it. Therefore, a Bible-Christian is not at all bound to observe it.
...for at least three hundred years, did not observe any day in commemoration of the birth of Christ.
...if a day should be religiously observed in memory of the birth of Christ, it ought to be that day on which he was born. But that day, and even the month and the year, are altogether uncertain.
Finally, superstition is a very growing evil; and therefore the first beginnings of it ought to be prevented.

The early American pastors preached-up "liberty" from this unbiblical custom as a "tradition of men"! This renowned Presbyterian pastor, Samuel Davies, just prior to the American Revolution, demonstrates in this sermon the "superstition" of Christmas, while preaching about the incarnation or nativity of Christ, entirely different than is done today.

He expands:

Chrysostom, who lived in the fourth century, has these words, “It is not yet ten years, since this day, that is, Christmas, was plainly known to us;” and he observes, the custom was brought to Constantinople from Rome. Now since this day was not religiously observed in the church in the first and purest ages, but was introduced as superstitions increased, and Christianity began to degenerate very fast into popery; ought not we to imitate the purity of these primitive times, and retain none of the superstitious observances of more corrupt ages?

After all it was for "Christian liberty", free from the tyranny and corruption of both the Roman Catholic Church, and more particularly the Church of England, that the Pilgrims, Puritans of New England, Presbyterians and Baptists fled to America for.

18th century American society also did not commonly employ decorated trees (a pagan custom, largely from Norway in recent history, but of Babylonian origin) if they did observe Christmas.   Early American christians and pastors would be shocked at the even grosser corruptions that have been incorporated into this Christianized paganism which Constantine first established (for political reasons to unite the Roman Empire as Christianity grew popular), which has been blasphemously labeled "Christ-mass".

The date of December 25th is proven by Rev. Samuel Davies in this sermon to be an impossible date for the "birthday of Jesus", where he even references the change of Calendar in those early American years.


 The Wall Street Journal gets the history right:

...By the middle of the 19th century, most Protestant churches were, once again, celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday. The reason, again, had more to do with marketing than theology: They were afraid of losing congregants to other Christmas-celebrating denominations.

In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law a bill making the secular Christmas a civil holiday because its celebration had become universal in this country popularized.
So the Civil War was followed by a Yankee "establishment of religion" and a particular worship, contrary to the Constitution, by force of law, trampling dissenting Christians biblical and theologically-consistent beliefs.  (And they wonder why we complain that our religious beliefs, though historically vindicated, are trampled for that of the corrupted majority of American church-ianity).  This history also highlights the corruption of the churches (i.e. marketing over theology), which has only gotten worse to the present day, which is self-evident during the holiday season in particular.