Several Christian denominations believe that Christmas day was the day that the savior of the world, Jesus Christ, was born. On that material day, several church activities commemorate the birth of the Messiah. From acting skits to sharing with the needy, the reason for the day is Jesus Christ and the hope for the world. However, some denominations do not celebrate Christmas because of their doctrines. The Pentecostal denomination is thought to be one of them. Curious Christians who celebrate Christmas have asked, “Do Pentecostals celebrate Christmas?”
Pentecostals do celebrate Christmas like other Christian denominations and take part in a good number of activities to honor this special day. Their main reason for celebrating Christmas is because it is a day that commemorates the coming of Jesus Christ and the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies. As a denomination that understands the vital role that Christ played in the world, Christmas is an important day in the calendar of the Pentecostals.
Several Christians who want to join the Pentecostal denomination have been asking questions about the Pentecostal Christmas. Do the Pentecostals celebrate Christmas? If they do, what activities do they take part in? These and many other questions about Pentecost and Christmas are discussed in this article.
How do Pentecostals celebrate Christmas?
Pentecostals approach Christmas cheerfully with hearts full of joy and thanksgiving as they appreciate the rare gift of salvation that Jesus Christ brought. Since Pentecostals believe in being filled with the Holy Spirit, they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ while appreciating the role the Holy Spirit played in the coming of Christ.
Pentecostals attend church on Christmas day, where they get a chance to celebrate the day in the church’s unity as it happened on the day of Pentecost. On this day, they gather at the church to fellowship by singing Christmas carols and sharing the word of God.
Pentecostals also take part in acts of compassion, like visiting the needy and sharing with them gifts if present. With these, they remind the less fortunate that Jesus shared his love with all and that one of the best lessons he taught Christians is love and sharing.
Pentecostals are not restricted to the church service alone during Christmas. They are allowed to participate in activities such as decorating Christmas trees and other fun Christmas activities that do not go against their doctrines, like exchanging gifts with loved ones.
By fellowshipping together and sharing the gift of Christmas with others, Pentecostals have proven that they know the reason for the season, Jesus Christ, who saved the world and taught Christians the value of sharing.
Does Christmas have pagan roots?
Different biblical and ancient traditional writers have given contradicting accounts about the origin of Christmas. The churches in the west, the churches in the east, and the churches in ancient Rome all started celebrating Christmas on specific days and for particular reasons. While some claim Christmas was the correct timing of Jesus’s birth, some have linked the festival to paganism.
In ancient Rome, the 25th of December marked the festival of the unconquered sun. This was a day when the ancient Romans celebrated the return of long days. The Saturnalia followed the celebration of the unconquered sun. This was the festival of feasting and exchanging gifts amongst the ancient Romans.
The ancient Church of Rome adopted the celebration of Christmas in the 4th century when Emperor Constantine, a staunch Christian, was ruling them. While waging his war against pagan traditions, Constantine made the 25th of December a day of celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Hippolytus, who lived around 170 AD, noted in his writings that Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December. He was also supported by Cyril of Jerusalem and John Chrysostom, whose writings linked the birth of Jesus to the 25th of December. These writers support the scholars who link the birth of Jesus directly to Christmas day, making it a festival with Christian roots.
While western churches celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, eastern churches celebrate Christmas on the 6th of January. Both claim the birth of Jesus to have taken place on the specific days they celebrate. This doubts whether Christmas has Christian roots or was just an adopted festival.
Some biblical scholars have linked Christmas to the 25th of December due to the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, like shepherds tending to sleep at night. However, some have argued that the same season in Israel is usually too cold for shepherds to tend to the flock outside at such a time. They have further claimed that there is evidence of shepherds caring for the flock of sheep at night during all the seasons; thus, Jesus could have been born at any time.
Some people trace Christmas roots to Germany due to the many Christmas traditions that emanate from Germany. The Christmas tree decorations and other Christmas traditions trace their origins to Germany. However, there is no proof that Christmas indeed originated from there.
The debate about Christmas and its roots is a broad subject that has not yet come to a specific solution. While some scholars have labelled Christmas a pagan holiday that was later changed to Christmas, others have retaliated that the holiday was Christian from the onset. Despite the argument, Christians will always appreciate and celebrate Christmas as a day honoring the savior of the world Jesus Christ.
Should you celebrate Christmas as a Christian?
As a Christian, there are many reasons why you should celebrate Christmas. As an individual, it is a day to glorify Jesus Christ, who was a gift to humankind and ensured salvation for the world and you. Christmas is also a great day to fellowship with other Christians in unity as the Lord always wanted while remembering his wondrous deeds.
You can also celebrate Christmas by visiting the less fortunate people, the sick, prisoners, children’s homes, and other needy people to share the warmth and glad tidings of Christmas with them. It is also an excellent day to connect with close family members and celebrate the special day together.
A Christian should not have a problem with celebrating Christmas as long as the activities of the day do not go against the teachings of the bible. As long as the main agenda of the day is Jesus Christ, a Christian should enjoy this day.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.