Christian Groups That Don't Celebrate Christmas

Christian Groups That Don't Celebrate Christmas

Not all Christians celebrate Christmas, or any holiday for this matter.
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Well, Orthodox Christmas has just come and past, well so at least by the time you read this. I know, it's been about a week into the New Year, and normally, I should be posting content related to the New Year.

Perhaps I should have written this back in December 2016 or write it in December 2017.

Now before I begin writing about the subject at hand, just know that this is NOT an attack on any particular religion, or any religious group that does not celebrate Christmas. The sole purpose of this piece is to inform. That is it.

We often point the finger at Muslims, Jews, Atheists and non-Christians when confronted with the idea of people who don't celebrate Christmas. Truth to be told, MANY Atheists and non-Christians celebrate Christmas, they take part in all the holiday fun without buying into the religious aspect of it.

As a person who enjoys learning about other religions, I've come to learn that there are actually a lot of Christians who don't celebrate Christmas. It is for a reason that mainstream Christians may actually be confused by — it goes against their faith.

Wait...what?

Celebrating Christmas goes against a Christian denomination?

I'm not going to go into all of the Bible verses condemning festivities that are identical to our common Christmas traditions today, but I will list one example. The entire book of Jeremiah 10 condemns people cutting down trees and decorating them with ornaments. A lot of Christian opponents of Christmas tie that book's condemnation with our modern-day Christmas trees.

Then, there's the entire controversy about Christmas and the festivities associated with it, being recycled Pagan holidays and traditions during the winter. That, and the entire debate of whether Jesus was actually born on December 25 of our Gregorian calendar or not. I'm not going to get into all that here. Anyone can do the research for themselves.

Basically, all I intend to do here is list a number of Christian sections and denominations that don't celebrate Christmas, as well as listing their brief history. Be mindful that this list doesn't cite all of them.

What I found interesting is that these Christian groups, save for the last group, have three things in common:

1. They're VERY conservative sections, I mean even MORE conservative than what we come to accept as being conservative.

2. They don't celebrate other holidays, some don't even celebrate birthdays, seeing holiday and birthday celebrations as forms of Pagan and self-worship.

3. They're a minority and don't form a majority in any single country.

1. Jehovah's Witnesses

If you're familiar with 'em, well, ya had to see that coming on the list. For me, I was totally never familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses movement. The only thing I'd ever knew about 'em is their door-to-door ministry. That's it. This particular section of Christianity is an End Time sect. and was found in New England, by the Watch Tower Society in New York, who also happens to be the governing body of the faith. Its followers worship in "Kingdom Halls." Charles Taze Russell, the movement's main founder was a minister from Pennsylvania.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas. Neither do they celebrate Thanksgiving, birthdays, Valentines Day, etc. They also refrain from national holidays. From what I've read, the only holiday that the Jehovah's Witnesses do celebrate, or anything remotely close to a "holiday" to our understanding, is Jesus' death, which they celebrate on Nisan 14 of the Hebrew calendar. They call it the "Lord's Last Supper," which in a sense, is identical to the Jewish feast of Passover. (Jesus actually celebrated Passover and the "Last Supper" was describing a Passover dinner Jesus was having.) If you actually research the history of the movement, though, they did at one point, celebrate Christmas but stopped doing it.

2. Seventh-day Adventists


Similarly to the Jehovah's Witness movement, Seventh-day Adventists do not celebrate Christmas, or any holidays and place the main focus on End Time prophecy. However, the stark difference is their observation of the Sabbath, on Saturday as opposed to the mainstream Christian practice of observing Sunday as a holy day. Though the Seventh-day Adventist has several founders, among the main three regarded as Joseph Bates and the White couple (Ellen G. White and her husband James White). It is a considered a sub-branch of the Protestant section of Christianity. The faith is governed from Maryland by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

3. United Church of God, an International Association


This is a unique and interesting one. The United Church of God, an International Association was founded in 1995 in Indianapolis. It is to note that its common name is just United Church of God, or known by the acronym UCG. The comma followed by an International Association was added to the official name, to distinguish it from other groups who may use identical or similar names. The UCG is actually one of many break-away groups from a larger Christian group known as Grace Communion International, at that time, known as the Worldwide Church of God. A 12-man board known as the Council of Elders governs the UCG.

The reason for breaking away from the WCG was that members of the UCG wanted to adopt a strict conservative orthodox form of Christianity, similar to the one that the Puritans practiced. As one could expect, ditching Christmas is one of those practices. In fact, the UCG even has videos on why Christians shouldn't celebrate Christmas. Although, they actually seem to be lenient on birthdays. In fact, in this interesting sermon, one of their elders, Larry Walker explains that the Bible neither prohibits nor promotes birthdays and that it is truly up to the individual.

Here's another interesting fact: the UCG's original parent organization actually DEFENDS Christmas!

4. Westboro Baptist Church


I'm sure by now, many people should be familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church. This Baptist section with only 40 members in Topeka, Kansas, at least as we know it, was found in 1955. Though the church itself, was actually a church plant of the East Side Baptist Church in Topeka under the same name as today. Fred Phelps, the church's main founder, was actually an associate pastor at the original East Side Baptist Church. He was later hired to be the main pastor of Westboro Baptist Church.

Phelps eventually broke away from the East Side Baptist Church to begin his own group. While widely known for their hate speech and their picketing activity, particularly towards the LGBTQ+ community, they've also done this toward other Christians, soldiers and veterans, Muslims, Jews, politicians and well, America herself. Christmas should also be on that list. In fact, another thing that the WBC is known for is creating parodies of music to convey their beliefs. Christmas music is no exception, as the WBC condemns Christmas by making parodies of Christmas music doing so.

5. Non-Denominational groups

I'm not even gonna show a picture for this one, as literally...this group can come in MANY, MANY forms. Their churches can look like anything, from a traditional church to a simple building that they use to meet in. Sometimes they don't even meet in churches or designated congregational structures.

This group is actually mixed on the entire Christmas issue and a diverse bunch. It is mixed with people who just like all the others mentioned, have dropped Christmas, to those who may take a few liberties by hosting dinners and giving presents, or those who just go full-out and celebrate like everyone else.

Many even celebrate other holidays such as birthdays.

For example, there's a Facebook page named "Christians Who Don't Celebrate Christmas". They're all socially conservative Christians who don't adhere to any organizations or faiths. In fact, from all the comments and postings I've read, they're actually against all the aforementioned groups that you've seen.

I've had very conservative friends in the past who preach about the pagan origins of Christmas and are adamantly against Christmas trees and all that. Yet, they still see family while not agreeing with their relatives' decisions to erect Christmas trees and all that.

Becky Fischer, a conservative Pentecostal who became prominent for the 2006 film "Jesus Camp", celebrates Christmas, and even and encourages Christians to celebrate Hanukkah.

The Stats

So according to numerous online sources, the Jehovah's Witnesses have about 8 million followers around the world, the Seventh Day Adventists have about 19 million followers around the world, and while I haven't been able to find any status for the United Church of God, they do have 409 congregations worldwide. So that's approximately 27 million Christians who don't celebrate Christmas, not counting the non-denominationals. This is out of about 2 billion Christians worldwide.

While 27 million (remember minus the UCG and non-denominationals) out of 2 billion Christians doesn't seem like a lot, especially in terms of percentage (about 1.4%), it's still a noticeable amount.


Cover Image Credit: Emozione3 Blog

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God's Letter To The Struggling College Christian

Don't give up on me because I haven't given up on you
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Dear Struggling College Christian,

Life can be tough, especially in college; you’re at that age where you’re not exactly an adult but also no longer a child. You’re somewhere in between, possessing just enough freedom to do what you want while still being held responsible for the decisions you make about your future. You're always stressed out. You’re going to get hurt, you’re going to feel like dropping out or changing your mind, and you’re even going to want to turn your back on me, your God, but I want to tell you this: your suffering is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: I Am Christian Millennial And I Do Not Hate You

I want you to know that everything you are going through is a lesson. It’s all building you into a better person, a better you. The things you’ve asked of me, the things you’ve told me you wanted – those are things you have to be prepared for and you still need a bit of tweaking. The future, though bright, isn’t all sunshine and roses. The path has twists and turns, cracks are in it, fallen logs in your way, and most of the time you’re not going to be able to see straight ahead of you. The weather is going to be unpredictable. The hailstorm is going to knock you off your feet and the twisters are going to send you spinning into confusion, exhaustion and doubt, but with the strength that I am trying to build up in you, you'll find that you know exactly where to find shelter when the storms break down your door.

You’ll find that the lessons you learn from trying times are exactly what you need to fulfill my plans for you. You’ve read Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28, and heard them hundreds of times, but there is a verse in the Bible that you may have never paid attention to: Ephesians 2:10. It reads: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The most important part of this verse is one simple word: beforehand. So while you’re crying and stressing about what job you’re going to land after you graduate, if you’re going to marry that person you’ve been with for years, or if you even want to be majoring in what you’re currently majoring in, I already have a plan laid out specifically for you. You are my child, my creation and you have a purpose.

However, while knowing these things is great, it is all pointless if you don’t do. So here’s what I want you to do: do not give up. Have faith in me. You believe in me, so why not believe in me in your darkest moments? That’s the reason you became a Christian, right? Because I'm the one person you know that won't forsake you. You know that I love you, and you know that I’m here for you, so prove it. I know it can be hard when you’re pulled in a lot of different directions by your social life, your academic life and your extracurricular activities not to mention your family life and your own personal sanity, but take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to talk to me. Tell me your fears and your desires. Remember that you can ask me for and about anything. I'm always going to give you an answer, whether it's a yes, no, or not right now. After that, I want you to stop worrying and fight on through the darkness. You are stronger than you think.

My Child, enjoy yourself while you are young: don't stress over the things that you can't see. Don't give in to the depression, the anxiety, or the stress; things that are not of me. Don't let yourself forget about me or believe that I'm not there when I am and know that my plan is set in place for you. All you have to do is walk in it. Trust that this is all for your good. But most importantly, remember that I love you unconditionally–at your worst and your best. Life can be tough, but you are tougher simply because you are mine.

I’ve got you,

God

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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Diwali, The Festival Of Lights, Will Make You Feel Complete And Connected To Your Roots

Although it has passed, its beauty and spirituality is still felt all around.

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There are only a few things in life that make you feel at home. Home is often considered a place more than it is a feeling, but I really think it should be included. You could either be with people that make you feel at home and it doesn't matter where you might be or you could be doing something that makes you feel all the same. Either way, home is synonymous with comfort, contentedness, love, and safety.

Recently, Indians celebrated one of their biggest holidays: Diwali. The name means "Festival of Lights" and you might be able to understand why seeing all the candles ("diyas" in Hindi) being lit. The significance of all of this is not just to bring light to your outer world, but also your inner one. You can interpret what that means in so many different forms, but as of now, to me, it means clearing my mind. That includes clearing it of things that make me upset, thoughts that I would be happier in different circumstances, that people should change, or even that I can change them.

It gives me a "passively active" role in my life, one where I try for what I want but then try not to stress when it doesn't happen.

Even the physicality of the holiday — lighting of the diyas, dressing in beautiful colors, spending time with loved ones — serves to brighten my spirits and feel more centered.

I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with my family, which is also a time that helps me keep things into perspective (we all know that it's a little too easy to get caught up in school and work).

And maybe the best part of it all is that I see the world as it is: without projecting anything "good" or "bad" onto it, without any judgment and still, still it appears to be beautiful.

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