A Baptist's View of Christmas

Larry Ray Hafley
Pekin, Illinois

Wayne Camp was once a Missionary Baptist preacher. He was of the old Bogard school, and, as such, identified with such men as Vernon L. Barr, Hoyt Chastain, and Albert Garner. Now, however, Mr. Camp is preaching Hardshell, Primitive Baptist doctrine concerning election and atonement. Camp always speaks his mind, even if it is wrong. His candor, if not his content, is refreshing. Sometimes, though, Wayne slips out of Baptist doctrine long enough to say some helpful things. What follows below is an example. In a day when some churches of Christ have all but taken up Christmas, it is provoking to see a Baptist assail this sacred icon of .denominationalism. Mr. Camp ,'does so with plainness and vigor.

He says:

It finally began to dawn on me that I would not find Christ in Christmas. Since Christmas means the "mass of Christ" I realized I would not find Christ in Christmas because he is not a Catholic and, therefore, does not go to mass.

Also, since it is the "mass of Christ" or "sacrifice of Christ," Jesus would not go to mass, any mass, because he was crucified once and for him to condone the mass by his sense would indicate his "one sacrifice" was not enough for the salvation of his people . . .

After several years of searching for Christ in Christmas and not finding him, it was obvious to me that Christ does not celebrate Christmas and neither should 1. He said for us to observe those things which he commanded. While I searched for Christ in Christmas, I also searched for a commandment for us to observe Christmas. You guessed it. Both searches turned out to be fruitless. Christ does not celebrate Christmas, and he did not command his people to do so.

If you look for me December 25, I plan to be in my study, cleaning and lubricating the printing press, cleaning the office and doing some needed trim work.

I, too, am sure that Christ is not a Catholic, hence, does not go to mass. But neither is he a Baptist. He does not, therefore, attend the Baptist church, whether it be Southern, Missionary, Primitive or Free Will. A search for such institutions in the Bible will be fruitless.

But let us not detract from the impact of Baptist Camp's words regarding Christmas. Some brethren need to act more like they know the truth on Christmas. It is amazing that a Baptist can sound a stronger warning about the error of Christmas than can the Gospel Advocate. If liberal brethren would follow Camp's example and go to their study on December 25, instead of promoting holiday themes and organizing "Christmas sings," they might learn the truth, too. However, I fear that some will renounce Christmas about the same time that Mr. Camp renounces the Baptist Church. Sadly, the latter is probably more likely than the former.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 23, p. 705
December 3, 1987